2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, October 2, 2016

September 2016 Accomplishments and Stash Report

September found me making some real progress in my sewing studio as well as finishing up some stitching and crocheting. 

On the quilting side, my "first-a-finish" was meant to be my Wonky reindeer top that I made at retreat last year, but I never quite got around to finishing it, so I moved on to a top from a friend that I've had to quilt way too long. I finally got it loaded on the frame and quilted the bright, busy Kaffe Fassett fabrics in an all over chrysanthemum design from Angela Walter's book. I used a variegated pink/orange/purple thread and it worked very well with the quilt. 
Once I got that off the frame, I loaded one of my older UFOs, which was also picked as the APQ UFO Challenge item for the month, Rough Around the Edges. I had held off on quilting this one a long time because of the raw edges in each block. I did a little reading on the Handiquilter Glide foot (which my mom gave me for my birthday) and got it installed, then went to town.  It worked beautifully with this quilt and I did an all over loops and stars design.  This quilt is going to a good friend who has served two tours in Afghanistan with the Army, so I will get the binding on at my retreat this week and then deliver over the weekend. 
My other sewing finish was the bag I started last month, the Super Tote from Noodlehead. I love how this one finished and I've been using it all month. It is a great tote for my crochet projects. 
The only stash usage I had in the month was a fat quarter for backing my still-in-progress Wonky Reindeer, so here's the stash recap: 

Fabric used this month: 1/4 yard
Fabric added this month: 0 yards

Fabric added year to date: 13 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 52 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 38 7/8 yards

I also finished up a crochet project this month - a cowl from Craftsy called the Petite Basketweave Cowl. I am really pleased with how it came together and look forward to wearing it this fall. It goes well with my favorite purple shirt :) 
My final finish is a stitching one - a small piece I've had for a long, long time called Sleigh Bells Ring. I stitched it on a scrap piece of 18 count Rustico fabric and plan to finish it into a cube or flat fold. I love how this happy little reindeer family turned out. 
I am working now to get ready for my retreat that starts Thursday and looking forward to having a few days to dedicate to some good quilting time. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Recipes from August 2016

We were able to fit in a few new recipes last month, and also enjoyed revisiting some that we tried earlier in our cooking challenge. 

We started the month with Chicken and Black Beans from Mr. Food, which I don't find on his website, but is in his Easy Tex-Mex cookbook. We often eat Sausage, Beans, and Rice, and this was very similar in taste but with a different meat. It needs a little more oomph - next time we will try adding a few spices to it. 
Next up was an ambitious girl who decided she wanted homemade Strawberry Shortcake, so she made it! She pulled the recipe from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and we took it to my parent's to share with them. It was delicious! She is becoming quite the little baker (and I love that!). 
Enchiladas Cancun was the next new recipe, from a Sargento recipe collection that I added to my recipe folder at some time in the distant past! It was quite good, but we tend to like our enchiladas with corn tortillas, so we will try it with them next time. 
Next up was a recipe that I pulled from Cooking Light way back in June 2012 for a Summer Veggie Rice Bowl. August was the perfect time of year to make this! I loved the dish and the leftovers. Everyone else in the family was lukewarm on it, but none of them are fans of zucchini (unless it is in bread with chocolate chips!). The week we made this, the grocery store was out of pine nuts, so we substituted almonds, which worked quite well. I look forward to making it next summer with pine nuts! 
Last up was the last of the crock pot meals from my neighbor. This one is called Beef Stroganoff, but it wasn't like stroganoff that we've had before. It was more like a chili. We all really liked it, so I will buy the ingredients for this one again. 
Hope you enjoyed seeing the new recipes - I just made the menu plan for this week and we have another new one on the menu. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Stash Report and Accomplishments - August 2016

The warm, lazy days of summer are upon us and I have enjoyed a nice month with relaxation, stitching, time with kids and friends, and a wee bit of quilting too. Since it wasn't a very busy month in the crafting department, I thought I'd do  my stash report and accomplishments for the month all together. 

I started my month by finishing one of my earlier APQ UFO Resolution tops - #7. I made the top in June and had pulled binding fabric at the same time. It was sitting on my cutting table, so I decided to go ahead and finish the quilt off. I quilted it with a pantograph that is echoing hearts, perfect for a valentine's quilt. I kept at it and got the binding attached and sewn (all machine sewn) so I had this one done by the middle of the month.  
The rest of the month found me doing more cross-stitch than quilting, as I could more easily stitch and watch the Olympics! Our family was glued to the tube for two weeks watching all the sports we could and enjoying every minute of it. During that time, I finsihed up my August ornament from Just Cross Stitch called "Dear Santa" and started on another pattern that I've had for ages. I should have it finished soon, as  I am into the backstitching now. 
I did find a little time to get going on my APQ UFO Challenge item for August, #6. For me, this is a kit, as I'd bought the fabric and the pattern about a year ago. I added it to my UFO list so that I would make it a priority to get it done this year. At the end of the month, I was about 50% complete, so it will probably be my "first a finish" for September. 

I did have quite a good time adding fabric this month, as our LQS had their annual Ice Cream Social sale and it coincided with my birthday, so that meant I could get sale fabric for a great price, and then purchase anything else in the store with my birthday discount. I did have a good time and finished up 4 bolts...a few of them had less than 2 yards left, so it wasn't too much fabric, but it sure was fun! 
Sale fabric and birthday purchases
In total, I spent 8 1/4 hours in my sewing room and here is the impact on my stash: 
Fabric added this month: 9 5/8 yards
Fabric used this month: 2 1/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 13 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 51 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 38 5/8 yards

Hope you are enjoying a restful and crafty Labor Day weekend!  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

July 2016 Stash Report

I posted yesterday about my accomplishments for July, which included using a little stash for backing and bindings, so that's my true usage for the month.  However, my numbers look great because I also participated in my Guild's "Quilter's Garage Sale" in the middle of the month. 
A friend (that's her in the picture) and I filled a table to the brim with items for sale and I was able to sell several cuts of oriental fabrics and some packs of fabric that I have realized I won't ever use.  I still have a bin of things I didn't sell, so I plan to take some of them to the sale table at my fall retreat to clear out a few more things. 

