2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stash Report - Week 21 2014

As I showed earlier this week, I made a couple small projects this week, and they resulted in my only stash changes this week.  I think that is especially impressive since I visited four quilt shops on Friday on a one-day trip to the NQA show in Columbus, OH.  

My mom and I left in the morning and made stops in Richmond, IN, and then three in Columbus before getting to the show.  The show was more expensive than prior years ($15!), and wasn't quite as good.  The quilts were comparable, but it felt like there were fewer than they've had before - maybe there were the same number, but many were smaller. There were several themed exhibits, and we enjoyed the one on less common holidays the most.  The vendors were limited - far fewer than we've seen in the past.  Many were vendors we hadn't seen before, but they didn't seem to have things we had to have.  I did take advantage of show specials to pick up a few more spools of Superior thread, which is my thread of choice for my HQ Avante. 

All in all, I only added one pattern, one tea towel kit, and three spools of thread to my collection, so it wasn't a terribly expensive day. 

Here's the result of the last week on the stash report: 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 1/2 yard

Fabric added year to date: 13 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 22 7/8 yards

Net fabric used: 9 yards

I hope you had as beautiful of a day in your neck of the woods as we did here - beautiful blue skies, pleasant temperatures, and dinner outside with friends and family made it the perfect Sunday of a long weekend! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

It is always nice to work on some small things to break up the bigger stuff.  I have a few of those smaller projects that I have finished with the last few weeks. 

First up is a tulip "bowl" for my neighbor and stitching friend Beth.  She picked the fabric from my stack of piggies (1/2 of a fat eighth) to match her couch, and she is using the bowl to collect her thread ends from stitching.  

Next up are a few things that I finished on Monday when I had a few people from my bee over. It was supposed to be a normal bee day, but when only four of us were going to be here, I suggested we make it a sewing day for purely selfish reasons! I made a Wonder Wallet and a new iPad case while they were here. 
Wallet closed/iPad cover front

Wallet open/iPad cover back
The wallet is for Jack - he picked out a handful of blue scraps because that's his favorite color (contrast is lost on him!), and the iPad cover is to replace the one I've been using for several years since it is stained and starting to tear in a few places.  I used Soft and Stable as the interfacing for the iPad case and I really like it.  

I have also finished a fewer ongoing projects that I will share soon! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stash Report - Weeks 19-20 2014

I haven't been doing a lot of piecing over the last two weeks, but I did get going on some quilting - most of it yesterday.  I finished up the Batman top and started quilting it on Mother's Day.  After three thread breaks across the first pass, I walked away for a while. I returned yesterday and got it finished with no more thread breaks (yay!).  I pulled it off the frame, trimmed it, and got the binding cut, which is the only stash usage for the last two weeks. 
After I got the Batman quilt done so quickly, I decided to keep going on my quilting and got a second top pressed, back trimmed (it was already pieced), and loaded onto the frame. It is a mini quilt, so I knew it wouldn't take me too long, and I also got it finished, off the frame, and trimmed up yesterday.  The binding was already made for this one so I just need to attach it.  
It feels really good to get a couple quilts done (I really consider them done once they are quilted because I almost never get stopped when it is at binding stage). I am planning to work on a couple smaller projects this week, so should have a couple fat quarters to count as used by next week. 

Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 3/8 yard

Fabric added year to date: 13 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 22 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 8 1/2 yards

Hope you got some projects moved along this week, whether or not you were busting stash while you did it! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quilt #6 - Love U Baby Quilt

Over the past several months, I have been following the story of friends of mine who have been working through an international adoption.  They chose to adopt a baby boy with Down's Syndrome and after many months, they were finally able to bring him home this spring.  I have made blankets for all of their other kids, but in the interest of using fabric I already have, I decided to make the new arrival a quilt.  

This is a top that I've had in my stash for quite a while - I bought a little coordinating fabric when I purchased the panel, and then I was thrilled to find a green in my stash that matches for the binding. 
I used a plaid orange for the back and supplemented it with a strip of yellow flannel for a little texture. 

For the quilting, I did a simple stipple all over the top and used a Signature Trilobal Polyester in the top thread (orange variegated) and Bottom Line in the bobbin.  I did have a little trouble getting the tension perfect, but it worked out okay in the end.  The batting was a scrap of warm and natural. It is always nice to use up those scraps! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

April 2014 Accomplishments and Four Things for May

I feel like I finally started to get my groove back during the month of April. I made time for sewing on the weekends and even during the week.  I didn't get a high volume of projects done, but I did plug along on a few that were at the top of my list this month. I had 13 1/2 hours of sewing time and here's what I got done: 
- Pieced together the blocks and added the first border for my disappearing pinwheel quilt. I also made about 20 more small pinwheels for border #2. 

- Selected and cut fabric, pieced the center, and added the border for the Batman quilt I am making on commission. (I forgot to get a good picture of it before I loaded it on the frame yesterday!)

- Pulled out a panel and added a border to make a baby quilt. I also got the back made and loaded, quilted, and attached the binding by machine. Start to finish in the month. 

Finished binding catventquiltalong top and gave it to Jenna, where it has received lots of snuggles and spends every night with her. I shared how I quilted it here

From my list of four things, I got two done - the Batman top and the baby panel, although I thought I would have them at opposite stages by the end of the month (Batman totally done and the other into a top). I did not get to my purse or quilt another UFO, but I did pull out one of my oldest UFOs and started to work on pulling a back together for it. They will both stay on my list for May. 

Here are the four things I'd like to finish in May: 
1. Finish my darn purse!!
2. Quilt a UFO
3. Finish the Batman quilt
4. Finish the disappearing pinwheel top

I also have some other small projects on my mind, so hope to get to one or two of them in May as well. 

