2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, May 2, 2020

April 2020

Here we are at the start of another month - it is a beautiful spring day here in Indianapolis and I've spent the morning cleaning up the garden, a task I don't love to do, but am always happy about once it is finished! I look forward to picking up a few vegetable plants in the next few weeks to start the growing for the year. 

On the quilting front, I have a big finish! I finished the quilting and attached the binding to my 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt! I just love this top made from scraps that I made month by month in 2018. I finished the top last year, and I am so glad I didn't let this top get put away.  Hope you like it too! 

In addition to the top, I spent a little time during the month making masks for friends, family, and healthcare workers. I finished up what I hope will be the last round. I am glad to have made them and also glad that the situation seems to be a bit more stable now, no doubt thanks to quilters across the country. 

I also spent a day playing with my Brother Scan-n-Cut - I cut out another applique kit that I bought in 2014, and then the next weekend, got it put together into a table runner that is ready to be quilted. 

I already shared most of my stitching finishes for the month, but I have one more to share. I have a friend who has always wanted a VW Bus for cross-country adventures and camping. When I saw this kit to make a coaster, I knew I had to get it for her! I did a dropoff last weekend and she sent me a picture of it in use this week :) 

Here are the official numbers for the reports this month: 
Stash Report - linking up with Donna at quiltpaintcreate
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 2 3/4 yards
Fabric added year to date: 0 yards
Fabric used year to date: 10 1/8 yards

Days with at least 15 minutes crafting: 23/30 days = 77% (same as March!) - linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces

Oh, I can't believe it - I almost forgot to share the best part of our month! Last Friday, we met a sweet rescue girl and brought her home. Meet Grace, who has quickly become a part of the family. She is middle age (somewhere between 4-7) and has a very sweet disposition. She is fitting in quite well (just don't ask the cat how she feels!) and we are all so happy to have a dog again. Here she is with the birthday girl, who amazingly turned 15 at the end of the month!
 Hope you all had a nice April and wishing you a happy May! 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Easter Goodies

We had a nice, quiet Easter at home last weekend, which we do most years as we aren't really church-goers. The days of kids waking up and sprinting around the house hopped up on Easter candy have pretty much gone, as we now have teenagers who wander down mid-morning, take one look at the baskets, say "cool" and keep going toward the kitchen! For years, they used to dump their baskets on their heads and laugh and laugh. I asked them to do it this year and was met with eye rolls :) 

Late in March, I dug through all my finished stitching pieces and pulled out all the Easter/spring related ones. If you've been here for any amount of time, you know that fully-finishing my pieces is not my strong suit, but I decided that, with all the time in the world these days, I needed to finish up a few of these pieces! 

I bought the hanger to finish this one about a year ago and knew all along that I wanted to finish it as a bell pull. Thanks to the easy instructions from Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher, it went together quickly. It is a little crooked as I just couldn't get the stitching to lay straight, but I am still enjoying it in my kitchen. As you can see from the date, I stitched this one in 2017 - not too bad, only three years to finish it! 
Primitive Egg
The second finish is a cube, also from instructions at The Twisted Stitcher. I've made several cubes and really like how they look and how easy they are to store. This one is a little busier than I usually do with the dual ribbon, but I think the colors really pop. I love that rich blue that's in the stitching and brought out in the ribbon. This one is finished with a pink/white check that was deep in my fabric stash. It's the perfect color to go with the bunny ears and noses. This one was stitched in 2018, so only two years! 
Topsy Turvy Bunnies
My third finish isn't an FFO, but is my monthly stitch from the Stitchingly Months of the Year SAL. I loved the bright colors again this month, and it seemed to go quite quickly with stitching time almost every evening in April. 

I have two more spring/Easter projects in my basement to be FFO'ed and may get to them yet this month. I have the items needed pulled for both of them - one will be a "framed" piece and the other a pillow. I will just see what strikes my fancy to work on when I head down to the basement later today or tomorrow. 

