Monday, November 26, 2018

Weekend Stitching With Good Fortune

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family, but it was nice to have the house to ourselves Saturday night and we all just chilled out.  The Scientist in Training had to head back to college just after lunch on Sunday.  She's got three more weeks of class before Christmas break.  Once she got on the road, I headed to the sewing room to make a start on this year's Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Good Fortune. 

All but one fabric was already pressed and ready to go, so it didn't take very long before the first set of strips were cut and ready for stitching. 

I kept the beige neutrals that Bonnie worked with, but changed the red to a purple/violet fabric from the stash.  After a round of strip sewing, more time at the cutting mat, a bit of seam matching and more stitching, the pile of 4 patches started to grow.

I'm no where close to done with this clue, but that's OK.  I won't keep up with all the clues as my schedule is just too hectic this time of year.  My goal is to get enough parts done of each clue so that I can make a few blocks once Bonnie gives us the final reveal.  If past practice holds, it will take me all of next year to get the quilt finished.  

This weekend I was also sewing to another deadline.  The Christmas Mystery quilt needs to be in finished flimsy form for the final meet up at the quilt shop next Saturday.  I finished stitching the last block while spending time with the family, so the blocks were ready for sashing. 

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

All that's left is to sew the top row to the rest of the blocks.  I should be able to get that done and the borders on before the meeting on Saturday.  I'll be stitching up the Good Fortune 4-patches as I finish off that project.  

Today will kick off Bonnie's mystery quilt linky party, so I'll be linking up there and with the normal Monday linky parties:

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Week 47 of 2018: Stitching and De-stashing

We haven't quite recovered from Thanksgiving yet.  We hosted dinner this year and it wasn't till late yesterday afternoon that we were settled in at home by ourselves.  It was a wonderful holiday, but my system is ready for some not quite so rich food.  I'm also ready to get back into the sewing room, I did some handwork while we were visiting, but that was the extent of my sewing time over the holiday weekend.  How did you do on finding time to stitch the last few days?

The handwork made it easy to get in some stitching time every morning, so my week looked pretty good. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Nov = 23/24 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 308/328 days
Success rate = 93.90%

It's hard to use a lot of fabric with hand stitching, but I did manage to use a bit before the family activities kicked off. 

Fabric used this week = 0.43 yards
Fabric used in 2018 = 40.17 yards
More in than out for 2018

I did manage to avoid buying any fabric during our excursion to the local quilt shop, so it was a good week on the stash busting front. Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.   

On the stash organization front, I did do a bit of a sewing room clean up before the holiday got kicked off. 

Now all the left over bits and pieces from the Halloween and Christmas Mystery quilts have been cut down and stored with the other scraps.  There is quite a collection of strips in some of those bags, the plan for 2019 is to get some of the scraps in these bags moved into a quilt.  

For those in the US, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now, how well is your stitching time faring with all the other competing activities that are par for the course this time of year?  

1. maggie f
2. Aileen
3. Marti's Plain Stitches
4. Kathleen Mary
5. Christina's Handicrafts

Monday, November 19, 2018

Weekend Stitching: More Mystery Making

It was a quiet weekend, which I was more than ready for. Work has been a zoo and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down any time soon.  I'm off this all this week and am looking forward to the down time.  Saturday we ran some errands in Tulsa, had lunch with the Scientist in Training and her room mate.  The SIT only has two days of classes this week, we'll see her sometime Tuesday afternoon.  She's looking forward to a slight break before the madness of finals. She and I have made plans for some serious do nothing time accompanied with the occasional glass of wine over the holiday.   

The only sewing this week was on the Christmas Mystery quilt. 

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

Most of the squares in the stocking come from the scrap bin.  This was a very fun and easy block to make. It was easy and fun on top of using up some odds and ends from the scrap bin.  

One of the goals of the mystery is to introduce new techniques to everyone, so the second block was paper pieced.  

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

I've done a lot of paper piecing (Vintage Dresses) so this block was pretty easy.  I was surprised by the number of quilters at the shop who had never tried paper piecing.  The last block and the quilt setting was handed out Saturday.  I'm contemplating adding one more row and another column of smaller blocks to one side to keep the proportions.  Or I may just put it together as is.  

The other stitching relating activity has been trying to come up with a quilt that will work on our bed.  The quilt on there now is almost 9 years old and I'm ready for a change.  My Guy really likes batiks and has requested anything new use just batiks.  I've not found a pattern I like, but I've been playing around in EQ.  

This one is simple and includes a lot of brights, which is another of My Guy's requirements. Black seems a bit stark, a dark navy or dark green might be a better option for the background.  Here's the second contender. 

My Guy likes this second one better. it needs some additional work on the borders, but it's a good start.  I'd like to try controlled scrappy, using squares of similar color families to make the blocks.  Not sure I'm sold on either mock up as yet. As I'm still trying to work through UFOs, there is certainly time to decide on something else completely.  

