Thursday, December 31, 2015

Non-Allietare Stitching

Before Christmas I thought that this last week of 2015 would be full of stitching.  That hasn't happened, yet anyway.  The first few days of this week became deep cleaning days (the move furniture and clean behind it kind if cleaning).  We started the process the week of Thanksgiving.  We were having company and expecting new furniture, so in the way of people who typically clean just enough to get buy we realized that there were a few neglected areas in the house.  We targeted the master bedroom and the attic this week.  It's been worth all the effort, 4 bags of trash hauled away and 3 trash bags already delivered to Goodwill. 

There has been some time in the sewing room each day.  Most of the effort has been on getting the binding stitched down on Back to Square One.  That was finished last night.  So that will be my last finish for 2015.  No pictures yet as it was 10 PM when I finished the binding.

Like a lot of quilters, I started Bonnie Hunter's Allietare Mystery.  And of course with all the holiday prep, fell way behind.  So I've done just a bit of stitching in an effort to catch up.  Still a long way to go on that front.  

In the midst of those two projects, slow and steady progress has been made on the McCalls Mystery UFO from 2012.  

McCall's Mystery Quilt, From McCall's Quilting Magazine
Jan/Feb, April/May, June/July 2012 issues

I just need to sew the top three rows to the bottom three rows and then I can start piecing the border blocks.  I haven't decided if I like this quilt or not.  The border blocks have a lot of the dark blue, so it will change the look quite a bit.  So I'm holding judgement till I get that on.  This is a big quilt.  Guess I should have paid more attention to finished size.  My main goal with this project was to find a home for the 6 yards of the focus fabric.  It had been in the stash for a while and I wanted to use it up.  What's left will go on the back.  

My Guy has promised me a break in the deep cleaning today since it's New Year's Eve.  But that's so I can do some laundry and get the Christmas tree down.  Still I hope to have some time for stitching this afternoon and evening as we wait for the ball to drop.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation.  Now it's time for that second cup of coffee while I go check out what people have going on this last day of 2015. 

Have a happy New Year!   

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Quilting Goals

Before writing this post, I looked at last my goals for 2015.  To be honest, I haven't looked at those since I wrote them.  But, I did regularly review and generally stick with my 2015 Quilt Plan.  Stash management was also a focus in 2015, but what I worked toward wasn't really in my goal.  So I'm taking those lessons to heart in writing my 2016 quilting goals. 

1.  Follow my 2016 Quilt Plan.  
            Finish 8 UFOs/WIPs
            Start 7 new projects

2.  Use more fabric than I buy.  

To make both 1 and 2 happen, I need to get into the sewing room more.  Which leads to me goal 3.  

3.  Sew for at least 15 minutes every day.  

Here's my UFO/WIP/New Project List

The quilts listed in red are the ones to be completed next year. My basis for choosing these quilts is that they are the UFOs closest to completion or are currently WIPs.  The seven quilts at the bottom of the list are the ones I plan to start next year.   

Wish me luck, I've never completed more than 7 quilts in one year and the 2016 plan calls for 8.  I used more fabric than I bought in 2015, that the first year that's happened in the 6 years I've been tracking stash in and outs.  Can I repeat next year?  I'm going to have to keep deleting those fabric shop emails to make that goal again this year. 

I'm linking up with Val's Tuesday Archives, as she's bending the rules a bit this week to showcase future efforts rather than past achievements.  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Weekend Stitching - Not Even Close to Catching Up

Yesterday was catch up day. We stayed in a hotel over the Christmas holiday.  Not sure if it was the inability to manage the room temperature (it was either freezing or burning up) or the sheets that would slide off the bed so that you couldn't keep the covers over you.  Or if there was just something in the air.  None of us slept all that well and each morning we all woke up feeling pretty crappy.  The lack of sleep finally caught up with all of us yesterday.  There was a lot of napping going on all over the house.  

All of that just to say there wasn't a lot of progress on Allietare.  I did get in a couple of hours in the sewing room late in the evening. So I managed to get a start on clue #3 then.

Clue 1 is just about half way finished as there are now 100 HSTs up on the design wall. 

There was also some progress on Clue 2, but not enough to warrant a photo.  I started cutting the pieces for Clue 4.  Clue 5 has been downloaded, but hasn't been printed yet.  

Now that I'm all caught up on my sleep, I'm hoping to get in some significant stitching time in the sewing room today.  Assuming we keep power all day.  We are under a winter weather storm warning.  It's sleeting at the moment. Hopefully that will turn to snow soon and we won't see any flickering lights today.  

