Monday, October 30, 2017

Weekend Stitching: October One Monthly Goal Progress

It was a quiet weekend.  It looked so pretty outside, but the wind and the cold made it great sewing room weather.  I took full advantage of that fact and played most of the weekend. The plan was to make some significant progress on October's One Monthly Goal

The plan for October was to finish piecing the last En Provence block and then get all those blocks and sashing strips into a finished flimsy.  That was a lot more challenging than I anticipated.  There are lots of seams that have to be matched up.  It wasn't so bad sewing the blocks and sashing pieces together into rows.  But pinning the rows together before stitching took forever it seemed.  I can claim victory on getting all the blocks and sashing pieces sewn together into a top.  

En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

The side borders are ready to stitch on, the top and bottom borders have been started.  So I didn't quite make the goal this month.  But there was significant progress.  En Provence probably won't be done before this year's mystery comes out, but I'm hoping to get it to the point that it's ready to go out for quilting by that time.  

Now to decide what's the goal for November.  Linking up with:

October One Monthly Goal Finish Up
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 43

This time of year always seems to just speed by.  But even though that's expected, it's a bit hard to believe that we've only got two more days in October.  I've been looking over my 2017 Quilt Plan trying to decide what the goal for November will be.  Do I want finishes or progress on other neglected projects?  What's the plan for 2018?  It may seem early to think like that, but I'm already planning next year's goals for work.  That type of thinking always bleeds over to what's going on at home.    

Work has slowed down a little, but I'm still either working late or doing some homework during the evening.  I managed to find time to stitch 6 out of the last 7 days.  I made the trek to the sewing room Friday evening and realized that an early bedtime made a lot more sense than forcing my tried brain to attempt anything else.  

Not much out of the stash this week.  The main goal in the sewing room has been to get En Provence to the finished flimsy stage.  Most of fabric for those blocks has already been counted, so most of what's going out is for the leaders and enders project.   

Used last week:  0.44 yards
Used year to date:  50.58 yards

Every little bit out helps.  

I did find time one evening to download a new toy.  

I upgraded from EQ7 to EQ8 this week.  I haven't really looked over any of the documentation yet, I've just opened a few existing EQ7 files in the new version and played around a bit.  It took me a few tries to find the libraries and functions.  I've not tried designing anything new yet. I've had some issues with EQ7 playing well with the new computer, so I was hoping that EQ8 would get me around that issue. So far so good. 

Linking up the Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Stitching: But First Coffee

The Scientist in Training was home this weekend.  We had a great time shopping and just hanging out.  She left after lunch and it was a good thing I had a sewing room to go to.  En Provence was a welcome distraction.  

Before lunch, we were all hanging out in the living room watching Food Network.  While we were all commenting on the cooking shows, I was also making the last few stitches on the binding for the Scrappy Coffee Cup quilt (aka But First Coffee).  

 Scrappy Coffee Cups (aka But First Coffee)
Started 2/27/2012, Finished 10/22/2017
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
publised in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

I really like how this one turned out.  The SIT and I were trying to decide on our favorite cups.   

The dark blue with the tulip and the brown cup with the yellow rose are two of my favorites.  

The SIT really likes the Christmas mug on the lower left and the tiger cup in the upper right.  The blue floral with the gold accents has always struck her as being a very elegant cup, but it would one of those you look at and not use.  

The backing is from some yardage that's been in the stash for a while. 

The floral on the back is more green than yellow, but it didn't photograph that way.  It's not a perfect match, but I wanted something light since there is so much white space on the front. I stuck with the same dark green that's in the outer border as the binding.  I suppose that's a bit boring.  At least the label is fun.  

Scrappy Coffee Cups was my first venture into the Rainbow Scrap Challenge back in 2012.  I've participated every year since.  Of the five rainbow scrap quilts started, this is only the second one finished.  I always finish the blocks but stall when it comes to setting them together.  It's nice to see this one come off the UFO list and off my fourth quarter list for the 2017 Finish Along.  But First Coffee is my seventh finish for the year.  That ties my best year for finishes ever.  It seems that finding time to sew each day coupled with setting priorities via the One Monthly Goal and 2017 Finish Along have really paid off this year.  

