2013 in Review

Sometimes I get a little… weird about how little I finish in a year. Or maybe just how few big things I finish in a year. I read a lot of blogs (like… a lot), and some people seem constantly to be producing New! Amazing! Gorgeous! things every time I turn around, and it’s just not the way I work. But I still occasionally get all wibbly about it, as if it matters or as if anyone cares or as if the Quilt Police are keeping count and will take away my crafter card for not being that prolific.

Back in January 2013, I posted a list of five quilty goals:
1. To finish all my Simply Solids bee blocks in a timely way – DONE
2. To finish all my LJ Birthday blocks in a timely way – DONE (I mean, the last two were late, but they were in the mail long before the end of the year)
3. To finish quilting the seven quilt tops in my closet – Well…. one down, six to go.
4. Don’t start anything new, except some wall-hangings for my mom – AHAHAAHAHAHAHA.
5. Work on some of my unfinished projects – See above.

And five embroidery goals, of which I did exactly none.

Anyway, here’s a couple of collages, with most of the year’s things:

2013 Quilt Blocks

Quilt blocks. A lot of quilt blocks. Not all of the quilt blocks though. There were more churn dashes I made for my own quilt that I didn’t photograph. And then all the blocks that went into a quilt top I haven’t photographed yet (for the Confetti Go Lucky quilt) and more of the Cat Face blocks, which I didn’t photograph. The Doctor Who ones probably shouldn’t be in there because I’ve made them into a quilt top, which just needs its last border, but I don’t have any photos of the completed top, so I put them all in here.

2013 - Quilts and Quilt Tops

It feels a little sadder looking at this collection of finished quilts and finished tops. There are two more than this (the aforementioned confetti go lucky and doctor who tops – well, Who is still in progress), but it’s the never finishing quilts that makes me feel like I’m not using my time wisely or whatever. I did get three quilts done to the binding and everything, and even though two of them are baby sized (and the other one was 90% finished with the clocked ticketed over from 2012 to 2013), I can still be proud of that. I am and always have been and probably always will be a slow quilter. I often get hung up right near the end. And I do quite a bit besides just quilts:

2013 - Minis & Flags

These are all minis of one sort or another. The two top left were for my mom. The hexagon one was for a Scrappy Swap. The three flags are were for Lac Megantic. The Ravenclaw was a gift for a crafty friend. (It could be used as a mug rug or a wall-hanging, as could the hexagon.)

2013 - All the Little Finishes

And I did a small mountain of baskets, zip pouches, pin cushions, pot holders, and assorted small bits and pieces. I think it’s all a pretty… respectable amount of stuff to have gotten done over the course of the year, so I really need to get over myself. (Also, the embroidery shown here is not complete – there were several more of those little smiley faced summer things, but I don’t have photographs of most of them. One of these days…)

So that’s all of 2013. More or less. Next post… plans for 2014. I think I’ll make a combination Fabric Fast/WIP list/Another Lovely Year of Finishes/2014 Goals post. Else it might be the longest lead into 2014 EVER.

(With special thanks to Big Huge Labs for the mosaic maker, even if I wish it could deal a little better with non-square photos — I think it should make them all the same height, then adjust the column width to the widest photo. But anyway, I don’t pay for the use of it, so I shouldn’t complain too hard about how it works.)


28 thoughts on “2013 in Review”

  1. There is whole lot of work in your photos above. You are way to hard on yourself. I think if you are enjoying the things you are doing then you are good :-). Your experimenting and this allows you to grow. Congrats on all your finishes!! I think you will have a lot of finishes in 2014!!

    1. I know I’m too hard on myself, but it’s awfully hard to stop doing anyway! (And truth told, I totally quit reading some of the blogs that most make my brain explode for their constant finishes. Seemed the easiest solution to that whole thing :D) I am happy with the things I finished, even if they’re not big finishes.

      1. and so you should :-). I am a little late posting your surprise as I came down with the flu – it will be in the post tomorrow…promise!! I can’t wait till you see it.

        1. Everyone’s sick around here too! Fortunately not the flu, but constant nose-running colds, which gets old fast. (There is an H1N1 flu outbreak here too. Yay! I’m hoping to avoid that one.) I hope you feel better soon!

          Anyway, the surprise will get here when it gets here… but I’m totally excited about it already πŸ˜€

            1. Haha.. it’s like comfort food, Doctor Who. Especially the earlier seasons – once it switches over to the Matt Smith doctor it’s a little bit more work, piecing things together – but it’s sort of silly and fun and even though lots of bad things happen it’s just sort of warm and happy making.

    1. Haha.. thanks. You’re right of course, but you’re also reminding me that it’s important sometimes to spin things in a positive direction πŸ˜€ I’m really terrible for mentally only counting the biggest finishes and disregarding the rest, so yeah, I really should remind my brain to see the rest of the goodness.

  2. Happy New Year! That is an incredible amount of finishes! Congratulations! Quit counting just the quilts! It was really fun to see some of the blocks you made for me!

    1. I know I’m being at least a little bit ridiculous on the subject, but I figure it’s still worth talking about, at least once in a while πŸ˜€ I think a lot of crafters are too hard on ourselves, in various different ways. So and so does this better than I ever could, etc. It’s interesting to me that I don’t worry about people being more talented at the mechanical side of it (I mean, yeah, I’m not great at the quilting part, I’m a slow stitcher, etc. but I know I’ll keep getting better so it’s not worth worrying about), but I do sometimes get stressy about not being as creative as some people (because mostly I’m not that interested in developing my own patterns, so what does that mean… am I not creative enough or is the rest of what I bring to a project enough to overcome my disinterest in pattern creation?) and obviously I do get stressy about not being very prolific. I don’t know, anyway, I suppose most of us could stand to do a little better at letting things go.

