Monday, November 30, 2020

Fifteen Years in the Making

After a wonderfully restful week off, it's time to head back to the office today.  I'm not ready, but I'll get over it. The Scientist in Training headed back to college yesterday.  She'll be home for winter break in two weeks. 

I got to spend a lot of time in the sewing room last week. The last border was stitched onto the Red White and Blue Stars quilt. 

Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting self designed

It just took 15 plus years to get this project from inception to finished quilt top.  But it was worth the wait.  I'm happy with how the top worked out.  The blocks were started in a quilt shop class on how to make Lone Star blocks when we were in Texas. We made one block in class. Life at the time included a 6 year old, a job working at a manufacturing plant where I was on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, two hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) and a move back to Oklahoma.  Best I can tell the two blocks I'd finished before we moved got put away till 2012. I didn't finish making the blocks till 2018. It took me about a year to figure the final layout.  

I also got a pretty good start on the label last week. 

All the red in the stars makes me think of a red gingham table cloth my grandmother used to cover the picnic table when we went to the lake when I was little. So Picnic Stars seemed an appropriate name for the quilt.  

I have the fabric for the backing, I just need do the final measurements, figure out how to cut the fabric for the back and then sew it all together.  The plan is to tackle that sometime in December. Between work and the holiday prep, quilt clean up and final pressing probably won't happen till after Christmas. Besides, Trudy has her own holiday to get ready for. RWB Stars won't get finished this year, but will be my first finish in 2021.  

Linking up with Monday Making and Monday Design Wall.  

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 48 of 2020


The Thanksgiving holiday was a quiet one for us.  The Scientist in training got to come home for the first time in months. We all had the week off. So we got to spend some time just hanging out.  Naps were a popular past time with the college girl and I got to spend a lot of time up in the sewing room.  Thanksgiving dinner was a very small affair, but the food was good and we had fun.


Having five days off was nice, there was time to get caught up on a bit of housework, get the Christmas tree up and wrap a few presents in addition to getting in a few hours of sewing time every day this week.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Nov = 24/28 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 298/333 days
  • Success rate = 89.49%
My to do list has lots of check marks for this week. Just one more day and it will be December. The next few weeks will go fast. 

How was your week? Did you get to spend more time in the sewing room or less? 

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

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Thursday, November 26, 2020

November One Monthly Goal Complete

Usually we spend the week of Thanksgiving with My Guy's family. Like so many other families this year, we didn't go see extended family and they didn't come see us.  It was just the My Guy, the Scientist in Training and me at dinner todayWe've spent the week at home doing stuff around the house in the mornings, but that's left the afternoons and evenings pretty free for some extra stitching time.  Enough extra time that I was able to get my November One Monthly Goal finished up. 

This month's goal was to get Daisy Chain prepped and shipped out to Trudy for quilting.  The back was prepped last week. 

Most of Tuesday afternoon was spent removing loose threads from the back of the quilt and giving it a good pressing.  

The prepped top and backing was packed up on Wednesday. 

It was mailed Wednesday when I was out making our last run to the grocery store to get a few things we forgot for today's Thanksgiving feast.  Hopefully Trudy has enough time to quilt it and send it back before the Christmas holiday. Daisy Chain will likely be the last finish for 2020. 

Linking up with Elm Street Quilt's end of November OMG

Happy Thanksgiving


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

To DoTuesday for the Week of 11/24/2020

There wasn't much blogging going on last week.  My schedule was just that nuts. Thankfully this week it's much calmer.  Though I didn't post last week, there was a to do list and I actually didn't do too bad. Thankfully I had the weekend to play catch up on those to dos.  

To Do List for 11/17/2020

  • Red, White and Blue Stars: Continue adding borders
  • Morewood Mystery: Work on November Clue 
  • Unity: Add next border, make flying geese - progress 
  • Grassy Creek:  Pick fabrics 

Check marks on three out four of is pretty good. And there was good progress on the fourth one. It was a good weekend for stitching time. I'm off all this week and it will just be the three of us. My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner will be a chocolate cream pie. So I'm off the hook for a lot of the cooking, which means there should be some good stitching time this week.  

To Do List for 11/24/2020

Daisy Chain: De-thread, press, pack and ship

The back is made, cleaned up, pressed and packaged. Now I just need to do the same to the quilt top. Daisy Chain will probably be my last finish this year.   

