2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Report

I don't have any pictures to post of the day yet, but our Christmas was very nice. On Christmas Eve, we spent the afternoon and early evening with Mike's family at his mom's. The kids had a great time playing with their cousins and watching movies on Grandma's TV, and then had a blast opening presents. Jenna got a doll from Grandma that talks, and she just loves it - I don't think it was out of her hands the whole time we were there. On Christmas morning, the kids slept in until 8:00!!! That was our gift from them. When they got up, we called my parents and they came down to watch the opening of the presents. Jenna and Jack opened stockings, then ate breakfast while waiting, then tore into the presents. Jenna helped everyone open their presents, and Jack was just happy to be part of all the action. Lots of fun presents for both kids and round two later this week when we see my brother and his family. After hard play all morning, both kids napped well and then my parents came back for dinner and brought more presents. Jenna got lots of great clothes, and immediately put on her new princess pajamas...now I will have to figure out how to get them off of her!

All in all, a very nice day and now we're looking forward to celebration #2 with my brother and his family this week...more to come and pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things I've Done

I saw this on a couple other blogs I read and thought it looked like fun...play along if you like. Copy the list and mark those you have done in bold....brings back some good memories!

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (oboe, in middle school!)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a Solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (does New Jersey count?)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language (French, but I didn’t really teach myself, just took it in high school)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (many, many GS Cookies!)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Ridden an elephant


Monday, December 22, 2008

Not so quick and easy

A few days ago, I realized that I had no gifts for our children's caregivers at our "school." My mom suggested I make each of them an embroidered towel, and I thought that would be a nice gift, and quick and easy, so I headed up to my mom's yesterday to make them while Jenna napped....how silly of me. 4 hours and 45 minutes later, I completed 4 towels. I didn't understand anything about all the color changes that go into the making of embroidery or the complications of things like a needle breaking in the middle of a design or a bobbin running out mid-heart. With my mom's help (they were done on her machine), we got through it and I have 4 really cute towels to gift tomorrow...now I just hope that they can figure out that they are handmade and not a $4 towel from Kohl's!

Tonight, I quickly finished up the last of my handmade gifts, foot warmers that I found on another blog here. I made one for myself and it is toasting my little toes right now. I hope these go over well with the recipients!

On a binding update, #1 is bound and has a hanging sleeve, completely ready to be gift #2, which I will post a picture of after the holidays. I am hoping to get the binding on Do you see what I see tomorrow so that I can hand sew it down over the next two days. After that, I have a charity quilt to do on the frame for my mom (got some better thread for this one), and then I get to do whatever I want! I am really looking forward to both of these!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All lined up and ready to go

Christmas gift #2 is now quilted, trimmed, and ready to be bound, and it isn't even Christmas eve yet! It was my second "quilt" on the new frame and I had a really good time with it. I say quilt in quotes because both the first and second are panels. I did loops all around it, then took it off the frame and up to my Janome so I could stitch in the ditch. I hear you can do that on a longarm, but my lines are not anywhere near straight, so I knew it would be faster to do on my other machine. Once I finished that, I cut binding for it, Do you see what I see, and the first panel I did on the HQ16. I got them all put together and wrapped onto toilet paper rolls so they are ready to put on. Hopefully I will have time to do that tonight or tomorrow, and then I will have the hand sewing part ready to go, and that is easy to take along or do when the kids are playing.

My only issue on the HQ16 this time was thread breaking. I was, admittedly, using a cheap thread (Essential Thread from Connecting Threads), so I think that was the primary issue. I probably had a dozen breaks across the panel, and it definitely underscores for me the value of using a better thread....next item on my wish list!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One of Each

I got busy tonight after my bunco group was cancelled and the kids went to bed. After checking email and reading a few blogs, I took a deep breath and headed downstairs to see if I could figure out the bobbin winder for my HQ16. I had read a couple things about it, and it is a little intimidating because it looks like it is industrial. It turned out to be a breeze and I got a bobbin wound very quickly. I then got things going on the panel I started before Thanskgiving and quickly finished it up. This pass on it seemed a lot easier than my first night...maybe just less nerves from using the machine this time, or maybe because I have also been busy with free motion quilting on my Janome. A couple learnings from my first projects....even if it is a cheater, practice quilt, still use pretty thread...it is good to try different things in different parts of the panel and really good to hide bad quilting in a busy area of the panel...and finally, pay more attention at the end so you don't sew the panel top to the leader (this is the fabric that you attach the quilt to so that it rolls...it is re-used for every quilt and is just supposed to be pinned or basted to the quilt, not quilted to it - rookie mistake!). All in all, I am pretty happy with it...I tried different patterns in each part of the panel and really enjoyed the meandering and the loops; I will likely be using these a lot in the near future!

