Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fabric Report - Week 4, Jan. 25,

Not much time was spent in the sewing room this week; but I did finish one pillowcase. Only one yard can be counted as used since last reporting.

This week has flown by so quickly.  It started Monday with a Quilts of Valor sewing day, followed by a sew day the next day with one of my quilting groups.  We bring handwork to work on and I took the red quilt to continue sewing on the reversible binding.  It's almost done.  I'll post pictures when I get it finished. I did take some pictures for a tutorial as I did it, but they are on my cell phone, and I haven't figured out how to get them onto my blog yet.  It wants to download all 850 photos from my phone and I don't want them all!!  Just the last few. 

Thursday found me on a road trip with two friends to A to Z Quilt Shop in Quincy,Illinois.  This is a fairly new shop and it offers large variety of designers and styles of fabric. You can find everything from batiks to homespun, civil war, flannels, Thimbleberries, modern solids, stripes and the popular zigzag, minky, wools and more. They are enlarging the classroom area and it has great lighting with lots of beautiful samples displayed everywhere. The shop owner is also a long arm quilter too. Be sure and check it out if you are in that area.  It very close to Hannibal, MO too.

Our next stop was The Dutchman's Store. in Cantril, Iowa.  About an hour from the quilt shop.  This was so much fun.  It has an old time feel of a general store and is run by Mennonites.  There were bolts and bolts of fabrics shelved by colors, or themes and types of materials. They also carry wide backs, batting by the roll, quilting notions and books, and almost anything you can imagine -- in one section of a huge building.  But fabric is not the only thing of interest in this quaint store.  You can do your weekly shopping for groceries, shoes and clothes for the whole family, hardware supplies, bulk spices and dry goods and great meats and cheeses and all kinds of other foods, free coffee while you shop and fifty cent ice cream cones. I had a great time browsing and loading my cart as I strolled the aisles.  Although tempted, I held steady to my goal of not adding to my stash quite yet and did not put any fabric into my shopping cart. It was so tempting though because of the good prices.

Here's the fabric report:
Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 1 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 10 yds
Net used in 2015 - 10 yds

Hope you are making progress on using your stash this week.  Drop on by Judy's to see what everyone else did this week.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stash Report - Week #2

Got in a little sewing this week. I found some more coordinating fabric for another cuff on those dragon pillowcases and made a bunch of reversible binding for this quilt.

The top side of the binding is the red and white stripe and the reverse side matches the backing material. This is a good binding to use when you don't have enough for a one color binding.  I use 1" wide strips for the front color and 1 and 1/2" wide strips for the back color.  Does this look like 420 inches of binding?  Trust me, it is.  Now the fun part begins.

The binding yardage was counted last week since it had been cut, so I can only add one yard used this week for the pillowcase..

Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Used - 1 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 0
Fabric Used YTD - 9 yds
Net used in 2015 - 9 yds

To see how others are managing their stashes, drop by Patchwork Times

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Project On The Needles

Here it is, the second week of January and I'm still on track with my 2015 goals. Haven't bought any fabric yet, but I have added new yarns to my knitting stash.  Good thing I'm not keeping track of yarn yardage, and since there was nothing in my goals about not buying yarn, I'm good, right?  

Santa brought me some new knitting needles along with some beautiful yarn.  I've been anxious to try this wonderfully soft yarn (baby alpaca and bamboo) on my new Addi Turbo Lace circular  needles.  The yarn is from Classic Elite Yarns and it's called Chateau.  Here's how far I've gotten on this cowl. The pattern is Augustine Cowl and you can see the two ways you can wear this cowl on Ravelry here. 

I'm using the yarn they suggested in the pattern in colorway #1456 (a medium purple). 

Today another squishy package arrived from Simply Socks Yarn Co. and I'll share what was in it as soon as I get a picture.  I chose yarns to make warm hats, mittens and socks in a DK yarn, which I've never tried before.  

Take a look at Judy's Patchwork Times to see what other knitting is going on this month.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fabric Report - Week 1, 2015

I am off to a good start on my fabric management goals for 2015.  I made 8 pillowcases from wild fabric that came to me as a surprise.  Oh, I bought it, no surprise there, but didn't check closely what I was getting.  The price was right and home it came with me, thinking this would be good for a backing or two on a wild and crazy quilt or a scrap quilt that needed a little punch. It was in a plastic bag and I could see the colors, but I didn't take it out to inspect it better.  What a surprise I got later.  I am now the proud owner of 40+ yards of flame orange/red/yellow with a black scroll design pre-cut into 27" lengths.  Hello pillowcases.  It will be a challenge to come up with enough different fabrics for the cuffs to make sewing them fun, but here are my first ones for the year.