Red, White and Blue Stars: Add last border

Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting self designed

The skinny middle border is done. All that's left for this to be a finished quilt top is the last border. I have the backing fabric picked out and that should get made before the end of the year. But I doubt I get much farther than that. This project will probably be my first finish for 2021.  

Morewood Mystery: Finish November clue

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs
I'm more that half way finished with the petal blocks and just started on the HSTs. I'd like to get this clue finished before Friday. So I can spend the weekend working on the first clue for new Bonnie Hunter mystery. 

Grassy Creek
:  Start Clue 1

The Scientist in Training helped me finalize the fabric pull for Grassy Creek. She really liked this combo better than the fabric pull using the cooler fabrics. I usually don't go with Bonnie's color scheme or stitch with this warm of a color palette, but 2020 is a weird year. Seems fitting that the last project for the year isn't my typical style either. 

Unity: Finish Step 5 border, work on flying geese

2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

Only one more border strip to attach.  But there's still a lot of flying geese to make before step 5 is finished. Those will be my leaders and enders for the next week. 

Good luck with your to do list for the week. Fingers crossed I can make good progress on this week's list.  Linking up with Home Sewn by Us for Tuesday To Do

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Finish and a Start

It's been two weeks since my last design wall post.  Last week was just nuts, I worked on Sunday and had to go in to work early on Monday. There just wasn't the mental bandwidth to do much posting last week. Thankfully I'm off all this week. I'm hoping to get in some good stitching time and catch up on emails and blog reading.  

Before the work madness got geared up, the label and binding for 2019 Christmas Mystery Quilt was finished.  

2019 Christmas Mystery, designed by Carrie Randall (Quilter's Hideaway)
Started: October 13, 2019, Finished: November 8, 2020

This quilt was started last October. It was the third annual Christmas quilt along offered by the local quilt shop. I didn't do the first one, but did the 2018 version and then last year did this one. The theme for this year's mystery didn't thrill me, so that made it easy to keep with my plan to just start three quilts this year.   

Trudy used gold thread and did a swirly holly thing as the motif. 

This Christmas light block shows off the quilting.  

I'm not sure where this one is going. I kept last year's version to use this year.  This one may go live with my sister. She usually decorates her kitchen with gingerbread men, so this quilt would fit right in.  

That's the finish, now for the start.  Well it's not actually a start, yet. Bonnie Hunter posted the fabric requirements for this year's mystery, Grassy Creek, at the end of last month. I don't usually get serious about fabric selection till the week before the mystery starts. That was last week, so I opened the fabric closet and started playing.  

I'm a cool color person and most of my quilts reflect that preference. Bonnie's color choices this year are decidedly warm.  I don't have a lot of stash in those colors, but I was able to pull together collection that matches her color palette fairly well. 

If I go this route, I'd change out the lighter yellow green for the darker green I used in this second color palette. 

The gray and whites are the same between the two color palettes. All of those fabrics are left overs from previous projects. The red and orange in the first palette are left overs. The dark and light purples in the second color palette are left overs from previous projects.  The first color palette is better balanced across the tonal ranges, the second is less so as the pink and light purple read about the same color density in black and white.  

I have till Friday to figure out the color palette.  So it may be one of these two or I may tweak on it all week and come up with something completely different.  

Linking up with Monday Making and Design Wall Monday. Happy stitching this week.   

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 47 of 2020

It was one of those weeks for me.  Deadlines unfortunately are real things and I spent a lot of time this last week working to meet mine. That cut into my stitching (and blogging) time this last week.  How about you?  Was this an excellent week for you or did life have other plans for your stitching time? You can link up at the bottom of the post to share how the stitching went this week.  

I stayed late at work several nights last week and went in early a couple of days to stay on top of looming deadlines.  That cut into my stitching time this week.  
  • 15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Nov = 17/21 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 291/326 days
  • Success rate = 89.26%
So not a perfect week.  A couple days all I managed to fit in was 15 minutes. This was a week that I really needed those 15 minutes of sanity when I could get them in.  Thankfully I'm off all this week, though I'm on call Wednesday if they need a supervisor on site.

One of the things on the to do list for this next week is to make some Christmas themed face masks.  I ordered some fun novelty Christmas fabrics from Spoonflower when they had their half off fat quarters sale last month. 

