Saturday, July 31, 2021

Family Photo Challenge: Week 5

The photo challenge for this last week of July was another one open to interpretation.  

Though I like my photo for the week, I'm not sure it really matches the brief. My Guy said yes, so I went with it. 

Kate: Past It's Prime

I really like the monotone tan with the pops of black and magenta. 

My Guy went with texture as the focus of his shot. 

My Guy: Lichen It

The Scientist in Training kinda combined both of our subjects in her shot. 

Scientist in Training: The Neglected Lab Plant

You can tell where the SIT has been spending her time this week.  But finals are over for the summer semester and she'll have time for some R&R over the next couple of weeks.  

My Guy drew the card for week 6 of the challenge.  

This week's challenge seems a bit mundane after death, boiling water, and decay. 

PS: Due to all day long experiments and finals, the SIT got a bit behind on the photo challenge. She did get an image for last week's "Boiling Water" prompt, so I've update that post. You can click here to check it out. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Stitching Stuff: Week 30 of 2021

The last week the typical July weather of high 90 F temps with heat indexes over 100 F finally materialized.  So it's been uncomfortably warm.  My discomfort unfortunately hasn't been limited to the weather. My shoulder decided to act up. The pain was so bad it woke me up Wednesday morning.  So I'm back on anti-inflammatories. That also means I have to avoid the sewing room and reduce my computer time. So my stitching report isn't stellar.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 3/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 20/24 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 175/205
  • Success rate = 85.37%

The shoulder is better, but still tender.  I'm hoping to get back into the sewing room, at least for 15 minutes this afternoon. I'll have to continue to limit computer time, so I'll be slow on blog reading and replying to comments.

I hope your week has been more productive.  Please link up and share how your week with needle and thread went.   

1. Chrisknits
2. maggie f
3. Ivani
4. Julie in GA
5. karen
6. DonnaleeQ
7. Sherrie
8. Andree at Quilting & Learning
9. DawnyK
10. Amanda
11. Shasta @ High Road
12. Quilting Gail
13. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
14. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Photo Challenge Week 4

 We've hit week 4 of our family photo challenge. We struggled a lot with this week's subject.  

I went literal with my attempt. 

Kate: How to Boil Water

I tried to capture the steam over the pan, but our stove top just didn't have the right lighting. So nothing exciting. If you search on pictures of boiling water via Google, there wasn't a whole lot of exciting images there either.  I did try some other things, but they didn't work out so well. I discovered it's hard to pour boiling water while also trying to take a picture of it.  

My Guy decided that "boiling" didn't require the application of heat. 

My Guy: Not all boiling water is boiling

This is from the heavy rains we had last weekend.  It was pretty impressive how big and deep some of those pop up streams were.

The Scientist in Training had a busy week, lots of stuff due on Friday as next week is summer semester finals. I'll update the post if she sends me an image today.  

Update: The SIT is a bit late with last week's photo, but she did manage to capture one. 

Scientist in Training: Vacuum Boil

The SIT is working as a research assistant this summer.  This was one reason why she's late on photos.  This was the end of a 6.5 hour lab session.  

I picked the challenge card for week 5. 

 We did death in week 2, decay should be as interesting. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 7/20/21

The middle of July has come and gone.  It always feels like the last half of the year goes faster than the first half.  Thankfully work has calmed down, but my weekends are going to be pretty full the rest of the month. There won't be much stitching time, so the To Do List will be a bit lighter this week.  First though, here's the progress on last week's To Do List.

To Do List for 7/13/2021

  • Morewood Mystery: Press and prep quilt top for pressing
  • Cabins and Fans: Finish row 6 and start row 7
  • Unity: Make HSTs for step 6 
  • UFO list: Pick a new project to replace Morewood Mystery 

Three out of four isn't a bad week.  Even though there's not a check mark, there was progress on getting Morewood ready for quilting.  So what's the plan for this week? 

To Do List for 7/20/2021

Morewood Mystery: Finish prepping quilt top for quilting

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

I'm actually a little bit farther along than shown in the photo. I've got the first row of blocks pressed and dethreaded.  Thankfully this quilt doesn't use any fabrics that fray easily. It should go quickly.  If I get nothing done this week but having this ready to ship out, I'll be happy.  

