2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's Done!

I just have to share a quick post to show you the finished Stained Glass Log Cabin quilt top! Yay, after 7 years (give or take), most of which was spent in a cabinet, I am so pleased with this top. 

Several people have asked about the pattern and it is in this book.  My mom gave it to me when I was new to quilting as I just loved log cabin quilts (still do). This is the first quilt I've made from the book.  

I do have to say that log cabin quilts are tedious. I love the end result (see the other one I've made here), but actually find them quite boring to piece - strip after strip and it takes a long time - and a lot of cutting - to see the final result.  Having said that, I know that I have a few more log cabins in my future! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stash Report - Weeks 6-9 2014

I haven't done a stash report since the beginning of the month because there hasn't been anything to report, so we'll call this the "no report stash report."  The good news is that it means that I have been working on my goals for the month, which include doing lots of quilting and getting a UFO into a top.  

My goal for this weekend is to get my stained glass log cabin into a finished top and I am pretty close.  I decided that I should chunk it together rather than put the rows together because the blocks are all sized and trimmed a little differently.  This started as a bee project, where each person in the bee made one block, so the full set of blocks was made by about 15 different people.  If you've ever worked on a project with blocks from multiple people, you know that no one makes the same size blocks! 

I divided the quilt into four sections and pieced each section together, and today I will join those sections into the top. 

No shopping or cutting have happened over the whole month of February, so my stash report stats haven't changed one bit.  I am headed out to my bee retreat next Sunday afternoon, so I should have some cutting to report soon. I haven't yet done any pre-cutting, but must get to it this week so I can be efficient at retreat. 

Fabric added last 4 weeks: 0 yards
Fabric used last 4 weeks: 0 yards

Fabric added year to date: 5 1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 5 1/4 yards

Net fabric used 1/8 yard

Hopefully I will have something to report next week! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday - President's Day 2014

After doing almost no sewing over the weekend, I got to it this morning since I had the day off and had to make myself scarce while the cleaning ladies took care of making the house look beautiful. Rather than quilting, which is what I've been doing the most of lately, I decided to pull out my log cabin blocks so that I could finish them up.  I got all the piecing, pressing, and trimming done, and they are now up on my design wall...and trailing onto the floor.  
Blocks on the wall...and the floor
It is a fun mix of blocks and I am really looking forward to getting them into a top! I did the math when I was working on them and figure that I started this project in 2006.  I think that it will be much better for having rested a few years, as I now have more variety of fabrics.  

Hope you had (or will have) a chance to do some sewing on this President's Day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The story of some cats

Back in November, Elizabeth over at Oh Fransson posted that she was going to host a catventquiltalong for the month of December, with a new cat released daily for 25 days.  I thought the finished quilt was cute and showed it to Jenna, who fell in love! I told her I'd make it for her as long as she helped, and she did. 

First up was to pick the colors. Jenna sorted through my scraps and decided on pink, purple, teal/blue, yellow, and green.  Her color matching was excellent, and I had a good stack of each color to work from. 
25 cats all ready to become a top
I started off a little late and worked through the month of December, but didn't get my blocks done until the first of this month. The fun part of working on this quilt is that I pulled out my leftover pieces from Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt from last year (Easy Street) and used them as leader/enders. I made some good progress on this and think that it will become a small wall/lap quilt. 
Easy Street Leftover blocks
Once I had all the blocks on the design wall (in order of how they were released), I sent Jenna down to arrange the blocks however she wanted, and she came up with a very cute layout. 
Jenna's layout
I finished up the top last week and really like the result, and she absolutely loves it.  I have a couple other quilts in the queue in front of this one, but I know Jenna won't let me forget to get it quilted - she can't wait to have it in her room. 
Finished top
The other fun thing about this quilt was playing along on Instagram. Everyone working on it used the hashtag #catventquiltalong and there are some pretty creative projects from it. If you'd like to follow my adventures on Instagram, you can find me at @jenquilter - hope to see you there!  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

January 2014 Accomplishments

I really started things off well in January - on the 1st, I quilted a wall hanging and made three kitty blocks.  After that, I had to go back to work and it turned into a bitter cold + snowy month.  Those two factors together had me snuggling on the couch under a quilt more than working on a quilt! 

I did manage to make progress on several things that should be finished in Feb or March, and wound up with a respectable 17 1/2 hours sewing.  Here are the things I got done: 

- Quilted and bound Winter Wonderland wall hanging
Wall hanging
- Finished first section of stained glass log cabin blocks and trimmed them to be ready for the next section, started piecing the next section. 
- Loaded and started quilting my Oriental French braid
Quilting in progress
- Made a pet bed and sewed up 2 others
Pet beds
- Cut out all the cats and pieced all but 6 of them (shown here with all the cats done)

February will look like more of the same - I really would like to get these projects finished up before I go on to new ones.  I posted my four goals for the month earlier, and I am continuing to plug away at them. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cooking in January - 2014

The cooking challenge has changed slightly this year.  Now that I've gone through almost all of my cookbooks, it is time to work through the next big thing - the giant envelope of cut-out recipes.  These include recipes from friends, from magazines, from the side of boxes or cans, the coupon section, etc. etc. 

After digging through the recipes the first week, I decided that I needed to do a little organizing to make the process work better. So, on one of my days off, I sorted all the recipes into five folders - appetizers/breads/sides, main dishes, drinks, breakfast/brunch, and desserts. I am not surprised that the dessert folder is the biggest...we could probably make a new dessert every 2-3 nights and just barely get through it in the year. The next fullest folder is the main dish one, which is good because that's how we do the majority of our cooking. 

I hosted my bunco group in January, which made it easy to start. I picked an appetizer recipe and a dessert. 

