Sunday, March 31, 2019

March One Monthly Goal: Completed

There's just a few more hours left in March. Thankfully there was enough time today to finish up the month's One Monthly Goal.

The plan for this month was to get the Christmas Angels quilt prepped and packaged so it could be sent off to be quilted.  I just barely managed to get the finished flimsy pressed and de-threaded before dinner tonight.

The green fabric frayed pretty easily.  It took a bit of fussing to get rid of the green strings and the other loose threads from the back.  There was a box in the attic stash that would fit the flimsy, backing and batting.  All that's left is to tape up the box and write up a label.  

Prepping a quilt to go out for quilting is my least favorite sewing room activity.  I tend to put it off for as long as possible. Making it a monthly goal is usually the driver I need to make that happen. I didn't quite take it up to the 11th hour, but it's close this month.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts' March One Monthly Goal Finish Linkly party.

Life in Pieces Week 13 of 2019: Stitching and Destashing

It's been a long week. There's a few changes going on at work that have been uncomfortable, consequently there's been a bit of drama.  Getting in my 15 minutes to stitch each day has been very necessary to maintaining my sanity this week.  

Consequently my stats look pretty good on that front this week. 

15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
15 minute days/March = 29/30 days
15 minute days/2019 = 85/89 days
Success rate = 95.51%

I'm really happy with my success rate for the year.  I'm only missing 4 days of stitching. Not bad for the first quarter.  You can share how your efforts at finding time to play with fabric and thread  are going by linking up below.

The stash report looks pretty sad in comparison.

Fabric out this week = 0.03 yards
Fabric out in 2019 = 17.48 yards
More out than in for 2019

The only fabric out for the week was a Wild and Goosey block.  Those little blocks don't use a lot of fabric.  But I'm ending the quarter with more fabric out than in, so that's looking good too.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

The focus this week has been on my One Monthly Goal, getting Christmas Angels ready for  quilting.  It's been a good project for my 15 minutes a night.  

The dark green frayed badly, so there are a lot of very dark threads that need to be removed from the back so they don't show through after quilting.  I've got two of the five rows cleaned up.  Hopefully I can finish that today to meet my OMG.  

Did you have a great, good or dismal week on the stitching front?

1. Julie in GA
2. Chrisknits
3. Meloney F
4. maggie f
5. di
6. Shasta
7. Angie in SoCal
8. Deana
9. Amanda
10. Christina's Handicrafts

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Slow Progress

It's been slow going on this year's scrappy project.  I've wanted to make a version of Bonnie Hunter's Wild and Goosey since I first saw it.  It seemed like a good scrappy project.  It is, but those little blocks aren't a quick assembly.  So my progress on each month's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge has been pretty underwhelming.  But as it's the last Saturday in the first quarter of 2019, it seemed like a good time to report on the progress so far.  

For March, there's one green block finished.

The darker greens look much brighter up on the design wall.  I've done a bit better with January's red and February's yellow blocks.

Seven red blocks, 2 yellow and 1 green is the sum total of scrappy stitching so far.  I'm still trying to decide on a final layout of the blocks. That's needed to determine how many of each color to make.  Here's the two front runners. 

This is My Guy's favorite.  He likes the warmer colors in the middle.  My favorite has the warmer colors at the edges. 

Either layout needs at least 16 blocks of each color, so I can keep making blocks till I get to that point. At that point, I will have to pick a final layout. Looking at what's been made to date, it will be a few more months before I have to decide between these two or come up with something else completely.  

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and with Oh Scrap.  Happy scrappy stitching this weekend.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

Weekend Stitching: Rainy Days and Storms At Sea

Saturday was stormy and cold.  The Scientist in Training and I headed out for a necessary shopping expedition anyway.  The SIT has a poster presentation over her undergraduate research at a regional chemistry conference in a couple of weeks and needed to add some professional attire to her college wardrobe of jeans and graphic tees.  Plus we have a family wedding coming up at the end of April, so both of us needed dresses for that.  We found slacks, shirt and a jacket for the SIT, plus wedding appropriate dresses for both of us.  That accomplished we had lunch in Tulsa and then drove home in very heavy rain.  

