2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quilty Gifts

Over the last few months, I've worked on three projects that were gifts, and the recipients have all read my blog at times in the past, so I didn't want to show too much of the projects. Now that all have been delivered/received, I can show pictures! 

The first is a comfort quilt that we made for our friend Suzie, who used to be in our bee. Suzie has had a rough year, complete with a move and an ill husband. Our bee wanted Suzie to know that we're thinking of her, so we made her this comfort quilt. You saw the blocks a while back. I provided the borders, backing, and quilting for this quilt. 

Next up is a baby quilt for my friend Kristi's new daughter. I actually made the top about 3 years ago when Kristi was expecting her first child. When she had a boy, I thought this top was too feminine so I made him another quilt which has been well loved. When she found out she was having a girl for #2, I knew I had to pull out this top and get it finished for her.

Finally is my one quilted Christmas present - a table runner for my brother and sister in law. I bought the kit to make this over the summer and pre-cut it to take to retreat with me in October. When I got to retreat, I discovered that I had cut too much...so, I had to move to plan B. I put the fabric pieces on a design wall there and played around for a while until I found a setting that would work and use all the pieces. This is what I wound up with, and without even knowing it at the time, I met one of my goals for the year - do something without a pattern! I hope that it will fit on their coffee table and that they will enjoy it for years to come. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

UFO Challenges

I am planning to participate in 2 UFO challenges in 2011 - one with Judy Laquidara and her bloggies, and another with my bee. 

Both challenges run effectively the same way - list the projects you want to get done in a certain timeframe (1 per month with Judy/1 per quarter with the bee) and the hostess of the challenge will pull a number from a hat at the beginning of the time and you'll work on that UFO. At first, I didn't know if I'd have enough to find 16 things to put on my list...then I started writing, then added a couple of Lois' quilts that I really want to finish, and before I knew it, I had more than enough! Here's what I plan to work on: 

For Judy's challenge: 
1 & 2. Stained glass log cabin (the work that remains on this will take me more than one month, so I will work on it twice in the year)

3. Finish quilting and bind Lois' Schnibbles quilt
4. Halloween wall hanging - quilt and bind
5. Convergence Quilt - add borders, quilt and bind

6. Jenna's Butterfly Fling - quilt and bind

7. Lois' Bow Ties - quilt and bind
8. Cupcake table runner - finish piecing, quilt, and bind
9. Christmas table runner - quilt and bind
10. Esterita Austin wall hanging - fuse, finish painting, quilt and bind (my goal on this one is to have it ready for quilting)
11. Cherish Nature wallhanging - quilt and bind
12. Lois' Las Vegas quilts - quilt and bind (I don't have a pic of these - there are two almost the same with pictures from a trip she took with a couple friends).

Can you tell what I have a lot to do? Quilting and binding....it is so easy to piece, piece, piece...this year, I need to get down to business with the quilting and binding! 8 of the 12 projects on this list were started/inherited this year! I hope that I don't replace them with 8 new UFOs by the end of the year! 

For my bee challenge: 
1. Quilt and Bind Five Easy Pieces, our bed quilt
2. Quilt and Bind Curvalishish
3. Finish top, quilt and bind my Judy L. quilt
4. Quilt and finish Market Bags

On this list, the first two projects are older than 1 year, the last two were both started this year. 

If I get all these done, I will more than surpass my quilting goal for next year! I would be glad to finish 1/2 of them...and hope that all of you will keep me going! 

Stash Report - Week 51

I had a very productive week this week, as I finished off the teacher gifts and got them to school in time, made a stocking, worked on another of Lois' UFOs, started piecing on one of my UFOs that I cut early this year, and got more than half of a queen sized quilt quilted. 

I meant to line up all the teacher gifts and take a picture of them together, but had them wrapped and half of them in the car before I remembered. Here's a picture of the last one I made. I had the kids ask each of the teachers their favorite color and matched the box to that. For most of Jenna's teachers, she picked out the FQ to use. 
I also made a stocking for our friend Richard's little brother Curtis. Curtis was less than a month old last year at Christmas, and I didn't remember to make him a stocking like his brother's, so his mom asked if I would do it this year. Lucky for me, this was the last one in a panel of four. My mom embroidered his name and I got the stocking put together this week. They picked it up on Christmas eve, and I am sure Santa did a good job of filling it up for him. 

