2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Has my luck run out?

I was planning to blog tonight about part 2 of the retreat, but really should try to get to bed to catch up on some sleep, so instead I will just tell you about my crazy awesome luck these past few days.

First, I won a kit at the retreat - it was the raffle prize that I really wanted to win and I was thrilled when she called my name!
Second, I won the bolt of batting in the grand prize raffle! Holy cow, I almost didn't even enter that raffle, but I am so glad I did.

Then today, I got an email from Vivian over at Quilts with Love to tell me that I won her giveaway! I've never won a blog giveaway before - woo hoo!

I have always been a believer that things come in threes, but I am thinking maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket tomorrow!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Retreat Report, Part 1

I headed out Thursday morning to go to a retreat in Ohio preceeded by a day and a half of meeting blogging/yahoo group friends and shop hopping. It was a fantastic time! There are so many things to share that I almost don't know where to start (although I recognize that probably 80% of the people who are reading this were there!).
On Thursday, we shop hopped at 3 stores in the Cincinnati area and one just a bit north in Waynesville. I found a couple cute patterns, a smattering of FQs and fabric for a purse and a couple quilt backs. I am afraid I will have to point you to someone else's blog when they post pictures as I don't have any of the shops or our great lunch (w/peanut butter pie) in Waynesville.
We stayed up way too late at Jill's and spent the time getting to know each other, and it was great fun. On Friday morning, we got up and packed the cars to head to retreat. Jill was one of the retreat coordinators and she was the recipient of all the prizes for door prizes and raffles, so she had a lot in her condo that needed to go with us. We just about filled my van, Jen's truck, and Jill's car. Here are two of the three...
Side view of the van

Back end of the van

Jen's truck full to the brim

We arrived at the retreat center in Palestine, OH mid-afternoon, unloaded and got our machines set up. From there, it was 48 hours of sewing, laughing, eating, and a little sleeping. I got so much done with dedicated sewing time!

On Friday night, I finished this top, made from a jelly roll, a layer cake, and three yards of fabric. The binding is also ready to go.

Saturday morning was spent making blocks and cutting strips for Nick's QOV. He is due home in a week, and the quilt won't be anywhere near ready then, but at least it is a start. Some of my bee mates will also be making blocks for this quilt.

Saturday afternoon through Sunday were pretty much dedicated to work on my king size batik quilt, Five Easy Pieces. Although I don't have a picture of current state, but I laid out all 61 blocks, completed 24, and partially completed the remainder. Another hour of piecing and pressing should be the end of the blocks.

In the midst of this, I made a Lazy Girl Runaround bag...(with many thanks to Moneik for the instruction and Jen for the zipper).

And a block rollup...
We also took time out on Sat night to play an absolutely ridiculous game of fabric bingo, then took our group down to the lounge and played three rounds of a fat quarter game called left, right, center. Becca won two out of the three games and wound up with about 60 fat quarters. Here she is basking in her winnings.

In the midst of all this, several of the group members shared gifts, and I won some amazing door prizes...I'll follow up with all those details in Part 2.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Report

Jack and Jenna had a really good Easter. Here's the recap in pictures....

Pandemonium at the Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt - 2-3 year old area, where mostly the parents were picking up the eggs. As Mike said, "Never again."
After the egg hunt - Jenna and BFF Lauren playing at the park.
Jack relaxing post-egg hunt with a book.
The fun egg hunt at Gran and Pop's. Everyone got eggs at this one - even their dog Annie!
Snuggling their new bunnies from Gran and Pop.

Snuggling with Gran and Pop.

End of a great day - falls asleep reading just like his mom and dad!

In Pieces

Remember, ages ago, when I told you I was going to start the next big quilt? At the time, my goal was to hand wash all my batiks during the summer Olympics, last August. The Olympics came and went and my fabric never saw water...and then I learned about Retayne. I could do the color saving thing and wash them in the washing machine. Done. Well, thought about...for a while. I even bought the Retayne months ago and it sat...and sat. Then, this retreat came up, and I thought, "Well, that would be the perfect time to work on a king size quilt." So, for the last couple weeks, I have been washing, ironing, and cutting all the batiks - 61 of them - to prepare for retreat so I can just sew away. Tonight, I cut the last of the fabrics and they are in the tub ready to go. Here's the pile of them before going into the tub.
The only problem is that I made a mistake...a big one...not a huge one, but oh so frustrating when I thought I was all ready to go. See those triangles in the picture above? Well, there are supposed to be 4 that size and 20 twice that size....instead there are 24 that are all the smaller size. I don't know if I will be able to salvage them, but maybe they will turn into parts for pillow shams or a wall quilt to hang above the bed. Argghhh....
Before all this today, I got the charity quilt that I blogged about last week completed. I turned it 90 degrees to finish the borders, and in the process got a little tuck in the backing fabric. It shouldn't be too visible after it has been washed. Now I know why longarmers charge more to turn the quilt!

