Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekend Stitching: January One Monthly Goal

Just a few more days left in the first month of 2018, which means the main focus in the sewing room this weekend was January's One Monthly goal.  

The plan for this month was to get Geek Chic to the finished flimsy stage, a back pieced, and prep the quilt to be sent out.  The flimsy was finished last weekend.  

Chemistry Geek
Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company
found in Missouri Star Quilt Company Block Idea Book (Summer Vol 4 Issue 3)

Finished piecing the backing this Friday. 

Pressed and de-threaded the back and flimsy over the weekend. 

Need to write the deposit check and add a bit of packing and this project will be ready to send to Trudy for quilting.

This should get to the post office today or tomorrow.  So January's OMG is done.

Last year the OMG taught me the value of setting priorities in the sewing room.  Here's where I'm at with the rest of my priorities for the month. 

1. Geek Chic - finish quilt assembly, make back, prep for quilting and shipping. DONE
2.  On Ringo Lake - decide on a path forward. DONE
3.  Vintage Dresses - finish adding coping strips to the blocks. DONE
4.  Magnolia Mystery blocks - finish piecing the blocks. DONE
5.  Finish the 2017 RSC fan blocks - 3 left
6.  Make Inverted Star border blocks in light blue (2 done, 1 in progress)
7.  Start 2018 RSC Squared Away Sampler. Done 

It was a good month. I made progress with everything on my list. Now to decide on the OMG and write up the priority list for February.  

Linking up with:
Elm Street Quilts
Monday Design Wall
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Week 4 of 2018: 15 Minutes to Stitch and Stash Reports

It's been much warmer the last few days.  But it is January, so that won't last much longer.  We have the potential for snow by the end of this week.  Still it was nice to have weather in the 60's for a couple of days.  As the weather has gotten warmer, I've been feeling better.  The cough is almost gone and my energy level has returned.  Which made for a nice weekend of stitching.  Even better, we had Friday off.

The stash report definitely benefited from the additional time off this week.  

Fabric used this week:  4.95 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  8.02 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018:  0 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  8.02 yards

Most of the outgoing fabric this week comes from piecing the backing for Geek Chic.

Now there are just a few strips and partial fat quarters left over from this project.  One my challenges is trying to buy just what I need for a project and not much more.  It's another area of stash management I'm still trying to master.  

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

The stash report is headed in the right direction.  So is the effort to find at least 15 minutes to stitch each day. 

 Work was a bit slower this week, so no homework.   That made it easy to climb the stairs each day.  

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7 (Sunday to Saturday)
Days with stitching this month:  27 out of 27 
Days with stitching this year:  27 out of 27
Success Rate:  100%

How did you do at fitting stitching time into your schedule?

1. Sharon
2. Melissa G
3. Julie in GA
4. maggie f
5. Meloney
6. Val:)
7. Shasta
8. MartiDIY
9. newsurfiegirl
10. Susanne
11. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Still Blue

We got an early start to our weekend this week.  Friday was a day off. Part of the day was spent doing necessary stuff like hair cuts, getting to the bank, mailing a package to the Scientist in Training and a quick trip to the quilt shop.  

There was still some time for stitching even with all the errands.  The second Squared Away block is finished. 

Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter)
The 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project

The 1930 reproductions in the newest block are left over from a quilt along back in 2007.  I bought a lot more of the reproduction fabrics than I needed, so these fabrics have shown up in at least 2 other quilts. The medium blue floral used in the cross is a long time favorite.  I still have several big scraps left of it, so it will likely make an appearance in a few more scrappy projects before it's all used up.  

I've got a start on the third and final blue Squared Away block for this month, but forgot to get any pictures.  Hopefully, I can show off all three next week, along with a start on the blocks for February.  

You can find more blue scrappy blocks over at Soscrappy. Linking up with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Geeky Progress

The weekend was pretty slow paced, I didn't leave the house at all.  There were a lot of naps, this sinus crude is proving difficult to shake.  I'm in the cough till you drop stage.  

Even with the naps, there was a decent amount of time spent in the sewing room.  Geek Chic is now a finished flimsy.

  Chemistry Geek
Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company
found in Missouri Star Quilt Company Block Idea Book (Summer Vol 4 Issue 3)

I'm happy with how it turned out.  More importantly, the SIT likes it.   The fabrics really make the quilt and this block allows each to shine.   

