2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, February 29, 2016

Stash Report - February 2016

I started to write this post yesterday, but then paused with the optimism that I might be doing some sewing yesterday or today and have some stash used to add to my report. That didn't happen, so the stash report is coming on a Monday instead of a Sunday, but let's just say that's due to leap year ;) 

My #1 focus for February was to get a t-shirt quilt made for good friends.  It is made from shirts given at parties over the last 15 years - they host a George Washington Birthday party each year and for many of them have given away Washington themed t-shirts as a door prize.  I got the wild idea last fall that I should make them a t-shirt quilt to commemorate the 20th party this year. I sent the word out and a few other people who won shirts sent them to me so I had plenty to make up a lap sized quilt. 
T-shirts prepped, playing with the layout
I got the shirts prepped and stabilized at my January bee work day and thought a little about possible layouts - hard to imagine without any sashing.  

I set to work in early February getting each shirt sashed and figuring out how to connect them all together.  It gave me a good amount of time in my sewing room, and I was able to pull a bunch of scraps and partial fat quarters to use.  I kept with the presidential/ patriotic theme and used fabric with red, white, blue, and gold.  

It took me pretty much all of my sewing time in the month to get this quilt made, and I finished it up on Wednesday night before gifting it to them at the 20th party on Saturday night.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out or how happy they were to receive it.  
The quilt is finished!
The recipients love it! 
That's all the stash I used this month - I thought it would be more, but most of the pieces are fat quarters or fat eighths or even scraps. It didn't make a big impact on the numbers, but I am glad it made a big impact on the recipients :) 

Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 3 3/8 yards

Fabric added year to date: 0 yards
Fabric used year to date: 8 3/8 yards

Hope you had a great month with your stash! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February Ornament

Boy, it has been a lovely spring day here in Central Indiana! It was upper 60s and my day included having windows open at home, driving with the windows down, and going on a bike ride - what a treat in mid-February! 

On the quilting front, I have been plugging away at the t-shirt quilt that I started in January. It is on the frame and quilting is almost halfway done. I plan to get it finished this weekend and put the binding on Monday. Once it has been gifted I will share pictures on the blog.

My goal for stitching an ornament in February has been done now for a couple weeks. I started it in January when I finished my last project and it moved along quite quickly. It is a Prairie Schooler design called "Winter's Eve."  I used fabric that I had on hand, so it is a little bigger than the size in the magazine, but still a very manageable size for an ornament. I also substituted a few thread colors so that I didn't have to buy anything new. 
One more ornament and then I will do some finishing!  Can't wait to see what I decide to do :) 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

January 2016 Recap

You already know the saga of my January, so I won't rehash it (again), but the good news is the in the midst of much of the illness, I did find some time to do a little sewing and I had lots of couch time to stitch. 

Let's start with the quilting accomplishments. I started off the year with a bang on January 1st, deciding to combine my #firstafinish plan and my APQ Resolution. I pulled out Warm Winter Wishes and got the top finished, back made, and quilt loaded on the same day! It felt really good to get all that done to start of the month and year. You can see the finished top here. Over the course of the month, I worked on quilting it, and I am happy to say that I finished the quilting on January 31st! I plan to attach the binding this weekend and have it ready to work on at bee Monday. I will be really glad to pull this one out next December when I decorate for the holidays. 

Here are all my quilting accomplishments from January: 
- Finished, pieced back, loaded, and quilted Warm Winter Wishes
- Finished Scrappy Trips top. Thought a lot about the one block turned the wrong way, ripped it out and put it back together the right way! 
- No picture of this one until it is done...but started a t-shirt quilt. I got all the shirts cut out, fused, and laid them out on the design wall and started figuring out how to piece them together. 
- Made red string blocks (catch up from November!)
- Assembled Midnight mystery quilt top (and love it!)
On the stitching front, I finished three projects: 
- Better not Pout by Shepherd's Bush, a kit my mom gave me several years ago! 
- Let It Snow, January Ornament from 2015 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments magazine
- Coloration from Something in Common, a kit I purchased between 7 and 10 years ago. I love how it turned out and look forward to displaying it next fall, and the best part is that I have plenty of thread left to make another one, so there may be one that shows up as a gift at some point in the future. 
On the personal goals, I made a little progress too - I went swimming once and got in more laps than I thought I could. Overall swim time was about 15 minutes, but I felt great afterwards. I didn't make any progress on the house work/improvements, so I hope to have something concrete to report back for February. 

All in all, I say it was a good January. Hope yours was too! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

January 2016 Recipes

The new year started with a great new recipe! One of my Christmas gifts was an oven proof skillet, so I have a small queue of recipes ready ready to try :) (Just a side note...it is kinda funny to me that my husband does most of the cooking, but I ask for the cooking implements for Christmas...guess that makes them the gift that just keeps giving!!)

This is a recipe I actually made, on January 1st! It was awesome. Everyone in the house liked it and we will definitely make it again...next time, we will add a little more bacon! It is the Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon from Cooking Light. The best part for me is that it is just the right amount of cheese - not crazy cheesy, but flavorful. I guess that's the part that makes it "light."
Next up was a cookie recipe that I planned to make for Christmas but never got around to. I had all the ingredients in the house and I actually had picked up this recipe twice (once from a cookie exchange, and once from a magazine)! The Death by Chocolate cookies were the featured treat when I had my quilt bee over at the start of the month, and boy, were they good!  I am not a real big chocolate/chocolate fan, but I could make these every week! I used almonds in them as the optional nut and they were perfect (plus, that's what I had in the house!). I am sure they'd also be good with walnuts or pecans. 
We tried three new dinners after that, all from a cookbook that one of my quilting friends gave me when we were doing our first year of the cooking challenge. 

First up is Balsamic Flank Steak.  This was good and everyone in the house liked it. I will be interested to try it again when it is warm enough to grill. The balsamic vinegar was a little strong for me, so I think it would be a little better on the grill. 
Next was Greek Turkey Burgers (I love turkey burgers and I am always looking forward to a new way to make them, plus I had some feta cheese I wanted to use). These were good - the kids had them without the feta and tomato topping. I am not sure they are the best turkey burgers we've had, but they were solid, and I liked the tangy topping. 

I saved the last recipe for the best. It is called Crunchy Top Ham and Potatoes Casserole. This makes a full 9x11 pan of cheesy, potatoey goodness. The kids thought it was okay, but Mike and I LOVED it! I had a cold the week that we made it, and I think I ate it three days in a row because it was such great comfort food. This would be a really good recipe to make someone who just had a baby or surgery and you're taking a meal to. I would split the recipe in two and keep one pan for us though :) 
Despite the fact that I was sick for half of the month, I think we did pretty well in trying out some new things. My plan for this year is to try out some online recipes and dig a little deeper into the cookbooks we have, since we just scratched the surface on most of them in the first year.