On Thursday, I had a sewing day at Kathy's house and we really enjoyed working in her basement, which has lots of room for quilting and also a play area for the kids. Jack and Jenna kept themselves entertained all day playing with new toys and really enjoying the legos! I got this top together (it is one of Lois' UFOs) - just needs mitered borders added, which I'll do another day. 

I will show pics of the other quilt on the frame when I get it done (hopefully later today). All in all, it was a great week and we celebrating Christmas over the past two days with lots of family, food, gifts, and fun! I did get a little fabric as presents, so that accounts for my fabric added this week. 

Fabric added this week: 5 1/4 yards
Fabric used this week: 1 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 44 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 132 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 88 1/8 yards

Not sure that I will hit the 100 yard mark by next week, but we'll see! I may have to cut up a bunch of pet scrap bags! I am going to finish off this year in my report next week since I run my stash week from Sun - Sat. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Catch Up Time

Hi again my friend Lois -- it has been a while since I wrote you, but I thought you'd enjoy hearing about my dinner tonight. Mom and I went to dinner with your sister and had a really great time catching up and sharing stories about you and checking in on how your sons are doing. I also took along 11 of your projects to pass on to Marti...and you might like to see them finished too! 

 Your round robin quilt (shoot, I forgot to take a picture of this one bound -- in Kona black.)
 You had a zillion of these blocks set aside, but one of your friends decided to make this a table runner instead and I think the fabrics you picked look great! 

 Another table runner you had pieced but not yet quilted.
The purple quilt for your niece.

This Halloween wallhanging that you started but never got around to finish embroidering (a former bee mate did the faces for you!). 
 Your purple and green nine patch blocks from when you were the chair of the north group of the guild.

Tea and Chintz block that you had started and another bee-mate finished up. 

This bear which you had all cut out but never pieced together....she was sitting upright on my couch but seems too tired to sit up now : )

The fibonacci quilt you made one night after guild because you were so inspired by our speaker. 

And this purse that I showed months ago which is now labelled. 

And the most special one is last....this quilt contains heart blocks that were sent to you when your brother passed away, and I added Laurel Burch Fabric to them because you know how much Marti loves that fabric. It is the perfect size for a lap quilt and I hope she'll think of both you and your brother every time she cuddles under it.  
So, for now, the grand total for the year stands at 20 of the 55 UFOs that you left me finished. There are another 10 or so that we will likely finish in the next year, and I hope you'll forgive me some of the rest...they may get done in time or may go back into the stash...time shall tell. 

It has been a fast year since you left us, and we still have a missing spot in the bee without your presence...may you be at peace and able to see some of the shenanigans that Jack and Jenna continue to carry on down here! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stash Report - Week 50 (2nd time around)

I had last week marked as week 50, but my calendar still says there are two weeks left in the year, so I guess this week is really week 50. 

It was a relatively slow week, but I did make some progress on my teacher gifts. I finished the kindergarten presents on Thursday night and Jenna took them with her on Friday (but forgot to give the one to her bus driver!). I forgot to take a picture before I had them wrapped, so I'll have to take a picture this week when I get the last day care teacher gift done and ready to go. I did add a FQ, which I immediately used. I knew, just knew that my mom had a piece of fabric with Volkswagen beetles on it and was able to find it and whip up the gift on Friday morning. 

I guess the biggest accomplishment of this week is that I went to three quilt shops on Friday and didn't buy a single piece of fabric :) 

Fabric added this week: 1/4 yard
Fabric used this week: 1 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 39 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 131 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 92 yards

Friday, December 17, 2010

First Day Off

Wow! I had an incredibly productive & fun day today and I just had to share a little about it and also an update on my to-do list for the next 2 weeks (don't worry, I won't update daily! If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I am no good for daily posts!). 

I started the day by picking up donuts and hot chocolate for me and mom and woke her up with the surprise. She was a little groggy at first, but really came to after the sugar started to kick in! After breakfast, we headed up to her sewing room to look for a very specific piece of fabric that I was sure I remembered seeing one time. After digging through about 6 boxes of fabric, I found it, cut off just under a fat quarter and made one of my last teacher gifts (picture to come when I finish the last one). It was great to get it done at her house and know that I had started my morning well. We decided to head out to do some shopping, but I went home first to shower and make some phone calls. I made some good progress on my goals (they're at the very bottom if you care to read about them). 

