Monday, January 31, 2022

January One Monthly Goal Wrap Up

It's been a busy few days and there wasn't time to post this morning.  It's the last day of the month, so definitely right at the wire to post my January One Monthly Goal wrap up and link up with Elm Street Quilts.  

My plan for January was to make good progress on the Potions quilt by finishing all the test tubes and half the beakers. 

Potions: pattern by Flying Parrot Quilts

 All the test tubes are made and all the beakers are made.  Which puts me ahead of schedule on this project. I need this quilt finished by May, so I'll need to keep the pace up or it won't be ready by graduation.  

Linking up with the OMG January Wrap Up, Monday Making and Monday Design Wall

Stitching Stuff: Week 5 (Just a Little Late)


My apologies, this weekend turned into a disaster. So I didn't get the 15 Minutes to Stitch post up on Sunday.  Hopefully you'll still be willing to link up even though I'm a day late.  I was doing so well till that work email showed up at 4 AM on Saturday (that I didn't see till almost 10 AM).  The rest of my weekend was shot. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 29/30 days
  • 15 minute days/2022 = 29/30 days
  • Success rate = 96.67%

I knew there was no way I'd have 100% success rate this year, but it's good that I was able to keep that up till almost the end of January.   How did you do at keeping up with your sewing time this last week? I sincerely you had a much better week than I did. 

1. karen

2. Julie in GA

3. Ivani

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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Photo Challenge Week 31: The Most Valuable Thing You Own

I was ready for Saturday to get here.  It was a long week. Both the Scientist in Training and I had to get COVID tests this week. Thankfully we were both negative.  But I had to work from home one day and then took a day of sick leave because there are still things other than COVID that can cause a fever and make you feel crappy.  The SIT will have to take another test on Tuesday because one of the graduate students in her research group tested positive. I guess this is our new normal.  

This week's photo challenge definitely generated a lot of discussion between the three of us. 

How do you interpret "valuable"?  Monetary?  Sentimental?  There are several ways to look at the prompt.

I took a very wide interpretation of the prompt, quite literally.  

Kate: I Value My Sanity

My sewing room, with all it's gadgets, fabrics and sewing machine has significant monetary value. But it's the peace that comes from spending time cutting up pieces of fabric and sewing them back together again that makes it the most valuable thing I own.  

My Guy picked something similar, one way he maintains his sanity. 

My Guy studied classical guitar all through college. These are the tuning keys on his Dauphin guitar made by H. Tamura . He bought it used when he was in college, so it's got a few years on it.  He plays it almost daily.  The music from this guitar really is the sound of home.  

The Scientist in Training bent the rules a little and did a two for one photo. 

Scientist in Training: Valuables

She values the things she can do with her hands, knead bread, mix reactants, embroidery.  The quilt reflects how much she values the knowledge of chemistry she's gained the last few years. Finally the quilt comes from home, mom made it. It offers comfort when she's ill or just needs a boost when things are rough.  (How can this not be my favorite photo this week?)

This week's challenge should produce some interesting photos. 

Thankfully we still have a few toys in the attic and the SIT's closet. I'm sure we can come up with something fun.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 1/25/2022

This is the last To Do Tuesday for January.  Already?  I'm close to finishing up my One Monthly Goal for the month, so that should get done.  I won't have any finishes this month, but there has definitely been good progress as last week's To Do List shows.  

To Do List for 1/18/2022

  • Potions: Make 5 beaker blocks
  • Rhododendron Mystery: Work on A and B blocks 
  • Macaron Mystery: Continue to work on the January Clue 
  • Unity: Continue making flying geese as leader and enders 
So four for four this week.  Potions is my "get it done project", so I'm not doing as much with the other three projects. So long as I can see some progress at the end of the week, I'm happy.  It will be more of the same on this week's list. 

To Do List for 1/25/2022

Potions: Finish the beaker blocks, cut pieces for flask blocks

Potions: pattern by Flying Parrots Quilts

Just four more beaker blocks left to make. As long as I've got time to sew, these should get finished this week. I'm on track with this project. The goal is to have the quilt out the door for quilting by the end of March. 

Cabins and Fans: Trim quilt and make binding

Cabins and Fans, self designed

Cabins and Fans is back from being quilted and it looks good. The Scientist in Training needs to send me the message for the quilt label as this is a gift for one of her mentors.  But I can get going on the finishing steps.  I'm hoping for an early February finish. 

