Monday, December 28, 2015

2016 - The Year of Change

I feel like this year has just flown by and when I look back at my finished projects, I honestly don't have that many. I've never been one to focus on the end result, but I've put a lot of time and effort into little sewing projects this past year rather than quilts. I definitely want to make some changes for 2016 and a lot of that has to do with my approach and attitude. Here are some of the things (quilting and personal) that I want to change or focus on in 2016:

1. More selfish sewing - I want to set aside some time each week to work on sewing just for me. I already have some ideas and plan on participating in Carla's Bee, Myself, and I project over at Granny Maud's Girl.

2. Wardrobe Makeover - it's not so much of a makeover as it is buying clothes that fit. I lost 17 pounds in the past year and none of my clothes fit. I hate the idea of clothes shopping but it has to be done. I'm tired of feeling frumpy.

3. Declutter and organize my everyday life. I've started listening to this book online - "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo. Some of it seems a bit corny to me, like thanking your clothes before discarding them, but maybe it's a cultural difference (the author is Japanese).  Despite that, it has a lot of great ideas. I think this can help me with organizing my wardrobe (what I have left after I get rid of everything that doesn't fit), my house, and even my sewing room.

4. Become a mentor. I'll be spending the next few months working intensively with my 5th graders to finish the school wallhanging. Because of the school's confidentiality policy and consent for photo releases, I've not been able share any of their progress thus far but I love seeing how excited the students get when I walk into their classroom. I've really enjoyed passing on my knowledge and skills to others and would like to continue it in some capacity.

6. Finish my 3 big WIPs - my 2015 Stash Bee quilt, my Midnight Mystery quilt, and my Pinwheel quilt. That Pinwheel quilt was started in October 2013 and the bulk of the top has been pieced together since January 2015. It's just been waiting for me to add the outer border and then it's ready to quilt.

7. Continue making our house our home oasis. More and more, my husband and I realize that what we love about the various model homes that we tour, is that they have a cohesive decor. We built our house so it's been a clean slate since day one. I've made some progress with some handmade curtains but I really hope to get the rest of the house painted, make a few more curtains, put more things on the wall and add those finishing touches that pull it all together.

8. Cut into some of my layer cakes. Over the last few years I've collected at least 7 layer cakes and have yet to do anything with them. They're pretty and all just sitting on my shelf, but I'll bet they'd look cuter in a quilt.

9. Create and stick to a routine that works for me to achieve a better balance of work, home, and leisure time. I got the Quilter's Planner to help me organize and manage things. I'm a list maker and love the act of crossing items off once they've been completed, but I've never used a physical planner. I've always kept my schedule on my online calendar. I'll still be doing that but I'm hoping to make use of this planner to keep track of the little things and details.

10. Blog more regularly - my hope for 2016 is to use my planner to set aside time to write out blog posts and schedule them so that I blog on a more regular basis. That being said, knowing that my family will always come first, I won't beat myself up if that doesn't happen. A bonus would be for me to make a few cosmetic changes to my blog.

So there it is. Some of the things I hope I can accomplish this coming year. I think most of these goals are achievable. Nothing exciting, really but it works for me.  I'm joining the 2016 Planning Linky Party hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.

2016 Planning Party

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Stash - Black Friday Edition

When I was younger, my Dad and I used to go out shopping on Black Friday. We'd do a bit of shopping and then have lunch together. It was a relaxing father-daughter outing. It was also 20 years ago before it was this over-commercialized frenzy of shoppers half crazed to get a good deal. Now, I avoid Black Friday shopping like the plague unless it's from the comfort of my living room.

I don't recall buying anything at all last year, but this year I just couldn't resist some good quilty bargains. My big purchase were these Bella and Kona solids: Bella Celery, Kona Tarragon, Kona Gold, Bella Pond, Kona Chestnut, Kona Teal Blue, and Bella Snow.

These are going to be for a cathedral window bed runner that I'm making for my parents.  Here is the inspiration photo that my step-mom gave to me. I used the Palette Builder from Playcrafts to help me pick my fabric colors.

The fabrics above are actually much closer to the colors in the photo but when I would try to  color correct the blues in my photo it made the gold look very orange and the chestnut much darker than it really is. I think they're going to look great together.

I also couldn't resist picking up this 3-pack of aurifil thread for $10. I threw in a half yard of this vintage linen postscript fabric to make it worth the cost of shipping.

Last but not least, I picked up a half yard of Angela Walter's Drawn fabric in the sorbet colorway for no other reason than it's so pretty. The other 2 fabrics I plan to use for bindings. The dark teal and black one will be for my Stash Bee quilt once I get it quilted. I don't have a specific quilt in mind for the chevron one yet but I love the look of chevron bindings.

I've seen others put themselves on a fabric diet and while I don't think I need to go that far, I'm definitely set with fabric purchases for quite some time.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Final Holiday Projects

I'm just about done with my holiday gift projects. I still need to make something for my son's teacher and I'll be completely done. Earlier this week I made my nephew a travel crayon caddy.

Remember my earlier conundrum on what to do about the open pockets? Well, I decided to add a button flap to keep everything in place.

I'd considered making them zippered pockets but this was just quicker and easier. And with the holidays in full swing, quicker is better. Now to get these last gifts in the mail.