Monday, August 31, 2020

Backs and Borders Part II

The weekend was a bit of a mixed bag.  We got to see the Scientist in Training on Friday, but then My Guy got to feeling bad on Saturday.  So we spend a quiet day at home on Sunday. He's still not feeling great and has a fever. With the current guidelines at work, he has to see the doctor and I have to work from home till he's cleared. 

It was a pretty good weekend in the sewing room.  I finished my August One Monthly Goal.  

Storm at Sea was cleaned up, boxed up and shipped out for quilting.  So this is likely to be another finish by the end of September. I used the Frolic quilt top as my back drop as a box just isn't very exciting on it's own. A backing for Frolic is next on the to do list.  

The backing for the 2019 Christmas Mystery Quilt is done. 

This is one quarter of the backing. The center is a dark green (not black)/red plaid, with the red/white stripe along the sides and the holly print at the top and bottom.  Now the top and back just need a good pressing and all the loose threads removed so they can be packaged up and shipped out for quilting.  The Christmas Mystery isn't very large, so that shouldn't take me near as much time as it did to finish the Storm at Sea clean up. 

Unity Step 3 is finally finished and I've made a start on the blocks for step 4. 

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

Yes my step 4 blocks look different than Bonnie's. After playing in EQ, I just like this block better than her version. These blocks are bigger than the step 3's, so I'm hoping these go much faster. But that's still a lot of HSTs.  

So lot's of forward movement, but not the most exciting photos.  The second clue for the Morewood Mystery quilt should come out this week, so I should have something new to post next week.  Linking up with Elm Street Quilts, Monday Making and Monday Design Wall.  

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 35 of 2020

 It was 100 F on Friday, so we finally got some typical August weather.  Thankfully a front came through Saturday morning and that cooled temps back down again.  It's supposed to be a rainy day, so a good day to just hang out in the sewing room. Hanging in the sewing room happened a lot this week.  How about you?  Were you able to work in 15 minutes or more on a regular basis this week? 

It was a good week on the stitching front. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/August = 26/29 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 214/242 days
  • Success rate = 88.43%

It's been a few weeks since my last 7 out of 7 week. My goal for the year is to get into the sewing room for a bit 85% of the time. I wanted to give myself a break on the having to sew every day. Besides the fact that life just gets in the way sometime, it is sometimes good to just go do something else.  You can link up below and share how much sewing room time you got in this week. 

We had to do a car switch with the Scientist in Training. So we drove over to see her on Saturday.  After lunch, we took a walk across campus.  Since Oklahoma State is the agriculture college in the state, it has some pretty impressive grounds with gorgeous and unusual flowers. I pretty much took a photo of every blooming thing, but here's just a couple of my favorites from the walk. (I have no idea what any of these flowers are, just that they are pretty.) 


And these guys in front of the library were appropriately attired to meet current campus rules.  

We had a short, but good visit with the SIT.  Both she and her roommate have busy schedules this next semester, so we didn't hang around for long. 

So I'm hoping for a nothing but laundry and sewing day to begin this week's stitching time.  How did you do last week at getting in some stitching time?   

1. karen
2. katie z.
3. Julie in GA
4. Meloney
5. Quilting Gail
6. Angie in SoCal
7. amanda
8. Chrisknits
9. Shasta @ High Road

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 8/25/2020

 I'm not sure what happened to the last week.  It's already Tuesday again and time for a new to do list.  Except there isn't much new on this week's list as I didn't finish much from last week's list. 

  • Storm at Sea: Finish prepping quilt top for quilting
  • Christmas Mystery: Make backing - progress
  • Daisy Chain: Decide on borders
  • Unity: Finish Step 3, make HSTs for step 4 - progress
I did finish getting Storm at Sea cleaned up and pressed.  That pretty much dominated last week's sewing time.  Which is why there aren't more check marks.  Still, there was one more check mark and progress on the other two items. So overall not a bad week.  Here's the plan for this week. 

Storm at Sea:  Send to Trudy for quilting

I found a box, now I just need to finish taping it all up, write out the address label and get it to the post office. That should be easy.  

Christmas Mystery: Finish backing

The center is actually a dark green and red plaid. It looks black in the photo.  It's been in the Christmas fabric stash for many years. It was time to clear it out.  All the other fabrics that make up the backing are left overs from other projects.  

Daisy Chain: Add first border

Daisy Chain Mystery
2019 Little Bunny Quilts Mystery

I finally decided on the tan inner border. Maybe, probably, most likely.  