The block shape is pretty close to some of the stick figure molecular diagrams used in chemistry, which helps with the geeky theme.  The back will be pieced from the left overs.  I've got all the pieces cut, but didn't have the time or energy to start on the assembly. Hopefully the back will be done by the weekend.  Then all that is left is prepping the quilt for quilting.  It will be nice to get this one finished and to SIT for her dorm room before the semester ends.  Plus getting Geek Chic out the door for quilting is this month's OMG. 

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 3 of 2018

It's been a week for snow storms and bone chilling cold.  I'm pretty sure my cold was kicked off after standing outside in below freezing temps during a fire alarm earlier this week.  I wasn't in my office when the alarm sounded so had to evacuate without my coat.  After that, I could never get warmed up, so I'm sure my resistance to the prevalent germs was lower than it normally is.  

We did get snow this week, about an inch.  My Guy bought me a fisheye lens for Christmas, so I had to try it out.

Looks kinda like a snow globe doesn't it?  Not the most photogenic scene, but it was just too cold to be out and about.  (Yes, I'm an absolute wimp when it's cold).   

I slept a lot yesterday, but still managed to get in a few hours of stitching in between the napping.   The final borders are going on Geek Chic, so the yardage going out added up quickly this week:

Fabric used this week:  1.11 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  3.07 yards
Fabric purchased in 2018:  0 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  3.07 yards

The fabric shop adds are being deleted from my email without being read and it's been too cold to visit the quilt shop, so it's been easy to maintain the nothing in so far for 2018.  I'm linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report.   

The other weekly goal is to find 15 minutes to stitch each day. 

It's not always easy to find the time to stitch, but it wasn't too hard to get to the sewing room this week.

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  20 out of 20
Days with stitching this year:  20 out of 20
Success rate:  100% 

This year is starting off much like last year.  I managed to maintain my 100% through March last year.  That's not likely to happen this year as I'll have business trip in March.  

Now it's your turn.  How did you do at finding time to stitch this week: 

1. Melissa G
2. Julie in GA
3. Meloney
4. Mary-Kay
5. MartiDIY
6. Dar's Patchwork Garden
7. di
8. Sharon
9. Susanne
10. Shasta
11. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Making a Start

It's been one of those weeks.  Work has been manic and then I got sick.  Thankfully it's not the flu, but I still feel pretty crappy, just not "hit by a truck" yucky.  Today's plan is a little laundry, hopefully a little sewing and a lot of rest.

For me, this year is the year of the UFO and the year of the scrap.  Not much has happened on either front, but it's early yet.  I did tackle cutting up a few scraps for the first of three light blue Squared Away blocks made using the Red Cross block.

Red Cross Block, Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter)

I'm happy with the first block.  The tulip fabric in the center was used in a quilt for my mother-in-law.  She's no longer with us, but pulling out that fabric for the center made me smile thinking of her humor and the love for her family.  That's one of the joys of sewing with scraps, remembering the people who got the original quilt. 

The second Squared Away block is under construction and I've got the fabrics picked for the third block.  I'm hoping to get both done this weekend.  For now, I'm off in search of a cup of hot tea and breakfast.  Happy stitching this weekend. 

Linking up with Soscrappy and with Oh Scrap.   

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Bordering

We had a pretty slow, hang out kind of weekend.  It's been cold and windy.  Not as bone chilling as it is up north, but it's just not fun getting out of the house to go anywhere.  Thankfully Sunday was warmer than it has been, so it wasn't so bad when the Scientist in Training had to load up for drive back to college yesterday afternoon.  The house certainly was quiet last night.

Once the SIT was on the road, I distracted myself with what was in the sewing room.  The room is a bit of a wreck, so I spent some time putting away a few things before sitting down to stitch.  I'm making some progress on my On Ringo Lake blocks.

On Ringo Lake, Bonnie Hunter 2017 Mystery Quilt
These blocks have grown on me as I've worked with them.  Due to the lack of contrast between the black and gray, my version will look a bit different, but I think it's going to look pretty cool with the sashing.  For now, I've bumped the ORL blocks to leaders and enders status.  

The priority project this month is to get Geek Chic out the door for quilting before the end of the month.  The blocks got sewn together last weekend just in time for the SITs birthday.  She helped decided on the border fabrics.

