Friday, December 31, 2021

December One Monthly Goal: Making Potions

As seems to be typical this year, my one monthly goal was met the last day of the month. I'll be linking up with Elm Street Quilts for December's One Monthly Goal Finish.  

The goal for December was to make a start on a gift quilt for next May.  I've had the pattern and fabric picked out for several months, but just hadn't found time to get started on it.  I hadn't even read the pattern yet, other then the fabric requirements on the back.  So I opened the pattern book and got started on step 1, cutting the fabric for a set of fabric test tubes. 

The "potions" contained in all the fabric glassware is coming from scraps.  There will be yellow, green, blue and purple potions.  My first potion is orange.


Potions, Pattern by Flying Parrot Quilts

I didn't quite get my seem allowances right in this first block, I'll need to rework it just a bit to get the bottom just right. There's always a learning curve with the first block.  

I've got a ways to go on getting this one all pieced and assembled.  I really need to have that all done by the end of March to allow time for quilting and binding in April, so it's ready in May. But for now at least it's been started.  

Have a very Happy New Year.  My plan is to end this year and start next year at the sewing machine.  

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2022 Quilting Ambitions

There's just one more day left in 2021.  It always amazes me how fast the last couple of months of the year go.  It's already time to make plans for 2022. I'm playing along with Quilting Jet Girl's 2022 Planning Party again this year. 

This year was especially quick as life was more hectic than normal.  This week is the first chance I've had a chance to just sit and reflect on how my quilty life went in 2021. It wasn't a very productive year on that front. No one can know what the year ahead brings, but it always helps me to reflect on what worked and what didn't before I set my goals for the new year.  

2022 Quilty Ambition #1: Reduce the number of UFOs by making progress on existing projects. 

I'll end 2021 with as many UFOs as there were in 2020.  On the bright side the numbers didn't go up compared to last year.  On the down side, the number of UFOs haven't gone down in the last 8 years.  

I'm not focusing on finishes as my goal for 2022, the focus will be on progress.  Work was pretty intense this year, I expect the same for next year. So why punish myself if I don't have the time or energy to engage in my favorite stress reliever?  So my goal is to make as much progress on as many projects as possible with the time I have available.  

I'll play along with American Patchwork and Quilting's 2022 UFO Challenge to track how I'm doing on this goal. Here's my list for this year in the order I plan to tackle them. 

 And though finishes are not the goal, I'll play along with Quilting Gail's 2022 PHD

The advantage of Gails PHD program is that it tracks new projects as well.  Limiting starts always helps keep the UFO list under control. 

Quilty Ambition #2: Continue to Host the 15 Minutes to Stitch Linky Party in 2022.

This is my motivation to work in 15 minutes of stitching time every day. For some reason if I have to share my progress on the blog, I tend to do better.  Though it certainly didn't work that way this year. 

Stitching for just 15 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but it can really add up over the course of a week. I'll certainly end up with good progress for the year if I can manage to stitch at least 75% of the time. If work is as busy in 2022 as 2021 was, I should still be able to manage that.  

That's it for my 2022 plans. I gave up on stash management goals several years ago, they don't work for me. I'm going to keep it simple this year. 

Good luck with your plans for 2022.  Do check out all the ambitions posted at Quilting Jet Girl's 2022 Planning Party

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Photo Challenge: Bodies of Water and Bright Colors

I've had some down time this week and a chance to catch up on blog stuff.  My Guy and the Scientist in Training have been asking me when I'm going to post our challenge photos?  I'm three weeks behind on those posts.  Normally the challenge photo post shows up on Saturday, but this is a special midweek edition to catch up a bit. This post will have photos for week 24 and 25. I'll finish catching up on Saturday with last week's photos and add in this week's photos (which no one has taken yet).  

Week 24:

Two of us came up with what I would consider "expected" images. One of us came up with a unique image. 


