Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WIPS - It's a Mystery

It's been a bit busy this week.  I got tapped to provide dessert for this week's volleyball lunch for the juniors and seniors.  The request was for Rice Krispy treats and chocolate covered strawberries.  I wasn't too sure that the Rice Krispy treats were going to go over well with older girls.  The lunch was yesterday.  Drama Teen said both went fast and were much appreciated by the team.  

There has been a little bit of stitching since the weekend, but not a lot.  I finished off the 34 square in a square blocks that were this month's clue for the Midnight Mystery.  

Midnight Mystery Quilt From Meadow Mist Designs

That red really makes for bright blocks.  But these blocks will get paired with the flying geese that were last month's clue.

These should help tone down all that red.  Looking forward to getting starting on October's clue when it comes out next week.  

Linking up with WIP Wednesday, WIPS on Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Stitching - Another Finish in the Works

Did you stay up and watch the lunar eclipse last night?  I watched till totality then gave it up and went to bed.  My Guy was out till about 11 with his camera and tripod.  I tried to take a few photos, but my telephoto lens wasn't really telephoto enough to get any good shots.  

Most of last night was spent out on the drive way, but most of the afternoon was spent in the sewing room.  The next to last border is on Back to Square One. 

Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

It's way too big for the design wall, but you still get a good idea of how it's coming along.  The narrow dark purple border is attached.  Just one last border of the darker blue and this one will be a finished flimsy.  I'm hoping I have enough fabric in the stash to make a backing for it. 

So what did you stitch up this weekend?  I'm sharing my progress over at Design Wall Monday, Making Monday and Design Board Monday.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Stash Report - Week 39 of 2015

Fall started Wednesday, but I didn't have this journal page ready then.  Occasionally, I play at making digital journal pages. There aren't enough hours in the day to do much of that and then sew: but this week I've been stealing a few minutes here and there to work up this page.  The sunflowers and butterfly are png files produced from some of my photographs.  I need a lot more practice, but it's a nice way to use all those digital images that are just sitting on my hard drive at the moment. 

Even though I spent some of my sewing time playing on the computer, there was some stitching this week that resulted in fabric out.  

Used last week:  0.32 yards
Used in September:  1.19 yards
Used year to date:  29.46 yards
Purchased year to date:  10.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  19.21 yards

Not a bad week. There was no incoming, which helps a lot.  Next week should be better since I'm adding the wider borders to Back to Square One.  Then it will need a back, but I'm not sure I'll get that far before next Sunday.  

I'm linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.  You can find more stash accounting going on there.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - A Little Orange

Nothing on the agenda for this weekend.  There will the usual laundry and working around the house a bit, but nothing pressing.  I'm really tempted to just take today and spend it in my sewing room, but there are a few other things that should get done, unfortunately.  

There is one lonely orange Twinkle Star up on the design wall. 

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

This block started off with a dark blue for the sawtooth star points, but the teal really sets off the orange much better.  I love the vibrancy of orange.  It's a good color for fall.  The cooler weather, the changing leaves, the bluer skies just make fall, at least for me, so much more vibrant then the summer months. 

I'm still playing around with ideas for next year's RSC Challenge (I'm hoping that Angela is planning to continue).  A school house quilt has been on my bucket list for while.  There's a version from McCall's Quilting that has caught my eye.  

The House That Kaffe Built, from McCall's Quilting

But I also came across Jo's post with her row quilt blocks and fell in love with that look.  So after a bit of playing with the paper pieced house blocks in EQ this idea surfaced. 

I probably need to add some tree blocks in between the houses, but I kinda like the look of this one too.  Lots of little pieces, it would definitely make me work on my paper piecing skills.  Thankfully there is still a few months to make a decision.  

I'm linking up with Soscrappy for today's Rainbow Challenge post.  Then it's time for another cup of coffee while checking out all of the fun RSC projects for this year.    

