2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, May 5, 2019

April 2019

Holy cow, what happened to April?  Boy, it really flew by...and I am not quite sure what I did with my time. Oh yeah, it was a really busy month for all the activities outside of the house!  

This guy ran in his first few track meets (800 meter) and shaved a few seconds off his time each run....

And then he got braces (oh my gosh, he looks so much older in one day!!!)...

And this girl turned 14! 

And my brother, two of his boys, and my cousins and their family visited for Easter...

In the midst of all that, I kept on stitching, making progress on two WIPs and finishing up the April Lizzie Kate Flip-It.  I really like to get these quick projects in and then go back to the WIPs. 

In the sewing room, I didn't do much - the big accomplishment is that I hemmed a pair of pants that had been lying around for about 2 months! I made some progress on the t-shirt quilt I am making, and rearranged the blocks for my scrap quilt, then got them all packed up and ready to go to retreat so that I can work on them there. I think I like this rainbow layout better than the random one I shared last month.

I also loaded one of my UFOs on the frame for quilting - I had high hopes of finishing it last weekend, but then I got deep into a really good book and couldn't put it down! Maybe I'll get that quilt done this month...I do enjoy taking a quilted top to retreat so I can put on the binding and show it off as finished!

The stash report looks good because I used up fabric for the quilt back: 
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 2 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 3 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 9 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 6 1/8 yards

I crafted (all quilting and stitching this month) 19/30 days for 63%, which is pretty consistent compared to the first three months of the year. 

Hope you had a nice April and are enjoying May so far! Happy quilting and stitching.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

March 2019

Boy, the first quarter of this year sure flew by, didn't it? I am glad to report that I have had some great sewing and stitching time in the first quarter and I am pretty happy with my progress against my "12 Things" and my goals for the year. 

In March, I really spread around what I worked on, supported by some weekends with cold and yucky weather that made it perfect for staying in! 

I finished two quilts this month (hooray!) - the UFO I quilted last month got a faced backing and I stitched it down one night while watching TV, the benefits of a small quilt! 
Started Oct 2012 - finished Mar 2019 - paper pieced pattern from Deb Karasik
I also finished the koala quilt that I started in January. I made this for my aunt to gift to her new great-niece. 
Started Jan 2019 - finished Mar 2019

The nose and eyes are minkee and I love the little pop of soft that they give this top. I quilted this with a new-to-me panto called Spiral Square. It's one that so many quilters have and I've loved for a long time and I lucked out when a friend was selling her paper pantos. I really enjoyed making and quilting this top - the pattern came from my book of "someday" patterns and it was fun to make it. It has been mailed and received and my aunt will gift it soon. 
Fuzzy eyes and nose!
I started on a t-shirt quilt that I am making for a work colleague. I have about 1/3 of the t-shirts prepped and will work on it over the next few months. I also worked on my scrap blocks and finished the last three to make my scrap quilt from all the rainbow scrap challenge blocks I made last year. 
Dark purple scrap blocks
I was so excited when I finished the blocks that I decided to lay it out, then I decided to put the cornerstones in place, then I decided to cut the sashing!  Now it is blocking the path in the basement until I get some of it pieced together. 

The blocks all laid out - and I just noticed that I grouped all my darks together...

On the stitching front, I cut out and wound up finishing a wool applique piece for the fall. Isn't this turkey the cutest? It went so quickly and I am glad that I pulled it out and got it done. I have a few more of these kits to make and now am a little more inspired to get them done since this one was so fun. 

I got my March Flip-It done too - I am working to stitch these each month through the year so that I will have a rotating display for my mantel or for the wall. My plan is to finish them and put either velcro or magnets on the back so I can easily switch them out each month. I this these will be a great way to try out Carol's tricks for making cording to give these a nice finish. 

I also took an afternoon and did some cross stitch finishing!! I started with some easy ones - Mill Hill ornaments that I've made over the years. I have a grand idea to find a spring tree that I can hang them on for a cute table topper decoration - no luck so far, but let me know if you've seen one! The camper will go to my Michigan parents who camp most of the summer and have done some awesome long road trips. They gave us a ton of tips when we rented an RV for our summer vacation a few years ago. When I saw this ornament, I thought it would be perfect for them! 