Linking up with:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall
Needle and Thread Thursday
2017 Finish Along 4th Quarter Linky Party 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 42

We've had a slightly different pace this weekend with the Scientist in Training home.  While she was doing homework, I got caught up on my blog reading, email, uploading photos, etc.  We also did a little shopping, for shoes this time.  I really needed new shoes for work.  Since I work in a lab, my shoes have to meet safety criteria, but still meet the "professional" dress code. I pretty much hate shopping for work shoes and put it off till my current pair look so bad even My Guy notices.  

It hasn't been the best week for stitching.  As expected, work stuff took over a few evenings, so there wasn't a lot of time spent in the sewing room.  I did manage to get in my 15 minutes each night, but that was about it.  So stitching happened for 7 out of 7 days this week.  But it really was just 15 minutes each night, so no much got done.  The stash report pretty much shows that. 

Used last week:  0.37 yards
Used year to date:  50.14 yards

I've broken the 50 yards out milestone.  I'm hoping to reach 60 yards out for the year.  My goal was 75 yards, but at this point, that's probably not happening.  Though the stash goal isn't going so well, finding time to stitch has gone well in 2017.  I'm really happy with finishing six projects so far this year. 

While hanging out with the SIT as she did homework, I used part of my time to start getting a label ready for En Provence.  I'm still sewing blocks together into rows but I'm hopeful it will be ready for quilting next month.  Here's two options for that label:

I like both labels.  A lot will depend on what I choose for the backing fabric.  Do you always keep the name of a pattern or mystery quilt along as the name of your quilt?  I'm struggling a bit with these labels as the fabrics I used for En Provence are Asian themed.  The backing fabric I have in mind is left over from a previous project that used some of the fabrics that show up in the En Provence blocks.  Here's the proposed backing fabric:

This is just one repeat.  If I remember correctly the repeat is about 26" x 20".  I've got about 3 yards of this left as I only used one repeat. I'll supplement with any left over yardage from the front to piece a back if needed.  So do you see my dilemma?  I've been playing around with a name that still uses En Provence, but with an Oriental slant.  At this point they all sound pretty lame, so I'm not sharing.  Maybe my subconscious will help me out if I let it stew for a bit.  I'd certainly welcome any suggestions in the meantime.  

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Still Playing With Orange

My weekend started yesterday.  Since the Scientist in Training is on Fall Break, I took Friday off so we could have a girl's day out in Tulsa.  We had a great time, though the tiramisu from the Cheesecake Factory really did a number on the calorie count for the day.  Well, we all have to live a little right?  

I didn't get a ton of stitching done yesterday, but I got to play for a bit while the SIT slept in.  I'm still playing catch up with my orange fan blocks. 

I need 16 of this color.  One is done, so these three will finish out the first set of four.  I've got all of my magenta fabrics washed, but not paired up for block sets yet.  I doubt I get to those this month, those will probably be next month.  But at least I can claim progress.  

Linking up with Soscrappy where you can check out all those pretty in pink blocks for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  And linking up with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Stitching: Lots of Pinning

Monday always comes before I'm ready for it.  This will be both a long week and a short week.  Long in that my work calendar is seriously full this week. Short in that Friday is a day off.  The Scientist in Training will be home on Thursday for fall break.  The plan is for a major day of shopping sometime during the long weekend.  But getting to the weekend will be a bit of a slog,  it's that time of year where there is lots going on at work.  There will be homework each night this week.  So stitching time will be at a premium.

Thankfully, this weekend was relatively quiet and my sewing room was a nice place to hang out.  There was progress on a lot of fronts, but most of it's not picture worthy.  Geek Chic is moving right along.  The last set of blocks are ready for stitching, but that project had to come off the design wall so En Provence could go back up.  

  En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)
For some reason, I started with the bottom rows.  One row of sashing and one row of blocks are now assembled, with one row of sashing partially assembled.  There are lots of seams to match on these blocks.  Took forever to pin the rows together!  Getting this to finished flimsy stage is going to take some time.  

That was my progress for the weekend.  Linking up with:

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 41

We woke to temps in the 50s this morning after high of almost 90 yesterday.  It may barely get out of the 60s by this afternoon.  I'm definitely looking forward to a little fall weather.  Maybe this will get the leaves moving on their color change, so far there has not been much of that going on.  

