Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stash Report - Weeks 35-40, 2015

My lack of stash reports over the past few weeks is mostly due to lack of sewing. I did get motivated to get a purse cut out and finished - I am entering this in our guild quilt show and it is tough not to put it immediately into use! 
I also quilted a top that I made earlier this year, so I had two finishes that used a little fabric...but then I also went shopping! That's always what gets you in trouble, isn't it?  I picked up a couple FQs and some sale fabric. 

I also celebrated my birthday back in August and my bee gave me my b-day fat quarters, which I shared a picture of in my last post.  Now I am on the hunt for a pattern that will use them beautifully - if you have any ideas, please leave me a suggestion!  

Here's the accounting that covers the end of August, all of September, and the start of October: 

Fabric added last 5 weeks: 4 3/4 yards
Fabric used last 5 weeks: 2 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 13 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 127 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 113 1/2 yards

I am hoping that I will get up to 125 used by the end of the year - I have some cutting to do for my quilt retreat coming up in 2 weeks and I have some backs to make, so hopefully I can get there! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Recent Activity

The month of September has been pretty quiet in my sewing room. Between a trip during Labor Day weekend to our favorite lake in Michigan, the closing of registration for the quilt show (I am the registrar), a work trip to Boston, and a camping trip with my Junior Girl Scout troop, I haven't had much time or energy for much crafting of any type! I am moving forward with some crochet and stitching so I will update those soon, but I thought I'd share a few recent pics from my sewing room. 

In August, I made a quick little baby doll blanket for my great-niece. It went in the same package as her brother's baby blanket so that she would have something to play with while little brother was cuddling in his new blanket. I even used the lettering on my machine to put her name on it...I could still use a little work centering. 
 A little later in August, I collected my birthday fat quarters from my bee mates. I asked them for greys this year, and I love what I received. Now I need to find a good pattern for them..surely there is something in my pattern stash that will work! 
Last up is the quilt that my whole bee is contributing to. This is a Scrappy Trip Around the World, a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. This top will be finished in 8 more blocks and I will quilt it and send it to Diana's Golden Needle. This is a Girl Scout Gold Award project and, as a lifetime Girl Scout, I am happy to support it! 
I have been working on prep for the quilt show for my own quilts over the last week, as I need to have them ready to go next Sunday, and then my fall retreat follows right behind that, so I will be busy pre-cutting to prep for the long weekend! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August 2015 Month in Review

I feel pretty good about the progress I made on my sewing, stitching, and crocheting projects in August.  I will do a post soon on my crochet projects and progress. 

I spent what felt like a good deal more time in my sewing room this month and got started on a new project (that always feels good, doesn't it?) and finished up some quilting that I have been procrastinating on for a long time!  Here's the recap of the 16 1/4 hours I spent sewing:
- Made one of my kits (top) - Indy 500 Row by Row
- Made several trip around the world blocks for Diana's Golden Needle (I will take a picture Monday when I have mine and the others from my bee laid out). 
- Cut all the pieces for the Midnight Mystery quilt and finished part 1 of the sewing
Part 1 of the Midnight Mystery
- Made purple string blocks

- Made a baby doll quilt for my great-niece (to go with the blanket that I am sending to her new brother)
- Finished quilting Easy Street (woo hoo - after 7 weeks on the frame!)
Easy Street peek
I just squeaked in my stitching finish for the month and knocked off another stitching kit. I think I will keep this one, but I am not positive. I guessed on where to start it rather than starting in the center and I am a little off center, so need to come up with an alternate way to finish it because it would look off-balance in a frame. 

Hope you had a great August! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stash Report, Weeks 31-34, 2015

I've had lot of activity in my stash over the last few weeks. There was some fabric in and some fabric cut, some fabric used, and some donated to my guild. 

I decided to join a mystery quilt. I've made a couple in the past - one I loved and still hang regularly in the house, and another I didn't care for, so re-purposed and made into another quilt (see my posts from the mystery quilt redo). I also participated in Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery quilt a few years ago (it is on my frame being quilted right now). It is time to do it again, so I went through my stash and picked out a focus fabric and then picked some others to go with it. I wound up with two printed cottons and two batiks. Here are all the pieces ready for their clues. This is the Midnight Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs - and we're only one clue into it so there is still lots of time to join along! 

I also continued on my quest to make up kits and got one of my row by row kits put into a table runner top - I'll share a picture of that as I get it quilted (hopefully soon!). 

