2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stash Report - Week 52 2012

It is always dangerous when you go to a quilt store with nothing specific in mind....and even worse when they are having a sale. I went with my mom and our friend Stephanie down to The Back Door on Friday and we had a nice lunch and then a very good time shopping. It has done a little damage to my stash report, but, in my defense, I really do like what I bought! 

First up is the border fabric to finish a UFO - my jelly roll challenge quilt that I pieced earlier this year. Despite having a chest full of batiks, nothing worked quite right with it. In the store, we must have had 20 bolts that we entertained before we finally settled on these two. I will also add a thin purple border (that was from my stash). 

Next is the makings for a Christmas quilt. Don't ask me how many kits/patterns/fabric I already have for Christmas quilts. I couldn't pass this one up though. I got two charm packs and the borders to make it a large lap size. I did wait on buying the background fabric, because I am hopeful that I can find a cream in my stash that will work. See, I did exercise a little restraint! 
In addition to the shopping, I did have a good week of stash usage, as I worked on three steps for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt. I had already cut the fabric for part 4, but cut out part 5, part 6, and some of the "if you want to get ahead" pieces from the last few steps. They helped balance the incoming fabric :)

Here's the final accounting: 
Fabric added this week: 7 1/2 yards
Fabric used this week: 2 5/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 46 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 108 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 61 3/8 yards (whew, still above 50) 

I will finish out the year mid week and count anything I get cut today or tomorrow in this year's stash report, then I will start out clean for 2013. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Caught Up (a.k.a Easy Street Part 5)

With a full day to hang out at home (minus some frolicking the in snow with the kids), I was able to get some time in my sewing room to start and finish Easy Street Part 5. Here are the finished blocks - I made 50 of them. I am making the quilt lap size, so might need to make a few more at the end, but I hope this is a good number for now.

There were two tools that I used for this clue that were a big help. Both are in the picture below. The first is Clearly Perfect Angles. It is a vinyl cling that hugs your machine bed and helps you line up angles so that you can sew them without marking. I love this tool! It is available here. The second tool is a little cutter that attaches to the side of my table (the little white horseshoe shaped piece) and it works just like the cutter on many machines. I've used this tool for almost every step of Easy Street. I bought mine a few years ago from a catalog but can't find one now (I did a little googling, but with no luck). If you ever pass by one of these on the notions wall, I highly recommend it, especially if you do a lot of chain piecing. It saves a lot of time snipping.

Now all the parts from weeks 1-5 are awaiting tomorrow's clue and hoping that they get put together in some manner in the next week.

I am starting to run a little low on my blues/teals and pinks, so I hope that there will be more green used than anything else if there are more parts to piece!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Easy Street Part 4

I am about a week behind on the Easy Street Mystery quilt and was hopeful that I would be able to catch up today. I did :)

After a slow, lazy start this morning while the kids played with new toys, we packed our bags, dolls, and sled and headed to my parent's house for one last day with my brother's family before they head home tomorrow. We got about 5" of snow overnight and through the day and the kids were very excited to play in it. Having three cousins to play with was icing on the cake! I didn't get any pictures of them outside, so you'll have to trust me that they had a good time!

While they warmed up during a movie, I brought my mom's travel machine downstairs and set up in the kitchen. Despite a few short distractions, I was able to get all the sewing, pressing, and trimming for part 4 done.

I am optimistic that I will be able to start on Part 5 tomorrow - my goal is to get it cut out at a minimum, and it will be even better if I can get started on the sewing.

At this point of the mystery, we have enough pieces that I could play around a little with how it will be setup, but I never seem to guess those types of things right, so I will just spend my time sewing instead!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Stockings Were Hung

Seasons Greetings from my sewing room and family to yours! We are at my parents house enjoying a holiday complete with parents, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles, and even a new baby! For the first time since my brother and I have had kids, our families and my mom's sister's family were able to spend the holiday together. We cousins range from 41 to 1 month!

After celebrating with the big crowd on Sunday, we are now down to 11 together (which includes my brother and his family). He had three boys and I made each of them stockings for their baby gift....although it has taken me a full 4 years to get the final stocking made! With the three of them here for Christmas morning, I was able to get a picture of their stockings together for the first time!

These represent almost 10 years of stitching (although you know I have done a few other projects in that time too), and now I officially retire from stitching stockings!

