Sunday, July 31, 2016

Stash Report - Week 31 of 2016

I've been hanging out with family this weekend, it's been fun and relaxing.  Not sure what's on the agenda for this afternoon, but I'm sure we'll find some mischief to get into. Due to the intermittent Internet issues, I didn't post a stash report last week.  To be honest there really wasn't anything to report last week, no in and no out.  We went shopping yesterday and I found a quilt shop that just had to be explored.  I took the opportunity to grab a few fat quarters to beef up those colors that I just don't have a lot of.  

The only color I didn't pick up was yellow.  After looking for fabrics to make last month's pink Vintage Dresses, I realized that I was really deficient in that color, so picked up three to beef up that part of the stash.  Here's the damage:

Used last week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  35.85 yards
Purchased year to date:  28.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  7.10 yards

I'm still in the black, so it's all good. Wish that was the case with finding time to stitch.  Between work and family events, July has been a pretty bad month for finding time to stitch.

Days with 15 minutes of sewing time this week:  1 out of 7 days
Days in July:  18 out of 30 days
Days in 2016:  166 out of 212  

I'm hoping to get back on track with the sewing time next week.  I still have a couple deadlines coming up at work the next few weeks, but the heavy duty work is finished, so I shouldn't be working a lot of overtime.  

That's it for me this week.  Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Not in the Pink Yet

The computer has been connecting to the Internet the last few days and has been staying connected. Hopefully, that means I'm back to normal on the blogging front.  Of course that assumes I've got something to blog about.  There just hasn't been much time for stitching the last couple of weeks due in part to a special project at work that is on a fixed time table.  Family commitments have also kept me from the sewing room, but they've been really fun commitments so I'm not really suffering too much there.  I'll get back to the sewing room in the next few days.  

It's the last Saturday in July, so it's the last chance to talk about sewing with pink scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  All I've managed this month is to print the paper piecing foundations that will be needed to finish the remaining Vintage Dresses and pick which dresses to make out of which pink scraps. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I don't have a lot of pink scraps, so my choices are limited. Based on my photo it looks like I may end up with two dresses out of similar prints. Hmm, may have to rethink the fabric selection for one of the dresses.  

That's it for my July progress.  Check out all the other pretty in pink projects over at Soscrappy.  Hopefully now that the Internet connection appears to be stable, I'll be able to catch up with email and my blog reading.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

July One Monthly Goal - Progress is Good

Fingers crossed that the computer stays connected to the Internet until this post is written, published and linked with Heidi's One Monthly Goal post for July.  

July has not been a good month for stitching.  I've been working overtime on a project with several deadlines approaching in the next few weeks.  Actually, the first deadline was last Friday.   The next deadline is next Tuesday.  So there's lots going on at work.  On the home front, we've had family stuff going on as well, so stitching hasn't been on the top of my "to do" list for a couple of weeks.  Which means that there hasn't been a lot of time to bind the Midnight Mystery Quilt.  There has been good progress.  The label is made and sewn to the back of the quilt.  The binding is all made and stitched to the front.  But, I'm still working on getting the binding sewn to the back.

Two of the four corners are finished. We have plans this weekend, so there won't be a chance to do any more stitching before the end of the month.  Though I didn't get completely finished with this goal, it definitely got moved along this month.  

You can check out progress on other goals for July over at Red Letter Quilts.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

MIA - Glitchy Internet

Not much from Life in Pieces due to glitchy Internet connection problems, work loads, and family stuff.  The new computer doesn't like to connect.  I've had a couple of tech service calls with Dell and am working through the issues.  The problem is not consistent and that makes it hard to pin down the problem. Add in that I've been putting in longer hours at work, there's not much to blog about anyway.   So I'll be in and out, mainly out for a bit.  

Happy Stitching. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekend Stitching - Bordering on a Finished Flimsy

I'm so not ready for Monday.  It will be a busy week at work, a couple of major projects have deadlines.  One will be easy to meet, the other needs a bit more work.  Thankfully I have till Friday on the second one.

It was a pretty relaxing weekend.  Drama Teen headed to Kansas yesterday for another journalism conference.  So it was pretty quiet around here.  The perfect opportunity to spend some time in the sewing room. There was time to get the Poinsettia blocks sewn together and up on the big design wall. 

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

I'm really happy with how this quilt is turning out. Poinsettias was my leader and enders project for 2 years.  So it's fun to see this project moving closer to finished. There are three borders left to add before this one is a finished flimsy. The pieces for border number one are in the process of being stitched together.  Adding borders is always such a slow process, but I'm hopeful that Poinsettias will be a finished flimsy in the next couple of weeks. 