Unity:  Finish Step 3, make Friendship Star blocks

Two strips of background fabric are all that's needed to finish step 3. I screwed up on the measurements and had to recut the strips. It won't take long to get those two sewn on.  I've been making the HSTs for the modified friendship star blocks as my leader and ender project. Hopefully, I'll actually finish a star block this week.  

That's a reasonable to do list.  I should get most of it done.  You can find more to do lists over at To Do Tuesday hosted by Home Sewn by Us.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

Random Stitchy Stuff

The weather has been beautiful.  Typically we've had a couple of weeks of scorching hot days by this time.   But that didn't happen this year. It's also been a lot wetter than normal, everything is still green. Normally the fields and yards are mostly brown by this point in the summer.  There is a downside to all this lovely weather, the allergens are a lot higher than normal. So my sinuses haven't been happy.  Thankfully I'm not miserable, I'm just not operating at 100%.  

In spite of the the allergy issues, I did get in a good bit of sewing room time.  But all I have to show for Saturday is the pile of threads in the trash can.  

It took pretty much all afternoon and most of the evening on Saturday to finish cleaning up the back of the Storm at Sea quilt.  But that's done.  I should get it shipped out to Trudy sometime this week. 

Up next was picking border fabrics for Daisy Chain.  I've got it down to two options.  My favorite is the red and black.  

My Guy and the Scientist in Training like the black and tan.  

I'm still contemplating both options. Maybe the red is too bold and distracts from the quilt?  

I decided to let the subconscious dwell on the options for Daisy Chain and moved on to piecing the backing for the 2019 Christmas Mystery quilt. I pulled some yardage I'd like to move out of the stash. 

After playing in EQ for a bit, a backing design that uses four of the prints came together. I've made a start on cutting the pieces, but didn't get to the sewing part.  

So not a lot of stitching this weekend, but three projects are that much closer to finished. I'm happy with that.  Linking up with Monday Making and Design Wall Monday.  

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 34 of 2020

This week went really fast.  Just one more week left in August. Time seems to accelerate once we get to this point in the year. One minute its Labor Day, the next its Thanksgiving. There is lots of stitching stuff I'm hoping to get done before we get to that point in the year.  I definitely need to do a better job of working in my 15 minutes each day.  

I've been a bit lax on that in August, so I need to up my game a bit.   

  • 15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/August = 19/22 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 207/235 days
  • Success rate = 88.09%
I've been averaging 6 days a week of sewing room time this month.  That still beats my goal of stitching 85% of the time, but if I want to move at least 8 projects to finished quilts that's not going to be good enough.  Fifteen minutes doesn't seem like much, but missing 3 days adds up to 45 minutes over the course of a month. It's probably more than that as I usually spend at least 30 minutes in my sewing room once there. Hopefully I can do better in September.  

How have you been doing at getting in at least 15 minutes of stitching time each day? 


1. Julie in GA
2. karen
3. Meloney
4. Chrisknits
5. Sherrie
6. Shasta @ High Road
7. DawnyK
8. Quilting Gail
9. Deana

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

To Do Tuesday for Week of 8/18/2020

 Hard to believe that August is more than half over.  I'm not sure where the last week went.  I did get in quite a bit of stitching time, though I didn't finish last week's To Do List. 

Weekly To Do List (8/11/2020)

  • Storm at Sea: Prep top for quilting - progress
  • Frolic:  Finish borders
  • Unity: Finish step 3, start step 4 - progress

Only one to do checked off the list for the last week.  That's a pretty big check mark as it means another quilt top is finished. There was good progress on the other two items, just not enough to check them off the list.  So those two will go back on this week's To Do List.  

Weekly To Do List (8/18/2020)

Storm at Sea: Finish prepping top for quilting


I'm about half way finished with pressing and de-threading the back of this project.  The dark blue is the biggest problem, the teal and purple are Batiks, they don't fray much at all.  I should have all the pressing and clean up done by the weekend.  

2019 Christmas Mystery:  Make backing

These are the four most likely backing fabrics.  Though I'm not sure there's enough of the holly fabric. The plan for this week is to decide on a backing and get it pieced.  

Daisy Chain - Decide on borders

Daisy Chain Mystery
2019 Little Bunny Quilts Mystery

Daisy Chain is the next quilt on the 2020 quilt plan to be finished.  I had planned to use the rose print as the border, but I'm not sure it really works.  I used left overs from several other projects to make this quilt and don't have anything left from those to make a border.  These fabrics are all much older stash fabrics, bought when I was still trying to find my "style" as a quilter.  I much prefer bold and bright, so don't have a lot in the stash to pick from.  It may take me a couple of weeks to find the right finish, but I can at least start considering options. 

