Tuesday, July 23, 2024

To Do List for the Week of 07/23/2024

We've settled back into our normal schedule for the most part.  The weather has been much nicer as it's cooler, but the mold count is way up. So I've been fighting sinus headaches and congestion for most of the week.  It slows me down a little, I tend to nap more (one of the joys of retirement, I don't have to fight the allergies and work).  Even with a few naps, last week's to do list still got finished.  

To Do List for 7/16/2024

1. Rhododendron: Make backing ✔
2. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks ✔
3. Wild and Goosey:  Continue making teal blocks ✔
4.  Indigo Way: Continue assembly as leaders and enders ✔

To be honest it's a pretty simple list, so the bar is set pretty low.  I reviewed my quilt plan for 2024, my goal was to just have 4 to do's each week to make better progress on the projects.  My ideal to do list mix was something new, something with block piecing needed, something to assemble and something to get quilted.  My current to do list has all but something new.  And that's Ok because something new will creep back in soon. It's nice to spend part of the year really concentrating on getting a few UFOs finished. 

This week's list is pretty much the same as last week's.  

To Do List for 7/23/2024

1. Rhododendron (Bonnie Hunter): Prep backing for quilting



Cleaning up the back is pretty easy.  It just really needs to be de-threaded and given a good pressing.  Before I do that I should probably vacuum my sewing room. All that scrap processing and paper piecing means I have lots of little bits of fabric and paper all over the floor. 

2. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks



I've been working on a Snail's Trail block.  I only need 4 more blocks to finish what's planned for the layout. If I get busy this week, I should be almost finished with the blocks by the end of the month.  

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



Five teal blocks have joined the finished stack.  I should be able to get another 5 finished before the end of the month before we move on to a new color for August.  

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



Sewing the blocks into rows has been working pretty well as leaders and enders.  I will probably need a new leaders and enders for August.  Looking through my UFOs there is a project that will help me empty some of my scrap bins.  It's on my list, but now I have to find it in the project boxes.

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

Monday, July 22, 2024

The Design Wall this Week

It cooled off for the weekend, but it was mostly cloudy and a bit rainy over both days.  It was nice weather to hang out in the sewing room.  Who am I kidding, I'd say any weather is a good time to be in the sewing room, except maybe during severe thunderstorms.  

There was good progress on the stash organization.  I did spend some time on assessing my storage spaces in the sewing room, then moved a few things.  If I can mostly clear another shelf, the remaining wire cubes can be used to make room for more fabric. 



The fat quarter sets and fat quarter storage boxes need to find a new space. I'm still considering my options there.  

I did actually sew, but all that's up on the design wall is Indigo Way. 



The rows in the top half are sewn together, the rows for the bottom half are in progress. Indigo Way isn't my favorite Bonnie Hunter mystery, but I like how this one is coming together.  If it's a finished quilt top by the end of August I'll be thrilled. It's always nice to finish the piecing before before the next mystery.  I've only managed that a couple of times. So many of my UFO's are BH mysteries (6 including Indigo Way).  

Linking up with Monday Design Wall and Patchwork & Quilts.  

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 29 of 2024

 



It's been a pretty chill week.  Not much going on, which I was more than ready for.  Being chill meant another good week of stitching time.

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 20/20 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 202/202 days
  • Success rate = 100%  
I'm still hanging on to my 100%.  No one can be more amazed than I am.  By far the best stitching time year I've ever had. The string has to break at some point right?  Even if it does, it's still been a great year for this metric.  

The scrap processing continued this week, but that big bag of scraps #2 is so big, it's hard to see that I've done much.  It didn't help that I pulled all the left over scraps out of the project box for the 2023 SAHRR that was finished last week and moved them to what was an empty scrap bin. 




So I'll need to deal with those leftovers before I get back to scrap bag #2.  

There was progress on the fabric to be pressed bin.  



Now there is just a single stack of fabric that's left to press. I doubt the bin is empty by the end of July, but it should definitely be empty by the end of August.  Then I can refill it and start on the next stack of fabrics.  Before then, I'm going to need to clean up the fabric closet a bit, I'm running out of room.  

How did your stitching week go?  Lots of stitching time or did vacation have you out having too much fun to stitch?  