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WIPs - Bordering on Another Finish

It's been slow, but steady progress in the sewing room.  Most of my stitching time comes on the weekends, but I do manage a few minutes here and there during the week to pin and then stitch a few seams.  I spent a few minutes to cut the strips for the next round of borders for Back to Square One.  The log cabin/star borders are all assembled and attached. 

 Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

With the addition of the last round of borders, it's now too big for the design wall.  The purple fabric looks almost black in this photo, I just couldn't get the lighting right to get the true color. The quilt is actually much brighter in real life.   All that's left is a narrow purple border followed by a dark blue border.  Borders always take longer than I think they will, so it will probably be the end of next week before this one is finished.  

Progress continues on the Square in a Square blocks for the Midnight Mystery quilt.  I should have all those blocks finished in time to start on October's clue when it is issued.  I still need to trim up the Layer Cake Quilt Along project and make the binding so I can finish it.  I did come up with a better another name for that project, I'll share that when the quilt is finished. The current plan is to get  Back to Square One sent out for quilting before finishing off the Layer Cake project.  That's assuming I have backing fabric for BTSO. So locating the backing fabric I think is in the stash also goes on the to do list.  

Linking up with WIP Wednesday, WIPS on Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Stitching - A Grand Illusion Finish

Saturday was beautiful, Sunday was cloudy and cool. Perfect stitching weather.  My sanity was partially restored by a long afternoon of sewing yesterday.  It's always good to start a Monday with at least partial sanity.  Though sometimes it doesn't matter.  Some weeks it doesn't last long.

The biggest accomplishment last week was to finish up Grand Illusion.

Grand Illusion, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery
The green borders do a lot to minimize the busyness of this quilt. I'm happy with how it came out.  Trudy quilted a spiked leafy vine type of motif done in white. It really shows up on the black, but not so much on the other colors.  

The back was made from some yardage that's been hanging out in the fabric closet for several years.  

A few left over block pieces where added to the back mainly to just get them out of the sewing room.  But it makes for a nice line of color to break up all that monotonous cream.  

This is only finish number two for me this year.  It doesn't even affect my UFO count as this quilt hasn't been around long enough to count under that classification.  But it was on my quilt plan for this year.  So two down, seven left to finish.  I'm not going to get all seven done, but I do expect to finish up two more before the end of the year. 

You can see more weekend accomplishments over at Patchwork Times, Cooking up Quilts, and Love Laugh Quilt.   

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stash Report - Week 38 of 2015

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous.  Which was doubly nice because it was also time for the company picnic.  We had a great time catching up with everyone's family, eating bar-b-q, and just enjoying the pretty weather.  Not a lot of stitching got done consequently, but it was such a pretty day it seemed a shame to waste it playing indoors.  

There was some stitching this week.  Not much, but some, which is definitely better than none.  

Used last week:  0.17 yards
Used in September:  0.87 yards
Used year to date:  29.14 yards
Purchased year to date:  10.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  18.89 yards

Hopefully I'll break the 30 yard mark before the month is out.  Though at the rate I'm going, that may be wishful thinking. 

The stash report wasn't spectacular, but the sunsets and sunrises this week have been.  Last night's was gorgeous. 

Love all those yellow, pinks and oranges.  

I'm linking up with the stash report over at Patchwork Times.  Then I have to get going on the laundry.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Planning with Orange

It's been a week and I'm glad it's over. I'm ready for a weekend and a chance to readjust my sanity level.  It got way out of wack this week.  Nothing major, just a lot of meetings that made it hard to get much work done.  Unfortunately, I don't see that next week is going to be much different, so I better work really hard on the sanity adjustment this weekend.  Housework may just have to wait for a change.  

All the black Twinkle Stars finally got finished last week.  

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

I really like this set of blocks.  Hopefully they won't be so dark as to look funny mixed in with all the other bright blocks.  The big design wall is full at the moment, so there hasn't been a chance to throw up all the blocks and see how things are coming along.  Hopefully there will be a chance to do that next month so I can see what blocks are needed to finish off the design.  

I've started a couple of the orange Twinkle Star blocks, but alas have nothing completed to show off this week.  So my orange block this week will have to a virtual one.  

