Year in Review, Year Ahead

Normally I like to do a year in review post, with photo mosaics of everything I made over the year… but I did a really poor job of keeping track this year. 2014 was the year of stress at my house – largely of the Not My Story to Tell variety – but being mostly always in the Fraught with Tension way of living made it really hard to keep on top of things I normally don’t even think about doing. For instance, if I’m not sewing I’m probably reading, but somehow I only updated my Goodreads account to the tune of eight books and nothing after February. (And of those eight, one of them is a picture book, one/kind of two a children’s book, and three graphic novels. Not exactly the best reflection of my usual reading habits.) In the craft world, there are lots of things I know I didn’t write about here and sometimes didn’t even photograph (hence my not posting about them) before sending them away. I don’t think I had any major finishes (as in: finished quilts), though I did do a ton of quilt block sewing (both for myself and for bees) and small project sewing, but let’s face it: when I’m stressed, I shop. And I stress shopped the heck out of the various online fabric establishments. I stress shopped myself into an even bigger stash than I’d already had. I stress shopped myself into being bored of fabric shopping. (Seriously: I had an email today about 40% off super sale fabrics at someone’s website and I went and looked around and there were only THREE prints I was vaguely interested in and not enough to even buy them.) I stress shopped so much that I’m pretty sure if I went back to count, more than half of my posts over the year were likely Sunday Stash posts.

So let’s forget about my 2014 and move on to 2015. Every year I have the general goal of finishing more than I start and of tackling more of my UFO/WIP pile. This year I decided to get a little bit more organized about it. Someone – Michelle? – sent me a link to From Pixels to Patchwork‘s Projects At A Glance worksheets. They are fantastic printables and I’ve already got 40+ worth of projects listed in the the Projects at a Glance sheet and I’ve started working up my Individual Project Sheets for the items I’d like to get finished (or nearly so?) in 2015. But while they’re great in a binder in my sewing room, they don’t work as great online…

So here’s a not at all finessed online version, based entirely off of the Pixels to Patchwork sheet, just of the top ten items that I’d like to get done this year. It’s a lot of doing for me because I’ve never finished more than one or two large sized quilts in a year before and many of these haven’t even been started, but the general goal is to get one throw-sized quilt done for each of my closest family members (mom, dad, sister, sister, brother-in-law) and then a few assorted other things.

Project NameDescriptionTarget DateProject Stage
1Lime and Brown HastagBaby Quilt for Jen’s friendJan 15, 2015Sewing Blocks
2Easter MiniMini Quilt for MomFebruary Cross-stitch Finished – all other work needed
3Confetti-Go-LuckyQuilt for Mom (Confetti pattern)FebruaryMid-quilting
4Quarter SectionQuilt for Dad (using Botanics?)DecemberFabric and pattern purchased
5Red, White & BlackQuilt for Jen (Charm Squares)DecemberFabric purchased, no pattern necessary
6Navy & Citron 16-PatchQuilt for Alexis DecemberQuilt top finished, needs backing…
7Flag QuiltQuilt for Alex (using Parson Grey?)DecemberFabric purchased, have pattern
8Minimalist CirclesPattern Testing for Michelle??Use stash fabric
9Kite FlightCraftsy Kit??Have kit
10Jeremy’s MIL QuiltBento Box quilt top??Need to baste, quilt, and bind

It’s been a goal the last couple years to finally use one of the quilt kits I’ve got stashed away, so Katy of Lethargic Lass got to choose one of the kits from my list, which were slotted in at spaces 41-49, I think, and she choose 42, because that is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Forty-two in this case happened to line up with a Craftsy Kit, the previously mentioned “Kite Flight” – a very lovely quilt. Another goal of mine is to make use of a Craftsy class, so hopefully that quilt will also get a little bit of slightly more adventurous free motion quilting, since most of my Craftsy classes are on that topic.