Rhododendron Mystery: Continue Working on the A and B blocks

Rhododendron Mystery: Bonnie Hunter 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

One more A block up on the design wall. I've decided to go with a 4 by 4 setting, so I'll need 16 A blocks and 9 B blocks.  Those hourglass blocks are going to take some time to make.  I suspect this will be my next leaders and enders project once Unity is finished.  

Macaron Mystery: Continue to work on the January Clue

Macaron Mystery: Meadow Mist Designs 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

This is the project I've made the least progress on so far this month. The next clue doesn't come out till the first week in February so I have time to make a bit more progress on these subunits.  

Unity: Continue making flying geese as leaders and enders

Unity: Bonnie Hunter Stay at Home Quilt Along

The last set of blocks needed for the last pieced border are coming together slowly.  Once Potions and the Cabins and Fans projects are finished quilts, I'm going to bump Unity up to the top of the to be finished quilts. It's getting close.  

That's my list for this week.  Potions is my focus, so if all I make progress on is that, I'm doing well.  Good luck with your lists this week.  Linking up with Linda of Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday

Monday, January 24, 2022

A Few Beakers

It was a nice weekend. We spent most of Saturday hanging out with the Scientist in Training, so I didn't get to spend a lot of time in my sewing room. But between having Friday off and finding time to stitch Sunday afternoon, I was able to finish just over half of the beaker blocks for Potions. 

The beakers have a few more steps to them than the test tubes did.  Thankfully there aren't as many of them in the quilt.  I moved the Potion blocks over to the large design wall. This is what it looks like now. 

Potions: Pattern from Flying Parrot Designs

I'll cut more of the spacer blocks along with the pieces for the flasks.  That should happen next weekend. Hopefully I can stay on schedule with this project.  So far, so good.  

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Stitching Stuff: Week 4 of 2022

It was a really cold week, though yesterday was relatively nice.  I was happy to be off on Friday. I much prefer being parked in my recliner covered with a warm quilt to walking across the parking lot to work when the temp was 8 F.  Speaking of work, it has started to pick up a bit, we worked late a couple of nights.  Even so, I still managed to get in a bit of stitching time when we got home.

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 22/22 days
  • 15 minute days/2022 = 22/22 days
  • Success rate = 100% 

So another good week on the finding time to stitch front. I'm not sure how long I can keep up a 100% success rate.  My goal this year is to stitch 75% of the time. So I'm rocking that goal at the moment.  

We got to hang out with the Scientist in Training yesterday. We met up in Tulsa for lunch and a bit of shopping, well at least the SIT and I went shopping. My Guy was out hunting down eagle nests (hey it works for us, every one is happy). The SIT and I were kidding around about chemistry and I replied to one of her questions that I was a "data snob".  Not just any data is good enough for me.  Any of you have followed me for any length of time know I have real addiction to Excel and use it to track my quilting addiction.  For the next few weeks, I'm going to share a few of my lists and charts. Maybe you'll get inspired to track a few other things. I wish I could say that tracking leads to more finishes, but alas it doesn't. Still it's nice to see where you've been.  

The first tab on my Quilt Statistics 2022 Excel File is UFOs. 

My UFO list includes the start date, status of the project and a simple X to mark if it's a UFO or a WIP. For me a UFO is anything that's been on the list for more than a year.  I don't think the whole list has ever been published on the blog, but the WIPS and UFOs page does include the full list with photos and start dates.  My UFO count has stalled at 19 for the last two years. Hopefully I can get that down a bit by the end of this year.  

So how is your stitchy week going?  Have you managed to find some time to move a few UFOs closer to the finished line? 

1. Ivani
2. Gretchen
3. Julie in GA
4. maggie f
5. karen
6. Melissa G
7. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
8. DonnaleeQ
9. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting
10. Meloney
11. DawnyK
12. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
13. Frederique
14. Celine @ Espritpatch
15. Laundered Cotton
16. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
17. Amanda

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Photo Challenge Week 30: An Egg

It's been brutally cold this week. At least temps are supposed to be above zero this weekend.  Thankfully this week's photo challenge could be met with an indoor photo shoot. 

An easy subject, but one that requires some thought to make interesting.  I probably took the easiest and least imaginative way out with my photo. 

Kate: Posh Egg

This is a long ago Christmas gift from my sister, probably before the Scientist in Training was born, so it's more than 20 years old.  It currently hangs out in the china cabinet. That may be the only reason it survived so long, it was well out of reach of curious kiddo hands.  

My Guy ended up with a series of photographs in an effort to get an interesting shot. Then he had a hard time picking just one.  

My Guy: Into the Frying Pan

He finally settled on this one. It looks like a photo from a nice cookbook, at least I think so. 

