Sunday, June 30, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 26 of 2024

There are 52 weeks in a year, so week 26 means we are half way done with the year.  July starts on Monday.  I'm not really ready to accept that the year is half over, but the calendar doesn't lie.  At least the first half of my year has been pretty good in terms of getting in my stitching time each day. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June = 29/29 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 =  181/181 days
  • Success rate = 100%

I really didn't expect to maintain 100% this far into the year. Having made it this far with that metric is proving to be very motivating to keep it up for as long as possible.  

There was a bit of scrap trimming and sorting into the scrap bins.  I started working on Scrap Bag #2 this week. 

The bag handles were at least uncovered last week and you can see a bit more brown at the top of the bag.  Lots more to trim and sort. It's going to take a bit to work through the bits and pieces tossed in this bag.  

The to be pressed bin also saw some progress this week. 

Still quite a bit to press and fold, but at least you can see a bit more of the sides.  It's been a slow process, but I can tell there has been progress. It's just going to take a while to finish the reorganization of the fabric closet. All the effort will pay off eventually.  

So how are you doing finding time to stitch? 


1. maggie f
2. Julie in GA
3. DonnaleeQ
4. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
5. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
6. Andrée at Quilting & Learning
7. DawnyK
8. Bonnie in Va
9. Quilting Gail
10. Carol @Quilt Schmilt
11. Janice - Jannimary
12. Deb in Canada

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Saturday, June 29, 2024

Week 114 Photo Challenge: Masks

Week 114 was a tough challenge for all of us. Grad Girl and I had photos for last week, but My Guy wasn't ready. To be fair, work had been more crazy than usual and we were both at a conference last week, so he just hadn't had time to put his mind to coming up with a subject for the challenge.  

This one was tough for all of us. It wasn't that we didn't have the subject matter, it's how do you get a good/interesting photo?  My approach was to pull out my macro lens to see what developed from that. 

Kate: Make Do Masks

I made a lot of cloth masks during the pandemic. It's only been a couple of years ago, so most probably still remember not being able to order any type of mask. Then it became hard to find elastic for the ear pieces.  I found a pattern that used strips from old t-shirts as the ear pieces.  They were far more comfortable than the elastic ear pieces and thankfully I had lots of old t-shirts we had been keeping to use as rags.  No idea how many came out of my sewing room. My Guy and Grad Girl had plenty.  I made several for Grad Girl's roommate and many others for her friends. I'm glad that time is over, hopefully we won't need them again for a very long while.  

My Guy asked if we still had construction paper, which we did (Do you still have that stuff left from your kids school projects?)  A little bit later he asked if I had a black fabric scrap I was willing to sacrifice.  So we dug in my scrap box for something he deemed suitable.  When he's looking for bits and pieces, he usually comes up with something entertaining. 

My Guy: Mask 

He didn't disappoint.  This nut bowl was a gift from one of his sisters, it sits on the catch all tray on the dining room table and doubles as our photo card display location.  The masked squirrel, definitely entertaining.  

Grad Girl, as usual, found something from the lab.  

Silica is often used as a catalyst or as a catalyst base.  Early on, she was using it a lot.  You do have to wear a M95 to keep silica out of your airways as it can cause silicosis, which like asbestosis causes severe damage to your lungs and can, with long exposure, result in depressed lung capacity and lung cancer.  Grad Girl's photo wouldn't be out of place in a journal article about silica risks. 

Masks definitely wasn't the easiest subject for the three of us.  This week's challenge should be much easier.  

One of the nice things about Oklahoma is that it's flat enough to be able to capture some incredible sunrises and sunsets.  Fingers crossed it doesn't rain all week! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

To Do List for the Week of 06/25/2024

I didn't post a to do list for last week since I was at the conference for the week and then knew I'd be at Grad Girl's cat sitting over the weekend. There was some progress on the to do list from the 11th before the long drive to Texas. 

