Thursday, January 4, 2024

Headed into 2024

 As we head into another year I like to reflect on the goals of the previous year and how that reflects on the person that I am now and where I would like to see myself in the upcoming year. I would like for this upcoming year to be a year of growth through minimization. 

Now you might be thinking -- what? because quite frankly when I looked at my goals they seemed in conflict in several areas and I realized that if I took a different perspective on the pieces that I could combine the goals and perhaps accomplish this overall goal. 

In the area of minimization, many of the concepts are the usual suspects -- use more stash than brought in, purge scraps, complete UFO projects. I want to also do this with patterns and books that I have purchased and never used -- see if I can learn some new skill or bring those patterns to life using scraps or stash for a gift quilt or charity project. 

I did quite a bit of pattern testing last year to promote stash usage and it felt good to move things out that had been in the cabinet for quite a while so maybe I will continue with that journey as well. Though the drama around pattern testing right now is a bit high on Instagram so I am unsure how this will impact the number of people willing to ask for help when creating patterns -- and I have a lot of thoughts about that but this is not the post for that. 

I also wanted to take this a step further and start using tools I have had for years and either bringing them into something I uses regularly or purge them to a new home later in the year. 

In the realm of growth aside from skills and trying new patterns and tools, I want to continue to expand my long arming business. In the last 3.5 years that I have been offering hand driven edge to edge services I have quilted an average of  2-3 quilts per month for others, last year I did 36 quilts. I would like to see that number closer to 50 quilts this year and as things are expanding now that I have gone digital with my long arming I see that as a possibility. 

I'm also hoping to start blogging more frequently and build my Instagram community -- the goal is to reach 1500 followers by years end. I hope to also make weekly videos and hold several raffle opportunities to win quilting services throughout the year. 

So what UFO's am I taking into 2024? 

  1. Ghastly NY Beauty Quilt -- started in early 2023
  2. Blue and teal orphan block scrap quilt 
  3. All Solids Pickle Dish -- started in early 2023
  4. Candy Cats -- started 2018 (4 of 12 cats made) 
  5. Slow going blue and pink pineapples -- started mid 2022
  6. AMH Octo Zen Quilt -- started Dec 2023
  7. Starry Cabins -- 2023 bee block 
  8. Georgous Gertie -- 2021 bee block (ready for quilting) 
  9. Traveling Wonderland Quilt -- started 2016, top finished 2020 (waiting for quilting) 
  10. Skull Quilt -- Assembled 2021 (needs quilting) 
  11. Bear Claws Quilt -- 2022 bee block (needs quilting) 
  12. Winter quilt -- fabric pulled, no pattern picked 
  13. September Moon Glow Quilt -- fabric pulled, no pattern picked
  14. RSS / CS Giant Sisters Choice -- needs binding 

So 14 -- that's not too bad I guess, when 1 needs binding and 4 need quilting -- it really makes it more like 9. 

Yeah I'll keep telling myself that because I know how much I dislike the binding step. Hopefully January will see some finishes or at least some progress and more blogging with pictures of my actual projects. I am also trying to challenge myself to do 30 minutes of quilting (or time in the sewing room) daily or at least 3 hours per week to promote these goals and set good habits moving into the new year especially as January is cold and dark here in the US and it's very easy for me to not want to do anything after work. 

I'll be linking up over at Quilting Jet Girl for the #2024QuiltingPlanningParty

Friday, October 20, 2023

Embarasing Admission

In making the choice to start blogging again I looked back at some of the posts that I had posted late 2017 and others that I had in drafts to see where I wanted to start again. I'm a list maker and like working toward goals as a challenge and many of the posts are relating to that so that got me energized to move forward in this endevor. My enbarasing admission comes in that some of the blog posts in draf, waiting for a finished quilt are still relevant -- 5 1/2 years and still not completed. 

If there was one or 2, I wouldn't feel so bad about this but there are at least half a dozen in progress projects that are still in progress and this makes me feel bad for neglecting them this long. 

I have 2 in the que to be quilted soon and another that I actually finished quilting on last night so it just needs binding.

The other 4 remain as they were at the time of the last post. 

I hope that I will be purging more scraps in 2024 as I am trying ot encourage others to do on instagram through a color play challenge that I am posing. This is inspired by a blog that I used to read and engage with that did monthly color challenges that I have lost touch with being away from blogging (and I could not find anything similar on instagram) so that should help to move forgard in another of my long forgotten projects. 

