2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Friday, October 31, 2008

Costumes and Candy

It was a good Halloween in our home. Jenna has been asking when it will be Halloween since the 4th of October, so it was fun to wake her up this morning and tell her it is really here! Both kids got to wear their costumes to "school" and they had a parade through the halls. After work, Mike picked them up and took them to see both sets of grandparents, which they really enjoyed (kids and grandparents). We got one good picture before we took them out for the first year of real Trick or Treating. Jack didn't quite know what to think of it, but Jenna thought it was pretty cool. We let her have one piece of candy before bed, and she is soundly sleeping now - quite a day for the kiddos.

Here are the butterfly and the monkey (along with me!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Starting Over Again

I was quilting like a fool earlier in the month, trying to get comfortable with free motion quilting. I even bought a special bobbin case to see if that would help at all, and I didn't see any difference - ugh! After a few tries at that, I got a little fed up and moved on to other projects, which brings me to this post.

In my bee, we have a UFO (unfinished fabric object) challenge that I had to open my big mouth and start. The goal is to randomly work on a UFO (I stole the idea from Jen) and keep the pressure on each other to get it finished. The prolific online quilters do one UFO a month, but aren't so big on the pressure thing (they are however, very big on the cheering when someone gets one done, which is nice). Our bee is not quite so prolific, so we decided to do one per quarter. So far, mine have been two small projects, a wall hanging and a christmas stocking (the cross stitch was done, just had to make it into a stocking). This quarter's UFO is a former mystery quilt that was supposed to look somewhat like this when it went together...



I didn't like the layout at all, so I experimented with a few different layouts, and even went so far as to sew the blocks into rows, but I was never quite happy with it. In the end, and with the assistance of my mom, I decided that the blue in the "plus" blocks was just too dominant, so off they came. My mom was nice enough to rip them out for me one day when she didn't have anything else that was occupying her hands. So, then I was left with 12 churn dash blocks and didn't know what to do with them. In January, we had an excellent speaker at our guild meeting, Sharyn Craig, who told us just what to do with orphaned blocks and how to rework a quilt so that you actually like the outcome. I was very inspired and came home that night and decided to add strips to the outside of the blocks to highlight the colors in them that I like, mainly the blue polka dot, which was supposed to be my focus fabric, but didn't get enough attention in the other layout. So, tonight, I got back to them and finished up a few blocks with a new sashing fabric. I like the result so far and plan to do a few more yellows and a few of the fabrics in the bottom right.

I don't know if I will use the strong coral color, because I think I only have enough of it for one block and it might stand out too much. Don't know what will happen with the blocks when they are all added onto, as it will be a little too big for a wall quilt and a little too small for a lap quilt...I guess that will have to be Part 2 of this story!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making Progress

Well, my main goal this month was to work on the several quilt tops I had lined up and get them quilted, free motion quilted specifically. I got three of them basted together at our sewing day early in the month, and got started on this one. It is a little of a cop out, as I just stitched in the ditch. Between all the pieces and the pattern, I thought it was too busy for anything other than that. It is slated to be a Christmas present for an unsuspecting friend (I hope!). It will be bound in the gold as well.



Next, I got started on a playmat for our friend Richard. His mom was going to buy him one from a catalog until I poo-poo'ed that idea and told her a quilted one would be much better. I started with stitch in the ditch on this one, then took a deep breath and started the FMQ'ing. It went very well. Lots of different sized stitches, but overall I am very happy with it. I started with the road and then meandered around all the buildings and construction vehicles. The last thing I did was a wavy stitch around the outside which I really liked.




Now I am on to a thank you gift for another friend. It is in progress, and I got to work on it a bit this weekend...but I will wait to post photos until I've got it done.

Our family had a busy weekend too. Jack had his first haircut (and hated it), and now he looks like such a big boy. We had a fall festival at the kids day care, so went to that for a bit yesterday. Then today, we made the big trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins for carving (and maybe pie if I get really brave). We met Richard and his family there, and all the kids had a great time. The pictures from the weekend are all on Mike's camera, so I will have to post them later. The house is now silent, as the kids are wiped out, sound asleep and Mike is at softball. I am looking forward to a quiet night watching TV and working on some cross-stitch. This time of year is when I appreciate the mute button on the remote so much so that I don't have to listen to those political commercials. I strongly believe in voting and will definitely be at the polls this year, but boy am I tired of the back and forth crap! Will be nice when it is back to injury lawyers and car salesmen!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Belated Thanks and a Little Finish

I have been very delinquent in blogging about some quilty gifts I received in August! During the same week, I received three great surprises:

#1 - A pair of socks from a gal at work who knows of my love of quilting. I had been on a project team with her for about 6 months and see her infrequently now, so was really touched that she thought of me when she purchased these.