We made stops at three shops today and I only bought two things, and one of them I had special ordered (batting), so I really was just picking it up. It was a shame too because two of the shops had lots of fabric on sale, but I just didn't see any that I really needed to have. I did pick up a 60 degree ruler so that I can make one of the quilts in the Anka's Treasures book "Sizzling Sixties" which I've had for a while. Tonight while I was looking through some stash, I pulled a jelly roll and some background fabric so that I can start one of these quilts when I feel the need to bust into some new fabric. But to my defense, I also pulled fabric to line a UFO bag and to make a couple scrap bags. 

Up in my sewing room, I got a few things put away/organized and packed up one little surprise that will be on its way by Monday. I found this wonderful treat that my mom brought me from her last trip to Maryland, which I had totally forgotten about. I had to take a picture before I started because it is so cute! I collect reindeer things, but this one will be eaten - solid dark chocolate and it is oh, so good (and legless now!). 

Tomorrow, we have two additional kids coming over for a good chunk of the day, so I don't know that I will have a chance to get much done (or energy after they leave), but I do have a label ready to go on a baby quilt, so hopefully I can get that done and ready to mail on Monday too. 

Hope your Friday was good too! 
Now, if you've read this far and you really care, here's the progress I made today on my goals: 
- Organize and store kids clothes - pick out those that need to go to goodwill and send them on their way. - I figure I will save this for a day when the kids are home so they can help (or otherwise occupy themselves while I work on it!) but AmVets did call today and they will do a pickup on Wed, so I am motivated to start working on this before then! - Post pictures of the Singapore/China trip
- Quilt two of Lois' UFOs - Loaded backing for the first one tonight, laid out the batting on top so it could relax out of the package for the night. It will be ready to start tomorrow, I hope.
- Finish teacher presents - I made two last night, one more this morning, and pulled the FQ for the final one tonight. I hope to get it made tomorrow. 
- Update Lois' UFO list, my UFO list - Updated Lois' list - we've finished 20 of 55 projects, so now I need to get in touch with her sister to turn over the 11 that are in my sewing room waiting to go to their new home! Mine will get updated later in the weekend and I need to decide which things on my list will be part of the UFO challenges I am going to participate in next year (one with my bee and one with Judy Laquidara)

- Set annual goals for next year and report on this year's progress. 
- Make another 1/2 dozen or so pet scrap bags for bee/guild members. - pulled some fabric tonight, will make them later. 
- Eye doctor (at least make appointment, go if I can get in quickly enough) - made the appt. for Jan 13, but I lost my glasses on the way to Singapore and I think I need to get new ones before then...this item now becomes Order glasses to replace the old ones and then still go to the eye doctor in January! 
- Call plumber and heater about annual check/maintenance visits which they are supposed to initiate but haven't done yet! Check for the heater - no visit needed until April : )
- Call Sears about replacing stovetop that has cracked :( - called service, then parts and found out that they don't make the model we have any more and it is ~15 years old....guess this one will change to "shop for a new range."
- Pick up batting for our bed quilt (and it doesn't hurt that the shop is having a big sale this week either!) - Done! Visited three quilt shops today and only bought one measly ruler and the batting. I was even trying to buy something at two of the three and didn't see anything I couldn't live without (that's a sad day, isn't it?)
- Reschedule kids flu shot to a day when they will be home all day so I can get some of that other stuff done! - Done!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Plans

Tonight, I walked out of work until January 4th, whew! Boy, am I ready for this break (even though I have my computer and blackberry home, I will be mostly checked out since I am using the rest of my vacation this year). Every year when I get to the end of the year, I think I will get soooo much done over break and then look back at the end and wonder where the time went, so I thought I would set out a list of goals (quilting and not) to keep my on target. 

I already have 4 week days planned - a Euchre day, a Bee day, my Mom's b-day, and Christmas day. Beyond that, I have lots of time (and a few days kid-free days), so here's what I'd like to get done:
- Organize and store kids clothes - pick out those that need to go to goodwill and send them on their way. 
- Post pictures of the Singapore/China trip
- Quilt two of Lois' UFOs 
- Finish teacher presents
- Update Lois' UFO list, my UFO list
- Set annual goals for next year and report on this year's progress. 
- Make another 1/2 dozen or so pet scrap bags for bee/guild members. 
- Eye doctor (at least make appointment, go if I can get in quickly enough)
- Call plumber and heater about annual check/maintenance visits which they are supposed to initiate but haven't done yet! 
- Call Sears about replacing stovetop that has cracked :(
- Pick up batting for our bed quilt (and it doesn't hurt that the shop is having a big sale this week either!)
- Reschedule kids flu shot to a day when they will be home all day so I can get some of that other stuff done!

