Work-in-Progress Girl


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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 Name Description Target Date Project Stage
1 Lime and Brown Hastag Baby Quilt for Jen’s friend Jan 15, 2015 Sewing Blocks
2 Easter Mini Mini Quilt for Mom February Cross-stitch Finished – all other work needed
3 Confetti-Go-Lucky Quilt for Mom (Confetti pattern) February Mid-quilting
4 Quarter Section Quilt for Dad (using Botanics?) December Fabric and pattern purchased
5 Red, White & Black Quilt for Jen (Charm Squares) December Fabric purchased, no pattern necessary
6 Navy & Citron 16-Patch Quilt for Alexis December Quilt top finished, needs backing…
7 Flag Quilt Quilt for Alex (using Parson Grey?) December Fabric purchased, have pattern
8 Minimalist Circles Pattern Testing for Michelle ?? Use stash fabric
9 Kite Flight Craftsy Kit ?? Have kit
10 Jeremy’s MIL Quilt Bento 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

Goals
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!


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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.)