Monday, July 29, 2019

The July One Monthly Goal and Other Stitchy Stuff

Hard to believe the end of July is almost here.  It's been another busy month on both the work and home front. We've not been home much so plans to complete the July One Monthly Goal have been on hold for several weeks. 

I finally bit the bullet and ironed the 7 yards of backing fabric, figured out how to piece the back, cut the lengths and stitched it together. 

The light blue check matches up nicely with the blue in the Vintage Dresses borders. 

So the July OMG is finished just in time to figure out what's the OMG for August.

I didn't post last Monday due to the business trip to St. Louis and New Orleans. I just couldn't get my act pulled together to get a post written before I left town.  So there's been a bit of progress on a couple of other projects over the last two weeks.  The second round of borders for Storm at Sea is one accomplishment.

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

Next is a narrow white border, then the pieced border, another narrow white border and finally a wider dark blue final border. So there is still quite a bit of work left to do on this project.

Kevin released clue 2 of the Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt last Thursday.  More 4-patches in color number 2. 

My initial color choices were blue and brown. But the more blue 4-patches I made the less I liked the brown with them.  I have lots of yellow scraps, so made a last minute substitution.  I'm so glad I did.  Here's the progress with the blue 4-patches.

This scrappy quilt needs lots of 4-patches, but they are easy to make.  I'm not caught up on this mystery, but that's OK.  I'm just moving along at my own pace. It will get done eventually.  

That covers the stitchy stuff going on in my sewing room.  Linking up with Monday Making and the July One Monthly Goal. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Work 30 of 2019: Stitching and Stashing

The week started with a business trip and ended with some much needed yard work.  So it's been another busy week where stitching just didn't happen a couple of days.  Hopefully you had better luck finding 15 minutes to stitch each day this week. 

The week wasn't a total loss for me, but I did miss the two days I was on the road. 

15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
15 minute days/July = 24/27 days
15 minute days/2019 = 182/208 days
Success rate = 87.50%

My plan for today is an almost nothing but sewing day today.  I do have to run a couple of loads of laundry this morning.  I'll do that while I'm trying to get caught up on blog reading and replying to comments.  I've gotten very behind on both.  There really aren't enough hours in the day, so something has to give.  After spending most of my day on the computer at work, I would just rather sew in the evenings then spend time on the computer.  I've tried to spend a few evenings on the computer and I end up nodding off in the recliner. Even worse, I find my proof reading isn't very good under those conditions and some of you have seen at least partial nonsensical comments as a result.  

On the stash management front, I did my bit to support my local quilt shop.  I completely forgot to get photos, but it was mostly fat quarters to replenish some rainbow stash colors I just don't have much of.  So the stash took a hit, but it's also important to support the local shop.  There is a bit going out, but not much. 

Fabric out this week = 0.40 yards
Fabric out for 2019 = 29.94 yards
More fabric in than out

The sewing plan today includes making the back for Vintage dresses, so there should be a good amount going out for next week. 

If you've followed my blog for a bit, you know that I like Excel and track all kinds of quilty things in my spreadsheet.  A few years ago I put together a quilt map using Microsoft Publisher.  What's a quilt map?  It's a visual record in one file of all the quilts I've worked on.  Here's page one of my quilt map with all the quilts started from 1987 to 2008.  

The red stars indicate quilts that aren't finished yet.  The map had to be rebuilt recently, it quit working with the change to a new computer.  During the rebuild, I started wondering what my percent completion rate was for each year.  So of course that result in another Excel graph. 

All the quilts started prior to 2005 are finished.  In general, I'm starting more quilts now than when I started stitching again in 2001.  In 2013, I participated in Cat Patches NewFO challenge, so I started one quilt a month that year.  Obviously, I did really well with the starts, but not so hot with the finishes.  My oldest UFO is from 2005.  It's on the to be finished list this year. We'll see if that happens, I just haven't gotten that far.  Other than what's been started this year, at least 40% of the starts from previous years have been completed.  At total of 83 quilts have been started since 1987 and 58 are finished. So that's a 70% completion rate.  That's really not too bad.  

Working in those 15 minutes a day in the sewing room is intended to help with the completion rate and it has.  How did your stitchy week work out?

1. Julie in GA
2. karen
3. Chrisknits
4. Meloney
5. Angie in SoCal
6. Amanda

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Week 29 of 2019: Stitching and De-Stashing

With all the heat advisories, this was a perfect weekend to just stay in and stitch.  Unfortunately, that hasn't been my plan for the weekend, well really not for the whole week.  It's been another challenging one on the finding 15 minutes to stitch most days.  Hopefully it's been easier to find time to play in your sewing room this week.