#2 - A thank you card with some cash in it for a cross-stitch I had done for a friend. Very unexpected, as the cross-stitch was something I didn't expect any payment for! (no picture of the cash :)

#3 - This fantastic bag from Jill, who I cheered for during the quilting hours contest in July. She blogged all about making this bag and I thought it was really cute. Imagine my surprise when it showed up on my doorstep! The real reason that I haven't taken a picture of it between then and now is that it has been in use! I have the opportunity to go to a workday once/month, and also spend some time sewing at my mom's, so this bag has become a staple for me - it is the perfect size to keep thread, scissors, and paper-piecing supplies in - THANKS JILL!

Finally, a little finish for me this week. I started this wool penny rug in November of last year, because it looked easy enough to finish before Valentine's day. I only worked on it at bee and guild meetings, and as you can see, didn't put a whole lot of time into it! I just now completed it, but look forward to using in next February!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Inspiration

Sometimes, there are certain quilts that I just look at over and over with a longing to someday do them. An online buddy of mine recently blogged about having a list of quilts she wanted to do, and I have been thinking about that since then...so I thought I would share some of the quilts that really inspire me and make me think about "the big ones" that I want to do someday.


First off, this pattern is called Mexican Stars. I don't actually have it, but I have seen it and been very close to buying it more than once. I know that I probably should have just picked it up the second time, but there is something about the little bit of curve in it that has held me back. Next time I see it, it's mine (or would be a good Christmas present....hint, hint).



Second, an art quilt with dimension. For a real art quilter, this one probably doesn't seem that far out of the box, but it is worlds from what I am doing these days, and I just love it. In this quilt from the Sister's show, the little red and cream quilt was dimensional, a separate quilt, quilted into/onto the main one.


Third, and not too distantly related from 2nd, a quilt that mixes a traditional block with something non-traditional, like this amazing one, also from sister's.



Fourth, a double wedding ring in contemporary colors/fabrics, or with photos. This one is from our guild show last year, and I love it. I'd like to do something similar or incorporate photos from trips/adventures in my life into the rings.


There are more...but without accompanying pictures:
- A big log cabin quilt (I need to post at some point the little log cabin zoo I made for Jack)
- A bear's paw quilt
- T-shirt quilt with a cool setting like the one my mom made me with my Girl Scout shirts (guess I need to take a picture of that one too)
- Something for Christmas with a reindeer on it - either applique or with reindeer fabric
- A curvy quilt(probably more than one...I have a kit that I need to make up called Curvalishish, and a book called Blendable Curves)
I am sure there are more...but those are the big ones for now. Keep an eye on my upcoming goals in months to see if I start to take on any of these challenges!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

September Progress

It has taken me a few days to get to this post. We had visitors from Finland this week and had a great time with them. Our family had an exchange student, Johan, when I was a sophmore in high school and he fit into our family so well. I've been lucky enough to visit him twice in Helsinki and he came here for my brother's wedding 9 years ago. This time, his parents sailed across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 and spent some time in New York before making a quick trip to Indiana. Jenna and Jack had a good time with Kaj and Riita and I will post the pictures of the neat gifts they brought the kids as soon as I take them.

Sewing started off really well this month, then waned as the new TV season started! However, my cross-stitch has picked up quite a bit over the last two weeks and I am nearing completion on the two projects I am working on there.

Following are my accomplishments during the September:
- Jolene Star table topper top completed (picture after I quilt and bind it)
- Sara's quilt top finished and backing fabric purchased
- 3 baby gifts completed - fabric book, 2 blankets

- 2 headbands for my friend's daughters
- Log Cabin block for the Quilters in Indiana block lottery (green and cream log cabin...can't find that I took a picture of this, but I sure thought I did...hmmmm)
- Patchwork illusions - now called "Do you see what I see" - top completed
- 2 buck-a-blocks (now I am only three behind)
- Mom's block for our bee
- Pillowcase for Cooper for his 5th birthday
- Babydoll bib for Jenna's baby
All that in 21 hours of sewing this month.
My goals for October are:
- Free motion quilting/quilting - I have four quilts that need to be quilted, so I want to make good progress on them this month. Two are christmas themed and I want to give them well before the holiday, one is Sara's quilt (thanks to those who gave me good ideas on how to quilt it), and then Do you see what I see.
- Quilters in Indiana block lottery block
- Bee block(s) for Kathy and potentially Suzie
- Start something new
- Work on my last UFO for this year - a mystery quilt that wasn't working for me, so I am winging it and trying to fix it into something I like.

I will also try to be better about taking pictures and blogging this month.