2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year in Review

As the year winds into its final hours, I thought it would be fun to run through my blog entries month by month to catalog my accomplishments and activities from the year. It really was a good year for me, both with my family and with my quilting. I feel so happy to have kids who love that mommy quilts and enjoy playing in my sewing room or at work day, and to have a very supportive husband who had moved his crap stuff out of 1/2 of the basement to make room for my HQ16 and who watches the kids so I can go to retreats, shop hops, sewing days, quilt shops, etc.

The highlights of this year were: 
  • From a family perspective, our trip to New Mexico. It was great to visit a new place any take the kids on an adventure. They still talk about parts of the trip and the fun of flying and staying in hotels with pools! 
  • From a quilting perspective, several things...
    • Attending the St. Jude's retreat in April and meeting some great women, visiting new quilt shops, and sewing uninterrupted all weekend. 
    • Participating in a fantastic quilting bee where I have friends who help me practice my longarm skills, and give me lots of advice (both quilting and life advice). 
    • Learning and loving my HQ16. A year ago, I was really intimidated by the machine and was easing my way into using it. Now, I love the challenge of it and try new things all the time and I am having a blast. 
  • And, from a blogging perspective, it has been so great to "meet" so many new people online. I can't imagine my days without your stories to read and thank you for all the comments you leave me. 
My accomplishments by the numbers: 
Quilts finished this year (means that it was quilted, bound, ready for use) -  15
Items Quilted on my HQ16 = 17
Tops pieced this year (not yet quilted) - 5
Misc. Quilting projects - 3 Blankets, 2 placemats, 2 fabric books, 4 purses, 1 table runner, 7 Pink Penguin bags and many individual blocks and other one time projects for myself or others.
Cross stitch projects - 4
Total number of hours sewing for the year = 305
Avg. number of sewing hours per month = 25.5

Wow! What a year! I can't wait to see what next year brings!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gone Too Soon

Lois holding Jack, with me at bee in early 2008

This morning I received the sad news that one of my quilting friends passed away. She entered the hospital in October for knee replacement surgery, and came through that well, but about a week later started having multiple other complications. She wound up in critical care in early December and was transferred to an acute care hospital a few weeks ago. I held out hope that she would be able to overcome the complications and return to some level of health, but that wasn't to be.

Lois was a great friend in my bee and was always along on our shop hops. She also treated my kids like grandkids and they both loved "Auntie Lois." She will be greatly missed.

Lois' Fibonacci Quilt

Lois' holiday quilt (on the right) in our guild show in Oct 2009, just after her knee surgery.

Lois' kimono quilt - blocks made by bee members in 2007, hanging in our Oct 2009 quilt show.

Rest in peace Lois. You left us far too soon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's birthday. She is my quilting partner in crime and also a great mom and friend. We spend a lot of time together feeding each other's quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, and stamping habits and we always have a good time. We had lunch together today and did a little shopping and it was great to spend the day with her. For her birthday this year, I decided to make a couple things for her. She loves snowmen, so that was the theme.

Here's her first present -- a sock knitting bag, which was a free pattern on Terry Atkinson's blog. I dug into my stash to find the perfect snowgal for the pocket.

And the second, a snowman wall hanging. I bought the pattern while on my retreat in April and had plans to make this for her by the end of the year.

I quilted it on my Janome, which was kinda fun because I don't quilt on that machine very much. Here's the closeup of the quilting on the scarf.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just in time for St. Nick

As we prepped for the holidays last year, my husband lamented about the green sheet that we always put around our tree as a tree skirt. I promised him that by this time this year, we would have a real tree skirt, put it on my list of goals, and then did absolutely nothing about it until about October. I pieced the top (you can hardly even call it piecing...just put two pieces together) at a work day and realized that I didn't have enough backing. I finally decided on fabric and prepped the backing at our work day in December, got it on the frame last week, and got it bound and under the tree this week.

For the quilting, I used Isacord Variegated on the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. It was a great combo and I didn't have any tension problems, an added bonus! I meandered all around, then outlined the holly leaves.