 


Saturday, July 20, 2024

Week 116 Photo Challenge: Clouds

We all had our acts together this week and managed to get photos for the challenge:



Of course this would be the week with several cloudless days.  I was panicking by Wednesday.  Sunrise and sunset give the most dramatic view of clouds, so though I couldn't see any, I wandered out with my camera at sunrise on Wednesday and found a few high clouds.

Kate: Morning Clouds


I tried later in the week and the clouds just seemed to disappear at sunset and didn't return till mid morning. So this was my best effort for this week. 

My Guy was out and about more then I was, plus he started earlier.  He found his best shot in the afternoon. 

My Guy: Silver Lining


This strikes me as one of those photos one would use to create a meme with scripture or an inspirational quote over the photo.  What do you think?  

Grad Girl found her cloud elsewhere. 

Grad Girl: Water Vapor?  


"No, I don't know what happened" was the text that accompanied the photo. There is no scarier or frustrating phrase in research chemistry. 

The last two challenges were things you find in the sky.  It might not be as obvious that there is a link between last week's challenge and this week's. 



We just need to change the physical state of water for this week's challenge.  The text from Grad Girl after I sent her the new subject, "Oooo, I have ideas".  I bet My Guy does too. There should be some interesting photos this week.  

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Photo Play: June Summary

With all the travel in late June and early July, I've had to catch up on blog reading and email. So it took me a bit to find the time to review my photos from June. 

My goal this year is to just enjoy the process of capturing the interplay of light and subject.  We've been so busy that I've not done much with my photography study, but early in June I did cover the chapter on lenses in Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig. If there is any theme for June it's what happens if you change the lens.  

The wildflowers were pretty thick in June. I love close up of flowers, so my macro came out early, but I did pull out my other lenses to see what would happen.  The following photos were all taken with a Canon 70D, some may be cropped.  

Sigma 105 mm macro lens


Black Eyed Susan



Basket Flower



Basket Flower Bud


Tamron 18-400 telephoto lens

Black Eyed Susan


Tamron 11-18 Wide Angle lens

Basket Flower (cropped)


Roses


Lensbaby Fish Eye lens (borrowed from My Guy)

Indian Blanket (cropped)



Basket Flower (cropped)


Close ups with the Fish Eye lens are not straight forward to take, but they turned out really cool. It took me a bit to figure out how to crop with a circular mask in Photoshop Elements.  The Fish Eye does capture a lot, I had a very hard time not capturing my shoes. Cropping them out was just easier.  I turned the lens up for a final shot of the sky.  It gives the best perspective on what this lens can capture. 




Definitely a different way to look at the sky.  Not a lens I'll use often, but if you want different, it's an option.  

In May, I photographed how light interacted with the zipper on my pencil bag. For June it was light and bubbles (with the Sigma 105 mm macro lens). 








I thought these turned out really cool.  Any guess as to what the subject was?  

The last photo that made my curated collection for June has been on the blog before, but I'm going to add it here as well.  This photo was taken with my I-Phone 12.


Queenie


Black cats are amazingly difficult to get a good photo of.  I like this one because it's such a good one of her face.  That was taken the weekend we were cat sitting and it's by far the best of the many I took of her that weekend.  

My photography for July has gotten off to a slow start.  I didn't take many photos when we were traveling, it was just so hot. But this week I'm back to looking for interesting things to photograph.  

Thanks for sticking with me through this non-quilting blog post. I have a hard time picking a favorite photo this month.  Several are my favorites for various reasons, the Basket Flower fish eye, the bubbles and of course Queenie.  Is there one that stands out to you?  

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

To Do List for the Week of 07/16/2024

Last Sunday's post noted just how out of it I felt during most of last week. Saturday allowed for a reset and I managed to get back up to speed on a number of things, including last week's to do list. 


To Do List for 07/09/2024

1.  2023 SAHRR: Finish binding  ✔ 

2.  Kates' Choice: Continue making blocks ✔

3.  Guild BOM: Finish June block, start July block ✔

4.  Wild and Goosey: Finish blue blocks, start teal blocks ✔

5.  Indigo Way: Finish setting triangles, start assembly ✔


I'm 5 for 5 for last week, a definite improvement over the week before.  Hopefully I can do as well on this week's list.  


To Do List for 07/16/2024

1. Rhododendron (Bonnie Hunter): Make backing




I took some time a month or so ago to raid the fabric closet for backing fabrics for all my finished quilt tops.  I don't have enough of the light print, so I'll frame it with the darker purple.  Rhododendron is Bonnie Hunter's 2021 mystery quilt along.  So it's taken me a few years to get it finished. The goal is to have this project ready to go out for quilting when the 2024 SAHRR comes back from the quilter.  