It's been a busy week, but I managed to find at least 15 minutes to stitch each day this week. That brings my total for the year to 259 out of 287 days so far for 2017.  That translates to there being a bit of stash going out for the week.  

Used last week:  1.13 yards
Used year to date:  49.77 yards.

So I'm close to getting at least 50 yards out for the year.  Not sure  my goal of 70 yards out for the year is realistic based on where things are now.  The year is not over yet, but it certainly is winding down quickly.    

I did reach a different stash milestone this week.  All the fabric on the second shelf of the fabric closet has now been pressed, folded and sorted.  

So all that's left is that mess on the very top shelf.  

Scrappy Coffee Cups (aka But First Coffee) in the process of being bound. 

The hand stitching didn't start till Friday night, but stitching down that first corner should happen today.  Maybe there will be a finish to show off next week.  

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Weekend Stitching: A Little of This and That

It was a nice quiet weekend.  So there was time for some fun in the sewing room for a change.  But not all of it was photo worthy.  The last block for En Provence is finished (yeah!).  The last two sashing strips are under construction.  By next weekend, En Provence should be back up on the big design wall ready for final assembly.  I'll definitely get photos of that. 

Scrappy Coffee Cups (AKA But First Coffee) has the binding started. 

I got two sides sewn down before dinner last night.  I'll have to finish the next two sides this week.  This project looks to be on schedule to be on the finished list by the end of the month. 

Two more Vintage Dress blocks have the coping strips added.  

  Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

Six blocks finished, just 19 blocks left.  Since En Provence has moved up to "finish it up status", adding the coping strips the dress blocks has become my current leaders and enders project.  It's not the fastest way of finishing something, but at least I see steady progress.

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 40 of 2017

It was a long week, but it was a productive one.  The last report for the year was filed on Friday.  Hopefully, there won't be too much home work from here on out.  Unfortunately, there was enough homework this week that stitching time was at a premium.  Though I did manage to find 15 minutes to stitch for 7 out of 7 days for the last week.  However, it'd hard to use a lot of fabric in that time frame, so this week's stash report looks a little anemic. 

Used last week:  0.20 yards
Used year to date:  48.64 yards

At least I was too busy to push any buttons on the computer this week, so no stash additions.  

There was one night that wasn't spent on homework.  One of My Guy's coworkers is moving on to a new job.  So they threw her a going away party.  I've never been to a going away party like this one.  We have a place in town that offers group painting lessons.  For her going away party, we would all be participating in a two hour painting lesson.  The connections between translating what my brain sees and what my hand draws have always been faulty.  So drawing, painting, free hand quilting just don't turn out well.  It's a good thing I really liked My Guy's coworker, I don't subject myself to that kind of torture for just anyone.   After two hours, I walked out with a painting. 

At least it looks like a pumpkin.  Here's My Guy's version.

We had a good time with several people from work.  A couple of them signed up for another session.  I'll stick to playing with fabric.  

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the Weekly Stash Report.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Just Feeling Behinder

We are off to a rainy start with this weekend.  Which is fine with me.  Though I'm not going to get in much stitching today.  There's lots of housework and homework this morning.  But I'll get to have a bit of fun this afternoon before we head off to the Casa Hispana dinner tonight. That will be a lot of good food and fun with some of our co-workers.  

Scrappy Coffee Cups (my first ever Rainbow Scrap Challenge project from 2012) came back from being quilted early this week.  I'm working on getting the binding sewn together.  The quilt top has been trimmed.  The last thing it needs is a label. Which means the quilt needs a name.  After a bit of poking around on Pinterest and a few texts back and forth with the Scientist in Training, we finally agreed on one.  And then the theme for the label fell into place. Here's the first draft, minus my special message for My Guy. 

My Guy has degrees in physics and mathematics, but his job requires him to be a chemist.  So this is perfect.  Just to be clear, coffee is never allowed in the labs, but this was just too fun to pass up for the label. One of the things we are both known for at work is our love of coffee after lunch, it's the only way we both get through the afternoon.

