2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Some hearts to blog about

It seems like it has been a while since I did any blog posts except stash reports. I did have some stash usage this week, but am away from my computer with the spreadsheet, so instead I will share the finished top from this week.

I quilted this UFO of Lois' (the top was finished at my retreat at the beginning of this month) and also got the binding on (by machine). While this quilt really could have used custom quilting, I was just too lazy! This is only the third quilt I have quilted this year and I didn't want the idea of a custom quilt job to get in the way, so loops is it!

I cut and added the binding on Thursday morning, the first of three vacation days while the kids are on spring break. They enjoyed some PBS kids while I sewed for a while and we were all happy at the end of it!

Hope you have had a chance to get some spring sewing done - my goal this spring is to boost my number of quilted tops so that I can get back on track to make my annual goal of quilting at least 20 tops this year. I have at least 5 waiting in the wings to be done, 2 with backs already made, so I should be able to make some good progress if I can just stay motivated!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stash Report - Week 12 2013

Just a quickie stash report this week - I whipped up a couple belly bands for my yoga teacher's foster dogs and forgot to take a picture of them. I also worked on some quilting, but that didn't result in any stash reduction.  

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

Fabric added year to date: 6 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 17 1/8 yards

Net fabric used: 10 7/8 yards

Hope you had a good week with your stash - I will be back later in the week to show the results of my quilting. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stash Report - Week 11 2013

It has been yet another slow week in the sewing studio, but this week I had an excuse. The second week of each month I have two evening commitments, and Jenna also had Girl Scouts, so that had me out and running around three nights in a row, which didn't leave any energy for quilting. I had the best of plans on Friday before I fell asleep on the couch before 10, and then the same plans for Saturday, but I managed to putter most of the day away before I got to some sewing. Luckily, I did get down to the machine last night to finish my strippy donation quilt. 
Wheelchair donation quilt - made with precut 1 3/4" strips
I think it is a good size for a wheelchair quilt, and I decided while working on it that I am going to donate it to Hopes and Dreams, the quilting challenge for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).  This disease has affected my family twice - once before I was born and once now - so I am going to send this quilt to be given to a patient. 

As I was putting the borders on my strippy quilt, I was using my blocks from my other donation quilt as leader/enders and before I knew it, they were all into rows, so I decided to spend a few more minutes in the basement last night to get the second top finished too! This one is a Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt, from Bonnie Hunter's pattern. 
Bricks and Stepping Stones top for donation
Both of these quilt tops came from fabric that Lois (my friend who left me her stash) had precut. They are all florals and I must admit that I am not much of a floral person, so I decided to use them primarily for donation quilts.  The bricks top is about 48"x72", so I think that will be a good size for a lap quilt and it will go to Hopes and Dreams too.  Most of the yardage for these quilts has already been counted, but I do get to count the borders for the strippy quilt. 

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

Fabric added year to date: 6 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 16 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 10 5/8 yards

Two quilts waiting for backs :)
Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stash Report - Week 10 2013

Sometimes a retreat isn't so good for the stash report, especially a retreat in a quilt shop! With a shop hop! I do most of my retreat prep ahead of time with pre-cutting so I don't often have lots of fabric usage on retreat, but I usually do a little bit of shopping. This year, I didn't do as much pre-cutting, so I knew I would have some usage on the retreat. I did buy a few things, but overall came out on top. You can see the projects made from the fabrics I used here

I did go on one shopping trip and bought a few pieces of bright red and orange. I don't have a plan for them, but couldn't quite pass them up. I also bought a FQ of the cream fabric to finish up my Disappearing Four Patch top - I wanted to make it a certain size and ran out of my background fabric, so I found something in the shop that would look close enough that it wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb. 
Overall, the report didn't take too much of a hit: 

Fabric added this week: 2 3/4 yards
Fabric used this week: 5 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 6 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 16 yards

I am hoping to get some borders on a top and a back made this week, so hopefully I will have some more to report as busted next week - fingers crossed! 

Hope you had a great week with your stash! See other stash reports over at Patchwork Times (which is a great blog to read whether you're a quilter or not!). 