I think my favorite is the elves (gnomes?)   The characters on the Nutcracker fabric may be too big for a mask. I may have to cut off a few legs. 

That was my stitchy week. I'm hoping for a lot more stitching time this week.  My Guy and the Scientist in Training have put their heads together on Thanksgiving dinner. It will just be the three of us this year. And we are thankful we can do that much this year. The SIT has been especially careful about contact with others so she could come home this week. Campus is closed for the whole week, which is nice. She'll have a chance to recoup a bit before she ends back for dead week and finals.   

How was your stitching week?  

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

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 46 of 2020

November is half gone, Thanksgiving is a little over a week away. This time of year the days seem to pass so much faster.  I find it harder to keep up with my stitching time as the daylight hours get shorter. How about you, do you find it easier or harder to work in some regular stitching time? 

I bucked my normal seasonal trend and had a pretty good week on the stitching front. 
  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Nov = 12/14 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 286/319 days
  • Success rate = 89.66%
It will be a challenge this next week to work in some stitching time as a major project is due at work and end of year performance reviews need to be completed by Thursday. So there may be a few late nights.  At least I have a week of vacation to look forward to once this week is done.  

How about you?  How are you doing at finding time to stitch?  

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

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 11/10/2020

Last week was one of those weeks.  It was hard to focus on much and even the sewing room was not enough of a distraction.  This week is going to be better, just busy. My meeting calendar is pretty packed for the next 2 weeks.  Even with the distractions last week, there was still some good progress on the To Do List.  

To Do List for 11/2/2020

  • Christmas Mystery Quilt:  bind
  • Daisy Chain: Find a backing fabric
  • Red, White &Blue Stars: Add first border - progress
  • Unity: Finish Step 4, start step 5
Definitely a good week on the progress front. Finishing a quilt is always a mood boost. So what's the plan for this week?  

To Do List for 11/10/2020

Daisy Chain:  Make back, prep for quilting

I've worked out the dimensions for the back in the my quilt notebook.  This will be a very simple back to piece, just sewing two lengths of fabric together.  The hardest part is getting the pieces measured and cut accurately.  The plan is to have Daisy Chain ready to ship out for quilting when Frolic comes back.

Red, White & Blue Stars:  Continue to work on adding borders

 Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting self designed

Two border strips are attached and the next two are cut and ready to add. Hopefully I'll get the first and second borders done this week. The plan is for three borders, but I doubt I get all three done this week. Adding borders always takes longer than I think it should.  

Morewood Mystery:  Make more blocks for November clue

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

November's clue uses pieces from previous clues to make larger units, plus there are more HSTs to make.  I won't get to the HSTs this week. That's OK, I have the whole month to complete this clue.

Unity:  Add next border and make Clue 5 blocks

The next border is a narrow strip of background fabric, so that should go on relatively quickly. The next round of the quilt uses flying geese made from the green, yellow and black fabrics.  I've made a start on the green.  But have a ways to go on getting this clue all finished.  

I've come to appreciate putting together a to do list each week.  Being deliberate about what projects I work on has been a big help in getting projects finished.  Thanks Roseanne for introducing me to the power of a good list.  And thank you for hosting the To Do Tuesday linky party to let us share our successful and not so successful weeks.  

Monday, November 9, 2020

This n That

It was a beautiful weekend, though it was pretty windy yesterday.  I'm glad we did some photography on Friday, the winds did a good job of striping the leaves off many of the trees. It won't be long before the trees are all bare.  

The sewing room saw a bit of action this weekend.  The binding on the 2019 Christmas Mystery quilt is done. But that happened at 10 PM last night, so there hasn't been a chance to take the glamor shots of the finished project.  

Bordering seemed to be the theme at the sewing machine this weekend.

The first round of borders for the Red, White and Blue Star quilt are in the works.  Then I finally finished another pieced border strip for Unity and stitched it to the rest of the quilt.

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

That finishes off the stitching in Clue 4.  I didn't exactly follow Bonnie's directions for the Friendship Star blocks in this clue, but I'm happy with my variation.  Clue 5 includes another narrow border strip and a set of flying geese.  Hopefully, that one will go a lot faster than clue 4 went.  

I'm hoping for a quiet and much less stressful week. Saturday, the single day count of COVID cases in out state was over 4000.  I'm definitely not planning on going any place other than work and home this week. So hopefully that means more stitching time. 

