Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Zombie Progress

Yesterday was a good day, most of the afternoon was spent in the sewing room.  Well it was a good day till I came downstairs for a snack late in the afternoon and wondered why it was so much warmer downstairs than it was upstairs.  It's usually the other way around.  After some investigating, we found that the downstairs fan was running, but the air conditioning unit wasn't.  Thankfully it was cloudy most of the afternoon, so we didn't have the sun beating down on the house.  It rained late in the evening which cooled things off enough to sleep. We are hoping we can get someone to come out today and fix it. 

There was lots of progress on the Zombies in Paris quilt this week. 

Zombies in Paris, Self designed

Just seven blocks left to make, then it will be time to stitch it all together.  This should be a finished flimsy before the end of July. Zombies was just started in May.  This may turn out to be my fastest finish ever.  Considering how long my UFO list is, it will be nice to not add another one to that tally.  

Linking up with 
Making Monday at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
Monday Design Wall at Patchwork Times 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stash Management - Week 26 of 2016

It's been a relaxed weekend.  Drama Teen is home from her travels, it's good to have her background noise back.  It was way too quiet when she was gone.  She has one more journalism workshop this summer, but that's not till after mid July.   I have quite a "to do" list for her to check off between now and then.   

It's too hot to go out and do much during the day this time of year. But it cools off markedly once the sun gets below the horizon. It was actually cool enough for a short walk before it got completely dark last night.  During my wandering last evening I came across this fuzzy plant. 

Not sure what it is.  My "fuzzy white seed pods" Google search didn't show up anything that looked like it.  Any ideas?   

This hot weather has been pretty conductive to sitting in the sewing room and stitching.  I did really well at finding at least 15 minutes to stitch each day, it was certainly too hot to do much of anything else.  

Days with 15 minutes of stitching this week 7 out of 7 days
Days in June:  20 out of 25 days
Days in 2016:  147 out of 177 days

All the stitching time, combined with the 12" blocks being made for Zombies in Paris contributed to a good week on the stash busting front.  

Used last week:  1.07 yards
Used year to date:  34.70 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  6.60 yards

My goal is to end the year in the black. So far, so good on that front.  Looking at where the various projects are, a couple of quilt backs should be needed in the near future.  Those always make for good stash busting weeks. 

That's it for me this week on the stash busting front.  You can find more stash management discussions over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Finally Done with Green

My weekend started Thursday afternoon.  I took the afternoon off to pick up Drama Teen at the airport.  DT was selected as one of 51 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Scholars for 2016. Part of the award was a trip to DC to attend a journalism conference sponsored by the Newseum. If you are wondering who Al Neuharth is, he founded USA Today.  

Drama Teen in the House of Representations Press Room (Photo Credit:  The Newseum)

The Democrats started their sit in over the lack of gun legislation just minutes after her group finished their tour of the House.  She had a great time, but was pretty exhausted when she got home.

My Guy and I both took Friday off.  Most of the morning was spent in Tulsa running errands and getting the car serviced.  But I got to sew most of the evening.  I finally finished last month's green blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I'm not thrilled with the mismatch in the gingham in the bodice.  I'm considering adding some ribbon to hide it, after all the restitching, I'm not redoing the entire dress.  So both green dresses are done finally (just a month late).

Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Now I can move on to June's aqua dresses.  I've got the fabrics all picked out.  

I fell behind on this year's Rainbow Scrap Project back in March when I had a lot of business travel.  Not sure I'm going to be able to catch up as we have summer vacation plans coming up.  The dresses have been a lot of fun to make, but they are certainly complicated to piece.  

That's it for my scrappy stitching this week.  I'm linking up with Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge and for Oh Scrap over at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

June One Monthly Goal: End of the Month Update

Hard to believe that there is less than one week left in June.  The first half of 2016 seems to have just flown.  It's already time to report the progress on June's One Monthly Goal over at Red Letter Quilts.    

I tend to procrastinate on getting a quilt ready to be shipped out for quilting.  It's the dread of trying to get all the loose threads removed and dealing with any stray and/or fraying seams on the back.  All of this while trying to keep the parts of the quilt that have been gone over clean.  This month's goal was to get Allietare shipped to Trudy for quilting.  That meant cleaning up and pressing the finished flimsy and getting a back made.  I didn't think to take any pictures during the prepping process, but I got the important one.  

The quilt top and the associated striped backing are all pressed folded and put in secondary containment before shipping.  You can just see the Warm and White batting showing underneath the packing material. The box was delivered to the post office a couple of weeks ago.  Trudy emailed me on Tuesday to say the quilting was done.  So Allietare should be back and ready for binding before the end of June.  