Hope you all had a nice Easter and see you again around the start of May! 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Remote March 2020

It is early on a Sunday morning as I type this post and the house is quiet except for the sound of the heater, the cat eating her breakfast, and the keys typing. I am looking out on the garden in our backyard, which is a little random, but has the most lovely flowers saying hello to me - I love the bright pop of yellow in the daffodils and the forsythia tree, and the subtle green of new leaves behind them. It is spring in Indiana and it gives me hope that we too will be able to weather this tough season.

I started working from home the second full week of March - my company was early to send us all home and it has been good, as very few employees have fallen ill. We also have essential business to conduct, so it keeps those on the manufacturing and distribution lines safer. Everyone scoffed when I started working from home, then slowly a week or two later, they all started to do the same. It has been a weird month for sure, capped off with two weeks of remote training with a team from around the world. We had a few weeks to prepare for being completely remote and decided that we'd all work European hours, with our US team logging on at 4:30 am and our Asia team staying on until midnight. We all made it work, and though it was nowhere near what training would have been in person, we still managed to get to know each other better, laugh, and create some jokes among the group. It is impressive to see what we can do when we all work together. I hope that we can continue to do that for the coming weeks, maybe months, to help those in our population who can't afford to be sick, whether due to age, immune systems, or serving as a provider to their family. And I hope any of you who are reading this are well.

It seems strange to go into a regular monthly report of my stitching and quilting, but the best thing to do in these times is get into a routine. I am so happy for my hobbies, and can't imagine getting through this time without them. I made a lot more mistakes than usual, but I was forgiving with myself and just kept powering along.

On the stitching front, I worked on four projects this month, with two coming to a finish. First is my Stitchingly Months of the Year SAL, which was created to commemorate Women's month, perhaps women's suffrage, but became for me a bit of a rallying cry by the end of the month to come together in the current situation. I now have a complete row across the top and it is hard to believe the year is 1/4 over! 

I also continued stitching on my travel project, as it is clear I won't be on an airplane anytime soon. I finished this cute little guy about mid-month. I channeled my blogging and Instagram friend Carol and stitched this over 1 on some scrap fabric in my stash. I think he turned out pretty cute! He is little - about 2 1/2" square. 

On the quilting front, I decided to keep going with my UFOs and got the back made for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt from last year. I loaded and started quilting it, and am about 2/3 of the way done, planning for a finish in the early part of April.

I also caught up on my scrap blocks for February, finishing up 4 orange scrap blocks, which will be cut further to go into a quilt for my son.

I also set to making fabric masks, as it became clear that our healthcare workers would need something to supplement what they have. I didn't have much elastic, but my mom found some that originally cost 60 cents! And then she found a second package, so my daughter and I set to making masks. She hasn't sewn much, but learned quickly and has been a great help. We've finished two batches, and will make some more this week. We ran out of elastic the second week so went to ties on a few. All the fabric I am using is from my scrap bins, and it is nice to be able to do something with the larger pieces, although I will say that the bins don't really seems to be any more empty!
Masks from the blue scrap bin, with a few red/yellow
Masks from the green scrap bin
My daughter sewing away!
Now we will get on to the stats for the month. With no commute, I was able to get in more stitching, sewing, and exercise and the numbers show it:

Stash Report with Donna:
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 6 1/8 yards
Fabric added year to date: 0 yards
Fabric used year to date: 7 3/8 yards
Net fabric used: 7 3/8 yards

Stitching time Report with Kate:
Days with crafting in March: 24 / 77%
Days crafting YTD: 65 / 71%

Weeks with at least 90 minutes of exercise:  4 out of 4 = 100%

Hope that you find some comfort in your crafts in the coming days and weeks. I wish you all well and hope that you remain healthy or recover quickly.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

February 2020

I am so happy to be writing this post as I look out on a sunny, warm day that almost feels like spring! February had a few of those days too, and I also headed south for a quick trip so had a few nice sunny days that I enjoyed in Feb too. Between work and kids, I didn't have quite as much craft time as I did in January, but I am still pleased with what was able to work on and finish. 