My Vintage Dresses project reached the halfway milestone this weekend.  Twelve of the twenty five blocks are finally completed. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Vintage Dresses is this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project.  Picking the fabrics for the dresses has been a lot of fun and my paper piecing skills have definitely improved.  Part of this weekend's sewing time was spent cutting out all the pieces for next dress.  Doubt I get it all stitched together this week, there are lots of pieces in the block. 

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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stash Report - Week 29 of 2016

It's been a pretty relaxing weekend so far.  Drama Teen is leaving today for another journalism camp, so we won't see her for a few days.  I'm working on laundry, bills and other household chores this morning, but I'll get to sew this afternoon.  

It wasn't a great week for getting things done in the sewing room.  Too many other things kept me busy, though I did manage to spend at least 15 minutes in the sewing room most nights.

Days with 15 minutes of sewing time this week:  6 out of 7 days
Days in July:  15 out of 16 days
Days in 2016:  163 out of 198 days  

Most of the time was spent cutting fabrics and searching the stash for fabrics to use in a new project, so there's not much outgoing this week. 

Used last week:  0.73 yards
Used year to date:  35.85 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  10.10 yards

I'm making some ground on having a net stash reduction for 2016.  The Meadow Mystery Quilt kicks off next month and that should help even more.  That's the new project that prompted the stash search. The first attempt at a palette was to use up some of  my blues, its by far the most plentiful color in the stash.  I read somewhere that blues are hard to match.  That certainly seemed to be true.  So when the blues didn't yield something useful, I raided my stash of oriental prints and then my small stash of batiks.  None of those fit the bill.   This is what I finally ended up with.  

Fabrics for the Meadow Mystery Quilt (From A to E)
Yellow and purple were the first two options for fabric A, but neither of those did anything for me.  The orange gingham brings out the orange in both of the floral fabrics, but is not a typical color choice for me. I was afraid the orange with the black would scream Halloween, but DT didn't think it would since the blacks are florals.   Both of the florals were purchased in Texas, so that means they are at least 10 years old.  The other fabrics are more recent.  I'm looking forward to staring on this mystery next month.  I did Cheryl's Midnight Mystery last year and really enjoyed it. 

That's it for me today.  Linking up with Patchwork Times today for the weekly stash report.  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Half Way There

Last night Drama Teen and I stopped at Walgreen's for some necessary girly stuff.  The big seasonal aisle in the center of the store was full of school supplies.  When I pointed the aisle out to DT, she was horrified and beg me to "speak no more of it".  She very quickly dived into the candy aisle looking for the means to drive away reality with a sugar haze.  It's about 4 weeks till school starts up again.  That's hard to believe.  DT has already started on her college applications for next year.  Oh boy, not sure we are ready for that, so I think the "speak no more of it" works for me on that front.  But I'll opt for a sewing daze rather than all that sugar, it's much easier on the waistline.   

There hasn't been a lot of stitching time this week.  For some reason my new computer decided that there was no Internet, when everything else in the house could connect just fine.  After two evenings spent on the phone with Dell technical support, it appears to be working again.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that it keeps working.  Even though there wasn't a lot of time to sew, the second teal vintage dress block was finally finished last night.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

This would be very nice dress for a summer picnic.  It's my new favorite of the set.  So both of the teal dresses for June are now finished.

I'd definitely wear either of these.  Since these two dresses bring me to the halfway point it seemed like a good idea to put everything up on the design wall and check out how the light/dark balance was working out. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Probably need to add in at least one more dress with a lot of white or pale background.  I'm really liking my collection of vintage dresses.  Now to find my meager pile of pink scraps and make a start on this month's dresses.  

The plan is to link up with Angela over at Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge and then link up later with Oh Scrap over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back Porch Blooms Sew Along - A Little Progress

At the beginning of the year, I take the time to plan out which quilts are to be finished and which quilts will be started.  This year the plan was really ambitious on finishing off quilts because I wanted to start 6 new quilts.  When I get tempted by a quilt along, the plan is supposed to help me say "no".  In general I do pretty well at saying no.  But when Lea Brummett who blogs at Podunk Pretties posted her tutorial for Back Street Blooms along with a challenge to make one of her very pretty patterns or create your own, my carefully crafted quilt plan didn't stand a chance. 

