Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Look Back, Looking Forward: Resolutions Update

This is sort of an addendum to my "Get It Done" reports:  Back in October in a Sew News blog post, Online editor Jill Case asked readers if they had kept their New Years Resolutions or if they even remembered what they were?

Graphic Courtesy SewNews.com
Since a big part of my "process" this year was getting a handle on setting my priorities and meeting them, I figured it was worth my while to try to answer that.  So from my New Year's post here's how the year has gone:

Word of the Year:  Efficient.

My plan here was to better manage the process part of a quilt so that working on it would be smoother and I could get better at estimating both the time I have to do stuff, the time I need to devote to stuff (if I'm trying to meet a deadline) and what I can reasonably expect to get done within the time allotted.  That would get done by making smaller, more realistic "To Do" lists and continuing to do my monthly "Get It Done" reports to assess my progress.

I have kept up the reports (which can be accessed from the labels link on the sidebar) and they helped me understand where I went wrong in the past.  The big lesson I learned is that it is important (at least for me) to detail every aspect of what I have to do for a project instead of starting with just some vague idea about how easy or hard I expect the project to be.  I have come to realize that I could better estimate my time and what was possible to accomplish if for example, I understood from the start that I needed to make twelve blocks that require ten HSTs and four rail fence units each and made a test block to see just how long each step would take.  I also wouldn't be caught by surprise if (when?!?) I fell behind if I hadn't made a certain number of blocks or units on the days I planned to work on them.

It's certainly easier to make short lists when you know exactly what you are actually capable of getting done!

On the Project Side.

I had listed six things I wanted to get done although in my typical fashion, some of those things actually consisted of more than one project!  I have managed to get a few things done and have a few more that are either in process or scheduled to be worked on.  Last year I would have considered that a failing grade but now I'm able to put the idea of "doable" in context and see that actually, all things considered, I stayed reasonably  (there's that word again!) on track.  So what were the main themes this year?

1.  Hand Work

I had three hand work projects planned at the start of the year.  One was almost done when the year started and one was soon to be layered.  I'm pleased to say both of those got done (see them here and here).  The last one is a hand quilted wholecloth which is also a "bucket list" project.  It  remains undone because I decided I wanted to make some "design decisions" about how to proceed with it but preferred to devote my time to other priorities.  So it was set aside and I hope to make it a priority for the start of 2017.

2.  Staring Down the Bucket List

In addition to the wholecloth quilt, my other big bucket list goal was to finish my Double Wedding Ring quilt.  Admittedly, a family illness and a summer of house guests along with focusing on other projects have kept this from getting attention.  I had it scheduled for some attention in November but that had depended on whether I got the things I wanted to work on in October done as well.  Neither of those things happened and while it was put on the list again for December, it might ultimately get moved on to the lists for next year.

3.  UFO Busting -- Get It Done!

The first part of this goal was to keep up the monthly "Get It Done" reports which I have done.  The second part was to limit new projects in favor of focusing on UFOs.  Results on that are mixed:  while I haven't started any totally new projects (things I bought fabric for this year and then immediately started working on), I have stashed a few.  The two hand work projects at the start of the year are so far the only true UFOs (things I started work on in a prior year) that I've completed this year.  The other projects I've worked on are what I call "HSY" (aka the "Hussies") meaning they are projects whose stashes were already in house but I "Hadn't Started Yet".  So not new to me but certainly newly introduced to the sewing machine (QOVs, T-shirt quilt) or the work table (Barn Quilts).  However, given the length of my HSY list, that's not necessarily a bad thing either! 

I will say that while I have at least two more HSYs I'd like to get to before the year ends, if I get to the DWR and my Wool Ornaments as planned this month, those will be UFO work.  We'll see!

4.  Charity Quilts:  Quilts of Valor

The good news is that this one is well on it's way.  I've got two tops done (seen here and here) and have the backing for both in house.  I didn't make my deadline of getting them quilted and done for Veteran's Day but I'm pretty confident I can complete them by year's end.

5.  A Functioning Featherweight

Along with the hand work, I'm pleased to say this got finished at the beginning of the year and I even got to put it to work (seen here)!

6.  The Baby Quilt
This hasn't been worked on and had been tentatively put on my "To Do" list for December in the hopes of getting it done as a Christmas gift but at this point that's not going to happen.  Oh well, another one for next year's list!

 I've already starting making my list for 2017 so hope for getting things done springs eternal!

1 comment:

Valerie Reynolds said...

LOL! THAT is quite a list Viv! I think as long as we enjoy the process we are good! I was intrigued by your desire to make your own clothes. I grew up with my making our clothes and sewed my own clothes while in High School...it was very rewarding and fun!