Oh, and I have to show you how pretty the snow was in my backyard when I arrived home from retreat on Wednesday afternoon - this will likely be our last snow of the year and it was a gorgeous one! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

TOT Retreat 2013

I am still feeling a little sleep deprived after two full and two half days of retreating earlier this week. Our bee + a few friends of the bee headed west to Danville, IL and set up shop in the big room at Threads of Time

We had a great time sewing, chatting, eating, and shop hopping. We even went to a winery! I was really productive on this retreat and got several projects into finished tops and some others on the way. Here's the rundown: 

On Sunday afternoon, we met at my mom's house, packed a ton of stuff into the cars, and headed out to Danville. With the time change, we arrived there just about the time we left Indiana! We were a little early to unpack and get set up in the retreat center, so we looked around the shop a while. After unloading the kitchen items, a small group of us went up the road about 10 minutes to a local winery. We had some samples and I brought home a couple bottles of wine. 
Headed in to try some wine
Sunday evening, I worked on a kit my mom brought me from Quilt Market last year - I didn't pay close enough attention to the instructions and mis-cut a few of the fabrics, but it still turned out okay. I finished the whole top on the first night! (It is only 10 1/2" square, but I still say it counts!)
Christmas kit - done on the first night! 
By Monday, I had the blocks together and then added borders for my Disappearing Four Patch quilt. This is a kit I bought in December and I am so happy to have the top together so soon after buying it! I have some charm squares left from the kit, so am planning to make a holiday season purse to use them up. 
Holiday Disappearing 4-Patch
While working on the prior two projects, I used some of Lois' 1 3/4" precut strips as leaders and enders and by Monday evening, I had another top together! I will add a few borders to this and quilt it to be a wheelchair donation quilt. 
Tons and Tons of florals..and it doesn't even make a dent in the box of 1 3/4" strips!
We also took a few hours out on Monday afternoon to go on a quilt shopping trip to Sew Sassy in Champaign. It was a nice shop with lots of great fabric. I added a few pieces to my stash and found a good piece for my Easy Street border. 
Sassy quilters in front of the Sew Sassy wall of batiks
Tuesday was to be my day to work on my paper piecing project. I decided to do a few other things first and wound up procrastinating on it until about 9 pm! I started by working  on one of Lois' UFOs - it is a quilt made from a drawing that was on the front of a quilt shop newsletter. Lois figured out all the measurements and had made about 3 or 4 hearts. I passed the rest of the hearts out to my bee last year and they made them in the fabrics she had planned. I had to make a couple more hearts to finish up the top and the piano key borders, but I got that finished on Tuesday afternoon. I am really pleased with how bright and cheery it is and look forward to finishing it to pass on to her family. I didn't get a picture of it on my camera, but if you link to Karen's pictures below, you can see it. I will also share a picture when it is finished. 

After that, I worked on hemming a shirt, made a headband, and then finally pulled out my paper piecing project, only to find that I hadn't printed all the needed sheets for it - UGH! I did get one section done - it doesn't look like much this way, but this will become a sun rising over a mountain.  
Future Sun
Wednesday morning we had a few hours to sew before we had to pack up and head home and I'd gotten as far as I could manage on my paper piecing project, so I pulled out Easy Street to put on the borders. Boy, borders on a big quilt are sure a challenge! It took me a couple hours to get them both on, but I was really happy to finish that before heading home. 
Easy Street with borders
If you want to see some more pictures of the retreat center, our group, and other people's projects, you can take a look at Karen's pictures. It was another successful retreat and a good time was had by all! We're looking forward to doing it again next spring! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Design Walls Monday

This Monday is a special one, because I am spending it in the retreat center at Threads of Time in Danville, IL. We have a group of 8 quilting together and we're all having fun working on projects, chatting, eating, more eating, more chatting, and quite a bit of laughter (more as the night goes on!).

We have several design walls, starting with my disappearing four patch Christmas quilt (this was the one I pre-cut so one of the easiest to work on).

Next up is the side wall which has my Rolling Stones top, which is waiting for quilting inspiration, a mini Christmas top (I finished a quilt top on the first night!), a mini tumbler from Girl Scout fabric that my mom made last night, part of Kathy's quilt from Graphic Mixx by Terry Atkinson, and Muffet's Union Station by Blue Underground.

The reverse wall has Karen's alternate blocks from Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Christmas.

There is a lot more going on, but it isn't up on the walls yet. We'll have them stuffed full by the time we head home on Wednesday afternoon!

February Accomplishments

February was really a pretty slow month for my quilting. I guess I underestimated how tired I would be with a new job and a change to a full time schedule. I did manage to get three out of my four monthly goals done, but not much else. I only had 8 hours of sewing but I did get a few things done: 

- Made back, quilted, and added binding to Jelly Roll Challenge quilt
- Repaired the kids hamper and one of Jenna's school dresses
- Finished assembly of Easy Street top (minus borders)
- Cut disappearing four patch top for retreat.

I did work on both of my stitching projects during the month - not much progress that pictures will show, but am glad to keep them moving along! 

I will be at retreat when this posts and I probably will have logged more hours by the 4th day of March than I did in the whole month of February!  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stash Report - Week 9 2013

I didn't spend much time in the studio (a.k.a. basement) this week, but I did make myself go downstairs and pre-cut a quilt for the retreat. My mom also came over last weekend for  some border fabric for a quilt top she finished for Girl Scouts. Both of those made for a good week. 