2.  Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks




I finished three blocks last week and started on a fourth. More to come this week.      

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




I've gotten a good start on the teal blocks for this month. Three new blocks either finished or in the works to add to what was already in the project box.  

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




I'm sewing the blocks together as my leaders and enders. When I have a row ready to add on, I pin and sew that with the other blocks I'm working on.  So far that seems to be working. I'm going to need a new leaders and enders project soon.  

I'm hoping for another good week in the sewing room.  Linking up with The Quilt Schmilt for another To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, July 15, 2024

Finish #2 for 2024

My handwork project during our 4th of July road trip was the binding for the 2023 Stay at Home Round Robin sponsored by Quilting Gail.  I finished the binding on Tuesday, but wasn't able to get photos till Sunday afternoon.  Here's the finished Blue Birds. 




This was my first time participating in the round robin. It was such fun and I'm really happy with how the final quilt turned out. All the blocks are made from my blue, green, purple and teal scraps. This quilt is destined to be My Guy's new TV recliner quilt.  He's been using one of my rejects, a QOV quilt that had major problems with a fabric that bleed badly when I washed it.  I'd made one for him a couple of years ago but Grad Girl begged to take that one to grad school. It really was too big for the recliner so My Guy let that one go.  (Grad Girl has threatened to take this quilt as well. Which is why this year's SAHRR has a black cat at the center and will be my next finish).  

Here's the label:



 

The bird on the left is a Mountain Blue Bird (the ones we have locally are Eastern Blue Birds).  The bird on the right is an Indigo Bunting, which are native to Oklahoma.  Most Saturdays in the spring and summer My Guy heads out to the blue bird trail just to the south of the research center to check the blue bird nests.  He photographs all types of birds on those expeditions.  So it's not surprising I picked Blue Birds as the name of this quilt.  

Trudy quilted large leafy vines over the quilt. 




It adds a very nice texture to the whole quilt.  The two birds in the center are fabric representations of a Indigo Bunting and a Blue Bird.   

The backing really fits the theme. 




Maybe the birds aren't blue, but there is plenty of teal and purple which show up on the front of the quilt.  

Finish #2 is definitely one of my favorites from the UFO list.  My Guy won't be needing this quilt for a few months. But it will be ready to go when late fall gets here.  

Linking up with the Monday Design WallPatchwork & Quilts. and Oh Scrap.  

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 28 of 2024

 



I've felt off kilter all week.  Getting home from Texas on Monday afternoon seems to have thrown both My Guy and I off on where we are in the week.  Saturday seemed to be a reset day. Hopefully next week will feel more normal.  

Even though there were a couple of days I wasn't sure if it was Tuesday or Wednesday, I still met my stitching goals.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 13/13 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 =195/195 days
  • Success rate = 100% 
So far so good on keeping up with finding time to stitch each day.  I'm learning the key factor is to think ahead and have a project and decide on a time to sit and stitch.  While we were on the road, I'd stitch when My Guy was getting ready (shower, shave, dress).  That way I was sure to get my time in no matter what else we did during the day. 

I did get back to both the scrap processing and yardage organization this week. There was a bit of progress on scrap bag #2, but not enough to be really noticeable.  However, the fabric to be pressed bin is noticeably less full.  



It's been fun to rediscover some favorite fabrics that have been hidden in the piles. It's been so hard to not stop and start new projects with some of those rediscoveries.  I'm determined to move some UFOs off the list, so I have room to play with lots more new projects next year.  

So how was your stitching week?  Did you declutter and organize, or stick with stitching stuff?  


1. Julie in GA
2. maggie f
3. Deb in Canada
4. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting
5. Jennifer in Indy
6. Bonnie in Va
7. Frédérique
8. Quilting Gail
9. Carol @Quilt Schmilt

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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Week 115 Photo Challenge: Sunrise/Sunset

I had hoped to post last week, but we were in Texas.  I forgot to pack the challenge card deck.  Grad Girl struggled to get a photo, she was really busy and grad school schedules are more sleep in a bit, but work late. Which can make it hard to capture a photo for the last challenge. 



My challenge photo is a pretty classic sunrise. 


