Monday, October 29, 2018

Weekend Stitching - Odd Blocks and Near Ends

It was a beautiful weekend, too pretty to stay in the whole weekend, so I ventured out for a walk to take in the fall color.  It was pretty. 

There is still plenty of green around, but there are bright pockets of color starting to show up.  What usually happens when we have this late of a autumn, the leaves start to turn, but then it freezes and the leaves fall off the trees before they ever get to peak color. 

So now for the quilty stuff.  Since I was off work on Friday, there was plenty of stitching time this weekend.  The second block for the Christmas Mystery Quilt was finished. 

 Christmas Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

Isn't he fun?  Lots of pieces, but still fun to make.  It seems I forgot to include the first block in last week's post.

 Christmas Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

He's fun too.  I'm not very fond of applique, but this mystery quilt along sponsored by the local quilt shop is forcing me to do just a bit.  There are two wreaths that go with Santa. I've got the Dresden Plates done, but am hand appliqueing them to the background squares.  Hopefully I can show those off later this week.  I'm using the miscellaneous Christmas fat quarter stash and scraps for these blocks.  

The last sawtooth star border has been sewn to the Inverted Star project. 

Inverted Star block by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download, setting by Kate
Sorry for the wonky picture, the quilt is really too big to photograph on the design wall.  The dancing star border worked out really well.  The final border will be 2.5" strips of the white background. One strip has been added, but that's as far as I got before my weekend stitching time ran out.  This should make finished flimsy stage by next weekend.  

Happy stitching this week.  Linking up with the usual Monday show and tell posts.  
Monday Making
Monday Design Wall

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Week 43 of 2018: Stitching and De-stashing

I went to bed with a headache and scratchy throat.  Woke with the same this morning.  I'm hoping it's just sinuses and not the respiratory virus that's been making the rounds at work.  This is definitely going to be a take it easy kinda of day, unless a couple cups of coffee are successful in working miracles.  

Since it's Sunday, it's metric day.  How many days did you find time to stitch this week?

I had a pretty good week on that front. 

15 minutes stitching days/week =  7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Oct =  26/27 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 282/300 days
Success Rate = 94%

Unlike last week, I did manage to get in some stitching time every day this week.  But the stash report looks anemic compared to last week's.

Fabric used this week =  0.28 yards 
Fabric used in 2018 =  38.27 yards
More in that out for 2018

For many years I assumed fabric usage would go up as the amount of time in the sewing room goes up.  I finally did the math (or actually the graph) There's definitely a relationship, but it's not proportional.  

Same with number of finishes in a year, there's a relationship, but again its not proportional.  

So the amount of fabric out must be one of those multi-variate relationships. Hmmm.  

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  If you want to share how much stitching you got in this week, you can link up below.   

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

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Weekend Stitching - Star-ful

We spent Saturday and Sunday relaxing with the Scientist in Training, which was pretty nice.  She headed back to college yesterday just after lunch, so it was pretty quiet in the house after that.   

I spent the afternoon trying out my new sewing table.  It is definitely more ergonomic, I was able to sew all afternoon with no aches or pains.  Though, it's going to take me a bit to get used not having a drawer on the table.  I had to think about where the wound bobbins were when the one in the machine ran out. 

The Quilting Professional from SewPerfect Tables
Right now the bobbins are in the blue bin on the lower left.  They were in drawer that was to my right.  I'm going to get another rolling cart for the right side.  I have another black polka dotted one that has 3 drawers that will fit nicely under the right side of the table. That will have to wait till I can order a replacement, because the 3 drawer cart is currently being used in my office.  

I spent most of yesterday working on the first block of the Christmas Mystery quilt being sponsored by the local quilt shop.  Nothing to show there as yet, but two of the dancing star borders did get stitched together and then added to the Inverted Star blocks. 

Inverted Star:  Center blocks by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download.  Setting by Kate

I did get the top border laid out and ready for stitching.  But had to stop and add coping strips for the two corner stars so they would fit.  I'm happy with how this one is coming along.  I'm off this Friday with plans for a solo stitching retreat.  So hopefully the last two pieced borders, plus a final white border will all get added.  Then I need to figure out what will work as the backing. 