That's all the craft activity and here are the stats: 
Fabric used this month: 3 3/4 yards
Fabric added this month: 3 1/4 yards (some shopping at a quilt show)

Fabric used year to date: 7 1/8 yards
Fabric added year to date: 3 1/4 yards

Net fabric used: 3 7/8 yards

Crafting days = 19, 61% of the days of the month for the third month in a row - must be my sweet spot!  

I'll finish off with a family photo - we didn't have a chance to take a long spring break trip this year, and the weather warmed up too much for midwest skiing, so we headed up to Chicago for a long weekend. It was the kids' first trip there (well, that they remember), and they loved it. We did all the fun touristy things and also saw Hamilton, a real highlight for our Hamilfan family, and Blue Man Group.  It was quick, but a lot of fun! And did you notice how much our son is growing? I think he's about to take over his sister!
View of Lake Michigan from the top of the Hancock Tower
Hope you had a great (and productive) March! My April is off to a bang with the new job starting and lots of activities cropping up for parents and kids - my goal this month is to make sure I keep to my 61% and find ways to squeeze in the crafting time to balance all the busy!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

February 2019

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great Sunday (or whichever day it is when you're reading this!). I've spent time stitching, piecing, and quilting today and am enjoying the lovely 2" of snow that is covering our yard. It is great when it snows on the weekend and you don't have to go anywhere! 

February was a bit of a topsy turvy month for me - I went into my boss' office one day and found out that my company wants me to move to a new position. I talked to a few leaders and decided to make the move. It came as quite a surprise, but I think it will be a great move and it will include some travel (which I love!). I am in transition through March and then will be to the new position full time in April. 

I also spent a fair amount of time on each of my crafts. On the piecing/sewing front, I continued to make progress on the koala baby quilt I started in January. I started the month with the center done and finished it with all the borders cut and pieced, but not attached to the top yet. 

On the quilting front, I got two quilt tops quilted, one of mine (from my UFO list!)
Moon and Trees Quilted! 

Closeup of the quilting - I love the variegated threads on this, especially the black and white, which comes and goes on the dark background. 
and one of my mom's (from her UFO list!). I still need to get the binding on mine, but I am so glad to have it quilted! Hoping I can get another one done this month. 
Quilting closeup - loops through the background with the black & white thread
The quilted top
On the stitching front, I had a big finish and a small finish. I put the final stitches into my Snowbelles project on the 7th. I started this in Nov 2017 and worked on it on and off through last year. It is big enough to be framed and be the centerpiece over our mantel after I take down the Christmas decorations, so I am hoping to get it framed this year so that I can display it next year. I am really happy with it and hope you like it too. This was one of my 12 Things in 2019, so I am also glad to check the first one off the list. 

After I finished that big project, I started on my Flip-Its monthly series by Lizzie Kate. My mom gave me these a long time ago and I finally got a big piece of fabric and got the first one done in a few days. It was nice to have such a quick finish, and I am looking forward to working on the others throughout the year. This was another one of my 12 Things. I won't count it "done" until I have a few from the series completed, since my goal was to start on the series.

In the crochet front, I finished all the crochet work for a new cowl. This is called the Autumn Leaf Cowl on Ravelry, and you can find the pattern here. I was so happy to use some of the yarn I bought in my early days, and I used up almost all of it on this pattern. In the beginning, I just bought a little of this and a little of that and now I find myself trying to find patterns that will go with the weight and amount that I have. I think this one will be great when I get it blocked and get the buttons added. I am going to need some help from my mom on the blocking, as I haven't done that before. 

All in all, it was a pretty good crafty month! I quilted on 7 days and did some type of crafting on 17 days, for 61%, the same as last month! 