 Chemistry Geek
Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company
found in Missouri Star Quilt Company Block Idea Book (Summer Vol 4 Issue 3)

We had to raid the stash for the aqua fabric for the first narrow border. None of the other fabrics worked very well with what she choose for the outer border.  The last inner border strip is all ready to go, I just didn't get that far last night.  This should make it to finished flimsy stage by the weekend.  I'll have to piece the back, but that should be fun as I'm using the left overs for that.  

Linking up with:

Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
BOMs Away

Sunday, January 14, 2018

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 2 of 2018

Tomorrow marks the midpoint of January.  Usually this first month of the year seems to pass so slowly. Not this year.  The Scientist in Training is heading back to college today right after lunch.  It's been so nice having her home for the last four weeks. I'm planning to sew all afternoon, hopefully that will keep me distracted till she's back at the dorm.  It's going to take longer to get used to the empty house.

Since it's Sunday, it's time to look back at how last week went on the quilting front.  I try to find at least 15 minutes to stitch each day.  It's amazing how quickly those 15 minutes add up to some significant sewing time.

Here's week #2 metrics:

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  13 out of 13
Days with stitching this year:  13 out of 13
Success rate:  100% 

My week runs from Sunday to Saturday, so though today is the 14th, week 2 ended for me yesterday.  My quilting weeks have been set up this way since I've been tracking stitching time and yardage out.  It works for me, but feel free to set your week up so it works for you and link up below with how you did on finding some time to stitch this week. 

There's a bit of stash going out this week. 

Fabric used this week:  0.30 yards
Fabric purchased this week:  0 yards 
Net fabric out for 2018:  1.10 yards

Not as good of week as I had hoped for stash usage, but at least there is nothing coming in.  I'll definitely take that. 

You can see more stash reports over at Quiltpaintcreate.  If you are tracking how much time you can find to stitch, you can link up right here. 

1. Julie in GA
2. Melissa G
3. maggie f
4. Sharon
5. Mary-Kay
6. Val:)
7. Meloney
8. Shasta
9. MartiDIY
10. diane
11. Christina's Handicrafts

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Finish Along - First Quarter Projects

This year has been dubbed the year of the UFO in my sewing room.  There are 18 quilting projects on my list that were started more than a year ago.  My goal for 2018 is to get the number of UFOs below 10.  So that means at least 9 finishes for 2018.  The most I've ever managed to finish is 7 quilts in one year, so completing 9 is definitely a stretch goal.  I'm using every source of motivation available to help keep me on track.  That includes participating in the 2018 Finish Along.  

It's time to select the projects for the first quarter of the challenge.  For this quarter I'm going to stick pretty close to the quilt plan I drew up at the end of December.  

Project 1:  Geek Chic (Chemistry Geek)

Chemistry Geek
Pattern is Under Construction by the Missouri Star Quilt Company
found in Missouri Star Quilt Company Block Idea Book (Summer Vol 4 Issue 3)
Started: September 5, 2017

Chemistry Geek was one of those squirrel moments.  I used to work with the lady who owns the local quilt shop and she knew that I'd love this chemistry themed fabric.  The Scientist in Training is studying chemistry and the fabric couldn't be more perfect.  This was supposed to get done for either Christmas or her birthday, but that didn't happen.  I'm hoping to get it finished in the next few weeks so she can have it for most of this semester.  This one isn't technically a UFO, but getting it finished will keep it off the list. 

Project 2.  Magnolia Mystery Quilt

Magnolia Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of
Meadow Mist Designs

This is the fourth mystery quilt from Cheryl Brickey who blogs over at Meadow Mist Designs.  I've participated in all but her first mystery.  This is another project that isn't technically a UFO on my list because it's not more than a year old. Getting it finished keeps it off the list.  Cheryl is having a parade of Magnolia quilts in March 2018 from last year's mystery, so this has to be at least a finished flimsy by February 15th.  

Project 3:  Vintage Dresses

 Vintage Dresses blocks by Charise Randell, Setting by Kate

Vintage Dresses was my 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  My first effort to work with a complicated paper piecing project.  In 2017 the focus was on getting coping strips adding to all the blocks so they were the same size.  This year I'm hoping to get the blocks into a flimsy and then finished before May.  This quilt is intended as a graduation present. 

Project 4.  En Provence

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

The 2016 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt made it all the way to finished flimsy stage just before the end of 2017.  It needs a backing before it can go out for quilting.  This project is listed as my April UFO, but I'd be happy to get it finished before then.  I really doubt that happens, but I'll be hopeful and include it on the first quarter list. 