I had my first finish for February on the first weekend - I finished this cute little project from Lizzie Kate, in the Winter leaflet. It is a great one for our family, as we all like to ski. I will probably finish this into a cube (someday!!) and it will be great to put out after all the holiday decorations come down and the house looks empty. 
Next up on the stitching front was my Stichingly Months of the Year SAL - for February, we had a beautiful heart. I love the vibrant colors and think it looks really nice next to January.
February section for Stitchingly SAL
January and February together
Down in the basement, I was inspired to pull out another UFO and get it quilted. I found the perfect fabric in my stash for the back and decided to invest some time in custom quilting the letters in this one. It came together thanks to the inspiration in the book (Alphabet Quilts by Julie Herman). I pulled a batik that complements the letters for the binding and got it all done just before Valentine's Day. I've enjoyed having it on my dining room table since then. 
Close ups of each letter
The end of the month had me stitching on a few new projects, and working on (but not finishing) orange scrap blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

Here are the official stats for February: 
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 1/2 yard
Fabric added year to date: 0 yards 
Fabric used year to date: 1 1/4 yards

I am planning to work on a little bigger UFO in March, so hopefully I will get those numbers moving a little more. 

For crafting time, I managed to find at least 15 minutes to stitch, crochet, or quilt on 17 days of the month. I started off really strongly at the first third of the month, but then evening meetings or events got in the way. Even so, that keeps my record at 59% for the month and I can live with that. 

I also struggled to get in as much exercise time in February, but I still had 2 weeks with at least 90 minutes of exercise. I've found that if I get in a few good walks on the weekend, I can usually make it, but when the weekends are busy, I struggle to find enough time during the week. One week, I was only 10 minutes short, so I am still doing well at getting some exercise in even when I can't meet my goal. 

Looking ahead to the rest of March and hoping to be back with a few more updates for you this month if I can keep myself motivated and work doesn't get in the way too much! Hope you're having a great day and have been able to find a few minutes to craft.

Linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces and Donna at Quiltpaintcreate

Sunday, February 2, 2020

January 2020

Wow, how did the first month of 2020 go so quickly? It is hard to believe it is already over and I know the rest of the year will come flying at us. 

I had a great month in January - lots of time for stitching, some crochet, and some good sewing, and also warmer than normal weather, which helped me achieve some of my exercise goals. I've already shared my first two accomplishments of the year here, and my RSC project here, so today, I will share the other finishes. 

Let's start with quilting - over the holidays, I pulled out a quilt top that I made at a retreat back in 2015. I am sure I had grand plans at the time to quilt it once I got home, but that didn't happen! When I pulled it out to see if it was big enough to be a holiday bed quilt (it wasn't), I realized that I really like it so decided to get the back made and get it quilted. It sat on the frame for a couple weeks because I didn't really know how I wanted to quilt it. I knew I wanted to do some custom quilting, but trying to figure out how is always that hard part. In the end, I just started, and made it up along the way. I am pleased with how it turned out - there are still some things I need to practice, but as many quilters have said, "done is better than perfect!" I sewed on the binding last weekend and then hand sewed it during the week, finishing it up on Thursday night. This is my UFO Challenge #3 for the year, and I am thrilled to have it done. 
Loved having some sunshine to get an outdoor picture today!
Closeup of the quilting texture
In the stitching area, I joined the Stitchingly Months of the Year SAL (stitch-a-long), mostly because the January motif is so cute. I just love the koala! I enjoyed finding a piece of stash fabric and digging through my threads to find almost all of what I need. It took a couple weeks to get the frame and the January piece finished. I love the bright and cheery colors and I am looking forward to stitching the next part which arrived today.

I also found a frame for one of my 2019 finishes and framed Cozy In. It is up on my mantel and makes me smile, even though our weather isn't quite so cold as to make me want to cozy in! 

I found success with all of my tracking challenges in January, here are the reports: 

Stash Report: 
Fabric added this month/year: 0 yards
Fabric added this month/year: 3/4 yard
Net fabric used: 3/4 yard

Stitching time: 24 days with at least 15 minutes of time crafting, 77%

Exercise: 4/5 weeks with at least 90 minutes of exercise, 80% - the warmer than normal weather really helped to make some walks after work possible.

