Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekend Stitching: Beginning of the End?

Thankfully whatever was bothering me on Saturday, left me alone on Sunday.  So it was a pretty productive day.  Laundry got done.  Well not done, done.  I ran out of laundry detergent before I ran out of dirty clothes.  But I got enough washed so we all have clothes for next week.  And after a little housework, I was able to head up to the sewing room without feeling too guilty about the state of the house.  

The Meadow Mist Mystery quilt was finished off last week.  So it was time to re-prioritize my project list.  I'm working on five projects at the moment.  It's easier for me to decide what to do with my sewing time each day if I'm working from a prioritized list.   This is the order I finally decided on:

1.  Blooms and Butterflies
2.  Scrappy Coffee Cups
3.  Christmas Angels
4.  RSC blocks
5.  En Provence

The first order of business was to trim Blooms and Butterflies for binding. 

That's done.  I realized a bit belatedly that the quilt needed a label.  Since the label is sewn in with the binding, that needs to be made before attaching the binding.  After a bit of playing around, this is what I finally settled on. 

So the label was printed, soaked, rinsed and was left to dry over night.  Then the binding strips were cut and are in the process of being sewn together. 

I'm using up every last piece of this blue and white print.  Since I'm piecing it from left overs, I had to be careful what pieces went where to avoid having seams at the corners, that's why the numbered yellow stickies.  Hopefully I've measured each length correctly and have them in the right place to avoid having corner seams.  Assuming I have sewing time each night, this quilt should be finished in the next week or so.  

Linking up this week with:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 30 of 2017

Something is blooming that's driving my sinus nuts.  It made for a rather unproductive Saturday.  Hopefully today will be better.  I did manage to get in a few minutes in the sewing room yesterday.  That brought my days with at least 15 minutes of stitching to 4 for the week.  The business trip took a big bite out of this week.  Even so, I'm back to over 90% success rate on my goal to sew at least 15 minutes every day.  

On the stash management front, there was a box waiting for me when I got home.  Most of what was in the box was batting purchased at the last Craftsy sale.  But there was a 3 yard piece of this in the box as well. 

It was on sale and fills one of those color gaps in my stash.  I've pretty much blown it on limiting fabric in for the year, so I've given up on that goal.  I'm still working to use at least 70 yards.  There was a bit of progress on that front in spite of the limited sewing time.

Used last week:  0.55 yards
Used year to date:  40.41 yards
Added year to date:  223.3 yards
Net added year to date:  182.89 yards

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

July One Monthly Goal: Exceeded Expectations

Thankfully I'm done running through airports and figuring out how to open the gas tank on the rental car for awhile.  Between vacation and this month's business trip, I've spent about as much time away from home as I have at home.  In spite of all the travel, I not only met the July's One Monthly Goal but greatly exceeded what I thought possible.  

The Scrappy Coffee Cup blocks have been around since 2012, it's my third oldest project.

Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

Since the calendar showed a lot of time away from my sewing room this month, it seemed wise to pick a pretty easy goal that didn't involve the sewing machine.  The lack of additional white fabric for sashing and borders is what stalled out this project.  You can't finish a project without a plan so that was the goal for this month, figure out the final setting. 

No problem, that actually got done while we were still on vacation.  One morning session with EQ and a final setting plan came together. 

Using borders between the blocks and the borders would allow me to use a white that reads the same as the white in the blocks, without it being obvious that it's a different fabric. I was happy with that approach.  So goal accomplished, pretty much the first week of the month.  I didn't stop there.  The stash closet was raided and strung out all over the cutting table before the sashing and border fabrics where chosen.

Now that I have a plan and the fabric chosen, there was nothing else in the way of getting this project moved off the UFO list.  The blocks aren't sewn into rows yet, but there's been good progress on getting the sashing sewn on. 

 Scrappy Coffee Cups won't be a finished flimsy by the end of the month, but all the blocks should be sewn together by then.  That's a lot more progress than I expected this month.  It's been fun to see this project come together.  Hopefully by the end of August this one will be a finished flimsy.  That might just the goal for next month's OMG.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the July OMG wrap up and with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekend Stitching: A Finished Mystery

I'm definitely not ready for Monday, mainly because I'm headed out of town on business later this afternoon.  It's only a two day trip, but covers two states in those two days.  So lots of meetings, driving and waiting in airports.  Thankfully, I'm done with business travel for the year after this trip.  

It was a nice weekend for stitching, it was too hot to do much of anything else.  I finally finished binding the Meadow Misty Mystery quilt.  