Kate: Silhouetted Sunrise



We had rain rolling in that morning. I like how the trees are silhouetted.  The dark bands on top and bottom really showcase the oranges and yellows.  We have some wonderful sunrises and sunsets here, especially when there are storms rolling in or out.  

My Guy was lucky enough to find another phenomenon to photograph at sunset. 


My Guy: Beryl Bow


On the drive back from Texas, we encountered some of the early rain bands from Hurricane Beryl.  My Guy was lucky enough to capture this rainbow while we were driving back.  It was amazingly long lived. I could see it in the rearview mirror and side mirrors for about 30 minutes.  

Grad Girl had a completely different perspective. 


Grad Girl: Grad Student Sunrise


Sunrise to Grad Girl is when the sun shows itself in the apartment. Their patio window faces east, so this is sunrise and not sunset.   She really doesn't sleep that late, she's usually up by 7:30 AM.  You can just make out the silhouette of Queenie's head at the bottom of the photo. 

Very different perspectives and photos for the last challenge.  The next photo challenge card covers a readily available subject.  



 
Joni Mitchell once noted that "I really don't know clouds at all".  It would be fun if our photos can demonstrate that. We'll see.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

To Do List for the Week of 07/09/2024

It's been a whirl wind couple of days.  We went to Texas to visit Grad Girl for the 4th of July weekend.  We had planned to stay till Monday to avoid the homeward bound traffic from 4th of July.  Those plans changed when they issued tropical storm warnings for Brazos county due to Beryl. We had a serious rethink and left late Sunday afternoon to drive to Dallas.  It's pretty flat in that part of the state and it doesn't take much for parts of the roads to flash flood, so it just seemed wise to avoid that potential problem.

We left for Texas last Wednesday.  So there wasn't a lot of time in the sewing room last week. Consequently, there aren't a lot of check marks on the to do list. 

To Do List for 07/02/2024

1.  2024 SAHRR: Package and mail ✔   
2.  Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks ✔
3.  Guild BOM: Finish June block - progress
4.  2023 SAHRR: Hand stitch binding - progress
5.  Wild and Goosey: Finish blue blocks, start teal blocks - progress
6.  Indigo Way: Continue as leaders and enders project ✔

Not my strongest week, but I'll take whatever progress I can make on those projects.  This week should be much better.  We are done with travel till the fall.  So I can be much more ambitious with my sewing room plans.

To Do List for 07/09/2024

1.  2023 SAHRR (Quilting Gail): Finish binding




Stitching down the binding was my hand work project while we were in Texas.  I managed to turn two corners and came close to turning the third. It won't take much effort to finish this project.  

2. Kate's Choice: Continue making blocks




The next block for this project is a log cabin, which is partially assembled.  This should be easy to finish up. I should start cutting the pieces for the next block.  

3. Guild BOM: Finish June block, start July block




 
The last pieced border is almost assembled.  All that's left once that's been added is a final border of the green/blue print.  Definitely doable this week.  

4.  Wild and Goosey (Bonnie Hunter): Finish up the blue blocks, start teal blocks. 

One of the blue blocks is almost finished.  The blocks go pretty quickly if I'm at the sewing machine. This should be easy to check off this week. 

5.  Indigo Way (Bonnie Hunter): Finish the setting triangles, start assembly.  




Two of the setting triangles just need the last seam pressed, so just two left to finish.  I'm looking forward to starting assembly.  

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

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Stitching Stuff: Week 27 of 2024


It's been a busy week. We spent some time with family over the 4th of July weekend, but I kept up with my stitching time pretty well. 


  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June = 30/30 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 6/6 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 188/188 days
  • Success rate = 100%

Most of my stitching time was done early in the morning so I didn't have to worry about finding time while we were with family or stitching just before bed time.  

We were busy enough over the weekend that there wasn't any time for stash organization. Hopefully I'll have more time for that next weekend.  

Did you make it to the sewing machine this last week?  


