2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Travels, a finish, and time for some reading


 I spent the last week in Lima, Peru on a business trip. It was my first trip to South America and I was a little nervous as I boarded the plane with my limited knowledge of Spanish and Peruvian culture. All turned out well and I had a good week of meetings, amazing food, and a little sightseeing at the end.
The Peruvians I met were all very nice and the culture of their country is very interesting - a mix of native people, Spaniards, Chinese, and Japanese make up the country. The city of Lima, with 8 million people, is full of traffic, shopping, and crime as well, which limited my mobility a bit. I did get to a couple museums and went on 2 1/2 day trips to see the city and some nearby ruins, but there is more I would like to have explored. 
I only saw a very small part of the country and would really like to return in the future to see more and visit Machu Picchu. 

With 4 flights and about 18 hours on the plane, I had time to finish a cross stitch project and a book! The project has been a work in progress for a while - I usually take it over to my neighbor's house when we stitch and watch TV. It is a Mill Hill kit called Paisley Pumpkin. 

The book I finished was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is a two-story plot line and I really only cared about one of the stories. When that was resolved with 150 pages remaining, I lost most of my interest in it but I did finish it before getting on the plane yesterday. I don't think I have enough interest in it to read the next two in the series. I started Whiskey Island by Emilie Richards while I waited in the airport. I am already 200 pages into it and am enjoying it far better. 

Once I get caught up on sleep, I plan to spend some time in the sewing room to finish up a couple things I left half done last week. Off now to spend some time with my husband, who did a great job this week keeping all the kid activities straight and the house fairly clean :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

She keeps me busy!

When my mom saw that one of my goals for the year was to quilt 20 quilts, she started getting some of hers lined up and ready to go! She knows that she can help me achieve this goal and it is a good bartering point for me when I need a babysitter :) 
Ugh - blogger is flipping my photos...turn head to the right to see correct orientation of quilt. 
This quilt is one that she made at one of our retreats (I can't remember which one) and is from a Thimbleberries kit.  I finished it off just in time for her to take with her and bind so that she can give it as a gift.  

I did a custom quilting job and did a little bit of everything - holly leaves, loops, wavy lines, berries (circles), and figure 8s on the roofs.  
She has the next one for me waiting to be picked up :)  And the good news it that I am well on my way to achieve my goal - I've got 10 quilts done on the Avante already this year and it isn't even July yet! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stash Report - Weeks 22-24 2013

I haven't done a stash report for a few weeks, but I have been making a little progress on a few things I had started.  I got a back made for the bricks and stepping stones donation quilt top I finished a few months ago, and I got all the fabrics cut for my giveaway bags from my 500th post.  The week-days have been busy and tiring, so I haven't been doing much sewing during the week. I have managed to get in some time on the weekends, except for last weekend when we busted out our tent and went camping for the first time this year. It was so worth it to spend a weekend away from home to be surrounded by the woods and gorgeous sights like this: 


Here's the official report: 
Fabric added last three weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last three weeks: 4 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 11 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 31 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 19 1/2 yards

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

May Cookbook Challenge

Caution: Don't read this blog post while hungry. It is filled with pictures of really yummy dishes we tried in May! [yikes - just realized that I never published this post...even though I wrote it almost two weeks ago]

Mmmmm, our cookbook this month (available here on Amazon) was great! It is one that I won a few years ago as a bunco prize in my regular group and it always looked good. However, like most of my cookbooks, I don't think I've ever made a recipe from it. Time to change that! 
Turn head to left to see cookbook cover :-)
I hosted bunco this month, so made a few dishes from the cookbook to share: 
1) Dilly Crab Dip - boy was this tasty! (sorry, no picture of this one, but it looked like your pretty typical dip except that it had crabmeat on top and lots of dill in it). 

2) Peanut Butter Pie - this was lick-your-fingers, think-about-it-when-you're-falling-asleep good! I think it rivals the peanut butter pie in Waynestown, OH near The Fabric Shack! 



For regular dinners around here, Mike and I also made: 
3) Flavorful Beef Stroganoff - the kids wouldn't touch this because I loaded it with mushrooms, but all the adults in the house really liked it. It has cinnamon in the recipe so had a little bit of a sweet note in the sauce. 




4) Pizza Cups - these are similar to a recipe we made earlier in the year and we liked these even better! I made them again to take to a co-worker's family when she was recovering from surgery. 




5) Lemon Chicken - when I poured the tablespoon of dried oregano across the top of these, I thought that it was questionable, but to the contrary, it was delicious and was a homerun - everybody in the house liked it enough to go back for seconds. 




6) Bruschetta Chicken Bake - I liked this alternative for a chicken casserole and enjoyed this chicken dish topped with stuffing. In the end, it was a little dry, so I would make it again but I'd add some chicken broth while it was baking. 




7) Quick Shrimp Pasta - this was a great weeknight meal! Mike and I both like zucchini, but not cooked, so I was a little apprehensive about that part of the recipe. It turned out great - the zucchini was still crunchy and even the kids ate their "no thank you" bite without making faces! We usually have pasta a lot in the winter but not in the summer, but I think this will go into our summer rotation. 




