Monday, July 30, 2018

Weekend Stitching and July's One Monthly Goal

Another slow weekend around the house, a bit of laundry and a bit deep cleaning in the Scientist in Training's room.  She moves out of the dorms on Friday, but has to wait a week till she can get into her apartment.  So we'll have her home for just a bit before she has to head back for the fall semester of college.  

There was still plenty of time for stitching.  Enough that I met July's One Monthly Goal. 

I've not had a lot of success with my one monthly goals in 2018. I think because the time I have to sew doesn't match up well with what needs to happen to move a quilt all the way to finished flimsy.  So for July, I tried to set a more realistic goal.  This month the goal was to get the Inverted Star blocks framed and ready for sashing.  At the beginning of July, those blocks looked like this. 

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

By the time I shut down for the day on Sunday, they looked like this. 

That may not look like much work, but each block has a narrow half inch strip of white to float the block in the colored frame.  With all the framing done, it was time to sash the blocks.  The sashing strips have been sewn to each row, but the rows haven't been sewn to each other.   I might get that done by the end of July.  Then there's a 2.5" plain white border followed by a border of Sawtooth Stars. There's been good progress on those this month too.  I finished off  the five red stars this weekend as well. 

With the red ones finished, that just leaves black, gray and brown sawtooth stars left to make.  The black and gray ones are all cut out ready for assembly over at the sewing machine.  The fabrics for the brown stars has been chosen and just needs to be cut.  After those, I need to make three more stars.  I'll choose those colors after I've had a chance to get the others up on the design wall and see what looks best in the gaps.

So July has been a pretty productive month.  Linking up with:

July One Monthly Goal
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Week 30 of 2018: Stitching and Stashing

So it's a rainy Sunday morning here. Though it's not one of those slow rainy mornings that makes you want to stay in bed, there was too much thunder and lightening to make it peaceful.  It's really coming down out there at the moment.  So no sleeping in this morning.  That's OK, it was time to get going on this morning's 15 minutes to stitch linky party. 

I've been using the 15 minute challenge for seven years to help me get into the sewing room every day and do something to move a project along.  Why 15 minutes?  That came from some time management book I was reading at the time.  It said something along the lines of committing to do a task that you needed to get done for 15 minutes, if you really didn't feel like doing it, you could quit after 15 minutes.  I was wondering this morning if there was a way I could tell if the 15 minutes really made a difference or not.  I've been actively piecing quilts since 2004.  From 2004 to 2010, the average number of quilts finished per year is about 2.7/year.  From 2011 to 2018 the average number of quilts finished per year is about 4.4/year.  Hmm, so maybe there is something to this 15 minutes a day.  

So here's how this week went:
      15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
      15 minutes stitching days/July = 28/28 days
      15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 199/209 days
      Success Rate = 95.22%

You can link up at the bottom of the post if you want to share how your stitching week went. 

The stash report took a pretty big hit this week.  I gave into the 70% off sale going on at Connecting Threads a couple of weeks ago.  Most of what I bought was tone on tones in white and black to use for backgrounds in my scrap quilts.  What that did to the report is not pretty. 

     Fabric used this week:  0.64 yards
     Fabric used in 2018:  27.96 yards
     Fabric added in 2018:  64.41 yards
     Net fabric in for 2018:  36.45 yards

So I'm back in the red.  Not so badly that I can't recover, but it's going to take me till the end of the year to get there.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash report.  

Happy stitching to everyone this week.  If you want to share how well you did at finding time to stitch this week, you can link up below. 

1. Melissa G
2. maggie f
3. Deana
4. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: All Caught Up

I'm declaring today a NBS day (nothing but sewing, a term borrowed from Barbara who blogs over at Cat Patches).  Work has been rough with project deadlines, instrument failures, and changes in direction/programs.  A day of stitching therapy to fortify myself for next week is sorely needed.  

As far as Rainbow Scrap Sewing goes, I'm all caught up on the Squared Away blocks.

