Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year-End Finishes/Last Post of 2009

Well I finally had to throw in the towel. Back in September, Finn of the "Pieces From My Scrapbag" blog had issued a challenge to finish up and clear out UFOs for the coming New Year. At that point, I was swimming in projects and felt there was more than enough time to focus myself and get a lot of stuff that was sitting around, close to finished, completed. I pledged to complete seven projects which I felt was conservative since I knew I had way more than that either going on or dying to be started and figured that getting that much done would certainly take a load off going into the New Year.

So it is now with a bit of regret that I can only report two year-end finishes out of the seven hoped for. I'm not sure if the challenge spooked me or if I just underestimated my focus and resolve . So what did I get done?

The primary goal on my Year-end list was to add some detail quilting to the Christmas BOM wall hanging I made last year. I believed this was an easy one to complete and really had expected to get it done before the fall finished. I had found a holly leaves and berry border motif in Alex Anderson's "Beautifully Quilted with Alex Anderson" book and thought that with a design in hand it would be a cinch to do. Also one of my goals for this year had been to get to the quilting of my quilts instead of procrastinating like I usually do. Yet, it sat and sat in favor of starting new stuff, always with the belief that the minute I got a chance, I'd quickly and easily wipe this off my list. In fact it shouldn't have even been hard since I had done a free-motion holly leaf motif in the border of one of my first quilts back in 2002.

Sorry about the picture. It was taken with an early and not very good digital camera.

And yet I did not do this until the week before Christmas because I was under the threat of the deadline for holiday decorating!

Everything else I wanted to get done were for complete finishes - down to quilting and binding. I had one WISP that was long overdue and at that time had three projects that had been started this year that were already basted and waiting for quilting and which I thought would be the next logical finishes. However, in the end, the only other finish that got done was a quilt that started out as a comfort gift for one of my DH's aunts. She called in October to say that she was going home from the hospital after a biopsy for breast cancer. Just the day before I had purchased the book "Quilter's Think Pink" from Clotilde.com as a downloadable book and had saw a cute pink ribbon quilt that I thought would be great to make for someone. When she called, I was on-line at that moment ordering backing fabrics for two kit quilts I had recently purchased and figured I'd see if the supplier, AAA Quilters Supply, had any nice pink fabrics for it. Boy did they! All the pink fabrics (with the exception of the lightest pink solid), the border stripe and the backing for this quilt came from them. I had the light pink and all the creams and tans in my stash so I thought this would be a quickly made gift for her. Unfortunately, it took way longer than expected. Fortunately she turned out to be my Kringle giftee so it got to be changed from comfort to Christmas gift and as such HAD to get done and was presented to her at my DH's family's Christmas gathering.

And although I am a little disappointed in myself for not getting more done, I'm not completely discouraged. I am looking forward to getting to work once all the holiday festivities are finished.

I was encouraged even more when recently (when I really should have been quilting), I was blog surfing and Mary Johnson of MaryQuilts blog (http://blog.maryquilts.com/) posed the question on 12/18: how do you keep track of your projects and how did you do for the year? I hadn't actually tallied everything up and when I did, I was really shocked. While I may not have many complete finishes for this year, I did do ALOT of work! I did complete one WISP before the challenge and from the start of this year initiated 13 (!) new projects.

The tally for all the new projects this year:
  • 3 Completed (two prior to the challenge and one after)

  • 1 is (recently) partially quilted

  • 3 are basted and waiting on quilting

  • 2 need to be basted (back and batting are ready)

  • 1 needs borders and the back prepared

  • And the final 3 are still in the piecing stage (and one of those is actually a two-fer, I had started new bed quilts for my sons which I count as one project but will produce two quilts).

In that final group is the quilt I designed for the Colorblocks I swapped for in the Four Season Summer Block Swap (blogged about here) which is currently on my design wall. I made and received forty blocks (in two sets of twenty) but my design calls for a 7 by 6 set so I need to make two more. I am also using solid fabrics for the square-in-square sashing squares and just ordered a set of solid fabrics from Keepsake Quilting to add to the ones I was able to pull from my stash.

On the Design Wall

Whew! Any way, next year's goals are to work only on existing projects, hopefully finishing all of these and starting new new projects only if I already have the fabric and pattern in house. So 2010 looks like a fabric diet year for me since I really don't need to purchase anything unless it's to finish something I've got.

I am still glad I participated in the challenge. It was motivating to try to keep what I wanted to do in the front of my mind even if I still seemed to avoid what I needed to do like the plague! I believe the lessons learned about my quilting self will benefit me greatly in the coming year and lead to a very productive one.

I hope everyone has a Happy and Quilty New Year!