The appetizer was Parmesan-Scallion Pastry Pinwheels. I'd never used the pastry sheets before, but found them to be easy to use and the appetizer was great - there wasn't a single one left at the end of the night. 
Pastry Pinwheels

The dessert was Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake.  I love a bundt cake and this one delivered. Two of my guests don't like coffee at all and they couldn't taste the small amount that goes into this. I will admit that I couldn't find a cake mix without the pudding in it, so I just used a smaller box of pudding with the mix. It seemed to turn out fine and I don't remember anyone turning it away! 
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
For dinner later that week, we had Slow Cooker Beef and Bean Burritos, which were heavenly. Mike said the house smelled great when he arrived home and the meal was fantastic. I have decided that every time I see a London Broil on sale from now on, I am buying it to make these! I must have been too busy eating to take a picture of these...

The next dinner was from a hand-written recipe from my former boss. She must have brought it to a pitch-in or maybe just told me about it. It doesn't even have a name on it, so I am going to call it the Chicken Tortilla bake.  It was quite good but I think it would almost do better as a dish at a pitch-in or a party because it isn't that substantial. We paired it with veggies for dinner.  

After we made that, we tried individual apple dumplings made with crescent rolls. They were fun to make with the kids and very tasty! I even sent a few to my mom's with the kids the following morning and they had them for breakfast. 
Gooey Apple Dumplings
The last recipe for the month was Ham and Peas Casserole. It was a great dinner! Everyone in the house liked it and it was a nice change of pace from the casseroles we usually make since eggs and cornbread were the "guts" of it.  This one will be going into our rotation, and it would be great for a brunch recipe too. 

Overall, we were 6 for 6 this month - I think we will make all the recipes again!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Four Things - January 2014

As with so many new year's resolutions, I started the year off pretty aggressively with my goals for the month of January, and here's how I did:

1. Quilt Winter Wonderland wall hanging - I quilted this on January 1, and finished the binding and sleeve last week. It will head to its final destination sometime in the next few weeks. 
2. Finish blocks for catventquiltalong (4 made, 21 to go) - Technically, I didn't get this done, but I did finish the blocks on Feb 1, so I am counting it is complete, especially since I fell asleep on the couch on Jan 31st! I had good intentions, but a lack of energy to get them done on time.  If you are a cat lover, but haven't seen these blocks, they are easy to make and very versatile. You can see the details here at Oh Fransson blog, or if you're on Instagram, you can look at all the projects people have made with them under the hashtag #catventquiltalong. 

25 blocks finished
3. Finish stained glass log cabin blocks - I am not sure what I was thinking when I put this goal on my list. I guess I didn't realize how much I had left to do on these blocks, or I didn't realize how much time my butt would be glued to the couch throughout the month ;-).  I made good progress, getting all the strips cut out and finishing the first big section of my 25 remaining blocks. Each time I work on this project, I get excited about it again - I can't wait to finish it up. 
Block parts ready to go to Feb workday
4. Quilt a UFO - In theory, this would have been very do-able during the month, but then I picked a super dense quilting pattern for this quilt (third picture in this blog post), and it is taking me 30-40 minutes per pass to quilt this one. I've just lost steam.  I will get back to it though, because a friend gave me a quilt today that she wants me to quilt for her, and I want to get another UFO on the frame this month. I will slog through this, and hopefully will finish by the end of next weekend, if not before. 

So, the only good news about not getting much done is having the opportunity to work on them again (or still) and not have to think of new things for the list.  This month is sure to be a bit of a challenge for me with the Olympics on, as I tend to watch them just about every night and all weekend.  The good news is that I set up a TV next to my cutting table yesterday, so I will be able to do a little work while I am watching. 

Here are the goals for February: 
1. Finish Catventquiltalong top, make back, and prep batting for quilting (although actually quilting it isn't at the top of my list this month). 
2. Finish stained glass log cabin blocks and get them into a finished top. 
3. Quilt three quilts - including 1 for my friend and 1 unfinished UFO from January, and one UFO in the month of Feb. 
4. Cut projects for my retreat in early March - I am thinking I will call this done if I have two projects cut out and ready to go. 

Hope you got what you wanted accomplished in January and here's to getting back on the horse in February if you didn't! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stash Report - Weeks 4-5 2014

I have done a little bit of sewing over the last few weeks, mostly trying to make some progress on my two UFOs and my one WIP. I am happy to report that they are all getting closer to finished, although none of them are yet. 

I did spend a little time last weekend to tame the scraps that I throw into scrap bags. I had three that were stuffed to overflowing, so I made a couple new bags and sewed up some of the existing ones. I now have a stack of 5 or 6 pet beds that are ready to be dropped off at the Humane Society.  I stuff them with the small pieces of fabric and batting that are too small or oddly shaped to use in even my scrap baskets. It adds up over time! I have heard that not all places take them, so I suggest a quick call to your local shelter, kennel, or vet to see if they can use them.  When I drop them off, I always let the person taking them know that they can be washed in hot water.  

The day after I made the pet beds, I went on a little shopping trip with my mom to celebrate "visit your quilt shop" day. We had a little fun at The French Seam and I picked up a couple patterns and some fabric to make (what else) a new purse! I had also made a stop at a store the prior day to pick up a couple zippers to make some makeup bags. 
"Visit your quilt shop" purchases
The result on the stash isn't so good, but at least I am still in the black!  I will be starting to cut for my March retreat over the next few weeks, so should be able to count some as used soon - let's hope that's before I visit another quilt shop!

Fabric added last two weeks: 2 1/2 yards
Fabric used last two weeks: 5/8 yard

Fabric added year to date: 5 1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 5 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 1/8 yard

Hope you had a great week with your stash!