Cabins and Fans: Work on row 7

Cabins and Fans, self designed

Row 6 is finished and sewn to row 5 and the first block in row 7 is sashed.  I'm really happy with how this quilt is coming together.  Once row 7 is done there is just one more block that will need sashing and the addition of the setting triangles.  So this project has moved along well. With the busy weekends the rest of the month, I doubt all the rows get done, I'm just hoping for some progress between now and the first of August

Unity: Make HSTs as leaders and enders

Unity: Substitute block for Step 7,  not in the Bonnie Hunter version

The end is in site for Step 7.  Once this block is pieced, just 6 more are needed to finish the last border for that step. Just a top and bottom border after that.  By October, I'm hoping this quilt top will be ready to prep for quilting.  While I was searching for the fabric to finish up the Scrappy Butterfly project, I found the backing fabric for this project.  I've enjoyed working on Unity, but it will feel good to have this quilt off the To Do List.  

That's my list for the week.  Good luck with your list of stitchy stuff for the week.  Linking up with ChrisKnits for To Do Tuesday.   

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Next UFO

It was a steamy weekend, though not as hot as it can be here in July.  It was a good weekend to stay in and stitch.  One project on the stay in and stitch to do list for the weekend was to pick which UFO will replace Morewood on my WIPs list.  I limit my "in progress" list to 4 projects.  Morewood is in the process of being prepped to be sent out for quilting, so  a replacement will be needed before the end of the month. There are still 8 untouched quilts on my UFO  list for 2021.  


After a bit of dithering, I went with the next quilt on the list, Scrappy Butterflies.  

 Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ8 Block Library

These butterfly blocks were my Rainbow Scrap Project in 2013.  I made the blocks and then stalled on how to set them together which is why they've been on the UFO list for so long. Just sashing the blocks wouldn't make a very big quilt and I really didn't want such a simple layout.  Over the years, I've played around with settings, but just couldn't come up with anything that clicked.  There were twenty something versions in EQ for finishing this project. I kept coming back to an Irish Chain setting. 


But I'm not a fan of square quilts, plus just slapping some borders on these blocks didn't appeal. I finally figured out a rectangular setting last week. 

Still not a fan of the plain borders. What if I repeat the Irish Chain block in the border?

That actually worked out.  Yes it will be a lot more piecing, but I really like how this version looks.  I have enough background fabric to make all the blocks, but couldn't find the enough of the right blue in my stash to use as the contrast.  The local quilt shop gives a discount during your birthday month. So the Scientist in Training and I stopped in on Saturday to check out what they might have. We came home with the blue on the right (the background is on the left).

All that's left is to work out the cutting and piecing instructions. Hopefully I'll have that done by the time Morewood is all prepped and ready to sent out for quilting.  

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Monday Making. 

Postscript on follow by email: I wrote in yesterday's post that I had tried Mailchimp as a replacement for the Feedburner follow by email function.  Turns out there is a limit on the number of emails you can send per month and I exceeded that with yesterday's post. It was prohibitively expensive to add enough credits to send emails for the rest of the month. Staying with that service meant I'd have to go with weekly emails, but even then the count wouldn't reset till 8/2.  So I've switched to FollowIt (fingers crossed that I've done the set up correctly).  Hopefully the emails will go out later this morning.  For those that follow by email, thank you for your patience.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Stitching Stuff: Week 29 of 2021

It's been both wet and steamy here this weekend. It really rained yesterday morning, so of course when the sun came out the humidity went through the roof.  Unfortunately, I had lots of errands to run on Saturday. The Scientist in Training and I were wishing the car air conditioner would cool off faster after each stop. 

Before moving on to the stitching report, I have an update for those that follow Life in Pieces via email.  It's been a bit rocky navigating sending out the blog via RSS feed with Mailchimp. I discovered yesterday that Mailchimp has a limit of 10,000 emails per month for their free service and I've exceeded that limit. The cost for additional credits to send out more emails is prohibitive.  I'm looking for an alternative service, but that's taking some time. The free service resets on August 2nd.  If I don't find a solution before then, the RSS feed is now set to go out weekly  on Tuesday mornings.

Now on, to the stitching stuff. I had a pretty good week. 
  • 15 minute days/week =  7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 17/17 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 =172/198 days
  • Success rate = 86.87 days
I'm back on track with meeting my goal of stitching 85% of the days in 2021.  I still have one item to check off my to do list for the week. I'm hoping to get to that this afternoon.  

