2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, June 27, 2016

June Accomplishments

I won't be in my sewing room for the rest of the month, so I thought I'd post my June accomplishments a little early.  The month started with a mad dash to get teacher presents finished as the kids finished school on the 7th.  I think I already showed you the mini-quilt top that Jack and I made for his teacher - while he was off enjoying Boy Scout camping with his pack, I decided I would try my hand at facing a quilt. I picked an orange backing and had some orange strips in my scrap container to make up the pieces I needed. I followed the instructions for facing a quilt with a mitered binding from Susan Brubaker Knapp's blog. They were fairly straightforward and well written. I did have a few issues with the corners, which I will chalk up to eyeballing (vs. measuring) and inexperience. In the end, I am pleased with how it came out and Jack's teacher loved it. 
Quilt front after facing
Faced quilt back
The other teacher gift was for my daughter's Star Wars loving teacher - and I used the remainder of the Star Wars fabric I bought to make his Christmas present to make a one-hour basket from the free pattern I picked up on Craftsy a while back. I timed myself as I made this to see if it really took one hour and it clocked in at 45 minutes - perfect! This is a great size basket and I plan to make more of them for all kinds of things. They also make a great teacher gift. 
One hour basket
The other project I worked on throughout the month is my Valentine diamonds. This was my May UFO so I kept going on this one instead of switching to my June UFO. I finished the month with a finished top and back and I am looking forward to quilting this one. 
The last picture I have to share with you is our bee's finished quilt for Diana's Golden Needle. Caryl put the binding on it over the last few weeks and it came back to me last week. I need to get it mailed off now to support Diana in her Gold Award project - her original goal of finishing 16 quilts is now almost to 100 finished quilts in the Scrappy Trips pattern, plus she still has more tops that will be quilted and somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 quilts in different patterns - what a great project this has been to watch - I've really enjoyed seeing her accomplishments and am glad that we have a quilt to donate to the cause. 
My total sewing time in June was around 7 hours - a lean month in terms of hours, but I set a goal for myself to spend at least a little time in my sewing room 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day every week and it seems to be working. I have several other projects in the queue, so I plan to continue with this plan to get me downstairs, because once I am there, I am usually content to stay for a while.  

I hope you're enjoying your summer and getting some good time in to work on the crafts you love. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

May 2016 Cooking

As time has gone on, it has gotten to be more of a challenge to find new recipes to cook, and we're also trying to go back and make some of the things we enjoyed the first time around! It is funny when we have something we had before (I know because I mark all the cookbook recipes we've made and have a separate folder for recipes we've made vs. haven't made) because we often don't remember how we felt about it the first time around!  

We tried a few new great recipes in May: 

From our Fix-it and Enjoy-it Cookbook, we tried Asian beef and noodles. This is made with ground beef and is a nice alternative to tacos or hamburgers. It was also a quick meal for a weeknight. If you are looking for one cookbook to add to your collection that has a wide variety of foods, most of which are fairly easy to cook, I highly recommend this cookbook. We've enjoyed a lot of recipes from it!   

Next up was another of the crock pot meals left by my neighbor - this one is Sweet and Sour Beef. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this because I don't like sweet and sour dishes when we get Chinese food. I was pleasantly surprised by this one and enjoyed it. It was a little heavy on the pineapple, but the overall taste was good.

Our favorite meal in May was El Paso Enchiladas from Mr. Food. We devoured this pan of enchiladas and will definitely make this one again!  It was great to have all the chicken cooked and shredded ahead of time for this meal. 

The final new recipe for May was Pineapple Sheet Cake, which I made when I hosted my bunco group.  It was tasty, but we never finished the whole pan. I am pretty much the only one in our house who likes pineapple. I might make this again, but would more likely go back to some of the other desserts we've made.  One thing I can say for this recipe is that it was super easy to make. It came from my Mary Englebreit Fan Fare cookbook. I will have to try a few more recipes from this cookbook - what we've made to date has been okay, but not great. 
Hope you enjoyed reading about our new recipes - do you have any favorites we should try? 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

May 2016 Accomplishments

May was a great month and I got a lot of stitching done. I didn't even touch my sewing room until the back half of the month, but when I did, I made some good progress. 

Let's start with the stitching this month - I continue to work on my ornaments from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazine. I finished May and June during May.  The May ornament took a while, but the June one zipped right along and I finished it in three days! I am glad to have these done so that I can spend June working on a non-ornament project. 
Christmas Test Drive - May ornament
June ornament - Joyful Santa
On the weekend of the 21st, the boys went camping with scouts, so my mom came down for the afternoon and we had a finishing day. I made my Lizzie Kate reindeer into a pillow, got two ornaments finished, and made a cube from the Dream Big kit that I stitched last year. I still need to make some cording for the Plenty ornament, but I am really pleased to have gotten so much done in one afternoon! 

On the crochet front, I sat down and went back to the Pikachu hat that I started for my daughter in spring of 2015.  Last June, I attached the eyes and cheeks and it looked scary! I threw it into a bag and didn't touch it again until my daughter asked me if I was ever going to finish it for her. I pulled it out the next night, read some tips on Ravelry, and started with fresh eyes and cheeks. While it still doesn't look like the model, it is done and the important thing is that she likes it! 
Finally, in the sewing front, I focused on my APQ Challenge project for the month. By the end of the month, I had all the blocks done and up on the wall. I am now working my way through piecing them into diamonds, mostly one or two at a time. 
All in, not counting couch time where I stitch, crochet, or hand sew, I had 7 1/4 hours dedicated to sewing time. I have a long list of things to work on in June, so hope to get a little more consistent at getting down to the basement a few times a week. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

May 2016 Stash Report

May was a pretty slow sewing month for me, so there wasn't much activity in my stash. I did start a new quilt top as part of the APQ UFO Challenge - it is a pattern and layer cake I've had together for a long time. It has been to at least 3 retreats as an "if I have time" project and never pulled out of the bag, which is why I put it on my UFO list! 

The other fabric usage I have is from doing some cross stitch finishing. 

No fabric purchases happened in May - I don't think I even went to any quilt shops! 

Here's the result on the stash report: 
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 3 yards

Fabric added year to date: 3 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 27 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 23 5/8 yards
Hope you had a great May with your stash!