That floral one is thrown in there to rest your eyes. Not really, it is one of two for a gift. I needed a break from all the orange and black.

Fabric Added - zero
Fabric Used - 8 yards
YTD Added - 0
YTD Aused - 8 yards
Net Used - 8 yards

You can hop on over to Patchwork Times to see other fabric starts for the year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015

Here it is 2015 already.  Where did 2014 go so fast!  It seems like only a few months ago I was thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in 2014 and now it's gone forever.

Many of you have already posted your goals and new year resolutions for 2015.  I spent a good amount of time reading them last night.  It reminded me that I had not done anything about that.  Heck, I usually don't make many resolutions any more, but there are a few standard ones each year that come to mind.

- Eat healthier - Did somewhat better in 2014
- Get more exercise - (More steps on my Fit Bit) - yes! Increased daily miles to 3/day
- Use more stash fabric and don't buy much fabric - No on first half,  yes on last part.
- Learn to do "something" that I've always wanted to learn - yes - knitting socks
- Finish up more UFOs - NO - not even one of my UFO's finished. Bad me.
- Keep in touch with friends more frequently - Needs more attention
- Post more frequently on blog - Needs more attention
- Quilt 12 Charity quilts -  finished 16 in 2014 - Yipee!

My goals for 2015 will be to continue last year's list with major improvements on
- finishing UFOs - I have way too many and at least 16 flimsies are ready to quilt
- fabric management - much more out than in
- keeping in touch with friends
- posting on blog more frequently
- trying new knitting patterns and stitches

In addition to these, another main focus for me will be to Declutter and Organize my sewing areas and my life.  I want to slow down and enjoy the process and not be so stressed and rushing all the time.

I'm in complete agreement with Bonnie Hunter who says her mantra for the new year is "More with Less."

What are you looking forward to in the new year?  I hope you make those dreams and goals come true.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Year End Finishes & Week 52 Stash Report

Warning !  This post is photo heavy. 
Well, I hope everyone survived the Christmas holidays and enjoyed your time with family and friends. Things were pretty quiet at our house, so I got down to business and tackled some of the "to do" projects that were scheduled to be finished this year. The following are now done.

First up was from the Yellow Brick Road pattern, quilted in the "Here and There" panto by Keryn Emmerson.
Then a simple pattern with modern fabrics.  Since the design was boxy and lots of straight lines, I thought a curvy quilting design would look nice. I chose one called Pretty Paisley.

Next were some small table runners and toppers

These last two are belated Christmas quilts for friends that I hope to see very soon. 

A scrappy stash quilt using string neutrals and 6.5" red squares.  I still need to add the binding.

close up 
And last is the picture of the pillowcase I mentioned last week.

I still have more to finish before next Friday, but the yardage will be added to 2015.  

Fabric Added this week - zero 
Fabric Added in 2014 -  39.5 yards
Fabric Used this week - 16 yards (includes 2 backings and 1 huge binding)
Fabric Used in 2014 - 71.9 yards  

This is way short of my goals this year, but having used more than I bought was a "good thing", as Martha Stewart would say.  Next year I hope to use much more and still keep the enhancement to a minimum.

This is a fun exercise for me each year, and I know there are lots of others who feel the same way. To see what they did, go to Patchwork Times.  Thanks Judy for making it possible to play along with you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stash Report - Week 51

Since the last Stash report , I've made a binding, pillowcase and cut the backing for the Honor Flight quilt.  Still have a few more projects to finish up before the end of 2014 to get my increase the usage numbers for this year.  

Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD - 39.5 yards
Fabric Used this week - 3.02 yards
Fabric Used YTD -  55.9 yards

Linking up to Patchwork Times Stash Report.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Off The Needles - Dec. 19, 2014

I managed to get in a little knitting this week in between cleaning and decorating for a Christmas party, cooking and a start to my shopping.  Still way behind.  I did finish the purple wash cloth and looked over my yarn stash to see what was next on the needles.  No decision made yet.

I also took a little time here and there to sew the rest of the star blocks for the Honor Flight quilt, added small navy sashing strips between them and completed the top. Now all I need is time to quilt and bind it, which I hope to do before the end of 2014.