Work took up several evenings this week.  It was hard to make the trek up the stairs to the sewing room a couple of nights, but I did manage to eek out 15 minutes each night. 

15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
15 minute days/July = 19/20 days
15 minute days/2019 = 177/201 days
Success rate = 88.06%

Lack of sewing machine time makes for an anemic stash report. 

Fabric out this week = 0.38 yards
Fabric out for 2019 = 29.54 yards
More fabric in than out

At least there is a bit out, that beats the nothing out from last week. 

There's a new mystery quilt along starting up this month, the Mosaic Mystery Quilt along over at Meadow Mist Designs.

This will be the 4th Meadow Mist Designs mystery quilt along I've done.  It's one clue a month, so that works in my schedule.  Cheryl's directions are always so clear and she makes it easy to pick a good fabric combination.  Here's my fabric selection for the quilt along.

The neutral on the left is the background and the purple will be the border (unless I have enough of the butterfly fabric).  The gold at the top is a left over from a previous project. The butterfly print and the dark purple are from the stash.  I have no idea how old either is. It will be good to get both out of the stash and into a project. If Cheryl follows past practice, August's clue will be the cutting instructions. So there's plenty of time to play along if you are looking for a project to use up some stash.    

I'm off on a business trip this week, thankfully it's only two days. That should be it for work related travel this year.  I'm ready for things to slow down a bit. I'm hoping for a nothing but sewing day next Sunday.  We'll see how that goes. 

So how well did you manage your stitching time this week? 

1. Julie in GA
2. Pack Rat With a Plan
3. karen
4. Meloney
5. Chrisknits
6. Amanda
7. Shasta
8. Deana
9. Christina's Handicrafts

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Odds and Ends Stitching

Not ready for it to be Monday.  We've been gone at least part of the last two weekends, so mount laundry needed to be worked down to hill size this weekend.  Plus a few household chores really needed to get done.  I did get in a fairly solid afternoon of stitching on Sunday.  

I've found the backing for Vintage Dresses, but it needs to be pressed.  I just wasn't up for that.  The sewing room is on the northwest corner of the house, so it gets pretty warm in there in the afternoons and spending much time with the iron just isn't pleasant.  Sitting at the sewing machine was a much cooler option. 

So I made progress on three other projects.  The green and dark blue blocks are for the pieced border on Storm at Sea.  There are three "sizing" borders before the pieced one and I've gotten a good start on adding border number two. 

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

The first border is white, the second is the dark blue. There will be one more skinny white border before the pieced border goes on.  Hopefully by the time I get to that point, I'll have all the blocks ready to go.  

Strip sets and 4-patches for the Simply Sensational Scrappy Summer Quilt were also in the works.  I'm up to about 20 blocks there. 

 Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt
Designed by Kevin the Quilter 

The mystery calls for 240, so I've got a ways to go.  This project is definitely making a dent in my blue strips. It seems I have a lot of blue scraps in terms of yardage, but not in diversity.  I've not raided the fat quarter drawer yet. That's probably on tap this week when I don't have as much time to stitch in the evenings, then I'll be ready to stitch up a few more next weekend.   

The third set of blocks are for my rainbow version of Wild and Goosey.  Each block has 13 pieces, so that's been slow going, so no new pictures of that project.  

Linking up with Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, and the Monday Design Wall. I hope to check in on what's up on everyone else's design wall this evening.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Week 28 of 2019: Stitching Stuff

It's been a busy week that went incredibly fast.  Unfortunately there was enough going on that getting into my sewing room didn't go so smoothly.  Finding 15 minutes to stitch each day was definitely a challenge. Hopefully your week was more productive on that front. 

Work came home one night, so it was hard to work in some stitching time while working to meet a deadline.  Consequently, it wasn't a perfect week on the sewing front. 

15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
15 minute days/July = 12/13 days
15 minute days/2019 = 170/194 days
Success rate = 87.63%

Not a bad week, but not a stellar one either.  There was no fabric usage this week, I did lots of cutting and playing in the stash closet, but nothing made it into a finished block, so I'm passing on the stash report this week.  I promised a photo of the fabrics that came home with me last week, so here's that:  

Really cool and pretty fabrics for a chemistry person don't you think?  I love the periodic table fabric, but the colorful beakers and flasks are a really close second. When the Scientist in Training got a glimpse, her response was, "So when do I get this quilt?".  I didn't even think to look which fabric line(s) these were from , so if you want to know the source, leave a comment and I'll email you that info.  

