Tuesday, October 31, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 10/31/2023


Happy Halloween!  Our plans for the evening are to hand out candy to the kids who come by.  We used to have a lot of littles in the neighborhood, but like our daughter, many of them have grown up and left for college.  Not sure how many we'll get. It's going to be cold, plus it's a school night.  

Now back to the regularly scheduled To Do List.  There was no linky party post over at The Quilt Schmilt: For the Love of Fabric last week.  I know that Carol's been really busy with non-quilting commitments, hopefully she'll soon get back to her normal routine (Update: she did get a To Do Tuesday post up). Writing up a to do list has become a big help and motivator for me, so I'm going to continue posting my list.  

I scored 100% on last week's to do list. 

To Do List for 10/24/2023

1. Melodic Mystery: Prep top for quilting ✔

2. Malted Mystery: Continue to work on clue 4 ✔

3. Rhododendron Mystery: Continue quilt top assembly ✔

4. Wild and Goosey: Finish last 2 yellow blocks ✔

5. Chilhowie: Continue as leaders and enders project ✔

Five of five is definitely a good week.  This week won't be as productive. I'm going to take a long weekend and visit Grad Girl.  My Guy has to work, so we'll just have a girls weekend.  But that means I won't have much time for stitching. I'll have some time before leaving, but that still won't be my normal full week of stitching.  So we'll pare down this week's list a bit. 

To Do List for 10/31/2024

1. Macaron Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): Finish label and binding. Sew to front and hand stitch to back.  

I'm in the process of sewing the binding strips together. Hopefully, I can get that done and get them attached to the quilt so I can take it with me and finish stitching down the binding while I'm visiting Grad Girl.  

2. Melodic Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): Send out for quilting.

I found a box in my attic stash that would work.  I just need to add the packing material, seal it up and address it.  That should happen today. 

3. Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter): Continue as leader and enders.

All the component parts for block 8 have been constructed. Since I still have a bit of binding to stitch together, there will be just a bit of progress on block assembly before I leave.  

A very short list for this week. But finishing this list means one more finish and one well on it's way to finished.  So a short, but definitely sweet stitching week if I can check off the whole list.    

Monday, October 30, 2023

Setting Triangles and a Clean Up

 We went from the 80's last weekend to the 40's this weekend. Plus it was rainy and windy.  It was perfect sewing room weather. I finally bit the bullet and cut out the setting tringles for Rhododendron, crossing my fingers that I had the correct measurements.  Based on how it's going together I got it right.  

I'm just about halfway done with the construction.  So far, so good.  Bonnie used flying geese in a pieced border. I'm going to do that too, but a little differently than what she did.  I should pull those out of the project box and see how many there are. A few more may be needed to execute my design.  

I would have made more progress on Rhododendron but most of Sunday was spent cleaning up and pressing the Melodic Mystery quilt top. 

There were quite a few loose threads on the back.  But it wasn't too hard to clean up. 


I found a batting, now I just need to find a box so Melodic Mystery can go to Trudy for quilting.  That's on the to do list for the upcoming week.  

Linking up with Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts.  

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Week 42 of 2023

Just three days left in October.  This month certainly went fast.  I know November and December will also go really fast.  Not much we can do about that. I'm sewing as much as possible, which is reflected in this week's metrics.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Oct = 20/28 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 255/301 days
  • Success rate = 84.72%

Other than the days we were on vacation, I've done pretty well at getting into the sewing room and making some progress on not only my projects, but on scrap and stash organization.  Mostly scraps this week.  When I started the week, my scrap bin was this full.

After a few scrap cutting sessions, I was almost to the bottom. 

Hopefully it will be an empty bin by next weekend.  

How are you doing on finding time to stitch and/or organize your sewing room?  

1. Gretchen
2. maggie f
3. Karen
4. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Quilting Gail
7. katie z.
8. Alycia Quilts-Quiltygirl
9. Frédérique
10. Deb in Canada
11. Janice - Jannimary

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 10/24/2023

Just one more week and October will be over.  That just doesn't seem possible.  Just 2 months left in the year. I'm really not ready for that, so we'll just concentrate on taking it a week at a time, starting with last week's to do list. 