In this midst of this project, I also made my annual teacher gifts for our child care teachers. This year, they were pink penguin baskets filled with family favorite holiday snacks and cookies. I think they were loved by all who got them!

...now I just gotta start wrapping those presents!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Content Little Kitten

I have been meaning for a while to provide an update on our new kitten. She spent the first three days in our basement, only venturing out in the evenings when all was quiet. She and Little Bear (our border collie mutt mix) have had a few "conversations," and now I think Mittens has clearly communicated that she has taken over the role of Alpha animal in the house.

She still spends a good part of her day in the basement or up in our bedroom and has found several cozy spots to sleep in. In the evenings, when the kids are in bed, she comes out as crazy kitty! She jumps at our legs when we walk, plays with her mice, and has been scaling a quilt I have on the wall (although she has been reprimanded for this one!). She will also play a bit with Jenna with a ribbon or a piece of yarn, but prefers to play when there is less excitement in the room!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another First

Remember way back here when I quilted my friend Lois' first quilt? Well, when I brought it back to her at our bee, Kathy mentioned that she still had her first quilt top, not quilted. She had started to hand quilt it, but it sat for 20+ years and she decided it would be better to pull out the hand quilting and pass it over to me for practice as well. She gave it to me in the late spring/early summer and it enjoyed a spot in my closet. I bought a couple different threads for it, but none looked quite right across the whole quilt. Then, once I started experimenting beyond meandering and loops, I decided I needed to quilt it fancier than just an all over. So, there it sat, waiting for inspiration.....and sat, and sat. I finally put a self imposed deadline on myself about a month ago and decided I needed to get it back to her before our last bee of the year, which was today.

Last week, my mom was over, and she was a great help to me in deciding how to quilt it and what color thread to use. We finally settled on a variegated cream Lava from Superior Threads, with Bottom Line cream in the bobbin. I loaded it on the frame starting a week ago, and finally got to quilting it over the weekend. 

Here's the end result...

For the quilting, I stabilized right outside of the inner border because she had pressed the seams open. Then, I did loopy figure 8's in the green border, a medallion in the center, loops across all the white/cream blocks, and a pantograph on the diagonal in the colored parts of the blocks. I finished it off with the same panto in the outer border. It is a very pretty one that I inherited from a more experienced longarmer called Wildflowers. 

Here's a closeup of the panto in the outer border, 

and in the corner, where I had to use the panto as a visual guide because I couldn't get my laser to work in that area. 

Wow, I learned a lot while doing this quilt. Pantos on the diagonal are HARD! If I were to do it again, I think I would mark it instead of trying to follow it with a laser, and then free hand because the laser was just too much hassle. The squaring of the back is really important to keeping tucks out of the final product when rolling a quilt back and forth as many times as I did; in hindsight, I should have done a little more stabilizing to avoid some of the tucks I got. And, finally, while it was all a great learning experience for me, with fabric this busy, the quilting really doesn't show at all. In fact, it is really hard to see even when you're looking for it. She kept insisting I didn't have to do anything fancier than loops or meandering, and now I see that she was right...those would have done the job just as well. 

That's the last of the "first quilts" I have for now...onto the Christmas tree skirt next....I think I will get that loaded this week and don't know yet how I will quilt it, but I can tell you this....it will be quick and simple!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From one Challenge to Another

Thanks to all who commented on my last post and made a guess on which fabrics were not batiks. Here are the three non-batiks in the quilt:

The teal fabric in the middle of this block was the most popular guess and correct.

The purple/pink check in the middle of this block, guessed by a few also.

And the elusive one...a lot of you thought this yellow was not a batik, but it is. I bought it because I too had never seen a yellow batik, but the green/purplish one is the third non-batik.

There was one person who guessed all three correctly, congratulations Linda! You'll have a little something extra in your pay it forward package as soon as I get to the post office!