Here's a picture of my quilt all cut up and ready to go - it includes two charm packs, which I didn't count in my yardage yet, so that means I will have a little more used when I put it together :) 

My mom has a picture of her quilt on her blog here

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

Fabric added year to date: 3 1/2 yards
Fabric used year to date: 10 5/8 yards

Net fabric used: 7 1/8 yards

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Four Things - March 2013

Back at the beginning of the month, I set out to do things I didn't finish last month. I started off the month well, focusing on my jelly roll challenge quilt. Energy/time/attention wavered as I worked through the month - but I still did 3 of the 4 things that I set out to do at the beginning of the month: 

1. Make back and binding for - and quilt - Jelly Roll Quilt - done - I made the back, quilted it, and attached the binding to the front - will hand sew to the back over the course of the next few weeks. Pictured here

2. Finish Easy Street Mystery quilt top - done - except for borders. I have a couple borders that I am auditioning, but I'd like to see how an electric blue border looks and I don't have any yardage of that color, so I am taking this with me on my retreat this week to see if I can either find a border I like better or put on the borders I have now. 

3.  Quilt my rolling stones mini-quilt - didn't do this one - didn't even pull it off the design wall. The challenge is that I am stuck on how to quilt this. Stitch in the ditch seems too boring, but it is too small for much. I am going to take this to retreat with me and hope to get some ideas from the group.

4. Pre-cut a project for the March retreat and print out paper piecing patterns for two more wall hangings to go with my mountain/moon project from last fall - done - I had two projects lined up to prepare and picked the easier one and in the end, and in the end, I decided to print out only one of the paper pieced patterns - it used about 20 pages and I thought that would be enough for me to work on at the retreat. 

I leave tomorrow for the bee retreat and we'll be there 2 full days and 2 1/2 days. I have a couple projects pre-cut, and several in the bag to take with me, but here are the four things I really hope to get done in March: 
1. Make a new purse 
2. Finish the 2nd Deb Karasik paper pieced moon/tree
3. Make top, back, and quilt Christmas Disappearing 4-patch
4. Finish Bricks and Stepping Stones charity top (this has been a leader/ender project for me for a long time and is into the block phase now).  

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Cookbook Challenge

This cooking challenge is fun! I think my family and my neighbor (who often eats with us and feeds us too) are really enjoying this new year's resolution the best! 

For February, I chose the "Recipes from our kitchens Cafe Lazarus" cookbook (I looked for a link to this cookbook, but there wasn't one anywhere). Lazarus was a department store in this area until it was bought by Macy's several years ago. They had a nice cafe where I had lunch several times and an amazing chicken salad. That's the whole reason I bought the cookbook! When the store was open, you could buy the chicken salad dressing and just toss it with your own chicken, celery, and pecans.  When you don't have the dressing, it becomes a three part recipe - a boiled dressing, a homemade mayonnaise, and then the chicken salad part. That was a little intimidating and didn't happen this month, but I still have aspirations to make it someday. I really don't think I ever made a recipe from this cookbook before the challenge and there were some good ones in there. I picked it early in the month because there were several yummy looking soup recipes, but never got around to making any of the hot soups. 

The recipes that did get made were: 

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts - these were stuffed with a cream cheese/walnut/green onion mixture - and they were really good. The kids didn't care for the stuffing and told me that next time I should just wrap the bacon around the chicken and then cook it! I would make it again - and I would make it without the stuffing for the kids! 
 Next up, Strawberry Soup for our Valentine's day celebration with our good friends. Sara and I planned out a whole themed menu (ok, Sara did 90% of the planning and I lucked out that this cookbook had a good recipe!).  She scoured Pinterest and made tons of heart shaped foods, then we had the soup for dessert. It is served cold and garnished with fresh strawberries and mint. It was a hit with everyone! 

The final recipe this month was from the side dish section of the cookbook - Carrot and Apple Scallop. It really should have been in the dessert section of the cookbook with a cup of brown sugar in the recipe! t is something I normally wouldn't select as none of us are big fans of cooked carrots, but I decided that stretching our palates should be a little part of the challenge this year too. We had it last night as dessert and it was really great. It called for twice as many carrots than apples, and next time I would switch those around to have more apples than carrots. 

As was the case last month, there are a few more recipes that I really wanted to make this month, but ran out of time and/or energy. I am hoping that I will remember as the year goes on that there are more recipes I want to make in each of these cookbooks and that I will go back and use them again. Even if that doesn't happen, I declare this month a success! I pulled this cookbook from the depths and had a great time with it. 

Jack has already picked March's cookbook (I let him make the choice since March is his birthday month) and it should be a good one - pages and pages of fairly simple recipes with everyday ingredients, so hopefully next month will bring lots of yummy dishes to taste and share!