The One Monthly Goal has been a great motivator for me.  I'm six for six with my one monthly goals.  This monthly link up forces me to pick one project to make progress on.  Typically there are at least 4 projects actively in progress at the sewing machine.  Picking one goal a month helps me focus on moving just one of those projects to the next step.  

Check out all the other monthly success stories over at Red Letter Quilts

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIPs: Filling the Pots

It's been a while since there's been a midweek post.  There just hasn't been much progress on anything but the Zombies in Paris quilt for a few weeks.  I've finally fallen into a good working rhythm with that project so it was a bit easier to rotate in another project.  Blooms and Butterflies was started back in May as part of the Lea Brummett's Back Porch Blooms quilt along.  There's not been a lot of visible progress, but all the flower stems are cut and a few of the leaves are finished.  

  Blooms and Butterflies
Bloom block by Lea Brummett, setting by Kate
So the planting has begun, but there's a long way to go before the blooms will start showing up.  Just like in growing a real garden unfortunately.  But that's OK, progress is progress even if it's slow.  

There's another project that's just about to take over the design wall.  Poinsettias has been my leaders and enders project since 2014.  There are four more sashing strips left to piece and then this project will be ready to be assembled into a flimsy.

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

Which means I'll need a new leaders and enders project soon.  I've got some thoughts on what that project might be.  Midnight Mystery still needs to be bound and Allietare is coming back from the quilter's next week.  If I'd get busy on that front, I can probably add a couple of finishes before the end of June.  Which would be a great way to mark the half way point of the year.  

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Stitching: More Zombies

Happy Summer!  Summer has been in full bloom here for the last 2 weeks at least.  Hot, humid and just generally miserable to be outside at midday.  Which is a good reason to stay inside and stitch in the early evening and weekends.  I did a lot of that Sunday.  Add in what got done on Saturday and there's been quite a lot of progress on the Zombies in Paris quilt.  

Zombies in Paris, Self designed

All the pink hearts are finished.  That's the last set with the gray background, the rest of the hearts will have a medium purple background.  Hopefully when I start adding those to the design wall my dark purple hearts will look purple rather than black.  The lettering is dark purple too.  I've learned that between the lighting in my sewing room and my camera, some colors are hard to get right if there are certain other colors in the frame.  That appears to be the case here.  Even using Photoshop, I couldn't get those three solids hearts to look purple without throwing the rest of the blocks way off in color.  I should note that what looks like an "E" now, will  be a "B" when the next block gets added to the design wall.  Each block was designed as a 12" x 12" unit, and the "B" got split between the last two blocks.  

Zombies is the first of 4 quilts needed for graduation next year.  I've got the fabric and pattern picked out for the second quilt.  Some of the fabrics have been acquired for quilts 3 and 4, but no pattern picked out yet.  I need to get some decisions made about those last two fairly soon. 

I'm hoping to get in a few marathon stitching sessions this weekend.  I'll have an extra day and a half to stitch.  Though part of that half day off work will involve picking Drama Teen up at the airport.  She's in Washington DC attending a journalism conference.  I expect she'll be ready to come home and sleep as the conference has some really long days in it.  

Linking up with:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Design Wall at Patchwork Times  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Stash Management - Week 25 of 2016

Yesterday was a very long day.  Drama Teen had to be at the airport by 4 AM in order to catch her 5:10 flight to Washington, DC.  We decided to stay in Tulsa as it's about an hour drive to the airport from here and we weren't in the mood to have to be up at 2:30 AM.  It was bad enough getting up at 3:30 AM.  We didn't make the flight arrangements for this trip.  DT was fortunate enough to win a scholastic award that included this trip, so we were  at the mercy of the organizers on the flight arrangements. 

So while I did get in some stitching on Saturday, a 3 hour nap ended up taking up a lot of my stitching time.  That was a pretty significant theme this week, stuff taking up stitching time.  Tuesday was a work dinner, Thursday was spent on last minute shopping for DT's trip and and we left after work to spend the night in Tulsa.  So not a stellar report.

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  4 out of 7 days
Days in June:  13 out of 18 days
Days this year:  140 out of 170 days.

I'll make up for the lack of stitching time later this week, I'll have next Friday off. 

Even with fewer days in the sewing room the steady progress did result in the finish of a few Zombie blocks, so there is a bit going out.  