To Do List for 06/11/2024

1. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks ✔
2. Guild BOM: Finish assembly of the June block - progress
3. Wild and Goosey: Continue making blue blocks 
4.  Indigo Way: Continue as leaders and enders project 

Three out of four isn't a bad week, especially since I lost a couple of days due to the conference.  I enjoyed the conference, but forgot how much they can take out of you.  I'm looking forward to a bit of a rest now that I'm home and having more time in the sewing room. 

To Do List for 06/25/2024

1.  2024 SAHRR (Quilting Gail): Prep for quilting

This one shouldn't take to long to press and clean up the back. I used a lot of black, so loose threads won't be as visible on those borders.  The goal is to get this one sent out for quilting before the end of the month.  

2. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks

My paper piecing skills are getting a work out with this project. 

3.  Guild BOM: Finish assembly of the June block

Just two more borders and this month's block will be finished. That should be done before the end of the month.  

4. Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter): Continue making blue blocks

5.  Indigo Way (Bonnie Hunter): Continue as leaders and enders

Even though the setting triangles are just partial blocks, assembly still takes a bit.  Fingers crossed the last 4 are done before the end of the month. 

That's my list for the week. I am looking forward to spending some time in my sewing room. Last week was a nice change, but I'm ready for some quiet time with no people! Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt for To Do Tuesday

Monday, June 24, 2024

A Week of Handstitching

Last week required a bit of retooling.  I attended a chemistry conference.  Something that's been off the to do list since I retired.  I had to wear dress up clothes and heels. Plus remember a bit of chemistry and statistics.  It was fun and I'm going to be more active going forward.  I've missed the technical parts of my previous job, joining a couple of the technical committees will help fill that void.  

Since I was in meetings most of the day, then social activities into the early evening, there wasn't any sewing room time. I did manage to fit in a bit of hand stitching on my travel project each evening just before bed. 

I finished the upper wing, moved the hoop and started on the lower wing.  Some of the stitching happened while I was cat sitting.  

Grad Girl was a bridesmaid for one of her graduate school friends and needed someone to feed the cat while she was gone for part of the weekend. The conference wasn't that far away, so I volunteered for sitter duty for a couple of nights after the conference. 

Now that those obligations are done, I'm looking forward to spending some significant time in my sewing room this week.  Linking up with Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts.   

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 25 of 2024

It's been a very busy week.  I've not spent much time in the sewing room, most of my stitching efforts have been handwork and 15 minutes was about all the time I had to play with needle and thread most days. There was a bit more time for stitching during the weekend. Some weeks are just that way. 

  • 15 minute days/week =  7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June =  22/22 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 =   174/174 days
  • Success rate = 100%

So it was a pretty good week. I've hung onto my 100% success rate, but I stitched really late a couple of nights and it really was just 15 minutes.  Just goes to show if you are motivated you can find the time.  But boy was I tired by Friday!  

Because there wasn't a lot of sewing room time, there also wasn't much time to spend on scrap processing and fabric pressing. But I did get a bit done before the week really ramped up.  

The #1 big bag of scraps is empty!  That feels really nice.  My scrap bins are getting pretty full, so I'm going to need to start some some scrappy quilts soon. Unfortunately there is a #2 big bag of scraps. 

This bag is taller than the #1 bag, so it may take a bit more to empty.  But at this point I have one less bag to trip over in the sewing room. So that's a big win.  

The to be pressed bin was empty after last week's efforts. It's been refilled and I made a bit of progress on working down the new stack of fabrics to be pressed and folded. 

These fabrics are the ones that were just tossed on the top of the wire rack in the fabric closet. They weren't stacked neatly, so it as hard to see what was up there. Many of these are years old, but it's like I've got a bunch of new additions to my stash now that I can see what I've got.  It's been worth the effort to get my stash better organized.  