One other reason for the poor showing on the fabric usage front is that this week was our 27th wedding anniversary.  My Guy and I took each other out for a 7 course dinner on Friday coupled with an overnight stay in a new hotel that's opened in downtown Tulsa.  (The dinner featured wine pairings with each course, needless to say that hour drive home just wasn't wise).  To top that off, I got flowers.  Which of course meant that I had to play with the new macro lens.  

Here's a better view of the bouquet. 

Yellow roses are my favorite and were in my bridal bouquet. My Guy did well didn't he?  

That was how my 28th week of 2019 went. How did your stitchy week go?  You can link up below and share adventures with needle, thread and fabric.

1. Chrisknits
2. Pack Rat With a Plan
3. karen
4. Meloney
5. Shasta
6. Amanda
7. Christina's Handicrafts
8. Deana

Saturday, July 13, 2019

2019 Finish Along: Third Quarter Ambitions

Monday will mark the half way point in July.  Seems this month is going just as fast as the rest of the year has gone.  So fast that it's hard to believe it's time to select a set a few projects that might just get finished before the end of the September as part of the 2019 Finish Along. 

I have a quilt plan for the year.  The three quilts for first quarter are done, but none of the quilts planed for second quarter finishes are off the list yet.  So those are a good place to start for third quarter. 

1.  Vintage Dresses

 Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

The borders are on, so the next step is to piece the back and get it ready for quilting.  This quilt is likely to get done before September. 

2.  Red, White and Blue Stars

 Red, White and Blue Stars

This quilt needs to have the setting strips cut and pieced, plus add the borders. I'm not sure this one will be done, but I hope to at least make progress on it sometime this quarter. 

3.  Twinkle Stars

Twinkle Stars
Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

This quilt just needs the blocks sewn together.  I'm not sure yet if there will be borders or not. Actually this one probably needs to put ahead of the RWB stars as this one is supposed to be a Christmas gift for one of the Scientist's in Training's friends. So it needs to get done before December. 

I've not been faithfully following my quilt plan and have a couple of unplanned starts that just need borders, so they might actually get finished before number two and number three above. 

The first of those is Storm at Sea.

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

The borders are already in progress for this one, so it's likely to get done before the end of the quarter. 

Another "off plan" project is the Daisy Chain Mystery quilt.

Daisy Chain Mystery
2019 Little Bunny Quilts Mystery
by Alison of Honey, Bunny & Doll Designs

This project also just needs borders before making a back and sending it out for quilting.  

That would be five finishes for the third quarter.  Three finishes is more probable.  I'd be thrilled with that.  

Linking up with She Can Quilt for the third quarter session of the 2019 Finish Along.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Finishes and Starts

We had a great weekend visiting with family for the July 4th holiday, but I was ready to be home yesterday.   Since we were on the road visiting family, there wasn't much going on in the sewing room over the weekend. I did get in a good half day of sewing last Wednesday before we headed out.  The last of the borders was added to Vintage Dresses, so it is finally a finished flimsy. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I didn't have a lot of time with all the holiday stuff to get my normal staged photo, so I used the Scientist in Training's empty bed to see how it would look.  The side view shows off the border better. 

The binding will be a darker blue to end the theme of successive darker blues in the border.  I'm really happy with how this project turned out.  Now to get the backing made and prep the quilt to go out for quilting. I dread the prepping part. There will be lots of clean up on the back to be sure no threads show through to the front.

That's the finish for last week.  I gave into temptation and started a new project last Wednesday.  Kevin The Quilter started a scrappy mystery quilt along.  

The quilt along uses two colors of scraps. After looking at my bulging bag of 2.5" strips, it was pretty obvious that getting some of those strips into a quilt would help my storage situation.  Brown and blue were two of the biggest piles. So that's what I started with. 

It didn't long to whip up a few 4 patches from these strips. 

These 4 patches work up pretty quickly.  The next clue doesn't come out till the end of July, so I should be able to finish off most of this clue before the next one comes out.  

Linking up with the usual Monday show and tell posts. 

Monday Making
Monday Design Wall
Main Crush Monday

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Week 27 of 2019: Stashing and Stitching

It's been a busy 4th of July weekend.  We've spent the holiday with family, which has been really relaxing and fun.  My niece has a new beau who hadn't been exposed to the whole family at once, we fixed that over the holiday. As far as I know, he survived. 

It's been a challenge to fit in some stitching time here and there, but it turned out to be a pretty good week in terms of getting in my 15 minutes of stitching time each day.  How did you do?