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter) and Angela (Soscrappy)

 The reds look a little dull in the photograph, but they are actually very vibrant up on the design wall.  Maybe I'll take some time this weekend to put the whole set of blocks back up on the design wall and see if I can come up with a setting plan.  

Linking up over at Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge post and linking up with Oh Scrap over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework on Sunday. Happy stitching this weekend.   

Monday, July 23, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Still Stars

It was a slow and relaxing weekend, which was very welcome.  Laundry is caught up, a bit of housework got done and there was lots of stitching time for a change. I got caught up on all the Squared Away blocks on Saturday, so Sunday the focus was on this month's One Monthly Goal.

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

Ten of the blocks have their frames.  The last two blocks are over on the sewing machine waiting to be finished up.  I might actually finish my OMG for July for a change.   

In addition to getting the blocks framed, there's been progress on the sawtooth stars for the pieced border.  

Pink, teal and a single red star have been added to the growing pile.  Somehow I miss counted and ended up with 6 teal blocks, but that's OK. The rest of the red blocks are under construction at the sewing machine and I've started on the black stars. All that is left is to make 5 gray and 5 brown stars, plus three more of various colors to have the 64 blocks for the pieced border.  So this one is moving along.  

Linking up with the usual Monday crew:
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall
Main Crush Monday 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Week 29 of 2018: Stitching and De-stashing

It's been a slow and relaxing weekend so far. Not much going on other than laundry, a bit of housework and a bit of stitching.  It's been easy to get in my 15 minutes of stitching this week, it's simply too hot to do much else. 

Here's the stats for this week:

     15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
     15 minutes stitching days/July = 21/21 days
     15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 192/202 days
      Success Rate = 95.05%

This week it was more like an hour of stitching time each day, so things are moving along pretty well.  You can link up at the bottom of the post to share how easy/hard it's been to find some sewing time.

The stash report looks a bit better with there being a bit more time spent stitching this week. 

     Fabric used this week: 1.15 yards
     Fabric used in 2018:  27.32 yards
     Fabric added in 2018:  20.41 yards
     Net fabric out for 2018:  6.91 yards

I broke down this week and did some retirement stash acquistion.  Connecting Threads had some tone on tone whites and blacks on sale, plus a few other tone on tone brights.  So I ordered a bit for the retirement stash. That hasn't shown up at the house yet, so I'm going to enjoy being in the black for one more week.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

That's all the sewing stuff going on.  At the moment, I'm sitting on the back patio (it's still cool enough for that right now) and watching the bees make use of the sunflowers.  

Happy stitching this week.  Here's Mr. Linky for sharing progress on finding time to stitch. 

1. Melissa G
2. Julie in GA
3. maggie f
4. Mary-Kay
5. Meloney
6. Shasta
7. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Teal and Red

It was a long work week, I'm definitely ready for a weekend and some stitching time.  The forecast says we've had a cold front come through so our highs this weekend will be in the mid to upper 90F range (around 35C).  That's down a bit from the high of 99F we had yesterday.  Still it's too warm to do much other than seek refuge in my nicely air conditioned sewing room this afternoon. 

It was a pretty productive week for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project, the Squared Away Sampler.  All the teal blocks are now finished. 

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter) and Angela (Soscrappy)

I really like how they turned out.  With those done, I was able to make a good start on this month's red blocks and actually have one finished. 

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter) and Angela (Soscrappy)

These are fun blocks, they go together pretty quickly. The last two red blocks are under construction over at the sewing machine.  There's one more weekend in the month so I may actually get caught up this month! 

Linking up with Soscrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today and with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  Stay cool and stitch (my motto for July).   

Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Stars and Stars

Yesterday was yard work morning (it's too hot to work much past 10 AM).  Then we hung out with the Scientist in Training for a bit before she headed back to college. She'll have tests to study for and papers to write next weekend. We probably won't see her until it's time for her move from the dorm to the apartment they've rented for next school year.  

It was late afternoon before I managed to make it to the sewing room.  The last Red, White and Blue Star block made it under the needle and is now finished. Here's all 12 blocks up on the design wall. 