 Meadow Mist Designs Mystery
By Cheryl Brickey of the Meadow Mist Designs Blog

I love the crinkly texture the quilting adds. 

Trudy quilted big lazy flowers across the entire quilt.  I'm not going to show off the backing.  It's one of my "ugly" fabrics, but it was in the stash and was the right size.  The binding is the same light blue as the outer border.  I did have a bit of fun with the label.

The "It's a Mystery" name comes from My Guy's repeated questions about this quilt, it's not one of his favorites.  My pat answer to him about anything concerning this quilt pretty much became "it's a mystery".  So the name stuck.  Drama Teen asked if I was willing to donate this one to a charity auction her BFF mother's is in charge of.  That's likely where this one is going.  

This is finish number 5 for 2017.  It doesn't affect my UFO count because it's less than a year old.  That makes it a WIP.  But finishing WIPs before they become UFOs is a good thing.  The next mystery over at Meadow Mist Designs has started, but this month's clue was about selecting fabric.  I don't count something as "started" until I start cutting the fabric.  So last year's mystery is finished before this year's gets started.  That's always a good feeling.

It's a Mystery is the first finish from my third quarter list for the 2017 Finish Along.  So I'll be linking up there once we get to September.  Linking up this week with:

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall
2017 Finish Along

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 29 of 2017

Hot, humid and just generally miserable.  This week's weather has been all three. It's been too hot to do much outside, temps hit 100 F this week.  The only wandering around outside I've done lately when the sun was up has been to snap a few shots of this year's sunflowers.  

Hanging out in the sewing room with the air conditioning has been much more comfortable.  This week it wasn't hard to find time to stitch 6 out of the last 7 days.  We were in Tulsa Friday afternoon and evening taking care of some of the to do items that needed to get checked off Drama Teen's "need for college list".  We got back  home pretty late and being out in the heat zapped any motivation to do much besides go to bed. 

There's a bit of fabric out this week.  

Used last week: 0.74 yards
Used year to date:  39.9 yards
Added year to date:  220.30 yards
Net added year to date:  180.44 yards

No fabric added this week, so the net added went down just a bit.  No way am I meeting my goal of using more than I buy.  But that's OK.  There has been good progress on a few other goals.  I'm on track to use more than 70 yards of fabric.  Plus I'm up to five finished quilts this year.  One more just needs binding and progress has been made on moving a few quilts off the UFO list.  The final lay out for one of the oldest UFOs, Scrappy Coffee Cups, is up on the design wall. 

 Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll published in Block Magic 
and  Block Magic Too by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

Sashing strips are cut ready to stitch to the blocks.  Not sure I'll get all the rows sewn together, but that's on the agenda for today.  Do you have an agenda for some Sunday afternoon stitching?  

Linking up with Quiltcreatepaint for this week's stash report and with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend Stitching: Back in the Sewing Room

With a little help from Drama Teen, vacation laundry got done and put away early on Sunday, leaving me the rest of the day to play in the sewing room.  The fabric closet got a little attention, it still needs a lot more.  The last Meadow Mist Mystery quilt is almost bound, there's about 30 inches left to stitch down.  So there should be a finish by the end of the week.  

Most of the visible progress is on the Christmas Angels Blocks.


Four of the fifteen blocks are finished, with the remaining eleven in various stage of construction.  Before we left for vacation, I couldn't resist adding in the alternate blocks and checking out the layout. 

There's not enough done on the angel blocks to see the secondary pattern in this photo, but I'm happy with how it's coming together.  It would be nice to get this UFO to the finished flimsy stage by the end of the month.  Not sure that will happen as I've got a business trip the last week of the month. Even if it's not completely done, it's nice to get one of the older UFOs this far.  

My UFO count is at 18, that's the highest it's been in 7 years.  In 2012 my UFO list only had 4 quilts on it.  I've done pretty well at finishing most of the quilts I've started the last couple of years, it's the ones that I started in 2013 that are really lingering on the list. Eight of the 18 were started in 2013.   The plan is to finish 7 UFOs this year.  Doubt I get that many to the finish line, but at least I'm making progress.     