To Do List for 10/17/2023

1. Melodic Mystery: Prep back for quilting ✔

2. Malted Mystery: Continue working on clue 4 

3. Rhododendron: Start assembling blocks into rows 

4. Wild & Goosey: Make 3 yellow blocks - progress

5.  Chilhowie: Continue as leaders and enders project 

Four check marks with progress on the fifth is a good week.  I'm hoping this week will be at least as good.  My to do list looks pretty much the same.  

To Do List for 10/24/2023

1. Melodic Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): Prep top for quilting

The back has been cleaned up and pressed.  The top shouldn't take too long.  It's all mostly darker fabrics, so the threads shouldn't show through as badly if I miss a few. The top mostly needs a really good pressing.   

2. Malted Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): Continue to work on clue 4. 

I'm still working on the star flower blocks, but should finish those off today.  Then I need to get going on the flying geese.  I'm hoping to be caught up by the time the clue comes out a week from Thursday.  

3. Rhododendron (Bonnie Hunter): Continue assembling blocks into rows. 

After playing around in EQ, I've decided to add the corner stones to the sashing strips.  That will make assembly a lot easier.  

4.  Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter): Finish last 2 yellow blocks


These are the last of the yellow blocks I need for the planned layout.  Since there are no neutrals in this quilt, I've been using October to catch up on other colors.  If I finish up the yellow, I'll probably move on to orange.  

5. Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter): Continue as leaders and enders project. 

The hourglass blocks take the longest to construct as a leaders and enders project.  But it has been slow and steady progress on the bits and pieces for block 8.  

That's my list for this week.  Trudy let me know that Macaron Mystery is quilted and I considered adding that to this week's list, but there is no telling when it might show up, so I'll just save that for next week.  Though I should probably but some thought into the name and label this week.  

Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt: For the Love of Fabric for To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

Design Wall Refresh

It was a warm weekend here, but I didn't enjoy it much.  My allergies really didn't like the warm up. I'm hoping we get some of the forecast rains sooner rather than later to knock back the pollen. I didn't spend a lot of time in the sewing room this weekend, but enough to make a bit of progress on the UFO next in line for assembly.  

All the blocks for Bonnie Hunter's 2021 mystery quilt along (Rhododendron) were finally finished back in January of this year. They've been sitting in a project box until we got back from vacation.

Bonnie used a thin sashing and pieced setting triangles to finish her version. I'm going to skip the pieced setting blocks, but keep the thin sashing. 

This is what's up on the design wall after yesterday.  I've cut the corner triangles, but still need to cut the end of row setting triangles.  Fingers crossed that happens today. Bonnie used corner stones in her sashing, I've not decided yet if I want to include them or not.  Keeping them would make assembly a little easier. 

I'm hoping to get Rhododendron to finished quilt top before Bonnie's 2023 mystery comes out.  That's definitely doable.  It probably won't be up for finishing till next year. I'm slowly whittling down my unfinished BH mysteries.  Just four more to go after this one (not counting this year's mystery).   

Linking up with Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts.  

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Week 41

It was a good week, but the weekend didn't get off to a good start.  As the temperatures have warmed up, my allergies seem to have kicked in. So Saturday wasn't really productive, but thankfully I did well the rest of the week. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Oct = 13/21 days
  • 15 minute days/2023 = 248/294 days
  • Success rate = 84.35%

I did make it into the sewing room on Saturday, but just met my minimum 15 minutes. Hopefully today will be much better.  

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

1. maggie f
2. Julie in GA
3. Karen
4. katie z.
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Frédérique
7. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
8. Quilting Gail
9. Jennifer in Indy
10. Andrée at Quilting & Learning
11. Amanda
12. Deb in Canada

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Saturday, October 21, 2023

Week 90 Photo Challenge: Simple Background

We'll hit week 100 of our photo challenge right at the end of the year, assuming we pull challenge cards for each week.  There's a bunch of stuff going on between now and the end of the year for all of us, so no telling if we'll hit that milestone in 2023 or not.  

At any rate it's time to look the photos we came up with for last week's photo card. 

We all had very different interpretations of the challenge this week. 

I literally went simple. 

Kate: Simply Colors

Most of my photo is background.  The idea was to let the colors carry the image, not so much the subject matter. 