Used last week:  0.62 yards
Used year to date:  33.63 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  5.53 yards

Not as good as last week, but the amount going out is going up.  It may be slow, but it's been pretty steady.  

I'll close with a sign of the wet spring we've had here in Oklahoma.  

A fat and happy dragonfly.  This guy was running from the lawn mower one house over.  

Have a great Sunday.  Check out all the other stash management stories posted over at Patchwork Times.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Zombies Finally Making an Apperance

There must be some perverse law of the universe that causes weekends to go faster than a workday.  It seems it was just Friday night.  Now it's Monday morning and time to contemplate getting ready for work. I've got a few minutes before I have to get serious about the getting ready part so hopefully I can finish writing this post.  

There wasn't much sewing time on Saturday due to errands and such.  But I did get in a nice long stitching session on Sunday. Allietare is ready for shipping.  It should go out to Trudy today.  That's my OMG for June, so that goal is almost complete.  

The other project with a lot of progress is Zombies in Paris.

Zombies in Paris, Self designed
All 6 of the black Paris fabric hearts are done.  What looks to be solid black in the top two rows is really a dark purple. It doesn't photograph really well in  my sewing room.  The first pink zombie heart is finally done.  The remaining 5 are in progress, I should finish those up this week.  Then I can start on the hearts that have the lighter purple background. 

Now that Allietare is out of rotation, I really should get the binding ready for the Midnight Mystery quilt and get another finish on the books.  The goal for this week is to at least decide on which fabric to use for the binding then get the it stitched and prepped.  

Linking up with:
Monday Making over at Love Laugh Quilt 
Main Crush Monday over at Cooking Up Quilts
Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Stash Management - Week 24 of 2016

It's been a long week, though parts of it were really good.  Drama Teen got home Monday after her week long trip to Florida.  But she's back out the door for 4 days this morning.  She's headed to a journalism workshop in Kansas for the week.  Which is one reason we bit the bullet and headed to the AT&T store yesterday.  DT's phone is 4 years old, won't update anymore, and gave her problems when she was in Florida.  My Guy and I didn't have smart phones, ours were 10 year old slide phones that won't hold a charge anymore.  Yes it was time.  But my advice is not to do three at one time, it took 2 hours.  DT and I also did some dress shoe shopping.  Her trip to DC requires "professional" attire for most of the events.  Tennis shoes won't cut it and since they'll be walking a lot, she needed something with a low heel.  

By the time we got home yesterday, there was really no time to stitch.  I got in a few minutes after dinner.  Thankfully, I finished piecing the back for Allietare earlier in the week or I'd not have anything going out this week. 

Used last week:  4.52 yards
Used year to date:  33.01 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  4.91 yards 

It's not been a stellar week for spending time in the sewing room.  I missed a couple of days, mainly due to other stuff going on.  

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  5 out of 7 days
Days in June:  9 out of 11 days
Days this year:  136 out of 163 days

It wasn't a bad week at all.  As much as I'd like to sew every day, there are times when it's just not possible.  There are other things that can take priority.  My Guy wanted to make another attempt at wildflower photography under clear and sunny skies to make up for our rain shortened expedition last week.  It made for a nice early morning walk yesterday.

Black Eyed Susan's

Showy Purple Cone Flower

Have a great week.  I'm off to get some breakfast and then tackle the laundry.  Linking up with Patchwork Times for the weekly stash report.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Stitching: The Bloom Sew Along

Is anyone ever really read for Monday?   I'm certainly not.  It was such a nice relaxing weekend.  That seems to make Monday morning even harder.  Doesn't help that my week is full of meetings and presentations.  

On a brighter note, I did get to spend some time in the sewing room this weekend. Most of yesterday afternoon was spent prepping Allietare for quilting.  Threads on the back are clipped, any loose threads have been removed from the front, it's pressed and folded ready for shipping.  The backing is still in pieces, I didn't quite get it all sewn together.  But getting the top ready is the slowest part of that process, so it feels good to get that done.  

I had hoped to spend some time working on my project for the Bloom Sew Along that Lea over at Podunk Pretties has going on, but that didn't happen.  But there was some progress last week. After rifling through all my 1930 reproduction fabrics in the stash, I decided on border fabrics.  Those pretty much dictated the final color scheme.  

Blooms and Butterflies:  Bloom Blocks by Lea Brummett of Podunk Pretties,
Quilt setting self designed

This is the EQ draft with my border fabric choices added in.  I also changed the alternate block in the butterfly border. I like this version much better.  I did make a start on the bloom blocks.