Linking up with the usual Monday linky parties. 
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Week 42 of 2018: More Stashing and Stitching

I've definitely needed my sanity sewing this week, though getting in those 15 minutes each day wasn't easy. 

I had to bring work home one night, so I missed one day of stitching this week. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 6/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Oct = 19/20 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 275/293 days
Success rate = 93.86%

My goal is to end the year at over 90%, so I'm still on track there even with the day with no stitching.  

In spite of missing one day of stitching time this week, the stash report looks pretty good in terms of the outgoing numbers.

Fabric used this week: 3.12 yards
Fabric used in 2018: 37.99 yards
More out than in for 2018

The bulk of what went out was the backing for the Halloween Mystery quilt.  If I can get the Inverted Star borders finished, hopefully there will be another backing going out for October. I'm way off my target of 75 yards out for 2018.  I'm linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for this week's stash reports.  

The inserts for the new sewing table came on Tuesday, so the better part of yesterday afternoon was spent assembling the new sewing table and rearranging the sewing room a bit.  

The table is The Quilt Professional from SewPerfect Tables.  It's not glamorous, but it is very adjustable and very stable. 

The only thing I wasn't really happy with is the two drawers that came with the table. They are a very thin and flimsy plastic, that will break down with time. I opted not to stall those.  I'll probably add in another set of rolling drawers for the right side.  But otherwise, I'm really happy with my new set up.  I haven't had a chance to sew all day yet, I hope to do that next Friday.  Hopefully this set up will let me do that without waking up the next morning in pain.  

How did you do on finding time to stitch each day?  You can link up here and share your successes and challenges.  

1. Meloney
2. Julie in GA
3. Mary-Kay
4. Christina's Handicrafts
5. Aileen
6. Shasta

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Playing with Colors

It's Fall Break in our neck of the woods this week.  The Scientist in Training is home for the long weekend.  I expect she'll sleep in this morning as she didn't get the chance to yesterday as her car had to go in for service.  That meant an early departure for Tulsa yesterday morning. But she got some shopping and cheesecake out of that deal.  While she's sleeping in, I'm hoping to get caught up on email and my blog reading before heading out to the local quilt shop for the second Christmas Mystery Quilt clue. 

There's been a fair amount of scrappy sewing going on.  Two of October's Squared Away blocks are up on the design wall. 

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

There's not much dark or sage greens in my stash, so I decided to switch to red-violet for this month's blocks.  These may look purple, but they definitely are more "pinkish" then my purple blocks.  I've got the background cut for the last block, but don't have the focus fabric cut yet.  The last block should get finished this weekend.  Then I can play with layout and sashing options for the whole set.  Maybe I'll actually get this year's Rainbow Scrap Project finished before I start next year's.  Thank you Angela and Mari for such a fun RSC project this year.  

The other scrappy project sharing design wall space with the Squared Away blocks is my 2014 RSC projected, the Inverted Star blocks. 

Inverted Star:  Center blocks by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download.  Setting by Kate

The scrappy sawtooth stars for the next border have been moved here and there on the design wall this week, but a final layout did finally come out of all the fiddling.  I'm hoping to get all the sawtooth star blocks stitched together this weekend.  

Linking up with Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge party and on Sunday, linking up with Oh Scrap.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Finally a Finished Flimsy

We are getting a preview of winter this week.  Lows in the 30's with the high at 50 F for today.  We finally turned the heat on yesterday afternoon to avoid waking up this morning to a very cold house.  Thankfully we'll be back to highs in the 60s in just a couple of days. 

I got as far as opening the boxes containing my new sewing table.  The insert wasn't included, that will come later.  So I'm leaving everything boxed up till those come, hopefully they will be here sometime next week.

It was a good weekend at the sewing machine, the big design wall is empty again.  The Halloween Mystery quilt has made it to finished flimsy stage. 