Outside of quilting, we had a great month of trying new recipes, I got some much-needed work done in the garden, and caught a movie at home. I didn't make it to the theater this month because there really wasn't anything that caught  my interest. I also made some good progress on my long-standing cross-stitch project and hope to mark that in the finished column in May. 

Hope you're enjoying spring where you are! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stash Report - Weeks 16-17 2014

I continued over the last two weeks to plod along on the baby quilts I have in progress. One got a back made, loaded, quilted, and bound! The other one got borders on, a back made, and is loaded onto the frame waiting for me to start quilting it. 
Baby quilt back
Last week on Friday, I had an afternoon off work with no specific commitment, so my mom and I took a trip up to the newest quilt shop in the area, Quilt Expressions. She had been there before, but it was my first trip. I really enjoyed the store - lots of blenders and brights, several full lines, and just about every color of Kona cotton that you could ask for. Oh, and they also had a nice sale room.  Fabric on the bolt was 40% off and 1 yard cuts were 3/$20.  I focused my efforts primarily on tone on tone fabrics that I can use for borders, sashing, and binding, and I did a pretty good job. It did make my stash report take a plunge downward, but I feel good about the type of fabrics I added to the stash (that's my story and I am sticking to it!). 
Here's the result: 
Fabric added last two weeks: 6 1/2 yards
Fabric used last two weeks: 2 1/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 13 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 22 yards

Net fabric used: 8 1/8 yards

It seems like everytime I take a few steps forward this year, I then take a few steps back. At least I am having a good time doing it :) 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Cooking Challenge 2014

It has been a busy month in our kitchen.  I've been doing a fairly good job of meal planning, which means new recipes at least a couple times a week. Here's the rundown of what we tried this month. 

1. Asian Chicken Salad with Noodles - I expected this to be a little more salad-y, and a little less like a pasta dish, but it was tasty.  It had a nice peanutty sauce, kind of like a pad thai. We decided that we'd add more chicken next time and use rice noodles instead of linguine. (I couldn't find the recipe for this one online, but it is from an old Cooking Light). 
 2. Chicken Pot Pie Pasta - this was from a magazine - I thought Real Simple, but the recipe came up on a Martha Stewart site, so I think it is from her short lived mini-magazine. It was a tasty and pretty easy weeknight dish - the veggies cook with the pasta, so it is a two dish meal. 
3. Kansas City Steak Soup - This recipe was from a page of soup recipes out of the February 2008 Midwest Living magazine.  There are a couple other soups on the page that I hope to try later in the year when the cool weather kicks in again.  I actually misread this recipe and bought stewed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes, so it turned out as a really tomato-y tasting soup, and I am not a fan of tomato soup.  We did like it in texture, so we'll try it again in the fall with the right ingredients! 
4. Pizza Pasta Bake - this was so yummy! It was a great pasta casserole with slices of fresh mozzarella across the top and pepperoni inside. I could eat this once a week! Mike said this one was a little fussy to make, but we all enjoyed the result! It is from the magazine Cuisine at Home, and they don't post their recipes online, but I am sure there are similar recipes available from lots of other sources. 
 5. Salmon Cakes - Technically, we have made these before, but it has been a really long time and the recipe has been on the side of the fridge for months, so I am gonna count this one!  It is a great, pretty easy salmon cake recipe and the kids ate it up. I don't have an online resource for this one either because it was torn out of a magazine and there is no identifying information. 
6. Shrimp and Pea Rice Bowl - this recipe is from the April 2012 Cooking Light and it was on a page with several other shortcut rice bowls. It was great!  I love dishes like this and it didn't disappoint. This is another one that the whole family liked. 
7. Tuna Noodle Bake - I've had this recipe forever - it was printed from the internet before the internet was pretty.  It was an easy weeknight meal made with cream of mushroom soup and egg noodles. You can do the same with Tuna Helper, but with this one at least you have a little less sodium...right?  I do at least buy the reduced sodium soups. This one didn't include peas or topping with breadcrumbs and baking, and I do prefer those versions, but this one wins for speed. Our kids love tuna and noodles so this was a big hit. 
 8. Beef Stroganoff Noodles - this was near the top of the list for me this month for dinners.  It comes from the same magazine as the Chicken Pot Pie pasta, and boy was it good!  The kids didn't care for it - I think mostly because they saw mushrooms go into it! There is also a nice amount of dill in the sauce and dill is one of my favorite seasonings. Not only did I enjoy it the night we had it for dinner, I gobbled up the leftovers too! 
9. Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Turnovers - when I sorted recipes at the start of the year, I only found a handful of breakfast recipes, and this was one of them.  The turnover was really good, but the amount of filling the recipe made didn't seem to match up with the size of the turnovers, so ours were really stuffed. I would definitely make this again, as everyone enjoyed the breakfast treat, but next time I would make twice as many turnovers with the same amount of filling. 
10. Lemon Cream Tart - I liked this recipe so much that I actually cut it out of Cooking Light twice - once in Nov/Dec 1996, and again in June 1998! I made this for a game night and was sneaky to put the kids to bed before we cut into it!  There were leftovers the next day and they got a piece then.  It was really tasty, but the crust cooked a little too much on the top edge. That might be due to using a pie pan instead of a tart pan (I will borrow my mom's tart pan next time!). 
11. Chocolate Chip Cookie Surprise Cake - At the end of the month, we had a birthday to celebrate, so I made the birthday cake from a Betty Crocker recipe that I'd cut off a box. The surprise is that there is a layer of chocolate chip cookie at the bottom of the cake, and it was yummy!  It made a ton of cake, so we've been nibbling off it all week. 

Surprise! Cookie layer on the bottom
What a great month of meals! I have to give a big shout out to Mike, since he made most of the dinners - I am lucky to have a great cook who arrives home earlier than I do most days!