2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stash Report, Weeks 31-34, 2015

I've had lot of activity in my stash over the last few weeks. There was some fabric in and some fabric cut, some fabric used, and some donated to my guild. 

I decided to join a mystery quilt. I've made a couple in the past - one I loved and still hang regularly in the house, and another I didn't care for, so re-purposed and made into another quilt (see my posts from the mystery quilt redo). I also participated in Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery quilt a few years ago (it is on my frame being quilted right now). It is time to do it again, so I went through my stash and picked out a focus fabric and then picked some others to go with it. I wound up with two printed cottons and two batiks. Here are all the pieces ready for their clues. This is the Midnight Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs - and we're only one clue into it so there is still lots of time to join along! 

I also continued on my quest to make up kits and got one of my row by row kits put into a table runner top - I'll share a picture of that as I get it quilted (hopefully soon!). 

I did add a little fabric over the last couple weeks. I found another great bag pattern and picked up some cotton and denim to make it, then a week later found Essex Linen, which is what I wanted to make it with in the first place :) 
Here's the final report: 
Fabric added last four weeks: 2 1/2 yards
Fabric used last four weeks: 8 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 8 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 124 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 115 3/8 yards

I think that's a pretty good report -- now I just have to finish the quilt on the frame so that I can move on to the next one! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

July 2015 Accomplishments

July was another fairly quiet month in my sewing room, which is okay with me because I spent a fair amount of time stitching this month and got through some good TV :-)

I continue to work on a few ongoing projects - so haven't recorded them as completions, but I keep moving them along one step at a time. This month, I pushed forward with my string blocks (I am doing a good job at making a few each month), my Christmas kit that was started at retreat in March, quilting UFOs, and working through kits. 

In July, I had hoped to get one of my projects done, and I got really close...but the month ended just short.  That should mean good things for August, right? 

I did get a few things done: 
- Cut more string block foundations so I am set for several months
- Made 2 string blocks in tan/cream
- Loaded and started quilting my Easy Street quilt
- Made a Santa ornament from a kit I got on a shop hop in 2005(!) - okay, I guess this counts as getting one project done!! 

I spent a total of 13 1/2 hours sewing/quilting during July, which is about the norm these days. 

I finished two stitching projects in July - one kit and one from a pattern. 

My newest kit - Give Thanks - I bought this earlier this year and it was easy to grab when headed out of town for a work trip. I finished it in four days! I love being able to stitch and listen to podcasts on the airplane. 

Baby sampler for my friend's newest - this is a Lizzie Kate pattern that my mom had and she wound up stitching it this summer too! I love the colors in this - even brighter in person - and I now need to dig out some good fabric to give it a nice fabric frame and send it to its recipient. 

I am continuing to putter my way through August and I have new quilting and stitching kits underway, so I should have more to share soon! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

July 2015 Cooking Challenge

I set out with renewed resolve in July to dig back into some cookbooks and pull out some recipes to expand our palates a little more. I start out each week with a goal to balance beef, chicken, pork, fish/shrimp, and pasta. Sometimes I do better than others, and I think this month was a pretty good balance.  In addition to trying the new recipes below, we revisited Chicken Meatballs, Trout Almondine, and Glamour Salmon and I think we liked them all about the same as we did the first time around!

New recipes for this month were:

Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Cobbler - when our best friends went away for the week with a blooming blackberry bush, we had the go-ahead to stop by and pick all we wanted. We did that, enjoyed a few handfuls of blackberries, and put the rest into this easy cobbler, which was also quite delicious.

General Tso's Chicken Wraps - from our Trader Joe's cookbook. I love the similar wraps at that well known Chinese chain and these didn't disappoint a bit! They were a perfect summer dinner and I will build them into our rotation.

East-West Flank Steak Wraps - I had trouble tracking down a flank steak, but wound up finding another cut of meat that worked just as well. However, the seasoning on this one was a little too strong and we decided that we liked other wrap and/or steak sandwich recipes much better, so this one will be recycled.

Chicken Noodle Casserole - When I went to Shipshewana for my retreat last fall, we received a coupon for a free bag of homemade noodles. They've been in the pantry ever since and I had a sudden hankering for them.  This casserole had two cans of Golden Mushroom soup, which gave it the orange tinge. It was tasty (and the noodles were great), but I think next time, I will revert back to the traditional casserole with the white sauce. This one also came from a cookbook - Mary Englebreit's Fan Fare.

Chicken Burgers - the last recipe I pulled for the month was an online recipe pulled in desperation one night when I had to pull something together. I had planned to make another recipe, but didn't have one of the key ingredients, so I looked up something that I could do with ground chicken and common ingredients around the house. I found this recipe and it was delicious!