I hope all of you who celebrate are having a joyful Christmas, and those who don't are having a restful day!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stash Report - week 51 2012

Wow, a full week off work with the kids at school really allows some time for sewing! I had time in each classroom plus the library at the kids' school this week, and I couldn't think of a better time to be there. It warmed my heart to spend some time in their classes and with their teachers and be able to give them my gratitude for the heart they put into their jobs every day! 

When I was home, I had a good mix of holiday prep, down time, and sewing. This week, I got my three teacher gifts done (posted here), put together my nephew's stocking, finished step 3 of the Easy Street mystery, added a hanging sleeve and finished sewing the binding to my Convergence quilt, basted a mini quilt that is ready for quilting (as soon as I figure out how I want to quilt it!), and did the cutting and a bit of the piecing for Easy Street part 4. 
Christmas Convergence - bound and hanging on the wall before Christmas Day! 
After all that, here's the official report: 
Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 2 5/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 39 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 105 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 66 1/4 yards

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Teacher Gifts

Ever since the kids were small and in daycare, I have tried each year to make gifts for their teachers. I figure they get enough candy/food/chocolate that they could use something handmade. I think most of them have appreciated the gifts I've made. 

This year, I made tote bags for the bus driver (red and gold) and the 2nd grade teacher (purple and green) and a take-along bag for the kindergarten teacher (red flowers in the back - she got a tote bag 2 years ago when Jenna had her). 

Here are the ones I've made in the past 
Here they all are lined up as I made them, and below is the bag I made over in the right corner. 

2009 (guess I never blogged about this one) from the Pink Penguin tutorial here


The red floral bag from this year is made from fabric I quilted and is from the Purse-Nickities pattern by Lazy Girl Designs (not affiliated or sponsored, just a happy customer). If you like to make little grab bags and you don't have this pattern, it is a great one to add to your library! I must admit that I am generally a fan of the Lazy Girl designs, but I forgot until putting this one together how easy she makes it! I have not had a fear of zippers because the first time I did one was with Joan's instructions and it went just as planned (don't you love it when that happens?)
Do you make gifts for people? If so, who do you make them for and are there any patterns that you like to use? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Easy Street Part 3

It took me a little longer to get to Easy Street part 3 because I was behind on Part 2, plus trying to get several presents done for the holidays. All of that is complete now and I hope to be able to start on part 4 tomorrow (grand plans...). 

I did get all the pieces for Part 3 cut before part 4 came out, but didn't get a chance to start sewing on them until the weekend. When I sat down to start, I realized that I had cut all my blue pieces too small!  I thought they looked awfully small when I was cutting  them....and lo and behold, they were awfully small. I recut pieces to the right size, then started to sew. I am usually not the type who does a test block to make sure it works out, but I decided to for this one and boy am I glad I did!  My first few were 1/4" too small, wonky, and generally unusable. I tried the Billie Lauder method, then the method that Bonnie suggested if you don't have an Easy Angle, and then finally went up to my mom's to borrow her equivalent of the Easy Angle ruler. Once I got that ruler, I re-cut several of my pieces, and got a block to work. Phew! I did a few more test blocks to make sure everything was okay and then set to piecing. 
I got them all done earlier this week. Now, on to part 4!  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stash Report - Week 50

I had a busy week at home and work this week, so didn't take too much time for sewing in the evenings. However, I did get all my fabric cut for the Easy Street mystery part 3. Last night, as I sat down to start to put part 3 together, I realized I had cut 1/3 of my pieces the wrong size - ugh! I guess the up-side to that is that I was able to use a little more stash. I am also hopeful that I will be able to reuse those pieces in part 4. I also cut the pieces for another tote bag, which will be a gift for the kids' bus driver. I only need to figure out one more teacher gift and I think I have something that I can re-purpose/finish in time for Friday. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 2 1/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 39 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 102 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 63 5/8 yards

With only 2 weeks left to go in the year, I am at a good place. I am thrilled to have a gross used over 100 yards for the year and very happy to be so far on the positive side of net usage.   I went back and looked at my numbers for 2010 (the first year I started tracking) and 2011, and surprised myself that I have added less fabric this year than I had in both of those years! I am only ahead of 2010 by 1/8 of a yard, but I'll take it! 