Here are the official numbers: 

Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used (or sold) this month: 19 5/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 3 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 49 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 46 1/8 yards

Hope you had a great time with your stash in July! 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

July 2016 Accomplishments

We started July by wrapping up our Michigan vacation, and boy, was it great to have some time at Houghton Lake with one of my best friends. We enjoyed swimming, kayaking, fishing, some awesome pulled pork from her new smoker, and fireworks on the lake. I was also able to get in some good stitching time, so let's start with that.  

I had two stitching finishes in July - Stars and Stripes, a Country Cottage Needlework design. It turned out larger than I had anticipated, so I will have to decide if I want to frame it.  It is nice to have another patriotic item stitched that I can put out from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 
Next up was an ornament for July. I didn't like the one the group had chosen, so I decided to use one of my two wild cards and stitched this simple ornament. I think I finished it in two stitching sessions, and I hope to get it made into an ornament pretty quickly. It is stitched on some leftover Aida that I've had forever and is called Peace 2015 by Glory Bee (I adjusted the year to represent when I stitched it) from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments. I had trouble getting good light for this picture - it is not quite so obnoxious in person. 

In my sewing studio, I realized I needed to recommit myself to my theme "First a Finish" if I was going to end this year with fewer projects in progress but not quite complete. Over the course of a couple hours in one weekend, I finished up several projects and it sure felt great! 

I did the final finishing work on Dream Big by adding the ribbon. It is ready for gifting now.
I added the cording to Plenty and made the hanger. It is ready for the tree now and this one will stay with me, given my love for reindeer. 
 After I got done with the stitching finishes, I turned to the quilting one. I made the binding and hanging sleeve for my old neighbor's quilt that her mom made her. I also stitched down the binding during the month so that it would be ready for her to pick up at the end of the month and take with her to her new  home in Orlando. 
Finished and bound, ready for its new home
Quilt back made with scraps from the front
Last up in my finish-a-thon was my Quilting in Layers from the workshop I took earlier this year with Terry Kramzar.  I did a faced binding on this one too, my second ever! Terry recommend these instructions for facing a quilt and I loved them - it was so much easier than what I tried first, and now I am looking at all my small quilts to see which ones I can face instead of bind!  
Last up in the sewing studio was the UFO for this month's APQ Challenge.  #4 was pulled and that's one of my patterns that I have had a long time, but never started. It called for cutting around 300 squares/rectangles, and that's all I got done by the end of the month. I decided to kit it up and take it to retreat with me this fall. The original pattern was done with Civil War Reproduction fabrics, but I saw a sample in batiks and really liked it, so I bought the pattern...probably 10 years ago!  

The last thing I will leave you with from July is a picture from the Indy Modern Quilt Guild show last weekend.  I am not a member of the IMQG, but always enjoy supporting a local show and this was no different. They rented a pavilion at a local park and hung quilts all around.  It was a small but nice show.  
 Hope you had a great July and are enjoying the start of August!

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Recipes

We just had a great taco salad for dinner - we should have more salads in the summer! - and so it seemed like a good time to go through the meals we tried this month. 

First up was another really old recipe - I think I cut this one out before Mike and I were even dating...so that's at least 17 years ago! It has been waiting patiently in my recipe book for many years...so many that the size of the Ranch dressing bottle has changed! It is called Inn Maid Chicken Ranch Casserole. It is a noodle, ranch, and broccoli casserole and it was great, even better as leftovers. What is it with casseroles that makes them even better the next day? 
The next two recipes came from the Cooking Light 2001 Recipes book. My neighbor gifted it to me when she headed to Florida earlier this year. I pulled out a couple recipes that would help us use up some packages in the pantry after I cleaned out the pantry mid-month (a job that was way overdue!).  I found several partially used packages of spaghetti/fettucini, so I found a couple recipes to try with them. 

First up was Shrimp & Feta with Angel Hair Pasta - it was very good. I was a little light on the tomatoes, so if we make it again, I will make sure we add more. None of us are big olive fans, but I decided to try them and I think they went well with the mix of ingredients. 
Next up was another pasta & olive dish called Tuna Pasta Puttanesca. It was also good, but there are other tuna/pasta dishes that we've had that I prefer. 
The last new recipe this month was from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fix-It and Enjoy It. It was Beef and Salsa Burritos and it was chock full of spinach, a secret ingredient! Two of us really liked them, and two were more lukewarm. I think I will build these into the rotation when we need a little taco/burrito variety. 
Hope you enjoy the new recipes! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

June 2016 Stash Report

We were on vacation last week enjoying a great time in Michigan, so my June stash report is a week delayed.  

I didn't add any stash during the month - I usually find at least one quilt shop to duck into during a vacation, but didn't see any this time, so didn't even go into a quilt shop during the month. 

I used a little bit for teacher gifts and a quilt back - you can see pictures here

Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 2 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 3 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 30 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 26 1/2 yards

My guild is having a quilter's garage sale this week and I have two bins of fabric ready to sell - hopefully I can keep fairly good track of what I sell to capture it in my stash report at the end of July!