Thursday, November 30, 2017

November One Monthly Goal Progress

The last day of November is just about over.  It's been a busy week, both at work and at home.  I've only got 9 days of work left for the year, but that means there is a lot of end of year stuff to finish up if I don't want to fire up the laptop while I'm off.  Work deadlines have meant more computer time in the evenings rather than sewing time.  That really played into how this month's One Monthly Goal worked out. 

The plan was to get all the borders added to En Provence and get the backing made.  Well, the pieced borders have all been added, plus one of the dark blue strips that make up the final border.

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

I had hoped to get in some stitching time this evening to get at least one other border strip added, but alas a change in a project requirement at work required me to spend this evening on the computer so the update is ready for approval tomorrow.  The two pieced 4-patch borders seemed never-ending.  So in spite of not getting to the finished flimsy stage, I'm very happy with the progress on this project this month.  

This is only the second time in two years that I've not met my one monthly goal.  I just bit off more than my schedule could accommodate last month.  So what's the plan for December?  I'm not sure yet, I'll have to contemplate on that for a day or two.  

Linking up with the November One Monthly Goal month end.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mysterious Stitching

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday out of town, so I didn't get to start on clue number one for the new Bonnie Hunter Mystery till yesterday.  My plan is to only make my version 3/4 of the size Bonnie has planned. 

On Ringo Lake, 2017 Bonnie Hunter Mystery

Here's the first six.  I didn't realize that the red print was directional until these 9-patches were finished.  I've decided not to worry about it.  The print is pretty small, so it won't be noticeable unless you look really closely. I may be sorry that my "brown" (gray) isn't lighter, but it works OK here.  

The only other noticeable progress in the sewing room was on the current leaders and enders project, Vintage Dresses.

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Three more blocks are now framed and cut to size.  That leaves seven blocks at the sewing machine in various stages of completion.  I'm hoping to get this quilt to the finished flimsy stage by the end of the year. 

I'm looking forward to seeing all the different fabric palettes for On Ringo Lake over at Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake linky party today.  I'm also linking up with the regular weekly parties.  

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Stash Stuff: Week 47

It's been a nice week of stitching, visiting and eating lots of good food.  The Scientist in Training has been home for the long weekend and we've had a lot of fun hanging out together.  She heads back to school after lunch, so I'll head to the sewing room then.  I've not had a chance to get started on Bonnie Hunter's mystery, so that will be the first order of business today.  

There was some stitching going on every day this week.  Though I reverted to hand stitching over the holiday weekend as that's both portable and more socially acceptable.  So far for 2017, I've found at least 15 minutes of stitching time 91.2% of the year.  Hopefully I can maintain that as we head into the busy holiday season.  

Fabric usage was up this week.  Those never ending 4-patch borders for En Provence probably had something to do with it.  

Used last week:  1.19 yards
Used year to date:  54.26 yards

I'm still way off my goal of using 70 yards for the year.  At this point I'm just hoping to break 60 yards out for the year.  

I've written before about my geeky spreadsheet of quilting metrics.  One of my working theories has always been the more time I spend in the sewing room, the more fabric I would use.  Here's how that looks for my sewing time versus fabric out over the years.  

There does seem to be a trend for 2014, 2015, and 2016, but the theory that more fabric is used with more time in the sewing room doesn't seem to hold for this year. And that's with 7 finishes this year versus just 4 last year.  Hmmm, obviously it's not a simple correlation. 

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - What Color is Magenta?

Hope everyone in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  Ours was fun, though the house we rented this year was a lot smaller than the one we rented last year.  Cooking was a challenge, but that's part of the fun.  How My Guy's mother got dinner on the table for 30 plus people out of her little kitchen is pretty amazing now that we've had a go at it.  

I got in a lot of machine time early in the week, but the later part of the week was reserved for Thanksgiving prep and family time.  Even so, I got a decent start on the last of the fan blocks. 

Some of the lighter fabrics tended towards pink.  I wasn't sure of the one of the far right, is that magenta or pink.  Maybe it doesn't matter as long as I didn't use pink anywhere else?  We'll see how they look when I get all 16 of them done.  There's another 3 fan blocks in various stages of construction over at the sewing machine. 

I've also made some progress on the sawtooth stars that will be used in the border for the Inverted Star Blocks.  

I didn't realize how limited the tonal range was for the orange fabrics that made it into these blocks. They won't be right next to each other, but spread across the borders, so maybe it won't be so noticeable then.  One more orange block is in the works and several of the magenta are also in various stages of assembly.  The plan is to make 5 of each color initially, then figure out which colors will have a 6th block.   I really like the offset from block to block, its going to be a fun border.  (I say that now, pieced borders have never been a strength, hopefully these will go together well). 