How was your stitching week?  Were you busy in the garden or on the golf course? Or hold up in the sewing room due to either excessive heat or large amounts of rain?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Karen
3. DonnaleeQ
4. Deb in Canada
5. Andrée
6. Bonnie in Va
7. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
8. Celine
9. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 24 of 2024


Halfway through June? Already?  I am not ready for the year to be half over! Though it's been a good year on the stitching time front, my best year ever for getting in my 15 minutes.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June = 15/15 days
  • 15 minute days 2024 = 167/167 days
  • Success rate = 100%

It's pretty amazing that I've been able to keep my stitching streak up, even with surgery and other things going on.  This week will be hard as I've got a busy week. It will be hard to maintain the 100%.  My days will start early and end late From Monday to Thursday.  Then we have family stuff from Friday thru Monday.  So this is likely my last post till next Sunday.  As I don't expect to get much done other than enough handwork to maintain my 15 minutes, there's probably not going to be much to blog about anyway.  

I didn't get as much done on the scrap processing front as I would have liked this last week, but you can see more of the bottom of scrap bag #1. 

I'm hoping to finish the up the last few scraps in the bag before things get busy on Monday. That would be awesome progress.  

The fabric to be pressed bin is empty. 

The bin was full at the beginning of April.  So it took a month and a half to empty it.  Not bad progress. I've filled it up again with fabrics from the fabric closet that need pressing and folding (some are pressed and just need to be refolded to fit on the current shelfs).  Hopefully, there will be time to make progress on the new stacks before things get busy. 

Have you had time to stitch this last week?  

1. maggie f
2. Karen
3. DonnaleeQ
4. Frédérique
5. Julie in GA
6. Bonnie in Va
7. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
8. Amanda
9. Gretchen
10. Andrée
11. Celine

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

To Do List for the Week of 06/11/2024

Last week my motivation for getting to the sewing room was a bit low. I managed at least 15 minutes each day up till the weekend. The solid afternoons of nothing but stitching made the difference in getting my to do list checked off for last week.

To Do List for 06/04/2024

1. 2024 SAHRR: Prep back for quilting ✔ 

2. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks ✔

3. Guild BOM: Cut fabrics, start assembly of June block ✔

4. Wild and Goosey: Make blue blocks ✔

5. Indigo Way: Continue as leader and ender project ✔

I've been keeping the list simple and not very specific.  My goal is progress so that type of list works for me.  This week's list is going to be pretty much the same as we have a pretty busy weekend coming up. 

To Do List for 06/11/2024

1. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks

The LeMoyne Star is coming along. Paper piecing was definitely the way to go with that block.  The pieces for the next block are all cut.  I'm hoping to finish out at least another row of blocks this week. 

2. Guild BOM: Finish assembly of the June block

I've got two of the corner blocks laid out incorrectly, but I'll fix that before assembly. Once this center is assembled, the block has four more borders to bring it up to 24".  That should be doable this week.

3. Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter):  Continue making blue blocks

I've finished two blocks and started two more.  How many I make depends on how much I sew.  I'm hoping to finish at least 8 this month. 

4. Indigo Way (Bonnie Hunter): Continue as leaders and enders project

Just a few more triangles in a square to finish and I can start assembly of the four setting triangles left to make. Surely I can get that far before the end of the month.  

That's my list for the week.  Linking up with the Quilt Schmilt for To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Slow Progress on the 2nd Oldest UFO

It was another low key weekend. I can certainly get used to those.  We've got some family stuff coming up soon, so we'll be pretty busy for a few weeks, so I'll enjoy them while I have them.  

Most of this weekend was spent in the sewing room.  I don't think I made up for all lack of motivation I had most of last week, but there was good progress on getting fabrics cut for the guild BOM. I also replenished the black triangles needed for the Wild and Goosey blocks.

On the actual sewing front, the next block for Kate's Choice was finished up Sunday afternoon.

This pineapple block was paper pieced.  Since last week's post, it's the second block finished for the project. 

I've finished 3 of the 6 rows I have planned for this project.  I've been moving the blocks around as I finish them.  I need a few more light ones. The next one in the works is a dark one. 

So far it's not been too difficult piecing this LeMoyne Star.  Hopefully the halves aren't too bad to sew into squares and then into the final block.  I've started cutting the fabrics for the next block, it will be another very light one.  