Linking up with the weekly show and tell parties over at Monday Making and Design Wall Monday. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 45 of 2020

It's been a week with a lot of uncertainty on both the public and private fronts in our house.  So it was a stressful week on a couple of fronts. The family stuff got sorted out yesterday to a good ending. So at least that stress is gone. So it wasn't the best week for stitching.  When it gets really stressful, a good book is a better distraction and spending even just 15 minutes in the sewing room just doesn't appeal.  How did you fare this week in finding both the time and motivation to stitch?  

When I'm not sleeping well, rotary cutters take on a new danger and the seam ripper sees a lot more action. So there are some days when trying to force those 15 minutes can take projects in the reverse direction. This week had a couple of those days. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Nov = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 279/312
  • Success rate = 89.42% 

I'm still exceeding my 2020 goal to get in 15 minutes of stitching at least 85% of the time.  Fingers crossed that this week is much calmer on all fronts.  You can link up at the bottom of the post and share how your stitchy week went. 

There's been some slow stitching going on this weekend. 

I've stitched past two corners on the binding for the 2019 Christmas Mystery quilt.  I don't know if I'll get this done today or not. If not I'll come close.  Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy's Quilts

Photography has taken a bit of a back seat this year.  But on our way to pick up take out for dinner the other night, we had to stop and photograph the fall color in downtown.  

I only had my phone with me, but you use what you've got if you don't want to miss a shot. I like all the shadows the lamp light provides, it really makes the leaves just glow. 

That was my week. So how did your stitchy week go?

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

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Saturday, November 7, 2020

November One Monthly Goal

It's the 7th, the last day to link up at Elm Street Quilts with my One Monthly Goal for November.  

Which project do I pick?  The Christmas Mystery quilt only needs the binding stitched to the back. 

It's a small quilt, so it will definitely get finished this month.  That would be an easy goal. Daisy Chain needs the back pieced, dethreading and a good pressing so it can go out for quilting.

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

I don't mind making the backing, but I always stall out at the prepping step.  So rather than pick the easy finish which I feel is almost cheating, I could use the extra push to get Daisy Chain sent out for quilting this month.  So that's my OMG for this month.  

Friday, November 6, 2020

PHD in 2020 Progress

Just two months left in 2020.  The end of the year always just flies by it seems.  As it's a new month it's time to take stock of the progress towards my 2020 PHD (projects half done)

The tracking sheet has been updated again this month, but this time in the right direction. 

There's another check mark in the finished column. Storm at Sea is finished and has been much appreciated as the new quilt on our bed. 

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

Storm at Sea is finish number 4 for the year.  If you just look at the tracking sheet, the plan to finish stuff doesn't look like it's been working that well. Though I'm not where I'd like to be, the year should get better before it ends.  

The 2019 Christmas quilt is currently in the binding stage. 

I just need to finish sewing the binding to the front and then I can get started on the hand stitching to the back.  This will be finish number 5 for the year. 

Frolic was cleaned up, pressed and shipped out for quilting last month. 

I don't know if it will be back before Thanksgiving our not.  But this should be finish number 6 for the year. 

Daisy Chain needs a backing made. 

I did a quick stash dive and came up with this stripe. This has been in the stash for a while. I know it was purchased in Tulsa several years ago, but it doesn't really fit my current quilting style, but it has the same color tones that are in Daisy Chain so it should make a nice back. So now the back just needs to be stitched up, cleaned up and pressed to be ready for shipping out for quilting. Daisy Chain would be finish number 7 if I make it that far. 

The Red, White and Blue Stars blocks are all sashed and the center of the quilt is all sewn together. 

Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting self designed

The borders should go on this month. This one will likely come down to the wire. It might or might not be a finish in 2020.  If I could pull that off, then it would be finish number 8.  

So though I'm not going to earn my quilty PHD this year, I'm still really happy with all the progress that's been made. You can check out everyone else working towards a PHD this year at this months 2020 PHD Link Up over at Quilting Gail's.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 11/03/2020

We are heading out earlier than normal today to get to our polling location when it opens. Even in our small community turn out was high for early voting, so we expect long waits even when the polls first open. 

So I'll need to speed write this week's to do list.  Before I write the new list, I should look at how it went with the previous To Do List. 