The one called “Jeremy’s MIL Quilt” is actually a completed quilt top that was the last quilt sewn by my friend Jeremy’s mother-in-law before she passed away earlier this year (2014). Jeremy’s wife gave me her Mom’s sewing machine, the Juki that I’ve talked about in the past, and also gave me that last quilt top and its backing to finish off. I didn’t want to work on it until I was more confident with my quilting, so I haven’t started it yet. I’d like to give the completed quilt back to Sherri and Jeremy, so it needs to be on the list too. (I’m still not very confident with my quilting, though, so hopefully I can get one or two more quilts under my proverbial belt before I tackle that one. The machine is in the shop right now, though, having developed a brutal and godawful and unfortunate squeak. Hopefully I’ll have it back in a week or two so that I can do some of the stuff I don’t like doing on the machine I have got at home.)

Anyway, this getting to be a very long, very pictureless post. So to sum up:

2014 – the suck
2015 – can’t possibly be worse will be better

1. Practise more FMQ/make use of a Craftsy class
2. Finish more than I start
3. Use more of my stash than I add to it
4. Sew up a kit from my stash
5. Keep better records (ie. don’t rely on Instagram)

And just so this isn’t a totally pictureless post, here is a picture of the beginnings of my first project on the list, the brown and lime hashtag quilt:

Brown & Lime Hashtag

Which, by the way, came from Instagram. Because I’ve been obsessively posting there lately. (I’m on vacation from work this week. So lots of time to snap pictures, I guess…)

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network. Links in the sidebar!

17 thoughts on “Year in Review, Year Ahead”

  1. I’m sorry to hear that 2014 was rough for you. Hopefully 2015 will prove to be more fulfilling, happy, stress-free, (pick your adjective). I know I could use the same.

    1. Wishing the same things back at you! The job situation must be stressful, but I hope you figure something out that’ll work better for your life anyway.

  2. Making a list and getting organized helps to keep you on track. You have made some really great goals for the coming year. Kristel. Here’s to a Happy New Year! Come on 2015!

  3. I’ve actually been the same way with fabric shopping. I won a $50 voucher for FQS a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t even spent it yet! I do plan to over the next couple of months as I’ve been watching the coming soon page and have a wishlist; though a lot of the time I’ve lost interest in the fabric when it’s actually released… which is probably a good thing considering how many splurge buys I would do lol. If I lived within the US where I could actually just get one or two half yards at a time I’d probably still be buying but knowing I have to spend at least $100 to make the postage cost worth while puts me off sometimes because spending lots of money all at once hurts, even if it is on fabric! So I guess international shipping has its perks to save me money?! But that’s also probably why I haven’t spent my voucher yet because I’ll also have to throw in $70 of my own money to fill the envelope + shipping costs.

    Oooh I like those Projects at a glance sheets. I actually bought a notebook based on 100 project ideas but for some reason writing on a piece of paper seems better than writing in a notebook (I’m always scared of ruining notebooks by writing in them!).

    With your #3 goal, someone sent me an excel sheet where you can calculate how much fabric you’ve used/gained to compare what’s coming in and out. I actually want to keep track of that myself and you’ve reminded me to start it up this year since I made a zippered pouch today so I can add that fabric on to it… (I can forward it you if you’re interested).

    1. You’ve got the hot hand when it comes to winning prizes, don’t you 😀 (But yeah, too bad you didn’t win from an Australian fabric shop where at least you wouldn’t have the whole shipping thing to contend with!)

      I’m the same with writing in notebooks… I must have dozens of unused books floating around my house because every time I think about writing in any of them, I freeze up and think about how it’s just too stupid to waste that nice paper/book on 😀 These project sheets have been good though – I can just print off a new one if I eff something up – but I do most of it on the computer anyway, so I don’t even have to print them off unless I want to. Right now I’ve got the Projects At A Glance printed off and then just a couple of the individual sheets, though I’ve got more in progress on my computer.