Unity: Finish step 3, make HSTs for Step 4


All that's left of step 3 is the one inch borders from the background fabric. Those are cut and one is pinned on ready for stitching.  I got that far before I finally bit the bullet and laid the SAS project out on the cutting/pressing table.  Step 4 calls for a variation on the friendship star block. The first of two of those blocks are under construction. 

That's the plan for this next week.  If I can get the Storm at Sea quilt prepped and packaged for shipping out, it will be a good week.  Linking up with Home Sewn by Us for To Do Tuesday.   

Monday, August 17, 2020

Frolic Mystery Solved

I'm not ready for it to be Monday.  This weekend just wasn't long enough. I did get to spend a lot of time in the sewing room and made good progress on a few projects.  The first goal was to get the final borders sewn on Frolic. 

That's done. So Frolic is now a finished quilt top. 

Frolic, 2019 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

I'm really happy with how it turned out. Now to get the backing made.  I've got a thought on that, but need to check how much yardage there is. Stitching up a backing won't happen till Storm at Sea is all prepped for quilting.  

There was good progress on the other mystery quilt, Unity.  

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

The sawtooth star border is all finished.  All that's left of step three is to get the 1" background border strips sewn on. The strips are all cut, it shouldn't take too long to attach them.  

Now I need to go get ready for the work week. Some weeks that's harder than others.  But first I'm linking up with Monday Making and Monday Design Wall.  

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 33 of 2020

 It was a very long work week.  I spent Saturday recovering. No housework, no laundry, but there was a bit of retail therapy (more on that later).  I've finally gotten into a rhythm in the evenings and that's been working well in getting me into the sewing room on a regular basis. Have you been able to work in 15 minutes a day of stitching time this last week?  

It was a good week for getting in some regular sewing room time. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/August = 13/15 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 201/228 days
  • Success rate = 88.16%
I didn't get any stitching time in Friday night.  I ended the work week with sniffles and a nasty sinus headache. I spent the evening with a good book and then called it a day just a bit early. 

I woke up Saturday not feeling any better. The headache finally backed off about 9 AM, so I decided to make a quick trip to the local quilt shop. Petting fabric sounded like a nice way to recover from a stressful week.  If you go early on Saturday, the shop is usually pretty dead.  I was the first customer and for the next 30 minutes, the only customer.  I came home with just a couple of new stash additions.

Top Fabric: Timeless Treasures Colorful Math Doodles on Grid
Bottom Fabric:  Clothworks Sunday Afternoon by Jim Ishikawa

My Guy really likes his science face masks, the top fabric really fits that style.  The floral on the bottom I thought would make a beautiful background fabric for a RSC project.  I don't have anything in the works right now, but I'm sure it will work for something later. 

So how was your stitchy week?  Link up below and share how you did at finding some time to spend with needle and thread.  

1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Chrisknits
4. karen
5. Meloney
6. Shasta @ High Road
7. Nanette
8. Nanette Chopin Cook
9. Amanda
10. Quilting Gail
11. DawnyK
12. Deana

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 8/11/2020

We took a couple of staycation days last week. It was nice to hang with the Scientist in Training before she headed back to college, but it was also nice to get some dedicated time in the sewing room. That helped make pretty quick work of last week's To Do List.  

Weekly To Do List for 08/04/2020
  • Storm at Sea: Press, trim, prep for quilting
  • Frolic: Assemble flying geese borders
  • Unity: Step 3, finish sawtooth stars

I kept last week's list pretty short in hopes it would help me focus on getting that backing for Storm at Sea prepped. That worked, though having two extra days off didn't hurt either.  I'm going to try a similar strategy for this week in hopes I'll have Storm at Sea ready to ship out for quilting by the end of the week.  

Weekly To Do List for 08/11/2020

Storm at Sea:  Press and clean up quilt top

Using a white background means removing any dark threads from the back of the top.  This is always such a job, but you get a much nicer looking final quilt. It's worth the effort.  Christmas Mystery is a finished flimsy and Frolic will likely be by the end of the week. This one needs to go out for quilting before I make backings for those two. SAS is a queen sized quilt, bigger than the throw/twin size that I normally make.  I'm just dreading how much work that's going to be. Having two more quilts so close to finishing is helping with the motivation to get this quilt moving along. Since Frolic is a dark background, it won't be so hard to clean up.  

Frolic: Finish adding borders

The quilt plan calls for a finally skinny border of black to float the flying geese.  One of the four borders is sewn on, so just three more to attach.  