My Guy relied on photographic principles for his photo. 

My Guy: Maple


He chose a larger aperture to focus on the maple leaf and render the background out of focus so what you get is just color with little detail.  That does simplify the background for many shots.  He pretty much nailed that concept with this photo.  

I wasn't sure Grad Girl would manage to get an image this week. Her NSF grant proposal was due Friday and she's been really busy getting that all pulled together.  She did come up with a photo, but went a completely different direction, falling back on chemical concepts. 

Grad Girl: Solvent Background


This is the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) image of the solvent she's been using in her reactions.  It's important to know what signals come from the solvent, so you can identify them as the background and ignore them when you are looking at spectra of the chemical substances involved in the reaction. 

It's always fun to see our different interpretations of the challenge.  This week's challenge should be interesting. 


Does this mean one of our old photos, or an old historical photo from the public domain?  I guess that's up to us.  Should be interesting to see what we come up with for this week. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

To Do List for the Week of 10/17/2023

Half of October is already gone.  Taking a week and half for vacation will really speed up time.  It's been 3 weeks since my last to do list post.  About half the last list from September was checked off before I left for vacation.  I've checked off the rest since we got back. 

To Do List for 9/26/2023

1. Macaron Mystery: Package and mail out for quilting ✔ 
2. Melodic Mystery: Find backing fabric and design cutting plan ✔
3. Scrappy Butterflies: Finish last border ✔
4. Malted Mystery: Continue working on clue 3 ✔
5. Wild & Goosey : Finish 4 teal blocks ✔
6. Chilhowie: Continue as leader and ender ✔

I did some handwork during vacation, but not enough to add it to the list.  Granted it took 3 weeks to get this far, but that's OK. Progress is what counts.  So what's on this week's to do list? 

To Do List for 10/17/2023

1.  Melodic Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): prep back for quilting

The backing was pieced this weekend. So all that's left is to prep the quilt to go out for quilting. I'd like to have that done by the time Macaron Mystery is on it's way back from being quilted.  

2.  Malted Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs): Continue working on clue 4.

I finished all the various blocks and HSTs for step 3 and have made a start on step 4 which came out earlier this month.  

3. Rhododendron (Bonnie Hunter): Start assembling blocks into rows

All the blocks for the 2021 Bonnie Hunter mystery were finished back in January.  Then they got put away in a project box while I started a few new projects.  Now I'm ready to pull these blocks out and finish assembling the quilt top.  

4. Wild & Goosey  (Bonnie Hunter): Make 3 yellow blocks

The rainbow scrap challenge has been my guide for what colors to work on.  This month the color is neutral, but I'm not using any neutrals in this project. I only need 3 yellow blocks to finish out that color.  There's been a good start on the first 2, hopefully a third is doable.  

5. Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter): Continue as leader and enders project

Block 7 was finished over the weekend.  That leaves just 2 blocks left to piece for my version.  Fingers crossed I can finish those 2 before this year's mystery kicks off in November.  

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

Monday, October 16, 2023

A Bit of Spring in Autumn

It's been a couple of weeks since I've written a Monday post.  Vacation was fun, but it was nice to be back home and spend most of the weekend in the sewing room.  Saturday afternoon Scrappy Butterflies (self designed) had the last of the border strips attached. It's now a finished quilt top. 

The butterfly blocks were started in 2013 as my second Rainbow Scrap project.  I couldn't decide on a setting, that's why these blocks have languished on the UFO list for so long.  It feels really good to get them into a finished top.  Scrappy Butterflies will be the next project to go out for quilting after Melodic Mystery.  I need to raid the stash for an appropriate backing fabric. That probably won't happen till next month.  

In yesterday's post I shared photos of the hiking parts of our trip. There were a couple of quilt shop stops during our trip as well.  I had to really watch my purchases as it all had to fit in the suitcases for the trip home. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Bend, OR,  The Quilt Basket.  I didn't take any photos of the shop, but it was well stocked with lots of fabrics not common in the shops around home.  I don't normally buy kits, but the fabrics in this one really appealed to me. 