These blocks were last June's One Monthly Goal. For now, these stars will go back into the project box. This is my oldest UFO, so I'd love to finish it, but there are other quilts on my UFO list that need to be finished by the end of the year. This one is probably staying with me, so it doesn't have a deadline.  It's definitely going on the 2019 quilt plan.  

July's One Monthly Goal is to get all the Inverted Star blocks framed so they are ready to set together.  

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

Each block gets a very narrow white frame, followed by a wider colored frame. Only the last row needs the white frames sewn on and I've got a good start on the colored frames. The colored frames are wider than necessary so the blocks can all be trimmed to a consistent 15.5".  The top row of blocks is all trimmed up and ready for sashing. I'm hopeful that I'll actually meet my OMG this month.  

Linking up with the usual Monday morning crowd.
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Week 28 of Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been a busy weekend.  The Scientist in Training is home for the weekend, plus we celebrated our wedding anniversary on Friday.  So it's not been easy to find those 15 minutes of stitching time the last few days. 

But I managed to fit in just enough time to make my goal of 15 minutes each day this week. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/July = 14/14 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 185/195
Success Rate = 94.87%

A lot got done last Sunday, which is good.  That's where most of this week's usage comes from.  In doing my part to support our local quilt shop, I've exceeded my goal to limit stash in.  But the damage isn't too bad. 

Fabric used this week:  0.28 y
Fabric used in 2018:  26.17 y
Fabric added in 2018:  20.41 y
Net fabric out for 2018:  5.76 y

Even though I've exceeded my goal on fabric in, I'm still doing well with an excess on the outgoing side.  So I'm pretty happy with how the stash management is going this year.  

I did get flowers for my anniversary.  

My Guy let me pick them out.  He suggested the yellow roses, which are my favorite, but these were just more fun.  

How are you doing at finding time to stitch and managing the stash?  You can link up below to report on how the stitching time is going and then you can link up over at Quiltpaintcreate to report on your de-stashing (or stash enhancement efforts as the case may be). 

1. maggie f
2. Melissa G
3. Mary-Kay
4. Shasta
5. Christina's Handicrafts

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 Finish Along - Third Quarter Projects

Half way through the year and I'm not even close to having six finishes.  Getting the UFO list trimmed down to at least half was the plan for 2018.  So hopefully linking up with the 2018 finish along for the third time this year will be the charm and there will be a flurry of finishes before October. 

So what's on the list for third quarter, pretty much most of the list from first and second quarter, plus a couple of new additions.  Might as well be ambitious right?  

1.  En Provence (from the first quarter list)

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

I was stitching on the binding for En Provence at the end of second quarter and just wasn't able to get it completely finished before June 30th.  So this quilt is a definite finish for third quarter. 

2. Magnolia Mystery (from the first quarter list)

Magnolia Mystery by Cheryl Brickey of
Meadow Mist Designs

This project is back from being quilted and needs to be trimmed and bound.  So this one is definitely going to be a finish this quarter. 

3.  Vintage Dresses (from the first quarter list)

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

This was supposed to be a high school graduation present for a niece going into fashion design.  The plan now is to finish it in time for Christmas.  It needs borders and a backing before it can go out for quilting.  Adding borders and making a backing always takes longer than I think it will. So we'll see if it actually gets done 3rd quarter.   

4. Christmas Angels (from the second quarter list)

Christmas Angels Pattern by Kate

Another quilt that needs the borders, backing and prepping for quilting.  It's another Christmas present. I'm not sure this one will actually get done, though I'm hoping to at least have it out for quilting by the end of the quarter. 

5.  Inverted Star (new for third quarter)

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

This is a college graduation quilt for one of the Scientist in Training's friends.  She graduates in December, so I'm hoping to move it to finished. Being honest, this one will likely make it to the finished flimsy stage by the end of the quarter. I doubt it makes it to finished quilt.  But I'm adding it in so it stays on my priority list for the quarter. 

