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!