The Scientist in Training is back with a photo this week now that she's got the semester mostly figured out. 

Scientist in Training: The Stages of Eggs

I'm not sure what she was making with all these eggs, but the ramekins are there on the counter, so maybe a custard dessert of some type?  

I can't pick a favorite this week, I like both My Guy's and the SIT's photo this week.  We've drawn the card for next week.  It should be interesting to see what we all come up with.  

My Guy has pointed out that it's supposed to be a "thing",  so I can't take a photo of him and the SIT as my submission next week.  There are lots of different ways to "value" something, I'm going to have to think on it a bit.  Hope you come back next week to see what we all come up with. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

To Do Tuesday For The Week of 1/18/2022

How is it the work week drags, but the quilting week speeds by?  It's Tuesday again, time to take stock of what did and didn't get done last week and figure out what's doable this week.  My biggest priority item got done last week, so I'm calling it a good week. 

To Do List for Week of 1/11/2022
  • Potions: Finish the test tube blocks
  • Rhododendron: Work on clues 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 - progress
  • Macaron: Work on the January clue 
  • Unity:  Make flying geese as leaders and enders 
Check marks on three out of four isn't bad, especially since there was progress on the fourth.  So another good week for the new year.  So what's the plan for this week?  

To Do List for Week of 1/18/2022

Potions:  Make 5 beaker blocks

Potions: pattern by Flying Parrots Quilts

I've cut a few of the spacer blocks from the background and grouped the test tube blocks as shown in the pattern to produce a rough lay out of the blocks to match the pattern.  The pieces for the beaker blocks are all cut, they just need to be sewn together. The goal is to get all the test tube and beaker blocks done by the end of January.  I'm halfway there.  Hopefully I can stay on track with construction this week. 

Rhododendron Mystery:  Work on blocks A and B

Rhododendron Mystery: Bonnie Hunter 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

Bonnie did the big reveal last Friday.  I got really behind on the bits and pieces in most of the clues, so I'm way behind.  I'm going to focus on finishing off the parts that make up the A and B blocks.  The plan is to continue to make progress each week on this project so that it's finished by the time this year's mystery starts up.  

Macaron Mystery:  Continue to work on the December clue.

Macaron Mystery: Meadow Mist Designs 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

Not a lot of progress, but there is some.  I have till the end of the month to get caught up with this clue and it will probably take every bit of that time for me to finish it.  That's OK.  Potions really needs to be finished ASAP.  I'll be happy with whatever progress I make on these clues. 

Unity: Continue making flying geese as leaders and enders.

Unity: Bonnie Hunter Stay at Home Quilt Along

The sawtooth star blocks for the top border in clue 8 are finished and sewn to the quilt top.  Now I just need to make the blocks for the bottom border.  Progress has been slow, but there has been progress.  

That's my list for this week. Potions is my priority project as it has a hard deadline of May.  As long as that to do item gets checked off each week, I'll be in good shape.  

Linking up with Linda over at Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday. Fingers crossed you make lots of progress on your to do list.  

Monday, January 17, 2022

Totally Test Tubes

Saturday was cold and snowy, Sunday was cold and sunny.  Both were great days to stay in and hang out in the sewing room. Which is what I did after tackling laundry and finally dragging all the stuff out so I could put the Christmas tree away. 

Most of the weekend was spent piecing the rest of the test tube blocks for Potions.  

Potions: Pattern from Flying Parrot Designs

Once I figured out the seam allowances, the test tubes went together pretty quickly.  Next step is to make all the beaker blocks. When the lights went off in the sewing room last evening all the beaker pieces were cut. Next time I'm in the sewing room those blocks will be at the top of my list.  I suspect they will be just as fiddly as the test tubes were. 

Linking up with Monday Making over at Love Laugh Quilt and Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Stitching Stuff: Week 3 of 2022

The weather this week was a mixed bag.  We started cold, warmed up and ended with the cold. It is just the third week of January, so cold and snow should be expected, even if they aren't appreciated. 

Work hasn't geared up too badly yet. I finished up year end conversations this week. Next week it will be goal setting conversations.  Even with all of that going on, it hasn't been to hard to keep up with my goal of stitching at least 15 minutes a day. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 15/15 days
  • 15 minute days/2022 = 15/15 days
  • Success rate = 100%

I'm off to a strong start for 2022. Fingers crossed for a strong finish for January. It's hard to maintain 100%, but I'm striving for that this month.  

The Scientist in Training is back at college. For her first day back she celebrated her birthday by sharing chocolate Coca-Cola cake with her chemistry buddies.