I'm a sucker for flowers and this block was no exception.  It didn't hurt that there are still some 1930 reproduction scraps that I'd like to get moved out of the stash.  So Lea's block was the inspiration for Blooms and Butterflies. which is supposed to end up looking something like this

  Blooms and Butterflies, Bloom block by Lea Brummett, setting by Kate
But at the moment actually looks like this:

Only one of the blooms is actually sewn together, the two on the second row are still in progress.  The framed squares for the border have become my leaders and enders project since Poinsettias is close to being a finished flimsy.  Two butterflies of the 20 something needed for the border are started, but none are completely assembled as yet.  Considering what else is going on in the sewing room, I'm not unhappy with my progress this month.  This has been a really fun project to work on and it's definitely help reduce the 1930 reproduction scraps in the stash.  

You can check out all of Lea's Back Porch Blooms patterns and tutorials here.  Then check out this month's link up to see those patterns reproduced in fabric.  I'm also linking up with Cooking up Quilts Tuesday edition of Main Crush Monday.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Progress and Set Backs

This was a good weekend for stitching.  My family gave me a day in the sewing room as a belated birthday gift.  As it was in turns rainy and then steamy outside on Saturday, spending time in the sewing room was a great way to spend that day. 

There were three goals for my sew-in, the first was to work on my One Monthly Goal of getting the Midnight Mystery quilt bound.

The binding has been sewn to the front and there was even time this weekend to start hand stitching it to the back.  So I'm on track to meet July's goal.  

Aother focus during my sewing day was to finally get caught up on my Vintage Dresses for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Just as I was ready to assemble the top for the second teal dress, I found that I'd switched two pieces of the bodice, so that meant un-sewing three seams.  So a few steps forward and then one big one back.  The seams are un-sewn, so this block is back on track.  

The third goal was to make some progress on Blooms and Butterflies.  Lea of Podunk Pretties has a Back Porch Blooms sew along going on this summer with July's link up scheduled for tomorrow.  Check back tomorrow for pictures of progress on that project.    

Though not part of this weekend's goal, the third row of the Poinsettia quilt was sewn together earlier this week  and added to the design wall. 

Poinsettias, By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issueof American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine
 The two sections are now pinned together ready for stitching. No stitching tonight as there are plans involving dinner reservations.  Today is our 24th wedding anniversary.  

Happy anniversary My Guy.  He's not changed too much, he still plays his guitars every morning, though he is a bit lot grayer then our wedding day.  Still he's definitely a keeper.  

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

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stash Management - Week 28 of 2016

Yesterday was a really good day, I got to spend most of it in the sewing room.  I did go out for my walk first thing yesterday, which was a very good thing because it rained for the rest of the morning.  So it was perfect weather for stitching.  

In spite of all the sewing time, there's not that much outgoing on the stash report.  

Used last week:  0.18 yards
Used year to date:  35.12 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  9.37 yards

A lot of time yesterday was cutting fabrics for both Blooms and Butterflies as well as for the next Vintage Dress.  I expect a bit more to go out this week after all the prep over the weekend.  That should be especially true if I keep up my goal of spending at least 15 minutes in the sewing room every day.  I did pretty well at that last week. 

Days with 15 minutes of stitching this week:  7 out of 7 days
Days in July:  9 out of 9 days
Days in 2016:  157 out of 191 days

Progress was also made on the stash closet reorganization.  I've been slowly pressing and refolding fabrics in my stash so they stack nicely on the shelving in the fabric closet.  This is how the closet looked back in 2013.  

Stash closet as of June 2013

This is how it looked at the end of yesterday.

Stash closet as of July 2016

The big accomplishment was getting all the fabrics in the bottom shelf of the picture on the right all pressed and sorted into their proper place.  Actually after these pictures were taken, I reorganized that 2nd shelf  so that the fabrics weren't leaning anymore.  Folding and stacking the fabrics makes it much easier for see what's in the stash.  The next goal is to fold and organize the fabrics that are on the third shelf in the right hand photo.  

Linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times for the weekly stash report.   

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Still in Catch Up Mode

It's been a couple of weeks since my last Rainbow Scrap Challenge post.  It's been slow going on this year's Vintage Dresses project.  I'm having a lot of fun picking the fabrics and making the dresses, but each one has a lot of pieces to be cut and then stitch together.  I finally finished my first dress using last month's teal fabric choices. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Another favorite, I'd wear this one if it was hanging in my closet.  These dresses really have been a challenge, but my paper piecing skills are definitely improving.  It's still not my favorite way to piece, but I'm not scared of it any more.  

After a my walk this morning, I've decided to spend the day in my sewing room.  It's been a while since I've had a sewing only day.   Rather than work on all 5 projects that lay in various stages in my sewing room, I'm going to just work on 3.  Getting the Midnight Mystery quilt bound is my One Monthly Goal for July, so that needs to get priority.  Lea of Podunk Pretties has a link up on  Tuesday for anyone joining in with her Back Porch Blooms stitch along.  I've got pots done and the leaves started, but no blooms.  