That's it for me this week.  I'm linking up with Bonnie's Part 5 post today, as well as Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday and Love, Laugh, Quilt's Making Monday.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Last Stash Report for 2015

Wow, week 52 already.  All the hustle and bustle of the holiday season distracts you from just how close we are to the end of another year.  At least it does me.  There hasn't been much stitching this last month, just too many other things got in the way.  Still, 2015 has been a banner year for me.  For the first time in the 6 years I've been keeping track of the in and outs of the stash, I'm going to finish the year with more out than in.  It's not as much out as I had hoped, but just to be in the black for a change is worth celebrating.  Here's the numbers.

Used last week:  0.13 yards
Used in December:  0.77 yards
Used year to date:  44.90 yards
Purchased year to date:  30.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  14.65 yards

I'm contemplating what my stash goals are for next year.  I was pretty successful with the fabric diet this year.  But, like weight loss, stash reduction takes both not adding and using to get the most benefit.  The stash diet will continue next year I'm pretty sure, I just need to figure out how to finish more quilts.  

That's it for the stash report.  Before I close this post, I wanted to share some of the beautiful light displays we saw over the holiday.  

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year.  I'm linking up with Judy's Patchwork Times Stash Report.  Now it's time for second cup of coffee and a peak at how everyone else ended up this year.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best of Life in Pieces for 2015

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to start thinking about the new year.  In preparation for that, Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Design suggested we look back over our blogs and decide what were the "best" posts for 2015.  

Best of 2015 Linky Party

Cheryl left the definition of best up to us.  It could be the posts with the most views or comments.  If you want more of either for 2016, it's helpful to see what those posts had that others didn't.  You could highlight 5 finishes, 5 tutorials, or 5 linky parties. I decided to highlight this year's finishes and works in progress. 

Number 5.  Grand Illusion Finish

Number 4.  Poinsettia Leaders and Enders Project

Number 3:  Back to Square One Finished Flimsy

Number 2:  2015 Rainbow Scrap Project:  Twinkle Stars

Number 1:  2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Finish

I have one honorable mention that I'd like to include.  The post includes one of this year's quilts, but also has some of my favorite quilts that I've finished since starting up the blog.

Honorable Mention:  The Online Trunk Show

That's it for my "Best Of 2015".  You can find more fun reviews of 2015 over at Meadow Mist Designs.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tuesday Archives - Christmas Quilts

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Val for Tuesday Archives. 

Val's Quilting Studio

Since I'm off work this week, I actually have time to write a post.  For some reason, Monday's are always manic and I just never get a post pulled together.  

This week's archive topic is Christmas Quilts.  I've only finished one Christmas quilt and I wrote a post about it when Val's Tuesday Archival linky party  #12 was for Christmas quilts.  You can click here, to see Charming Christmas Cardinals.  

There are two other Christmas quilts on the UFO list.  The first is Poinsettia's, which has been my leaders and enders project for the last couple of years.  It's also been my Let's Book It Project, a linky party hosted by Vroomans Quilts that encourages us to use all those quilting books on the shelf.  The last post showing progress is just a few weeks old. You can find it here.

The second Christmas UFO has been hanging around since July of 2013.  The most recent blog post on that project dates from November 2013.  I haven't touched it since then.  Here's the original plan for Christmas Angels:

The green and beige 4 patches are all made and the star points are all made.  I just need to finish the angel blocks.  Hopefully I'll get back to this one sometime next year.  

That's all my Ghost of Christmas UFOs has to show.  You can find more eye candy for Christmas over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Weekend Stitching - Allietare Progress

One of the perks of being on vacation is sleeping in, which I fully indulged in this morning.  So my post is later than normal.  Though to be honest, normal has been a bit skewed the last few weeks.  I've not posted anything beyond a stash report over the last two weeks.  There's not been anything to post about.  I did make it back into the sewing room this weekend, but most of my focus has been on getting the binding finished on Back to Square One.  I did spend a bit of time at the cutting table and a few minutes at the sewing machine in an attempt to make some progress on Bonnie Hunter's Allietare mystery.  I'm up to 80 HSTs.

Allietare Part 1 of Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt 

A few pieces from step 2 made it off the machine.   

Allietare Part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt

I started cutting the strips for step 3.  That's pretty much it for progress over the last two weeks.  With the holiday coming up on Friday, there won't be a much time for stitching.  But I'm off the whole week after Christmas and I hope to make a lot of progress in the sewing room then.  

I need to go check in with My Guy on what the plan is for today.  I think a trip to the post office is on the agenda, but I'm not sure if he has other plans.  If not, I have a few of my own.  