6. Twinkle Star (new for third quarter)

 Twinkle Stars Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Another college graduation quilt for one of the SITs friends.  But she doesn't graduate till May. Still it would be nice to have this one finished well in advance for a change.  I'll be happy if it's ready to go out for quilting by the end of the quarter.  Again it's here so it stays on the priority list for the year.  

That's a pretty ambitious list isn't it?  The first two on the list are pretty easy finishes, so that really only leaves 4 quilts that are going to take some effort to move to finished.  If I can finish another 2, to make for a total of 4 for the quarter, I'll be pretty happy.  

Linking up with She Can Quilt for the 2018 Quilt Along Third Quarter Dreaming of Finishes List.  

Monday, July 9, 2018

Finally a Finish!

I'm not looking forward to a full week of work.  It was so nice to have a few days off over the 4th of July holiday.  We visited the family, spent some time with the SIT and I did get in one full day of stitching.  Enough time to finally finish getting the binding on En Provence.  

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

I like how this one came together and it may be my favorite Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt so far.  My version is made from yardage, not scraps.  The fabrics used in this quilt are left overs and rejects from the Geisha quilt made for my niece several years ago.  She's been asking me if I have a pastel quilt as she'd like a lighter colored one for the spring and summer, so I think she's getting this one too.  she has a birthday in August, so that works out nicely.  The feature fabric from the Geisha quilt got used up on the back of this one, as did the pink and the burgundy. 

After piecing the back, all that is left of these fabrics is pretty much just scraps.  It's nice to finally find a final home for them and have them out of the stash.  

Trudy used an all over floral motif for the quilting. Very pretty and it gives the quilt a nice drape.  

So that's one off the UFO list for 2018. 

I can't seem to make it below 17 UFOs.  I've done a pretty good job on finishing off most of my newer projects within a year, but I'm struggling to finish off the older ones.  Progress has been made, so at some point I should start seeing lots of finishes.  

Here's one last look at En Provence. 

The next finish will probably be the Magnolia Mystery, the Meadow Mist Designs 2017 mystery quilt.  All it needs is binding.  But since that one isn't a year old yet, it will not lower my UFO numbers (It will keep the number from going back up to 18, so that's good too).  That one should be finished by August.  At the moment, I'm trying to finish off the Red, White and Blue Star blocks that were last month's OMG.  Then those will go back to the project box till probably next year.  

En Provence is also on my 2018 Finish Along list for third quarter 2018.   

Linking up with:
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall
Main Crush Monday
2018 Third Quarter Finish Along

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Week 27 of Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been a laid back weekend around here with not much happening.  That's in large part to the migraine headache that I woke up with yesterday.  Thankfully, it seems to be gone this morning. 

I'm still a bit messed up on my days after being off for most of last week, but I'm pretty sure today is Sunday.  That means it's time to assess how much stitching and de-stashing happened last week. 

I did manage to get in my 15 minutes yesterday in spite of the headache, so it was a good week on the stitching front. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7days
15 minutes stitching days/July = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 178/188 days
Success Rate = 94.68%

It was an especially good week as I typically managed at least an hour each day in the sewing room.  That is helping to move some projects along and means there has been a bit of the stash moving into finished blocks.

Fabric used this week:  0.92 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  25.89 yards
Fabric added in 2018:  18.91 yards
Net fabric out for 2018:  6.98 yards 

Not a big reduction in the stash this year, but at least there is more going out then coming in.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

It's been hot and humid around here the last week, but that hasn't stopped the bees from visiting our volunteer sunflowers.

I ventured out long enough to snap a few photos, then spent the rest of the day in the air conditioning. It really is too hot to be out for long.  

Here's Mr. Linky if you want to share how well you did at making time to stitch. 

1. Julie in GA
2. Shasta
3. Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
4. Susanne
5. Deana

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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Progress

We took off the first half of last week, which made for a very short work week and really messed up my ability to know which day it was.  Thursday really felt like a Monday, and just a day later it's Saturday.  I could get used to that kind of schedule!

