Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Goals for 2016

Gosh; this forces me to PLAN!

Quilting is my hobby, together with embroidery and lace making; teaching Business English is my profession. The latter is full of lists: the student's starting level, envisaged final level, topics for the course, skills for each session, and on and on! These are lists I have to make, and am accountable for.

My hobby, however, can be characterised as CHAOS! I'm a list-maker, but more importantly a list-loser!

My ongoing projects from 2015.

projects listed on the left; pencil ticks to indicate worked-on status
By making a chart and pinning it to the wardrobe door I can give myself a shock when I'm not performing well and give myself a mental pat on the back when I finally finish something. Unfortunately some of these projects haven't even been started, and now probably will never be.

Here is what I hope to achieve/improve in 2016:

1. Organise my sewing space, although organising my quilting habit into less than 2 square metres of guest bedroom is tricky. More storage boxes would help, but finding somewhere to store them is the next issue. As it is the beds function as a dumping ground; expected guests causing a speedy and makeshift tidy up, followed by a week of searching for lost mislaid rotary cutter etc.

2. Finish the UFO'S, or throw/give them away. They are taking up both space and storage boxes that I need for current projects.

3.  Regularly practise FMQ.

4. Improvise in patchwork. I have enough skills to go out on a limb, on my own, without a workshop, a course or a book. The thought scares the heck out of me, but the other side of me knows that without trying, without the possibility of failure, nothing would ever be achieved, ever.

RSC QAL (top now finished): definitely not improvised, but a skill builder nonetheless: all those flying geese.

5. Fewer QAL's. I decided this year that participating in a QAL, or club is mostly a form of procrastination: although in itself productive, it's always avoiding the main issue (being creative) and yet I can't resist. I like sewing with other people, either face to face or on-line. The idea of doing the same thing as 40 or so others world-wide is both appealing and comforting. The two pictured here are exceptions: I learnt from these projects. Some of the others on my list were over before I got started, then the incentive was gone, others turned out to be "not really my thing".

Drunkard's Path QAL: Definitely a skill builder: no fear of DP blocks now!

6. Blog regularly and reply pronto to blog comments. The last couple of months I've been very slow. I need to consider how to organise my time better in general, and in this respect especially. I owe it to my readers to not just let conversations peter out.

and finally:

7. DO all of the above!

I'm linking up with:
2016PlanningParty  and  Val's Quilting Studio 

so go and check on other quilters' goals for 2016.

Happy sewing


Monday, 21 December 2015

Finish Along 4th quarter 2015: 2nd finish

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

At the beginning of October I made my list of proposed finishes.

This is really terrible - almost Christmas and only two finishes in the fourth quarter! And an almost finish!

Anyway, here is my second finish, all quilted, bound and washed, ready to be snuggled under.
Modern Maples, pattern by Amanda Jennings
After minimally quilting the leaves:

I quilted leaves in the white space. To one side of the central vein I quilted circles and on the other stippling.

Now the quilt has been washed the difference is not so clear. I then quilted swirls between the leaves and in the empty corners. The leaves subsequently got lost in the swirls! Mental note - make more contrast in the quilting. Straight lines in the background would have been better. I had intended quilting much larger swirls, but my first attempt was so uneven I unpicked it, and did a size my hands are comfortable with.

My modern maples is 60" square,
  • made from Bella solid off-white (background and backing) and prints from stash; each leaf is a different fabric
  • and sewn and quilted with Aurifil 40wt; off white in the background, and colours to match the leaves

I shall be linking up at the beginning of January with 
2015 FAL at On the Windy Sideand http://quokkaquilts.com/happy-new-year-tgiff/
 Head over there to see more wonderful finishes

And now on to the "almost finish"!
Drunkard's Path Poinsettia table topper, pattern by Anne Deister at SpringLeaf Studio
This is only a flimsy, and is unlikely to be finished before Christmas, but who knows I might get it done in the last week of the year.

It measures 36.5" square and was made in the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along at SpringLeaf Studio. I made the Drunkard's path blocks on the machine with no pins, following Leanne's excellent tutorial

Have a wonderful Christmas, whether it be white, or wet (like here!) or scorching

Happy sewing