1. Gretchen
2. maggie f
3. DonnaleeQ
4. Julie in GA
5. Karen
6. Andrée at Quilting & Learning
7. Dreamworthy Quilts
8. Quilting Gail
9. Bonnie in Va
10. Amanda
11. Melisa- Pinker n' Punkin Quilting

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Friday, July 5, 2024

2024 Quilting Ambitions 2nd Quarter Check In

The end of June marks the end of the 2nd quarter for 2024.  It's a good time to check in how I'm doing on my quilting ambitions (goals) for the year. My quilting goals are much like my work goals used to be. I'd write up the goals at the beginning of the year and then forget about them. At work, my supervisor would schedule a midyear goal review, I'd look at them just before the meeting and inevitably there would be one or two goals I'd forgotten about completely.  My quilting goals are pretty much the same, I don't look at them often so forget what I promised myself. It's a good thing that Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl reminds you to look at your goals and link up with her 2024 Quilting Q2 Check In to report on your progress.  



So how am I doing on my ambitions?  

1. Make Quilts. This goal wasn't just about finishing, it was written to include making progress on a number of projects.  I'm a visual person, so the best way for me to gauge progress on this goal is to look at what my progress graph looked at the beginning of January versus how it looks now. 

January 1, 2024



June 30, 2024




There's been good progress in the quilts to be finished, blocks to be finished and new projects.  But there is still a long way to go to get more of those color bars farther across the chart. Several projects are close to meeting some of the milestones in the graph, so there should definitely be less white space by the end of third quarter. 

2. Learn to quilt.  I finally decided that a quilt as you go project would be a good place to start with this goal. Grandmother's Choice is one of my oldest UFOs and seemed to be a good candidate for quilt as you go. I'm working on finishing up the blocks. 



Once that's done, I'll focus more on doing some quilting exercises to build up my skills. Hopefully by the end of third quarter I'll have started quilting the blocks. 

3.  15 Minutes to Stitch (Stitching Stuff Linky Parties).  The goal was to stitch 15 minutes a day at least 75% of the time.  Amazingly, I'm still at 100% at mid year.  





This year is by far the best year I've ever had with getting in some stitching time most days.  It's become much more motivating now that I've kept it up this long, we'll see how long my 100% streak lasts.  

The unstated ambition here was to post a linky party all 52 weeks of the year.  At the end of 2nd quarter, 26 linky parties had been posted for all 26 weeks of the first half of the year.  So 100% on that goal as well.  Being retired has helped on this front. I'm not traveling as much and have more time to plan for busy weekends and get a post mostly ready to go so I'm not having to come up with a post when I'm pressed for time. 

4. Stash Organization.  There's been a lot of progress on this front during second quarter compared to almost none on this front during first quarter.  My focus is on scraps, yardage and organizing my fabric closet.  

On the scraps front:





The working scrap bin is empty, scrap bag #1 is empty and there has been some progress on scrap bag #2. So good progress there. 

Pressing and folding fabrics so they will fit on the fabric closet shelves has been a work in progress since last year.  It's been going pretty well this year. 




The bin filled was on March 31st and it was empty by May 25th.  The bin was refilled on June 9th.  It was still a work in progress at the end of June.  

The fabric closet was overflowing at the end of last year. 
 



It's still far from perfect, but there is some improvement. The fabric on top of the shelving unit was washed and pressed for storage in Texas, but needs to be refolded to better fit on these shelves that were added when we moved to Oklahoma. That messy pile on top was all moved to some empty drawers in Grad Girl's old room. That's the fabric going into the to be pressed bin for a quick retouch with the iron before refolding it. The wire cubes on top of the shelving were added at the end of 1st quarter.  They were almost empty then but are slowly filling up with the refolded fabrics.   

The fabric in the gray bin and on the floor hasn't been washed (I prewash my fabrics).  As I've moved the older fabrics out of the drawers, I've moved that fabric to the drawers. It's easier to get to the top two rows of the shelving now.  

This goal is still a work in progress and will likely continue into next year. But it's been nice to get the fabrics better organized so I can see what I have.  

5. Stretch goal: Consider if pattern creation/editing is something I want to do?

I've been busy working on my UFOs and getting the stash organized. That seems to be enough for me at the moment.  I have made the decision to take on a role that will allow me to use my chemistry and statistics know how. I'm still considering these options, but since I'm happy with where I'm at, there probably won't be any action on these this year.  

How would I do at a mid-year review of my progress?  There is progress on each of my goals.  Even if goal #5 isn't going to move ahead this year, something else took it's place. That's OK, life changes during the year and sometimes you end up going in a different direction. I'm a type A personality and always feel I could have done more. But considering all the knee problems that bothered me most of first quarter and having knee surgery during second quarter, I'm pretty happy with how things are going this year.