Unity: Finish step 3, make Friendship Stars for step 4

The Sawtooth Stars are all made.  All that's left of step 3 is to sew the last set of 10 star blocks together and attach them to the top, then add the plain border strips. Stitching the HSTs needed for the Friendship Stars has been my leaders and enders project for the last few days and I'll continue with that till I finish step 3. I may not get this one checked off for the week, but there should be good progress.

That's my list for the week.  You can find more lists over To Do Tuesday hosted by Home Sewn By Us.  Good luck with your to do list this week.  

Monday, August 10, 2020

Mysteries and Masks

 It's been a nice weekend. On the warmer end of the spectrum, but the sewing room was cool.  The Scientist in Training heads back to college today. School doesn't start till next Monday, but she's got some things to do before classes kick off.  She kept me company in the sewing room Sunday as I finished off the set of masks she requested.  

Mask pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts 

The red one is for the SIT, the newspaper print for one of her friends from the school paper and the rest are for her roommate.  

The rest of my stitching time was split between the two latest Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilts.  The pieced borders for Frolic are finished.

Frolic, 2019 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

The pieced borders turned out nicely.  Just one narrow black border left to add, then Frolic will be a finished flimsy.  I might just get this one done before this year's mystery starts. 

There was good progress on the other mystery, Unity.  I finished the last sawtooth star last night.  

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

I need to sew the last few stars together and then that length of pieced border will be ready to stitch on. I'm almost finished with step 3, finally! 

That's what I've been doing in the sewing room. Linking up with Monday Making.  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 32 of 2020

We took some time off work this week, mainly to hang with the Scientist in Training. She heads back to college Monday. It's been a nice 4 day weekend.  We've done some virtual shopping, went out for donuts, ordered take out from her favorite places in town, and just hung out together as a family.  So it's been a nice weekend.  I've been able to work in a good amount of stitching time as well. How are you doing at fitting in 15 minutes of stitching time each day?  

My week wasn't perfect.

  • 15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/August = 7/8 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 =  195/221 days
  • Success rate = 88.24%

I missed one day this week due to exhaustion.  I didn't sleep well one night and I was just about useless the next day. Thankfully that doesn't happen very often. But what I lost in that one evening, I made up for by getting to stitch most of Thursday. 

My sister gave me a new addition for my sewing room last month. I finally got around to taking  pictures.  

A beautiful new pincushion.  The back is just as pretty as the front. 

It's almost too pretty to use.  It's a bit big for my sewing table, so I'm still looking for someplace in the sewing room to display her.  I probably need to do a major clean up and reorganize.  

How's it going in your sewing room? Are you finding time to fit in at least 15 minutes of playing with needle and thread?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Chrisknits
3. karen
4. Meloney
5. Angie in SoCal
6. Amanda
7. Quilting Gail
8. DawnyK
9. Deana

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Status of My One Word Challenge for 2020: Finish

After almost 20 years of cutting up perfectly good fabric into little pieces and sewing them back together into quilts, I still love doing it. At the end of last year though, my UFO list was eating at me.  I love every quilt on that list, there's not any I don't want to finish. But I am struggling to get quilts off the list.  So for 2020, I decided to give the one word challenge a try. The word you pick is supposed to remind you of what you want to achieve during the year so as you make decisions you move towards the idea and not away from it.  Here's my word for 2020. 

I really want to finish quilts, get them off the UFO list so I feel freer to do new things. Luckily there's some fun linky parties that are making it easier to focus on the getting to the finish.  One is To Do Tuesday over at Home Sewn by Us.  Setting a weekly to do list has helped keep the focus on moving at least one project closer to finished each week.  

I'm also working towards getting my PHD in 2020 with Quilting Gail.  

There's been no change in my report since the middle of July

Only three finishes to date, but also only one start. One of my other strategies that came from the Finish part of the equation was to limit new projects.  There's only been one to date, but I have selected fabric for the Morewood Mystery that started last month.

I've not cut that fabric yet, so it doesn't count as started yet. I'm still tweaking the selection, but I'm pretty sure that 3 of the 4 fabrics will go into the new mystery.  

Lastly the One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts keeps the focus on one project for the whole month.  

For August the goal is to get Storm at Sea cleaned up and ready to send out for quilting. 

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

I keep putting this step off. Cleaning up the top and the backing isn't the most fun on my list of things to do. But if I want the next finish, that's exactly what needs to happen.  I've got the next 2 days off work, so I'm hoping to get a good start on August's OMG.  

The 2019 Christmas Mystery quilt just needs a back pieced and Frolic just needs two rounds of borders added to be a finished flimsy.  That will make six finishes for the year if I can get that far.