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not Much Progress

Over the first two clues of Easy Street, I was lucky to have a day off plus some good sewing time over the weekend and I got both of the steps done before the next was released (minus spinning seams, pressing, and trimming flying geese). This week, I had several busy days (and a couple lazy nights) and didn't get as far as I hoped. 
I did get all my pieces cut and I am ready to sew as soon as I have a few free hours - hopefully this weekend, so I don't get too far behind! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stash Report - Week 49

Only a couple weeks left in the year and I am making the right kind of progress. This week, I worked on the Easy Street mystery quilt, a teacher gift, and a UFO. Next week has more of the same ahead. I still have 1 teacher gift and a gift for the bus driver to make. I know what one will be but not the other...although I am confident I will come up with something just in time :) 

Fabric went out this week in the following ways: birthday fat quarters for bee-mates, teacher gift #1 (the bag in this post), binding for the UFO, and Easy Street fabric, although I have a hard time figuring out what to count for that since it is some scraps and some new fabric. I am just making a swag and I will even it all up at the end if I haven't counted enough. 
I thought you might like to see one picture, so here's the back of the UFO I am working on - my Convergence quilt that I am hoping to get hung before Christmas. After I finish this blog post, I am going to head down and put the binding on it. I am trying something new with two sides of green and two sides of red binding. I had to measure it all out and have to make one adjustment to make it work, but I hope it does work and I hope it actually looks like I think it will in my mind! 

Here's the accounting for the week: 
Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 3 3/8

Fabric added year to date: 39 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 100 3/4 yards! (woot woot, passed 100 for the year!)
Net fabric used: 61 1/2 yards

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tree Time

Last weekend, we made the 2nd annual trip to Dull's Tree Farm to pick out and cut down our Christmas tree. We started out with a picture by the presents, which we also did last year - my what a difference a year makes! 

In the presents - 2012
In the presents - 2011
Mike cutting down our tree
Strategizing the fall
Pop picks a tree

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Work Day

Today was my bee's monthly work day and I wanted to get something done before I started on part 2 for the Easy Street mystery quilt. I cut out the pieces last night for teacher gift #1 - a tote bag for Jenna's teacher. It it reversible and the other side is the purple with the green flowers as a band. 
Now I just have to decide what to make for the other teacher - I made her one of these bags two years ago, so I think I should come up with a different idea :)

Next up was part 2 of the mystery quilt. I am using bright pinks where Bonnie is using purples and I like them. I used Open Gate's Fit to be Geese ruler and instructions to make the geese and the 1 I squared up was perfect - I think that's the first perfect goose I've ever made! Here are my 100 geese (I am making the quilt smaller, so hope that's enough) with 1 squared up. 
I will spend time over the next few weeks spinning seams on my four patches and trimming up my geese...it should be enough to keep me busy! 

One last thing that I got done today -- do you remember when I ran out of border fabric for my Oriental French braid? Well, Karen was nice enough to bring some to me at retreat in Shipshewana, and I finally got the 4th border put on today! I have the back made, so hope to get it on the frame before too long. I have a couple other projects in the queue in front of it, but it looks like a nice mid-winter quilt to me -- maybe it will be ready by February. 
All in all, a great work day and I hope I can carry the momentum into the week. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Accomplishments

November was a pretty light sewing month for me. I had a few days with lots of sewing, but lots of days with no sewing. I had a total of 15 hours of sewing and here's what I got done: 

- Bound Lois' floral bricks quilt 
- Cut and helped sew bags for bee holiday donation project
- Made back for, quilted, and attached binding to Jack's quilt (I am still working on the hand stitching)
- Bought fabric for and started Easy Street mystery, finishing part 1
- Bound charity quilt
- Made back for and loaded Convergence quilt 

I am hoping that I will get a lot more done in December since I have several vacation days to use! Hope you had a great November! 

Catch-up Stash Reports

It has been a while since I was home and felt like posting a stash report, so I am catching up for the last three weeks this week. There hasn't been much sewing going on, so you haven't missed much. 

Over the last three weeks, I have added some fabric for the Easy Street mystery (the grey fabric in the photo below). 

And, I've also used some fabric for binding (x2), Easy Street part 1 (pictured below), and backing for a holiday UFO. 

Fabric added last three weeks: 3 3/8 yards
Fabric used last three weeks: 3 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 39 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 97 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 58 1/8 yards

I have my bee's monthly work day tomorrow and am hoping to work on Easy Street part 2 there, but may also bring along a couple gifts to work on for the holidays. 