That's my list for the first quarter of 2018.  I did really well the with the challenge the first three quarters of 2017, finishing 3 quilts a quarter till the last one.  Can I do as well this year?  I hope so.  

Linking up with the 2018 Finish Along Q1 over at She Can Quilt.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Weekend Stitching: A Little of This and That

Weekends are just never long enough.  I'm not sure what happened to Saturday, it just evaporated it seems.  Sunday we spent the day in Tulsa celebrating the Scientist in Training's birthday with lunch at PF Changs, followed by cheesecake elsewhere.  It was a fun day in spite of the cold rain that fell most of the day.  

I did get in some stitching.  All the rows of Geek Chic are sewn together, so that much got wrapped and given to the SIT with her other gifts.  She loved it.  Now to get the border on it and get the backing pieced so it can go out for quilting.  There wasn't time for photos before it was wrapped, hopefully I'll have some later this week.  

Two more Perkioman Valley blocks from the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild were finished. 

So these four will go out in the mail to Carol over at From My Carolina Home to be used in quilts for the California Thomas Fire victims. 

After playing around with the block pieces for Bonnie's On Ringo Lake mystery and staring at the options on the design wall, I finally decided to just make the blocks according to her directions.  

On Ringo Lake, Bonnie Hunter 2017 Mystery Quilt

The fabric choices this year didn't work really well. The gray is really too dark and doesn't show up against the black and boy the yellow really dominates the block.  It does look better with the sashing strips added. I'll use up the pieces that are already made and see how many blocks that makes and go from there.  

Linking up with the usual suspects for the Monday post:

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Linky Party
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday
BOMs Away

Sunday, January 7, 2018

15 minutes to Stitch and the Stash Report: Week 1 of 2018

Welcome to week 1 of the 15 Minutes to Stitch report. I'm a little late posting this morning.  It's been awhile since I've had to navigate adding a linky thing to the blog.  

Sunday is the day I tally up how well I did at finding time to sew and how much stash was used in the process.  The beginning of a new year is always nice because you get to reset and start over if the previous year wasn't that great.  Finding time to stitch went really well, I managed to find time to stitch just about 90% of the days in 2017.  It will be really hard to surpass that in 2018, but I'll be happy if I do that well this year.  Here's this week's numbers:

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this year:  7 out of 7
Success rate:  100% 

Those metrics look a little silly since they are all the same, but those are the metrics I plan to track and report this year. I'm looking forward to seeing different ways of tracking.  If you want to track and report on how you do at finding time to stitch, you can link up at the bottom of the post. 

Now for the stash report.  Unlike finding time to sew, last year's stash busting wasn't so successful and I'm very happy to be able to reset the numbers for 2018.  I'm hoping to keep the fabric purchases to no more than 100 yards and use more than I buy.  In the nine years I've been tracking the stash, I've never managed to use more than about 65 yards.  Maybe this will be my breakthrough year?  At any rate, here is this week's stash report. 

Fabric used this week:  0.80 yards
Fabric purchased this week:  0 yards
Net Fabric Out for 2018:  0.80 yards

So I'm off to a good start for 2018, something out and nothing in. You can see more stash reports over at Quiltpaintcreate

Link up here for the 15 Minutes to Stitch Weekly Report:  
1. Julie in GA
2. Diann@Little Penguin Quilts
3. newsurfiegirl
4. Meloney
5. Val's Quiting Studio
6. maggie f
7. Sharon
8. diane
9. diane
10. MartiDIY
11. Kat@rose prairie
12. Edi
13. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

RSC: In With the New, Putting Away the Old

It was only a four day work week, but it seemed to take forever to get to Friday.  I was definitely ready for a weekend when I walked in the door last night.  

Ending the week by spending some time in the sewing room seemed to be just the thing to do last night.  Now all the Vintage Dress blocks have their framing strips.  Here's all 25 blocks framed and trimmed to a consistent 9.5" X 12.5".  

 Vintage Dresses, pattern by Charise Randell

I'll be playing with the layout a bit before starting on the sashing.  For now, the blocks are going back into their project box.  I've got too many projects in the works over at the sewing machine and that makes it hard to make a lot of progress on any one.  They won't be off the design wall for long, they are my planned UFO project for March.  