Once we got home, she started on some organic chemistry homework, so I spent the rest of the rainy afternoon up in my sewing room finishing off a few more blocks for the Storm at Sea quilt. 

Storm at Sea
Paper Piecing Class by Carrie Randell (Quilter's Hideaway)

I really love the bright colors in this project.  On Sunday, I finished cutting all the dark blue pieces and started assembling those blocks.  The large diamonds are paper pieced, the other blocks are not.  I still need to cut the fabric to make the purple blocks.  Once I do that I can easily finish off a few more economy blocks that go in the bottom corner.  

Between starting the Storm at Sea and the Daisy Chain Mystery this month, I've lost a bit of momentum on my quilt plan.  Inverted Star was finished last week, next on the 2019 list is the Christmas Mystery quilt.  It's quilted, but needed to be trimmed up for binding.  The trimming got done, as did stitching together the binding strips. I was getting ready to sew the binding on to the front of the quilt, then remembered the label wasn't ready. 

The label was finished, printed, soaked, rinsed per the instructions, and dried.  It's sitting by the sewing machine ready for the framing strips.  The label says this will be finished in March 2019, that may be a bit optimistic. We'll see. 

It's Monday, so there are lots of fun linky parties to check out.  My favorites are Main Crush Monday, Monday Design Wall, and Monday Making.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Week 12 of 2019: Stitching and Stashing

This is the last day of spring break.  We took a few days off early in the week and headed over to Eureka Springs, AR.  Our little rental cottage was within walking distance of downtown, so we walked a lot, ate some excellent meals and did our share of shopping. It was a fun and relaxing trip for all of us.  The Scientist in Training heads back to school this afternoon. We are all a little sad to see her week off come to an end.  

It's always a challenge to fit in 15 minutes of stitching time each day when we are on the road. 

That's why I keep a road ready hand stitching project prepped and ready to go.  

I was able to finish off the middle "body" and then make a good start on the upper wing while we were gone.  At some point I really need to work on this project when I'm home, at the rate I'm going it's going to take forever to finish up.  You can check out some other handy work over at Slow Stitching Sunday

Even with a portable hand project, I didn't quite manage to stitch every day this week.  

15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
15 minute days/Mar = 22/23 days
15 minute days/2019 = 78/82 days
Success rate = 95.12%

Still not a bad week.  My goal is to stitch at least 90% of the time.  So far, so good on that front.  Mr. Linky is waiting at the end of the post for you to link up and share how your stitching time worked out this week.   

Being on the road means there's an opportunity to check out a few quilt shops.  We stopped on the way home from Eureka Springs so we could stretch our legs and I found a place where I could pet some fabric. There were just a couple of pieces that had to come home with. 

I loved this butterfly panel. There are some rainbow scrap challenge butterfly blocks that need a setting. This might be one option to do something a bit different with those blocks. 

This floral border print was also irresistible.  Not sure where I'm going to use this, but I'm sure something will come along at some point. It's too pretty to just let it set in the stash.  

The stash report took a bit of a hit, but there is still more going out of than coming into the stash.     

Fabric out this week = 0.54 yards
Fabric out in 2019 = 17. 45 yards
More out than in for 2019

Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

So overall not a bad week on the stitching front.  How did your week go?  

1. Meloney F
2. maggie f
3. Chrisknits
4. Marti
5. di
6. Mary-Kay
7. Angie in SoCal
8. amanda
9. Deana
10. Shasta
11. Christina's Handicrafts

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Daisy Chain Mystery: Still Mystified

The second clue in the Daisy Chain Mystery quilt along over at Little Bunny Quilts was released yesterday.  

Clue two calls for more 4-patches, scrappy ones for this step. 

My tans are a bit bland.  Hopefully the bright red in clue one will keep the quilt from looking too bland. 

The first two clues look good together.  Can't wait for clue 3!  There's still time to catch up, clue 2 went to together really fast.  Hope you decide to stitch along.  

Monday, March 18, 2019

Weekend Stitching: Finally a Finish

Spring finally made an appearance this weekend.  Temperatures hit the high 60's with lots of sun.  Even better, it's spring break time so the Scientist in Training made it back to town Friday evening in time for dinner.  This is her first trip home since the start of spring semester. It's been nice to have her home, though she's spent most of Saturday crashed out on the couch and then most of Saturday evening working on homework. She'll be home all week, so we've got plans for some fun stuff.  Consequently stitching may or may not happen a few days this week. 

