2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Slow and Steady

I have done a better job of getting into my sewing area over the last week - as I near the end of the month, I want to achieve the four goals I set out to do at the beginning of the month. I am making okay progress, but haven't finished any of the items completely. 

This week has been dedicated to working on my Easy Street quilt assembly, which is frankly how I have spent most of my sewing time since I started working on it in November.  I finished the block assembly earlier this week and started on the rows. I have one corner together and the start of a second row. 
Currently I have it set up in a 3x3 setting instead of the 4x4 which Bonnie did. I always knew I didn't want mine to be the 96" of hers, but I am not sure if this is a good size or not. I still have plenty of parts left, so if I want to add another row of blocks, I can. If I decide that this size is good, then I think I will play with the remainder of the blocks and assemble them into another quilt - maybe a wall quilt - maybe with the same blocks or maybe not. 

Today, my goal is to spend some time loading and quilting a top for a friend. I will take a few pictures along the way and hopefully have something to post in a few days! 

P.S. Good progress this week on both the cooking and reading challenges too :) More info on those to come at the end of the month, which is - oh my gosh - in less than a week! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spinach Pie

This year, my friend Judy over at Patchwork Times is doing a weekly cooking challenge. She picks a new ingredient each Wednesday and her readers make a recipe with that ingredient then post it on their blog the following week.

When she posted spinach as the ingredient for this week, I thought I'd play along since I have a great spinach pie recipe from my Girl Scout leader. I have made it for years and made just a few adjustments to her original recipe. The kids don't like it yet, but I am hoping it will grow on them as they get older.

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
1/2 lb. feta cheese
1 pint cottage cheese
4 eggs
6 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Spices to your preference - I usually use basil, garlic, and a little paprika on the top.

Let spinach thaw unopened (I leave it in the fridge overnight). Preheat over to 350. Crumble feta cheese (if not already crumbled - I buy the big container at Costco and it makes 3-4 recipes). Drain thawed spinach, mix with spinach and cottage cheese. In a smaller bowl, mix eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Combine the two mixtures in the larger bowl and add spices. Grease baking pan (I use a glass pan) and pour mixture into pan. Top with paprika for color. Here's how it looks before going into the oven.

Bake for an hour, stick knife in the center to make sure it is cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes, cut into squares and serve. I think it is even better the next day, so I often bake it at night for the next day's dinner.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Reading Challenge

Late last year, I came to the realization that I am good at finishing books when either 
  1. They are really, really good, (Gone Girl  by Gillian Flynn and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty) or 

  2. I have a deadline (like a library due date)
Despite reading several books last year, I don't think I finished a single book that was in my room/house. Most of my finishes were library books, with maybe one or two borrowed books with a waiting line.

So, this year, my challenge is to read the books already in my room. Here's the stack of them as of this morning.  

I finished my latest library book Saturday (The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty), so now I will start with my challenge. I am about 2/3 of the way through Loving Frank so that should be my first finish. I don't plan to blog about all the books, but will try to update you later in the year on my progress. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stash Report - Week 2 2013

I had a busy, busy week (the second week of the month always is for me) so I didn't have much time for sewing, but I did have our bee workday at the beginning of the week. I made progress on one of my goals for the month - borders on the Jelly Roll Challenge quilt. 
I still have to make the back and binding and should be able to get back to that this week. It makes the stash report continue to move in the right direction. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 1 1/4 yards
Fabric added year to date: 0 yards
Fabric used year to date: 2 3/4 yards

I would say that's a good start to the year! Hope you had a great week with your stash. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stash Report - 2012 Round up and Week 1 2013

Despite a couple days with not much to do at the end of 2012, I didn't get any sewing done! So, my stash report ended with the same usage I reported last week (here). 
Karen did a little year-on-year accounting on her blog and I thought it was a great idea. I started stashbusting in 2010, just after I inherited more fabric than I knew what to do with! (you can read the story through these posts - start at the oldest one). 

         Added      Used      Net stash reduction  Cumulative stash reduction
2010  44 5/8     137 1/2         92 7/8                       92 7/8 
2011  48 5/8     126 3/8         77 3/4                     170 5/8 
2012  46 3/4     108 1/8         61 3/8                     232  

I can't believe how close my incoming numbers are. But really, I can't believe I've used over 230 yards of fabric in the last three years (mostly because it doesn't show)! I still have a long, long way to go! Below is my last finish of 2012 - I spent a little time just before the year wrapped up to hand sew this little witch's neck closed and sew on the buttons, nose, bow, and hair. Not sure when or where she will be displayed yet, but glad to have her complete! 

So, now on to the business of 2013. I started the year off with a little bump in the right direction. I had a surprise birthday party to attend on New Year's Day and I made the birthday girl a tote bag. I was thrilled when she opened it and declared the bag her favorite colors (whew!). It is reversible (opposite fabric placement inside) and is the same pattern I made for two of this year's teacher gifts, so it was fresh in my mind. 

Sorry it won't rotate correctly, please turn head to view!