My stash usage was for the moon and tree back and the koala borders - not too much out, but also none in so far this year. 
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 1 1/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 3 3/4 yards

Hope you enjoyed this recap and hope that your February was good too. I'll be back soon with a finished quilt! Not sure yet which one it will be, maybe we'll get two in March! 

Linking up with Stash Report Sunday and Judy's UFO Report

Sunday, February 3, 2019

January 2019 in the books

Well, it was a bit of a crazy month weather-wise, but a good month in the craft department. I shared most of what I've been working on in my last post, so click back a sec to see what's been going on in the basement if you missed that post. 

I got back down to the sewing room one night last week and worked on cutting some scraps to prep them as leaders/enders. The koala remains as it was in the last post. 

One other project got to the finished top stage early in January - my Square Dance top. I had initally planned to put it right on the frame to be quilted, but it hasn't made it there yet (and now I have another quilt loaded).  I am glad it made my UFO list this year, I will plan to get it quilted and bound when its number is called, if not before. 
Square Dance finished top
In addition to some good sewing/quilting in January, I also had some good stitching time. I continued to work on my Lizzie Kate Snowbelles project, finishing another section and moving on to the last section! I am excited to finish this up (hopefully by the end of next weekend, if not before). 
"All Dressed Up" section finished in January
I used a little stash for the koala quilt and to add borders to my Square Dance quilt, so the start of the stash report is looking good too. 

This year, rather than counting how many days I am quilting, I decided to track the number of days I do any crafting - quilt, stitch, or crochet. I'd like to be > 50% crafty over the course of the year. 

In January, I had 10 days of quilting for 11 3/4 hours, and 19 total days of crafting, 61% of the days in January. I think that's a good start, especially considering I had a pretty significant Girl Scout commitment the first week of January. 

I will close with two things...one, a couple pictures of the kids - they competed in their first Solo & Ensemble competition yesterday and both came home with medals. Jack played his cello in a quartet and they earned a Silver, and Jenna played her violin in a sextet and they earned a Gold. It was a fun day and we are proud of both of them. 

And the last thing...I had a giveaway in my 2018 year in review post - I had 6 comments and I drew numbers 5 and 6. Kate and Julie Fry - you are the winners! Please send me an email (jenquilter20 at gmail.com) with your mailing address and I will get your wallets to you. Congrats and thanks again to all who read and comment! 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Some cold weather sewing

As with many places in the country, it has been a very cold January in Central Indiana.  Last weekend, the meteorologist predicted cold temps, rain turning to ice, then snow. I got the necessary things done by Friday and planned to spend the whole weekend at home! 

I was able to spend a good amount of time in the sewing room both Saturday and Sunday and made some good progress on this baby quilt that I am making for my Aunt to gift. At the end of last weekend, it was in chunks, and as of this afternoon, the center and first border are done. The next border is pieced so it will take a little while, but there are more cold temps ahead!
I was using my 2018 rainbow scrap blocks as leader/enders and wound up with two finished blocks - now I just have three more to make to finish the blocks, then it will be on to assembling the quilt. I haven't decided yet if I will make scrappy blocks again this year...once I finish this quilt from last year, I may get the itch again! 

The last quilting progress is my first quilted top for the year - I quilted up this one for my mom - she will add the face to the snowman. Isn't he cute?  It was an easy quilting job - I did loops in the cream and snowflakes (aka asterisks) in the blue border. 

The last thing I got organized this week was my stitching projects for the #stitch9challenge on Instagram.  I found all but one of my UFOs (no idea where the last one is hiding!) and a few projects that I want to start stitching for the challenge. I added a couple embroidery projects at the end so that I could check off two lists at once - finishing an embroidery project is also on my 12 things challenge. I am certainly double dipping between all the lists and challenges, so hopefully it will work out well! Here are the projects I want to finish in 2019. 
I hope to get a little more in this week so that I have a few things to show you in my month-end post! Hope you're staying warm where you are! 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Scrap Happy Saturday

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Fall and Winter Recipe Recap

It's been a while since I shared our new recipes. I keep thinking that we will run out of recipes to try, but we never do! This month is all dinners. 