Kate: Lake Union, Washington

I was on the road (quite literally) that week in Washington State.  I was able to grab this photo because traffic was pretty much stopped during my attempt to traverse Seattle on my way to the airport hotel.  

My Guy also went the more expected route.

My Guy: The Caney

My Guy was out on one of his bike rides when he grabbed this shot.  It looks like winter, but to be honest until today our temps have been pretty moderate.  

The Scientist in Training went in a different direction. 

Scientist in Training: Body of  H2O

The SIT is such a chemist nerd! But what a cool idea to use the molecular formula for water to make a bit of art.  

Week 25: 

Two photos from this week take advantage of the seasonal décor.  The third was décor of another type entirely.  

Kate: The Mexican Mural

This image comes from one of our favorite mom and pop Mexican restaurants here in town, Taco Maria's. The subject matter isn't typical of the mural's we've seen in other Mexican restaurants, but I've always liked this blue bird, it certainly makes me happy.  

My Guy went with a seasonal shot. 

My Guy: Obvious

My Guy used one of his previous Christmas gifts to take this photo.  The round object is a Lensball.  He's taken some cool photos with this in the past and this one is equally cool.  

The SIT also stuck with the seasonal theme for her photograph. 

Scientist in Training: Reflected Glow

Very pretty reflective bright colors, from a slightly different perspective.  

That covers weeks 24 and 25.  Hard to pick a favorite for week 25, but Body of H2O is my favorite for week 24.  We've all got a couple of days to figure out this week's photo.  It's not an obvious subject.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Best of Life in Pieces in 2021

 This is the 7th year that I've played along with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs Best of series. It's fun to look back at some of the high points posted on the blog this last year.


1. Most Views (400): Stitching Time: Week 2 of 2021

I'm not sure why this one had so many views, though it's one of my favorite posts from this last year.  The Scientist in Training took a few stitches on my traveling cross stitch project while we were visiting family last Christmas. From that she decided to give embroidery a try.  She had finished two projects by the second week of the year and hasn't looked back since.  She's been designing her own projects for months now.  

2. Second Most Comments(23): The Oldest UFO

The post with the second most comments documented the finish of what was then my oldest UFO.  Picnic Stars is one of my favorite quilts. The blocks had been finished for years, but I could never figure out how I wanted to set them.  Having finally decided on a plan, it took still took me a couple of years to get it finished up. The post with the most comments (27) was my #1 in this list. 

3. Most Link Ups for the 15 Minutes to Stitch (18): Week 1 and  Week 4

Both weeks had 18 link ups. That's one less than the maximum in 2020. But on average there were 13 participants who stuck with the stitching time goal for 2021, which is up from 9 last year.  Thank you to all the bloggers who stuck with me this year, especially since most of them were much better at blogging about getting in their 15 minutes of stitching time than I was.  

4.  My Favorite Finish for 2021: Grassy Creek ( Fritillaria)

Grassy Creek isn't my favorite Bonnie Hunter Mystery, but there were several other factors that made it my favorite finish for 2021.  The colors are out of my comfort zone so normally I would change them for the mystery, but decided to just stick with them to see how that worked. I like the end result. Another reason it's my favorite finish is that this mystery was finished well before this year's started. That's a first. 

5. My favorite family photo challenge post:  Week 23: Fire or Something Burnt.  

The Family Photo Challenge started as a Father's Day Gift for My Guy.  I bought him a card deck full of photo prompts. We draw a new card every Friday (lately it's been a bit later in the weekend as life has been busy). We've had such a great time with this challenge. We didn't think the Scientist in Training would play along each week, but she enjoys it too.  It's been a really fun family thing we can do even though all of us aren't in the same place. It's hard to pick just one favorite from this year, so I just picked the last post for week 23, Fire or Something Burnt.

That's my Best of Life in Pieces for 2021. Linking up with Meadow Mist Designs Best of 2021

To Do Tuesday for The Week of December 28 2021

 My last To Do Tuesday post was on November 30th.  December was just a desert in terms of having time to stitch. I'm hoping to make up for that a bit this week since I'm on vacation till the new year.  Here's the status of that last To Do List. 