Linking up with Soscrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and on Sunday with Oh Scrap.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend Stitching: More 4-Patches

It was a very nice weekend. Even better because I don't have to head in to work today.  Today is date day, My Guy and I will be hanging out together and having fun.  I'll get some time to stitch this evening, he's planning on playing in the kitchen a bit then.  

The saga of the never ending 4 patches for En Provence is almost complete.  

En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

Not the best photo, but the flimsy has gotten too long to photograph well in the sewing room.  The last eight 4 patches for the bottom border are pinned together at the sewing machine.  I will be so glad to get this last pieced border done.  Addition of a dark blue border will finish off this flimsy.  Hopefully that gets added before the new mystery starts on Friday.  

Progress has been ongoing with a few other projects as well.  Three sawtooth stars for the pieced border for the Inverted Star project are done. 

The border will need sixty something of these 4.5" x 5.5" blocks, which means I'll need about 5 to 6 blocks of each color. The pieces for these blocks have been cut as I cut the pieces for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge fan blocks.  There are already three magenta stars in the works over at the sewing machine. 

Lastly, there's been bit more progress on the current leader and ender project.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

Fifteen of the twenty five Vintage Dress blocks have the coping strips added.  That leaves ten left over at the sewing machine.  I know this won't be a finish this year, but it's getting much closer.  

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 46

Yesterday was cold and windy.  Overnight we went from colorful vistas to views of barren branches.  It's like that in Oklahoma.  It was a perfect day to stay in and sew.  Which I did in the afternoon.  Though you can't really tell it from the stash numbers. 

Used last week:  0.46 yards
Used year to date:  53.07 yards

It's been slow going on the stash busting lately.  I've mainly been working on those 4 patches for the En Provence borders.  It takes a lot of 4 patches to add up to much in the outgoing column.  

I did mange to find 15 minutes to sew every day last week. That puts my success percentage at 90.99%.  It will be challenge to stitch over the Thanksgiving holiday as we'll have family around.  I should locate my embroidery stuff and have it ready to work on when everyone sits down to just talk.  

I'm a bit late posting this morning, mainly because I got caught up in working on something for next year.  It's not a quilt project, but it's related.  I used a purchased project planner this year and really liked it, but only part of the planner saw heavy use.  A lot of the planner is empty.  So spending another $40 for a new one just doesn't appeal.  But I really want one for next year.  After checking out a number of free printable planner documents from Pinterest, nothing struck my fancy.  My skill with Microsoft Publisher is pretty minimal, but at worst trying to create my own would result in a bit of wasted time.  Here's what I have after a couple of hours of playing around with the software. 

Weekly calendar pages (The heavily used portion of my current planner)

I don't see any changes on these pages, unless they don't print right  as double sided sheets.  

Project Summary/2018 Quilt Plan
I like the 2018 Quilt Plan, but not sure I'm thrilled with the My Projects summary page.  I've seen some bullet journals on Pinterest where the status or stage of the project is tracked. That would be cool to do, but would require a different orientation on the page.  Something to consider.  

Project Planning/Documentation
Status/stage of the project would be good to add here too.  Something else would have to go though.  

These pages were all created in Publisher using the tables function.  I could probably do the same thing in Excel.  But since Publisher is meant for creating documents, it seemed like the best way to approach making my own planner.  None of these pages have been printed yet, so I'm not sure how well they work.  I'm going to try that before I do much more fiddling with the layouts.  

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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Still Catching Up

Friday finally came.  It was one of those weeks where each day seemed to just stretch on and on.  But now I can look forward to no drives to the office for the next 10 days, though I will have to drag out the work computer at some point to finish up some reports that are due on Monday.  

There hasn't been a lot of stitching this week. Between trying to deal with the time change and the hectic work week, I pretty much fell right into bed after dinner a couple of nights last week. There was enough energy left after work yesterday to finish off the last of the orange fan blocks. 

The layout of the blocks in the final quilt is based on this arrangement, kinda sorta.  Just 16 magenta blocks left to make before I can start sewing all the blocks together in rows.  With some time off this week, I'm hoping to knock out those last fan blocks this week.  

Linking up with Socrappy for the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge report and on Sunday with Oh Scrap.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekend Stitching: Slow Going

I'm definitely not ready for Monday morning.  It was a nice three day weekend with lots of stitching time.  So it's hard to head back to the office this morning.  It will busy at work this week, but I'm off all next week.  I just have to make it to Friday.  

The focus in the sewing room has been En Provence.  I'd like to get that project to at least the finished flimsy stage before this year's mystery starts up next week. 