So my one word challenge seems to be going reasonably well for 2020 (it may the only thing that that is this year).  Having several supporting regular linky parties certainly hasn't hurt. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

To Do Tuesday for Week of 8/4/2020

August got off to a mild start, it was cool enough yesterday to eat our lunch in the park. That's a nice break from eating in my office.  Though that may be on the agenda today as both of our calendars are packed with meetings.  My office to do list won't see much action, but thankfully the sewing to do list is in good shape.  

Weekly To Do List (07/28/2020)
Storm at Sea: Trim backing, prep for quilting - no progress
Frolic: Finish flying geese for borders 
Christmas Mystery: Add borders 
Unity: Make more Sawtooth Stars 

Check marks by three of the four is a good week. It helped that Saturday was a nothing but sewing day. I'm off Thursday and Friday this week, but we have some family plans so I'm not sure how much sewing time I'll have.  I'm going to keep this week's to do list short so I can tackle the to do item I keep putting off.  

Weekly To Do List (08/04/2020)

Storm at Sea: Press, trim, prep for quilting

This is the current state of the backing fabric. It needs to be pressed, trimmed and folded up for shipment.  I really hate this step of the quilting process. So I'm going to fire up my iron this weekend and get this done.  

Frolic: Assemble and add border strips.

The flying geese strips are all sewn together.  I've got the black border strips cut, I just need to sew them to these sections then cut to fit the top and attach.  That always takes longer than I think it should, but hopefully that will be checked off by the end of the week. 

Unity: Finish 8 Sawtooth Stars

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

I'm really looking forward to getting the last of these stars made and attached.  

That's my to do list for the week. Tackling the SAS backing is going to be a chore, but I can't move ahead without getting that done. So if that ends up being all I check off for the week, it will be a good week.  Linking up with To Do Tuesday over at Home Sewn by Us

Monday, August 3, 2020

Christmas in August

In these days of social distancing, weekends have become pretty predictable.  The Scientist in Training has been home most weekends, it's the only human contact she gets.  It's been a pretty lonely summer for her. We've tackled a few home improvement projects. My Guy redid the dryer vent as we discovered mice were getting into the house that way (no mice since, so that worked).  

I took Saturday as a nothing but play on the computer and in the sewing room day.  There was a good bit of sewing, but there was also a good bit of sewing room clean up too. The clean up is still a work in progress, but now I can at least walk into the fabric closet. Replacing the closet light did wonders for visibility. I vacuumed and put away all the fabrics that got drug out as candidates for masks. I'm in the progress of putting away all the Christmas fabrics as I finally got the borders on the 2019 Christmas Mystery quilt. 

 2019 Christmas Mystery
designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)

The poinsettia fabric worked really well as the border.  It needs a back, but I still haven't dealt with the backing for the Storm at Sea quilt, so it will just have to wait till that is done. 

There was also really good progress on Unity. 

 Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

The third border is finished and attached. Just 8 more sawtooth stars to finish to have step three done.  I may actually get to step 4 later this week.  

That was my weekend in the sewing room.  Linking up with Monday Making, Monday Design Wall and Main Crush Monday.  

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 31 of 2020

August brought cooler temps and sunny skies after a week of cooler, but humid and rainy days.  The first and second week of August are usually when we see our hottest temperatures of the summer. That could still happen, the weather here changes pretty quickly.  But we'll enjoy the cooler temps while they last.  I probably should have done some yard clean up, but I really wanted a day of stitching time. So I spent the better part of Saturday in the sewing room to top off my weekly sewing time.  I'm getting back to a more normal routine so getting in some stitching time most evenings is easier. How are you doing at finding 15 minutes or so to stitch each day?  

My week wasn't perfect.  

15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
15 minute days/July = 29/31 days
15 minute days/2020 = 189/214 days
Success rate = 88.32%

I ended up working late on Friday to finish  up some stuff and the SIT came home wanting to celebrate the end of summer semester with a girls night out.  So I didn't make it to the sewing room.  That's OK, I'm sure I made up that time with all that I got done on Saturday.  

Since it is a new month, it's also time for a stash report.  

Fabric used in July = 2.25 yards
Fabric used YTD = 31.60 yards
More fabric in than out for 2020

A pretty anemic fabric usage month.  I've been sewing a lot, but I've been working on pieced borders for Frolic and Unity and I don't count those until they get sewn on.  August should be a really good month. I'm adding borders to two quilts and should be counting the backing for at least two quilts by the end of the month.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the regular stash report.  

How you are doing at working in some stitching time each week?  

1. Chrisknits
2. Julie in GA
3. karen
4. July Bits and Bobs
5. Sherrie
6. di
7. Shasta @ High Road
8. Meloney
9. Katie Z
10. Amanda
11. Quilting Gail

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