Sunday, March 29, 2015

Year of the Kits -- Q1 Progress

Edited to say that the pictures are showing up correctly when you look at them on the blog, but if you click on the picture to open it, you can see the whole photo. 

I don't think I will finish any more kits before April starts later this week, so I wanted to take a minute to check in and see how I am doing on my Year of the Kits goal.  I set this goal after pulling out all my stitching and quilting kits last winter.  I have tracked progress throughout the year in my tags, so you can click on the Year of the kits tag to see the actual projects.  For the check in, I thought I would show you a visual of progress from my initial pictures. 

First up is the cross-stitch, and I have been doing a lot of it since the start of the year. After I took this picture, I found that the bookmark was finished, and that I had another kit in progress, so you take one out and add one back and I still was at 18 kits at the start of the year. 

Since late December, I have finished the stitching on 5 kits, and I have completely finished one of the five into a hanging ornament. I am currently working on the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, which is in the lower right corner. It is one of the bigger ones, so might take me a little longer. 
On the quilt kits side, I have also done pretty well. I keep finding more kits when I look in nooks and crannies, so the 25 in the picture below probably should be more like 28 or 30 in total.  I have started off well, and have finished 5 of them - 4 from the picture below, plus on that wasn't in the picture.  Of the five, three are completely done, and 2 are into tops and awaiting quilting - one is actually on the frame right now.  The next kit on the list is also in the lower right corner of this picture, a winter/Christmas top with lots of applique. I am really glad to have a new Scan and Cut machine to help me with this one! 

That's the update from here - I am really pleased to have started the year off well with the kits and looking forward to getting several more finished! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Design Wall at Retreat

Today I am going to show you the projects of mine that went up on the design wall during my recent retreat with my bee. I pulled several projects and then threw in a few more just before I left. I worked on all but one project and I am really happy with all I got done. 

The first night, I pulled out a kit from a Mary Englebreit panel and got the small top put together pretty quickly.  The kit came with backing and batting, so I made the binding before I put it away to come home. I hope to get this one on the frame soon and will find a good spot to hang in this year during the holidays. 
Next up was the muslin foundation kaleidoscope quilt. I had a few problems in placing he fabric correctly so did a lot more un-sewing than sewing on the first night. I stuck to it the next morning and finally go the top finished in the late afternoon.  I have four more smaller blocks for cornerstones, so I am going to make them up and see if I like them or if I want to finish it off as is. All the fabrics in this quilt are fossil ferns and I am really pleased with how they look together. (by the time I took this picture the design walls were full, so you can see my toes on the design floor)
Once I had those two tops done, it was time to make some bags! First up is the Watcha Got? bag from This and That. It is made with vinyl and I love how it turned out. I used Decor Bond for the fusible and it is the perfect weight. I will be using this as a project bag...just don't know if it will be for crochet, stitching, or quilting! 
After that, it was time to knock out another kit - the Zippy Strippy bag from Terry Atkinson. She writes the best directions and I love making up her patterns. I am really pleased with the end result and also glad to have another kit finished! I also have some new fabric lined up to make another soon! 
The last finished project from retreat is this baby blanket - yet another kit! It has Minkee as the center and binding and the yellow fabric and backing are flannel, so it is super cozy. This one will be ready for the new baby that is due in our extended family later this year. 
So, those are all the finished projects! I also started two more and made some good progress - and hope to have more to show on them in the next few weeks. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stash Report - Week 12, 2015

I had my bee retreat at the first half of this week, so it was a good week for some stash and kit usage! We were at a quilt shop for the retreat (Threads of Time, which has a retreat center behind the shop), so I did acquire a little fabric.  I went specifically looking for some fabric to make a new purse and I didn't leave disappointed :) 

New fabrics (purse on the left, freebies on the right)
Fabric added this week: 2 1/8 yards (purse fabric + 2 free fat quarters)
Fabric used this week: 6 yards

Fabric added year to date: 2 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 16 5/8 yards

Net fabric used: 14 1/4 yards

And, I just finished the latest quilt (one I did for a friend), so now I can do one of mine and get another chunk of fabric used. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

February 2015 Cooking Report

I am really late with my cooking summary this month and I have also managed to lose a recipe and a couple pictures, but I want to get this recorded for future reference. 

