A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I

I keep mentioning that I want 2023 to be a “year of finishes” of existing projects. I realized to get there I need to first do an audit of my open projects awaiting finishing. I might as well look at projects that are awaiting starting too!

So I pulled them all out and took photos:

(Note: I did not include any existing knitting or crocheting projects, only sewing projects)

So I have 24 Projects in queue!

I should clarify so you can save yourself complete boredom and stop reading right here – this post is actually for me – to catalog my open projects and motivate me to complete (the ones I decide to keep after this audit) them this year. If this becomes a snoozer for you I understand (smile).

So I am going to go through each project shown above and share background on each project and whether I am keeping the project or not.

But first, I came across on YouTube (one of my favorite sources of random information and entertainment) this video on Why is Decluttering Your Sewing Space So Hard? by Just Get It Done Quilts:

I think this video is awesome in giving context and insight on why we struggle with decluttering our sewing spaces and letting go of sewing supplies and unfinished projects.

If you head over to around 8:20 minutes into the video, the 4th reason why decluttering your sewing space is so hard: Not Asking the Right Questions. Decluttering your sewing space is not like decluttering a kitchen or a bathroom.

Instead of asking ourselves:”Do we need it?” or “Can I make it?”, we should be asking ourselves DO I WANT TO MAKE IT?

This video really helped me with making decisions during my unfinished/not started sewing project audit as I asked myself on each project: “Do I want to make it?”

THE PROJECT AUDIT

1) DRAWSTRING/PROJECT BAGS

I have a lot of cut and interfaced sections for drawstring/project bags. I recently finished 9 from my pile (see post A Year of Finishes: 3rd to 11th Finish of 2023 ) and they are a great sewing project to work on while I am recovering from my broken ankle/surgical repair.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep this project and continue working on bags with plan to finish assembling all already cut bags in 2023.

2) FRIENDSHIP RING QUILT

A friend sent me this quilt in progress that she had designed. The first version of this quilt appeared publication. She started a second one and did not finish it. She offered it to me and I accepted it in 2020 – see post Project Adoption Challenge!

But it is now 2023 and I have not touched this project. It is a bit of work and I am struggling with if at this point I want to make it.

AUDIT DECISION: If I haven’t started this quilt by the end of 2023, I will ask my friend if she wants it returned, if not, I will donate it. I’ve also decided not to take on anyone’s unfinished projects in the future any longer, no matter how awesome and tempting they seem.

3) NEUTRAL COLORS/FABRIC PRINTING ART QUILT

I’ve blogged about this quilt several times, most recently in August 2022 – Starting an Art Quilt. I started it and got stalled again. I am struggling with the design on the quilt and I’ve tried several layouts that have not been working.

AUDIT DECISION: I really want to make this quilt. I’ve been thinking about it for years. I am holding onto to it and will revisit it when it feels right. Hopefully it will feel like putting it back up on the design wall in 2023, but I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023.

4) FARM GIRL QUILT

I think the last time I blogged about this quilt it was in July 2017 in this post – More Farm House Vintage Blocks. I’ve made enough blocks to make a lap sized quilt but there are more blocks I want to make before I made a “Farm Girl” quilt. But I do have a friend, who actually lives in farming country in Oregon who is interesting in buying the Farm Girl quilt when I finish it.

AUDIT DECISION: I really enjoy making the blocks from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl sampler books. I want to finish a quilt and either sell to my friend or sell on my Etsy shop when I reopen it someday. I am going to keep the 16 blocks I’ve made so far and turn them into a quilt. I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023 but in 2023 I do want to revisit the blocks, layout options, and strategize how many addition blocks I need to complete to make a decent sized quilt.

5) PANELS AND PATTERNS FROM THE 2021 ROCKY MOUNTAIN QUILT SHOP HOP

In 2021 John and I attended the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop and it was a blast. Along the way I picked up some really cool panels and patterns from participating shops. Our roadtrip around the Front Range and Southern Colorado was a blast. I have a series of blog posts on our adventures – Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part I , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part II , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part III , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part IV , and Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part V.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep and put away until ready to work on it. Do not schedule for 2023 finish but revisit during 2023.

6) FABRIC SCRAPS FROM ANOTHER QUILTER’S PROJECT

I’ve had this package of scraps for 9 or more years. Another quilter made a really cute Autumn themed table runner at a quilt retreat I attended. She gave me her scraps which were enough to make another table runner.

AUDIT DECISION: Let it go and donate the scraps. I haven’t made it in 9 years since I received the scraps and I’ve lost interest in making a table runner with these fabrics.

7) SASHISKO HAND SEWING PROJECT

I’ve had this project for a long time. I think I bought this “Learn Sashisko” panel during my first visit to Cannon Beach, Oregon which likely a year or so after I first moved to Central Oregon in 2005. So I probably had this project for a long time! I bought it at this wonderful quilt shop in Cannon Beach – Center Diamond Fabrics. Many wonderful memories of visit Cannon Beach, Oregon with my late husband Terry and I our various Miniature Schnauzers (here is one of those posts – The Road to Retreat (Via Cannon Beach))

AUDIT DECISION: Keep it and work on finishing up this hand sewing project in 2023.

8) THREE BLIND MICE PIN CUSHIONS

Another project I’ve had a long time. Not sure when I bought it!

AUDIT DECISION: Make the mice pincushions in 2023 and give as gifts.

I will finish up the audit of projects 9 – 24 in Part II and Part III of this series of posts.

Featured image: Google Pexels

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Bags Bags Bags

A Year of Finishes: 3rd to 11th Finish of 2023

2023 is my year to make a dent in my outstanding projects (next post I will share the audit I did of my outstanding projects); and I’ve sort of made a dent in stack of drawstring/project bags to be completed (which I put on hold in November 2022 – see post That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace ).