Linking up with:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Stash Stuff and Slow Stitching for Week 28 of 2017

Vacation was a lot of fun, but it was nice to get home and get back into our normal routine.  I've not had a lot of time in the sewing room since we've been back, but I've managed to get a few things moving.  The cutting table was covered with stacks of fabrics while I was selecting what to use for the Magnolia Mystery quilt that starts next month over at Meadow Mist Designs.  Here's what came out of that:

There's an orange in the stash that may get subbed in for the green.  I'm still undecided about those two, either would work fine. This is going to be one bright quilt. I'm going controlled scrappy with fabric C as I don't have any yardage that is the deep red-violet. The white floral print is going to be the background.   There will be a lot of it in this quilt, Cheryl tends toward the modern end of the spectrum with her quilt designs.  I'll be interested to see how these choices work out.  

Since all the fabrics were out on the cutting table anyway, I started looking for the sashing and border fabrics to use for the Scrappy Coffee Cup blocks.  According to My Guy and Drama Teen this combo is a winner. 

This wouldn't have been my first choice, I'm a big fan of blue.  But since this is intended to be My Guy's cuddle quilt and he's a fan of green, I'm going with his choice.  My One Monthly Goal for July was to figure out the final setting for this quilt, looks like I'm actually going to start on the assembly process before we get to the end of the month.  Which is a good thing, there are 18 UFOs on my uncompleted list.  Scrappy Coffee Cups is one of the oldest.  

Also on the agenda for today is some slow stitching on the binding for the last Meadow Mist Mystery quilt.  

Two sides stitched, two to go.  Not sure I'll get it done today, but definitely sometime this week.  The goal is to get this one done before I start on this year's mystery. 

It's a good thing I'm pulling fabrics for new projects, I really need to start using rather than adding.  Yep, I'm guilty of supporting the local quilt shop again.  Here's the damage. 

Used last week:  0.33 yards
Used year to date:  39.12 yards
Added year to date:  220.30 yards
Net added year to date:  181.18 yards

I added a few fat quarter's to freshen up my red, white and blue 1930's stash. 

I've been trying to reduce the number of these fabrics, but sometimes you have to buy a little to use others up.  

Between the embroidery work I took on vacation and time spent in the sewing room since I got home, there were 7 days of stitching the last week.  That means there's been stitching time 180 out of the 196 days so far this year.  A 91.8% average.  I'll definitely take that. 

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday and Quiltpaintcreate for the Stash Report

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Vacation Photo Essay

Disclosure:  No quilts or quilting topics are discussed in this post. I just wanted to share some of our vacation photos.  

  Seattle, WA
  Fidalgo Island, WA
  Vancouver, BC
  Deception Pass Park, WA

The view from the Seattle Space Needle (really!).

From the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition

From the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. (I have more than 100 photos from here, but I'll just share my favorite)

From the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, B.C. 

Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia Exhibit, beautiful images projected on the walls

1980's Fighting Shield from Papua, New Guinea

Deception Pass Park

My favorite photo from the trip:

Two peas in a pod.  They had a great time with all the hiking. 

The last picture is My Guy's.  He's a very active nature photographer, with many of his photographs of the local wild life appearing in our company's calendar each year.  This is the one shot he was really hoping to get this trip.  

Nailed it didn't he?  

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'm off to go sew for bit now so there will be something quilty to talk about on the blog tomorrow.   

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekend Stitching: A Little Handwork, A lot of Walking

Since we were on vacation all last week, there's not been a lot of time in the sewing room.  I did take some hand work along for the ride and made some good progress on that. 

I only work on this project when we are away from home, so I'm not sure when it will get finished.  At any rate it's nice to have something to stitch on in the evenings while we are winding down from vacation activities like 5 mile hikes.  

I did spend some time on my OMG for July.  The July UFO is my Scrappy Coffee Cups blocks made as part of the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  These blocks haven't been made into a quilt because I was out of the white background fabric and couldn't figure out how to set them without additional fabric.  I did a bit of playing in EQ over the last few days.  I tried a scrappy border and just didn't like it.  After playing around with borders and such, here's the most likely possibility. 

  Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

It's not that different then what I started with, but the sashing is narrower.  Plus I've added two borders of white tone on tone.  Hopefully there is another white tone on tone in the stash that reads the same as the background fabric for the blocks.  Since it won't be right up against the blocks, it shouldn't be as noticeable that it's not the exact same fabric.  The actual color of the sashing and borders will be determined by what is in the stash.  I really like the blue borders, but My Guy likes green.  This is going to be his recliner cuddle quilt.  I'm going to stick with tone on tone fabrics for the borders no matter what color they end up being. 

On a completely unrelated note.  Twenty five years ago on July 11th, we said our I do's.  Happy anniversary My Guy!  

Looking forward to the next 25!