      That excel sheets sounds interesting — send it along for sure! Not sure if you need my email address, but it’s clumsy.chord(at)

      1. I do at the moment! I’m hoping that I can win a few more FQS voucher between now and when I do need to purchase LOL. The issue with local fabric stores is that the fabric costs twice as much though, so I’d probably still end up getting the same amount of fabric with $50 locally that I could at FQS by only using half the voucher on fabric and half on shipping. And postage from the US tends to be quicker than the post domestically anyway. I’ve sent stuff to Massachusetts and to California and it took a week for both to arrive. Sent something to the otherside of Australia and it took longer than a week. Then retail CEOs and our government wonder why people spend online more than buying local. Hmmm, I wonder!!

        I’ve written one project in my project notebook and now I hate how I drew it out and think it looks messy so I want to pull it out and try again, but the pages are numbered with the project number so I can’t !!

        Alrighty I’ll send those sheets!

        1. So I said that and then I went and dropped $100 at Fabricworm. I really, really shouldn’t be buying from the US right now because the Canadian dollar has tanked, so it’s not actually saving me money to buy from there any more (but I couldn’t get what I wanted from a Canadian site, so what can you do?).

          Anyway, we have a similar problem in Canada, as far as pricing goes, though it’s not nearly so dramatic as it is for you. I would say things are typically $3-5 more per yard than in the US – it used to be worse until a lot of fabric shops online opened and the the brick and mortar shops finally had to drop their prices to compete, they used to be about $18-22/metre when fabric was still $8/yd in a US shop. When our dollar was close to their dollar, it was cheaper even with shipping to have things brought up, but now that we’re hovering in the 85 cents range it eliminates the savings. I think Canada and Australia both have to deal with distributors, though, so everything takes longer to get to us and the shops are having to pay the distributor, who has to make a profit, thus charges more than if they could just buy direct. It’s a piss-off, anyway.

          Thanks for sending the sheets! I gave them a bit of a glance over, but damn does that look like a lot of work to set up or what? I think I’m afraid to find out what I’ve actually got.

          1. Yeah, the Australian dollar is pretty crappy too (worse than yours!). I’m really trying to hold out until Feb/March; hopefully the dollar will be better then … I probably should really start comparing the costs in local stores with such a bad dollar (just looked up prices for a random fat eighth bundle +shipping and it’s only a couple of dollars difference whether I buy it here or from FQS with the current rates!).

            My understanding of the sheets is that I just have to put in my own numbers in as I use it, not that I need to set anything up (I’m not going to go through my stash and count what I have already; I figure that number will be reflected amongst the “used” column as I go). I just need to remember to use it, and think of rules in what to count — I don’t think I’d count a quilt top that is a WIP since I would consider that stash already (somewhat) used but once that’s done and I put a back together then I would count the backing since it’s not made up yet…

            1. Haha.. okay, apparently I need to take a second look and read through those sheets again. I did kind of quick skim and just kind of went Oh God, which really is my general reaction to anything that looks like math. But I suppose she was considering just fabric in vs fabric out, as opposed to Total Fabric in Stash + Fabric In – Fabric Out, which takes away the part that I’m afraid to know (ie. just how much I’ve actually got stuffed away in my sewing room…).

              1. LOL yes it’s just Fabric Used – Fabric In (basically just to calculate that you’re using more than what you’re buying). I’m not even motivated enough to count and measure my own stash!!

                1. Could you imagine how much work it would be to calculate the total amount of fabric in your stash? I mean, I guess I don’t know how big/small yours is, but I know that I once counted up all the Tula Pink Neptune fabric I’ve got and it’s WAY more yards than I ever would have guessed. So I’m guessing whatever ball park figure I could draw up as a guess on how much stash I’ve got would turn out to be way, way, way less than I’ve really got on hand.

                  1. I’m not even going to think about it… there’s my hoarded bundles, stuff in my stash-stash… the backings and bindings/larger cuts….

  4. I like your hash tags, especially that you’re using brown background. I’m impressed with your goals for the year. I wish I were so ambitious!

    1. Thanks so much! I really love that brown background with the greens for the hashtags. It’s kind of… I don’t know, it’s a different neutral, but I love brown so I’m glad to have a chance to use it!

      I’m not convinced I’ll get through so many things on my list, but it’s a wish list, so I can afford to be ambitious with that 😀

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