I also got Jack's wedgie placemat quilted. He's used it for several weeks and I just washed it the first time. It should have been quilted before washing, but was too gross to put through my machine. I had fun doing a little side to side meandering. Jenna thinks that it looks like a road.

I don't know if I will post again before next week, as I am headed off to my retreat on Thursday morning. We will be shop hopping from Cincinnati for a night, then headed north to sew all weekend...I have never had that long to sew without interruptions. I will be interested to see how I do. I have lots packed to work on, so hope to have lots of progress to show next week!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting brave and bragging

First, the bravery part. I loaded a charity quilt on the frame today as I was hosting bee for the first time since I bought the HQ. I thought some of my beemates might want to take a look/give her a try so I wanted to have something on it to play with. I went back down tonight and got the top minus 3/4 of the border completed. Now here's the brave part...I turned off the stitch regulator. This is the first time I've done so and I was a little afraid of what might happen. Amazingly, I started to get comfortable with it pretty quickly. Although I am confident it would win no prizes for the quilting, I am pretty happy with my first free motion/unregulated experiment on the HQ. Here's a couple pictures, with hopes that you can see the meandering closely enough (and if anyone knows how to get good closeup pictures of the quilting, could you please leave me a comment?).

I think I will have to see if I can adjust my table height though. I would like to get it a few inches taller, as I found myself leaning over a lot and my neck and shoulders are feeling it a little right now.

Now on to the bragging part...and this is not about my stuff, but my mom's. She showed the bee two of her quilts today and I am going to post pictures of them here, because I think they are two of her best works yet. She has been working on the lighthouse quilt since before Jack was born. The detail on it is just amazing. I don't know if she's going to let me quilt it or not!

The second quilt is an Edyta Sitar pattern that was originally done in batiks at The Back Door, one of our favorite shops. Mom loved the pattern and decided it would be a great way to show off all the orientals that she's been collecting and loves so much. I think she's right. Just a little bragging on my mom since she doesn't blog!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How big was that chicken?

The egg is done...and it is big! I didn't measure it after cut, but it is about 20" wide X 36" long! I keep joking that it must have come from a freak mutant chicken.

What I learned from this project:

- I really don't care to work with Thangles. In the future, I plan to try my Triangulations disk to make sheets of 1/2 square trianges...but mostly I think I am going to steer away from them because there are just to many little steps in the process.
- Quilt as you go is kinda fun....I liked being almost done when the top was put together and quilted at the same time. I don't know how often I would attempt this, but for a seasonal table runner, it works.
- Charity batting leftovers from our guild are puffy! I got some leftover batting from someone in my bee and I would never choose this to work with on my domestic or HQ. I think it is some kind of polyester...the guild buys it by the bolt. However, it was a dream to stitch through when stitching down the binding.
- I love the needle I use for stitching down binding!!! I don't know what kind it is because it was given to me one day at bee by a beemate. I will have to follow up with her to find out what kind it is and get some more, as I only have one right now.
- Kits that have lots of options and therefore, lots of leftover fabrics are great! I am planning to make a couple placemats similar to the egg for future years because I have so much left over.
- And, finally, it feels so good to get a UFO done...one less thing in the half-done pile means not feeling too guilty when I start something new!

If I don't blog before then, Happy Easter! The easter bunny in our house has to get to work - after all, we would love to have this kind of enthusiasm again this year!

Monday, April 6, 2009

March Accomplishments and a sneaky picture

I was about to blog about the sneaky picture when I realized that I hadn't posted my accomplishments/goals for March/April.

