2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Four Goals - Dec 2013

Yay for holiday deadlines! I got all four of my goals completed this month. It helps that they were all Christmas presents! 

These are the goals I set out to complete: 
1. Quilt the top that's on the frame now - done and blogged about here
2. Finish Christmas gift #1 - done but not yet gifted, picture to follow as soon as it is. 
3. Finish Christmas gift #2 - done and delivered, pictured below. 
4. Make teacher presents - done and blogged about here and here

I made three table toppers for Christmas presents this year - two which are to be gifted this weekend, so will be blogged about next week. The third one is for my sister-in-law.  They just finished a remodel of their kitchen, but between my mom and me, they already have plenty of winter/Christmas themed quilted items, so I decided to go for another holiday and just made this up, using scraps from other recent red, white, and blue projects. The strips are 1 1/2" and then end pieces are a little wider. I drew a few stars and placed them randomly before I did the quilting, then stitched them down through all three layers at the end. 

I wound up cutting off the corners because the rectangular shape looked a little too severe to me. Once I did that, I had obtuse angles to bind, so I went to my go-to tutorial for binding odd angles at Trends and Tradition's, Heather Mulder Peterson's blog. Her instructions were perfect! (By the way, if you are a knitter and you don't follow her blog, you're missing out. She knits some of the most beautiful sweaters I've ever seen, and boy is she fast!)

I didn't get a final picture because I was in a rush to get it wrapped and on its way! 

Since I did so well for December, I will get ambitious for January: 
1. Quilt Winter Wonderland wall hanging
2. Finish blocks for catventquiltalong (4 made, 21 to go)
3. Finish stained glass log cabin blocks
4. Quilt a UFO

Hope that some deadlines worked in your favor too! Happy New Year and may 2014 be a year of happiness, found time, and achievement of your goals! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stash Report Week 52 2013

I spent much of this week finishing up the last few Christmas presents (don't tell - I still have three to finish in the next week!). One only needs binding attached, one needs quilting and binding, and the final one is purported to be a 1-hour project, so I am hoping I can get it done by New Year's Day. 

As you can imagine, working on presents has had a good impact on my stash report - I cut and used fabric for binding and a table topper (I will show pictures once they've been gifted). 

I also had a chance to join my mom and our online Quilters in Indiana group for a sewing day yesterday. I didn't have any projects prepped and didn't want to do any quilting on my travel machine, so I decided to pull out a UFO, my stained glass log cabin (last pictured here when I said I'd working on it in a 2011 UFO challenge). I spent the whole morning cutting to be ready to sew. I got the pieces ready for making the center part of the remaining 21 blocks, and finally pulled out my machine around 2:00.  I got the first two rounds on for each log cabin, and I am going to leave it in my project bag to take to my bee workday in January. While I won't work on this project exclusively, I do hope to make some good progress on it before I start another project.  
Our sewing day was at a local quilt shop, The Back Door, and they were having a finish the bolt sale. I found a nice grey and a stripe that will go nicely in my stash. I also bought a kit to make a tulip bowl - it looked like a cute little project, and the pattern was included with the kit. 

Fabric added this week: 4 1/8 yards
Fabric used this week: 3 7/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 27 yards
Fabric used year to date: 78 5/8 yards

Net fabric used: 51 5/8 yards

I will count anything added or used through Dec 31st next week, so I will have a final tally for the year, but it looks like I will end things pretty well with over 50 yards used. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stash Report - Week 51 2013

This time of year is usually good for the stash report...at least until the presents under the tree are opened :) 
Mr. C's fabric cube
I had to finish up my last teacher present this week - for Jenna's male teacher.  I finally settled on making him a fabric cube that he can put on his desk.  This is from the Terry Atkinson pattern Pockets to go, and I made it once before for a teacher. The directions are really well written, as they are with all of Terry's patterns (I think she is one of the best pattern writers in the industry!), and it went together in one night.  The only challenging part is putting on the binding once you've already joined it into the cube shape.  I also have a sore finger because I didn't put my thimble on while I was stitching it down (and since it uses Peltex, it is pretty tough to stitch through). 
First two cats
I also got started on the kitty blocks for the Oh Fransson catvent quilt-along.  Jenna saw the pattern when Elizabeth published the first pictures and fell in love.  She has selected all the cat fabrics for it and I think it will turn out perfect for her room. 
Fabrics for kitties
With both of those projects under my belt, I got to add a little to my used numbers for the week: 
Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 1 3/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 22 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 74 3/4 yards

Net fabric used: 51 7/8 yards (glad to still be over 50!)

Hope you had a great week with your stash whether you were prepping presents or enjoying stress-free sewing! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fantastic Photo Quilt

About a month ago, a good friend of my mom's was in town for a visit.  She loves to spend her time here working away in my mom's sewing room and singing along to her Pandora station.  On this trip, she finished assembly of a very cool photo quilt. It is made with pictures from her son's family vacation earlier in the year.  She printed all the pictures on photo fabric and then cut and pieced them into the quilt.  It is really stunning to see in person. 

While she was here, we had a discussion about ideas for quilting it and a few days later, my mom told me that she really liked my idea and wanted me to quilt it.  

I decided not to quilt through the photos at all since they were the feature of the quilt. I did wavy lines in the blue sections and was a little stumped on what to do in the border.  I looked and looked for a panto or shell stencil that would work, but they were either too big or too detailed. After thumbing through all my quilting books (ok, all 5 of them), I found this pattern called mussel shell, in Linda Taylor's machine quilting book.  I'd done this pattern before but in an all-over method.  I limited it to just one "shell" wide and ran it all around the border. 

