Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Progress Report

I managed to squeeze in quite a bit of sewing time around yard work and cooking over the weekend and made a little bit of progress on several projects. I know it would make a lot more sense to focus my efforts on one project and have more to show for my time, but that's just not how my brain is wired!  It is a lot more fun to mix it up!  I'm pretty sure I have Quilter's ADD if there is such a thing...

I finished a few more stars for my Stars & Sprigs "do over".  This brings the total to 9 complete.  This was my APQ UFO for May (#7) so I can at least claim a little progress. There are 45 stars in the quilt and enough applique to last me 10 years so I've only made the tiniest of dents in the project, but it's a dent nonetheless!

Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company posted a video on bow ties last week and got me all excited about working on my little ties again. I had lofty goals about how many I might be able to finish in a weekend but these little guys aren't all that fast to sew.  They are lots of fun, though, and I managed to add 30 to my total.  This is the pattern that calls for 3,024 blocks. I now have 72.  

Between the stars and the bow ties I managed to build up quite a pile of little scraps.  Rather than add them to the two draws of scraps waiting to be cut into "scrap saver" sizes I decided I would go ahead and do the cutting.  I cut everything up into 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5" squares as Bonnie Hunter recommends. I really need to start working my way through the backlog as it would be nice to have all of these scraps organized so that they could be easily incorporated into projects. If only it was more fun to cut!

May was a pathetic month for orange peels.  I might be able to add a couple to the official May total tonight but as of now the May total is 17, bringing the overall total to 118.  I recalculated the total number I need and depending on whether I want to have borders or not I am under or over 10% of the way to the finish line. I will need 1024 peels if I decide to use a border, 1296 if not.  I will be working on peels for a very long time!

I spent some time prepping more orange peels for June as well as doing a little more prep on my second album block. I decided that I wanted my tulips to be blue instead of red like the original block. 

I managed to get a couple of the flowers stitched last night and am hopeful that I can get this block finished by our June 30 deadline. 

That's pretty much a wrap for May.  Perhaps I will try to focus on something with a few less parts in June so I might actually get a quilt finished this year!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Sewing

I missed the sign up for the FNSI this month - by the time it was posted I was too busy to remember to look for it. And as it turns out I was completely exhausted Friday and didn't do a bit of sewing that night anyway! I did manage to get some time in the sewing room the rest of the weekend, however, and entertained myself by working on something "new".  Not really a new project, but I had not made any of the stars from my second start on my Stars and Sprigs project. I made nearly all of the stars in Kaffe fabrics before deciding it just wasn't my thing.  My Kaffe collection and my star blocks went in the guild's garage sale and are now part of someone else's stash.   

I suppose it is the effect of cropping photos on my phone, but find it very perplexing that photos posted in their "original size" can be all over the place in size!  Below is the beginning of my next album block.  This one is a little less intricate than the first one but will be tedious nonetheless. We set a target to finish this one by the end of June. Seems like plenty of time, but there are a LOT of little loops to applique!

And then there is the most disproportionate picture of all - the tumblers!  I managed to finish another row while working on my stars and added it to the other three. I was able to add another row after dinner last night so I am up to five rows now.  I still have about 50 rows to go and will not even come close to finishing before Bonnie announces the next one, but I am really loving it.  It is amazing how often I manage to get identical patches adjacent to each other when choosing positions and fabrics randomly but figure it really won't be all that noticeable when I have all 2000+ of them sewn together.

I'm hoping to get a few orange peels done this week.  No way I am making my target this month so my goal is to at least get out of the single digits. I can't believe May is almost over!

Monday, May 16, 2016

April Failures & May Aspirations

I think I can officially consider April an epic fail with respect to progressing projects. I even failed in posting my FNSI follow-up...and I actually made quite a bit of progress that weekend! I finished all of the alternate blocks for Allietare (which also happened to be my APQ UFO for the month).  I still need to go back and finish the other blocks and piece the setting triangles, but I am making progress.

I definitely can't claim nearly as much progress on my orange peel. I was doing so well for the first half of the month but completely dropped the ball the second half.  I can't remember the total now - less than 20 or there would have been another row in the picture - but I clearly did not get to my target of 30.  I will have to count them all again at the end of this month to update my tally.  So far I am behind for May but I am trying very hard to catch up.

And then there is this.  The 365 Challenge. The blocks have gotten more obnoxious difficult, I'm not entirely sure I'm loving the cream/tan and white combination, and I am rapidly losing my motivation. Here are a few blocks I finished a couple of weeks ago, I've only done a couple more since then so I am rapidly falling far behind.  I recognize that this isn't a UFO that I would likely never come back to if I get too far behind, so I will see how it goes the next couple of weeks.  I will give it until June 1 to decide if I am scrapping the whole thing or not.

On a more positive note, I attended a fantastic hand piecing workshop with Mickey Depre last week. She teaches hand piecing the way I originally learned it and it was so much more enjoyable than the method I tried at my last workshop. I am so addicted to hand piecing!  I worked on my class block every spare moment I had and finished it a couple of nights after the workshop. It is killing me not to start another one but I have too many other projects in the works. I love this block!

And here's the project that is consuming all my hand sewing time - my album quilt. I finally finished my first block (except for a little embroider that is still needed - my bird needs an eye!) and started on my second one. We set the target for finishing the second block at the end of June.  It isn't quite as involved as this one was but it will definitely take some time.

My APQ UFO for this month is my Stars & Sprigs. I would so love to get back to that one but may have to pass in favor of continuing to work on something that is a little further along. At the rate I am going I won't have a single finish to show for 2016!