Halloween Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

It's not a large quilt, just 49" by 55".  The top was pieced completely from stash fabrics. Not sure how all those Halloween prints ended up in my stash, but it was fun to use them in this project. I finished off the backing (completely forgot to take any photos), pressed and de-threaded both the flimsy and the back. Now the project is ready to send out for quilting. All that's left is to make the binding and the quilt label.  I'm leaning towards "Boo" as the name for the label.  Not very original, but it definitely fits.  

The design wall will not stay empty for long. The plan is to put the Inverted Star project back up and get the star border laid out and stitched together.  That one needs to get done before Christmas.  

Linking up with the usual Monday linky parties. 
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Week 41 of 2018: More Stashing and Stitching

Sanity sewing was right at the top of my to do list this week, so getting in my 15 minutes of stitching each day wasn't hard. 

Plus now that it's getting dark earlier, my sewing room excursions are getting longer, so it was a lot more than 15 minutes each day. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Oct = 13/13 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 269/286 days
Success rate = 94.06%

I'm hoping to finish the year with a success rate of 90%, so I've got a bit of cushion at the moment.  Hopefully I won't need it, but life is going to be hectic the next couple of months with holiday doings and looming project deadlines at work. 

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback last week on the 15 minutes of stitching linky parties for next year.  The linky will go live each Sunday (baring unforeseen Internet issues).   You can link up for this week at the bottom of the post. 

My stash busting isn't going so hot this year. I really need to just delete those Connecting Threads sale emails!  Oh well, it's nice to have a good selection when I'm ready to make a project.  Thankfully, there was a bit of stash going out this week.

Fabric used this week: 0.91 yards
Fabric used in 2018: 34.87 yards
More in then out for 2018

The plan is to finish a few quilts in the next couple of months. Hopefully the borders, backings and bindings on those projects will help up the outgoing numbers and I can meet my goal on the out going side at least.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.

I'm really excited to get up to the sewing room today and get my new sewing table all set up.

At the moment it's sitting in the dining room still in the boxes. But I hope to enlist My Guy's help to get it upstairs. That small box is heavy! 

Happy stitching this next week.  You can link up below to share how you did on finding time to play with thread and fabric. 

1. Julie in GA
2. Meloney
3. maggie f
4. Aileen
5. Jennifer in Indy
6. Christina's Handicrafts
7. Shasta

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: The Dark Side

It's been cold, wet and rainy much of this week.  Autumn has definitely made it's appearance.  On the one hand it's nice, there is more reason to spend time in the sewing room. On the other, the earlier sunset seems to sap my energy to do anything.  

I did find the energy last week to finish off September's dark neutral blocks for the Squared Away Sampler. 

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

I changed up the blocks just a bit from Angela's and Mari's version.  This block would make a really cool quilt, but for now I'm stopping at three.  There has been progress on the October blocks, but not enough to be photo worthy.  I'm deviating from Angela's dark and sage green theme for October by using red-violet for my blocks.  Hopefully, I'll have something to show on that front next week. 

Happy stitching this weekend.  Linking up with Angela at Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   And linking up with Oh Scrap on Sunday.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 Finish Along - Fourth Quarter Projects

We are already into week two of the fourth quarter.  Time flies, especially this time of year. Hard to believe it's time to decide on what projects go on the list as potential finishes for the fourth quarter of the 2018 Finish Along

Out of all the projects on my 2018 Quilt Plan, only three have made it to completed status.  That leaves nine quilts left that could go on the list for this quarter. Out of those nine, there are three that have a good chance of making to to the finished list. 

1.  Halloween Mystery Quilt (new start)

 Halloween Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

The rows have all been sewn together since this picture was taken and the first border strip has been attached.  The second border strip is pinned, ready to sew on.  So this one has a good chance of making it to the finished stage.  It's not on my UFO list, but finishing it will keep it off the list.  That counts right? 