While the SIT was napping there was time to finally get photos of my first finish for 2019.  

 Inverted Star (Second Star to the Right)
 Inverted Star block by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads available from Blueprint 
Setting by Kate, Started January 1, 2014, Finished March 11, 2019

Inverted Star (aka Second Star to the Right) is now finished!  I'm really happy with how this quilt turned out.  The Inverted Star blocks were my 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project.  The Sawtooth Stars were stitched as part of my 2017 RSC projects.  So it took a while to get this one done, but the extra effort was definitely worth it.  

Trudy did a wonderful job with the quilting.  I've haven't washed this one yet, but it's going to have lots of wonderful texture once it's out of the dryer.  Here's how it looks from the back. 

The backing is an older Connecting Threads line that I ordered when it was on sale. It's as bright as the front is.  

The borders were quilted with simple loops. I didn't have enough of the white used for the Inverted Star blocks to make the borders so I had to use another white from the stash.  They match well enough that you have to look hard even when you are up close to notice that the quilt uses two different tone on tone whites.  

The label has been posted on the blog before, but just to wrap it all up, here's the rough copy.  The SIT wrote a very nice note for her writing buddy.  The quilt was intended as as college graduation present, but the SIT decided to wait till Christmas to gift this one. There's a quilt in progress for the other writing buddy in her group. That quilt is on the list to finish before the end of the year, so she'll be able to gift both quilts at the same time.  

So one finish in the books and a second one almost finished.  Not a bad start to 2019.  Linking up with Monday Making, Monday Design Wall, and Main Crush Monday.  I'll also be linking up with the First Quarter 2019 Finish Along once that is posted. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Week 11 of 2019: Stitching and Destashing

Weekends at the end of rush around weeks are so nice.  My big work project for the year had things due this week, those got checked off the list on Friday.  My Guy spent his week overseeing the 5th grade science demos for 16 elementary schools (850 students).  I worked both the morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday, then helped with break down and clean up. The demos are a lot of fun, but it was a mental work out keeping the larger groups engaged and out of trouble during my demonstration. How the teachers handle a class of 26 kids every day is beyond me.  

With all that going on last week, it would have been easy to completely give up on finding just 15 minutes to stitch each day. 

I got home late a couple of nights due to project work and running errands for My Guy.  It would have been so easy to just collapse in the recliner each night, but knowing I have to post my success/failure on this front is usually enough motivation for me to get up to the sewing room for at least a few minutes. It was actually a decent week on that front. 

15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
15 minute days/Mar = 16/16 days
15 minute days/2019 = 72/75 days
Success rate = 96%

So definitely not a bad week, though there were a couple of nights where I just barely made my 15 minutes.  Still I was able to see progress on a couple of projects.  You can share how your stitching went this week by linking up at the bottom of the post.

The stash report doesn't look too bad this week. 

Fabric out this week = 0.71 yards
Fabric out in 2019 = 16.91 yards
More out than in for 2019

I'm doing better on using fabric this year then I did last year. So I'm happy with that.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

On a completely unrelated note, the weather is slowly starting to improve.  It's been nice enough a couple of evenings for some short walks. I took the camera with me on my first walk of the spring and found this guy hanging out down the road.  

My Guy is the birder in the family.  He's identified this bird in flight as a Red Tailed Hawk. This one is half of the pair of hawks that have taken up residence in the open fields east of our house.  It's still pretty brown so there wasn't much else to photograph.  I'm hoping to see more green and a few wild flowers start to pop up on my walks as spring finally takes hold.   

So how did you stitchy week go?  You can share how you did at finding time to move a few projects forward. 

1. Chrisknits
2. Julie in GA
3. maggie f
4. MaryR @UrbanQuilter
5. Marti
6. DesertSky Quilting
7. amanda
8. Shasta
9. Deana
10. Christina's Handicrafts

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Weekend Stitching: Stormy Outlook

It was a fast moving weekend.  It was sunny but very windy on Saturday and we got a nice taste of spring, but Sunday we were back to the chilly temps with a little less wind. We braved the cold temps on Sunday afternoon to set up the annual science demos for the 5th graders in our area.  I mentioned yesterday that My Guy was recognized at a dinner last week for his role in organizing the annual program.  He'll be busy with that this week.  I'm doing demos on Thursday and maybe Wednesday afternoon if we are still short volunteers.  So it will be a busy week.  