Linking up for:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Stash Stuff and Slow Stitching for Week 27 of 2017

It's been a fast week.  Not because work has been busy, but because we've been on vacation this week.  It's true, time does fly when you are having fun.  Not to rub it in, but this has been the view from where we've been staying all week.

After the madness of June, getting a week to kick back and have fun was a much needed battery recharge. 

Not much happening in the sewing room, but I did bring some embroidery work with me. 

I've made quite a bit of progress since the last time these butterflies made an appearance on the blog.  

No fabric usage to report this week, but I did do my bit for the local quilt shop and bought a few fun pieces to take home.

Drama Teen liked the sea creatures and I thought the stripe would make a fun binding for one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts (should I ever finish one!).  There's also a set of blue fat quarters to use for this year's RSC blocks.  As much as I like blue, I don't have much in the scrappy portion of my stash, so these fat quarters will get put to good use later this month.  I also fell in love with the display version of the Gigi's Thimble pattern, it would be great for some of those big prints at home that I don't quite know what to do with.  And a quilting book to read on the plane ride home.  I was very restrained on the fabric purchases, they had some really cute fabrics.  It's a good thing space in the luggage is a limited.  

So on that note, here's the damage to the stash. 

Used last week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  38.79 yards
Added year to date:  219.05 yards
Net added year to date:  180.26 yards

I'm dreading getting back into the work groove next week.  Good thing I'll have some sewing room time to help ease the transition. 

Linking up with quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report and Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy's Quilts.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The One Monthly Goal for July 2017

How did it get to be the 6th of July so fast?  It certainly seems that July is speeding by more quickly than I'm ready for.  It will be a busy month, lots of plans already on the calendar.  We've got a family vacation on there, plus I've got another business trip planned as well.  Access to the sewing machine will be rather limited in July. So what would make a good One Monthly Goal

The OMG has been a great motivator the last year.  I've tried to pick projects that have reached places where I tend to stall out.  If I use that as my guidance criteria for picking this month's goal, then figuring out a setting plan for the Scrappy Coffee Cup blocks would be a good goal.  

 Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

These blocks are also this month's July UFO project.  So it would be nice to see some progress on getting these into a quilt, but that takes a plan first.  I don't have any more of the background fabric.  This was my first Rainbow Scrap Challenge project and I didn't realize that I might want some background left over to use for the setting.  I've been stalled on the setting since realizing that. Here's the one quilt mock up I attempted several years ago. 

It's a bit "blah" don' you think?  I need to go stash diving, I believe I bought a print with coffee cups on it to use for the outer border.  Not sure where that ended up.  But maybe this quilt should have a scrappy border?  So that's the goal for July, come up with a final setting plan for these blocks.  They won't come off the UFO list till I get at least that far.  These blocks date from 2012.  It would be nice to finally get them into a quilt.    

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the July One Monthly Goal.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 Finish Along: What's Next for Third Quarter?

How can it be July already?  Our 4th of July was pretty low key and relaxed.  It's the first day in a few weeks that we've just took it easy and enjoyed the day with family.  Unfortunately, the rest of this week and most of next week will be busy.  I've not had a lot of time to spend on the home computer. I'm still massively behind on answering emails and blog reading.  Posting hasn't happened much either, which is OK, things are so busy there isn't much to post about.  Doesn't look like I'll catch up anytime soon. Between family plans and work, it's going to be hectic till August rolls around. Please don't give up on me.  I'll be back (imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent here) eventually!  

Even though things are a bit hectic, I still want to participate in the 2017 Finish Along for the third quarter

All the quilts from the first quarter list got finished, but only two of the four from the second quarter list made it to completion.  One only needs the binding sewn down, so the Meadow Mist Mystery is pretty much a done deal anyway. 

 Meadow Mist Designs Mystery
By Cheryl Brickey of the Meadow Mist Designs Blog
The other unfinished project from second quarter, Blooms and Butterflies, has been sent off to Trudy for quilting.  It should be back ready for labeling and binding before the end of July.  So that one should be another easy finish. 

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

Those two are easy finishes.  What else should go on the list for third quarter?   The June UFO project was Christmas Angels. Surprisingly, I've made a good amount of progress on it.  So rather than sticking it back in it's project box, it will stay in the project rotation.  Not sure if it will get done this quarter or not, but it can't hurt to leave it on the list since I'm going to be working on it anyway.  