2.  Inverted Star (From Third Quarter Quilt Along list)

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

The center is all stitched together and the blocks for the pieced border are all done. Now to figure out where those stars go in the border and start stitching them together.  It will also need a backing pieced before it can go out for quilting. This is a graduation quilt for one of the Scientist in Training's friends.  The friend graduates in December so this one really needs to get done. 

3.  Christmas Angels (From the second quarter list)

 Christmas Angels  Pattern by Kate

Another project that just needs the borders and the backing finished so it can be sent out for quilting.  It would be nice to get this one done so it could be gifted as a Christmas present this year. 

The top two are definitely doable, not sure about number three.  Maybe.  But since there is no penalty associated with not getting everything on the list completed, I'll add one last project to the list.  

4.  Vintage Dresses (from the first quarter list).

 Vintage Dresses blocks by Charise Randell, Setting by Kate

This was supposed to be a high school graduation gift, but it didn't get done in time.  This quilt also just needs borders and backing so it can be sent out for quilting.  It would be nice to get this one finished too, but I'm not counting on it.  

That's my list for the fourth quarter quilt along.  If all four of them get finished, that will be seven total quilts completed for 2018.  That would tie my best year in terms of finishes. Fingers crossed that I can get that far.  

Linking up with the Fourth Quarter 2018 Finish Along.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

2018 Ambitions: Uneven Progress, The Third Quarter Summary

Way back in December of 2017, I participated with Quilting Jetgirl's 2018 Planning Party by putting together a set of quilting ambitions for the year.  Now that third quarter is over it's time to assess how things have gone so far this year.  

Ambition #1: Shorten the UFO List

If you compare the above chart to the one I posted on the mid-year update, I've gone down by one.  So there's been progress, just not a lot of it.  I'm doing a good job of finishing my newer projects, but not so hot at finishing off my older projects.  I've been pulling out a new UFO a month to work on and there's been a lot of progress on each, but I've just not managed to get many to the completed quilt stage. 

Ambition #2:  Participate in select quilt along/mysteries

 Squared Away Sampler
designed by Mari (The Academic Quilter) and Angela (Soscrappy)
The 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project
I'm actually up to date on this year's Rainbow Scrap Project, Squared Away.  All but October's blocks are done, I just don't have an updated picture yet. 

I had planned to participate in the Meadow Mist Design's Plus Sign Sampler Quilt Along, but the sampler just didn't appeal to me.  So instead, I signed up for the Halloween Mystery quilt along at my local quilt shop.  

 Halloween Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

The Halloween mystery was such fun, that I've signed up for the Christmas mystery as well.  That one isn't on my list, but it uses up stash (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).  I'm also planning to do Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt that should kick off at the end of October with the fabric requirements.  

Ambition #3:  Find 15 minutes to stitch each day.

      Success rate = 93.95%

This ambition is on track.  I'm hoping to end the year at 90% or better. 

Ambition #4: Stash Management
     Purchase less than 5 yards per quarter - nope didn't happen
     Organize the stash - a little progress
     Use only stash fabrics for any new projects - on track

Ambition #5:  Blog once a week
      121 blog posts for 40 weeks = 3/week

So I'm on track here. 

So everything is on track except for finishing quilts and stash management.  Areas to work on for 2019. 

Here's the project progress since midyear:

February Project: Magnolia Mystery - Done


April Project: En Provence - Done


June Project - Red, White and Blue Stars (blocks finished)


July Project - Inverted Stars (border blocks finished)


August Project - Twinkle Star Quilt (blocks finished)


September Project - On Ringo Lake (made more blocks)


So there were two finishes last quarter, plus a lot of progress.  So it's all good.  Hopefully there will be at least two finishes for the last quarter.  I have a graduation quilt to finish before Christmas!  

Good luck with your ambitions for the fourth quarter.  It's always a busy time of year.  

Monday, October 8, 2018

Weekend Stitching - Seasonal Stitching

For a weekend with nothing going on, it was surprisingly busy.  The Scientist in Training was home, deciding on Thursday that she needed a weekend out of the dorm and some home cooking.  Since she had a lot of studying to do, I stitched while she worked on classwork. 