I need to get busy and press the backing for the 2024 SAHRR. That's the last item on last week's to do list.  Thankfully, that shouldn't take too long once I get into the sewing this afternoon. 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Patchwork & Quilts

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 23 of 2024

It's been a slow week, other than a doctor's appointment (all restrictions from knee surgery have been lifted) and my weekly coffee date, not much else going on.  So I've definitely had time to get to the sewing room, but unfortuntely not as much motivation.  Thankfully there was enough get up and go to keep the 100% streak going.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June = 8/8 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 160/160 days
  • Success rate = 100%

I did sew for almost an hour most days once I made it to the sewing room. So I'll have progress to show for Monday's post.  

The scraps are still being pressed, measured and cut.  It was really hard to see progress in last week's photos, but if you look closely you can a sliver of the bottom of the bag on the right hand side. 

If I can keep up the momentum, maybe I'll be able to empty and fold up scrap bag #1 so then there will be just one scrap bag to trip over by the end of the month. 

The "fabric to be pressed" bin is definitely much lower.

Most of what is left is fat quarters and maybe a couple of two to three yard fabric cuts.  I should be able to empty this bin before the end of the month. That won't be the end of pressing fabric, I have some fabric that needs to be pressed and refolded to fit the shelves I have now. So the bin will be refilled again and the process starts over. 

Now that the kids are out of school, yard work has picked up and vacations are here how are you doing at keeping up with the stitching time?  

1. Gretchen
2. Julie in GA
3. Karen
4. DonnaleeQ
5. Jennifer in Indy
6. Bonnie in Va
7. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
8. Amanda
9. Frédérique
10. Quilting Gail

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Week 113 Photo Challenge: Tools

Some of the challenge cards have been tough, this week's was pretty easy for all of us. 

A tool according to Google is a "device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function".  It was interesting to see what we each come up with as our tool set, the subjects are widely different.  The subject of my photo is probably not a surprise. 

Kate: Stitching Tools

Most of you probably have a very similar set of "implements" somewhere in your sewing room. I like how my tools coordinate with the pile of fabrics.  Would you consider fabric a tool?  I'm undecided on that concept, I can see it both ways.  

My Guy took a lot of different photos.  He has lots of tools for many different things.  He finally decided on this subject for me to use in the post. 

My Guy: Photo Tools

It was My Guy who really got me into photography.  The manual Olympus was his first SLR. It's been well used and remains well loved. It's not used much as it's difficult these days to get film processed.  He has lots of lens, he had to quit carrying all of them in his camera bag, it's just too heavy.  I don't share many of his photos here on the blog, but he is an incredible wildlife photographer. He has had pictures published in trade journals and charity calendars.  

Grad Girl's photo is probably not surprising either. 

Grad Girl: Tools of the Trade

It's one of the drawers from the lab.  Grad Girl said she pretty much opens this and uses several things from it any time she's working on experiments. It's pretty typical stuff for anyone working in a chemistry lab.  Grad Girl thought it looked like one of those "I Spy" puzzles. I agree, it does.   

The challenge next week should be interesting. 

I've got at least one idea for next week. We'll have to see how that works out.  

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Photo Play: May Summary

With the improved mobility that showed up about mid May came a desire to get the camera out again. One thing I've learned over the last few months as I've struggled with my knee is that pain and photography don't mix for me. I can stitch when I really hurt, but taking photographs just doesn't appeal.  

Part of the renewed interest was starting a new book on photography:  Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig.  My copy came from a Half Price Books in Dallas, TX.  It was published in 2014, so it's probably out of print. Amazon had one used copy available when I checked. This book starts with chapters on poetry, creativity and learning to see.  Back in the January Summary, I shared one quote that resonated with me was "An image is a poem about time" (from Sara Leen, in 2017 she was director of photography for National Geographic). So it's not surprising that I'm really enjoying this book. The chapter on creativity had me reflecting on not just my photography, but what creativity looks like in the rest of my life.    

Two of the ideas from the book I've tried to apply this month are "edit ruthlessly" and "what's my criteria for the set of photographs".  I'm a sucker for flower photographs, but have been struggling to make them stand out as "not just another flower photograph".  My criteria when editing this set was good detail and/or saturated colors.  