While Sunday was spent supporting My Guy's project, I got to spend Saturday doing something for me.  I've been wanting to take a quilt class at our local shop since they opened two years ago, but for one reason or another my schedule just never lined up with any of the offerings I was interested in.  That changed Saturday with class covering making a Storm at Sea quilt with paper piecing. I can paper piece, but I'm always looking for new tips and tricks for the sewing room. 

The email with the fabric requirements came out Wednesday, with the yardages for three different sizes.  I decided on throw size and then played around with color options in Electric Quilt.  My Guy saw one of the settings he really liked and wanted me to make it bigger so it could go on our bed.  I couldn't get the same impact with the number of blocks needed for a queen, so I added borders (including a pieced border) to get the throw sized up to a queen size.  Finally Friday night I was ready to raid the stash for the fabrics.  Here's the final fabric pull.

The white is the background, with the other colors being worked into the blocks so that the colors move across the quilt in bands, like little rivers is what My Guy said.  I managed to get all but the diamond blocks made for both the upper left and lower right corners.  

Storm at Sea, from class taught by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

The set of blocks that are predominately light blue are in the works at the sewing machine. I made some progress on those before we headed out for set up yesterday.  The colors are so bright and look so crisp with the white.  I can't wait to see how the other blocks work out.  

I so did not need another project!  The class was a lot of fun and I'm not sorry about signing up for it. But Storm at Sea is my third new project for 2019. At this rate, I'll never get my PhD.  

I'm not doing so hot on the finishes as yet.  Inverted Star should show up on the finished list by next weekend. I've got just about 20 inches of binding left to stitch down.  

That was my weekend stitching.  You can see more works in progress at these linky parties:  Monday Design Wall, Main Crush Monday and Monday Making.   

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Week 10 of 2019: Stitching and De-Stashing

It's been a busy week with not a lot of time to sew in the evenings.  There were a few days where stitching in the morning was the only way to fit in my 15 minutes for the day. 

Gym time, Ash Wednesday and an award dinner took up a lot of my evenings this week.  My Guy won an award for the work he does as the committee chair of a science program for 5 graders in the area and was also nominated for an award for one of his technical projects at work.  Even with the extracurricular activities, it was still a good week on finding time to stitch.

15 minutes days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes days/Mar = 9/9 days
15 minutes days/2019 = 65/68 days
Success rate = 95.59%

I'm actually doing better at finding time to stitch everyday then I did last year and last year was good.  Projects are moving along, though there are no finishes yet.  Probably because some days it really is only 15 minutes. You can link up at the bottom of the post to share how your stitching week went. 

The stash report looks a bit anemic this week compared to what it has been. 

Fabric out this week = 0.67 yards
Fabric out in 2019 = 16.20 yards
More out than in for 2019

Nothing in, so that helps with the stash reduction part of the equation.  If I can end the year with more out then in, I'll have achieved my goals. Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report. 

So how did your stitchy week go? 

1. Chrisknits
2. Meloney F
3. Julie in GA
4. Mary-Kay
5. Marti
6. di
7. Shasta
8. maggie f
9. Deana
10. Amanda

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Daisy Chain Mystery Quilt Along: Stitching with the Accent

It's been so cold, I was definitely ready to be thinking about daisies and spring, not the cold.  I was in luck, today Alison released clue #1 for the Daisy Chain Mystery.

Which meant combining the accent and the neutral into 4 patches.

All the pairs went under the sewing machine needle seam facing the top, so they would all spin the same way on the back.  I'm making the throw sized quilt, so it didn't long to finish off all the 4 patches.

Now I'm ready for step 2 when it comes out in 2 weeks.  There's still plenty of time to get caught up.  Hope you'll decide to stitch along.  