Linking up with Bonnie's Mystery Monday and Judy's Patchwork Times.  Lots of eye candy at both sites. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Slow Stitching and Week 51 Stash Report

How can it be the Sunday before Christmas?  I'm sure there was supposed to be another week in there somewhere. It's been a bit hectic the last week and not solely due to the holiday.  There has been some shopping and gift wrapping thrown in here and there.  I spent the last couple of days at my Mom's.  She had knee surgery a few weeks ago and isn't recovering as fast as she'd like.  I went home to help her with some Christmas preparations as she's just not up to speed yet. 

Needless to say with all the extra activities, there's not been a lot of stitching going on.  I did get to spend some time playing in the sewing room last night.  I managed to get another 15 inches or so of binding stitched on Back to Square One. 

I'd hoped to do more, but the nail on my right thumb split down into the nail bed and it's amazing how much it hurts to hand stitch with it in that condition.  I'm hoping it won't hurt so much this afternoon when I'll have some more time to stitch. 

I spent some time getting the fabrics cut out for step 2 of Allietare.  Yes I'm that far behind.  I do hope to make some progress on steps 3 and 4 before the linky party tomorrow.  But as I'm not counting any of the Allietare pieces as going out till they become blocks, the stash report is a bit anemic again this week. 

Used last week:  0 yards
Used in December 0.64 yards
Used year to date:  44.77 yards
Purchased year to date:  30.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  14.52 yards

There was nothing in to go with the nothing out, so it wasn't a bad week.  With just one week to go, it's been hard to resist some of the end of year sales, but I'm keeping my eye on the prize of finishing this year with more out than in.  That makes resisting just a bit easier.  That and I'm being ruthless about deleting all those sale emails.    

You can see more slow stitching over at Kathy's Quilts and more end of year stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Slow Stitching and Week 50 Stash Report

How are your holiday preparations coming along?  Mine haven't gotten kicked off in any way or form.  The virus that took hold the week after Thanksgiving has not let go.  I made it to work all this last week, but not much else.  There's been no Christmas shopping, no holiday decorating, no gift wrapping, no blog reading and no stitching.  This is one nasty virus. There's been a bit of improvement the last couple of days, so I'm hopeful that by next weekend, I'll be back to normal. 

Number one on my stitching list is to finish the binding for Back to Square One. 

About 10" of the binding has been stitched, so I still have a long way to go on this one.  This quilt was supposed to be in the mail already.  The plan is to get as much done on this as possible today.  If I'm diligent maybe I can get it in the mail this week.  

I've stepped foot in the sewing room long enough to use the printer a couple of times, but the sewing machine has been untouched. The stash report shows it. 

Used last week:  0 yards
Used in December 0.64 yards
Used year to date:  44.77 yards
Purchased year to date:  30.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  14.52 yards

There's nothing in this week, so that still makes it a good stash report.  My holiday vacation starts on Friday.  I'll have a lot to do to get ready for Christmas, but I'm off the whole week after Christmas, so I'm hopeful I'll get in a lot of stitching time that last week of the year. 

Hope your holiday preparations are going well and that all your hand made gifts are done and wrapped.  I'm linking up with Kathy Quilt's for Slow Stitching Sunday and Judy's stash report over at Patchwork Times.  Hopefully I can sneak in a few peaks at what's going on in blogland today.  I've missed seeing everyone's progress. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stash Report - Week 49 of 2015

Wow, it's week 49.  That jars the brain a bit, just 3 more weeks in 2015.  If history is any indicator, they will go fast.  

I've not spent much time in blogland this week.  Last Sunday I starting coming down with whatever virus Drama Teen and My Guy had.  This is one nasty bug.  All I was good for on Thursday and Friday was dosing in the recliner and reading when I was awake.  I'm still not 100%, though it does appear the fever is gone.  

There was some stitching early in the week before the fever hit hard and then I managed a bit last night.  Most of the outgoing in the report is the sashing for the McCall's Mystery quilt and the binding for Back to Square One.  The fabric for the fourth graduation quilt came in this week, so it's accounted for in this week's report.  

Used last week:  1.12 yards
Used in November:  5.34 yards
Used in December:  0.64 yards
Used year to date:  44.77 yards
Purchased year to date:  30.25 yards
Net used for 2015:  14.52 yards

The last graduation quilt isn't really a graduation quilt, it's a thank you quilt for Drama Teen's journalism teacher.  This fabric is going to be the background fabric for the quilt. 

The fabric is Story Spackle Newsprint from Windham.  I don't have all the details worked out for this one.  Drama Teen wanted me to incorporate the First Amendment and the various publications that come out of the journalism department.  I've got a little time on finishing up a design, but I shouldn't wait too long on figuring out the concept and layout.  

That's it for me this week.  You can find more stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times.