The final clue for the Halloween Mystery quilt along at the local quilt shop came out.  I finished all the blocks and started assembling the top.  

Halloween Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

Not my normal style, but it was a lot of fun to make.  I even manged to finish the 4 applique blocks.  I plan to add a couple of borders to make it lap quilt sized.  As far as a final home, no decision on that yet.  My sister and my niece are both big Halloween fans, so it could end up under the tree so they have something to use for the season next year.  We'll see.  I am hoping to get this one to finished flimsy stage, a back made and get it sent off for quilting by the end of the month.  It would be nice to have another finish for the year.  

There has been slow and steady progress on the Twinkle Star blocks.  The last block was finished over the weekend.  

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Laying out the blocks with the colors along the diagonal works really well.  This isn't the final layout, there needs to be a bit of moving around to address some of the really dark stars.  For now these blocks are back in the project box. As much as I'd like to finish this one off, I have another graduation quilt that needs to be done by December, so the Twinkle Stars need to come off the design wall for now.  I'm sure they will be back early next year.

It's going to be a long week at work, with lots going on.  Sanity sessions in my sewing room are going to be very necessary.  

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

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Week 40 of Stitching and De-stashing

October has gotten off to a calm start after the madness that was the end of September.  Finding time to get into the sewing room was a bit easier, well most days anyway.  

There were a couple of days where My Guy had to stay late at work (we drive together, so we have to leave together).  But even those evenings I got in my 15 minutes.  

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Sept = 30/30 days
15 minutes stitching days/Oct = 6/6 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 262/279 days
Success rate = 93.91%

So it was a another good week on that front.  You can link up below to share how your stitching week went. 

It was even a pretty good week for stash usage. 

Fabric used this week: 1.21 yards
Fabric used in 2018: 33.96 yards
More in than out for 2018

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

Now that we are in the last quarter of the year, performance reviews at work are looming. As I reflect on what got done on the job, it's just natural to look at what got done on the stitching front and start thinking about what do I want to change up in 2019.  The participation in the 15 minute to stitch link up has been pretty steady during the year, so I'll likely keep the linky party going for next year.  But I was wondering if there were any suggestions for changes for next year's linky parties.  It would be hard for me to move the link up date, Sunday morning can usually be counted on to be my down day.  But is weekly too frequent, would monthly be better?  If you have a preference or other suggestions for the 15 minutes to stitch linky party, I'd be interested in your input. So leave me a comment after you link up this week.

1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Meloney
4. Christina's Handicrafts
5. Aileen
6. Shasta

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Friday, October 5, 2018

October One Monthly Goal - Missing the Mark

We are almost a week into the month, so it's time to pick a One Monthly Goal. But deciding on October's One Monthly Goal has been a challenge.  

This is my third year to participate in the OMG and it's been my worst in terms of actually completing the selected goal each month.  I've been trying to figure out why the previous two years I only missed one or two monthly goals, but this year I've missed completing my goal five out of the nine months.  What's even crazier, I've had more sewing time this year.  Maybe I've just been too ambitious on my goal for each month?  Am I working on too many projects at a time, so there's not enough focus on the OMG project?  Probably a bit of  both. 

So this month, I should pick something more limited in scope than I have in previous months.  There are two that come to mind.  The first is to finish all the blocks for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Squared Away Sampler.  Two of Septembers blocks are finished. 

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

The third has been started.  I'll need to make three of October's block, which hasn't been posted yet.  That should be doable.  

The other project that's doable is to finish off all the blocks for the Halloween Mystery Quilt.  This is what's finished so far. 

 Halloween Mystery designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

I still need to complete one more spiderweb and finish off the two bats, plus start on the final block that I wasn't able to pick up till Wednesday this week.  But that's definitely doable.

Of the two, I'm having a lot of fun with the Halloween blocks, so I think that will be the goal this month, to get all those spooky blocks made.  It will be a bonus if I get them all set together (but I'm not counting on that).  Maybe I can focus long enough to actually make my OMG for this month and raise my success rate to 50%? 

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