2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, October 27, 2013

September Accomplishments

It is almost time to get my October list together, but to keep record straight for myself, I need to record my September accomplishments first! 

I started off really strong in September, using the 1st day of the month as a sewing day with my mom.  We both got a lot done and decided we need to do more of them. I stayed pretty steady over the month, with my primary goal being to get some quilting done.  I was looking down the face of the quilt show and knew I'd entered one quilt that was just a top.  I set an early goal of quilting 4 quilts during the month and here's how I did: 

- Finished stack and whack, one of Lois' UFOs
- Quilted graduation quilt for my mom
- Made back for, loaded, and quilted Disappearing Four Patch top
- Quilted red, white, and black quilt top for my mom
- Made back for red and white snowball quilt, loaded it, and stared at it for a full week! I didn't know how I was going to quilt it, so it just stayed there waiting for me. 
- Made block for a comfort quilt for one of my bee mates (sorry, can't find the picture for this one). 

I didn't get all four quilts done during the month, but I did make good progress on two of my UFOs, which is a great feeling! I'll be back soon to show you what got done this month. 

Stash Report - Weeks 42-43 2013

Whew, the last couple weeks have just flown by! Between prepping for the quilt show, going on retreat, and going to the quilt show yesterday, I haven't spent much time in my sewing room, but I have deposited a lot of things in the room....and this morning had a goal to work on my cutting table, which looked like this when I started. Yikes! 

Once I got things unpacked and sorted, I could put together the set of things that I won or got from giveaways at the retreat. It was quite a haul!  Everyone there got at least one door prize (I won two) and two of the local shops had goodies for us when we arrived.  As a result, I added some fabric to my stash without even trying. 
Retreat prizes & giveaways
Then, I started trying :)  We visited Lolly's, their basement store, Yoder's, the Pumpkinvine (in nearby Middlebury), and Erica's in South Bend over the course of 4 days.  I showed great restraint at the beginning, but by the end....well, let's just say I did my part to support small business!  I did stay away from fabric for the most part.  The red 1/4 yard is binding for one of the projects I finished while on retreat.  The fat quarter set was 1/2 price, and the laminates will be used for Christmas presents.  I went a little crazy with patterns and am excited to try the three on the top right with the curve ruler I bought. I don't usually go for specialty rulers, but the quilts were so striking, I decided to give it a go. 
Retreat purchases
I'll be back soon to show you what I worked on while at retreat. In the meantime, let's review the impact on stash over the last two weeks: 

Fabric used last 2 weeks: 6 3/4 yards
Fabric added last 2 weeks: 7 yards

Fabric added year to date: 21 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 69 5/8 yards

Net fabric used: 47 3/4 yards

Hope you've been having some fun with your stash too - whether you've been adding to it or using what you already have! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stash Report - Weeks 39-41 2013

Ahhh, back to writing blog posts on a laptop :)  You see, I don't know if I have shared on my blog or not, but my 6 year old laptop died in August.  It was very, very full and very, very slow and we knew it was probably coming, but you're still never quite ready, are you?  We were able to save all but about 40 files on our hard drive thanks to a good computer guy.  We went for about a month with no computer and watched deals until we found another one on woot.com (one of my favorite places to browse for deals).  The computer has been here for about 2 weeks now, but I haven't bonded with it yet, probably because it has windows 8 on it! I am adjusting and in a few months, I will be fine, but the change is tough! In the meantime, I've been using my iPad, which is a great little tool.  I would probably go with it solely if I tried a little harder, but we like having choices (and Mike doesn't have an iPad). 

Anywho, I titled this a stash report, so let's get on to that business.  It has been a few weeks since I reported and I've been busy quilting and prepping for my retreat.  The significant usage over the last three weeks has been for a comfort quilt for a woman in my bee. She has reached the point in her life where she can't live independently anymore, which means she has to not only move, but also whittle her stash and machines down to fit into a small apartment.  I supplied the fabric that is the constant across all the blocks and the backing and binding.  The top has been put together and quilted, but I haven't seen it yet. I will post a picture here when it is done. 

The effect on the stash has been good - and I will be back soon with some pictures - they are spread across three devices right now, so I have a little organizing to do! 

Fabric added last three weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last three weeks: 6 1/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 14 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 62 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 48 yards! It is great to be so close to 50 yards just before I head to my retreat in Shipshewana.  Some precutting should get me past 50, but then it will probably be a little downhill due to the great shops we visit when there :)

Hope you had a great week with your stash! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Cooking Challenge

I must say that this cooking challenge has probably been my favorite part of the year! I continue to discover new recipes, combinations of flavors, and my husband's ability to cook! He is bearing the brunt of much of this challenge since he cooks dinner for us most nights based on our work schedules. I think he is happy when I choose easy recipes and this month was all about that. I chose The Four Ingredient Cookbooks (three cookbooks in one!), which my mom reminded me that she gave me shortly after I moved here so that I could learn to cook.
I think I have made a few recipes from this cookbook in the past, but nothing that really jumps out in my memory. I have to admit that I was skeptical going into this because of the simplicity of the cookbook. I expected lots of mediocre meals. We did well over the course of the month, though, and now there are a few new recipes which we will put into the rotation. Here's what we made:
Tater tot casserole - I don't think you can go wrong with tater tots! The kids were funny - one only liked the tater tot part and the other only liked the stuff under it! Not sure we will make this a lot because only two of us liked the whole thing, but it could be a good dish for a pitch-it.

Chicken Meat Balls - yum! These were good and would be even better with some wide egg noodles. These were a hit with three out of four.

Lime chicken - this was just okay. If it were the first chicken dish we'd made, I would probably rate it higher, but we've had so many good chicken based meals this year, I don't know that we will repeat this one.

Flank Steak - This was a very good steak, but it was pretty rare. I think we had a thicker cut than most and so should have cooked it a little longer, but it was tasty and I would make it again - maybe next time on the grill.

Hawaiian Pork Chops - I got a package of pork chops from Costco - have you ever had theirs? They are super thick and tasty. Add a little pineapple and brown sugar and you can't go wrong!

Trout Almondine - I couldn't find trout in our local grocery store, so we made this with flounder instead. It was very tasty and I will keep an eye out for trout to make this again - as intended!

Turkey roll ups - no picture of this one because I wasn't home the night Mike made it, but he and the kids swear it was really good and they want it again! It is made with thick deli turkey, stuffing, and gravy.
Fiesta Chicken - I think this was the favorite dish of the month - the kids are already asking for it again and we just had it last week! It is a mix of cheez-it's and taco seasoning for the breading. It was crunchy, moist, and very yummy!

Almost forgot! We had a salmon dish last night too - Fish Delight. It was good, but like the earlier chicken recipe, not as good as other fish recipes we've had this year, so it probably won't go that high on our list for repeating.

And the piece de resistance for the month - pecan pie made with their recipe for a pie shell. I made this last night - squeaked it in just a few hours before the end of the month! It is delicious and I never knew pecan pie was so easy to make!

So, that's the report - a pretty strong one with 10 11 recipes for the month. I have to say I really like these cookbooks that make it very easy to put some variety in your weeknight cooking.
We have four cookbooks remaining and three months to go - birthday boy Mike will pick the book for October!