  • Cabins and Fans: Ship out for quilting - no progress
  • Scrappy Butterflies: Make alternate 9 patch blocks
  • Macaron Mystery: Start clue 6 
  • Rhododendron Mystery: Finish clue 1, start clue 2 
  • Unity: Continue making flying geese for step 8 
So not a bad showing considering how badly the month went on the stitching front.  I decided to wait till after the Christmas holiday to mail out Cabins and Fans in hopes I'd have more time to get to the post office when the lines weren't so long.  

I got in a good afternoon of stitching time yesterday and I'm hoping for more of the same the rest of this week.  

Cabins and Fans: Mail out for quilting

I need to write the deposit check, fill out the address labels then tape up the box and attach the labels.  The plan is to get this to the post office today.  

Potions: Start making the blocks

Potions: Pattern from Flying Parrot Quilts

This quilt needs to be finished by May, so I need to get started on it or it won't be finished in time for graduation. The fabrics are all selected, I just need to read the pattern and get started on the blocks.  

Macaron Mystery: Work on clue 6

Macaron Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

 Clue 6 shouldn't take too long, there aren't that many square in a square blocks to make.  Hopefully I can get this clue done so I'm ready for clue 7 next week.  

Rhododren Mystery: Work on clues 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Rhododendron Mystery: Bonnie Hunter 2021 Mystery quilt along

I'm way behind on this mystery quilt along. Clue 1 was finished, but I didn't start any of the other clues till yesterday.  I've made a little progress with clues 2 and 3, but none at all on 4 and 5. Clue 5 was only released yesterday. Hopefully I can make good progress on these 4 clues so I'm in better shape for clue 6 on Friday.  

Unity: Continue making flying geese for Step 8

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

Progress hasn't been fast, but it has been steady.  I'll take that. Just 2 more stars and the top border will be ready to add to the quilt.  

That's my To Do List for this week.  Linking up with Linda the Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday.  

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Stitching Stuff: Week 52 of 2021

We had temperatures in the 80's for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it certainly didn't feel like a typical Xmas holiday.  Hope your holiday was full of family and fun. Ours certainly was.  

It's week 52 of 2021, so this will be the last stitching stuff post for the year.  I like to close out my stitching year on December 31st, so I'll have the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 in next week's post.  My stitching week didn't go so well. I spent all of last weekend working on company reports, went to bed feeling really crappy last Sunday.  Woke up to a fever and with a number of Covid symptoms on Monday morning.  Thankfully it wasn't Covid, but I was pretty sick till Thursday.  All I did was sleep (and blow my nose) for most of last week. Thankfully I was feeling almost normal by the time Christmas Eve rolled around. But that didn't help the stitching report much. 

  • 15 minute days/week 52 = 2/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Decemer = 5/25 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 265/359 days
  • Success rate = 73.82%
I at least managed two days with at least 15 minutes of stitching time this last week, that's better than how the first three weeks of December went!  All my reports are done and I'm off all this next week. My hope is I'll have lots of time for stitching this last week of the year.  

My stitching time this week was all handwork, I did make a bit of progress on my traveling embroidery project. 

The Scientist in Training has been home the last couple of weeks. She's spent a lot of her time off working on a Christmas present for her grandmother. She found some line art on line and embroidered a couple of dish towels as gifts.  

She did 4 of these cute faces on one dish towel.  

Then two strawberry motifs on another.  Grandma was very happy with her gift.  The SIT says a very sincere "Thank You" to Barbara who blogs at Cat Patches.  Barbara recommended the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvey sheets as one way to transfer embroidery designs. That's what the SIT used for both these projects, she thought they worked really well. 

I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday this week to celebrate having a bit of time to play with thread this week.  You can link up below to share how well you did at finding time to stitch over the holiday. I hope you had more opportunities to play with needle and thread then I did!  

