Tuesday, May 30, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 5/30/2023

Since I was traveling last week, it was hard to put together a to do list, so I didn't make one.  The one from two weeks ago was pretty simple. 

To Do List for 5/16/2023

1. Prep projects for Texas Trip ✔

2. Enjoy hanging out with Grad Girl 

I made really good progress on the pinwheel blocks while I was in Texas and a little progress on Diatom.  But I definitely prepped more than I was able to work on.  But I'd rather be over prepared than to run out of stitching stuff to do.  Hanging out with Grad Girl was a lot of fun.  It was just nice to spend the evening together laughing and talking.

Now that I've had a few days back in my sewing room, making a to do list was easier. 

To Do List for 5/30/2023

1.  SAHRR (Quilting Gail): Assemble last pieced border

I finished the last pinwheel yesterday.  Then had a go at balancing the light and dark blocks across the borders.  I'm pretty happy with this layout.  Since this picture was taken, I've cut the background strips and pinned the first border strip. It's waiting at the sewing machine to be stitched.  

2. Just Two Charm Pack Blog Hop (Meadow Mist Designs): Finish pressing and cutting fabrics

I'm almost finished with the pressing and cutting of my blocks.  I don't have a lot of charm packs, I never know what to do with them, so I don't buy them often. That being the case I've gone the route of making my own charm pack from stash, something Cheryl does cover in the book.  

3. Diatom (Quilting Jetgirl): Assemble block 6, cut block 7

I finished block 5 yesterday.  Block 6 was already cut as part of the trip prep activities.  Block 12 comes out next week, so I'm still way behind.  Now that the windmill blocks are done, hopefully I can dedicate more time to catching up on this project. 

4. Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter): 1 orange block

A new color will come out later this week, but I'll finish one more orange to tie up May. 

5. Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter): Leaders and enders project. 

So that's my list for this week.  Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt: For the Love of Fabric for this week's To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, May 29, 2023

Almost Never Ending Pinwheels

I've had a weekend to recover from my trip last week.  My machine is set back up and I spent most of yesterday playing in the sewing room.  While I was in Texas, I finished off another 5 pinwheel blocks.

That brought the total up to 28, just 4 more left to make.  I put these up on the design wall with the others. 

I've been putting the pinwheels up as I've finished them. Looking at this photo, I'll need to do a bit of rearranging to better distribute the light and dark blocks.  Three of the last four pinwheels are in pieces at the sewing machine. I've picked out the fabric for the last block, but haven't cut the triangles from it yet. That should happen today.   I'd like to get these last borders assembled, I've another project with a July deadline that I need to put up on the design wall.  So fingers crossed I can finish the last pieced border on this project by the end of the week.  

Linking up with Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts linky parties again this week.  

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Week 20 of 2023

It certainly seemed like a long week.  I spent the first part of it in Texas, than a day in Oklahoma City before I finally made it home on Thursday.  There were 3 driving days in there and that impacted my stitching time this week. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/May = 23/27 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 122/147
  • Success rate = 82.99%
So not the best week, but still not bad.  There are no travel plans for the next month or so.  Hopefully that means lots of stitching time for me.  I really need to get busy on a blog hop project and get back to finishing up some quilts.  

How did you do at fitting in some stitching time as the weather has gotten warmer and sunnier?  

1. maggie f
2. Karen
3. Julie in GA
4. DonnaleeQ
5. Amanda
6. Quilting Gail
7. Deb in Canada
8. Frederique
9. Carol Andrews
10. Susan in TN
11. kris@SewSunshine

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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Week 72 Photo Challenge: Something Breaking

I detoured to Oklahoma City on my way back from Texas to spend some time with my Mom.  I finally made it home late Thursday.  Yesterday was spent unpacking and doing a bit of laundry.  It was late afternoon before I remembered this week's photo challenge. 

I really tried to get pictures of the "breaking" in progress. That didn't work out so well, this was the best I could manage. 

Kate: Breaking Bits

I like that rainbow on the CD. So maybe not the best photo to meet the challenge, but it's what I ended up with.  I'll have to see how My Guy and Grad Girl take it.  They don't see any photos but their own till I finish the post. That's been part of the fun.  

My Guy went after a slightly different take on "breaking". 

My Guy: The Breaking of the Day

I think he pretty much nailed it this week. Definitely the prettiest photo of the bunch.  

Grad Girl had to work the last part of the week to make up for the time she took off earlier in the week, so of course her image comes from the lab. 