This weekend I was lucky enough to have not one but two sewing days! On Saturday, my mom and I went south to Shiisa quilts and had a great day. I actually got everything that I took done! Pictures will come later as I get the projects finished, because they are all still works in progress. On Monday, I went to my monthly bee workday and got all my cirles cut out for the Carnival quilt, prepped the backing for our tree skirt, and cut out the red fabric needed for my snowball challenge. Here's what 36 strips of red and 240 squares looks like...next up will be the tans/creams. I am hoping to get to that over the holidays.

On a final note, I got the binding and hanging sleeve sewn on my reindeer panel and it is now hung in the living room next to the Christmas tree. I am so glad I got this done and love having a Christmasy quilt up in the house!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Well, I got my Carnival top together this week...was very careful to only take one block at a time off the design wall to make sure it went together the way I planned. Got to the end and snapped a pic for my blog....

Then took a second look and thought that I was sure I didn't put a couple of those blocks w/the same fabric right next to each other. OMG! I realized I sewed row 3 to row 1 (instead of row 1 to row 2)....rrrrriiiiipppp, then resew, and now it looks the way I want!

Now I am auditioning borders. The pattern calls for one wide border ~5", but I am thinking it may be better to do a thin black border (could even be wavy) and then a thicker border of one of the other fabrics. Let me know if you have opinions on the borders...I love to hear how you see it!

Since you've made it this far and since I am 1)feeling in the giving spirit, and 2)have to go to the post office anyway, I thought I would have a little challenge. There are three fabrics in this quilt that are not batiks...all the rest are. Leave me a comment with your guess of which three are not batiks and I will draw a name from those who get it right and send a little holiday item to you! The challenge ends Sunday night at midnight. If no one guesses right, I will throw all the names into a hat!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Accomplishments

I can't believe November is over already...boy has this year gone fast! And I bet the next month will go even faster! I had a good month of quilting and got a lot more done than I thought I would. I was a little afraid of being burned out after the quilt show last month, and I started the month slow, but once I got going, it was a steady pattern to the end of the month. I sewed 20 3/4 hours in November and here's how I did on my original goals:
  • Finish blocks for Carnival quilt from Debbie Bowles workshop - blocks are done and partially put together for the top.
  • Finish my pay it forward gifts - done (picture after I send the last 2!)
  • Send out my fabric for my first ever internet fabric swap - done 
  • Quilt t-shirt quilt for my friend Barbara - done 
  • President's block for our guild president - whoops, forgot about this one, and I will have to do it this week since our guild meeting is Thursday and it is her last as president!
Plus, I also did this:
  • Made an extra item from my pay it forward and gave it to a friend in rehab for knee surgery (with complications, so she is in the hospital much longer than anticipated)
  • Found and fabric framed a cross stitch I finished in 2007, just in time for the holidays

  • Made a reindeer towel from a kit I bought at the show
  • Bought, attached, and started the hand sewing on my reindeer quilt panel
  • Labelled and gifted Nick's quilt of valor
  • Made a scrappy bed for Mittens
  • Pulled and prepped my reds for the snowball challenge
  • Loaded and quilted an outer space quilt for my friend Loralei
The month of December is sure to be a busy one, but I have two sewing days planned, so I am hoping to get all these projects done -- yikes!
  • Christmas gifts - 2 + 7 for day care teacher gifts
  • Thank you gift for Jack's day care room (he's moving up to preschool!)
  • Prep backing, quilt, and bind Christmas tree skirt and put it under our tree before Christmas morning!
  • Finish Carnival quilt top
  • Quilt a top from a friend that I've had in my closet for way too long
  • Finish hand sewing on Reindeer quilt and hang up!
  • Start on my snowball challenge

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Reds are Ready!

Friday, I pulled out my reds for the snowball challenge, washed them, and pressed them last night. Now I am ready to start cutting! If only I didn't have two other tops to put together first....but we'll see if I can be that disciplined! I hope to have enough fabrics. I am using partial fat quarters and some quarter & half yards, with one 1-yard piece. I may need to pick up a couple more or borrow some from my mom if there isn't enough in this pile : )

On Thanksgiving, I also had a chance to gift my nephew's quilt of valor to him. He served in Iraq earlier this year, and you all helped me pick a layout for his quilt. It was nice to finally be able to give it to him and I think he really liked it. Hope he uses it!

