2018 FAL: Q1 Project List

I'm in! 2018 FAL

Ok. I’ve never actually managed to finish anything that I’ve ever listed but…with hope springing eternal in the new year — and a good start on at least one project — I’m jumping in and posting a small list for the first quarter of 2018. Four projects sounds reasonable, right? Maybe a stretch, but not such a big one that I end up feeling defeated by my goals.

landon's quilt

Ugly Nautical Baby Quilt Finish/Refinish (#1)

  • To Do: unsew, add borders, back, baste & quilt, bind, donate
  • By far not my favorite, but I just want it gone. And it won’t take long to finish once I actually get started on it.

drawstring bag 2

Six Lined Drawstring Bags (#2)

  • Done/To Do: Fabric is mostly selected and some pieces cut. Just need to assemble then send to their future homes.
  • This should be my first completed project, as I want to get these to my nieces and nephews ASAP.

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Bri’s Quilt (#3)

  • To Do: add wide border, back, baste & quilt, bind, finish in time for my parents to take back with them when they visit! (late February/March)
  • I got annoyed when I sewed the HST blocks together and they didn’t line up perfectly (and won’t, due to a combination of sewing and cutting errors, I think) and set this aside. But Bri is 2 and about to have a baby sister and her older sister already has a quilt, so…it needs to be finished!

Wool + Wax Tote (#4)

  • To Do: Cut pieces, assemble, USE!
  • No photo because embarrassingly I can’t find my bundle of fabrics and notions that I collected to make this tote. So perhaps my first step should be find the project. But I know it’s close by, just got shuffled up in a reorg before I snapped any photos. Anyway, I’ve wanted to make a Noodlehead pattern for a while and this one works really well for my needs. I’m excited to make something functional for myself.

That’s it! I think a doable list, but I’m not going to beat myself up if it doesn’t all get done, either. I started this post over the weekend before my internship started up again and the view looks a little different this morning as I’m back to my crazy schedule!

 

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Lined Drawstring Bag

drawstring bag 2

I was really hoping that this week off before school and my internship start back up would be a hive of productivity, both creatively and professionaly. Instead, I picked up the mother of all colds over New Years and have been reduced to just making it through. That’s been kind of a bummer. Today, though I am finally feeling better and took the opportunity to make up a lined drawstring bag. I’ve had this pattern from In Color Order forever but never had gotten around to making up a bag using it. I’m glad that has finally changed!

more bags
So dark…right now my reality is sewing and photography that takes place after the sun goes down.

In addition to the pink fabrics on the exterior, I used a yellow zebra print for the lining. You can see it in the pieces I’ve laid out for other bags. And some rainbow striped ribbon for the drawstrings. I actually started to make a fabric drawstring but broke my needle somehow. That’s usually a sign to step away from the machine!

Although I’m linking up this up as a finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict, I’m not actually totally done with this pattern. I’m planning to make several more to use as fun packaging for the January mail surprise I send to my neices and nephews. I need six more. You can see some of my fabric considerations and some of the goodies in the photo above. Anyway, those six additional lined drawstring bags will be my January One Monthly Goal, which I am linking up to at Elm Street Quilts.

 

UFO Challenge #s for January

Judy at Patchwork Times and American Patchwork and Quilting have both announced their UFO numbers for the month. These correspond to my UFO lists 1 & 2 respectively, and, in that order, the project numbers are 10 and 12. Actually APQ posted their number early because apparently many people put a less-loved project at 12, not expecting it to be called right away. And so they wanted to give a little heads up in case people needed to rearrange their list. I would be one of those people! I really just didn’t feel like working on the Neptune pinwheels this month, so switched it with the Rainbow Plus project previously at #4. Anyway…the two projects are:

  • #10 — The Nautical Baby quilt. I think that I am going to un-sew the four big squares and add a border around each one to give the fabrics a little more room to breathe. I’m not sure if I’ll use a white or other solid for the border, but I definitely feel more positive about the quilt after making that decision.
  • #12 — The Rainbow Plus quilt. I hit a little snag with this one already — I had cut enough pieces for a full-on rainbow top, but when I pulled the fabrics I didn’t really pay as much attention to value as I should have and I honestly HATE how it looks with all the colors just jumbled together when I tried it out on my design wall. So this project may end up with a quilt or a quilt top, but with enough leftovers to make more quilts, ugh! My plan right now is to pull my favorite of each color, make a plus block, give it a wide border and set it into a 3 by 3 layout for a small throw sized quilt. And then we’ll see what I do with the rest of the squares.