The pots are started.  All the background fabric is cut and all the green reproduction fabrics for the leaves and stems have been located.  But that's as far as I've gotten.  Once Allietare is off to be quilted, there will be space in my queue to work on this project.  

Linking up with:
Podunk Pretties for the Bloom Sew Along
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stash Management - Week 23 of 2016

Yesterday turned into a date day with My Guy.  We haven't done one of those in a long time. First off was a walk to look at the wildflowers.  We started off with mostly cloudy skies at sunrise.

We'd hope for sunny skies, as our plan included taking some pictures.  But you get what you get in terms of the weather, so we made the best of it.  We've had lots of rain the last few weeks so the wildflowers were proliferate.  

Purple cone flowers were everywhere.  These are one of My Guy's favorite flowers.

There was lots of Larkspur,  

and Spiderwort, one of my favorite wildflowers.  Who doesn't love periwinkle and yellow?  

There were lots of Bachelor's Buttons in blue, pink and purple.  It ended up being a much shorter walk than we intended, the sky kept getting darker and darker.  We finally decided it was time to head back to the car and home.  We made it to the front door just as the skies opened up. 

Yesterday was not devoid of stitching. My Guy opted to take his weekend ride yesterday afternoon, so I spent the "me" time in the sewing room.  The first item of business was to press the fabric for the Allietare back.  I got as far as getting the backing pieces cut and the first section pinned before it was time for continuation of our date day.  Thankfully a couple of Zombie blocks and a Vintage Dress block had been finished earlier or there would be nothing to count as out this week.  

Used last week:  1.06 yards
Used year to date:  28.49 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  2.74 yards

I should get the Allietare backing done this week. That will really boost the outgoing numbers. My only stash busting goal this year is to use more fabric than comes in.  So I'm on target there.  It's been going pretty well with my other goal for 2016, stitching for at least 15 minutes each day. 

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  7 days out of 7
Days in May:  28 out of 31 days
Days this year:  131 out of 156 days

Our date day ended with visit to the local arts festival.  We got dinner from one of the food trucks, listened to some of the local bands for a bit before wondering around the artist's booths.  It was a nice way to close out the day.    

Linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - A Little Green Dress

It was a short week, but it certainly felt long.  We were glad to see Friday roll around again.  Drama Teen is still in Florida hanging out with friends.  It's been really quiet around here since she's been gone.  I have been taking advantage of the solitude to get in a bit more sewing time.  Still, I'm ready for her to come home.  

The sewing time this week paid off.  There is actually a Vintage Dress block to share today.  It's definitely green. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I love the fabric, though it's pretty neon.  You definitely couldn't be a wall flower in that dress.  This one should really perk up the rest of the dresses in the quilt.  The second green dress has been started, but it will be made from the most complicated pattern in the set, so it will take a bit to get all the pieces prepped and then assembled.  

My Guy wants to go photograph wildflowers this morning, so that's on the agenda to start the day.  I do hope to be in the sewing room this afternoon. Plans are to start prepping Allietare for quilting and getting the back made.  There probably won't be much progress on the second green dress this weekend.  

Check out all the other rainbow blocks posted over at Soscrappy.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

One Monthly Goal for June 2016

Hard to believe it's June already.  We've had such a cool and wet spring here in Oklahoma it doesn't seem possible that summer is just about here.   Drama Teen is off in Florida for a mini writing workshop and to hang out with her friends she met in an online class through Duke University.  It's been really quiet not having her around.  Though I do seem to have more time to spend in the sewing room.  I'm sure by next weekend I'll be more than ready for her to be back home.  

Since it's the first of June, so it's time to pick another project as my One Monthly Goal.  

Heidi over at Red Letter Quilts is the hostess for this monthly challenge.  The idea is to pick just one thing to get done during the month.  It can be anything, it doesn't have to be a finish.  That is perfect for me because I can rarely finish anything in a month.  

I've gone back and forth the last couple of days over what I should put as my goal.  The Midnight Mystery quilt needs binding, but Allietare is ready to be prepped for quilting.  The last borders were added on Monday. 

 Allietare,  Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt

The backing fabric has been washed, but not pressed.  Allietare needs to be pressed and cleaned up before it can be sent out for quilting.  I don't mind making backings, but the prepping for quilting is way down the list of preferred activities.  So that will be my OMG for June, to get Allietare packaged up and out the door to Trudy for quilting.  That way I won't put it off, which tends to happen if there's not a deadline for a given quilt.  

In addition to linking up on the June OMG post at Red Letter Quilts, I'm also linking up with:

Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday over at My Quilt Infatuation