Weekly To Do List for 10/27/2020

  • Frolic: Prep quilt for quilting and mail

  • Christmas Mystery: Trim quilt, make label and binding

  • Red, White & Blue Stars: Continue sashing blocks

  • Morewood Mystery: Work on blocks for October's clue

  • Unity: Continue with clue 4 HSTS and blocks

Last week I didn't have a single check mark, so this week was definitely much more productive.  Having a day of vacation and a stitching only day is probably the difference between the two lists. So what's the plan for this week? 

Weekly To Do List for 11/03/2020

2019 Christmas Mystery: Bind and finish quilt

The binding is made and ready to go on. I ended up with another two "tone" binding. I really wanted to use the green star fabric that was used for the sashing for the binding as well. But I didn't have enough. So I bit the bullet and made another two fabric binding. It's a handy "how to" to have in the trick bag. This quilt is relatively small, so it shouldn't be too hard to get it finished before it's time to make a new list next week. 

Daisy Chain: Decide on backing fabric(s)

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

Now that Frolic has been sent out for quilting, it's time to get another quilt ready to go out when it comes back.  I finished this quilt top back in September. But it needs a backing, then both will have to be pressed and de-threaded.  That will probably take most of the month.  This project will probably be the last finish for 2020.  

Red, White and Blue Stars: Add first border

This 2002 Mary Engelbreit print was selected as the border fabric for this project long ago.  It's definitely time to use this up and get it out of the stash.  

Unity: Finish Step 4, Start Step 5

The last border for step 4 is almost finished. I've two more friendship stars to assemble before the border can be assembled.  I had hoped to get this project finished before Bonnie's annual mystery came out. That's probably not going to happen.  I briefly contemplated not doing Bonnie's mystery this year, but decided it has the potential to use up some really old stash. I'll make what progress I can on Unity before the new project kicks off after Thanksgiving.  

That's the plan for this week. I have a day of vacation this week, so fingers crossed I can make good progress on this week's list. You can see more Tuesday To Do over at Home Sewn By Us.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Pieces of Progress

Can you believe it's November?  It didn't really hit me till I had to create a new file folder this morning for yesterday's sewing room photos.  Just a little over three weeks to Thanksgiving! I'm not thinking about it. As much as I'd like to get 2020 over with, I'm still hoping to get a few more projects off the UFO list before we get to 2021. There was good progress on that goal this weekend. 

Red, White and Blue Stars, Setting self designed

The Red, White and Blue Star blocks are all sewn together.  I'm happy with how this quilt is coming together.  The finishing plan calls for three borders. If I can stay focused, this project should be a finished quilt top by the end of the month. It's doubtful that it will get finished this year, but it would be a fun first finish for 2021.  

However, finish number 5 is very likely to happen this month. 

The 2019 Christmas Mystery Quilt (Christmas Time) is all trimmed, the label is made and pinned to the back. It's ready for binding. I should get the binding sewn to the front this week. It's a small quilt, but I may not get the hand stitching done this week. We'll see how much stitching time I actually get. 

Linking up with Monday Making and the Monday Design Wall for the weekly show and tell.  

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Stitching Stuff: Week 44 of 2020

Halloween was pretty quiet.  We put out small bags of candy for any trick or treaters that might be out. There were a few takers, but not  near as many as a typical year. I spent the evening stitching so definitely got in more then my minimum of 15 minutes.  How did you do with finding time to stitch this week?

My stitching week was pretty good.

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/October = 30/31 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 274/305 days
  • Success rate = 89.84%

I managed about 45 minutes every night last week. Yesterday was pretty much a nothing but stitching day, which was really nice. I'll have some progress to show for tomorrow's post.  You can link up below to share how well your stitchy week went. 

The stash report for October is a bit anemic.  
  • Fabric used in October = 2.54 yards
  • Fabric used YTD = 55.73 yards
  • More fabric in than out for 2020
The only fabric going out was for the binding on Storm at Sea  and the sashing for the Red, White and Blue Stars quilt.  The plan is to get a back made for Daisy Chain, so hopefully the stash report will look better for November.  Linking up with Quiltpaintcreate for the Sunday Stash.  

How did your last week of October go on the stitching front?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Chrisknits
3. karen
4. Stitching Loving Nana :)
5. Shasta @ High Road
6. Meloney
7. Jennifer in Indy
8. DawnyK
9. Andree at Quilting & Learning
10. Amanda
11. Loulee (Manxgirl)
12. Quilting Gail
13. Deana

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