The fabrics are from the fabric line Astra by Janet Clare for Moda.  My Guy has a minor in astronomy, so the fabrics seemed fitting.  I'm not sure if I'll use the fabrics to make the Taylored Stars or if I'll do something else with them.  

We drove back to Portland over the mountains and drove through Sisters, OR where we stopped at the Stitchin' Post.  Again, no pictures of the shop. They didn't have a lot of fabrics, but did have lots of patterns.  Considering how much fabric was in the kit and how much room it was going to take up in the suitcase, I contented myself with a fat quarter bundle. 

These are from the Vintage Garden line by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel.  The deep greens and botanical prints were a great reminder of our hikes along the Columbia River gorge. 

Thankfully the house we stayed out had a very nice washer and dryer, so we didn't come home with a lot of dirty laundry, but I do need to go deal with a few loads of that this morning and a few other household chores.  Then the plan is to get back to the sewing room and decide on what is going on the to do list for next week.  

Linking up with Monday Design Wall, Patchwork & Quilts, and Oh Scrap.   

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Stitching Stuff: Weeks 38, 39 and 40

I really didn't mean to miss two weeks of stitching stuff posts.  I had connectivity issues just before we left on vacation. Then we had a pretty busy vacation in Oregon and I just never had time to sit down to write a post. We flew on Sunday and spent Monday driving the Columbia River Gorge.  One of our stops was at Bridal Veil Falls. 

We also stopped at Wahkeena Falls, but that one doesn't photograph very well.  From Wahkeena, we hiked over to Multnomah Falls. 


The falls and the associated hikes were all beautiful.  It was a bit cool and misty, but that makes for very saturated greens in the photos.  Just as we got to the car after the hike back from Multnomah falls, it started raining hard. We drove the rest of the way to Bend in the rain. 

We've been to Crater Lake before, but we stopped on the way to someplace else. This time we stayed for the day to hike several of the trails. 


The little island in the lake is known as the Shipwreck.  The water is really that deep, deep blue.  If it weren't for the rims, the sky would blend right into the water. If you've never been, it is definitely worth even a quick visit.  

Later in the week we ventured into Smith Rock state park. 


There is a hiking path down the gorge that runs from that first peak on the left to around the dark peak on the right, then back up to the top of the gorge rim. We didn't take the whole trail, as we were running low on water. It was over 80 F this day, so we went through a lot of water.  This park is mostly known to climbers. There were groups of climbers all over those peaks, but you can't really seem them in this photo. 

The first part of the trip had lots of hiking.  The day before we flew home, we had lunch with Barbara (of Cat Patches fame) and her guy, Mike.  (Barbara posted this photo last week just after our visit).

Barbara and I started our blogs just a few months apart back in 2010.  I found her Foto Finish Saturday linky party early that December and have followed her since.  It was a very fun lunch and nice to finally meet someone from blogland.  I forgot to ask about the kitties and Barbara said she meant to ask My Guy about his bread baking.    

So that's what I've been doing the last few weeks. Consequently my stitching time suffered quite a bit last week. 

  • 15 minute days/week 38 = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Sept = 29/31 days
  • 15 minute days/week 39 = 2/7 days
  • 15 minute days/week 40 = 4/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Oct = 6/14 days
  • 15 minute days 2023 = 241/287 days
  • Success rate = 83.97%
My stitching time is still more than 75%, so far so good on that goal even with the vacation down time.  How did you do at finding time to stitch the last 3 weeks?  

1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Karen
4. Frédérique
5. DonnaleeQ
6. Quilting Gail
7. Shasta @ High Road Quilter
8. Andrée

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Saturday, October 14, 2023

Week 89 Photo Challenge: Symmetry

The photo challenge took a few of weeks off while me and My Guy were on vacation. Grad Girl has been neck deep in finishing up a NSF grant proposal, so getting a set of photos collected proved challenging for all of us. The last photo card was pretty wide open as to subject matter. 


The photos just need to show symmetry, which is defined as "the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis" (at least that's the Google definition).  We have a bit of both types in this weeks photos. 

Kate: Natural Symmetry

Our vacation took us to Oregon for the first week and half of October.  The leaves are just starting to turn, but the ferns are still really, really green.  They are amazingly symmetric across the stem. This photo was taken on the walk to Bridal Veil falls. 

