2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, May 7, 2017

April 2017 Stash Report

The focus for the stash in April was getting things pre-cut for my retreat which is coming up in a few weeks. 

I did have a few additions to stash, thanks to the re-opening of Quilts Plus. This is a local quilt shop that has been in business for many years, but just had a change of owners. The new owner has opened up the store, painted it bright colors, and brought in a lot of more modern fabric. It really looks great, and I think I've been there three times since it opened. I guess I am doing my part to support a small business! 

On the first visit, I picked up the Thimble Blossoms mini spool pattern, which I have long admired. I also got some white on white to use for the background. The tulip purse pattern was a gift from a friend. 


On trip #2, I didn't buy anything (my mom did), but on trip #3, I went in with a goal to find the dark grey fabric for the Quick Curve Ruler pattern Mini Pumpkins, which I got for Christmas. I found the perfect fabric, paired it with some oranges and light grays from my stash, and it's all ready for retreat. 

The next project I cut out for retreat was also a Christmas gift. I dusted off my Scan-n-Cut to cut out the applique pieces and then when I had them done, decided to go ahead and do the small bit of piecing and fusing. When I get to retreat, I will have buttonhole stitching to do and some hand stitching to add buttons. Hopefully, this will be fully finished by the end of retreat. 

The last project I prepped in April is the Frivols tin I picked up when the previous owner of Quilts Plus was having her clearance sale. I found a white on white in my stash for this one and it is all ready to be put together. 
All the cutting made it a good month for the stash report: 

Fabric added this month: 2 3/8 yards
Fabric used this month: 5 3/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 6 1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 14 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 8 1/8 yards

Hope you had a great month with your stash! 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

April 2017 Month in review

I am not quite sure how April went by so quickly. I didn't have any travel, but the time seemed to go by quickly. I did make some great progress in April and am glad for the time I spend crafting this month! 

I had 9 3/4 hours in the sewing room, almost half of it fighting with a quilt on my HQ. Over the month, I worked on cutting out projects for my retreat so that I can focus on sewing when I get there. I didn't do a good job of that last year and didn't feel like I got nearly as much done. This year at retreat, I am going to focus on small projects. 

I did get one quilt loaded and quilted - I ran into all kinds of problems with the thread shredding on this one. I changed needles, bobbins, and finally thread. It got better, but took about twice as long as it should have! Despite all the challenges, I am really, really pleased with how the quilting turned out. I was going to do a panto when I started, but changed my mind and wanted to stay in front of the machine (you quilt a panto from the back). I wound up doing my first meandering free motion design with multiple elements - mostly swirls, feathery shapes and paisley. I think it turned out really cool and gives some movement to this quilt with lots of straight lines. 

I also spent a little time on pillows again this month - that seems like it is turning into my theme for the year! Number 1 was pulled for the UFO challenge, and I was excited to work on my wrap pillows. I've had these forever! I bought them at The Back Door when the kids were little and the pattern was free when you purchased the fabric. I like how they turned out and will enjoy having a few more seasonal pillows for the couch in our living room. 

Now, let's turn to stitching...I stitched up three designs this month and turned one of my existing ones into an ornament. It was a good month for stitching! 

First up is Primitive Egg from Ewe and Eye and Friends. I bought this one from a sale bin at Needle Fever, a local shop that closed a few years ago. I started it in February and then discovered about 1/4 of the way into it that I was using two threads when I should have been using one. When I got to the pink alphabet, it was pretty heavy looking, so I ripped the whole thing out. I started back again after working on another project and got it finished up just before Easter. I am going to order a bell pull for this one so that I can hang it. 

Second is a quickie - Be Thankful from Weeks Dye Works. It was a free pattern that I picked up at Keepsake Framing in Cincinnati the first time we went there to visit. I think it turned out so pretty and plan to finish it into a cube to display during the fall. I am glad to have another project that is fall themed and not just Halloween. 

The third finish is from the JCS Christmas Ornament issue and is called Merry Christmas to You by My Big Toe Designs. I found a scrap piece of fabric to stitch it on and used DMC colors that I had on hand. Today while quilting a Christmas project, I found the perfect fabric to use to finish this one as a flat ornament.

Last up is the best, my January ornament already finished for Christmas! My goal this year is to finish each ornament before I start the next one...and I didn't quite make that, but I did finish it before I finished the ornament above. I am pleased with how it turned out and like the teal in the stitching and fabric. 

So, that's a wrap for April. I'll be back tomorrow with the stash report and some pictures of the projects I am planning for retreat. 

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