There was one day of stitching in the time off.  I used that opportunity to get caught up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler Blocks.  Since we've just passed the half way mark for the year, I put the finished Squared Away blocks up on the design wall.  

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter) and Angela (Soscrappy)

It's a very diverse set of blocks. I should start playing with setting ideas or this one won't get finished by the end of the year.  

Since putting these blocks up on the wall, I finished the last pink block.

So that caught me up to just needing June's teal blocks, of which just one got finished up. 

I've got a good start on the second teal block, but the third one isn't cut out yet.  Mari (The Academic Quilter) just posted the July block to be made from our scrappy reds.  So I'm slowly catching up, but not quite there yet. 

Linking up with Soscrappy for the weekly sharing of scrappy goodness on Saturday and with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

2018 Ambitions - Checking in for Mid-Year

Hard to believe we've passed the mid-year point for 2018.  I just finished doing mid-year reviews at work. It's a chance to look at the goals from the first of the year, make sure they are still appropriate and that you are on track to complete them.  Back in April I  reviewed how things were going on my quilty ambitions (that post is here) for the same reasons.  Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a mid year review linky party to encourage us to take a look at where we are mid year. 

So here's how I'm doing on my quilty ambitions as of the end of June.  

1.  Shorten the UFO list.  

I started 2018 with 17 quilts on the UFO list. As of the end of June there are 18 quilts on the UFO list.  I consider a quilt a UFO once it's been on the project list for a year.  There's only been one finish this year and it wasn't on the UFO list yet.  So I'm not doing so hot on this ambition. It's not from lack of trying. There has been good progress on the six projects I've worked on this year. It just hasn't been enough to get those quilts to the finish line.  

2. Participate in quilt alongs/mysteries.  Since the goal is to finish up the old stuff, I limited myself to just three this year.

     2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Started
     Meadow Mist Designs Plus Sign Sampler Quilt Along
     Bonnie Hunter Mystery

I've decided not to do Cheryl's Plus Sign Sampler, but may start one of the quilts in her Modern Plus Sign Quilts book.  Or since my goal is to clear off the UFO list, I may skip out on that quilt along completely. 

3. Find 15 minutes to stitch each day. 

I'm doing well with this ambition.  The success rate for the year is 94.54%.  So I'm not sure why I'm not seeing any finishes.  

4.  Stash Management/Stash Organization
       Limit purchases to 5 yards per quarter: at 18.91 yards incoming
       Spend 30 minutes each week on organization:  hit and miss
       Any new projects must use stash fabrics only:  good here
       Pick a RSC project that uses precut strips:  Sampler uses strips

Well 3 out of 4 ambitions on this point is pretty good.  I'm over my goal for incoming fabric as of the mid-year point, but as long as I don't add more than one more yard the next 6 months, I'll be OK on that one for the year.  I'm not doing so hot on organizing the stash.  It's been hard to find time to sew this year, so spending time organizing has just not been as high a priority. 

5.  Blog once a week.  
I've managed at least 2 posts a week since the first of the year. So I'm doing OK on this front too.  

Other than getting quilts to the finish line, the year is going pretty well.  I'm linking up with Yvonne's mid-year review party where you can see how well other's are doing on meeting their quilty ambitions.  

Since finishes don't seem to be happening, I'm going to use the rest of this post to document the progress for the year.  I need the morale boost.  The picture on the left is where the project was as of 12/31/2017. The picture of the right shows the status as of the last time I worked on the project. 

January Project:  Chain Reaction (aka Geek Chic) Done 


February Project:  Magnolia Mystery Quilt (Needs binding)

March Project:  Vintage Dresses (Needs borders)

April Project:  En Provence (Sewing on binding)


May Project:  Christmas Angels (Needs borders)


June Project:  Red, White and Blue Stars (Finish making blocks)

So I'm close to finishes on two quilts.  But only one is on the UFO list.  Magnolia Mystery wasn't started till September last year, so it's still a WIP.  Well I got this far in the last 6 months and there is still 6 more to go.  Time enough to move a couple more off the list you think?