The other 2 sit untouched for no real reason other than I haven't been inspired to pick them back up or being sort of forgotten. OOPS!!

I aim for at least to finish the 3 that are nearly done by the end of the year and make headway on at least one of the others so that these projects can free up space from my craft room and not make me feel embarased, unmotivated or overwhelmed. 

What's your oldest project that you still want to finish? What do you suggest for project that you no longer want to finish or no longer brings you joy? 

Friday, October 13, 2023

WELL it's been almost 6 years -- lets give this another go

Time passes quickly and before you know it, it's been way longer than you antisipated being away from doing something that you enjoy. I had no intention when I posted Januaray of 2018 that I would be taking over 5 and a half years to get back to blogging but this is where I find myself -- lots of things have happened in that time and it was no concious effort to not blog as I love the written story part of blogging that I do not get from the other social media platforms. Some would say that no one blogs anymore -- maybe it's true and for me that's ok because it's also for me -- so I am going to put forth effort to revitalize this blog especialy going into 2024 with resolutions and tracking of progress because that is another thing that I do not do well on instagram. I'm a list maker and like to see things get checked off, with check ins with net friends and read about the story relating to the project more than just a photo and quick blurb, I'll still be using instagram for pictures, stories and shares but I want to get back to this comfort. 

So a quick fast forward update of what nearly 6 years has looked like ...
  • 3 major surguries (gallblader 2018, brain decompression 2018 and hystorectomy 2022) -- each with varying levels of complication at recovery. 
  • moved from a townhouse in the city to a house outside the city (Feb 2019) -- rented the townhouse to a friend which turned out to be a nightmare *do not recommend* -- sold the townhouse (March 2020) 
  • bought my longarm Bridgett (September 2019) officialy started my longarm business (Feb 2020) doing hand driven pantographs.
  • made about a thousand masks during the lockdown / work from home mess of Covid
  • completed 100+ quilts on the longarm (85 for customers) before going digital (Sept 2023)
  • loss of a few family members and 4 pets -- added in 2 new cats to the household (below is Graves and she is just over a year old and she is insane) 
  • tested several quilt patterns -- finding that I really enjoy the proofreading, testing and feedback part of being a pattern tester.
  • celebrating husbands and my turning 40 and 15 years of mariage. 

Let's hope I can keep this blogging thing up -- I already know what I want to talk about next and it's embarasing ....

Monday, January 29, 2018

January wrap up since Tomorrow is a big day

I'm going to go ahead and do my January wrap up now since the rest of the month I will not be able. Tomorrow I go in to have my gallbladder taken out and I'm both nervous and excited -- it's been a long time coming. 

January was rather uneventful with the health stuff going on and I got my bee blocks finished in December, Sara really loved these pineapple blocks.
I did manage to get my 10th scrap basket completed and it's the white / low volume one. 
I worked on a new project -- the candy cats quilt that Kristie is hosting a sew along for online. I mean how could I resist making these cute cats when I saw all the others that were being made. Best news is all the fabric is from stash. 
The biggest news was getting my churn dash quilt top put together
it's been mailed out for quilting and I already have the binding in prep stage so that I will be ready to go once it comes back. 

I did buy backing for this quilt and an extra yard of fabric while I was at the quilt shop (+1.5) 

I had an outpouring of support from my post wrapping up 2017 and several people asking how they could support me in my journey this year. I wanted to let everyone know that I started a fundraiser and designed a shirt that's geared toward quilters (who doesn't love a good quilt themed shirt). The fundraiser is open until mid February and a portion of each shirt sold will be coming straight to me to help with these medical bills that will be rolling in any time. 
Katie's Chiari Journey Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - front
I'm planning a giveaway over on instagram for spreading the word that will be starting soon. On my @katies_chiari_journey account. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Goal outline for 2018

As I mentioned in my earlier post I currently have 40 ongoing projects -- time for the quarterly link up so with the Finish Along group. 
-- 3 are in the binding phase (with Teri while she recuperates)
Swiss Cross 

-- 4 are in the ready for quilting phase 
Rainbow Strips 1 (this one will be getting long armed -- it's huge)
Bobba Fett Mini
AG Rainbow Geese
Kwik Evening Star

-- 7 are blocks or mostly completed tops
Tessellations Pillow
2016 Round Robin (Wonderland Theme)
2017 Round Robin (Cat Theme)
Double Stars
MMBB -- Oldest UFO 
Rainbow Strips 2
Chiari Churn Dash 