Hope you're having fun with your stash!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Since I haven't had a lot to say about sewing lately, let's see some pictures of the kids. They are in year round school and just returned today after a 3 1/2 week break. I was able to take some extra time off work, so we had several days together. One of their favorite things to do when home (and when I am not looking) is to grab my camera and start snapping pictures. 90% of these get deleted before I load them to the camera, but there are also some cute ones in the batch. Here are a few of the more recent kid-taken photos. 
Jenna singing her heart out
My goodness he is growing up!
Little Bear, who probably just wanted to play ball
Jack at the tree farm

Sister + Brother = Mischief

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Street - Week 1

I had a great day sewing on Friday as I participated in the Black Friday Sew-In hosted by Sandy of the Quilting for the Rest of Us podcast. My first goal was to get the binding on Jack's quilt, which I did before lunch. I then pressed and started cutting my black and white strips for the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called Easy Street. But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Let's start with my fabric choices - I made one change from the colors Bonnie suggested, so am using pink, green, and bright/aqua blues, with a constant grey and black & white backgrounds. Here's a picture of my fabrics.

So, after lunch with my mom and the kids and haircuts for the kids (the only Black Friday sale I took advantage of), I got all my strip sets for part 1 sewn together and pressed. 

After dinner, I went back down to the sewing room and started on the 4-patch units. I finished 105, and am planning to make a large lap size quilt instead of the queen size that Bonnie made, so I figure I will need somewhere in the 130-150 range of 4 patches. I hope to get the rest made this week before clue #2 comes out.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goodies from Houston

My mom went to Houston this year for International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. She had a great time and I hope she'll show a few photos of the trip on her blog (hint, hint). 

I was the lucky recipient of several things she picked up there: batting samples, a small Christmas wall hanging quilt, some Bottom Line thread, some quilty stickers and a post it note pack, and a package of velcro. 
Thanks Mom!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lots of Bricks

One of the things that Lois left me was a whole pile of precut fabrics - actually more than a pile - it was separated by size into about 6 plastic tubs. I think she did a lot of the cutting after Bonnie Hunter's visit to our guild a few years ago. Almost all of her precuts were floral fabrics, which I don't use in great supply. I have been sharing with the bee and I think that two or three quilts have been made with them already, and there will probably be a few more to come. Today I am going to tell you about the two that have been in the works under my roof. 

The first was a surprise UFO of Lois' - it was found in a tub of the precuts and I had no idea it was there! Along with it was a magazine with the pattern and the solid green fabric that had been used in the top. The pattern called for another big border, but I decided to finish it off as it was to make a nice lap sized quilt. My mom made the back for it (from more of Lois' florals) and I quilted and bound it. It will be ready to go to her family this holiday season. We've sure slowed down on finishing the UFOs, but I look forward to seeing her sister and passing over the few that have gotten done this year. 

The second is my leader/ender project for the year, also an idea from Bonnie Hunter. I saw a Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt on another blog a while back and decided it would be the perfect project for a leader/ender quilt and the bricks were already cut the perfect size! I have most of the blocks done and tossed it up on my design wall the other night. I will start sewing it together also as a leader/ender project and it should finish about twin size. It will get finished and I will hold on to it as a donation quilt next time there is someone in need. 
With the fabric I've shared with others and the ones I've finished, we're at the bottom of the tub of bricks! Now to move on to the strips...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stash Report - Week 45 2012

This week was a continuation of the good report that started last week. I had to finish cutting fabric to make bags for our bee Christmas donation project, then I also cut and pieced the back for Jack's quilt, so the number are pretty good. 

I finished cutting fabric last Sunday night and on Monday, the bee worked on the bags and got them all done in just under 2 hours. Here's a picture of them all lined up. In December, we will add toiletries and other items to the bags and they will be given to women who arrive at a local shelter with nothing. 
Here's the back for Jack's quilt - it is waiting for me to load it on the frame (and has been waiting from mid week). Although I have a busy week, I hope to get it started this week so that he'll have his new quilt on his bed by Thanksgiving. 
Here's the accounting: 
Fabric added this week: 3/8 yard (a kit from my mom - will show a picture later this week)
Fabric used this week: 8 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 35 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 93 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 57 5/8 yards
Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tiny Tuesday Top

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of some tiny blocks. Since then, I made 24 tiny flying geese, and connected them all and now have a tiny top. 
The top measures about 14" square and is ready to be quilted. I will likely quilt this one on my Janome, and have it up on my design wall so that I can look and think about it through the next few weeks. 