I'm still working on my blue blocks from August.  But I'm at least on the last one.  I've got all the orange fabrics matched up for last months blocks.  I did take some time to look ahead to see if I had enough fabrics to make 16 small fan blocks of my color for October.  Rather than pink, I'm going to use red-voilet, with my lightest fabrics there tending towards pink. 

I need 32 fabrics for each block to be unique.  Hmmm, there are only 19. I may have a few more tucked away with the batiks.  There's time to do some looking in the scraps and stash as I haven't even started with the orange blocks yet. 

Happy stitching this weekend.  I'm going to get a second cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal, then settle in to see all the pretty pinks  posted over at Soscrappy.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finish Along 2017: Ending on a High Note?

Hard to believe we've just got three months left in 2017. They'll go fast.  It's amazing how time just seems to fly this time of year.  That's a factor in deciding what to tackle for the fourth quarter version of the 2017 Finish Along.

At the beginning of the year,  my thought was to use all the incentive available to get some projects moved to the finish line.  There are six quilts on the completed list; two from first quarter, two from second quarter and two from third quarter 2017 Quilt-A-Long lists.  (Hmm, seems there is a pattern there.) If I can finish two during fourth quarter I'll have finished more quilts in a year than ever before.  So I'm definitely in for the last round this year.  

What to put on the list?  That's always the struggle.  Even though history says I'll finish just two, I'll put four on the list anyway. 

The first is Scrappy Coffee Cups.

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

It's on it's way back from the quilter.  All it needs is the label and the binding.  That's definitely doable at this point.  Should be a shoe in finish. 

The second is the Geek Chic quilt for the Scientist in Training.  No pictures as she follows my blog now that she's off at college.  This will either be a Christmas or birthday present.  I'll have two weeks off at Christmas, so if it doesn't make it under the tree, it should be done for her birthday in January. 

The third on the list is En Provence.  

En Provence
Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

There's one more block in the fourth row and two sashing strips to finish piecing.  Then it will be time to sew the rows together and add the pieced border.  This one will definitely get to the finished flimsy stage by the end of the year and a 50/50 chance it will get completely finished.  If I get this far, that will be 9 quilts finished for the year. That would be awesome. 

The fourth project probably won't get done this year, but I'll add it to the list just in case it comes together faster than I think it will.  The last project for 2017 is Vintage Dresses.

  Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

The blocks all need coping strips added to bring them all up to the same size. Since En Provence has moved up to be my OMG for October, adding the coping strips has become my new leaders and enders project.  Depending on how much sewing I actually get to do, this could go pretty fast or pretty slow.  I doubt this one gets all the way to finished, but it will definitely get moved along.  

If my trend holds, I'll manage to get two of the four done.  I'd be happy with that.  Good luck on your picks for the Fourth Quarter 2017 Finish-A-Long

Monday, October 2, 2017

October One Monthly Goal and Some Weekend Stitching

Hard to believe we've just got three months left in 2017 and those three months will go really, really fast.  I spent some of my stitching time yesterday contemplating which projects to focus on these next three months.  First decision, what's going to be the October One Monthly Goal?  

There's definitely not a lack of subject material for that decision.  I took a peak at what number Patchwork Times picked for this month's UFO-2017 project. It was number 6, which is En Provence on my 2017 Quilt Plan.  Hopefully Bonnie Hunter is planning a new mystery for next month, which means I should really finish up last year's version.  As of yesterday afternoon I had all the pieces finished to make the last block.

  En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)
I still need to make the hourglass blocks for the last sashing piece, but those are all ready under construction.  All that will be left at that point is assembling the blocks and sashing strips together.  That should be doable in a month.  So the OMG for October is to get En Provence to the finished flimsy stage.  

There's another mystery quilt along going on over at Meadow Mist Designs.  I finished clue one yesterday. 

Magnolia Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of
Meadow Mist Designs

All 72 HSTs for the Magnolia Mystery are finished.  So I'm ready for clue 2 when it comes out on Thursday.  I'm really liking my fabric choices at this point.  

Now to figure out what projects are most likely to get finished before the end of the year so I can link up with the last quarter of the 2017 Finish Along.  The OMG and the Finish Along have been great motivators this years. 

