2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year End Stash Report 2016

I don't think I've done a stash report since October, but there wasn't much to report in November, and actually in most of December - I did use a little fabric as we got closer to Christmas as I decided to make a few gifts. 
First up, the usage in November and December: 
- Used a little for borders on my kaleidoscope top
- Made a few blocks for a friendship quilt
- Made a tote back, three Watcha Got bags, and an apron for Christmas gifts (pics to come when I post my accomplishments for December)
- Gifted a fat quarter bundle

And then, the additions...about half of which were gifts and half of which were impulse purchases :) 
- Cardinal kit - a belated birthday gift from my brother - love that this will be something I can put up after all the Christmas decorations come down when the house looks really bare. 
- Christmas quilt kit - a gift from a fellow quilter and co-worker, and a total surprise. I think the colors from this quilt will look great in my house! 
- Aussie fabric from Capitol Quilts in Maryland, courtesy of my mom - a fat quarter from her, and a kit to make a tote that I asked her to pick up for me
- Charm pack and 1/2 yard of Eclectic Elements to make pillows for my couch - picked up at The Back Door when I went with my mom for her birthday shopping
- A couple wool kits also from The Back Door - one of my goals this year will be to work on some of the wool kits I've bought from them! 

Whew, that was a lot added, so my totals for November and December are: 
Fabric added last two months - 11 1/8 yards
Fabric used last two months - 5 3/8 yards

And now the totals for the year - I am overall very happy with the year end stash report, especially given how little time I spent in the quilt studio this year and how much I used scraps or finished up things that I already started (and counted). 

Fabric added in 2016 - 28 yards
Fabric used in 2016 - 86 5/8 yards

Net fabric used - 58 5/8 yards

This was my 7th year to record my stash usage, and I bought more than 2015, but less than 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2010.  I used more than 2013 and 2014, but less than the other years. This ranks #4 of 7 years for net usage.I plan to continue in 2017. 

Stash reporting has been a good way for me to focus on using what I have and shopping stash first, and also has me think twice before I buy fabric. It doesn't mean that I buy none, but I am (usually) more intentional now.  

Whether you track your stash usage or not, I hope you had a great 2016! I'll be back over the next week  or so with my year in review and goals for 2017. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

November 2016 Recipes

November found us revisiting a lot of good recipes we'd made once or twice before and by the middle of the month, I was out of ideas for new things to try, so one Sunday morning, I handed the folder of recipes that we haven't tried yet to my husband and he picked out a few! 

First up was Spice Roasted Salmon, a recipe from Cooking Light, March 2014 (not all that long ago). This recipe included a spice I've heard about but never used before - Garam Masala.  It took me three stores before I found it, but it was worth it. We really liked that it gave a different flavor to the salmon. 
The second recipe he chose wasn't a surprise to me at all - Beef & Beer Stew.  All three of those words are right up his alley, and to his credit, he does most of the cooking, so I was happy to pick up the ingredients for him to put together. In the end, we thought the flavor of this stew was good, but it seemed to be a lot more complicated than the normal stew we make (my mom's recipe) and not any better. The one part we really did like was the mashed potatoes, so I think we'll keep the recipe for that! 
Next up was a recipe my daughter got from my mom - Pumpkin smoothies from the Pioneer Woman. I've told you before that she really enjoys making sweets, and this was no exception. She and my husband really liked these, and Mike even had them for breakfast one morning!  I just couldn't get past having a whole can of pumpkin in a smoothie...
The last recipe for this month was inspired by cooler temps. I wanted soup and we had about 3/4 of a pound of ground beef left over from another night. I found Chopped Beef Potpourri in the Fix-It and Enjoy It Cookbook, one that has given us so many good recipes. This was no exception - it was a nice beefy vegetable soup with ground beef in it. We've since had it again and I liked it just as much the second time around! I think this one will become a cold weather staple for us. 

In addition to all these great meals, we also enjoyed two Thanksgiving dinners, one hosted by us for my husband's family. We had 16 people here and had lots of wonderful food, great pies (pumpkin made by Jenna!) and a raucous game of spoons after it all. It was a great month and we are now gearing up for more of the same as we approach Christmas!  Hope you all had some great new dishes in November! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November 2016 Accomplishments

Wow, November was a great month! I found myself spending a little more time in the sewing room and also doing some stitching and starting a new crochet project. I was off work most of the week of Thanksgiving, so I made sure that I made a little time each day for at least two crafting projects - I think I stitched every day, crocheted most days, and quilted 4 of 6 days. 

Let's start in the sewing room - the first thing I worked on was making some QOV (Quilt of Valor) blocks for Dar's Patchwork Garden. I need to get them in the mail to her soon - they were quick and easy to make, and I am glad to know that my scraps will wind up in QOVs. 
Next up was working on my project for November for the APQ UFO Resolution Challenge. I have had spotty performance on this challenge over the course of the year, but I did get my top finished - I had great plans to get it on the frame and quilted, but had to put a couple other quilts in the queue in front of it. 
The rest of the month was focused on quilting - I did two quilts for others. The first one is a comfort quilt for a colleague at work who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Another quilter friend at work pieced the top and cut the back and I did the quilting. I think it turned out pretty cute and the recipient loved it - we gave it to her the morning she was going to see the doctor and find out the results of her tests and the course of action. 
The final quilting project of the month is a top my mom made for her best friend for Christmas. I got it onto the frame and quilted in a couple days so she'd have plenty of time to finish it. When I pulled threads to audition for this one, I really thought I'd just use white, but it was a little too stark and an ivory looked much better. I quilted this one with my holly leaves and poinsettia pantograph. 
Quilting shows better on the back
Next up are my two stitching finishes, both snowmen this month! 

The first is Feeling Frosty by Miles to Go, a kit that I bought last year. My mom and I bought the same kit and she finished hers a few months ago into a cube. It turned out pretty cute, and I am planning to finish mine in the same way. I love this snowman because he isn't Christmas colors, so will be great to stay out all year! 

Next is my ornament from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazine - November's choice is the cute snowman and his snowflakes by Val's Stuff. I need to pick up some felt so that I can finish this one, but I think he's pretty adorable too! 
I don't have a picture of my crochet project, but I started a new hat. My mom knitted me a hat several years ago and I love it, but it has stretched out. I found out that I could use the search feature on Ravelry to narrow in on the amount of yarn + type of pattern I wanted to crochet, and that's how I found Everyday People. I am making it with some yarn I bought on sale a few years ago before I really knew what I was doing. I have been working on it a little every few nights, and am about halfway done, so I hope to have a picture of it in my December wrap-up. 

I also took some time the week of Thanksgiving to pull out all my stitching kits and patterns and go through them to really prioritize what I want to work on next year. I've enjoyed the ornament stitching this year, but I am ready to get back to some other projects and seasons. I have 12 projects pulled for next year and a list ready to take to the cross-stitch store of all the threads and linens I need to finish them. I am pretty excited about the variety of projects I have pulled to work on, and especially excited that some of them are patterns I've had for many years.