Seems like a lot right now, but if I get on it tomorrow, hopefully I can make several phone calls and then do some of the quilting/organizing projects while I am waiting for/supervising work in progress. 

Oh, yeah, and I need to finish my Christmas shopping and get the gifts wrapped too! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stash Report - Week 50

Edited: Fabric used was incorrect - it stands at 130 1/8 yards.

I spent the last week in Singapore and Shanghai for a work trip so didn't have any time to use any fabric. I took some cross-stitch with me, but only worked on it on the plane on the way home. While I was gone, my mom did add a FQ to my stash for our bee birthdays. I will give it to the b-day girl tomorrow, so it will come right back off next week. 

While in Singapore, we did see one shop with fabric -- silk! It was really beautiful, but you pay for beauty at $150/yard (and that's the conversion to American dollars)! I didn't see any that I couldn't live without for that price. 

In China, the first store I saw with fabric was laid out a little bit differently....

but the next one looked a little more traditional. The interesting thing about the second store is that it wasn't cotton fabric, but a thick canvas type fabric. Must be used for upholstery or draperies? 

All in all, it was a good trip but I am really glad to be home and looking forward to doing some quilting this week! 

Fabric added this week: 1/4 yard
Fabric used this week: 0 yards

Fabric added year to date: 39 1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 130 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 91 yards

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stash Report - Week 49

This report is a quickie, as I am writing it an hour before I need to be at the airport to head to Singapore. I am slowly inching my way toward 100 yards used and hoping I will hit it by the end of the year, but no sewing this week as I will be travelling for work. Hope you all have good adventures this week! 

Added this week: 0 
Used this week: 3/4 yard (Comfort quilt binding)

Added year to date: 38 7/8
Used year to date: 130 1/8

Net fabric used: 91 1/4 yards

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Report

Whew! I came skidding out at the end of this month, quilting four projects in the last week of the month! It was really a pretty good month, especially considering I was sick for almost 1/4 of it and had a lot going on at work.

I spent 15 3/4 hours sewing and got this done: 
- 2 blocks and a back for a comfort quilt 
- Loaded, quilted, and bound a baby quilt
- Made a snap bag
- Cut and tied a fleece baby blanket
- Loaded and quilted a second comfort quilt
- Quilted and bound a table runner Christmas present
- Loaded and quilted a quilt for a guild-mate (it is Judy Laquidara's Morning Splash pattern - we sat next to each other in the class earlier this year, but she got hers done first)
All of the things on my list except for the last one are gifts for others, so I am lacking in pictures these days...I promise to start getting them mailed out so that I can catch up and show you what I've been doing! 

I am headed out on Wednesday for two back to back trips for work, so I will be taking along some cross-stitch. When I get back, it will be back to the HQ for me, as I have two more big quilts I want to finish before Christmas. Hope you all had a great month too! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stash Report - Week 48

This week was a good one for the HQ! I got two projects loaded, quilted, and pulled off. One got trimmed and sent off for binding (gotta love having a friend who loves to bind!), and I bound the other so it's ready for Christmas. Since both projects are gifts, no full pictures to post, but I'll give you a hint....

I used a small amount of fabric to back the second project, a table runner, and didn't venture into any quilt shops this week, so nothing added. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 1/2 yard

Fabric added year to date: 38 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 129 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 90 1/2 yards

I was talking to my husband this morning about how much I've used this year and how it doesn't even begin to make a dent...guess that means I'll be stashbusting again next year! Visit Judy's blog to see how her week was and take a peek at the other stashbusters. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Germany Wrap Up

I realized the other day on the way to work that I never finished posting about our trip to Germany. Sorry if you were waiting for it...but work and life have gotten the best of me! 

Our last stop in Germany was Munich and we arrived mid-afternoon on a Sunday. We settled into our hotel and then decided to head over to Oktoberfest to see what it was like. We wandered in by the fair rides, then made our way past the bratwurst stands and over to the beer tents. We wandered in a couple beer tents before we found a place to settle for the evening. Our company was a couple from Frankfurt with great English skills, a couple from Munich with very limited English skills, and two young women from Canada who were on the last stop after a summer of travelling. Despite our eclectic mix of people, we had a blast! 

Over the next two days, we explored the center of Munich and really enjoyed the sights, the food, and the people. Our hotel was perfectly located near everything, but on a side street that was quiet at night. The weather even cooperated - the forecast had called for rain most of the time we were there, but we only had one afternoon and evening of showers, and as luck would have it, we spent most of those times inside. 

On our last day, we made the trip to Dachau to see the memorial from the Dachau Concentration Camp (no pictures from here). It was very respectfully put together and a sobering sight for sure. 

Our trip ended with dinner at a restaurant recommended by a work colleague who was raised in Munich and then one last stop at Oktoberfest and one last liter of beer. 

All in all, the trip was just fantastic and a great way to celebrate ten years of marriage. We missed the kids and think they missed us too (but they had a blast with my parents), but it was really nice to have the time away. Stay tuned, I'll have another one to report about in 5 years! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash Report - Week 47

I had a slow week in the sewing room because I had another busy week at work. I took Friday off to prep for a weekend away and to use one of my remaining 7 vacation days this year! That's a lot of days to use between now and Dec 24th, especially when I will be travelling for a week, but have no fear, I will get them in and will enjoy lots of sewing/quilting when I do! 

I was able to cut out a Christmas present on Friday while Jack napped and then got a fleece blanket cut for a new baby gift. I took it with me and Jenna and I tied it while Jack napped on Saturday (hooray for Jack's naps!). Even though it isn't official quilting fabric, it was taking up room, so I am counting it as stash used! 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 2 3/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 38 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 128 7/8 yards

We had a great weekend in Lansing, MI with my college roommate and her family. The guys enjoyed the Purdue v. Michigan State game and we did a little shopping - visited Country Stitches and I got out with only a pattern in hand for a Halloween pillow. 

Here's a picture of us with 3 of 4 kids this morning (Jenna was not playing the game!). 

Hope you all had a great week too! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stash Report - Week 46

After my amazing stash busting last week, I was down for the count! I had a fever from Thursday night through Tuesday afternoon and was unable to function well from Saturday through Monday. It was a rough weekend, and in addition to being sick, an incredibly busy week for work. I worked from my bed on Monday, my couch on Tuesday, then back into the office on Wed, and training my department on a new computer system Thursday and Friday. To say I was wiped out in the evenings was an understatement! I had a little energy by Friday night, and really wanted to get down to my frame. After settling a few issues, I was able to get going on a baby quilt and get it finished in under an hour. I spent a couple hours later in the evening making and attaching a scrappy binding to the top. Now, I just need to sew it on and it will be ready to mail to the new baby girl. Here's a sneak peek. 
I did use a little stash for the binding, and my mom returned with a few presents from Quilt Festival in Houston, so the report does have a silver lining this week (and that little schnibble of fabric isn't even a fat eighth, so it doesn't get counted :). 

Fabric added this week: 0
Fabric used this week: 3/8 yard

Fabric added year to date: 38 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 126 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 87 1/4 yards

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Best Book

When I was at retreat a few weeks ago, I showed several of my table-mates a book that I brought with me. It is a probably the one book that I have used most since I started quilting. I take it with me for reference when I sew away from home and think I might have questions, and when I am in my sewing room, it sits in the drawer just under my left arm. I pull it out and reference it all the time, especially for binding (this is the most used page in the book for me, by far!). 
It is spiral bound (magnificent), and is laminated so you can write on it with a dry erase marker, especially helpful on the pages that have little worksheet/calculation areas. 
My mom gave it to me for Christmas the first year I was quilting and I just googled it and can't find it anywhere on the web for sale. If you see one in your local quilt shop, I highly suggest picking up a copy for yourself or a new quilter in your life. It's official title is Quilters Q&A - Answers to your most important quilting questions, by Thistledown & Co. 

In the event of a fire in my house, I would definitely grab this book! What about you? Which quilting book could you not live without, either because of its inspiration or practical application? 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nine Patch Play

Ages ago, Judy over at Virtual Quilter posted a challenge for EQ7 users. It was a simple challenge to use the basic nine patch block as a starting point then draw straight lines to create new blocks. She had amazing results, and I had a good time playing along too. 

I started with line drawings, but quickly had to add color...here's some of the favorites that I came up with by just adding straight lines to a nine patch:

This last one really got me going. I was trying to figure out in my head how I could possibly make this block - maybe paper piecing? Then, I started to wonder what it would look like in a quilt where it was repeated...would a secondary design emerge? 

Ohhhh, I love it! This is going into my inspiration file and I just might take the plunge and make one of these one day!