Grad Girl: Breaking Plates

This is a thin layer chromatography plate.  She uses this technique as a quick way to determine how well her reactions worked.  If you look closely you'll see a white blur at the end of the plate in her fingers, that's silica breaking off from the plate.  So she did get an action photo of the breaking. 

The "Something Breaking" is the last card in the photo prompt deck.  This has been such a fun challenge for us, both in getting the photos and in seeing everyone's reaction to them. Some weeks we did really well, some weeks we were a little lame.  But that's been part of the fun.  Grad Girl has especially enjoyed the challenge because it's been one thing we can do as a family long distance.  She wasn't ready for the challenge to end, so she found the add on deck.  Now we have another 72 cards to play with.  My Guy drew the first card from the new deck. 

My Guy is already thinking of umbrella shaped plants. Next week's post should be interesting.  (Watch us all wimp out and end up with photos of just simple umbrellas!)

Monday, May 22, 2023

Stitching on the Road

This is my last full day in College Station.  I start the trip home tomorrow.  I've had such a good time hanging out with Grad Girl. Yesterday was a just be home and chill day.  We did a bit of laundry and a few dishes, but otherwise it was a nice relaxing day. I spent some time sewing while she played her Switch and baked. Dinner was simple.  

Our take on a ploughman's lunch.  It's one of our favorite meals when we are traveling. Low on prep, but pretty tasty.  

I've sewn for at least an hour most days I've been here.  

I've a nice stack of bits and pieces of the SAHRR pinwheel blocks ready to finish.


Each 3" finished block has 20 pieces, so it takes a bit to finish just one pinwheel. I've got one more set of HSTs to add to this pile of parts.  I'll probably get those stitched today.  Once those 6 blocks are finished, I just need 5 more to finish the last pieced border for the SAHRR.  

This is the first time I've tried stitching on the road. Since Grad Girl still has to work most days, it's been nice to have something to keep me busy till she gets home.  Now that I've got it figured out, it may play a more prominent role in our road trips.  We'll see how My Guy takes that.  

Linking up with the Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts linky parties this week. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Stitching Stuff Week 19 of 2023


My apologies for posting so late this morning.  Grad Girl and I made a shopping trip to Houston yesterday, got back late, then stayed up even later just talking.  So I really slept in this morning.  

Considering I've been traveling and visiting, my stitching time this week hasn't worked out too badly. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/May = 18/20 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 117/140 days
  • Success rate = 83.57%
Definitely not a bad week.  I brought my sewing machine to play with as Grad Girl still has to go into work for at least half a day. She is in the middle of new set of experiments, so she's had to work a bit more than she planned. That's been OK, I've been able to set up a reasonably efficient work area in her dining room.  I've also had company for a change. 

Queenie watches me from the back of the couch in the living room.  I do have to put my pin cushion and thread holder back in my travel bag as she's way to curious about those items when I'm not using them.  

Have you been able to stitch with the warmer weather and the lure of all that garden work?  

1. maggie f
2. katie z.
3. Deb in Canada
4. DonnaleeQ
5. Julie in GA
6. Ivani
7. Frederique
8. Gretchen
9. Quilting Gail
10. Carol Andrews

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Week 71 Photo Challenge: A House

 This subject of this week's photo challenge is a pretty common object.  

There are lots of houses, the challenge is to get an interesting photo.  Last week the photos were all of the same subject, this week the photos show a lot more variety.  

Kate: Bird Duplex

I spotted this lovely bird duplex on one of my walks this week. I'm visiting Grad Girl this week, so I've had the chance to explore some new trails.  Sadly this house doesn't seem to be in use, I wonder if no one liked the neighborhood?  

My Guy: Hollow Tree

My Guy spotted this Gnome house on one of his bike rides this week. Very ingenious way to deal with an old stump.   

Grad Girl: Student Greenhouse

Since Grad Girl spends most of her time on campus these days, it's not surprising she found something there as her subject.  I'm not sure if this green house grows plants or student's brains.  

That's our photos for this week's challenge.  Much more variety than last week.  My Guy got to pick the card for this week because I forgot to pack them. He had such a difficult task, this is the last card in our first challenge deck.  


His text said "I think we saved the hardest for last".  Of course his next statement was he had an idea of what to do. Grad Girl, who had a bad week in the lab since she broke a key piece of glassware, got a gleam in her eye when she said she had an idea. Me, I'm clueless at the moment of what my subject might be. Next week's post should be interesting.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 5/16/2023

This last week went really fast. May is half over. Already?  Staying busy definitely makes the time fly by.  I made good progress on last week's to do list, but didn't get to all of it.  