Blooms and Butterflies
Back Porch Bloom block by Lea Brummett, setting by Kate

Then lastly, focus on getting caught up on the Vintage Dresses.  Not sure all of that is going to happen today, but at least it's a plan.  

Enjoy your Saturday.  Be sure to spend some time checking out all the pretty in pinks (and the odd teal) blocks over at Soscrappy.  On Sunday you'll find even more scrappy fun over at this week's Oh Scrap.   

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Christmas in July?

Happy birthday America.  For everyone living in the US, hope you've had a great holiday weekend.  Ours has been spent visiting both sides of the family.  It's been a lot of fun, even with the rain we've seen this weekend.  At least that helped keep the temps down.

Not a lot of stitching this weekend, I'll get my time in the sewing room this afternoon.  Zombies in Paris is moving right along, but there's nothing new up on the design wall for that project.  The last seven hearts are cut out and are ready for assembly, so there should be some progress to show off later this week.  This Monday, the Zombie heart blocks had to make way for my long term leaders and enders project, Poinsettias.  That project has finally graduated to the big design wall.    

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

The first and second row are assembled with a sashing row attached to each.  There is a third row of blocks to stitch together before the rows can be stitched to each other.  The final step will be adding the two borders.  I've already got the backing fabric picked out.  I'm hopeful that Poinsettias will be a finished quilt in time to use it this Christmas.  It's been my leaders and enders project since February of 2014. It's fun to see it finally nearing completion.  

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

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Stash Management - Week 27 of 2016

The heat is back. It's July in Oklahoma, so that it's hot is pretty much a given.  Thankfully, it's been in the low to mid 90's, which is about as good as it gets this time of year.  

We have family visits this weekend, so there won't be a lot of  stitching going on till Monday afternoon.  Actually, it's been a pretty pitiful week in terms of finding time to sew.  Sinus headaches did a number on my stitching mojo. 

Days with 15 minutes of stitching this week:  3 out of 7 days
Days in June:  21 out of 30 days
Days in 2016:  150 out of 184 days 

Since there wasn't a lot of sewing mojo going on, there's not a lot of fabric going out either. 

Used last week:  0.24 yards
Used year to date:  34.94 yards
Purchased year to date:  25.75 yards
Net used for 2016:  9.19 yards

Still there is more out than in, which is the goal.  

I've been slowly reorganizing the fabric closet.  Which means I've been refolding fabrics to fit on the shelves.  In some ways the progress has been like an archaeological dig.  I've come across fabrics that I'd forgotten about, like these butterfly prints. 

Once the UFO list gets knocked down a bit, I should start looking for projects for some of these fabrics.  There are only two new projects on my project list this year that don't already have the fabrics selected, the Meadow Mist Mystery and the Bonnie Hunter Mystery.  The plan is to pull from the stash for both of those.  Maybe one of these fabrics will work for one of those projects.  If not, it's been fun petting some of these buried beauties.   

That's it for me today.  Linking up with Patchwork Times stash report.  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

One Monthly Goal for July 2016

It's been one of those weeks.  The air conditioning went out last Sunday.  Thankfully, it was fixed by Monday evening.  Unfortunately sleeping with the windows open on Sunday hit both Drama Teen and I really hard.  Both of us have been dealing with sinus pressure and headaches since Monday morning.  Mine comes and goes, her's has been a bit more persistent.  Then Drama Teen picked up a computer virus.  Due to the way our home network was set up (on a very old DSL connection), that meant that none of us could use our computers until we either fixed the virus or changed networks.  DT's computer will have to be completely wiped before she can use it again (yes it's that bad).  We finally bit the bullet and upgraded our Internet service.  The technician who installed the new network yesterday had never seen a router like ours.  It's original from about 1995 or so.  So yes it was time for an upgrade.  

All of that to say, it's been a while since I've had a chance to hang out in blogland.  So I'm a day or so late in linking up Heidi over at Red Letter Quilts to declare my July One Monthly Goal.  

There's been a lot of progress on both the Zombies in Paris and Poinsettia quilts, but I've not had a finish since March.  Allietare is now quilted and I still haven't bound the Midnight Mystery quilt.  

Midnight Mystery Quilt
From Meadow Mist Designs

This year's Meadow Mist mystery starts up this month with fabric selection, I really should get this quilt bound and add to the finished pile.  So that's the goal for this month.  Hopefully I'll get Allietare bound as well, but the focus is on the Midnight Mystery quilt.  

Check out all other goals for July posted over at Red Letter Quilts.