It's a good thing visuals don't have calories!  

Thankfully stitching doesn't have any calories.  How did you do at finding time to stitch this week.  

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

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Photo Challenge Week 29: A Long Exposure

Winter is definitely here. It snowed here today, just enough to coat the grass.  It was windy and cold. It's definitely not weather you want to be out and about doing photography in. Unfortunately this week's prompt works really well with natural subjects.  

Long exposures are common when you want to capture any low light activity or if you want slow the flow of water.  I really didn't want to spend any time outside, so I struggled to figure out what would make a cool picture. Then I found something in one of the cabinets I was reorganizing.  So my weekend cleaning/decluttering project came to the rescue yet again. 

Kate: Blue on Black

Can you guess the subject of the photo?  My Guy thinks it looks like a pendent.  I agree it does look like a a very bright and bold necklace. 

My Guy did brave the cold to get his shot.

My Guy: A Bit of Night

Obviously his experience in astronomy came in handy this week.  If you look close you can just pick out Orion.  

The Scientist in Training was back at college this week. She had enough going on with figuring out her new schedule, getting books and getting started on her thesis project that she just didn't have time to get a photo this week. Hopefully she'll be back next week for what is likely going to be another subject that's easy, but hard to create images that are different. 

I have a couple of thoughts for this one. Hope you'll stop by next week to see what we all came up with.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

To Do Tuesday for the Week of 01/11/2022

It's been cold and windy, but sunny the last few days.  We've only had the really cold weather for about two weeks now and yet I'm already hoping for an early spring. The cold weather does make it easy to just hang out in the sewing room, which helps with checking off the items on last week's To Do List. 

To Do List for Week of 01/04/2022

  • Potions: Make 8 test tube blocks
  • Rhododendron Mystery: Work on clues 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 
  • Macaron Mystery: Work on the January clue 
  • Unity: Make flying geese for step 8 

So 4 for 4 this week.  My focus has been and will continue to be the Potions quilt as it has a hard deadline.  But I'm still making a bit of progress on the other three projects. I'm hoping to have more stitching time this next weekend. Here's the list for this week. 

To Do List for Week of 01/11/2022

Potions: Finish making the test tube blocks

Potions: pattern by Flying Parrots Quilts

Only seven blocks left to make.  So this project is on schedule.  

Rhododendron Mystery: Work on clues 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

Rhododendron Mystery: Bonnie Hunter 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

My lack of stitching time in December has caught up with me. I'm way behind on all the clues, so I didn't have enough hour glass blocks to make even one of the alternate blocks.  Finishing Potions has to take priority, so I'll just keep doing what I can on this one.  

Macaron Mystery: Work on the January clue

Macaron Mystery: Meadow Mist Designs 2021 Mystery Quilt Along

I didn't get much done on this month's clue, but did at least make a start on it.  There is only one clue a month for this mystery, which makes it a lot easier to keep up with.  Hopefully I can do enough to stay caught up on this one. 

Unity: Make flying geese for step 8 as leaders and enders

Unity: Bonnie Hunter Stay at Home Quilt Along


The top border is assembled, but I've not taken the time to pin it to the rest of the quilt and stitch it on.  That will probably happen this week. But in the mean time, I'm still making those flying geese and stitching up the odd block when I have enough pieces made.  Progress has been slow, but I'm OK with that.  

So that's my list for this week. Linking up with Linda over at Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday.  Good luck on your list this week.  

Monday, January 10, 2022

Making Potions

It's been a few months since my last Monday morning post.  So far, 2022 has been calmer then the end of 2021. Fingers crossed that remains the case as we get deeper into January.  

I didn't get as much stitching time this weekend has I had hoped.  It was the Scientist in Training's birthday, so we went out to dinner for her family celebration then did lunch with a friend so she could celebrate with a buddy.  She's back at college for her last undergraduate semester. Her impending graduation has me working to finish up a couple of quilts for her mentors. 

Potions by Flying Parrot Designs

I'm halfway through the test tubes.  I'm hoping to have all of those made by the end of the week.  Then it will be time to start on the beakers.  

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Stitching Stuff: Week 2 of 2022

The first full week of 2022 is in the bag.  I survived the first week back in the office. Things started off slow, things will ramp up pretty quickly, but hopeful not to the point they did last year.  