Christmas Angels
Pattern by Kate

The July UFO selected by Patchwork Times is #12 on my 2017 Quilt Plan.  That's the scrappy coffee cups from the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge

 Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
publised in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

I don't even have a setting plan for this one.  It's not likely to get finished, but I do hope to make progress on it this quarter.  At work they always tell us to put at least one stretch goal on our plans, sometimes it pays off.  So I'll add it here.  I could use some extra inspiration on getting this one to the finish line.  

So that's my list for the Third Quarter 2017 Finish Along.  Linking up over at Cut and Alter.  Good luck with your list for third quarter.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Stash Stuff and a 2017 Quilting Ambitions Update

This post is a day later than planned.  Let's just say that July didn't start off as planned and leave it at that for now. 

June was not a nice month.  The washer went out, a job change required quite a bit of overtime the last half of the month.  Both problems are now solved.  I was going to say that stitching didn't go so well, but it really wasn't a bad month on that front, other than my 15 minutes of stitching time went out the window for a week while I dealt with the fall out from the job change.  The end of June also marks the end of second quarter.  So it's a good opportunity to check how I'm doing on my 2017 quilting ambitions that I posted to Quilting Jetgirl's 2017 Planning Party.  

Since this is the stash management report, I'll start with that and if you are not interested in the rest you can stop there.  

Quilt Ambition #3:  Manage the Stash/Organize the Sewing Room

Used last week: 0.41 yards
Used year to date: 38.79 yards
Added year to date: 215.55 yards
Net added year to date: 176.76 yards

The one advantage of being really busy with work is that I've not had much time for fabric shopping, so the incoming numbers stalled this month.  That's a good thing.  Even so it's not likely I'll meet my goal of using more than I buy this year.  Fabric usage is on track.  I've used more than half of the 70 yards that is the goal for this year.  

Organizing the sewing room has seen a few fits and starts. I found a good way to organize the fabric pieces for all the in progress quilts.  I showed that off here. Now that my deadline sewing is done, I've been spending more time working on organizing the rest of the sewing room.  I still haven't done anything with the scraps.  But I have done a bit in the fabric closet.  Here's how it looked last July.  

July 10, 2016
Here's how it looks now:

As of June 18, 2017
Not a lot of progress, but this chore takes a while.  I'll keep chipping away at it. 

Quilting Ambition #1:  Finish a Few Quilts

I've done really well on this goal.  There are four finishes so far this year:  Poinsettias, Bejeweled, Geometry and The First Amendment Quilt.  Three of these were high school graduation gifts.  They were finished in time to gift them the last day of school. 

The graduation quilts:  Geometry, Zombies in Paris and Bejeweled
They were a big hit.  I got hugs from all three girls (and none of them are big on giving hugs). 

There should be at least two more finishes this year.  The 2016 Meadow Mist Mystery  is being bound and Blooms and Butterflies has been shipped off for quilting.  That will make at least 6 finishes for 2017.  Definitely not shabby.

Quilting Ambition #3:  Participate in Challenges and Mystery Quilt Alongs

I've gotten a good start on the blocks for the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Though I still need to finish up the yellow blocks for June. 

The Magnolia Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs starts up in a few days.  That will be the next quilt along for 2017.  There are a couple of other mystery quilt alongs that are very tempting. I'm contemplating if I can start one or both of those two.  I probably won't start either because the UFO list is still pretty huge, but I can dream anyway. 

Quilting Ambition #4:  Make Time to Sew

The goal is to spend at least 15 minutes each day stitching.  The second quarter of 2017 hasn't been as good as the first, but I've found those 15 minutes more days than ever before. 

Days with 15 minutes of stitching:  165 days out of 181 days 
Percentage success:  91%

More fabric out and more finishes this year.  Pretty sure that's tied to this one goal.  

Quilting Ambition #5:  Work on Blogging Skills

My goal was to blog three times a week.  I didn't do so hot on that each week during the second quarter.  Some weeks I managed 5 posts, other weeks just 1.  On average I posted about 3 times per week for the year.  Not sure yet if I consider that success or not. 

I've written 2 of the 4 tutorials that was in my goals for this year.  On track with that one.  The last goal was to improve my photography skills.  I've been more conscious of staging my photos this last quarter.  Not sure that equates to better photos, but it's something different I'm trying.  

It's been a really good year so far.  I'm happy where I'm at in my ambitions for the year so far.  Now to keep up the momentum over the hot summer months and into the fall.  How are you doing on your stitching goals for 2017?  

Linking up with QuiltPaintCreate for the weekly stash report.