-- 7 are ready to be made into blocks and the fabric is cut 
White Scrap bin
Black Scrap bin
Grey Scrap Bin 
HST scrap project from Lee
Makers Tote
Kwik Mosaic quilt (half is already assembled into a top but then I decided it needed to be bigger) 
AG Selvage Strips project

--15 are in the fabric selected phase 
-- the final 4 are still waiting for fabric to be selected

I'm really going to focus on the top 21 names items in this list. With my goal for January, is to get some kind of sewing done each day and keep myself motivated with accomplishing things. As I finish things I may start dabbling with adding in more in progress items. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 by the numbers and a few bits of news going into 2018

In 2017 I completed
13 Quilts and Minis
2 Tunics
12 Bins 
69 Pouches / Bags
3 monthly block bees
2 Traveling quilts

Sorry to have been away for so long everyone but there has not been a lot of sewing happening lately. You see I have been having some medical issues with headaches that were worse than migraines (i really didn't think there was such a thing) and trouble with keeping food in my system for very long.

I went to the doctor in October and after an ultrasound, i found out that I need to have my gallbladder removed. It's a pretty routine thing and I'm not to worried about the procedure -- more the anesthesia than anything and the gas pain afterward. 
Related image
I also had an MRI done and they found out that I have a condition called Chiari Malformation 1. To help alleviate these issues I will be having 2 surgeries in the upcoming weeks -- first the gallbladder then 6 weeks later I will be having a cranial decompression. 
Image result for chiari decompression
I don't know what this means for my 2018 sewing goals yet but I have plenty of things to keep me busy if I feel like sewing. I know that with the 2nd procedure I will be out of work for 6 - 8 weeks and I'd like to think that I will be up and sewing during much of that but I know the reality is I probably will not for most of it. 

I do know that my UFO list is extensive with 40 projects on it. I am still participating in the American Patchwork and Quilting Challenge this year but I am doing things a little different than the standard list of 12. With all these projects I have decided that I will chop up a copy of my master list and draw out project names each month, with the project number for that month being the item I set as my goal for the month (ie. if the number is 8, my goal project will be the 8th project I draw). I will repeat this process with each finish throughout the month. 
I am also going to keep linking up with the quarterly finish along to help keep me on track. 
Since I will be having some large medical expenses I will work hard to stick with fabric dieting this year and track fabric use more thoroughly since I kinda laxed up on that last year. I'm also planning a fabric destash over on instagram for later in January or early February to keep up the purging I have been doing in other areas of my home. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As 2017 comes to a close what goals did I meet this quarter

It's time for the progress on the Finish Along goals for the end of 2017. I started the quarter with an unrealistic 48 projects --  however 13 items were intended for gifts and those really needed to be finished this quarter. 

Things that I did get finished and posted


Plus Side

2 rainbow scrap bins (orange, Pink)


6 charity quilts -- I took them to my guild and distributed them to ladies that can get them ready for donation 

Things I did not finish
Swiss Cross for Teri -- needs binding
Migration -- needs binding
Botanics Pendent Chevrons -- needs binding
Scrappy Rainbow Strips 1 -- needs quiltingKwik Evening Star -- needs quilting

Boba Fett Mini -- needs quilting

Alison Glass Geese Rainbow mini -- needs quilting
Double Star -- needs assembly and quilting

Moda Modern Building Blocks -- the oldest project -- needs assembly and quilting
Down the Rabbit Hole Traveling Quilt -- still deciding if it needs more added, then quilting
Triangle pillow or mini quilt from leftover tessellations blocks 
Makers Tote 

Kwik Mosaic Tiles -- half the blocks are completed and assembled


2017 Round Robin Quilt - needs addition and quilting
Scrappy Rainbow Strips 2 -- needs assembly
Scrappy Kittens -- need to make a bunch more, this will likely be my scrap project for 2018
Weekender Bag 
3 Tunics 
3 rainbow scrap bins Black, Grey and white/lv
2 Mini Sew Together Bag 
Sew Together Bag for Lisa 

Things in the Idea Phase -- When I need to start something new 
Squirrel Mini for Gina* 
Tula Pink Color Dive 
All Squared Up with Priory Square 
Broken Herringbone 
Anna Maria Horner Scrappy Quilt 
Metro Hoops 
Kandy Cat Quilt 
Project with Spirit Animal 
Happy Go Lucky Dutchman's Puzzle 
Jen Kingwell Holiday Pillow* 
Alison glass selvages project 

Oh well -- I'll give all these another go as we enter 2018 but 5 finished and 6 projects moved to another home is not that bad.