8) Mexican Chicken Bake - this was our last recipe for the month and was delicious - it tasted like a naked burrito from Qdoba or Chipotle, which are two of my favorite fast food places! Now I just need to figure out how to make tomatillo salsa! 




We had two cookouts over Memorial Day weekend, so we made these dishes to share: 
9) Easy Fudge - Mike made this (and ate most of it too!) - it was a quick cooking, yummy dish to set on the table, and we didn't mind bringing home a few leftovers either! 



10) Southwestern Pesto Pasta - this pesto is made with cilantro instead of basil and it was yummy - a great alternative to the typical pasta salad at a summer cookout, garnished with feta cheese




11) And the piece de resistance - Coconut Cake - this was heavenly! I had to buy a spring-form pan for this one and I am so glad that I did because I will definitely be making it again!  I was a little concerned when making the cake that it would be dry since there was no glaze or icing, but it was one of the moistest cakes I've ever had. We loved it and we even fought a little over the last piece (I won!). 




We set a new record with 11 recipes in one month (ok, truth be told, I cheated and made the last dish on the 1st of June, but I bought all the ingredients in the right month)! There are dozens more from this cookbook I would try, so it will stay near the front of the cabinet in the months to come!  Coming up in June - a Racheal Ray book that advertises 30 minute meals - I will be cooking with the timer going! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Accomplishments

I didn't really think that June was a slow month for sewing until I added up my hours! I only had 9 1/4 hours for the month, most of which was focused on a new project, my cute little top that I put together because I couldn't start myself from starting something new! 

My short list of accomplishments for May: 
- Quilted baby quilt for my mom to give to my cousin's son
- Santorini houses - chose fabric, cut, pieced, and finished top
- Pieced back and batting for and then quilted Bricks and Stepping Stones donation quilt

I also spent some time stitching and am getting close to finishing one project and continue making progress on my big project - a Christmas house. It is ready for the part where you cut the threads away and then weave the perle cotton through the remaining threads. It is always a little nerve-wracking to cut into the linen, but I should do that sometime later this month. 

Hope you had a good May - if you want to see my primary goals for June, you can see my post from the weekend

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What do you think - internet etiquette/duplication?

So, this week I joined Instagram. I am not really sure why, except that I seem to be missing pictures on my Facebook feed so thought it would be easier to keep track of them via Instagram.  You can find me on Instagram and Twitter as jenquilter, although I am not sure how often I will post on them. 

Here's my etiquette/duplication question - I would like to hear what your opinions. How much is too much?  Do you have to post different things to each site or is okay to use the same photo multiple places?  Is there one place or another that should be more personal?  

I honestly don't think I have enough content for blog, facebook, twitter, and instagram so am just trying to think about how to use each of them.  I think my blog audience mainly stops by to see my quilting progress and/or pictures, but many of you told me that you also like to see pictures of the kids and the cooking challenge that I am running. The other sites have a much broader group of friends - from quilters to family to long term friends so I feel like I have to have broader content for them, but seriously, I just don't know that there is that much of my life to share online!   

Anyway, just let me know what you think or how you use the different sites. Thanks :) 

Four Things - May 2013

Remember last month, when I did so well on my four things?  Well, this month wasn't the same story.  I thought about them all a lot but didn't make much actual progress. 

Here's the list of things I wanted to get done in May: 
1. Make a new purse - didn't even touch it. I have some fabric chosen, and had a pattern picked out, but am wavering on both. 
2. Quilt one of my UFOs - either a mini or a big top - Got this finished yesterday.  I did spend a fair amount of the month with a quilt on the frame for my mom, and as the end of the month neared, I knew I wanted to get at least this goal finished! I quilted this with big stippling and used King Tut thread on the top and a thread from Lois' stash in the bobbin - I think it's star thread, but not positive. They worked well together and it quilted up quickly. Now I need to audition bindings - I am leaning toward a purple or a green because those colors are in most of the scraps. 
3. Make the giveaway for my 500th post - I picked out fabrics (I already knew which pattern I was making) and I got them pressed and started cutting. Hoping to make more progress on these this weekend. 
4. Get back to work on my paper pieced sunrise over the mountain top - didn't even touch it. At the least, I could have printed the foundation papers...but oh, well. It will still be waiting for me when I am ready to start working on it again. 

The UFO I quilted - a donation quilt for the ALS Hopes and Dreams challenge.
(Bonnie Hunter's Bricks and Stepping Stones pattern)


So, for June I have another list and will see how far I get on this one. I have a work trip and will be gone for a week, but still hope to make a little progress. 

1. Make a new purse (I am planning to keep this on until I do it!)
2. Quilt 1 or maybe 2 tops for my mom. 
3. Quilt one of my mini quilts that is on my design wall - either Rolling Stones or the Christmas mini
4. Finish and mail the giveaway prizes. 

Hope you got more done than I did!  At least I had a good month for my cooking challenge - pictures and report on that coming soon!