Here's my stats for the week:

15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
15 minute days/June = 22/30 days
15 minute days/July = 6/6 days
15 minute days/2019 = 164/187
Success rate = 87.7%

June wasn't such a good month, but I'm working hard to recover in July.  Not sure I'll be able to hit 90% by the end of the month, but that's the goal.  You can link up at the bottom of the post and share how your stitching week went. 

Unfortunately the stash management isn't going so well either.  My sister introduced me to a new to us quilt shop.  I found the coolest chemistry fabric that had to come home.  I promise photos next week, I just haven't gotten the fabric, the camera and the right light all in the same place to get any good photos. That new addition pushed me farther into the red this year.  Here's the numbers:

Fabric out this week = 1.24 yards
Fabric out for 2019 = 29.16 yards
More fabric in than out

I can probably recover with two or three quilt backs.  There's still 6 months left in the year.  Hopefully, I can resist any other cool fabric.  

My family usually celebrates my birthday over the 4th of July holiday.  My Guy got me a really cool new macro lens.  Of course I had to try it out in Mom's garden.  

There were lots more blooming things, but I'll spare you the full exposure.  I'm looking forward to playing with this lens some more in the future.  

So how did you do with finding time to stitch over the holiday? Was it hard to fit in stitching with the fireworks, picnics, or other celebrations this week?  

1. Julie in GA
2. karen
3. Chrisknits
4. Meloney
5. Deana
6. maggie f
7. DawnyK
8. amanda
9. Christina's Handicrafts
10. Shasta

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Friday, July 5, 2019

The July To Do List

Hope everyone in the United States had a wonderful 4th of July.  We hung out with family, had my Mom's famous potato salad, and talked about growing up and how not normal we all were (in a good way).  

Now that we are past the holiday, it's time to get serious about what the quilty plan is for July, including deciding what's going to be the July One Monthly Goal

The quilt plan says that Vintage Dresses is next up on the to be finished list.  The very last border has been attached, so it's now a finished flimsy. 

The next step is to pick a fabric for the backing, get it pieced, and prepped for quilting.  That's my One Monthly Goal.  Our wedding anniversary is this month, plus I have a business trip that starts on a Sunday, so it's not likely I'll have time to prep the flimsy to go out for quilting. But that might happen, just depends on how much time I get in the sewing room this month. 

What else is on the to do list for July?  I finally decided resistance was futile and I joined in Kevin the Quilter's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt mystery quilt along

All you need is scraps in two colors.  After examining my scrappy strips, I decided a new scrappy quilt was the perfect way to empty my 2.5" strip bag of blues and browns.

This isn't the whole pile I pulled out of the bags, but just a sampling of the fabrics that make up both piles. The first bit of the stitching is just 4 patches, so that's just easy sewing.  Just pop a couple of four patches in here and there and before you know it you'll have a pile to work with. 

Also on the July to do list is to pick out the fabric for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs 2019 Mosaic Mystery Quilt

This mystery quilt along is on my 2019 quilt plan, so it was a planned new project for this year.  Sometime this month, I'll have to haul out different fabrics to the cutting table and find a winning combination.  That's always a fun activity.  If you are looking for the pick me up of a new summer project, I can highly recommend Cheryl's mystery.  She gives very clear guidance on how the fabrics interact with other in the quilt, so it's easy to pick out a good contrast of fabrics.  Instructions come out monthly, so it's not fast paced, which works with a busy schedule.  Finally, her instructions are always well written.  

The last thing on the July to do list is to keep working on the borders for Storm at Sea, especially the blocks for the pieced border. 

I need 18 of these square in a square and 10 blue diamond blocks. Once Vintage Dresses is out for quilting, Storm and Sea will become the quilt to finish.  

That's a pretty ambitious list for July, what we call a stretch goal at work.  If all that actually gets checked off the list is the progress on Vintage Dresses, it will be an excellent month.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

2019 Quilting Ambitions - Midyear Check In

So the first half of the year is over (wow that was fast).  I just finished performance reviews at work, basically a check in meeting with the supervisor to say what's on track, what's not and how do you get back on track. I don't have a quilty supervisor (thank goodness!), but it does help my accountability to post on the blog how well the quilty year is going.  Back in December 2018, I participated in Quilting Jetgirl's 2019 Planning Party by posting a list of my 2019 Quilting Ambitions.  So what's working and what's not from my ambitions list?     