I did add a little fabric over the last couple weeks. I found another great bag pattern and picked up some cotton and denim to make it, then a week later found Essex Linen, which is what I wanted to make it with in the first place :) 
Here's the final report: 
Fabric added last four weeks: 2 1/2 yards
Fabric used last four weeks: 8 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 8 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 124 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 115 3/8 yards

I think that's a pretty good report -- now I just have to finish the quilt on the frame so that I can move on to the next one! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

July 2015 Accomplishments

July was another fairly quiet month in my sewing room, which is okay with me because I spent a fair amount of time stitching this month and got through some good TV :-)

I continue to work on a few ongoing projects - so haven't recorded them as completions, but I keep moving them along one step at a time. This month, I pushed forward with my string blocks (I am doing a good job at making a few each month), my Christmas kit that was started at retreat in March, quilting UFOs, and working through kits. 

In July, I had hoped to get one of my projects done, and I got really close...but the month ended just short.  That should mean good things for August, right? 

I did get a few things done: 
- Cut more string block foundations so I am set for several months
- Made 2 string blocks in tan/cream
- Loaded and started quilting my Easy Street quilt
- Made a Santa ornament from a kit I got on a shop hop in 2005(!) - okay, I guess this counts as getting one project done!! 

I spent a total of 13 1/2 hours sewing/quilting during July, which is about the norm these days. 

I finished two stitching projects in July - one kit and one from a pattern. 

My newest kit - Give Thanks - I bought this earlier this year and it was easy to grab when headed out of town for a work trip. I finished it in four days! I love being able to stitch and listen to podcasts on the airplane. 

Baby sampler for my friend's newest - this is a Lizzie Kate pattern that my mom had and she wound up stitching it this summer too! I love the colors in this - even brighter in person - and I now need to dig out some good fabric to give it a nice fabric frame and send it to its recipient. 

I am continuing to putter my way through August and I have new quilting and stitching kits underway, so I should have more to share soon! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

July 2015 Cooking Challenge

I set out with renewed resolve in July to dig back into some cookbooks and pull out some recipes to expand our palates a little more. I start out each week with a goal to balance beef, chicken, pork, fish/shrimp, and pasta. Sometimes I do better than others, and I think this month was a pretty good balance.  In addition to trying the new recipes below, we revisited Chicken Meatballs, Trout Almondine, and Glamour Salmon and I think we liked them all about the same as we did the first time around!

New recipes for this month were:

Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Cobbler - when our best friends went away for the week with a blooming blackberry bush, we had the go-ahead to stop by and pick all we wanted. We did that, enjoyed a few handfuls of blackberries, and put the rest into this easy cobbler, which was also quite delicious.

General Tso's Chicken Wraps - from our Trader Joe's cookbook. I love the similar wraps at that well known Chinese chain and these didn't disappoint a bit! They were a perfect summer dinner and I will build them into our rotation.

East-West Flank Steak Wraps - I had trouble tracking down a flank steak, but wound up finding another cut of meat that worked just as well. However, the seasoning on this one was a little too strong and we decided that we liked other wrap and/or steak sandwich recipes much better, so this one will be recycled.

Chicken Noodle Casserole - When I went to Shipshewana for my retreat last fall, we received a coupon for a free bag of homemade noodles. They've been in the pantry ever since and I had a sudden hankering for them.  This casserole had two cans of Golden Mushroom soup, which gave it the orange tinge. It was tasty (and the noodles were great), but I think next time, I will revert back to the traditional casserole with the white sauce. This one also came from a cookbook - Mary Englebreit's Fan Fare.

Chicken Burgers - the last recipe I pulled for the month was an online recipe pulled in desperation one night when I had to pull something together. I had planned to make another recipe, but didn't have one of the key ingredients, so I looked up something that I could do with ground chicken and common ingredients around the house. I found this recipe and it was delicious!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stash Report - Weeks 28-30, 2015

Both of my stash usages over these last few weeks have been in support of some of my goals for the year - it is nice when it works out that way!  

First up is my string blocks - I cut a few more foundations so that I am ready to go for the next few months, and I also made the two blocks for this month in the cream colorway.  

On the other goal, I pulled out and started working on a bunny table runner kit. My mom and dad gave this to me for Christmas several years ago (I only know that because the tag was in the bag with the kit!). I am close to finished on it - down to the hand sewing at the end now. 

Here's the accounting: 

Fabric added last 3 weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last 3 weeks: 1 1/2 yards

Fabric added year to date: 6 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 115 7/8 yards 

Net fabric used: 109 1/2 yards

I am tracking really well on both the additions and the usage compared to prior years - I've usually added at least 2 or 3 times the amount of fabric and have used about 1/2 as much, so I am really happy with the progress this year. 

Hope you had a great week with your stash!