One of the nice things caused by all the rain is the profusion of wildflowers.  

The Indian Blankets are still blooming, along with the Black Eyed Susans

 and Basket Flowers.   

Did you find lots of stitching time this week?  

1. Chrisknits
2. Ivani
3. DonnaleeQ
4. Julie in GA
5. karen
6. maggie f
7. DawnyK
8. Quilting Gail
9. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
10. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Photo Challenge Week 3

I'm a bit late posting this week, I decided to sleep in a bit. It was a long week.  It was a good morning for sleeping late, there's an absolute deluge of rain going on this morning.  

Welcome to week 3 of our Family Photo Challenge.  This week's challenge card was randomly picked last Friday by My Guy. 

Definitely an easier to interpret subject than our last pick "Death".  So this week's photos are definitely more conventional.  

Kate: Lunch on the Wing

This bee was really enjoying an early lunch from all the mid summer basket flowers that are blooming. 

My Guy: Mostly Wing Winged Thing

The basket flowers are also popular with the Monarch butterflies. 

SIT: Grounded Wings

The Scientist in Training closes out the week with a beetle, another winged citizen of the insect world. 

The Scientist in Training is home this weekend, so she picked the card for week 4. 

Definitely not something I would normally photograph. It will be fun to see what we each come up with.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

To Do Tuesday For The Week of 7/13/2021

A short work week and a relaxing weekend spent mostly at home made it pretty easy to check off all of the items on last week's To Do List. 

To Do List for 7/6/2021

  • Morewood Mystery: Finish assembling backing
  • Cabins and Fans: Continue assembly of row 5 
  • Unity Make HSTs for clue 6 as leader and ender 
  • Macaron Mystery: Shop stash for more fabric palettes 
Last week's list is all checked off.  Of course I'm keeping my lists pretty easy and simple so I'm successful.  The whole point is progress and so long as that happens on most of my focus projects, I'm doing well.  So this week's list will be more of the same, mostly. 

To Do List for 7/13/2021

Morewood Mystery: Press and prep quilt top for quilting

The back is all pressed, de-threaded and prepped.  I need to do the same for the quilt top, that always takes a lot longer to prep than the back does.  

Cabins and Fans: Finish row 6 and start row 7

Cabins and Fans, self designed


I'm almost finished with row 6, just the last yellow half block left to piece.  So far so good on getting this project set together. It looks like the design in EQ. It's on track to be a finished flimsy by the end of August. 

Unity:  Make HSTS for Step 6 as leaders and enders. 

Just one more border left for step 7. One block is done, so just 8 more needed to finish the bottom border for that step.  

Pick a UFO as new focus project. 

There are still seven quilts on this year's project list that I'd like to complete.  Grandmother's Flower Garden is the oldest, but it's hand work, so I'm not ready to tackle that one.  Scrappy Butterflies, Natural Gems and Celtic Solstice are all from 2013, the next set of older projects.  I'm still undecided on a setting for the butterfly blocks, the other two projects still need blocks made before setting can begin.  I may go with one of those three, or perhaps I'll pull something newer from the list. Squared Away Sampler and Chocolate Marshmallow have all the blocks finished, I just haven't figured out how to set those.   

That's my plan for this week.  Linking up with ChrisKnits for To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Never Ending Border Blocks

We had a quiet weekend.  Our 29th wedding anniversary was on Sunday, so we started our weekend with a nice dinner out on Friday. We attended a memorial for a good friend on Saturday.  A trip out for frozen custard ice cream capped our anniversary celebration on Sunday.  

Even with the celebrations, I did get in a good bit of stitching time over the weekend.  Border #3, Step 7 was finished and added to Unity. 

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

Just 9 more star blocks and I'll finally be finished with Step 7. I've been making the HSTs needed for these blocks since December of 2020.  That will leave just the step 8 top and bottom borders to complete.  I'm ready to move on to a new block, even though it also has HSTs. 

Linking up with Monday Making and Design Wall Monday

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Stitching Stuff: Week 28 of 2021

The big work project that was eating my lunch early this year isn't over, but it's finally been beaten into submission.  Now I just need to get caught up on other assignments. But at least I'm not having to work those long days I was earlier this year and my stress level is much, much lower now.  So it's been much easier for me to get in my stitching time each day. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 10/10 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 165/191 days
  • Success rate = 86.38%
One of my little side efforts this year has been to get a handle on my scraps. I have two big bags of them, plus this drawer that was just packed. 