Linking up with the normal Monday morning show and tell parties.  

Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall 
BOMs Away 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Week 46 of 2018: Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been a weird week. We started the work week with snow.

We ended up with just a couple of inches.

The kids still had school, though the Scientist in Training's physics test did get postponed.  It just seems awfully early for us to have a round of the cold, wet stuff.  

It's Sunday, so it's time to reflect on how well the quilty stuff went this week.  

Including how much stitching time I got in.  Finding even just 15 minutes a night keeps projects moving and usually if I can get myself up to the sewing room it turns into much longer.  That was definitely the case this week. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Nov = 16/17 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 301/321
Success rate = 93.77%

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, it will be harder to get in some stitching time all 7 days, there is always a lot of stuff going on that week.  You can link up below to share how your efforts with time management went this week. 

The stash report is pretty typical of my stitching efforts lately. 

Fabric used this week = 0.22 yards
Fabric used in 2018 = 39.74 yards
More in than out for 2018

Some out with none in is still a good week for me, especially the "none in" part. Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report linky party.

It's supposed to be cold and windy today, so it's going to be a good day to hang out in the sewing room.  Before I can get to that, mount laundry has to be at least partially scaled. 

How did you efforts at finding time to stitch work out last week?

1. maggie f
2. Meloney
3. Connie
4. Marti's DIY
5. Mary-Kay
6. Julie in GA
7. Aileen
8. Christina's Handicrafts

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Stitching: A Sewing Room Break

I'm very lucky that My Guy is very supportive of my quilting obession hobby, but he's been wistfully noting that we've not gone anywhere in awhile (he has what his mother called itchy feet).  So we tested our empty nester wings, took a couple of days off work, rented a cabin and ventured out to the Beaver's Bend Folk Festival  and Craft Show over the weekend.  The music was really good and the park was beautiful.  

It was very close to peak color, with the cold that seeped in overnight, what's left of the leaves will be gone.  But the leaves were gorgeous over the weekend.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

And my most favorite shot of the weekend.  

Now that I've got that out of my system, lets talk quilty stuff.  There's not much on that front.  We were gone all weekend, so there wasn't a lot of time in the sewing room.  I'm still stitching down the second wreath for the Christmas Mystery Quilt.  I did finish off last week's block before we left. 

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

After messing with Ruldophs antlers, this block was a breeze.  Here's all the blocks we've done so far.

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

This is going to be a fun quilt when it's all together.  I did make it back to town just in time to stop by the LQS on our way home to get the two blocks for this week.  I hope to make a start on those tonight.  

The only other sewing related thing that happened before we left town was selecting my fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt along that starts a week from this Friday. 

I wasn't a fan of the red and orange, so I changed those out for magenta and black.  I'm going scrappy with the neutrals.  Hopefully these will all play well together.  

Linking up with the usual Monday parties, you can check those out here:

Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Week 45 of 2018: Stitching and De-stashing

It's November and winter seems to know that its time has come.  A record low was recorded at the Tulsa airport yesterday morning.  Glad I was tucked up on the couch cuddling under quilt with a warm cup of coffee, with no where I had to be yesterday. 

It's also Sunday, which means it's time to assess how well the stitching and de-stashing are going. 

First the state of the stitching for the week:

15 minutes stitching days/week = 6/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Nov = 9/10 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 294/314
Success rate = 93.63%

Time change has really been messing with my sleep and there was just one day that going to bed was preferable to doing any stitching. I've still managed to get in some stitching more than 90% of the time, so that goal is still on track.  You can share how well you did on finding time to stitch at the bottom of the post, Mr Linky is all set up.

The stash management for 2018 hasn't been so good.  That's been off track for months now. 

Fabric used this week = 0.88 yards
Fabric used in 2018:  39.52 yards
More in than out for 2018

Still there was a bit more going out with nothing new coming in.  That's a good week on the stash management front these days. Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

I've been doing a bit of hand stitching this week, trying to get caught up with the Christmas Mystery blocks.

This is peak at the second Dresden Plate wreath.  The inner circle is all stitched down, but I just started on the outer fan blades.  Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday. I hope to make a bit more progress today.  

So how did you do on finding time to stitch this week?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Meloney
3. maggie f
4. MartiDIY
5. Aileen
6. Shasta

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November Plans - The One Monthly Goal

The One Monthly Goal hasn't gone so well for me this year. I've gone from being wildly successful with OMGs the previous two years, to missing the mark more often then not this year.  Due in part to trying to finish a UFO each month and then not having the stitching time to do it.  Work has been a bit more nuts this year than the previous two.  So the key to being successful is not being over ambitious when setting my November One Monthly Goal

So what's likely to get done?  We'll have a lot of family stuff the week of Thanksgiving, so I won't have as much time to stitch as normal that week.  And we have some commitments this weekend that will impact my stitching time.  So the goal for this month needs to be a pretty small one.  There are two projects in the queue that are closed to being finished.  The first is the Halloween Mystery quilt (BOO!).  