Before I do any of that, though, I want to sew up some quick and simple drawstring bags for my nieces and nephews. I try to send them a little care package each month and this month I have a variety of little stocking stuffer type goodies that would be easier to throw in a bag than try to wrap individually! I am tempted to make this my One Monthly Goal…but I have been abyssmal at meeting those. I think I’ll sleep on it and decide tomorrow!

UFO List #2 (Plus some WIPs)

 

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Ok, this list doesn’t have any photos because I ran out of steam. But these are all UFO projects started over the last several years and then abandoned for one reason or another. And these two lists (UFO List #1 and today’s) don’t include ALL the things I’ve started and let founder. But I figure they’re a good place to start!

  1. Big & Simple Squares #1 — needs a backing, then quilted and bound
  2. Big & Simple Squares #2 — needs a backing, then quilted and bound
  3. Chevron & On — some blocks complete, many more to go
  4. Rainbow Plus — everything cut, but needs to be pieced
  5. Aprons — I have three different aprons started. I’d like to finish them or maybe decide to harvest the fabric for something else.
  6. Rosy Chevron — needs a backing, then quilted and bound
  7. Blooming Star — backing needs to be finished, then quilted and bound
  8. Charm pack quilts — I have three different charm packs that I’ve played around with in various layouts. I’d like to get them made up into baby quilts and out of my stash.
  9. Weird improv project — as the name implies, this is an improv project that stalled because its hideous. I’m curious to see if going back to it will improve it or if its destined for the dustbin.
  10. Rosy Mini — I have the center pieced and then all the tiny scraps of that rosy floral to use up in a mini quilt.
  11. MOMO granny squares quilt — pieces are cut out, except I want to use a different background fabric
  12. Neptune pinwheels — a loong time ago I purchased two honey buns of Tula Pink Neptune and started making pinwheels, then set them aside. For fun I looked to see if there is any Neptune fabric available on Etsy or Ebay — a jelly roll of this line sells for $350!!!!!! I’m glad I didn’t pay that for these honey buns or I’d never feel like I was able to use them!

In case it seems as though I only have long abandoned projects on my hands, I do have two projects which I’ve started more recently and have been working on, albeit in a rather desultory manner. These works in progress are:

  1. Mid Century Modern Log Cabins (are you getting a sense for when I purchased a large portion of my fabric stash?)
  2. C&S Nine Patch (using a layer cake and this tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop)

And I have two THREE! projects that I’ve just finished gathering supplies for and am looking forward to getting started:

  1. Paintpots Quilt (using a twilight design roll of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons)
    • I won the design roll and then when I saw the pattern I knew that is what I wanted to use with the fabric, but I didn’t have a coordinating background or backing fabric so went ahead and ordered those over the break).
  2. Noodlehead Wool + Wax Tote
    • I’m still waiting on the webbing for the handles to come in, but all other supplies will come from my stash.
  3. Starry Night Quilt w/my husband
    • My husband wants to make a quilt, well, wants us to make a quilt together. I thought he would pick something like the skull quilt I showed him, but instead he wants a quilt that looks like a starry night, with bright stars twinkling in a night sky. We’ve ordered and received the fabric for the top and drew out a rough design, but haven’t had a chance to get started on this project yet.

ETA: I forgot about the third project that lives in the “needs to be started” category. I’ve added it above. 12/29/17

End of Year, Beginning of Year

midcentury mod log cabin
One project I started recently.

I honestly couldn’t remember what goals I had set for myself in January, so when I went back to look at my post (one of two made in 2017, ugh) I was pleasantly surprised. Grad school has been a total time suck and a bummer when it comes to getting stuff done that I want to get done. This past year and especially this past semester have been a lot about letting go of expectations. But they’ve also been about realizing the importance of self-care and how, for me, creativity and making things is an essential component of that care. I want to continue with the low expectation, or low-risk, form of goal making. I really don’t need something else to stress about, especially not something that is supposed to nurture those parts of myself that get worn out and frazzled. But at the same time, I’d like something a little more structured than last year, simply because sometimes I don’t want to think about what I can make or do! So how can I strike a balance? This is what I am thinking:

  • Continue to prioritize making for the sake of making. Of giving myself time to play with fabric and patterns and ideas and create whatever strikes my fancy. Sometimes my fancy might mean just sitting down with fabric and pulling possibilities together. Sometimes it might mean making a quick project from start to finish all in one go. And sometimes I just might want to feel like I’m making progress on something already started, or just pick up a project without having to think too much about what it is or will be. For those times in particular I’m going to:
  • Create a list (or lists) of UFOs/WIP and then work on them based on the number/draw system at All People Quilt or Patchwork Times. I’m not sure if I will even link up my lists, because I think that would create a sense of obligation and I really don’t need that now. But I like the idea of being totally tapped out and knowing that I can check these sites and see what UFO number is up each month and work from there. The thought to have two lists and work from two sites just adds some extra leeway into the process. If I’m not feeling the project associated with the number on one list, I can turn to the other.
zipper pouch
My first zip pouch!!