1. Ivani
2. Gretchen
3. CathieJ
4. maggie f
5. Julie in GA
6. karen
7. DonnaleeQ
8. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting
9. Shasta @ High Road
10. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
11. Sherrie
12. DawnyK
13. Meloney
14. Amanda
15. Andre at Quilting and Learning
16. Andre at Quilting and Learning
17. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Stitching Stuff: Week 51 of 2021


The last couple of weeks have been a struggle. Work has been difficult and time consuming.  Our division announced a huge reorganization, so between the extra meetings and the end of the year reports, that's meant some really long work days.  I'm also having computer issues, it's really, really slow. Getting to email or writing a blog takes forever.  So my apologies for not getting a linky party up last weekend, it just wasn't doable with all that was going on.  

My stitching report is really depressing for the last two weeks. 

  • 15 minute days/week 50 = 1 days
  • 15 minute days/week 51 = 0 days
  • 15 minute days/December = 3/18 days
  • 15 minute days 2021 = 263/352 days
  • Success rate = 74.72%
As you can see stitching time hasn't been the top of my priority list.  I'm still working on end of the year reports. Between getting those finished and the Christmas holiday, I don't expect to get much stitching time in this week. 

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and lots of stitching time.  

1. Julie in GA
2. Ivani
3. maggie f
4. karen
5. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
6. Shasta @ High Road
7. DonnaleeQ
8. Quilting Gail
9. DawnyK - week 50
10. DawnyK - week 51
11. Amanda
12. Andre
13. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt

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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Stitching Suff: Week 49 of 2021

Week 49?  That means there are only 3 more weeks in 2021. Hard to believe we are that close to the end of another year.  But for now let's focus on this week for my sanity's sake.  Week 49 was pretty good for me on the stitching front.  

  • 15 minute days/week 49 = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Nov = 19/30 days
  • 15 minute days/Dec = 2/4 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 262/338 days
  • Success rate = 77.51%

I lost one day of stitching time to a late work night and the second to the reaction from the COVID booster shot. I didn't have any reaction to the first two doses other than a really sore arm. That wasn't true for the booster. Thankfully the headache, chills and body aches didn't last for much longer than about 12 hours, it still wasn't fun.  

The Scientist in Training has been spending some time before bed destressing from finishing up her last assignments and getting ready for finals week by getting in a bit of hand stitching.  This is her latest finish.

She did a beautiful job on this piece.  She wants me to help her make this into a pillow.  We'll do that over the holiday.  Hard to believe she's only been embroidering for not quite a year. She asked me to teach her some basic stitches right after Christmas last year.  She's definitely exceeded her mother's skill set.  

Are you having much luck fitting in stitching time with the count down to the holiday? 

1. Ivani
2. Julie in GA
3. Meloney
4. maggie f
5. karen
6. Sherrie
7. DonnaleeQ
8. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
9. katie z.
10. DawnyK
11. Andree at Quilting & Learning
12. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
13. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
14. Quilting Gail
15. Shasta @ High Road

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Photo Challenge: Week 23 Fire

All of us had busy weeks which pretty much sucked the creativity out of our schedules.  We didn't finish last week's challenge till this morning (there are advantages to making the rules). This week's challenge follows water and air from the previous two weeks. 

Fire isn't easy to find this time of year, it's a regular occurrence in the spring when the ranchers burn off their fields.  So we had to create our own fire.  

Kate: To Light the Dark

Using what I had to hand, candles seemed a safe way to get a fire photo.  I like that the candles just barely show up and all the negative space in this shot.  

My Guy also used what was to hand.  

My Guy: We Have Ignition

My Guy captured some really cool match stick shots in the kitchen this morning.  

The Scientist in Training went in a very different direction, she explored the something burnt side of the challenge. 