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

It needs a label and the binding pieced then sewn down. That's doable.  

The second and probably higher priority is to get Inverted Star finished.  

Inverted Star block by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download, setting by Kate

It needs a backing pieced and then both have to be prepped so it can go out for quilting.  Piecing the backing is probably doable.  Cleaning off the loose threads from the back of the top and getting it all pressed is going to take some time.  That's going to be a tall order when I've got two weekends with limited sewing room time.  

So looking at the time available, I'm going to go for getting a back pieced for Inverted Star as my one monthly goal.  If I can get it prepped for quilting and out the door even better.  But I honestly do not think I'll get that far.

Linking up at Elm Street Quilts for the November One Monthly Goal.  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekend Stitching: Second Star to the Right and Other Stories

It was a good weekend for recharging.  Too windy and cold to do much outside, it was a nice excuse to spend most of the weekend sewing.  Though I did manage to tame Mount Laundry and even made a run to Goodwill which decluttered one corner of the bedroom.

One thing I've learned this year is that pulling out a project a month will not help me finish off my UFOs.  It does move projects along, but not all projects can be finished in a month. I did better on finishes last year when I set priorities and stuck with a project till it was done. So as I put my goals together for next year, that will be the plan.  Inverted Stars is the first one this year I've done that with (The fact that it's a graduation gift and needs to be finished just after Christmas pretty much forced the issue).  The final plain border has been added, so it's now a finished flimsy.

Inverted Star block by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download, setting by Kate
I'm really happy with how this one worked out.  This is for one of the Scientists in Training's friends who will be graduating from college in December.  The SIT and I agreed on "Second Star on the Right" as the name for this quilt since her friend will soon be heading out on her own to pursue her dreams of being a screen writer (with an accounting degree as her safety net).  Next step is to figure out a back.  

The other goal this month has been to keep up with the clues for the Christmas Mystery quilt.  I've finished two thirds of clue two and all of clue three. 

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

The second wreath is still being stitched to the background, but Rudolph is finished.  Those antlers took forever as I kept putting the pieces together in the wrong order.  The seam ripper got a good work out with that block.  I've made a start on this week's clue, but it's still mostly in pieces at the sewing machine. 

That's it for me this week.  Linking up with the typical Monday show and tell linky parties. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Week 44 of Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been a nice relaxing weekend, much needed after the madness of work last week.  I've taken advantage of the cold, windy, and wet weather to just hang out in the sewing room. It's been easy to get in my 15 minutes of stitching the last couple of days. 

But that wasn't true earlier in the week.  I missed a day (work stuff was the priority). 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 6/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Oct = 29/31 days
15 minutes stitching days/Nov = 3/3 days
15 minutes stitching days/2018 = 288/307 days
Success rate =93.81%

There are just going to be weeks like that unfortunately. My goal was to hit 90% and I'm still on track there. 

On the stash front there is a bit out but nothing in. 

Fabric used this week = 0.37 yards
Fabric used in 2018 = 38.64 yards
More in than out for 2018

That's a good week for me.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

With the madness at work, it's been nice to have a bit of slow stitching going on.  

The Christmas Mystery Quilt has two Dresden Plate blocks that I'm hand appliqueing to the background.  I'm not a huge fan of applique, my machine never seems to handle it well (or maybe it's my machine skills that don't handle it well).  I'm finding that I don't mind a bit of hand applique.  It's slow going, but it's not too bad.  They'll be done before the rest of the blocks are finished. Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday

If you are keeping track of how much time you manage to fit in your stitching during the week, please link up below.  

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

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Squared Away Isn't Yet

Weekends are so very necessary.  I was certainly glad to see Friday roll around this week.  It's performance review season at work.  We had a compressed schedule this year, two weeks to meet with personnel, complete performance summaries and write feedback.  The deadline was the 31st, I didn't get to bed till early morning on the first of November.  I'm so glad that's over for another year! 

Consequently, there hasn't been a great deal of stitching this week.  I'm still working on getting the final borders on the Inverted Star quilt.  However, the last of the planned blocks for Squared Away did get finished. Here's all of my versions up on the design wall. 

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

I made a first attempt at a layout, but it's obvious I need to spread out those orange and yellow blocks a bit more.  The on point setting works for me, I'll play with a straight setting before making a final plan.  Sashing will definitely be involved, I'm just not sure what color to use.  So that has to be worked out too.  It was a fun project for the year.  Now to decide what's on tap for next year.  I'm looking forward to the dithering.  

Linking up with Soscrappy today and with Quilting is More Fun that Housework on Sunday.