En Provence,  Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

The first round of pieced borders is done and one of the second round of borders has been attached.  Another border strip is almost assembled and I've got a good start on sewing the 4-patches for the top border.  I'll probably add one more final solid border after this second pieced border, most likely in a dark blue to finish this one off.  Hopefully one more weekend of stitching and it will be a finished flimsy.  

I've also been working on November's clue for the Magnolia Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.  I've got the half blocks completed and made a start on the full flower blocks yesterday. 

Magnolia Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of
Meadow Mist Designs

I like my fabric choices so far.  I'm still not sure the print in the background was the best idea, but we'll see how it all goes together.  So three down and three in progress.  I'm not sure how many of these are supposed to be made, I should probably check the instructions.  

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 45

The cooler, windy, overcast weather was very conductive to spending time in the sewing room yesterday afternoon. Add in the Friday afternoon of my day off, I've already gotten in a solid 8 hours of stitching this weekend.  Though looking at the stash report, you'd never guess that. 

Used last week:  0.71 yards
Used year to date:  51.95 yards

I suppose the slow pace of fabric is out due to all the small blocks needed for the projects in rotation right now.  It takes a lot of 3.5" 4 patches to add up to much in the way of fabric used.  

Finding time to sew has been on track.  I managed 7 out of 7 days last week to actually get in the sewing room for at least 15 minutes.  All those 4 patches for En Provence have been slow going.  Even with chain piecing, that's still a lot of stitching to get the 27 needed for just one border.  

The cooler weather has forced My Guy to abandon his weekend walks with his camera. So he's been playing around in the kitchen instead.  Yesterday he made Apple Cider Donuts (a King Arthur recipe you can find here).

And yes, they are as yummy as they look.  I'm going to have to start increasing my gym time if he keeps this up.  Yummy though they are, this kind of treat plays havoc with my diet!  

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Slow Finishing Mode?

Yesterday was supposed to have been a vacation day.  I didn't have to go into work, but unfortunately end of the year budget stuff plus a new special project necessitated a few hours on the work computer.  I didn't get as much sewing time as planned, but I managed to get in a good solid afternoon of stitching.  

I was checking out blogs this morning while enjoying my second cup of coffee and read Kathy's Quilts RSC post this morning.  She was commenting on the number of RSC projects she had that hadn't yet made it to the finished stage.  That got me thinking, how many RSC projects did I have finished and unfinished?  I starting playing along with Angela's monthly challenges back in 2012.  In the five years since, I've started seven RSC quilts.  Only two are finished (The 2014 RSC sampler (Flame Test) and my first RSC project, But First Coffee).  So there are five left unfinished.  Angela designated November as either dark or finish it up month.  I've been working on finishing off this year's project with the scrappy Fan blocks.  The last five orange blocks are in over at the sewing machine in various stages of completion.

The orange blocks will get finished this weekend.  The last color is magenta.  The pattern calls for 16 blocks with dark center and lighter sides.  After a bit of trial and error, the pairs came together this morning. 

The darks are the two middle rows, with the lights being the two outside rows.  I'm hoping to get going on these blocks this weekend.  

Since I was cutting orange fabrics for the Fan blocks, I took a bit more time to start cutting the for the Sawtooth Stars that will be the border for 2014's Inverted Star RSC project.  The flying geese are done for the first block. 

This block will finish at 4" x 5".  It's been a while since I've made a block that small.  The border needs 60 something stars.  This quilt won't get done this year, but at least it's back on the "in progress list". 

The current leaders and enders project is last year's RSC project, Vintage Dresses.  

  Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

The plan is to add coping strips to get the blocks to a consistent 9.5" x 12.5" before starting on the sashing.  I doubt this quilt gets finished either.  But I have high hopes that these three projects will get finished sometime next year.  

You can see more dark scrappy fun and finishes in progress over at Soscrappy.  Also will be linking up with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Weekend Stitching: Something Else Besides En Provence

We had a nice visit with the Scientist in Training over the weekend.  I spent Sunday afternoon in the sewing room after she headed back to college, it was a good distraction.  These weekend visits seem so short, but I'm glad she's close enough to be able to drive home when she wants/needs to.  

So what got done over the weekend?  I'm still working on the borders for En Provence.  Not much has changed, so I'm not going to post another picture.  Clue two of the Magnolia Mystery quilt is done.  

Clue three came out on Thursday, so I'm just a bit behind.  That clue has been started, but I haven't gotten very far. 

The other project that has seen some progress, is the Vintage Dresses.  

 Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

These blocks are my current leader and ender project.  I'm adding coping strips so all the blocks will come out at 9.5" X 12.5" unfinished.  Twelve down, thirteen to go.  So I'm almost half way.  

The last bit of progress was on this month's UFO, Inverted Star.  Using EQ, I mapped out the cutting instructions for the border sawtooth stars, sashing, and other borders.  

