2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stash Report - Week 22, 2015

Just over a week ago, my daughter had the great idea to make her teacher a quilt as her teacher gift. As this has been her favorite teacher and she's had her twice, I thought that was a reasonable request. I pulled some patterns and fabric and Jenna picked out the ones she liked. We decided on black and gold as her teacher is a graduate of Purdue. 
It's hard to cut into a pretty Sweet Treat! 
She worked well with me last Sunday to press all the fabric and snip the chain piecing apart while I made the blocks...but her interest waned after that. I got all the blocks made by Friday and finished the quilt top yesterday.  I made the back and loaded it onto my frame yesterday, so it is ready for quilting.  We still have a week left, as the last day of school isn't until June 9. 
Background choice #1
Background choice #2
Fabric added this week: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 6 1/2 yards

Fabric added year to date: 6 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 111 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 105 1/8 yards
Lap size quilt top finished!
I guess I better get going now on the gifts for our bus driver and my son's teacher...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quilt #4 2015 - Barbara's batik swirly stars

Ok, one more quilting post to bring me current on this facet of my blog.  The next quilt is another one from a bee friend - she gave me two to quilt a while back and this was the first one where inspiration struck (I am still waiting on inspiration for the next one...). 

On Instagram, I have seen several quilts done with the same design all the way across, row after row. It isn't a panto, but just a small freehand design (at least I assume it is freehand, I guess some of them are probably computer aided).  I have been thinking about this for a while because I love the texture it gives a quilt. This became the quilt to try it on! 

It took me a few passes to figure out that I could use the piecing as a guide for the size of my figure eights. The quilt is based on 2 1/2" strips, so I decided about 5 passes into the quilt that I should really use that as my guide (if you look closely, you'll see that one end of the quilt isn't quite that uniform). 

While I was in the midst of quilting this one, I posted a picture to Instagram saying that this was going into the category of "if sounded like a good idea at the time" because it takes a while (I am used to a pass being 10-12" of a quilt top, not 2 1/2") and it gets kinda boring.  The good news is that I had a fantastic thread combo and no issues with thread breaks - that makes the whole process go a lot better!  I used So Fine in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin - they seem to play very well together.  The batting in this one was Warm and White, my standby. 

Once I pulled it off the frame and laid it out, I loved it, so I am sure I will use this design again! 

The frame has been empty since I pulled this off Mother's Day weekend, but it will have another quilt loaded soon, as Jenna and I are making a quilt as a teacher gift.  I should have some pictures to share of that one this weekend! 

Quilt #3 2015 - Merry and Bright

The longarm sat empty for a while after I finished #2, but I finally loaded one of my finished kits (well, the top was finished at least). Merry and Bright was a line made by Terri Degenkolb, a local designer who is the owner of Whimsicals Quilts. Terri is a friend from my guild and a few years ago, I hooked her up with my mom, who has worked with her for a few years helping her with the administrative side of the business.  

This line came out before mom started working for Terri, so I actually bought this kit (since then I have received several cuts/FQs for free, which is a great bonus!). It sat and sat until I declared the year of the kits. I put the top together on my Singer Featherweight earlier this year.  

I decided this one needed a custom quilting job. I started with curlicues in the outer border, inspired by the fabric, and then added them to the inner border too.  It was pretty tight in a few places, so I was glad for my microhandles, which help handle tight spots by giving more control.  
Microhandles in action
Once I finished that part, I did cross-hatching in the center, using a template, chalk (which didn't show up very well at all!), and a ruler. For my first time cross-hatching, I was okay with the result.  I finished up by changing the thread color to red and doing tiny back and forth squiggles in the red border.  
Close-up of cross hatching and borders
I had a good time quilting this one (probably because I didn't have any thread breaks!) and it was quick - on and off the machine in the same day.  I got the binding made and attached the next day and it is in my bee bag, so I have been taking it with me and making progress on the binding at bee meetings.  I realized half-way through putting the binding on that I forgot to put a hanging sleeve on it, so I will need to add that later. 

Detail and texture on the back
I think this one will hang in my family room during the holidays - it will complement our furniture in that room well. 
Ready for trimming and binding

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quilt #2 2015 Loralei's Batik

I have a bunch of catching up to do here on the blog, so I might as well start back in March; I don't think I've posted much aside from stash reports since then.  

I started March with Loralei's quilt on my frame. I am not sure why it took me so long to finish this one, but in the midst of it I finished 3 or 4 cross stitch projects and also went to retreat.  Once I finally got going on it, I finished it right up.  

Loralei gave me quilter's choice on this one (she pretty much always does!) and I debated a while before deciding on a panto for it.  When I pulled out my pantos, I found one that really complimented the quilt.  It is called Tickle, and I've used it before on batik quilts!
Closeup of the panto and beautiful batiks! 
I used Superior Rainbows thread on the top and it worked very well - there was a little shredding, but not too bad if I just remembered to slow down. It also helps when you remember to change the needle :) 

The bee checking it out
Ah, the joy of the final row! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stash Report - Weeks 18-21, 2015

The stash reports seem to come few and far between these days, because I have been spending far more time stitching than quilting.  

I have continued on cutting fabrics to donate to our guild show mystery bags which really helps the stash report!  I now have just over half of the bins completed but I have lost steam.  I think that's okay given that I have cut over 80 yards of fabric.  I have emptied one full bin and have moved my stash into the other free space that I've wound up with in almost every bin.  It has also been helpful to go through all the fabric to remind me what I have :) 

In addition to the fat quarters, I did use a little fabric to cut some tote bags - one of which was for the bunco group prize when I hosted the game earlier this  month. The other one is still under construction. 
Bunco prize - one hour tote bag
I did add a little fabric last week, as four of us went over to Cincinnati for the day to pick up some special orders at the cross stitch shop (Keepsakes).  I left three projects for framing, and picked up one new stitching kit, a couple quilt patterns, and some fabric to make them.  I don't feel bad about bringing the fabric in given all that I've been moving out! 

Fabric added last four weeks: 3 yards
Fabric used last four weeks: 25 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 6 3/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 105 yards

Net fabric used this year: 98 5/8 yards

My daughter and I started on a teacher gift today so I should break the 100 yard mark in the next two weeks!  Even though most of it is fabric I've given to the guild, it feels refreshing to know that I have cleared out so much so far this year! 

Hope you're enjoying your own stash - whether it is fabric, cross-stitch, or movies :) 

Monday, May 11, 2015

April 2015 Cooking Challenge

It seems over the past couple months that our challenge has been more about pulling out recipes we've made before and making them again. We now have such a big set to pull from that we get some great variety in the menus. We did try three new recipes in April. 

The first was from Cooking Light  - Quick Fried Brown Rice. We loved this easy weeknight meal that uses the bagged brown rice that you cook in the microwave for 90 seconds. It was a hit with the whole family (less spice for the kids, more for the adults). 

The second was a chicken recipe from our four ingredient cookbook, but I didn't keep good notes and don't remember which one it was! I think it was a honey/soy marinade. It was good and another easy weeknight meal. 
The last of the month is a recipe from a quilting friend for Chicken Curry with Cashews. I didn't think that I liked curry at all, but found from this recipe that it isn't too bad when mixed with the right ingredients.  Mike absolutely loved this one and said he could make it once a month! 

We're into rec soccer season with the kids for the next several weeks, so with practices two nights a week, scouts, and the school year coming to an end, we will be seeking quick and easy recipes to make on most nights!