Clemantis (image has been cropped) - I-Phone 12 

Canon 70D with a Sigma 105 mm macro lens used for all the following photographs. Some photos have been cropped. 

Evening Primrose

Indian Blanket Seed Head

Sweet William 

How well do these photos meet my criteria?  It's hard to pick a favorite, but it's between the Clemantis and the first Sweet William photos.

My Guy is a much better wildlife photographer than I am. You have to be fast on settings and focus, he's just a lot better on those things than I am (yes it's a matter of practice and I don't, he does).  My criteria for a photograph of any wild thing is that the composition is reasonable and the animal/bug is in focus. 

Bee on Mexican Heather

I took 20 something shots to get this one. There a couple that are close, but this one has the best depth of field throughout the photo.

How light interacts with a subject is a big part of photography.  The last three photos were me just playing with the settings on the camera and the available light shining on the zipper of my pencil bag.  My criteria for these photos was small details and visual appeal.  


I like how the series goes from where you can identify the subject to the very abstract last image. My favorite is the last image. The subtle color differences on both sides of the bag separated by that bright silver "line" was unexpected. 

It feels good to be back playing with the camera.  I'm not up to long walks yet, but hopefully that's coming in June.  Thanks for sticking with me for another not quilting post.  I always like to hear if you have a favorite.   

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

May 2024 PHD Report

May went fast. Didn't I just write the April PHD report?  At any rate it's time to link up with P Designs USA for the May PHD report. There's been no change in my PHD report. 

On the downside that means no finishes, but on the up side there's been no new starts either.  Maintaing the status quo is the second best outcome you can have.  There has been progress this last month, with the promise of a finish next month.  

One project moved to finished quilt top in April, so that opened a spot on the works in progress list. That spot was filled with my second oldest UFO, Grandmother's Choice (Barbara Backman).  This UFO is 12 years old, so it's definitely time to move it along.

I pulled all the blocks out of the project box. only three were salvagable. This project was really above my skill level 12 years ago. Template piecing is still something I don't have patience for so this project is now Kate's Choice and I'm deciding on what blocks to add to the sampler. 

We went to OKC to hang out with Grad Girl for Mother's Day weekend, so the hand stitching project came along. 

It might not look like a lot of progress, there are a lot of thread changes in the area thats been added.  

The effort to add more blocks to Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter) continued this month. There is definitely a noticable increase in the number of purple blocks compared with where I was at the the first of the year. 

The top left quarter is just about filled in. Just three more quarters to go!  

The backing was made for the 2023 SAHRR (Quilting Gail), both the back and top prepped for quilting.  On the last day of the month, the quilt was mailed out for quilting. 

Trudy should see it Monday.  Fingers crossed the quilted version comes back in enough time for me to bind it before the end of the month.  It would be nice to have a finish for June.  

Indigo Way (Bonnie Hunter) was still the leaders and enders project for May.  The last full B block was constructed. Since then it's been back to making all the component parts for the last 4 setting triangles.  There are a lot of pieces in those partial blocks!

But all the square in a square centers are made, the blue and white corners are also all done.  All that's left to make is 12 of the red/white triangle in a square blocks. Once those are done, I can start constructing those last 4 setting triangles. 

With the 2023 SAHRR sent out for quilting, it was time to pull another finished quilt top out of the closet.  Next up for backing and prepping for quiliting is the 2024 SAHRR (Quilting Gail).  

The backing fabrics have been selected and the assembly plan has been worked out. That's as far as I got before the month ended. The plan is have this one ready to go out when the 2023 SAHRR comes back. Fingers crossed I can manage one finish a month till the end of the year.  Probably won't happen that way, but no harm in dreaming.

The May block for the Guild BOM was actually finished a couple of days before the end of the month.     

The block for June will be another large one, then the next 4 will be the smaller ones.  

May was a really good month on the productivity front. You just can't tell that from my progress tracker. 

The only bar that moved this month is the one for the 2023 SAHRR.  But there were only three projects with any progress on my April PHD report, there are seven in May.  I'm sure knee surgery had a lot to do with that, but still it feels good to rebound this month.