Scientist in Training: Burned Brain

Finals are next week, but she had several important assignments due this week. So she's feeling a bit burned out, but still has a full weekend of studying ahead of her as she has two final exams first thing Monday morning. She sent me three photos, none of which I was comfortable with as a parent. Been there, done that, and hate that the stress levels haven't changed and maybe are even just a bit worse now.  She was out on a late evening drive, I'm sure with the radio cranked.  It's one of her de-stress tactics.  (She assured me she was parked before taking the photos).  

The challenge for next week almost seems like a repeat in a way. 


We've had water as a challenge just a couple of weeks ago.  We'll have to see how we can come up with something unexpected this week. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

PHD in 2021: November Progress

I actually spent some time in my sewing room in November,  so I made some good progress on my PHD in 2021. 

There weren't any new finishes, but I'm close to one.  The Bonnie Hunter 2021 mystery kicked off in November, so that's added to the list. Both mysteries on my list won't finish till 2022, so they won't count towards my PHD in 2021. 

I'm not going to get anywhere close to 12 finishes this year.  I had hoped for at least 8, but work had other ideas. I readjusted my attitude in October and now I'm going to be happy with any progress in the sewing room. I did pretty well on that front in November (the week of vacation at Thanksgiving helped).  

Cabins and Fans is prepped and packaged to send out for quilting.

 I probably won't get it to the post office till tomorrow. At this point I doubt it's back in time to finish this year, but it will make a quick finish for next year.  

The last two borders for Unity are progressing a bit faster than the one for step 7. 

Not quite three quarters of the way finished with the top border.  I may get this to finished flimsy stage by the end of the year. Just depends on how much sewing time I can manage during vacation.  

The 2021 Meadow Mist Design Mystery, Macaron, is moving along.  

I was caught up till the December clue came out yesterday.  That feels really good.  

The 2021 Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Rhododendron, started in November.  

I'm only making half the blocks this year.  I did that last year and was able to mostly keep up.  I lack one more set of 4 HSTs to finish last week's clue.  Clue 2 comes out today.  Hopefully, I'll have some time to get going on that this weekend. 

Scrappy Butterflies is back on the active list since Cabins and Fans has moved off.  

I didn't make very much progress on this project in November, but I have hopes of doing more with it in December.  

A much better month for progress than October was.  I'll have more time off in December, so I have hope of making a bit more progress.  We'll see have to see how that pans out.  

Linking up with Quilting Gail for the November PHD update.  

Thursday, December 2, 2021

December One Monthly Goal

I didn't quite finish my November One Monthly Goal.  That goal was to prep and send out Cabins and Fans for quilting. The prep work got done, but during the packaging process I realized that the right sized batting wasn't in my stash. So I had to order some. That came on Tuesday, but I was at work so there wasn't time to get the project shipped out in time to meet the end of the month deadline.  That's OK that will happen tomorrow.  

So that leaves me to contemplate what's my December One Monthly Goal? 

The first half of December is going to be really busy. I have a business trip and a family trip that's going to take up all of next week.  But after that I just have one more week of work before I'm on vacation till the new year.  Christmas week is always busy with lots of odds and ends, but I should have lots of stitching time the last week of the month.  

Looking over what's on the to do list for next year, I have two graduation quilts to finish for the Scientist in Training's college mentors before May of 2022.  Cabins and Fans is going to the teacher that the SIT was the teaching assistant for. This teacher has been a great cheer leader for the SIT for most of her college time. That quilt will just need to be labeled and bound. That's definitely doable before May of next year.  

The second quilt is going to the SIT's undergraduate research advisor.  He took a chance on a first semester freshman and gave her the opportunity to find out if research suited her or not.  I have the pattern and the fabric pulled, but if I don't get started on it soon, it won't be finished by May. 

The pattern is Potions by Flying Parrot Quilts.  The blocks look a bit complicated, but I don't think they will be too bad. I do need to get started on those to make a May deadline  So that's my goal for December, to make a few Potion blocks before the end of the month.  

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