March accomplishments - I spent 20.25 hours quilting this month, 7 of which were in/related to the Beth Ferrier class that I took (and loved, by the way!). The projects I completed:
- Baby blanket for my friend's little boy (not sent yet, so no picture to show yet)
- Wedgie placemat for Jack (no picture as it is in bad need of a wash...he has been using it since the day I made it and it is a mess of milk/applesauce/spaghetti sauce)
- Mississippi block for my mom for our Block Builder's Bee (just realized I didn't get a picture of this either....I've been slacking - mom, will you send one to me?)
- Attached and hand stitched binding on Mystery Quilt re-do, which will be a baby present in a few months.
- Got back my Red White and Blue lottery quilt from my friend who stitched the binding in exchange for some quilting I am going to do for her.
- Worked and worked and worked at completing my fat quarter quilt, but fell two rows short of getting it done in March :(
- Met Jill and did a little shopping on the trip to Cincinnati.

Goals for April -
- Have a blast at the St. Jude's quilt retreat the last weekend of the month! Oh, and it would be great to put a top together while I am there.
- Complete piecing for fat quarter quilt (already done!).
- Easter Egg table runner.
- Make about 18-20 gifties for my fellow retreaters.
- Cut a kit or two to be ready to sew at retreat.

Ok, so now comes the sneaky picture. I was talking to my mom the other day about a fellow quilter who shows us just about every stinking step of progress on her quilts (here's the fabric I picked to make this pattern, here's the completed top, here's the top with borders, here's the quilted top, here's the quilted top with the binding on but not sewn down, here's the finished quilt) and seeking ooh's and aah's every time. By the time you see the finished product, it feels like you've already seen it several times and there is no "wow" moment. So, in light of that, I am going to try not to show every step of my progress on my blog so that there will be a wow moment....or if not a wow moment, you can at least say "hmmm.....that's an interesting quilt!"

So, this week I am trying to finish up my Easter Egg table runner. My mom gave it to me a couple years ago for Christmas or a birthday. I started the cutting on it last August, but my machine had a hiccup when I was at a work day and I stopped. Picked it back up early this year with hopes of finishing it be Easter, and I just might get there! It is quilt as you go, and you make a big rectangle, then cut the egg out of the middle....so here's the leftovers! I got the binding cut and sewed on tonight and hope to stitch it by hand tomorrow night while watching TV. I will post a pic when it is done!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cincinnati, Continued

We arrived in Cincinnati early afternoon and went north for our first stop to Best Friends Quilt Shop, where I got to meet Jill! It was so neat to meet her in person and the kids have a new best friend in her. She read a story to them and I think she showed them every fabric in the shop with an animal on it! After a short drive, we made it to my cousin, Julie's. We visited her just before Thanksgiving, and the kids had a really good time playing with her Ford cars (Julie works for Ford). Jack walked in, said hi to Julie, and went straight for the cars. Within 15 minutes, he had decided that the truck no longer needed rearview mirrors, so he ripped them both off : (

We tooled around the city in the evening and we all enjoyed the view/park that looks over to the river. Here's me, Julie, and the kids at the overlook...Jack kept trying to crawl up on the ledge and made my mom really nervous! Jenna and Jack loved playing on the playground and feeding some local ducks.

For the next day and a half, it seems that we did lots of eating, shopping, and exploring around the area Julie lives in. I was thrilled to get to stop and shop at The Container Store, one of my favorites that we don't have in Indy. When we departed on Monday morning, both kids were sad to say goodbye...Jenna to Julie and Jack to the cars!

Jenna just worships Julie and it is so very cute. Julie saved us from at least two meltdowns with innovative ideas - she is going to be a great mom in the future! At dinner on Sunday night, Julie taught Jenna a little magic trick, and Jenna remembered it and showed it to Mike on Tuesday afternoon...he was very close to her, but did catch it on video, so you get another video treat! If you can't tell, Frosty is a little hopping bunny...a $2 impulse purchase at The Container Store that has provided hours of entertainment!

The trip home was relatively uneventful...we went north to Waynesville to The Fabric Shack, but I was good and didn't buy a thing. They do have a fabric line that I love, and I plan to be back there later this month when I go to my retreat, so I am going to go through my patterns to find one that will be good with that fabric. In Rushville, we stopped at In Stitches and were there for just a few minutes before her closing time. It was a good break for the kids, as they ran up and down the ramp in her store. I picked up a few things there, but didn't buy too much on the trip overall. A little fabric, a small rotary cutter, a panel with some coordinates, and another purse pattern (when am I ever going to make all these purses?).

Can't wait for my next trip to Cincinnati, as I will be meeting more blogging friends and will be quilting for an entire weekend without kids. I just don't know what I will do with myself, but don't get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to it!