To Do List for 5/9/2023

1. SAHRR: Make windmill blocks ✔

2. Guild Name Tag: Make 

3. Diatom: Cut fabrics for blocks 5 & 6, make block 5 - progress

4. Wild and Goosey: Make 1 orange block, cut orange scraps 

5. Blog Hop Quilt: Press and cut fabrics - no progress

6. Chilhowie: make as leaders and enders 

Check marks on 4 with progress on a 5th is really not a bad week. Last week's list was a little long, I'm going to keep it much simpler for this next week.  

To Do List for 5/16/2023

1. Prep projects for Texas Trip

I'm only going to take projects that just need stitching.  So far all that's in the project bag is Melodic Mystery and Wild and Goosey.  The plan today is to cut pieces for the SAHRR Windmill blocks, cut fabric for Diatom blocks 6 - 10, and pieces to continue making Chilhowie blocks as my leaders and enders project.  I'll take what ever I manage to prep.  I'm also taking my embroidery project. Grad Girl will have to work till early afternoon during the week, so I should have a couple of hours in the morning to sew.  But I'm not going to count on it. If nothing gets done while I'm in Texas, at least I'll have things ready to stitch when I get back.  

2. Enjoy hanging out with Grad Girl. 

That's my priority for the next week.  I'm pretty sure there will be a giant check mark next to this to do item next week.  

So a much simpler list this week.  Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt: For the Love of Fabric for this week's To Do Tuesday

Monday, May 15, 2023

From Start to Finish

I would think that being retired would mean that Mondays are just another day of the week. But I'm still not fond of Monday. Probably my own fault. I take the weekend off from doing any chores, but Monday means a return to my housekeeping to do list.  

It was a nice weekend. My Guy took Friday off and we had a really nice date day. He treated me to a new recipe for Mother's Day.

So I got maple walnut scones for breakfast. They taste like a maple bar from the donut shop. I had to have two because they were so good. I'm going to need to walk a lot this week to keep up with my weight loss goals after being spoiled like that.  

Most of my weekend sewing time was spent making my guild name tag.  First step was to raid the scrap bins for the component parts.

The periodic table and teal weave fabrics are left over from the chemistry quilt I made for Grad Girl.  I remember the quilt that the dark blue comes from, but I'd have to dig to find out which quilt I used that tone on tone white.  I decided to paper piece the coffee cup, 3.5 X 3.5 means that some of those handle pieces are really small.

I didn't take any in progress photos. Here's the end result. 

It's not perfect, but it came out OK.  My embroidery skills are a bit rusty. I was wishing that Grad Girl was around, she's much better at that skill. The tag is a bit long, I wish I'd shortened the top half a little.  But it's finished and it will work for the intended purpose.  I found the lanyard in the junk drawer in the laundry room and the silver hanging bracket in my sewing supply cabinet. 

This is my first finish for the year.  At some point, I need to get back to finishing a few things, but I've got one more new start with a deadline before I move back to finishing off some of the older things on my list.  Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Patchwork & Quilts.   

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Week 18 of 2023


Happy Mother's Day!  Grad Girl is not able to come home this year,  but I'll get to see her next week.  My Guy is making me one of my favorite dinners to celebrate. I'll get to spend my day in the sewing room, so it will be a nice Mom's Day for me.  I hope whatever plans you and your family have, you have a wonderful day. 

I've gotten better at managing my sewing time, I'm getting in at least an hour most days. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/May = 13/13 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 112/133 days
  • Success rate = 84.21%

It may be a challenge this next week to sew for all 7 days. I'm making the trip to Texas to spend some time with Grad Girl. That's a 9 hour drive. I'm taking my machine with me as she'll have to work some of the days.  But we'll have the evenings and weekend to go do some fun stuff. 

How did your stitching go this week?  


1. Julie in GA
2. Frederique
3. Ivani
4. Karen
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
7. Gretchen
8. Carol Andrews
9. Andre
10. amanda

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

Week 70 Photo Challenge: Old Wood

Hard to believe we've kept the challenge going for 70 weeks, granted not 70 consecutive weeks, but still that's a lot of photos.  This week's challenge card presented several possible subjects for photos. 

As you'll see below, all three of us chose the same subject matter, but from different view points. 

Kate: If a Tree Falls in a Forest.....

Black with age (fire damage isn't likely based on location), this fit my definition of old wood.  I found this fallen tree during one of my early morning walks.  

My Guy: Skeletal

While my shot is from the bottom, My Guy went right to the top.  I'm not exactly sure where this photo was taken, but it was probably during one of his late evening walks.  My Guy wasn't particularly happy with any of his photos for this week.  With the rain we've had, it really limited his ability to get out and about for photography.  As it was I had to rescue him from one of his evening bike rides due to the very rapid onset of severe weather. 