Finally, I have to show you our funniest picture from the farm. Jenna loves to ride the horse Belle every time we are there. As she started to ride through the goat/sheep pasture, they all started to follow along. It was like she was the pied piper of the pasture!

Unfortunately, the ride didn't end as well. Belle shook (like a dog shaking off water) and Jenna lost her balance. She tried to hang on to the saddle, but couldn't, and fell to the ground. She was really shaken up, and didn't want to get back on, but I am hopeful she'll be over it next time we visit and the weather is nice enough to ride.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Introducing Mittens

We welcomed a new 4 legged animal into our home this weekend - meet Mittens (with her greatest fan)!

Much to Jenna's dismay, Mittens has spent the better part of the last two days under our basement futon. Tonight I am sitting in the basement with her and she's actually coming out to play. We got her a fake mouse and she's having a blast with it right now. I hope she'll warm up to the rest of the house in the next few weeks (but, hey, if not, there's nothing wrong with a basement cat)!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Generosity of Others

Isn't this blogging world great when it comes to giveaways? A few weeks ago, I visited Debra's blog. She was one of my swap partners from the Snowball Challenge, and when she sent an email to let us all know she's received her package, she mentioned a giveaway on her blog. Boy, was I surprised to win it! The package arrived last week with all these great goodies in it! What fun - thanks Debra!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Trimming up the raw edges

Whenever I am working on one of those quilts where you make the blocks intentionally big, then trim them up later, I always go through a phase of thinking I am really not going to like the quilt that much. That was definitely the case as I finished up my blocks for the Carnival quilt earlier this month. Here they all are on my design wall.

At this stage, I was debating whether I should make the quilt bigger. I decided not to because I wasn't really loving it all that much. However, I do want to finish it and show it at our guild show and tell, so I decide just to cut my losses and start trimming the blocks.

A week later, and a small mountain of trimmed edges later, voila!

Now I like it again! Just have to fiddle with the block placement a little and I will get the top together (hopefully this week), then the job of picking a border starts!

They take after their father...

...that's what I am claiming at least! It's been a while since I updated you on the shenanigans of our children, and there have been several items in the past week, so I thought it was high time to spotlight them again.

Let's start with the trim...about a week ago, I was quilting one more row of this quilt before I headed back upstairs. Jenna went up ahead of me and took with her the paper and scissors that she was playing with (you all know where this is going already, don't you?). As I walked up the stairs from the basement, I said "Watcha doing kiddo?" and she said "Just getting a trim mom." Our couch was littered with hair....lots of hair. I don't know how she didn't whack more off, but she did do a pretty nice job of layering the right side (left side in this picture).

Then, Monday night, Mike was making muffins (yes, he really does bake for us), and let the kids lick the bowl at the end. As they were trying to strongarm each other for a swipe here and there, they started insulting each other....just in case you can't understand what he's saying, it is "bowling ball butt." Yup, I am one proud mom.

And the last one just shows you how smart/devious my dear daughter is. She knows she is not supposed to play with my jewelry. She also knows that Kung Fu Panda doesn't have that same restriction. This is how I found my earrings and Kung Fu Panda earlier this afternoon! Don't you just love it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Swap Adventures

In my listing of Oct accomplishments, I mentioned that I signed up for a fabric swap and even said in parentheses that I would provided details, but forgot to attach the link. So, here's what I am doing....the Red and White Snowball swap initiated by Nicole from Sister's Choice Quilts, a blog I have read and loved for quite a while now (about a year I guess, because I remember the halloween party costumes from last year!).

I was a little apprehensive about doing a fabric swap because I have heard lots of bad things, from items not received to fabric from Walmart, but I took a deep breath and signed up anyway, and I am so glad I did! I have received all my swap fabric and a couple little bonus items (what fun!). Here are all the fabrics lined up -- I received a couple bonus items in my packages too! The fabrics I sent out are along the left side. I am really looking forward to starting on this quilt when I get my Christmas sewing done.