Then, I went upstairs and cut off the backing and binding for my "Do you see what I see" quilt which I finished quilting the other night. I need to bind this before my guild meeting in January to be able to get entered in a drawing for a free workshop next year, so binding is next on my list!

Today was my last day of work for the year, so tomorrow I will have lots of time to sew. I am taking the kids to their day care as usual and will then be home all day as we have the tile and drywall in our bathroom repaired. I am hoping to get Christmas project #2 started and completed tomorrow, and maybe to break that up a little I will cut the binding. Hopefully, I will get several hours in, then I can inventory Christmas presents and figure out what last minute shopping I need to get to this weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of an Era

I was very saddened last night to read on the Satellite Sisters blog that they are taking a year-long (and it seems permanent) break from producing their radio/podcast show. They have been on the radio for several years, but I just found them this spring when I bought my iPod. Since then, they have been my constant commuting companions. I really enjoy their discussion, humor, and the relationships they have with each other...something I miss having no blood sisters of my own. They still plan to post old podcasts, but it won't be the same. It almost feels like I've lost a friend...any ideas on how to fill the car time now?

On a quilting note, I got 3.5 hours in today and finished project #1 for Christmas. Project #2 is scheduled for Friday or the weekend..no pictures to post until after the gifts have been opened! The kids took great naps which enabled me to get a lot done this afternoon, then I was focused this evening and got it done. In the process of doing this, I realized that I have not given any thought to teacher gifts for the kids day care teachers. Last year, I made them these bowls...and I do enjoy making something for them.

Anyone have any good, quick ideas for this year? I need to be able to use my stash and make 4 by Tuesday morning! Oh, and they are 4 different teachers since the kids have all moved up to an older age room. Yikes!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Decorating the Tree

Mike went out last night and got us a beauty of a tree, and for a great price too (for those in or near town, Menard's on 38th street is our secret). He brought it in and put it in the stand last night and Jenna thought for sure that it was Christmas Eve and Santa was coming. It took a little convincing to get her to believe that it was only the 14th of December and that she had 10 more days to wait.

We spent the day today at my parents so I could play Euchre with my mom's group, and the kids had a great lunch, nap, and playtime. Jenna was hemming and hawwing (sp??) about coming home until I reminded her that she need to help decorate the tree. She then proceeded to the closet to get Jack's coat out and tell him he had to put it on so we could go home.

They both had a great time looking through the ornaments and putting them on the tree and it is so nice to have it all decorated....although once again, we'll have the green sheet under it for a tree skirt! My major goal for 2009 is to quilt a tree skirt for next year - someone, please hold me to it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

November Accomplishments

You would think that it may have taken me this long to post about my sewing accomplishments due to a long list or something good like that....but alas, my month in the sewing room was lonely. I did get in 18 hours total, with most of my time being spent on free motion quilting a couple of projects. Following are the finished projects for the month:
- Snowman panel quilt that is now quilted and ready to be gifted.

- Baby wall hangings for my friend's twins who just turned one. I will get to give these in person and meet the girls when we head east later this month!

I also made good progress on a few others things....
- Lots of quilting on my Do you see what I see quilt...about 1/2 completed in November.
- Purchased, brought home, set up, and loaded first panel on my new HQ16! Lots more to come with this in the next few months!

I have a short list of goals for December, especially since I am making them halfway into the month!
- Finish presents (2 items to be disclosed later)
- Complete quilting on Do you see what I see and get binding ready, preferably on ready to hand sew.

If time allows, I would like to quilt a few panels on the HQ16 to continue to practice this month.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow - it has been a long time since I have blogged or sewn. Starting on Thanksgiving, I have spent the past two weeks either sick, nursing a sick child, or studying for my SPHR (Human Resources) certification exam. All are now healthy, despite a nasty flu bug, and the exam was Thursday. After hitting the submit button, the screen went blank for what seemed like an hour (was probably only a minute), then a survey came up, so I completed that, and then my report came up and I passed. Wonderful news (especially since the company doesn't reimburse you for the exam unless you pass!) and this will be good for my resume in the future. I also gained an incredible amount of HR knowledge in the process, which should set me up well as I look for a new position later this year (still at Lilly, just in another part of HR).

So, last night I headed back to my sewing room for the first time in December! I decided to work on completing quilting on my Do You See What I See quilt. I had to resolve some tension issues, but once that was taken care of, I quilted until I ran out of bobbin thread...and here's the result. I decided that I really like quilting on my new HQ16, so from here on out, my Janome will likely not be used for much quilting, except straight lines and stitch in the ditch!

I hope to get back in there later today (after my massage, which is my little personal reward for passing my exam), and hope to finish the quilting by the end of the weekend so that I can get it bound and ready to hang. I am very excited to have another quilt for me to hang at home!