Linking up with:
October One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Design Wall at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 39 and 2017 Ambitions Update

October marks the beginning of fourth quarter. The count down to the end of the year begins in earnest now, or at least it seems that way to me.  Back in December of last year, I posted a list of quilting ambitions to Jetgirl's 2017 Planning Party.  With the count down to the end of the year kicking into high gear it's time to check on where I'm at on those ambitions for this year.  Since this is normally just the weekly stash report, I'll start with that so you can stop reading if you've hopped over here from Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report

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

Used last week: 0.94 yards
Used year to date: 48.44 yards
Added year to date: 335 yards
Net added year to date: 287 yards

Stitching time was at a premium during third quarter.  I switched positions at work to one with more responsibility, which means a lot more working from home in the evening.  That's really cut into my stitching time. Add in vacation and getting the Scientist in Training ready for college, it was a really busy quarter.  The goal is to use at least 70 yards for the year.  That means using 21 yards between now and the end of the year.  Probably not happening based on what my fourth quarter typically looks like.  On other end of the stash management plan, I pretty much shattered any possibility of using more than I buy this year.  After two years of very limited buying, I had no will power for another year like that.  A fabric diet is definitely in the cards for fourth quarter.  That's it for the stash report, the rest of the post covers all my other stitching ambitions for 2017.  

The big organization project for this year has been to whip the stash closet into shape.  This is what it looked like back in July:

This is what it looks like now:

I'm almost finished with the second shelf.  All that will be left after that is to tackle that top shelf.  So I've made good progress on that front this year.  

Quilting Ambition #1:  Finish a Few Quilts  

While the stash management hasn't been the greatest, I have done really well on this ambition.  There have been six finishes so far. 

Poinsettias, Bejeweled, Geometry, The First Amendment Quilt, Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt plus Blooms and Butterflies are all finished.  When I was putting this together last year, there were three quilts I had to finish for graduation in May.  That was pretty much my goal, finish those three.  To have six finished is a smash success in my book.  My record is seven in one year.  I should at least tie that this year.  There are three quilts I'd like to finish before Christmas, that would put me at 9 for the year.  Check back in January to see how well that went.  

Quilting Ambition #3:  Participate in Challenges and Quilt Alongs

Quilt alongs and challenges are such fun.  Since I don't belong to a guild (the one here only meets during the week while I'm at work), these projects keep me engaged with the blogging community of quilters.  The Rainbow Scrap Challenge has been a long running favorite.  I've been working on those blocks since January.  

The Magnolia Mystery kicked off last month over at Meadow Mist Designs.  I've kept up, so far anyway.  I'm hoping to finish September's clue before Cheryl posts the next clue on Thursday. 

I've got 50 of the HSTs finished.  Just 22 left and I'll be caught up. 

The other planned quilt along is Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery.  If she's doing one this year, the fabric planning posts should be going up sometime this month.  I need to finish off last year's mystery quilt before then. 

Quilting Ambition #4:  Make Time to Sew

I've been doing really well on that front this year.  I've managed to stitch for 15 minutes 245 out of the the last 273 days.  So 89.7% of the time, I meet my goal.  That's an "A" if you round up.  Definitely the best year I've ever had on finding time to stitch.  Lately it really has been only 15 minutes a day, but that is better than nothing.  

Quilting Ambition #5:  Work on My Blogging Skills

There were several parts to this goal.  The first was to blog at least three times per week.  On average, I managed three posts per week this last quarter.  Most weeks I get in three, but there are few with just two. So I'm doing OK on this goal.  

Another goal was to write four tutorials this year.  I've managed two.  So to meet this goal, I'll have to come up with two for this quarter.  I'll have to put some thought into that.  

Another goal was to improve my photography.  I didn't put any metrics with that goal, so I'm not sure what I was thinking.  I've been trying to pay more attention to the lighting when I take photos. I've been less than happy with some of my finished quilt shots, so that's definitely an area I need to make more improvements in.  

The final part of the fifth ambition was to write a post each quarter summarizing where I was.  First quarter's post is here, second quarter's is here. And this concludes the third quarter post. 

It's been a pretty good year on a lot of fronts.  I know some think it's a bit extreme to have goals for your hobby.  It's so easy for me to get caught up in the "I've worked all day, I'm too tired to go sew."  I usually perk up once I get to my sewing room.  These ambitions have helped me get up those stairs most days.