The Scientist in Training has been home this week. Tomorrow she heads back to college for her last semester of undergraduate.  It's been nice to have someone to hang out with in the sewing room. It does make it easier to make the trek upstairs when you know someone is waiting on you.  Hopefully I don't fall back into bad habits when she leaves because it was a really good week on the stitching front. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 8/8 days
  • 15 minute days/2022 = 8/8 days
  • Success rate = 100%  
So far, so good on getting into the sewing room each day for at least 15 minutes.  How did you fare with finding time to stitch this second week of the new year? 

1. Ivani
2. karen
3. Julie in GA
4. maggie f
5. Colletta's Kitchen Sink
6. Melissa G
7. Meloney
8. Sherrie
9. DonnaleeQ
10. Laundered Cotton Quilts
11. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting
12. Quilting Gail
13. DawnyK
14. Andre
15. Shasta @ High Road
16. Carol @ Quilt Schmilt
17. Stitching Loving Nana :)
18. amanda
19. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts

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Saturday, January 8, 2022

Photo Challenge Week 28: Something at Night

A little late posting again this week.  Everyone had their photos last night, but we were all so tired by the time we got home, no one wanted to get on their computers and deal with sending me photos. By the time we all got moving this morning, it was time to head out for the Scientist in Training's birthday celebration with friends.  So I just didn't get a post up before we left.  

So here's week 28:

We all had a similar theme this week. All the photos were taken around town.  

Kate:  The Tower at Night

We actually have high rises in our downtown.  This is one of the original office buildings the served as corporate headquarters for many years. The bottom floor still houses the company cafeteria.  It's pretty impressive lit up at night. 

My Guy: Native Color at Unity Park

This is an art exhibit built within the last year as part of the creation of a new park in downtown.  My Guy did a walk through down town after hitting the gym one night. It was too cold for my bones.  

The Scientist in Training:  Downtown Friday Night

We went out to dinner last night and the SIT grabbed this shot as we were heading home.  It's just down the street from the most popular pizza place in town. 

This week wasn't as challenging as some of the more recent weeks have been.  Next week's challenge will require some technical knowledge to set up the shots.  

My Guy has a lot of experience with taking photos of the stars and such, so he has a fair amount of knowledge about this subject. But it's not something he's done with his digital SLR.  So this week should be interesting.  

Thursday, January 6, 2022

PHD in 2022

This will be my 4th year playing along with Quilting Gail for the annual PHD (Projects Half Done) challenge.  

I've yet to successfully complete the PHD challenge. But it's fun and motivating, so if all I do is make a bit of progress at working down the UFO list that works for me.  Here's my list for 2022. 

Here's the pictorial view.  

There are 3 Rainbow Scrap projects and 4 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt along projects in the mix. There are 2 other mystery quilt alongs on the list plus three other of just wanted to make it projects. The hexy project (number 3 in the bottom row) is my oldest UFO.  Number 2 and number 4 in row one, plus number 2 in row 2 are my new starts from 2021.  I don't count something as a UFO unless it's been on my list for a year. But finishing them means that my UFO numbers don't go up.  

If I can move 6 projects along this year, I'll be pretty pleased with progress in 2022.  Linking up with Quilting Gail for the PHD in 2022.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

One Monthly Goal: January 2022

I haven't quite mastered getting the year right when writing out the date. That's probably going to take a few weeks rather than the few days of the new year that have passed so far.  I'm mostly wrapped up with last year's stuff and can concentrate on what's in the works for this year.  Participating in the One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts has always been a great motivator, so I'm going to play along again this year. 

I have two quilts that need to be finished in time for the Scientist in Training's college graduation in May.  The first of those is off being quilted, so that one should easily be finished. The second of those I've just started.  

Photo from Flying Parrot Quilts

The pattern is Potions from Flying Parrot Quilts. You can purchase a downloadable PDF here.  I need to have all the blocks pieced and the quilt assembled with a back made by the beginning of April for it to be finished by early May. I really hate working to a deadline, but I can if needed.  The pattern is broken down into four sections; test tubes, beakers, flasks and assembly.  My plan is to try to finish each  section within two weeks, that would put it ready for quilting in March.  I'm not likely to meet that aggressive of goal, but if I don't push, it won't get done.  

The blocks aren't difficult, but they are fiddly. You have to get the seam allowances just right or the block doesn't look quite right. I've only finished 3 test tube blocks so far. 

The third one went together a lot quicker than the first and second, so maybe I'm getting the hang of it.  Even so there a lot of blocks to finish in the near term. So my goal for January is to finish all the test tube blocks and have at least half the beaker blocks made. 

That's my plan for January.  Hopefully I can stay on track this month. If I do, my life will be much easier in February.  Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the January One Monthly Goal.