      Anyway, Happy New Year back attcha! And thanks!

  3. You have achieved a lot, and you are so lapping all those people who sit l. The couch and say they could never make a quilt! One of my plans for this year is to stop comparing myself against those prolific quilters and just work for me. I am also fabric fasting and doing a lovely year of finishes too.

    1. I went and read your blog post on the subject, it’s like you read my mind (or I read yours) – we’ve got a lot of similar goals for the year. (Though mine have nothing to do with scrapbooking – I tried to get into it once and it just didn’t work for me. Paper craft is apparently not my area. Which I’m kind of glad about – one expensive, time consuming hobby is plenty!)

  4. Those pot holders are adorable. Love the scrappy trip along too. Have you joined the economy block quiltalong this year?

    1. Thank you! I really loved all those pot holders and I gave them away, but still wish I hadn’t πŸ˜€ Maybe I should make some for myself…

      I haven’t joined the economy block quiltalong – this is actually the first I’ve heard of it! I’ll have to go google it and see what it is πŸ˜€

  5. Oh my goodness!! I swear you just finished telling me off about comparing myself to others!! This is crazy!! Particularly when you’ve done so very very much!! Dodo you. to see the mountain of baskets you’ve got going not there?? Or the fact that you have 6 (but really 8) completed quilt tops!! But the most important thing of all is, did you enjoy making them?? Did you have fun choosing fabric and measuring and cutting and sewing? If so, who cares how much or how little was “produced” we enjoyed the process. πŸ™‚

    Happy new year πŸ™‚
    E xx

    1. Haha… I’m fully aware that I’m ridiculous! I think somewhere along the line my metric became Quilts Finished and so all the rest of it sort of pales in comparison, even though really… I do a lot of stuff! No wonder I didn’t read as many books this year as I usually do — I had my ass parked in front of a sewing machine making baskets and pouches all the time!

  6. You have wonderful finishes and I’m glad I found you through Michelle’s block hop. This is exactly why I stopped reading bigger bloggers bc I felt frustrated. You gotta do you!!!

    1. Thanks! Actually, I was just thinking earlier today how much I love the bloggers I found via Michelle’s block hop πŸ˜€ You and Sarah are two of my very favourite new additions to my feedly list this year. Obviously Michelle’s got impeccable taste.

      I quit reading some of the big bloggers out there too just because of that. I used to wibble about my slowness a lot more than I do now – now I only really think about it at the end of any given year, rather than… well, much more often than that.

  7. Wow…you did a lot of stuff!!! And by the way I love your “AHAHAHAHAHA” as your response to the goal of not starting anything new;)

  8. I agree with everyone else. You have had a successful year! Sometimes I take a break from blog reading for the same reasons. I get tired from work and come home and crash instead of sewing because I hate unsewing. Then I read how much everyone gets done… I feel your pain. πŸ™‚

    1. You’re right, of course, and I’m not sure any year that involves any amount of crafting would be unsuccessful, from a crafty perspective πŸ˜€ And I don’t even want to be one of those people who finish 30 quilts a year – what would I do with them all? how could I afford it? I think I’ve pinned it down to this: I self-identify as a quilter, so when I don’t finish quilts, I feel like I’m not really living up to my self-labelling. Maybe I’d be better off thinking of myself as an all-around sewist.

  9. Seems to me that you’ve had a very productive year, Kristel. You’ve got lots of gorgeous sewing done – and you must know that you have others wishing that they had accomplished as much as you. Seems like we can all get caught up in that endless loop, at one time or another, once we start comparing. I know I have from time to time.

    Love your quilty list and your year end review of it. You’re not alone in being unable to restrain from starting something new…. ;o) I tell myself that it’s how I keep my creative juices flowing. Besides you can never have a finish if you don’t make a start (see how well I can rationalize all my starts? ;o)

    1. Haha… I love that rationalisation: “you can never have a finish if you don’t make a start.” It very conveniently forgets that you still have to do something with the middle, but I like that πŸ˜€

  10. I’m going to have to agree with everyone else and point out that you’ve gotten quite a lot done this year! The thing to remember about the big bloggers is that making quilts is part of their job. πŸ™‚ If making quilts was all you did, you’d be pretty prolific too (especially given how much you’ve completed with it not being your job!)

    In other news, please take a picture of your Dr Who top. That thing looks like it’s going to be in insanely awesome!

    1. I was saying to someone else too that I think I’ve pinned down part of my problem that makes me all wibbly about what I finish: I self-identify as a quilter, but I finish very few quilts, so it makes me feel like… I don’t know, a fraud or something. And probably I should adjust my mental label to “sewist” because I do a fair bit of sewing and most of it doesn’t involve that much quilting.

      I haven’t got a finished picture because I wanted to finish the borders first, but I had decided to try a new-to-me technique (using freezer paper for kind of paper-piecing) and it hasn’t meshed very well with my brain. I need to find all my bits and pieces and see if I can work out a better way… or maybe just do regular paper piecing and forget the freezer paper thing entirely.

  11. Wow! That’s a lot. Maybe I should combine everything together & see how much I got done, because I feel like a total slacker. Great job!

    1. Hah.. yeah, I’m know I was being ridiculous… and there was way more of it than I was really expecting! Somehow I was imagining a lot less than it turned out to be once I’d dug up all the pictures!

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