Quilty Ambition #1:  Use a quilt plan

The last two years I've played along with the American Patchwork and Quilting's UFO Challenge on Facebook. You select 12 UFOs, they pick a number each month and you work on that UFO. I did that in 2018.  And though I made progress on all the projects, I didn't do so well on finishing projects.  So this year the plan was to focus on one project till it was finished, then move on to the next project.  I've used the approach in the years where there's been a lot of sewing to deadlines (graduation quilts) and it seems to result in more finishes.  Here's this year's project list.

Quilts #1, #2 and #3 are all finished.  Quilt #4 just needs two border strips added before it's a finished flimsy.  Looking back at 2018, only one quilt was finished by midyear.  That would suggest that focusing on one quilt from the list till it's done works better, at least for me.  So even though I've not finished six quilts in six months, I'm doing better than last year, so in my book that counts as on track for this ambition. 

Quilty Ambition #2:  Stitch 15 minutes every day

As of June 30th, I'd manage to fit in 15 minutes of stitching 157 out of 180 days for a success rate of 87.22%.  My goal is 90%, so I'm a little off track on that goal.

Quilty Ambition #3:  Sew from the stash

I didn't set any goals for fabric in or out this year.  Out of the 9 years I've been tracking fabric usage there's only been two where I used more than I bought.  The focus here is on using what's in the fabric closet on new projects.  Wild and Goosey is this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project and it uses up lots of those small cut off triangles. 

Storm at Sea uses a teal that's been in the stash forever. 

While Daisy Chain used up left overs from a couple of other projects.

I've added to the stash a bit this year, but not on the scale I have some years.  As of the end of June, there's more in than out, but I'm close to break even there. With six months left in the year, as long as I continue to ignore all those fabric shop emails, there should be more going out than coming in. That would be a success.  


These are those blog based quilt programs the can provide some structure and accountability to fulfilling your ambitions if you choose them wisely and play along faithfully.  

I talked about the America Patchwork and Quilting Facebook group that was the inspiration for my quilt plan.  I'm also working on my quilting PhD with Quilting Gail.  

I'm not doing so hot on that front.  I've done a bit on the finishing UFO part, but you also have to finish all the quilts you start in a given year.  I'm pretty sure Daisy Chain and Storm at Sea will get completed, but Wild N Goosey is going to be a longer term project. I'd say getting my quilty PHD in 2019 is probably a long shot. 

Participating in the One Monthly Goal this year has been going well. 

I've been more careful this year to match up my monthly goal with the time I've got available each month. Work has impacted my schedule more this year than last, so I have to be realistic about what is really achievable each month.  Last year was a pretty crappy year on this front (5 out of 12 OMGs met) and it was demotivating.  It feels much better to have met six out of the six goals so far this year.  

The last motivator is the 15 Minutes to Stitch linky party that I host each Sunday.  

For some reason it's always been a big motivator if I have to post progress on the blog.  Knowing that I'll have to report out my progress on Sunday is sometimes the only thing that convinces me I really do need to get in those 15 minutes. There's been 26 posts so far in 2019 and they've all gone up on Sunday.  Sometimes not as early as I would have liked, but they all got up.  There are 9 to 10 bloggers that link up most every week.  It's motivating when someone else is doing well and making progress.  It's also comforting when someone has a not so successful week of finding time to stitch. We all have those weeks where life just gets in the way. It's good to remember for most of us quilting is a hobby and it's OK to have an off week or a week we just want to go do something else.  So thank you to the 15 Minute to Stitch  regulars, you really do make my week.

So the year hasn't been perfect, but it's shaping up to be a better than average year on the stitching front. That works for me. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Never Ending Borders?

It will be a short week with the 4th of July holiday coming up on Thursday.  I'm taking Wednesday and Friday off.  The plan for Wednesday is a solo quilt retreat in my sewing room.  I'm hoping to finish off the borders for Vintage Dresses.  

 Vintage Dresses
Charise Randell

All that's left to do is add the top and bottom final white borders.  I've got a potential backing picked out, but I need to confirm there is sufficient yardage.  That should happen on Wednesday, if not before.  

Borders always take so much time.  There's not been much other stitching.  Though I did throw the Wild and Goosey blocks up on the design wall to see how those were coming along.

Modified Wild and Goosey
Based on Bonnie Hunter's pattern in Addicted to Scraps

Not a lot of progress. These are labor intensive blocks, so really slow going on this project.  The red and yellow bloks pop nicely, I'm going to have to watch how dark I go on the green and blue triangles, too dark and they merge with the black.  

That's pretty much all that's been going on in my sewing room.  You can see what's been going on elsewhere at these weekly linky parties. 

Monday Design Wall
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday