2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Two Year Report

It almost doesn't seem possible that it has been two years since my friend Lois passed away, but it was two years ago this week. We still think about her often, and her name comes up at just about every bee meeting (mostly because I am asking people to help finish the UFOs!). I still see fabric and think she would like it, and I still have a lifetime worth of her fabric available for my use. 

I think I reported earlier in the year that our group officially hit the half-way mark on finishing her UFOs and I was able to give another big group of them to her sister earlier in December. Marti came to a party and got to meet several of the bee members who have worked on her projects, and it was great to hear her cheering on the Colts (in their first win of the season) just in the same way her sister used to cheer for them. 
The stack of projects to take to Marti
Here are some pictures of what was finished and given to Marti in the latest round. 
Petal Play from a workshop with Joan Shay
Las Vegas Trip Photo Quilts (x2)
Back of one of the LV Photo quilts - she'd made the penguins and flamingos to go with the quilts. 
Flying Geese vest that we think may have been for her mom (based on the size).
Schnibbles wall hanging. 
Bow Ties hanging in the show
Oriental Stars with most of the team who worked on it
The pace of completion should really slow now, as there are only a few more that are near a completed state. One has been quilted and is waiting for binding, two small ones are awaiting quilting, and one almost-finished top needs borders then a back and quilting. The rest are mostly very early in their construction and have only a handful of blocks made. My prediction is that this year will find 4 or 5 more completed, but I will still look forward to working with her fabric, meeting her sister for dinner, and working as motivation hits on completing the projects that Lois had started. It has been quite a journey since the day I brought the first load, then the second home. I am so glad to have my dining room back in shape and a system in my basement. I still haven't merged my fabric stash with what I inherited from Lois, and to be honest, I am not sure when or if I will. But I do know that I have grown so much as a quilter in the past two years and I owe so much of it to her. Thanks Lois, and I hope you are enjoying watching it all! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stash & BDSI Report

I haven't stopped to take time to post with the holidays and time with family, but I do have a little stash usage to report and I also did some sewing yesterday along with the Boxing Day Sew-in crowd. 

In the stash side, I had a good week. I made a pillowcase, finished gifts for the kids teachers, made a Christmas wall hanging, and cut out the parts for a new quilt. All of this makes my stash report look pretty good! 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 5 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 45 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 121 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 76 yards

And, since the wonky trees was a pattern in my stash, I get to count it as a pattern used, so now I am at -1 pattern for the year. Not sure that I will get to zero by the end of the week, but I am glad to be just barely in the hole! 

Last night at about 9 pm, I finally got to my sewing room and finished up a UFO. It is a pillow/wall hanging for Jenna and she will get it when she moves to her new room (my current sewing room) this year. I have some basement cleaning out to do before I move out, then we will paint and she'll move in. I made it so that it can have a pillow form put in it or it can be hung on the wall, so we'll see what her preference is when we get there. 

After I got one marked off the list, I started a new quilt, one of the items on my goal list for the year. I know I won't have it totally done by year end, but would love to have the top put together. I have 8 blocks made and will show pictures later this week when I have a little more done. For now, I am heading back to make a little more progress while the kids enjoy a little tv and all their new toys! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Love Work Days

No matter when I can fit it in or how I have to finagle to make it work, I just love a day of sewing with friends - my favorite kind of "work day." This morning, I put Jenna on the bus, then dropped off Jack and my mom and I headed up to our friend Kathy's for a stress free day. For the first time in a really long time, I didn't have anything I felt like I "had" to work on, so I picked out a kit from my stash, fabric for a new quilt, and stuff to make clothes for Jenna's dolls. 

We were a little delayed arriving due to some support shopping we had to do for Santa, but we had luck at the first place we stopped, so it didn't take up the whole morning. When we arrived and got settled, I pulled out the kit. It consisted of 3 FQs and a pattern to make a 12 1/2" block. Somehow, I managed to make it bigger than planned, and by early afternoon, I had a small wall quilt top finished. It is about 12x20 instead of 12" square, but I really like it and already have an idea of where I will hang it when finished.
After that, I started the process of pressing and cutting out fabric for my next quilt, one of the ones on my to-do list for the year. I will be surprised if I get the top done before year end, but it sure feels good to have it cut out! Here are all the fabrics that will make it up. As of late afternoon, they were all neatly sliced into 10" and 5" squares with the extra fabric folded up and ready to return to the bins. 
I ran out of time to start on the doll clothes, but there is no rush for them. I left at the end of the day feeling energized about my quilting and generally in a better mood than I have been in the last few days. Tomorrow even gets better as it is my last day of work for the year :D Looking forward to my next sewing day next Thursday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stash Report - Week 50

This week was a great one for my quilting - did a little bit of everything - hand sewing, piecing, quilting, and binding. The highlight of the week was Friday, when my friend Michele came over to put a quilt top together. Her mom passed away just over two years ago, and I told her at the time that I would like to help her make a memory quilt from her mom's clothes. As she went through the clothes, she didn't find much cotton, but did locate sweatshirts that her mom had worn every holiday season, and the plan was hatched. We started on the quilt just a few months after her mom passed away and she had a really hard time cutting into things. After a year and a half, she was ready to work on it again...and then it took us several months to find a day we could work on it. 

We started Friday morning with 8 sweatshirts and one cardigan. We cut the designs off each side of the cardigan and appliqued them onto the back. That became the center design, and then we trimmed and cut and figured out how to make them all fit. She had also pulled fabric from her mom's kitchen chairs and curtains, and we used them as sashing. Add a border to make it all come together, and we had a finished top by the end of the day. 

I will get it on the frame in the next few weeks after I make a back for it. I am really looking forward to getting it done for her to enjoy the rest of the winter. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 1 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 115 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 68 3/4 yards

Pattern usage also got a boost this week, as I made my first teacher gift, so now my net pattern usage for the year is at -2. 

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tree Shopping

Last weekend, we headed to Dull's Tree Farm to pick out and cut down our Christmas tree. Having grown up in the big city of Houston where trees are trucked in from far away, I had never been to cut down a tree before. It was a cold, but clear day and we haven't had any measurable snow yet. We started with a quick picture of us in present boxes, then the kids sprinted down the hill to the trees. 

This farm kitty met us as we entered the tree area and was happy to get pets from the kids. They were surprised to meet a cat so friendly to strangers. 
Everywhere we looked, we saw beautiful trees. We kept pointing to one, then another. My Mom and Dad made their choice first and Mike cut theirs down, then we decided on one for us. Mike made quick work of that one too and we took them both back up, got them wrapped, and headed home. 

The kids were excited to get the tree up and decorated. I love the excitement they share about decorating the tree and how much fun they have pulling out the ornaments each year. 

The tree is so fresh and the needles so soft. It is a White Pine with longer needles. It did take a dive one night this week, and now that I look back at the pictures, it doesn't appear that it was really straight in the tree stand from the beginning! It is back up and stabilized now and the kids had the joy of decorating it a second time! After our great experience this year, I can definitely say we will be headed back to the tree farm next year! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Drinking the FMQ Koolaid, Part 2

A few days ago I shared my experiment with using Leah Day's free motion quilting designs on my Janome. 

As if that wasn't enough, I decided to quilt my Q4 UFO, Curvalishish, with a different FMQ design in every piece of fabric (except the borders and sashing). I started with Bubble Wand in the first border and it looked pretty bad. I went back later and added a little more stitching to take away some of the bobbles, but the second border with bubble wand is sooo much better. Of course, I did this one after quilting 50 different patterns! The fabric I used in this quilt was really busy and the backing is busy too, so there are a lot of places where the quilting didn't show up (thankfully!). Here are a few places where I could get a good picture: 

Matrix on the top, Sea Algae in the blue/green fabric that you can barely see. 

Chevron on the top, a poorly executed version of Gentle Flames on the bottom - and even though it doesn't look at all like Leah's, I like how it turned out!  

Bubble Wand in the border (the second try!): 

Here's the full quilt, and this picture is still full size, so you might be able to see a few of the designs if you click on it to open it full size. 
In general, I found doing any of the designs that called for echoing or even distance between lines really hard with the HQ. The pivoting designs and stem based designs were a little easier than some of the others. Over the course of the quilt, my pebbles/bubbles got a lot better. I am glad I tried it, and I was able to use almost all Beginner to Intermediate designs. I bypassed several on the first row or two that I came back to later! 

Hope you've enjoyed this little trip through the designs and I hope you will give at least a few of them a chance too! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stash Report - week 48

I had an unexpected week in my sewing room which started with some organization of a pile of fabric. In doing that, I found some items that would make quick Christmas gifts for teachers and friends, so I got started on my holiday sewing last weekend. I can't show pictures of much of it yet, but I have 2 gifts done and 2 more in progress. 

By the end of the week, I was itching to get back downstairs and do some quilting, so I pulled out one of Lois' UFOs that was almost ready. I got the back made, found batting that was the perfect size and threw it on the frame Friday afternoon. It only took me a little over an hour to quilt and I trimmed it up yesterday so it is ready to bind. Now, the only problem is that I think the binding is already made and waiting somewhere, but I can't seem to find it....I will search later today and if I can't find it, then I have strips leftover from the top that can be used for single fold binding. 

Here's a picture of the finished quilting - I had quite a few thread breaks at the top, but it got better after I unwound a bunch of my bobbin and started fresh. I used King Tut on the top and bottom line in the bobbin and it was probably the best tension I've ever gotten with that combination. Sorry it is sideways, the picture won't load correctly - just turn your head to the right a little :)

So, here's the stash report: 
Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 3 7/8 yards
Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 113 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 67 1/8 yards

Pattern usage remains at -3. I am using a pattern for one of the Christmas gifts, so I should be at least 1 closer to 0 next week! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Drinking the FMQ Koolaid

Over the past few months, I have pushed/forced myself to expand my quilting skills by trying new patterns. It is so darn easy to stick with the stippling and loops that I can almost do in my sleep, but I wanted to try some new things to see if I might find something I like to add to my skill set. Like many of you, I have been following Leah Day's blog since almost the beginning. I have one of her books and have asked for the second one for Christmas and I do use them a lot for inspiration. 

A few months ago, when I started to prep my Evening Flight quilt for quilting, I decided that it needed specialized quilting, so I went to the blog for inspiration and decided to use a couple of her patterns -- here they are (each name is linked to her blog post about the design, but the picture is my attempt at it): 

Etch-n-Sketch (a looser version of it): 

Tree Bark 

Cobwebs in the Corner

The hardest of the designs I tried was cobwebs in the corner. I had to practice on scrap fabric for a while before I was brave enough to do it on the top, but I am really pleased with how it turned out and love the black and silver thread I used for it. 

I found the patterns to be fairly easy to do - they are by no means perfect, but I am so glad I stepped out on the ledge to try something new. In a few days, I will share my experiments with Leah's designs on my HQ Avante. 

In the meantime, if you haven't been following, take a few minutes/hours and stop over at Leah's blog to see all the great designs and videos she has to share. It might just pique your interest too! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stash Report - Week 47

I have no pictures to show for it, so you'll just have to trust me that I used all this fabric in the past week! I gave some birthday FQs in my bee, made another pet scrap bag, and cut out 12 kits to make fabric gift bags. Each Christmas, our bee makes welcome bags for a local shelter that contain basic supplies for a woman coming into the shelter who may only have the clothes on her back. Last year, we started making the bags from fabric so they are reusable, and my stash is a great source for the bag fabric! This year, I pulled all 12 kits from the floral tub of fabric...and hardly made a dent in it! Guess that means there is plenty for a few years to come. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 9 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 110 yards

Net fabric used: 63 1/4 yards

No changes on pattern usage, so I am still at a -3 for the year, but I am hoping to change that in the next couple weeks as I work on some doll clothes for Jenna's dolls and teacher gifts. 

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November in Review

I had a good month in November. I took a little time to relax and come down from the quilt show and wrap up my last few commitments as our guild's program chair. It feels really good to be done with my volunteer jobs so that I can spend a little more time sewing (in theory!) and enjoy meetings a little more. 

My plan for November was to focus on quilting. I really wanted to get a couple things done and guess what -- I did! Here's the list of my accomplishments during November, in my 15 1/4 hours of sewing/quilting: 
  • Finished quilting, bound, and labelled Lois' Schnibbles UFO, which was also my Judy L. UFO challenge item for the month. 

In December, I have more plans for the same - three quilts are in the queue and I have a few behind that as soon as I get backs made. I am also itching to do a little piecing. I will have a bit of a chance, as I always make the kid's teacher gifts, but maybe I will get going on a new quilt or table runner too. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stash Report - Week 47

My quilting was minimal this week - worked on binding a small top and have that done, just need to add the label and sew down the hanging sleeve. This week, I am hoping to finish quilting the one that has been on my frame all month and making a back for the next one to go on the frame. I did get in some time for stitching this week and finished up this little project that will go in my kitchen window. I also have another one that says "Pie" so they will be put in opposing corners of the window....although it may be a while before I do the other one. 

Fabric added/used this week:  0/0
Fabric added/used year to date: 46 3/4 yards / 100 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 54 yards

Patterns in/out year to date: -3

Hope you had a good week with your stash! Stop by Judy's blog and check in on the other reports too. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stash Report - week 46

Just a quickie report this week - not much news and I spent the morning napping and the afternoon on a girl scout trip with Jenna. I finished the quilting and added the binding to one of Lois' UFOs this week, so had a small amount used. Pictures to come soon when the binding is sewn down.

Fabric added/used this week: 0/ 1/8 yard

Fabric added ytd: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used ytd: 100 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 54 yards

Hope you had a good week with your stash!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

October Report

I know, it is already the middle of November, but I haven't yet posted my monthly recap (or the quilt show).  I was all ready to write a post about how October really wasn't a good month between quilt show, busy at work, and being the GS troop fall product sale coordinator, then I looked at my list of accomplishments, and guess what? I got a lot done! Here's the list: 

- Finished my Convergence top, which was my UFO for October. Still need to make a back and quilt it, but I am happy with the progress I made. 
- Made my Lovely bag which is intended to carry my computer but has only carried stuff to bee and guild so far. 
- Loaded and quilted my blue stars charity quilt. I have decided after using the panto "Sorrel" on two or three quilts that I really don't like it. I am looking to trade it for something else, at least 8" wide. There is nothing wrong with it, but it just isn't my style. If you have a panto you don't care for and would like to do a swap, let me know! 

- Finished my Halloween quilt in time for it to get into the show and on TV! 

- Made labels and sleeves for all my show quilts. 
- Bought fabric, quilted, bound, and gifted a baby quilt for my niece and nephew's baby shower. 
- Picked a jelly roll and sewed together my strips in preparation for the Jelly Roll challenge with my bee. 
- Made a quickie baby blanket for a co-worker's shower. 

I had 22.75 hours of quilting, plus three full days at the quilt show and it was one heck of a fun month. I hope November brings me just as much to blog about (if I can get on the ball and actually write up the posts)! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stash Report - Week 45

Before we did our Jelly Roll Challenge this week, I wanted to get a UFO marked off my list (before adding a new one!), so I put the binding on my charity quilt. It feels really good to have this one finished, and I will donate it this holiday season to a local women's shelter. I already have my sights set to make another one next year and know which pattern (and which size of Lois' pre-cut scraps) I am going to use. I am already looking forward to it. 

The rest of the week followed the same theme and I continued to work on UFO's. The first was adding some blocks to my red & white quilt -- with these, I am 25% done (not bad for two years...maybe I will get this one done for one of the kids' graduation!). 

After that, I pulled out my UFO for this month, which was partially quilted. I finished all the quilting inside the borders, so another night at the machine (I am quilting this one on my Janome 6600) should finish it out. I am really hoping I can get this one done in the month of November. 

Next up, actually up simultaneously, was loading my Q4 UFO on the Avante so I could quilt that one. I have challenged myself on this one to quilt a different pattern in every 1/2 block. I have 50 to fill and finished 20 yesterday in just about 2 hours. I am using patterns from Leah Day's blog for this one and learning which shapes and styles are easy on the longarm and which are not. 

All that setup to tell you that I didn't use a lick of fabric this week, nor did I add any, so my year to date totals remain: 
Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 100 5/8 yards
Net fabric used: 53 7/8 yards
Net pattern usage year to date: -3

One last thing before you leave....I entered a quilt in the weekly themed quilt contest on The Quilting Gallery. My entry is a quilt I made for my nephew to celebrate his return from Iraq. Please stop by and take a look at all the quilts and vote for mine (Nick's Swirling Stars) if you like it. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Off to the races

At our bee workday on Monday, we had a jelly roll challenge/race. We had planned for a while and were set to start after lunch. In advance, we prepped our strips by sewing them all together and winding a couple bobbins. I decided to use a Bali Pop for my challenge, I pulled out the brightest one I have, as last spring I was really wishing to have something bright and cheery on the couch by about the middle of March. Jack was our photographer during the race. 

Here are all the strips ready to go! 

Round one....sewing the longest strip sets we've ever sewn! 

Somewhere in the midst of the frenzy of sewing! 

The finished tops :)
Here's a full album of pictures from the afternoon so you can see up close if you want. Please remember that our photographer for much of the afternoon was a first time camera wielding 4 1/2 year old! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stash Report - Week 44

Wow, 6 days into November already! I still need to go through and post my quilt show pictures and my project recap from October, but today is for the stash report and it is always nice to have a little good news :)

I prepped a Bali pop for the Jelly Roll challenge quilt that I am going to make tomorrow at our bee workday (we're all doing them!), and while I was working on that, remembered that there was a baby shower at work the next day - yikes! I threw together a quick baby blanket (cotton top/flannel back) and was ready to go in time for the shower -- this is where a stash comes in really handy! 
I didn't get too much done the rest of the week, except for quilting the second Girl Scout quilt for my mom (and third I've quilted overall). I had a little fun on this one and quilted words into the bottom border. It only became hard when I had to dot the "i"! 
My mom and I took a quick trip to Illinois with the kids yesterday to visit Threads of Time, a shop and retreat center. I found a great book there to make clothes for Jenna's dolls, so my pattern purchases took another hit, but I do plan to get back to neutral by year end. 

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

Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 100 5/8 yards (woo hoo - past 100 yards!)

Net fabric used: 53 7/8 yards

Net patterns bought/used year to date: -3

Hope you have a great week with your stash! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stash Report - Week 43

My report is late in being posted today because I had a long, lazy morning after three full days of working at the guild quilt show, and then we headed to a Halloween party this afternoon. It was an amazing show and the quality of quilts was just spectacular. I am really lucky to be in a guild with so many other talented quilters. 

I will post pictures in the near future when I have some time to cull through them all - most likely, I will post a few of my favorites and then a link to an album with all of them. 

Today, just a quick picture and a stash report -- I did fairly well despite there being 18 vendors at the show! I did a little shopping and added a few patterns and a few precuts and one kit to my stash. 

Fabric added this week: 4 7/8 yards
Fabric used this week: 5/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 95 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 49 1/8 yards...back below 50! I am just hoping I can end the year above 50 :)

My pattern totals took a bit of a hit since I bought two new patterns, so now I am at a -2 for year to date pattern usage. Not sure if I will really surpass the 0 mark since my plan is to focus on UFOs through year end to achieve the goal of reducing my UFO volume by at least 8 projects. Time will tell though.....

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Quilters Journey

What an amazingly great day today! Our guild show, A Quilters Journey, opened at 10 am this morning and it was rocking...the aisles were full, the quilters were shopping, and oh, my, the quilts are gorgeous. Every time I walk the main path (and that is a lot!), I see another quilt that catches my eye. Our guild is really lucky to have so many talented women and men (there are just a couple of them, but they do great work too). Warning...I did not resize any of these pics so they might take a bit longer to load.

I was thrilled to have two of my three judged quilts place in their categories. The first was Lois' Oriental Stars, which won a 3rd place ribbon in the Group Quilts category. There were 7 of us (including Lois) who worked on that quilt and it is really great to see one of her quilts recognized. Even better was that her sister Marti came to see the show today and I got to show off the quilt to her too! 

My Autumn Splendor also got a ribbon - an honorable mention, which I was thrilled to receive in one of the largest categories in the show. You can see in the right side of the picture that there is another from the same class hung in the next spot. 

But, the biggest highlight of all so far is that I got to do some publicity for the show on a local television show earlier this week. We prepped a whole page of questions, and I was ready with all these facts about the guild and the show, then didn't get a single one of the questions they prepped! I was able to think on my feet pretty well though and I had a great time. Wish I could spend every day talking about quilting! 

You can go here to see the interview => http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/indy_style/a-quilter%E2%80%99s-journey?ref=scroller&categoryId=10022&status=true

More pictures to come at the end of the show! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My version of quilt in a day

Many of us know about a quilter who claims to be able to make a quilt in a day. Now, I've done pretty well before at retreats with finishing a top in a day, but never a whole quilt! This weekend, I did my own version of a quilt in a day. I picked out some fabric on Friday afternoon to make a baby quilt for my niece and nephew's baby shower, which was today. Rather than bother with piecing, I found a fabric that worked great for them, as they are big pet lovers. Last night, I loaded it on the frame, quilted it with topsy turvy hearts, and trimmed it up. 

I bound it by machine today and ran out of fabric from the backing, so did two strips of backing fabric and two strips of a Moda marble called Orchid. I think it turned out great and she really liked it.