Stop by and visit Jill to see the rest of the tiny blocks this week! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

October Accomplishments

I don't think I need to say that October was a great month for sewing, because I have already showed you the fun stuff I worked on at retreat! I also took a workshop with Deb Karasik and reinvigorated my love for paper piecing. I have added two more of her quilts to my "sometime in the near future" list. 

Here's what I got done in October: 
- Cut out and pieced a quilt top for Jack's bed
- Made a baby blanket for my cousin's baby shower
- Finished binding the second Halloween table runner and sent it off to it's new home in Michigan
- Quilted Lois' Floral Bricks UFO, which we found in a box during our garage sale earlier this year! (just realized I don't have a picture of this, so I will take one after I finish binding it tomorrow)
- Made a phone/ID pouch for my neighbor to wear at Disney

- Attended a guild workshop with Deb Karasik and finished the quilt top from that workshop
- Made a new purse and started to use it at retreat
- Cut out, started, and finished Rolling Stones mini-quilt (you'll have to come back on Tiny Tuesday to see a picture of it)
- Attended my second retreat at The Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, IN

See, it was a good month! I had 41 1/2 hours in the sewing room, over half of which was at retreat. I have plans for November that aren't as ambitious, but hope it sees one bed in my house covered with a new quilt! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stash Report - Weeks 43 & 44 2012

I haven't been doing a whole lot of sewing since returning from the retreat a few weeks ago, but I did manage to work on a couple things this week and use a little stash in the process. I finished quilting the top that's been on my frame for a few weeks and trimmed it and prepped the binding. I am planning to bind it by machine tomorrow at my bee workday. I also finished up the Rolling Stones mini-quilt, but had already counted the very small amount of yardage for that. On Friday night, I started the project which is usually my most productive each year - I started cutting kits to make fabric bags which our bee donates to a local women's shelter each December. So far, I have about half of them cut and will finish the other half tonight so we can work on them tomorrow  Here's a picture of the cut pieces hanging over the longarm poles. 

Fabric added last two weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last two weeks: 5 1/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 35 1/2 yards
Fabric used year to date: 85 1/4 yards
Net fabric used: 49 3/4 yards

With the remaining bags and the back for Jack's quilt, I will hit 50 yards by next week for sure! Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tiny Tuesday

This week I am linking up with Jill for Tiny Tuesday! After I finished my other retreat projects, I started on my project for this quarter's PIG challenge with my bee. I am making a mini quilt from a 2008 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I pulled the fabric at least two years ago and it sat on the shelf just waiting to be started. 

I pre-cut only part of it, so spent the first 30-45 minutes cutting the remaining pieces out, then started making little bitty square in a square units (not paper pieced!), then put them together to make blocks. Each block is approx. 6" square. 

Next up is to make a couple dozen tiny flying geese blocks. I will use my new Fit to be Geese ruler to square them up and hope I have good luck with it! I am hoping to have the top done late this month or early November so I have plenty of time to finish it before the holidays. 

Do you have tiny blocks you're working on too? Visit Jill on Tuesdays to see hers and link up yours. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Design Wall Monday - Oct 22 2012

I am excited to be able to share a design wall Monday post today, since I have three things from retreat to show off! It was a very productive weekend for me and I got all three things finished that I really wanted to get done on the retreat. I had several more projects in my bag, but these were the top three priorities, so I am glad that they are all at the place I wanted them to be. 

1. Quilt for Jack's bed - he has two quilts on his bed but neither fits his bed - they were both made when he was a baby. He asked a while ago for a quilt that fits his whole bed and he picked out the colors and pattern. I really like how the top turned out - he has good taste, doesn't he? 
2. Grommet Purse - this is a long-awaited new purse that I was looking forward to making with fabric I got over the summer at a sale. The purse turned out much smaller that I thought it would - guess I didn't pay enough attention to the "finished size" on the pattern. I do like it, so think I might remake it in a larger size soon. It only took a few hours to make and I used some new interfacing for it - the stuff that is like car headliner. It worked well and the purse stands up well too. I am hoping that the same purse in a larger size will look just as good ;)
3. Workshop project - I pieced the 8 border pieces, 4 corner pieces, and the inner border. I really like how this top turned out and look forward to making two more from the same book so that I can have a series of three hanging in my living room. It took a full day (from after lunch one day to dinner the next) to finish this one, but I am glad I stuck with it! 
So, that's what I finished in the last week. I did start one more project, but will share that later in the week. Here's another retreat photo for you - quintessential Shipshewana!