Grad Girl: The Century Tree

Grad Girl went with a literal Live Oak.  This is the Century Tree on the Texas A&M campus.  This tree is well over 100 years old.  It's a popular location for marriage proposals and as Grad Girl discovered, graduation photos. This weekend is graduation, so she had to sneak her photo in between other photographers.  It's said if a couple walks under the tree together, they will marry; and any marriage resulting from a proposal under the tree will last forever.  

Next week's challenge card is another commonly found subject.  

I'm not sure what we'll all come up with, but it should be interesting to see what view points we each take.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Photo Play #15: Oklahoma Spring

I'm still about a month behind on posting my photo practice sessions.  My photo taking has slowed down a bit as I've been trying to balance the have to do things like clean out the attic and garage with finding time to walk.  It's getting too hot to walk after lunch, so I need to adapt my schedule to walking earlier in the morning.  But that's when I tend to work on the computer. So it's going to take me a few weeks to adjust, but that may also give me a chance to get caught up on posting.  

My Guy and I had a date day back in early April, so we went hiking at the Oxaly Nature Center.  I did a solo hike there back in early March (those photos are in this post).  There was definitely more color to photograph this time.  Most of the photos were taken with a Canon 70D with a Tamron 18-400 telephoto.  The photos haven't been edited other than to reduce the file size for posting. 

The Sand Plum trees were bloomed out by this time, but even without the petals, the naked stamen made for some cool photos.

These stamen only flowers make me think of little skeletal fingers for some reason.  You can tell it was a beautiful day with the blue, blue sky in that first photo.  

I'm still working on my landscapes, but I liked this reflection of the red buds in the pond.  The wind was reasonably calm, which is a rare day during spring.

No ideal what this is, but I like the little buds against the green gray background of the pond and forest.  You get just a hit of the sparkles from the water in the pond.  

It's not spring till the bright pink Redbuds are in bloom.  This photo is from my I-Phone 12.  For some reason, I struggle getting a good shot with my Canon.  But it's hard to not enjoy this bright pink beauties.  

I didn't write any take aways in my notes from this photo practice session. I took a lot of photos that day, as did My Guy.  There are close ups and landscapes, DLSR and I Phone shots, most of which work as photos.  None of them are WOW photos, but I'm good with that.  It's been a fun exercise to see what I can come up with that's new each week.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 5/9/2023

I wrote in my last To Do Tuesday post that I really needed to get back to moving some of my older quilts to finished.  But that's not going to happen this month.  Before I get to why that is, here's how it went with last week's list.  

To Do List for 5/2/2023

1. SAHRR: Finish 5th spacer border, make windmill blocks ✔
2. Donation blocks for guild: Assemble patriotic blocks 
3. Diatom: Finish block 4, cut fabric for block 5 - progress
4. Wild and Goosey: Finish an orange block 
5. Chilhowie: Continue as leaders and enders 

Check marks on 4 out of the 5, with progress on the 5th, is a really good week.  This week's list is going to be a bit longer.  It's doable if I make good use of my afternoons and actually get in the sewing room. I will admit that with being retired, it's easy to get distracted and just not make the best use of my time. I'm adding another new project to my list this month.  I really need to make this my last unplanned new project and get back to my UFO list.  Here's this week's to do list. 

To Do List for 5/9/2023

1. SAHRR: (Quilting Gail): Make windmill blocks

Two more windmills are in progress and the fabric is cut for two more.  I need a total of 12 windmills to finish the planned layout.  With everything else on the list, I doubt I finish all 12 this week, but hopefully I'll whittle down the number needed. 

2. Guild Name Tag: Make

I have a plan for this, I just need to execute it.  The next guild meeting is a week from today, hopefully I can finish it by then. 

3. Diatom (Quilting Jetgirl): Cut fabric for blocks 5&6, make block 5

I finished block 4 but didn't get the fabric cut for block 5.  I think block 9 comes out this week (or maybe it's block 10).  At any rate, I'm hoping to be caught up by the time the last block comes out.

4. Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter): make 1 orange block, cut orange scraps

These little blocks are really fun to stitch up. They don't take very long, but unfortunately I can't string piece these. I don't have a lot of orange scraps, so there may not be a lot of variety in these blocks.  I need to dig to see what else I have in the stash. 

5. Blog Hop Quilt (Meadow Mist Designs): press and cut fabrics

This project needs to be finished by the end of June, so I'd best get going on it. 

6. Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter) : Leaders and Enders

I'm making hourglass blocks for block 5.  I've cut fabric to make blocks 5 and 6, so I have lots of pieces to work with for a while.  

That's my list for this week. In order to check off all the items, I'm going to need to be disciplined this week.  Fingers crossed I can manage that.  Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt: For the Love of Fabric for this week's To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, May 8, 2023

A Bit of This and That

This week has been mostly odds and ends in the sewing room.  My focus is still on getting the SAHRR to the finished flimsy stage. 


The spacer border between row 5 and 6 is attached. Now I just need to finish the windmill blocks so I can start assembling the last pieced border.  

A lot of the week was spent on the fabric pull for an upcoming blog hop in July to celebrate a book release.  Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs has a new book coming out at the end of May, Just Two Charm Pack Quilts.  Cheryl's mystery quilt alongs have been a favorite part of my sewing plans over the last several years.  Grad Girl helped me pick the pattern to make. I decided on the fabrics, they are washed but not pressed. I'm hoping to get all the parts cut out this week. My hope is that Grad Girl will like this quilt more than the SAHRR. She asked for it again this weekend and I reminded her it was for her Dad.  Her response was he could use it for a few months, but it would just disappear on one of her trips home. (Grad Girl reads my blog, so I'm sure she'll let me know her thinking on this strategy).  

The only other project that needed some attention this week is to come up with a design for my guild name tag.  I need to have that made by the 16th, so I put some thought into the design and came up with this. 

This is a rough mock up in EQ.  I'll paper piece the coffee cup and embroider the steam and my name. The steam will come all the way down to the cup in the finished mini quilt, I'm going to leave off that top strip on the cup to reduce the size a bit more and the upper half will probably be cut down an inch or so.  It should finish at 3.5" X 5" or there abouts.  Next step is to raid the scraps for something fun for the coffee cup.  

That's what's up on my design wall and what's been going on in my sewing room.  Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Patchwork & Quilts.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Week 17 of 2023

The first week of May is over.  It will be June before we know it.  The summer always seems to move so fast, usually because we've got lots of things going on.  But staying in the moment, the first week of May was a good one on the stitching front. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April = 29/30 days
  • 15 minute days/May = 6/6 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 105/126 days
  • Success rate = 83.33%

April was a much better month for stitching than March was. I'm hoping that May is as good as April.  I have a trip planned to see Grad Girl before the end of the month, so I'll likely miss a couple of days this month just due to travel. So it likely won't be quite as good.  

Is summer the time do you struggle to get into the sewing room?  There are so many things to do when the weather is nice.  

How did you do at finding time to stitch this week? 

1. Julie in GA
2. Gretchen
3. Frederique
4. Andre
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Quilting Gail
7. Jennifer in Indy
8. Amanda
9. Another Stitching Nana
10. Carol Andrews

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Saturday, May 6, 2023

Week 69 Photo Challenge: A Nose

In last week's post I suggested that this week's photo challenge was likely to be one of the more difficult weeks, at least for My Guy and I.  

My Guy and I had some of the same ideas for photos, but in the end we went with different approaches and different subjects. 

Kate: China Doll Features

I went for a delicate, close up nose.  

My Guy: Disco Bison

My Guy went wide angle and much less delicate.  Our community has various themed bison statues all over town (This one actually has disco balls in place of the typical Rocky Mountain oysters).  

Grad Girl went the cute route.

Grad Girl: Nosey Kitty

What's not to love about a cute little black nose and those whiskers?  Though My Guy and I agree that Queenie's eyes might look a tad desperate.  We'll chalk that up to the reality she's had to live with Grad Girl through finals week at Texas A&M.  I'm betting Grad Girl doesn't surface till sometime close to lunch today. She's had a heck of a week.  

So what's the challenge for this week?

Grad Girl's response to this card was "Ok then".  I feel the same.  Hopefully inspiration hits before Friday on this one.  

Friday, May 5, 2023

Photo Play #14: Just Flowers

At the very end of March, I took a flower arranging class with some friends.  It was a lot of fun and I got a nice centerpiece for the dining room table. 

Of course the next step was to get out the Canon 70D with the Sigma 105 mm macro lens to see what kind of images I could capture. The goal was to photograph from a unique viewpoint and come out with something pretty.  You can judge if I hit the mark with these images. 

There were a lot of good pictures from this shooting session, but these 6 are the best of the bunch. My goal was to show different aspects of the flowers, not just the whole flower. What did I take away from this session? 

1. You can never take too many pictures of flowers. 

2. Lighting can make or break a photograph. It really is the magic wand when photographing flowers.