What have you been up to this week. Are you as far behind as me and rushing around to get everything done before Christmas? I know many of you are making knitted gifts.  Would love to see what you are making.  Stop by Judy's OTN and see what others are finishing this week.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Here's What's On and Off My Needles

Here's what I've been working on this week in the knitting area.  First, I finished my 4th pair of socks. These were made with Diversity yarn, which has an elasticity and but feels like cotton.  They are fun to make because of the self striping and feel so good on.

Then I did a little more on my faux infinity cowl from months ago.  This yarn is awful to work with so I'm not too excited about knitting with it.  I love the color and look of the yarn after it's knitted though.
Maybe part of the problem is I'm using an interchangeable circular needle, and because of the fibers in this acryllic yarn, it seems I have to constantly re-tighten the tips almost after every round.  Not fun.  I do it because the alternative would be awful -- having it coming apart midstream.  You cannot see your stitches with the yarn even though it's all knitted.  I would never be able to find my stitches to get them back on the needle correctly.  It will be the last time I buy any of this yarn. 

Since I was so frustrated with the handling of this project, I decided to cast on a simple facecloth for some easy, peasy knitting.  I give these as gifts, so it's always good to keep a supply on hand for those occasions.  I add a good smelling facial soap with each cloth as a little Thank You gift, or "just because" gift.

That's about it for this week's knitting.  I am waiting until after the busy Christmas season to concentrate on learning toe up socks on circulars.  If you have been following me, you know, I've been saying that for a long time, but I WILL get there. lol

I'm linking up with OTN over at Patchwork Times.  Check out what others are up to.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stash Report Week #48 & 49

It's been a couple of weeks since posting my stash usage, but there has been some progress. Still trying to use up more fabric, but life keeps throwing roadblocks in my way and it just doesn't happen.

I did manage to make another pillowcase for charity,  pieced a few Ohio stars for an upcoming Honor Flight quilt, made and sewed on a binding on a Quilts of Valor,  and pieced 4 blocks for one of the ladies in my block exchange group.  

Ohio Stars

Stash Numbers - Week 48 & 49
Fabric Added  - none
Fabric Added YTD - 39.5 yds
Fabric Used for 2 weeks -  6 yds
Fabric Used YTD -   52.88 yds

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where Did the Week Go?

It seems impossible that is it Sunday already.  This week has flown by and I didn't do much sewing to reduce my stash.  I did make a binding (red with tiny white stars) for this Quilts of Valor top that was pieced and given to me by Mary C.

Most of the week found me in the quilting studio trying to finish quilts for others to give as Christmas gifts this year. 

My friend Kevin asked me to quilt three quilts that he pieced for his neighbor from shirts of the neighbor's husband who passed away this year.  They are to be given to each of her sons.  I think he did an amazing job of designing and piecing these. The squares are from many different thicknesses, T-shirts, dress shirts and some had very thick commercial embroidered patches to navigate while quilting. The backgrounds, sashings and backings are made with flannels that resemble houndstooth, herringbone and tweeds resembling wools that would be used for men's suits and very appropriate for these memory quilts.

That's about it from me this week.  I'm working on more UFO's and some blocks that have been languishing on my design wall for quite some time.  Maybe next week they will get their turn.

Stash Numbers - Week 47
Fabric Added this week - 0 *
Fabric Added YTD - 39.5 yds
Fabric Used this week - 1/2 yard -binding
Fabric Used YTD -  46.88 yds

* I did receive some fabric from a friend, but I'm not sure I will count it. lol

Stop by Judy's at Patchwork Times to see other stash reports for the week.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stash Report and Some Finishes

This week was a good week for finishing up some projects.  First I got two more pillowcases finished. A cute Micky Mouse fabric and fabric with International Harvester tractors on it.

Also finished the other two blocks for my applique group.  A blue whale and purple bear joined the black kitty. I was not happy with the purple bear.  Trying to make his face and head show up with embroidery was not very successful.  I auditioned white, black and dark purple embroidery threads and went with the purple.  It didn't do the trick; but up close his eyes and nose are more distinguishable.

Pieced a backing for the square in a square quilt from some scraps.  Thanks to those who gave me suggestions for a name.  I'm considering several that were mentioned.  Maybe after it's quilted, one of them will speak to me. 
Sorry that the colors look washed out on the picture below.  The outer border is closer to the color of blue on the backing.

Stash Numbers
Fabric Added this week - 0
Fabric Added YTD - 39.5 yds
Fabric Used this week - 7.11 yds.
Fabric Used YTD - 46.38 yds.
Net busted in 2014 - 6.88

Linking up with Patchwork Times Stash Report.