 I used up almost all of the white on white background fabric for the Inverted Star blocks, so another white will be needed for the sashing, borders and the sawtooth stars.  EQ was quite helpful in determining the yardage required to to finish the quilt.  Thankfully I found a compatible white on white in the stash.  Hopefully I can get going on the border stars sometime this week.  This quilt isn't likely to make it to the finished flimsy stage, but I'm hoping to make some good progress on the border stars this month. 

Linking up with 
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall  

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 44

It's been a slow and relaxing weekend. The Scientist in Training is home this weekend.  The Oklahoma bedlam game (OU versus OSU) was yesterday and the SIT decided to get out of Dodge to avoid the absolute madness that descends on the town during these games.  I didn't expect to get much stitching done this weekend, but the SIT decided to go watch the game on TV with a friend who was also home for the weekend.  So I got in pretty solid afternoon/evening of stitching time yesterday.  She has to head back to school right after lunch, so I'll head back to the sewing room this afternoon to keep from being too sad she had to go.  

It's slow going on En Provence, lots and lots of pinning to match those seams in the pieced borders.  I'm counting all those 4 patches used in the EP borders once I have a strip assembled and ready to attach to the quilt.  Those 4 patches are most of what's showing up in the numbers for this week.  

Used last week:  0.66 yards
Used year to date:  51.24 yards

Finding time to sew hasn't been too hard the last week, in spite of some late evenings at work.  I managed to find at least 15 minutes seven out of the last seven days.  I'm at 90.6% success rate in terms of finding time to stitch.  Considering my best leading up to this year was 73.7%, this has been a really good year.  I was hoping for more fabric usage. But I'm really happy with the number of finishes this year.  You just can't have everything.  

We had a couple of gorgeous days this week.  One afternoon was so nice, I stopped at one of the local parks to get in a much needed walk. Of course the camera had to come along.  I love the saturated colors.   

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Catching Up a Little Bit at a Time

It was nice to wake up this morning and realize it was Saturday.  Work has been really stressful the last few weeks, waking up to the weekend has been a very welcome reprieve. Just one more week on the end of year stuff and then we'll be in the slow down part of the year as the holidays approach.

Angela has declared that November's Rainbow Scrap Challenge focus is darks or you can use it as catch up and assembly month if you don't need darks.  Since my background is black and I'm behind, my blocks fall into both categories this month.  I'm still working on September's orange blocks.  


Seven done, with 4 more at the machine in various states of assembly.  So just 5 more orange blocks to need to be started.  Then I've got 16 of the magenta blocks to make before I can start assembling the quilt.  Thankfully I've got some vacation that has to be used and I'll get a few Fridays off in the coming weeks.  Hopefully I can do some significant catching up in that time.  I'd like to have a finished flimsy by the end of the year.  

I've already jumped ahead to contemplating what block/project to make for the 2018 RSC.  No problem with finding lots of inspiration.  But how do you pick just one?  

Linking up with Soscrappy for the first Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky for November.   On Sunday, also linking up with Oh Scrap

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November One Monthly Goal

Are you in denial?  I am.  How did it get to be November already?  The year is quickly winding down. This month will go much more quickly than I'm ready for.  It's already the 2nd day of the month.  Definitely time to decide on a plan and priority list for November.  That means deciding on what will be my One Monthly Goal for the month.  

I've narrowed it down to three options. 

1.  Start Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake Mystery.  I've decided on the fabrics for this year's project.

All but that red, yellow and black print (my substitution for the aqua), are left overs from other projects. They gray neutral is left over from a retirement quilt that was gifted 7 years ago.  There actually 5 different black fabrics in the photo.  Bits and pieces left from other quilts.   I can't tell if the yellows are really the same shade or just really, really close.  Definitely not my typical color palette, but they should make for a very dramatic quilt.  Can't wait to see how this project comes together.  

2.  Finish En Provence, make the backing and get it sent to the quilter.  All that is left till I have a finished flimsy is the 3 rounds of borders, of which I've got a start on the first. 

  En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

3.  Start making the sawtooth stars for the border of this month's UFO-2017 project.  

 Inverted Star
by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

The Inverted Star blocks were the 2014 RSC project.  They are still sitting in a project box waiting to be set together. At least I have a finishing plan all decided on.  With the Thanksgiving holiday, I don't think I'd get this one done.  But it would be nice to actually make a start on the stars for the border.  

So after a bit of deliberation, I've decided that November's OMG is to #2, get En Provence finished and out the door to be quilted before the end of the month.  If I can do that, it won't be on the UFO list long and then I won't feel so bad for starting this year's mystery.  Good luck on whatever project you've picked for November.