Weekend Stitching: Contemplating the March One Monthly Goal

We ended up with about an inch of snow on the ground yesterday and bitterly cold temps. With the wind chill it feels like -7 F outside this morning.  Schools are out today, not because of bad roads, but because it's too cold to have the kids standing out at the bus stop.  It would be a good day to continue stitching in my warm sewing room, but work is not canceled.  Bummer. 

Hard to believe it's March with the temps being so low, usually we've warmed up by this point.  Warm or not, it's still a new month, so it's time to decide on a new One Monthly Goal.  

The 2019 stitching strategy is to keep working on those quilts closest to being finished rather than moving on to a new UFO each month.  So I've been trying to pick a one monthly goal that's doable, but moves a project closer to finished. There are actually three project closing in on finished, any one of those would be a good choice for this month. 

Inverted Star is in the binding stage.

I've just about to turn corner number three on this project, so it's likely this one will get done even if it's not the one monthly goal.

The Christmas Mystery Quilt is back from the quilter and it needs binding.  I've started evaluating fabric options for that. There's this striped left over from a previous holiday quilt. 

Or this red.

I don't have enough of the red used in the sashing to make a binding with, but this red is pretty close.  The other option would be a dark green, but I didn't get that far into the stash options yesterday. 

The last possibility for the March One Monthly Goal would be to get the Christmas Angels quilt cleaned up, pressed, and sent out for quilting.  The back is pieced, cleaned up, pressed and already packaged for shipment. 

So I just need to get the top ready to go.  Prepping for quilting is the step I tend to stall on.  I don't mind doing the back, but the finished flimsy always takes longer.  

Christmas Angels
Pattern by Kate

If I make it my One Monthly Goal, it's more likely to get done.  The other two will probably get done without any extra prompting. So that's my OMG for March, get Christmas Angels prepped and shipped out for quilting. 

Linking up with the Elm Street Quilts for the March OMG and the other usual Monday linky parties, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday and Monday Design Wall.        

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Week 9 of 2019: Stitching and De-Stashing

February is over and we are a few days into March. The forecasted wind chill for today is the coldest we've seen for 2019.  I'm starting to wonder if spring is ever going to show up.  I shouldn't complain too much as this is perfect stitching weather. Are you finding at lest 15 minutes of stitching time in an effort to hide from the cold this week? 

It's been a good week on the stitching front for me. 

15 minutes stitching days/week = 7/7 days
15 minutes stitching days/Feb = 27/28 days
15 minutes stitching days/Mar = 2/2 days
15 minutes stitching days/2019 = 58/61 days
Success rate = 95.08%

So far so good on finding time to stitch most days this year.  Mr. Linky is waiting at the bottom of the post for you to share your efforts at finding time to stitch.

There is a good stash report to go along with the good stitching report. 

Fabric out this week = 5.22 yards
Fabric out in 2019 = 15.53 yards
More out than in for 2019

Most of the fabric out is from the backing for the Christmas Angels quilt.  Finishing quilts really, really helps the stash report.  Now to get the back and finished flimsy prepped for quilting so I can take another project off the UFO list.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the weekly stash report.  

My 6 year old lap top has been making horrible noises and shutting down suddenly, then taking multiple reboots to get it back up and running. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it won't reboot.  My biggest concern is loosing all of my stitching time and stash metrics.  So I've been backing up my tracking spreadsheet frequently, but that means I have to track down the solid state drive, hook it up and then wait for the download. Something that's just not feasible every night.  The other tool I've been using is Microsoft OneNote. It's a nice place to back up my stats in a tool that is saved to the Cloud.  I'm using pretty simplified tracking tools in that app. 

Just two simple tables.  To track stitching time, I just color in the box on the days with 15 minutes of stitching time. For fabric tracking, I just add in how much fabric that went out (black) came in (- red).  If I were to loose the hard drive, I have enough info here to update the most recent back up copy of the spreadsheet. I can even update OneNote using my phone.  So now I'm less terrified of loosing my stats due to a computer failure.  You can see the other quilting metrics that I keep in OneNote in this post.  

So how did your stitching stats look for the week? 

1. Julie in GA
2. Shasta
3. Meloney
4. Marti
5. Chrisknits
6. MaryR @Urban Quilter
7. maggie f
8. di
9. Amanda
10. Christina's Handicrafts

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