And, while I was cleaning off my cutting table to lay out all the fabrics from the swap, I ran across my birthday fat quarters from my bee. We gift fat quarters on each person's birthday according to her request, and I asked for oranges this year. Look at these scrumptious fabrics I got -- aren't they great? And, no, I don't know what I am going to use them for!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something to show

For the last few good quilting nights, I have been working on projects that I want to keep under wraps until they are done and received, so not much that I can show. Tonight, though, I can show some pictures. I quilted this tee shirt quilt for a friend from my bee. It has been on the frame for about a week and I started on it Wed. Finished up the last two passes tonight and amazingly didn't put a single tuck in the backing (it was a little wonky). One down, two more to get done before Christmas!

One cool thing that she did on this quilt was include a couple shirt pockets. I quilted around them so that she can put something into them (one of our friends suggested a book light).

On another note, we welcomed a baby into our "almost family" today. My good friend Sara had a baby boy this morning. His name is Curtis James, 9 lbs. 12 oz. and 21.5", a big boy. I will post a picture when I have a chance to get a good one with his eyes open! His big brother, our friend Richard, is staying with us this weekend and the kids are having a great time playing together. The real challenge is that they are all sleeping in the same room....which made for a very early morning today, so I better get to bed. Mike took the early shift today, so I think it will be my turn tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Blog Hop

There is a great blog hop going on that started today and will go for the next 12 days. I follow a couple of these blogs already and really enjoy them. The hop will feature a new free project every day on the featured designer's blog! Hope you enjoy!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Odds and Ends

Over the last few weeks, I have done lots of little projects. I mentioned most of them in my last post, but didn't have pictures to share...now I do!

Humbug bag -- a "man bag" for our friend Steve who needs a place to store his keys, ipod, etc. while on the boat.

Halloween headbands -- since Jenna forgot to give the one I made for her friend to her, I could take a picture of it...no idea where Jenna's is now! Hers had pumpkins on it.

Blocks....for the head of the quilt show (our theme was "Let Us Entertain You")

...and for bee-mate Loralei

And, since I was wandering around taking pictures, I thought I would show this one. I did the cross stitch for this several years ago and finished the pillow in 2007 I think. The kids love messing with the little bag button!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It is Really November?

It just can't be November already...what, with the last workshop of the year, the quilt show, and Halloween, October just flew by!

The good news is that I finished all my October goals! Woo hoo! Here's the list from my 27.5 hours in the sewing room this month:
  • Humbug bag for my friend
  • Quilted reindeer wallhanging
  • Bear jumper for Jenna (and she actually wore it to the quilt show!)
  • Debbie Bowles workshop
  • Quilted and bound Seasons wall hangings
  • Finished and won a ribbon for Perennial Pansies
  • Quilted fabric for my pay it forward gifts
  • Sara's birthday clock
  • Tree blocks for my bee-mate Loralei
  • Halloween headbands for Jenna and her friend
  • Show block for the quilt show chair
Wow, I can't believe I got all that done! I am a little burned out though, so my list of goals will be small for November:
  • Finish blocks for Carnival quilt from Debbie Bowles workshop
  • Finish my pay it forward gifts
  • Send out my fabric for my first ever internet fabric swap (details here)
  • Quilt t-shirt quilt for my friend Barbara
  • President's block for our guild president
That should be enough to keep my busy before the holidays kick into full swing!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Telling Time

Back in June, I finished this quilt for my friend Sara. She chose the colors and the pattern and I did the sewing and quilting for her. As her birthday approached this year, I kept looking at the bag of scraps from the quilt and trying to figure out what to make her from them. Then, my mom bought this great pattern in Columbus, and I made it for her birthday, which was this past week.

I had lots of fun with this project -- tried my hand at paper piecing with freezer paper, used several of my specialty stitches on my machine,

 and even struggled with how to tell time! I didn't notice it, nor did Sara, but the first thing her husband noticed when he looked at the clock is that I put the 3 and the 9 in the wrong places! Oh, well, it will be a conversation piece if nothing else!!!

A week of Halloween

We carved pumpkins...

Did a little monster mash,

Then trick or treated!

Happy Halloween!