2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Friday, April 7, 2017

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

This post is WAY overdue, but I had a pretty luck start to this year when I won giveaways at three different places. 



Carol of Stitching Dreams paid it forward with one of her patterns and I was lucky enough to win it. I haven't stitched it yet, but will get it into the rotation and will then pay it forward too! 

Dar of Dar's Patchwork Garden hosted a QOV block drive through several months last year and I made some blocks for the drive. She got bunches of great giveaways and pulled my name for the cone of Glide Thread - I haven't used it yet, but look forward to the next quilt that needs purple so that I can check it out. 

Finally, I participated in the JCS Christmas Ornaments facebook group last year and stitched all 12 ornaments selected for the year - there were only a few of us who stitched all 12, and from the group, she selected two names (both Jennifers!) to win the JCS disks, which have 17 years of magazines on them! I spent an afternoon digging through them and found lots of new ornaments I need to stitch! 

Big (belated) thanks Carol and Dar for your generosity! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March 2017 Stash Report and Accomplishments

My month of May was a busy one - in addition to the normal mom, work, and home duties, I took my Girl Scout troop camping, went to Belgium for a week for work, and took a quick overnight with my mom and kids to get them out of town for Spring Break. 

Given all that was going on, I didn't make too much time for quilting or stitching, except in small fits. 

In the sewing room, I worked on two UFOs. I quilted and bound my Chinese Coins quilt, which I showed a picture of in my UFO recap yesterday. I made this at my fall retreat last year out of cuts of batik from my scrap bin. It was a fun one to make and I love the bright colors. As soon as I get the hanging sleeve stitched down, this will go on the wall in my sewing area. 

The other UFO I worked on is my Hunters Star quilt made with Mary Englebreit's Holly Jolly fabric line, which came out several years ago. I inherited the layer cake and jelly roll used to make this pattern from Lois (you can see Letters to Lois for the whole story on my stash inheritance if you aren't familiar with it). I used a big cut of yardage from the same line and a couple cuts of holiday fabric from my holiday bin to piece a back, and then I pieced together the batting from scraps. It made a small dent in my batting scrap bag - I really need to do that more often! 
Hunters Star back
I got the quilted loaded and quilted right before I left for Belgium, and now it sits waiting for a binding. I will dig around to see if I can find something I like or find the leftover jelly roll pieces to make a scrappy binding. 

On the stash additions, we stopped at a great small quilt shop in Greensburg, IN on the way to our spring break trip in Cincinnati. They really have great kits in this shop and I found a cute one on the sale rack that will make a good Christmas present. I plan to cut out the pieces and take it to my spring retreat with me. I also picked up a cat coin purse pattern, which I will make for my daughter, was gifted a purse pattern from a bee friend, and picked up a jansjo clip on light from Ikea (because you can never have enough of them!). 
Mar 2017 Additions

So, for the stash report, I used a little and bought a little, but bought less than I used so am still moving in the right direction, even if slowly. 

Fabric used this month: 3 5/8 yards
Fabric added this month: 1 yard

Fabric used year to date: 8 1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 3 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 4 3/4 yards

In other news, I picked up pillow forms for the pillows I finished in February, and they are now perched on the couch. I love how they turned out! 

On the stitching front, I worked on two pieces this month - Lady in Harbor, and Primitive Egg. You can visit my Instagram account (@jenquilter) to see pictures of my stitching throughout the month. I didn't finish either one, but hope to get them both done in April! 

Hope you had a good March - the sun is shining on my garden today and I am enjoying the view of everything growing and blooming. See you all again soon! 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

First Quarter UFO Update

Another blogger who I read routinely updated her blog today with her UFO progress year to date, and I thought that sounded like a good idea.  At the start of the year, I put together my list and decided to follow both APQ and Judy Laquidara's UFO challenges - they both run the same way in that they pick a number from the list and your work on that UFO during the month. 

In January, the two numbers picked were #3 and #6 and I had grand plans at the start of the month to get them both done. By the end of the month, I'd only worked on #3, the Christmas Card holder, and I finished it in about an hour! Anyone have a good idea why we let things become UFOs that only have an hour of work left on them? 
#3 Card holder - finished

#9 Chinese Coins Quilted and Bound
In February, the two numbers picked were 8 and 9. When my friend was here quilting a top, I pulled out both of them and made a back for 9, and prepped 8. By the end of the month, #9 was quilted and bound, and I just need to tie off the thread breaks and sew down the hanging sleeve, which should take less than an hour :) I think I will put it by my couch to do while I am watching TV this week. I will work on the towel when I do my little bit of embroidery between finishing cross-stitch projects. It's in the bag and ready for me to work on it. 

#8 Pumpkin Spice towel ready to embroider
For March, APQ pulled #12 and Judy pulled #5, which was a carryover from last year's list. I decided that I wanted to get #5 done to make sure it didn't carry over another year, so I pulled it out, made a back, and got it quilted. I don't have any yardage remaining from the fabric, but I think I do have some jelly roll strips left, so I will have to look at scrappy binding or see if I have a moda marble that will work with it. So, there's a little left to do on this one, but I will get it done so that this one is ready to gift this Christmas. It will go to a friend who has no idea she's getting it, but someone who I know will appreciate the quilt, and especially that the fabric is Mary Englebreit. 
#5 Quilted but not yet bound
For April, Judy has picked #1 and APQ picked #11 - I am excited to work on #1, which are two seasonal pillows that I bought years ago. I'll be back with an update on what I get done in my monthly recap at the beginning of May and I will try to also do a 2nd quarter recap this summer. 