Fabric added this week - 0 yards 
Fabric used this week - 1 1/2 yards 
Fabric added year to date - 0 yards
Fabric used year to date - 1 1/2 yards

Net fabric used 1 1/2 yards

Hope your start to 2013 was just as productive! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Goals

I decided several years ago that I don't make New Year's resolutions - I make goals for the new year. I know it is just a slight difference in words, but it works out better for me and gives me something concrete to work towards. I also try not to fall into the normal weight/money/time trap because I know my habits are pretty ingrained and it would take a lot to change them...not sure I am up for that! Anywho....here's the list of both quilting and personal goals for the year: 

Quilting goals: 
1. Quilt at least 20 items on my HQ Avante
2. Finish at least 5 of my current UFOs, plus the two quilts (Easy Street and Rolling Stones) that are in progress now. 
3. Continue with the things I have done for the last few years - stashbusting, tracking time sewing, and making a donation/charity quilt with leader/enders. 
4. Make 3 projects (can be quilts, purses, or other items) from existing patterns or books. 
5. Start on 2 kits. 
6. Balance time between piecing, quilting, and stitching. 

Personal goals: 
1. Read all the books that are in my room right now (there are a lot and I keep checking out library books instead of reading the ones I have bought or borrowed)
2. Make it the year of using my cookbooks - choose a cookbook each month and make at least one recipe from it (bonus points for making multiple recipes). If I can't find one recipe to make in a month's time, get rid of the book! 
3. Go through keepsakes on the bottom shelf of my stitching storage area and get rid of those things I no longer need so that I have some room to move other items there and clear the floor under my sewing area. 
4. Redecorate my dining room (with assistance). 

So, that's it for the year - I will update my goals in the sidebar and will give you a progress update about mid-way through the year! 

December Accomplishments

December is usually a pretty good month for my sewing since I almost always have extra time off work. It was even sweeter this year, since the kids were in school for a full week while I was home - alone! Actually, I spent a couple days in their classrooms that week and some time with my mom, but I still did get a lot of sewing done :)

I had 23 1/2 hours of sewing and here's what I got done: 
- Made three bags for teacher gifts
- Added the final border to my Oriental French Braid, finishing the top
- Quilted, trimmed, bound, and hung up my Christmas Convergence
- Put together stocking for my nephew (the one I finished this year is the one on the right in the picture - Alex's)
- Cut and pieced Easy Street parts 2-6
- Finished up a UFO just before the year ended - a Halloween candle mat
- Finished stitching and gifted a cross-stitch pillow that has two wrap around decorations

It was a great month, and I really had a good time working on Easy Street. It has been a while since I've done a Mystery quilt and I have really enjoyed working on one again. I am hoping to get down to my sewing room tonight to finish up part 7 so that I can start the final assembly! 

Hope you had a great December too! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 - Year in Review

As I think back over the past year, I am really pleased that I did so much, not just with my quilting, but I also got back to more regular stitching. I finished 28 projects in 2012, and most of them are pictured here. 

Here's how I did on the goals that I set out for myself early this year: 
1. Keep my running list of UFOs at 15 or less, but allow lots of time to start new projects. 
- I give myself a B- on this one. At the end of the year, I did have 15 on my list, but I went over that a few times and created some new UFOs too. 
2. Make a charity quilt with Lois' scraps
- I am well underway but did not complete the quilt this year. I have all the blocks made and am piecing them as leader/enders as I work on other projects. I should get the top done within the next month. I did work with my bee to make three tops for donation at our March retreat, and they have all been finished and two given away, so at least I have contributed to charity projects! 
3. Continue stashbusting & pattern tracking. 
- I did well on the stashbusting, but wavered on the pattern tracking. I am pretty sure that I used more existing patterns than I purchased this year, which is my goal. 
4. Make progress on Steve & Michelle's quilt by doing a block each month. 
- I get a D- on this one. I started well and had blocks made each month for the first several months, then fell behind and had to make 2 a month to catch up, then stopped altogether. 
5. Quilt about 20 quilts on the Avante
- I fell one short! I quilted 19 projects, a few of which were table runners. I planned most of December to get something on the frame, but didn't. 
6. Move my sewing room to the basement
- Completed in May! I really like my new space and Jenna loves her new pink room! 
7. Finish 4 new projects (at least to finished top) in my bee's PIG Challenge.
- I did finish 4 tops and got one of the four totally completed. 

All in all, I think I did fairly well with my goals for the year. I achieved a few, got close for a few, and missed a few. I am really happy with several of the projects that I did get finished and have enjoyed using them or gifting them this year. I will be back later in the week or this weekend with my 2013 goals! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Four Goals - January 2012

Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times has been leading a UFO challenge for the past two years. The first year I participated and finished 8 UFOs, and while I didn't participate last year, I still did work on a few of my UFOs. This year, she has changed things up a bit and she is having each blogger post 4 goals for the month at the beginning of each month. On the last day of the month, she will host a blog link-up and each person will be able to post whether they met their goals and show picture. I am not sure if I will always participate in this monthly set of goals, but I do think it is a good way to start the year and stay on task in January, so here are my four goals for the month of January: 

1. Add borders, make back and binding for Jelly Roll quilt (if I get it on the frame and quilted, that will be a bonus). 
2. Finish Easy Street Mystery Quilt top - the last clue was released today, so now I have lots of blocks to assemble. 
3. Quilt my Rolling Stones mini quilt. I started this one at retreat in October and it is basted and ready to be quilted. 
4. Load and quilt a top for a friend in my bee and get it back to her. 

While I may work on other things as well, this list is a good starting place for me. Hope you have a great January and have lots of great goals for what you want to work on!