All in all, a good start to the year! Hoping the rest of the year brings more of the same. 

Linking up with Kate at Life In Pieces for the stitching time report and Donna at Quilt Paint Create for the stash report

Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Look at this - another post before the end of the month! This year, I am going to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela over at So Scrappy. I made blocks two years ago that turned into this quilt top last year (third picture in the post). I need to get it quilted and that is definitely on my list, but I had so much fun making the blocks and I love the end result that I decided to start another one. 

I was inspired by Kate a few years ago to pick a pattern that I want to make and use that for the RSC. I was also inspired by Laura when she made this quilt. I had the book and have wanted to make it, so that will be my pattern for this year - this is the cover quilt and the one I am going to make. 
Irish Chain Quilts by Melissa Corry
My son happened to mention that he'd like a new quilt sometime soon and I thought this one would fit the bill - he took a look at the pattern and gave it a thumbs up. I may have to alter the size so it fits an extra long bed, as he is growing like crazy these days (currently 12 years old and about 5'9")! 

I started off this month and loved working with the bright greens. I've never done much crazy piecing, so I had a little learning to do about how to construct the blocks, but I think they came together pretty well. 

These greens will get chopped up and added to navy blue fabric (my son requested a dark instead of light background). I don't know yet if I will use scrappy navies or one consistent. Either way, I plan to make the monthly color blocks through May and then will take them to my Spring retreat to cut up and sew to the navy.  If I have enough blocks by then, it will turn into a top; if not, I will keep making blocks and take them to my fall retreat to finish up and turn into a top. If all goes well, he will have a new quilt by the end of the year! 

I am looking forward to seeing all the other RSC blocks and quilts come together over the course of the year. Let me know what you're planning to make with yours! 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

A strong start for Jan 2020

One of the things I am going to try to do a little better job of this year is posting in smaller snippets. While I enjoy only lugging out the computer, loading photos, etc. once a month, I feel like it is taking a really long time to get everything written and posted, so in months where I am around and have a few things to share by mid-month, I will try to give you a middle of the month update. For those of you who blog more often, do you blog from a laptop or do you have a good app that you use so that you can blog from an iPad?

January started great for me as I decided to take off the 2nd and 3rd, so I didn't have to return to work until the 6th. I made good use of that time and got some good time in my sewing room. 

First up for the new year was to start strong with a cross-stitch FFO (fully finished object). If you've been reading for a while, you know I need to work on this. If you're new here, just know I have lots of cross-stitch that is stitched but awaiting a finish so it can be displayed/enjoyed!  After a couple fits and starts with ornaments that never got finished over the holidays, I decided to make a pillow. I pulled out a Valentine's piece from Heart to Hand that I stitched only a couple years ago and got it put into a pillow. I followed Cathy Haberman's technique to sew it all round, snip in the back to stuff it, and then cover the snip by fusing on a piece of fabric. I am really pleased with how this wound up and it is already out for display a little ahead of February! 

Next up was a little quilting - I had been puttering along on a pillow started last summer - pieces were cut and I was sewing them a little bit at a time. I made a concerted effort to get the piecing done, used some time while on a phone call to trim them up, and finally got them into a finished pillow. 
Flat without the pillow
Ready to use!
I quilted this one on my Janome and had to reacquaint myself with the machine a little. I did a continuous curves variation on each triangle and realized I could use a little more free motion quilting practice. I used a light yellow thread that worked well with all the different colors. I liked the light to dark arrangement and I think it will add a fun pop of color during these gray January days. 

I also loaded and started quilting one of my UFOs - a quilt top that I finished several years ago. I got some good quilting time this afternoon and it is almost halfway done, so I hope to have that finished to share at the end of the month. I have also been doing some stitching and crocheting in the evenings (especially during the week), which is a nice way to relax at the end of a long work day. 

Hope your start to the year has gone well - what have you been up to this early January? Any snow in your neck of the woods? None here and I am missing it a little, but also enjoying a January that feels more like March! 

Happy crafting and see you again at the end of the month!