I first saw this block done all in pink over at Maureen's Mystic Quilter blog.  It got pinned to my Pinterest board so I wouldn't forget it.  Then yesterday I came across the pattern this block comes from.  It's called Geese Migration, designed by Cynthia Brunz.  It was a free down load from Sew Mama Sew.  I'm thinking this would be a great block for next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I have a lot of 2.5" strips that were cut for the Twinkle Star blocks this year, this block would use up some of those.  I did some playing around in EQ and came up with this as a preliminary plan. 

Geese Migration by Cynthia Brunz

I love how black really makes the colors pop.  But I've been wanting to try gray as a background fabric too. 

Geese Migration by Cynthia Brunz

I would definitely make the blocks in the full spectrum of colors, these EQ mock ups are for me to see if it's a project I really want to make.  There are some other color placement options to play with before a final decision is made.  But I see lots of potential with this project.   Trouble is there are a couple of other potential scrappy projects for next year that I'd love to make.  Good thing I've got a few months to play around and decide what to make next year.  

There are lots of very vivid oranges on display over at Soscrappy.  I'm going to grab a second cup of coffee and go flirt with the temptation of all those fun projects.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIPs - What's in a Name

Progress has been slow and steady on this year's quilt plan.  Grand Illusion is almost done, just a bit more binding to finish stitching down.  The next set of borders are coming together for Back to Square One.  The Layer Cake Quilt Along project is quilted, so I can start the binding.  The quilt needs a better name, but I'm pulling complete blanks.  Here's the quilt.

Moose on the Porch Layer Cake Quilt Along by Konda Luckau

It's not one of my favorite projects.  The layer cake was actually bought for another project, a quilt for Drama Teen's school auction.  I used a few of the 10" squares, but had a bunch left over.  So the only name I've come up with is "Leftovers".  Any other suggestions?

The square in a square blocks for Midnight Mystery are slowly multiplying. 

Midnight Mystery Quilt From Meadow Mist Designs

Now that I've got more up on the wall, I'm less concerned about the black and red tulip print.  The clue calls for 34 of these blocks, so I'm not quite half way there.  

I finally finished up the last black Twinkle Star block.

Twinkle Stars Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

 I really like this set.  Back to Square one is up on the big design wall, so I can't throw these up to see how they look with the other blocks.  I hope they aren't too dark to blend in with the others.  

That's it for my WIPs this week.  I'm linking up with WIPs on Wednesday, WIP Wednesday, and Needle and Thread Thursday.    

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Stitching - Log Cabins and Stars

Sunday was a pretty productive day here.  After spending some time catching up with laundry and a bit of house work in the morning, the afternoon and evening were devoted to spending time in the sewing room. 

The binding is almost all sewn down on Grand Illusion, just about half a side left. All that will be left is to finish stitching down the label, then I'll have a finish.  

All 12 stars for the last round of borders for Back to Square One are finally finished. 

Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

The next step was to stitch together all the log cabin blocks into sets of two.  

That is done.  Star blocks have been pinned to the log cabin pairs.  They are piled up by the sewing machine waiting to be stitched.  

I need to make the binding for Layer Cake quilt.  I also need to make a label which means I need a name for the quilt.  So that's something to ponder this week.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times, Cooking Up Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stash Report - Week 37 of 2015

Our weather took a turn to the cool side and that apparently affected what pollen was in the air.  I spent most of yesterday in the recliner either asleep or feeling absolutely miserable with a sinus headache.  It's raining this morning, so I'm guessing that knocked the pollen levels down as I'm feeling a lot better.  Needless to say there wasn't a lot of sewing yesterday, so this week's stash report looks a bit anemic compared to what it's been the last few weeks.  

Used last week:  0.17 yards
Used in September: 0.70 yards
Used year to date:  28.97 yards
Purchased year to date:  10.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  18.72 yards

Every little bit out will add up, so it wasn't a bad week.  Especially since I'm sticking to my fabric diet. I'm determined to end this year with a stash reduction for a change.