This is what the drawer looked like at the end of January.  This is what it looks like now. 

It's about half as full as it was.  I do a bit of trimming while I wait for the iron to warm up to press freshly stitched seams. It's been slow, but effective.  

How did your stitchy week go? 

1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Ivani
4. Chrisknits
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Meloney
7. Sherrie
8. Shasta @ High Road
9. DawnyK
10. Quilting Gail
11. Amanda
12. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
13. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

Photo Challenge Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of our family photography challenge. The basis for the challenge is a deck of Photography Idea Cards that My Guy received for Father's Day.  

We select a new card after dinner on Friday and have till dinner the next Friday to find a shot that meets the challenge.  This week's card was:

Definitely a subject open to interpretation.  We all did very different things.  

Kate: Astrodog Didn't Make It 

I was trying for humor, not sure I pulled it off.  

My Guy: Death Shroud

My Guy went with one of the suggestions from last week, dead flowers.  It's really effective in black and white. 

SIT:  Death by Calculus

The Scientist in Training went in a completely different direction, but I think it's my favorite photo for this week. 

Our card for week 3 is:

This one is a little less subject to interpretation.  My Guy will definitely have the advantage here, he's an active bird watcher and avid nature photographer.  The SIT and I will have to work hard to compete this week.  

Friday, July 9, 2021

2021 MidYear Quilty Ambitions Check In

Back in December 2020, Quilting Jet Girl hosted the 2021 Planning Party to give everyone a chance to think about goals for the new year.  Well, 2021 is more than half over and it's time to check in on the progress (or lack thereof) on My 2021 Quilty Ambitions as part of the 2021 MidYear Checkin

2021 Quilty Ambition #1: Finish 8 Quilts in 2021

I'm not doing so hot on this one.  As of July 1st there are only two finishes in 2021. 

My May and June were pretty crappy months at work, so I didn't get much done in the sewing room. That's disappointing.  But in 2020 there were only 2 quilts finished by 7/1/2020, but there were 7 finished by the end of the year. So there is still hope to meet this goal.  

The other part of this goal is to play along with Quilting Gail's PHD in 2021.  

The biggest achievement here is that there are no new projects started so far this year. That will change, but limiting the new starts will help me focus on finishing off the older projects.  

2021 Quilty Ambition #2: Stay Focused

To move quilts to finished, I have to stay focused on just a few projects.  What's worked for me on that front is to limit my weekly to do list to just 3 projects.  If I'm trying to finish up a quilt, I'll let the number of focus projects increase to 4. There are 3 focus projects at the moment.  

Beginning of the year to end of June progress on
Unity (Bonnie Hunter), Morewood Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs),
Cabins and Fans (self designed)

Unity, Morewood Mystery, and Cabin and Fans are the current focus projects.  Morewood Mystery should go out for quilting this month and I'm hoping to have Cabins and Fans ready to go out next month.  Unity has been my leaders and enders project. I'm hoping it's ready to be finished up in September. That will get me to five finishes for the year. 

2021 Quilty Ambition #3: Continue to Host the 15 Minutes to Stitch Linky Party 

As of week 27, there have been 26 weekly 15 Minute to Stitch linky parties. I only missed week 14 (due to work trauma, it's been a bad year on that front).  At the end of June, my success rate at finding 15 minutes to stitch was 85.64%.   My goal is to stitch 85% of the days this year, so I'm on track with this goal.  

Not a bad first half of the year, but I'm hoping for better the second half.  Linking up with Quilting Jet Girl's 2021 Midyear Checkin.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July One Monthly Goal

The holiday has thrown the blogging schedule off a bit. It's already the 7th of July and it's time to pick a One Monthly Goal and link up with Elm Street Quilts.  

I'm hoping to finish 8 quilts this year. With two down and six left to go, finishing another quilt should really be the priority.  The Morewood Mystery quilt is the closest to being finished. 

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

The backing will be made from the multicolor print and the dark teal fabrics.

The fabric is all cut and stitching together has started. 

So the goal for July is to get the Morewood Mystery backing made, plus prep both the back and front for quilting then package the project for shipping and mail it. 

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the July One Monthly Goal.