The quilt was batik borders and a batik back, and I didn't know how it would do, but it turned out okay.  The top thread was signature poly, which gave me quite a few fits.  I changed to a new needle, then to a bigger needle, and had to go pretty slow for it to play the game without shredding. I used a silver bottom line on the back and boy, how I love that for a bobbin thread! 
Quilt back showing wavy lines
 Once I got started, this one moved pretty quickly (and it helps to have a deadline!), and now it is off on its way to be found under a Christmas tree.  I am sure it will be a very special quilt for the recipients! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stash Report - Weeks 47-50, 2013

The stash has been slowly moving along over the last few weeks. I've quilted a few things, made a couple bags, and pulled fabric to make some new stuff.  Despite a little bit of progress, I don't have much stash to count as used. 

I did make these cute laminate fabric bags for teacher/friend gifts, but realized that I didn't count the laminate fabric when it came in, so can't count it going out. Even so, I am glad to have these done a full week before school is out.  I still haven't figured out what to make for Jenna's male teacher - I got my hobbies mixed up - he isn't into photography, but videography/stop motion videos....so the camera strap, while an excellent idea, isn't the right fit for him.  I may make him some kind of thing to go on his desk to hold pencils/notepads, etc.  Or, I may just buy a gift card :) 
Laminate fabric bags for teacher gifts
I have also gotten some good quilting done and this is where the little bit of stash that's been used has come from. Two backs and a little bit from the stash for one of the tops. I will show pictures of these after they've been gifted, but here's a sneak peek at the back of one of the two table runners/toppers I quilted last night (thanks to an afternoon snooze and caffeine with dinner!). 
Christmas quilting
So, here's the tally of my usage over the last four weeks:
Fabric added: 0 yards
Fabric used: 2 yards

Fabric added year to date: 22 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 73 yards

Net fabric used: 50 1/8 yards (nice to be back over the 50 yard mark - let's hope I can finish the year there!)

Hope you're having a great time with your stash whether it be fabric, paper, yarn, or christmas decorations! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

November Cookbook Challenge

As the weather turned colder, I was ready to pull out this cookbook. 

It was my grandmother's and was one of the handful of things that I got from her - she died shortly after Mike and I married.  I've had the cookbook on my shelf since I brought it home from Houston, but I'd never made a recipe from it.  I was touched when I opened the book and found a list of the pages of her most-used recipes along with some notes in the cookbook in her handwriting. 

Grandma's cookbook
Due to our vacation, the month was pretty short.  We did get in one recipe before we left - the "Favorite Ham N' Potato Bake," which was made with cream of celery soup.  Mike made it while I was out one night and he said it was good - but the kids told me in the morning that they didn't really like it.  I had the leftovers and I thought they were good - not gourmet food, but an easy 1-skillet meal good for a weeknight. 
Ham and potato leftovers (the tasted better than they look)
The other two recipes that we made were for Thanksgiving - the traditional green bean casserole, and oven baked macaroni and cheese - which was made with cheddar cheese soup. Both were great recipes for the shared table.  I would probably add some more shredded cheese to the macaroni next time. 
Green bean casserole

Macaroni Bake (with breadcrumbs on top)
I planned to get one more recipe made before the end of the month, but we wound up eating leftover turkey for the rest of November :) 

Believe it or not, this cookbook is available on Amazon here, but I am guessing most of the recipes are publicly available by now. 

One more month to go and it's a good one! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November recap

Mad Hatter's Tea Party - right after lunch! Our smiles weren't so big after all the twirling around ;)
November was a busy month for our family, as we headed out for our first trip to Disney World! Our kids are in year-round school and have most of the month of November off school for their fall recess, which meant it was a great time to do a vacation to Orlando.  I started the month with a little sewing, and actually was up and working on a Christmas present the morning we left!  Once we returned, I didn't go back to the sewing room for a week and a half!  I did get a few things done during the month, but really have to double down over the next few weeks to be ready for Christmas!
Chip and Dale meet some silly kids
Here are my accomplishments for the month:
- Bound mini quilt for 2015 guild auction (some good planning ahead!)
- Quilted, bound, labeled, and gifted the pumpkin table runner

- Finished piecing a Christmas gift (picture to be released after Christmas)
- Made a little go-purse 
- Loaded a quilt on the frame 
- Started cutting out Christmas gift #2 (picture to be released after Christmas)

On my list of four things for November, I had: 
1. Quilt and bind pumpkin table runner - see above - done! 
2. Make 2 Christmas gifts - got one top pieced and one started
3. Finish blanket/accent stitching on snowmen blocks - these never came off the design wall
4. Bind and label mini-quilt (this will get me way ahead of the game for the quilt show in two years as I planned to donate it to this year's quilt auction but didn't get it done in time). - binding done, just need to label it

For December, I will put four things that I know I need to get done and maybe I will have a good month! 
1. Quilt the top that's on the frame now
2. Finish Christmas gift #1
3. Finish Christmas gift #2
4. Make teacher presents - I know what I will make for Jack's teacher, but am not sure what to make for Jenna's male teacher - any ideas for good presents for a third grade teacher who likes comic books and photography? 

Hope you had a great November! Even though I didn't get much quilting done, I had a great month spending some good time with my family!