Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year In Review Part 2 -- Early Finishes and Plans for 2014

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about my recent (since November) finishes.  As for the early part of this year, my other finishes have been detailed in previous posts and they included:

January: UGRR/Pioneer Samplers

March: Merrimac Dresdens

May: Brrr!

and the "Tribute" fabric line series all completed in June:

Tribute Mini and Star Spangled Runner  

Looking back I guess I really can't complain about my productivity but that also doesn't guarantee that the REST of the UFOs will get done either!

So what's up for 2014?  Well, the UFO fest must continue because I want (need?) to clear out some of the stuff sitting under my cutting table so that it can be fully functional (that is, be closed down when I need it to be).  My Double Wedding Ring  project is one of those gremlins under the table that comes to mind since it's one of my original bucket list projects and right now only needs borders and quilting.

More than a couple of my UFOs are TBQs (To Be Quilted) so I hope to sprinkle in more than a few those as well.

I'm realizing more and more that I am comfortable with doing the actual quilt stitching so now it's only the "quilt whispering" (deciding what to quilt where) that I have to get more confident about.  In a conversation today with Teri Lucas (check out her work and blog) at Hartsdale Fabrics a LQS, she gave me a lot of ideas and a challenge to try in the coming year to help loosen up my willingness to let my quilting get "Foot Loose and Fancy Free" (which just happens to be the name of one of her many classes, check out the details of that and all her classes here).

I am also only a few more projects away from completing my first "quilt gallery" in my home.  I've always wanted to create quilt displays around my home tied to a theme.  The UGRR/Pioneer Samplers and Merrimac quilt are part of a series of quilts I have done using Civil War reproduction fabrics.  In the TBQ pile (bottom left) is my CW Chronicles BOM a bed size top that once finished will be displayed on my bed.  The UGRR/Pioneer Samplers have been hanging at the top of my entry stairwell since they were finished in January.  Also in the works are sampler blocks for not one but TWO lap quilts that will be displayed on my couch.

I've got about half the blocks done for both and already have border and backing fabrics purchased so hope to get those finished in the early part of the year as well.  Lastly will be a couple more mini quilts as well as the "Soldier Cot Quilt" from Kathleen Tracy's book "The Civil War Sewing Circle".  Along with the Merrimac Quilt these will be displayed in the stairwell  that goes upstairs to our bedrooms.  I had hoped for this to have all been completed by the end of this year but now am shooting for a finish by June of 2014.

What's the biggest project on my "To Do" list?  Early last year a quilting friend and I initiated talks to do a quilted project for the Bronx division of the New York City Family Justice Center that aids victims of domestic violence. The plan at the time was to make three quilts for display in their offices.  The projects will include some fabric squares embellished by the clients of the office.  We procured some donated fabrics back in July and the embellished blocks were delivered at the end of August.  I was able to do some preliminary work on it but have not been able to proceed on it as the school volunteering and  holiday commitments got under way.  I realize now that the problem is that this is not something I can work on in between other projects, I'm going to have to clear the time and space to focus on this by itself if I am to move it forward.  So this will have to be a priority project for the New Year because I really want to deliver something wonderful for an important organization that is doing work for a very worthy cause.

But before all that can happen I have a quilt date tomorrow!  Tomorrow the Planet Patchwork website will be holding its VERY LAST New Year's One Day Mystery!!!!!   This website will be shutting down for good in 2014 so this is my last chance to participate in one of these.  They have held these Mystery quilts on either the day after Thanksgiving or New Years Day for years.  The projects are designed by Merry Meyhem, the alter ego of quilt designer Merry May and co-author of the book "Insider's Guide To Quilting Careers" with Linda Hahn.  I have participated in two previous mysteries, one last year and in 2007 so I really wanted to participate in this one last time.  The good news is that if what they say is true, the fact that I'll be at the machine at the very start of the year will be a good omen for how I will (or hope to) spend the rest of the year! 

This also sets me up for more UFO/TBQ quilting in 2014 since last year's mystery needs the borders finished (I changed the design of the original) and the 2007 one is TBQ.  I am sorry to see this website go since it was one that was very informative for me when I first started quilting.  However, the bonus for me was that I finally scored a copy of the "Dear Jane" book from the their store closing sale.  Doubt THAT will be added to my 2014 project file but definitely some "Janey" work will be in my quilt future! 

So that's it for me and 2013.  Here's hoping that you and yours have a joyous New Year's Eve and a healthy, happy, prosperous and productive 2014!!

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