Here's the picture of all the UFOs with my progress to date marked. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

February 2017 Recipes

It's been a while since I posted any recipes we've been making. We've tried a few new dishes, but also have such a good collection of recipes now that we have a good rotation of meals with the existing recipes. Here are the new ones we tried last month: 

Let's start with Baked Ziti with Crumb Topping. This was in a "Meals in Minutes" article from a 2001 Family Circle! Now that's a recipe that's spent a while in the folder! This was good - the right amount of cheese and topping, and good flavor. It would be a great dish to bring along to a pot luck or for a big family dinner. 


Next up is one that will be hard to replicate.  It is called Grandma's Burrito Wraps and it was yummy. It is made with a mix packet from The Jam Farm in Michigan. I picked it up last summer when we were vacationing in the area. I should have gotten a couple spice packets! 

While we eat a lot of pork/ham in our house, we don't have pork chops very much, but I got a hankering for them a few weeks ago and found this great recipe for Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops. They were really tasty and had a nice cheesy crunch. This is the way to dress up a pork chop! 

Last up is Sausage Ziti Bake (that I had to make with Mostaciolli, since there was no ziti in the store!). It is from what is probably my favorite cookbook - the Fix It and Enjoy It Cookbook. We've had great luck with recipes from this cookbook and this one was no exception. 
In addition to these good recipes, we also enjoyed a variety of treats that my daughter has been cooking (no pictures of these) - muffins, samoa cookie bars, mint brownies...yum! 


Sunday, March 5, 2017

February 2017 Stash and UFO Report

Those of you who have read my monthly post about my accomplishments won't be surprised to read that I didn't make much difference in my stash this month. 

I used a little stash for the backs of my pillows. I am really pleased with how these turned out and look forward to getting over to Joann's so that I can pick up some pillow forms and get these on my couch. They should fit well in my living room. 
On the UFO front, APQ picked #8 and Judy Laquidara picked #9. I pulled them both out - #8 is an embroidery towel kit that I purchased several years ago. I got the design put onto the towel and it is now in my embroidery bag ready to go when I work on that next. My plan is to spend one stitching session on embroidery between each cross stitch project. #9 is my Chinese Coins quilt top that I made at my fall retreat last year. It is from batik scraps and is a small wall quilt - 24x20. I pulled a back for it and got it prepped and loaded on my quilt frame. I didn't touch it again for the rest of February, but last night I got to it and got it quilted and earlier today I got it bound. Now I just need to tie off threads from a few thread breaks and some intentional starts and stops. I should have a full picture by the end of the month. 

Here's the official stash report: 

Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 1 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 2 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 4 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 2 1/8 yards

Saturday, March 4, 2017

February Accomplishments

It is a bit of a misnomer to title this blog post accomplishments, because it was a month of not much getting done on the crafting front. The weather here in February was unseasonably warm and I guess we spent more time out and about than hanging around the house. 

We finally finished painting my son's bedroom, a project started two years ago, then he had second thoughts...I finally talked him into letting us finish it and see how he liked it when it was all done, with a promise that we'd repaint if he didn't like it in the end. He does like it now that it's done - phew! Now we can move on to the next painting project - the living room/kitchen area. I've painted about 6 different squares on the wall, but can't quite find a shade I like. We have a cookie booth at Lowe's tomorrow, so I think I will look there and see if something else catches my eye. 
The new blue (please pardon the mess of a little boy's room)
On the sewing front, I had 4 1/2 hours in the sewing room. I worked on transferring Girl Scout patches from Junior sashes to Cadette sashes, helped my friend Pam load and quilt a top, pulled some fabric to work on a UFO, and finished up my pillows that I started in January - I just need to pick up pillow forms for them. I used a great tutorial on Moda Bake Shop for concealing the zipper and I think they turned out pretty well. The tutorial is in this post, which also has a really cute pillow!

Pam with her quilted top
A picture from the back so you can see the variety of quilting. 

Back of two pillows and front of the third
On the stitching front, it was a bit of a heartbreaking month. I got pretty far along with my Easter sampler called Primitive Egg, then realized that I had used two strands of floss in almost the whole thing instead of 1 strand. It really started to look to heavy as I started the alphabet, so I spent three stitching sessions ripping out. 
After all he ripping out :(
By the time I was done, I just needed to put it away for a while, so I pulled out one of the kits I planned to work on this year and got started on it. There's no picture with this one, but it looks like it is stitching up well - Lady Liberty - a kit from Janlynn that was given to me by another stitcher who was removing it from her stash. This one is going relatively quickly, so I hope to have a finish in March. Maybe after that, I will feel like going back to the Easter project. 
Although March is going to be a busy month, I hope to make some more time for crafting so that I have a little to show you in a few weeks! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

January 2017 Stash Report

I was pretty busy in January making my tuffet, finishing up a UFO, and starting on a new project (pictures in my last post) which also resulted in some stash usage. I offset the usage with some new purchases. 

I don't mind a few purchases from time to time, especially when you can take advantage of a sale (I got the Frivol for $13 since I had a full punch card at a shop having a sale!). My plan is to make a couch caddy with the sewing themed fabric and to make the quilt from the Frivol at my spring retreat. Let's see if I remember by May that that was my plan! 

Here's the accounting: 

Fabric used this month: 3 1/2 yards
Fabric added this month: 2 3/4 yards

Fabric used year to date: 3 1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 2 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 3/4 yard 

Plenty of time left this year to boost those numbers!