Our first new recipe was a tuna noodle casserole. I had one which we'd tried before, and it was okay - but just okay. I did a quick google search and came across Mr. Food's Mom's Tuna Noodle Casserole. It turned out great and we all devoured it! 
The next recipe was from a can of tomato sauce and it was a one-dish meal with the sauce, rice, and chicken, then covered with mozzarella cheese.  We all ate it, but none of us loved it. The rice was a little undercooked and the ratio of rice to chicken was far too high. In the end, we will toss this one (it seems I may have already done that!). 
Next up was a similar style of recipe - Italian Pasta Bake from Kraft.  It calls for ground beef and cooked pasta, then you mix them together with pasta sauce, Parmesan cheese, and Italian cheese and bake it all. This one took a while because you have to cook the pasta and ground beef first, then bake them, but it was delicious. While I couldn't find the exact recipe online, I am happy to share it via email if you'd like it (just leave me a comment).  I also didn't get a picture of this one...probably because the night we had it, I got home late and was so hungry when I arrived home that I didn't take a moment to stop and get my phone! 

The last recipe for February was Great Grandma's Baked Chicken from a Rachael Ray magazine. I didn't know how this would go over for the family since none of them have had goat cheese before.  I decided that we would make plain chicken for the kids, so just Mike and I had the recipe chicken.  It was also delicious. I swear I got a picture of this one, but it is missing - it turned out pretty much like the recipe though! 

We also revisited several recipes from the last two years during the month - we're doing that about once a week now - so the variety of meals has been really good and we're rediscovering some things we'd almost forgotten about! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Stash Report - Weeks 10-11, 2015

Just a quick stash report for me before I head off for retreat (where I plan to make the numbers look even better but risk them not since we stay at a quilt shop!).  I did a little pre-cutting this week to get my fossil fern foundation pieced kalideoscopes ready.  I have a ton of fossil ferns that I inherited from Lois and all of the colors in this piece are from fat quarter or smaller cuts of fabric.  I am really looking forward to working on this one...starting later today! 

Fabric added last 2 weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last 2 weeks: 2 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 1/4 yard
Fabric used year to date: 10 5/8 yards

Net fabric used: 10 3/8 yards

Hope you have a great week with your stash - I have a bunch of mine packed into the car and ready to go! 

February 2015 Accomplishments

Here we are on the ides of March and I am just sitting down to document what I got done in February. It was a relatively slow month, because I was still enjoying a lot of couch time stitching, and then my machine tension went kaput after I sewed on a few really thick things. I would up dropping off my machine for repair in mid-Feb and asked them to hang on to it until I got back for our retreat (I leave in an hour for that).  

I wound up with 11 hours of quilting time and finished the following things: 
- Three pink string blocks (my color to play with in Feb) - I was going for dark pink, salmony pink, and light pink. 


- Coffee cup holders - another kit finished! 

Cross stitch: 
- Wintry white, snowy delight - which I also finished into a cube (thanks to the tutorial on The Twisted Stitcher)
- Reindeer ornament (still to be finished) - and another cross-stitch kit! 


I have several other things in progress, so hope to have a few more accomplishments to report in March.  I also bought a new toy in February - the Brother Scan N'Cut. The kids and I had lots of fun with it cutting out paper items, and then I took it down to the sewing room to work on cutting out some applique pieces.  I didn't have nearly the luck there, so I am taking it to retreat with me to work on it a little more and see if I can get the hang of it. 

More to come, especially after retreat this week! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quilt #1 2015 - Brenda's Comfort Quilt

At the end of last year, my mom and I were talking about what we could do to help a member of our girl scout troop (she was my leader for 12 years) who is fighting breast cancer.  As quilters, you can guess what we decided!  My mom had some fabric left from making Girl Scout quilts a few years ago and our friend Kathy also had a few pieces left, so we pulled them together, added some tone on tones that matched, and put together a neat lap size top. 


I quilted it quickly with all over loops and hearts, and we sent it off to her.  I hope that she is enjoying it and that it is keeping her warm as she goes through chemo!