Here is the pile of some of the unfinished bags:

I am still non weight bearing on my left leg after an ankle fracture and subsequent surgery to repair, I wanted to return to my sewing machine (enough with the hand sewing only!)

So John helped me get all set up at the sewing machine with everything within easy reach and I got to work!

I started with making bags that need purple thread as there is a thread and bobbin thread change for each set of project/drawstring bags.

I finished 9 drawstring/project bags (3rd to 11th finish of 2023!):

The bags had some fun linings:

Here are close up photos of the bags grouped by fabric:

Next I am switching to an orange thread to work on the next set of bags.

It felt good to be at my sewing machine again even if I had to take some frequent breaks.


Postscript

The other day a friend share photos of how she is using the drawstring/project bag she got from me last year – as a toiletry bag while traveling:

It was cool to see one of the bags I made in practical use!

What's on the Design Wall

What is OFF the Design Wall: Tango Stripe is Done (yay!)

Yay! Tango Stripe (pattern by Jean Wells), is finally done!

It took a while to match all the seams of the rows in the diagonal/”on-point” setting:

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But finally – it was done!

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Okay it is not actually done as it still needs to be quilted. I will be giving it to my Washington state based quilting sisters I see at the end of the month to take to a long-arm quilter I met many years ago when I lived in Seattle – Krista Moser.

A couple of years ago I attended a quilt retreat with her and was reinforced on what a lovely and talented person she is (Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet). My quilting sisters Judy and Dana have used her services for years and she has done beautiful work on their quilts.

It is fun to see Krista who started as a teenager on a long-arm, move from making purses and long-arm quilting in her small garage to try and make a living, to building a quilting empire (her patterns are now sold in quilt shops are around the country as are her custom rulers)!  She is like “local girl makes good”!

I had alway been hesitant about using out of town long-arm quilters, but I had a wonderful experience sending a couple quilts to my talented blogging buddy, Cindy (inastitchquilting.com) – see these posts: A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending” and Pajama Sale and Finished Pieces.

I’ve already put together the backing for the quilt and have it all packaged up to give my friends to take to Krista. I feel so free that this quilt (which was an old “UFO”) is done!

By the way, it was the imaginary pressure of you all expecting me to finish up the quilt soon since I kept sharing posts about its progress, that really pushed me to finish it. Living in a fantasy world can be really useful at times – ha!

I’ve already started working/planning/playing with my next UFO to work on but that will be a future post. But here is a preview/tease – it involves pieces from these two posts: Art Quilter Play Date and Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects.

I will leave you guessing for now…

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

I hurried.

No the feature photo is not of anyone I know, it is courtesy of freeimages.com and the photographer is Alex LA. 

Today I have a shocking update to my previous post on 07/31/17, Everything is Accomplished (What’s On the Design Wall) .

I actually finished (quilted, binding done and hung on the wall) the wallhanging I started in an appliqué class in May 2016, inspired by Lao Tzu’s quote:

“NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.” ~LAO TZU

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Finished, quilted, hanging on the wall!

I am not sure what came over me, as I really was going to continue following Nature’s example and not hurry – ha! I figured in another year or so I would get it finished. Instead I finished it under a week.

Shocking.


Postscript

A couple of days ago I snapped this photo in my studio. I was laughing to myself at how many projects I had in progress, at the same time, in the same area.

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I assigned numbers and below is a link to the most recent blog posts on each ongoing project. I am on a push to complete open projects!

  1. Decorative small pillows – Finishing out the Challenge Bag of shot cottons
  2. Applique Project (this post)
  3. Medallion wallhanging – What’s on the Design Wall: Scrappy Improvisational Medallion
  4. Traditional quilt block piecing with non traditional fabrics – Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part III

Well, as of today I am one down!

Studio

…let loose and HOWL

“Once in a while, you just have to let loose and HOWL” is one of the dog themed sayings on the wallhanging sized quilt I just finished on Saturday and hung in Terry the Quilting Husband’s (TTQH) studio (aka the Guest Room).

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No More Just Gathering Dust

My friend Lisa gave me dog themed wallhanging sized quilt top (unfinished quilt) a couple years ago. Since then it has in my closet (after sitting in hers) as an un-finished object (UFO), just gathering dust (yes quilters like to transfer their UFOs from one quilter to another to keep in storage at someone else’s house!).

Saturday I was rummaging through my UFOs and came across this quilt top; and spur of the moment decided to JUST FINISH IT.

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Lisa was very generous to give me this completed wallhanging quilt top. All I had to do in order to finish the quilt was to prepare the backing; machine quilt it; and bind it.

Recycled Batting

A quilting colleague who is a professional long-arm quilter has quilting batting leftovers from her customers’ quilts that the customers do not want. She saves some of the pieces for me to use for table runners or small projects. (I rarely buy package batting as for smaller pieces I have her discards and for larger quilts I get them professionally quilted which include the batting in the cost)

She also taught me how to piece smaller batting together to make a larger batting for a project – either by zig zagging the batting together or using a special tape to join them.

I did not have pieces of scrap batting to finish the dog themed wallhanging quilt. So I zig zagged two smaller pieces together:

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Favorite Saying?

Not only did I make the batting, quilt it and bind it all in one day, I also got it hung in TTQH’s sewing area (the entire Guest Room is dog…primarily schnauzer…themed)!

Summoning TTQH to the Guest Room…I mean his “studio”, to reveal the latest addition, I asked him which saying on the wallhanging was his favorite. He selected this one:

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Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would be very pleased with this choice of sayings!

My favorite quote on the quilt is this one I already shared:

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I am feeling fairly pleased I got a craft project finished and hung in a day (okay, okay the quilt top was already made by another quilter, ha!).

Happy Howling!