My Guy: Reflected Symmetry

My Guy's photo is also from Oregon, but his was taken in Bend.  We were lucky to have wonderful weather for most of our trip. These clouds pretty much disappeared by the next day and we had clear blue skies for most of the week.  The clouds do add a lot of drama, I was missing them in some of our later photos. A clear blue sky is pretty, but clouds can really make a mundane photograph pretty spectacular.  

Grad Girl: Stitching Symmetry

Since Grad Girl has been pretty much desk bound working on that grant proposal, she's been doing a bit of stitching in the evenings to clear her head and relax.  Thankfully she turned in her final draft to her advisor on Friday. Hopefully she's mostly done. She has a fondness for mandala's, this one may be destined to be added to her framed collection.   

My Guy drew this week's challenge card.

This one is definitely open to lots of interpretations. It should be fun to see what we all come up with next week.  

Friday, October 13, 2023

2023 Q3 Quilting Ambitions Check In and September PHD Progress

The end of September was hectic with vacation preparations, complicated by a three day migraine.  So blogging went out the window for several days.  Vacation preparations got done, but I didn't have the energy to get into the sewing room to get photos for my end of the month post.  Since I've not done anything stitching related for the last couple of weeks, all I have to post is progress on my quilting goals for the year and my PHD progress for September.  I'm linking up with Quilting Jetgirl's 2023 Q3 Check In.  

2023 Ambition #1: Finish some quilts, make progress on some quilts and start some quilts. 

There has been one finish and progress on all but one of the quilts on my 2023 plan since my 2nd quarter update.  A second quilt is out for quilting and three others are finished quilt tops.  I am hoping to finish another three quilts before the end of the year. Even if that doesn't happen, I've made good progress on the quilt plan.  That counts too.  

2023 Ambition #2: Acquire a new skill.

In my second quarter update I noted that my plan was to learn to quilt my own projects. I've not done anything on that front, but I'd forgotten that back in April I did take a class on editing quilt patterns.  I can't say I've mastered that skill, but I did learn something new.  I've played a little with creating a tool that can help me calculate the yardage from instructions, but it still needs a lot of work.  

2023 Ambition #3:  Stitch 15 minutes a day and post associated linky party. 

At the end of the quarter, there were 37 Stitching Stuff linky parties with an average participation of 11.7 bloggers.

 As of the end of September, I'd stitched for at least 15 minutes 86% of the days in 2023.  My goal was to exceed 75%, so I'm on track, at least for now. With last week's vacation and the upcoming holidays, finding stitching time will be harder.  

2023 Ambition #4: Sewing room clean up

  • Press, cut and sort scraps: some progress
  • Organize yardage: no progress
I've spent some time cleaning up my scraps, but I've not done much of anything with my yardage.  Though I have used up some older pieces of yardage as backings.  I've not had enough finishes for that to impact my yardage storage, but every little bit helps. 

I'm mostly happy with where I'm at with this year's ambitions. Just 2.5 months left in the year.  We are at the point what gets done, gets done and what doesn't will just have to be incorporated into next year's ambitions.  

As far as September progress, the PHD report finally shows a finish.

There was good progress on several projects in September. 

Scrappy Butterflies (self designed) was assembled, the first border has been added, attaching the second is in progress.  This should be a finished quilt top by the end of October. 

A few more teal blocks were added to Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter). 

Unity (Bonnie Hunter), aka Helianthus, became a finished quilt in September. 

The Macaron Mystery quilt (Meadow Mist Designs) went out for quilting last month.  

The stash yielded a reasonable backing fabric for Melodic Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs).  The plan is to get this project out for quilting before the end of October. 

Progress on Chilhowie (Bonnie Hunter) continues as my leaders and enders project. 

Malted Mystery (Meadow Mist Designs) first piecing instructions came out in September.  I didn't quite get that clue done before October's clue came out last week. 

The project tracking chart is showing some longer bars this month.

Hopefully a couple more bars move closer to the left of the chart by the end of this month. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Taking a Break


I had intended to get a post up on Sunday, but due to connectivity issues that didn't happen. Connectivity is going to be iffy at best this week. I hope to be back with a Stitching Stuff post next Sunday.  Till then, happy stitching.