Other goals for 2018 include:

  • working primarily from my stash — I have a lot of fabric and a lot of projects already started (it’s a little odd how many, actually, since I feel like I never actually do anything…). I am giving myself permission to buy materials needed to complete a project, which might include background or backing fabric — I’ve only just realized how MUCH fabric is really required for quilts when you make them larger than a baby or cot quilt! While I have a lot of fabric on hand, it’s often in cuts too small or prints too busy to be useful for background fabric.
  • donating completed projects to charitable organizations/causes. Specifically I think that pillowcases would be a quick project that uses up larger pieces of fabric. In addition to not buying fabric, I want to really work down what I have on hand as it has gotten to be somewhat overwhelming.
  • bags! I made my first zipper pouch over the holidays and it was fun and fast and very satisfying. I really like projects that result in useful items and I’ve been admiring several specific bag patterns for a while now. I feel like this might be the year that I really explore this interest.

2018 Planning Party

I was inspired to write this post because I noticed that a number of bloggers were participating in the #2018PlanningParty hosted by QuiltingJETgirl. My goals are so low-key as to barely count as a plan, but I wanted to join in the fun and bring just a tad bit more structure to my making plans for this coming year than I had in 2017. Happy New Year and Happy Quilting/Making!

January Creative Projects

I’m holding myself to my goal of making what I want, when I want. For January, that meant not a lot, as I adjusted to a new school semester. But I did do a few things.

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I saw a video on facebook that demonstrated how to make paper stars or snowflakes using paper lunch bags. I have a ton of lunch bags and thought I’d make one myself. It’s hanging in my kitchen window and I really like it there. It’s also a really easy project, so I prepped some kits to mail to my nieces and nephews.

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I really love paper snowflakes and find cutting them to be relaxing once I remember how to fold the paper correctly (there is always one where my folds and my cuts result in confetti instead of a snowflake). I’d been really intrigued by the more intricate snowflakes I’ve seen on pinterest, so freehanded the templates on scrap paper and held my breath. I’m really pleased with how they came out, though!

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Finally, I’ve always considered myself politically active and engaged, however this past fall and now the first 15 days of the new administration have made it clear to me that I need to really step up my game in this regard. I made this sign (front and back) to carry at the Women’s March in Washington. In some ways, creating is how I best express myself, so I suspect that more politically motivated making will be made in the coming months.

Le Sigh…

I did NOT manage to complete my One Monthly Goal for December. I was doing well, but realized that there was no way I would finish it before I left for my trip home on December 7th. And that was the end of my sewing mojo! In fairness, I was out of town for quite a while. I did put together a wonky little mug rug and my husband helped me assemble the work bench that has become a cutting table for me (and was my Christmas gift).

In thinking about sewing and quilting and creating and what I’d like to accomplish this year — really, I just want to make stuff and ENJOY what I’m making. I think that setting specific project goals has been counter productive for me because those goals aren’t necessarily projects that spark my creativity OR they are something that I feel I HAVE to make (even though, I often don’t….it’s a weird kind of mental reasoning). Thinking about that aspect specifically, I’ve realized two things:

  • I like the idea and the act of making and giving things to other people.
  • Projects made specifically with other people in mind make me feel stifled and under pressure and just not creative.

So. The mug rug was a messy little beast and it’s not perfect, but I tried making half rectangles for the first time and was super proud of myself! And when I finished, I thought…oh, so and so might like this. I didn’t actually give it away because it still needs to be bound, but my take away is this:

  • I need to make for the sake of making first and foremost. And then if the finished projects strike me as something that is a good fit for a family member or friend, well, it can go live with them (assuming they want it!).

Which means that my resolution for this month and this year is simply to make. To give myself time each week to dabble in whatever it is I want to do with the supplies I already have on hand. I’m not even going to set a time goal as I think I’ll focus more on that than on the process, and the process is what I crave. So here’s to 2017, the year of making.