That's the putting away the old, The new is Mari's (The Academic QuilterSquared Away sampler that she and Angela (So Scrappy) have planned for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Mari posted the first sampler block early this morning. I've got so many RSC projects on my UFO list that it doesn't seem right to add another.  However,  here's what my "in progress" scrap bin looks like right now. 

It's overflowing and really needs to be cleaned up.  My plan for the sampler is to pull all my scraps for the blocks from this bin and in the process get all these left over's trimmed up and ready for use. We'll see how that goes.  But if I make progress here, starting another potential UFO is worth the risk.  

Linking up with this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Soscrappy.      

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 2018 One Monthly Goal

It was back to work on Tuesday.  It wasn't a bad day, just a lot of  "where was I?".  The last day of the holiday vacation was used to sit back and assess all the in progress projects laying around the sewing machine.  There were eight.  That's too many to be effective on any one project.  So after finishing off the blocks that were in progress, it was time to decide on this month's priorities including selecting the One Monthly Goal for January.  

That was actually a pretty easy selection process.  The Scientist in Training's birthday is this month and I promised her a quilt.  The top 4 rows are pinned together to be stitched and the last row for the bottom of the quilt is pinned ready for stitching too. 

I'd like to get this into a finished flimsy so I can wrap that for her birthday. But the OMG for January is to get the flimsy done, a back made and get it shipped out for quilting. That should be doable this month. It won't be a finish till next month, but I think the SIT will be OK with that.  

My overall priority list looks like this for January:

1.  Geek Chic - finish quilt assembly, make back, prep for quilting and shipping.
2.  On Ringo Lake - decide on a path forward (my fabrics didn't work so well in Bonnie's layout, but there are a couple of other assembly options that might work OK)
3.  Vintage Dresses - (old leaders and enders) finish adding coping strips to the blocks - DONE
4.  Magnolia Mystery blocks - new leaders and enders project, finish piecing the blocks. 
5.  Finish the 2017 RSC fan blocks
6.  Make Inverted Star border blocks in light blue for RSC challenge
7. Start 2018 RSC Scrappy Sampler project

Well, at least now I'm down to just 7 active projects. 

Linking up over at Elm Street Quilts for this month's One Monthly Goal.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Finally Progress!

Happy New Year!  We made it to midnight last night, barely.  My Guy and I celebrated with a small glass of wine and a toast to the new year, then went to bed.  We are such party people.  

The plan for last week was for lots of  afternoon sewing every day, but alas, life decided it had other plans.  I did finally make it to the sewing room for some weekend sewing late Friday afternoon.  Progress was made, but there's not much to show for it today.  The big priority was to get Geek Chic into a finished flimsy.  Not there yet, but I should get there today.  That project has to come off the design wall before the Scientist in Training gets home on Wednesday.  

Progress was made with On Ringo Lake, but I laid out the pieces for the block after Bonnie's clue on Sunday and didn't like it at all (so much so I'm not willing to share a photo at this point).  Bonnie revealed the final quilt today, I'm going to go play with pieces and see if I like it any better with all the sashing pieces added. If not, then I'll start moving the block pieces around and try some substitutions to see if I can get something else the works for me.  It's not Bonnie's design, my fabric choices didn't work very well. 

After that disappointment, the focus shifted to finishing up the blocks for December's One Monthly goal.  The commitment was only four blocks, but those little blocks have a lot of pieces.  Not quite a midnight hour finish, but it was almost 10 PM before all four were finished. I was the last one to join the December OMG linky.  

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

That completes all the blocks needed to finish the layout.  All the blocks are back in the project box and will come out to decorate the design wall later this year.  

One of my goals for 2018 is to do something with all my scraps. There is a call out for Perkioman Valley blocks to make quilts for the California Thomas Fire victims from the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild (that link is here).  I pulled my bags of 4.5"  and 5" scrap strips and went to work.  

Perkioman Valley Blocks for Thomas Fire Victims (instructions here)

 I only finished two blocks yesterday, but have plans to put a few more together today.  I'd like to get whatever blocks that are finished in the mail by Friday.  Carole, who blogs at My Carolina Home is also collecting the blocks and donations to make quilts for the victims (that post is here). 

I'm going to spend the rest of my New Year's Day in the sewing room, wrapping up 2017 stuff and resetting things for 2018 after my marathon of sewing yesterday.  I'm linking up with the usual Monday linky parties:

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall
BOMs Away

Wishing everyone a productive and joyful 2018!   

Happy 2018!