Starting with an easy dinner, we had Chicken Schnitzel from Cooking Light. It was a great and also easy weeknight dinner. 

Next up was a meal we all weren't quite sure about...it starts with rotisserie chicken and farro, the latter of which we'd never tried before. It was also a fairly quick to prepare and it turned out great! We all enjoyed it and decided it would be a really nice summer meal. It is the 15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Next up is Chicken with Capers and Couscous from my Mary Englebreit Fan Fare Cookbook. This book is a compilation of her fan's recipes and we've found it a little hit or miss. This one was a hit though. 

Another Cooking Light recipe is next - Linguine with Ricotta Meatballs. We forgot to add the ricotta into the meatballs so we just added a little on top. This recipe was okay, but we decided we have had other recipes similar to this that we better, so I won't be hanging on to this one. 
In late fall, I decided it was time to find something to make with my late crop of tomatillos. I have grown them for a couple years and didn't always know what to do with them, but I found the most amazing recipe this year - Pork Tenderloin in Tangy Tomatillo Sauce from The Kitchn. It was so good and we all liked it. I think I know how I will use my tomatillos from now on! 
Next up on a sideways placemat (my favorites over the holidays!) - something I've been interested to try for a while - cauliflower rice. I saw the recipe in Cooking Light for Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice. I really liked it and it was a lot lighter than a rice meal. Mike and the kids weren't as big fans, but I will probably try to sneak it in again (or I will make it for myself sometime to take for lunches!). 
 How about some Mexican?  The Pioneer Woman calls this recipe Simple, Perfect Enchiladas, but they really weren't simple and they were no better than when we follow the recipe on the back of the enchilada can. Back to the good old standby recipe next time! 
 Next to last is a recipe thanks to our new addition - Imperfect Produce. We signed up for Imperfect a few months ago and we get a box full of produce every other week. I love it and it has really encouraged me to explore some more fruits and veggies. I got some spaghetti squash and decided to make a spaghetti squash "pizza casserole." I winged it based on a recipe my Girl Scout troop made while doing the New Cuisines badge last year. I baked the squash first, then added some garlic salt, pepper, cheese, and pepperoni to the top and baked it again. This was another one that I thought was great and the kids not so much. It won't stop me from getting another spaghetti squash! 
Last up is a recipe from our new cookbook! My friend Beth got me this one for Christmas and it is really fun. The cookbook is called Uncomplicated, and this recipe is the Easier Chicken and Parmesan Risotto. It was really good and we will definitely make this one again. 

All in all, we tried a lot of good recipes and a few not so good, but that's part of this game. Hope you see something here that you want to try! 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019 Goals

As with most years, I have been thinking for a few weeks about what I want my goals to be for 2019. I am fairly happy with most aspects of my life these days, so I don't have many self-improvement goals. Let's focus here on the crafting goals. 

I already shared my list of 12 things in 2019 - this is the first goal - I have 12 things and would like to get them all done. It is good that they are a mix of several different things including a few house projects. 

Secondly, I am joining the UFO challenge again. With only 13 on my list, all but one were selected with the random number generator. I may or may not work on the number selected each month, but I will stick with a goal to get at least 6 done, and with new projects keep my total UFO count under 10 by the end of the year. 

The last goal is related to my stitching. You've all watched quite a bit of stitching over the past three years and you know that I really love to stitch. But guess what? I've hardly finished any of it so I can enjoy it! As a result, I have a whole drawer full of finished stitching.  On New Year's Day, I turned over the UFO sheet and listed out all my stitching projects that are not fully finished - I ran out of space on the page at 30, and counted another dozen after that (at least!). I think the final count is just around 50.
Around 50 unfinished projects!
So, my goal is to fully finish two projects for every one that I start. I am not going to make myself stop and finish two immediately before I start a new one, but rather look at the numbers at the end of the year.  Wish me luck - this will probably be the hardest resolution, but likely also the most rewarding! 

I think that's a good set of goals for the year - what do you have on your list?