One other effect of the cooler weather is that it's been so nice a couple of evenings that I by passed the sewing room in favor of a walk.  I'm not sure what these little purple puffs are, but they certainly are pretty. 

There are sunflowers in just about every open field.  

So you see little clumps of sunshine even on the rainy days we've been having.  I'm hoping to get in a few more walks here and there. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year to get out with the camera, the light here in the afternoons is just gorgeous.  So hopefully I'll more shots to share later.  For now, it's time for a breakfast.  You can find more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Ostentatious Orange

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for this month is orange.  I don't have a lot of orange, in spite of the fact there is a completely orange quilt in my past.  Orange is just such a flamboyant color, a little goes a long way.  So a few orange Twinkle Stars should really perk up the project.  I didn't get any stars made this week, but  I did get my fabrics chosen. 

I'm debating changing out the dark blue for teal.  That would really pop against that orange.  So these are probably not the final selections.  I have time to make some changes, as all of last month's blocks are still not finished. 

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

The last black star is sitting at the sewing machine waiting to be completed.  Hopefully that will happen later today.  Then I can play with all those showy oranges.   There's more extraordinary orange scrappy goodness to check out over at Soscrappy.  

Moving on to something completely different.  Last week was my 5 year blogaversary and associated give away.    I promised to draw a winner for the RJR Chalk Line fat quarter bundle today.  So after googling to find a random number generator, I entered my parameters and clicked on generate.  

So congratulations to Barbara who blogs over at Cat Patches.  I've already dropped her an email note.  Hopefully Mike let her off her ATV long enough to play on her computer a bit.  Thanks for all the well wishes and fun comments on last week's blogaversary post. 

Happy stitching this weekend.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WIPs - Midnight Twinkle Stars

Yesterday was rainy and last night stormy.  It was perfect for spending some time in sewing room, but not so hot for a long bike ride.  That had been My Guy's plan for his day off, while I spent mine in the sewing room.  It didn't seem fair that my plans worked, but his didn't.  So the afternoon plans got shifted a bit. We ate lunch together, ran a few errands and just generally hung out together most of the afternoon. 

I did get some time in the sewing room after dinner.  One more Twinkle Star block made it to the design wall. 

 Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Just one more black star to finish sewing together and I can move on to orange the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for September. The Twinkle Stars have been a fun project for the RSC.  It's going to be hard to find a block as fun as these for next year's project.  

I've also been chipping away at the square in a square blocks which are this month's clue for the Midnight Mystery Quilt.

Midnight Mystery Quilt From Meadow Mist Designs

I may be sorry for the placement of the black and red tulip fabric.  I probably should have taken a peak at the final project, but I so wanted to do this as a mystery.  Hopefully it will look fine when all the blocks are put together.  

I've also been inching along on the binding for Grand Illusion this week. I'm hoping to have that quilt done by the end of the weekend. Two more star blocks are up on the design wall for Back to Square One, just two more to complete and it will be time to piece the next border. Poinsettias has been my Leader and Enders project for the last year. 

By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

I've completed all of the Unit 2, Unit 5 and Unit 6 blocks.  I only need 4 more of Unit 4 and about 10 more of Unit 1 and Unit 3.  This one may make it to a finished flimsy stage by the end of the year.  

So that's the 5 WIPs I'm currently working on.  You can check out more works in progress over at WIPs on Wednesday, WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend Stitching - Not a Lot to See

It's Labor Day for those of us in the US.  For some it's the last weekend at the lake for this summer.  For other's it's another day to spend in the sewing room.  There's a lucky few are able to do both.  We did our Labor Day celebrating yesterday.  Actually we were celebrating my sister's birthday and had a great time hanging out with the family.  

Coupling Saturday's headache with birthday partying means that there wasn't a lot of weekend stitching going on.  Friday night was spent fixing the binding on Grand Illusion.  I was able to start stitching that down on Saturday after a trip to Hobby Lobby for some thread to match the bright green in the binding.  The only change to the design wall was the addition of another star block for the next border on the Back to Square One UFO

Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

The last four star blocks are started, but are over at the sewing machine in various states of completion.  Since I'll have some time to stitch today and tomorrow (My Guy and I are talking another day off), I should get those last 4 finished.  

That's it for me today.  Hopefully there will be more to see up on the design wall next week, like another border added to the quilt.  I'm going to grab another cup of coffee and check out what quilty labors are posted over at Patchwork Times, Cooking up Quilts and Love Laugh Quilt.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Slow Stitching and Stash Busting in Week 36 of 2015

So far it's been a relaxing start to the three day weekend.  Got a little laundry and a little housework done yesterday before the headache hit. There wasn't much time in the sewing room after that. I'm feeling better today. 

I've made a complete recovery from my binding mishap and have been working on stitching down the properly attached binding to Grand Illusion.

I've got a ways to go on getting it all stitched down, but a finish is definitely on the way.  

Not much to report on my de-stashing efforts this week.  Correcting my binding fiasco kept me pretty occupied  most of this week, so about all I have to report as outgoing is that pesky binding. 

Used last week: 0.59 yards
Used in August:  9.98 yards
Used in September: 0.53 yards
Used year to date:  28.8 yards
Purchased year to date: 10.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  18.55 yards

It's still a good week with a little something out with nothing in. Though I will admit, maintaining my fabric diet has been a challenge this last week.  So far I'm holding firm. I would really like to end this year with a net reduction in the stash.  I keep reminding myself of that goal anytime I see a sale on quilting fabric.  

You can check out more slow stitching lovelies over at Kathy's Quilts and more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Still in the Black

Hard to believe it's September already and that Labor Day weekend is here.  The days will go faster now, or at least it seems that way to me.  Maybe it's because the days will get shorter from here on out.

My days certainly seemed short this week.  I did spend some time in the sewing room working towards finishing up Grand Illusion.  I did something I've never done before, I sewed the binding to the wrong side of the quilt and didn't catch that until I had finished.  So that was 339 inches of stitching that had to be ripped out. After 2 nights with the seam ripper, it's finally sewn on the front correctly and I can start hand stitching it to the back.  

My three evening diversion with Grand Illusion kept me from finishing up the black Twinkle Stars. Only one more made it to the design wall.  

 Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Since it's a long weekend, I'm hoping to get the last two black stars finished up and make a start on the orange ones.  At the moment, I'm going for a second cup of coffee and then taking a peak at all scrappy orangeness posted over at Soscrappy.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Life in Pieces 5 Year Blogiversary

After 5 years and 1173 posts, I'm still blogging.  Over those 5 years, I've sometimes posted every day and sometimes not at all for weeks at a time. Life gets busy, blogging becomes a chore, but eventually I find my way back.  It's hard to stay away.  When I started the blog 5 years ago, I had no idea of the all the wonderful people I would meet on line.   You all inspire me, motivate me, engage me, uplift me, share with me, and laugh with me.   So to say thanks for all the fun, I have a give away.  A fat quarter packet from RJR Fabrics called Chalk Line.  

So just leave a comment and next Saturday the 12th, I'll select a winner. If you are a no reply blogger be sure to include your email address in your comment.  

In looking back, I found some of my old headers.  Here's a few of my favorites.  

Winter 2010 Header 

Summer 2011 Header

Spring 2012 Header

July 2013 Header

September 2014 Header

Thanks for a fun five years!  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WIPS - Block Progress

Just two more days and those of us in the United States have a three day holiday weekend.  Hopefully that means that it should start to get less hectic at work as the week goes on as people are likely to take Friday off and make it a four day weekend.  I can't, as my boss scheduled a staff meeting for Friday.  

I did a lot in the sewing room over the weekend, but it's been slow since the work week started.  I've made pretty good progress on the star blocks for the Back to Square One quilt. 

Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

I've added four more blocks.  Just five more blocks and I'll be ready to start assembling the next round of borders.  

That's it for my WIP progress this week.  You can see lots of other progress over at WIPs on Wednesday, WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.