Saturday, January 16, 2016

Starts and Finishes

2015 was an exciting, full, whirlwind of a year! Lots of major milestones in our family - a 30th wedding anniversary, a 30th birthday (umm, not necessarily in that order), and a 50th birthday (happy birthday, hubs!) made this year a busy one. After 16 years in a small but warm and wonderful condo we moved to a new home which started with renos to the old one and finds as the start of 2016 - five months into our new place - still hanging things on walls, saving for and buying furniture, and figuring out how we'd like to decorate. Busy, for sure, but my heart is full of gratitude each and every day.

I'm not one to make resolutions or choose a word for the year but I have decided to make my creative mantra "less scrolling, more sewing". I wish I knew where I saw it first as I'm certainly not the originator - I know I've seen it on Facebook and Pinterest and to whomever coined the phrase, thank you! Getting started on this is about finishing - I have a lot of works in progress at various stages of completion and it's high time I got a few of them done. To help motivate me, I am joining the 2016 Finish-A-Long being hosted by global group of talented and gracious bloggers. There are a couple of Canadian hosts for this year's Finish-A-Long; I'm going to get to know Stacey this year as part of a traveling quilt bee up here in the Great White North and Leanne is a fellow Albertan. I'm looking forward to encourage my fellow Canadians along in their hosting duties!

Good thing the Finish-A-Long lasts all year because I definitely have too many to attempt in one quarter. My projects go from quick & easy to quite large but I love them all and look forward to getting each one of them done.

#1 - Sunday Morning quilt

I think I am still bubbling with excitement from having had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Cheryl Arkison at one of our local guild meetings back in November. She showed so many great quilts and I was so inspired by her work! I've picked up the book she co-authored with Amanda Jean so many times but never went through with purchasing it - I have very few books because I'm hesitant to buy them unless I'm "really sure" I'll make at least a couple of the projects. After seeing Cheryl's trunk show I knew I would. She showed us her Sunday Morning quilt from the book and I loved it, absolutely loved it! It's almost not fair putting this on on the list because I have the binding half sewn on by hand already so it's pretty near completion but I thought having it on the list would help me remember to write up my process -I actually remembered to take a few pictures along the way.

#2 - Christmas Pillowcases

What? Isn't it a bit early? It is except instead of folding and putting away the fabric I bought to make them at LQS's after-Christams sale I figure it makes more sense to just get them made. That way, they'll be ready for next Christmas instead of getting aside when December's "to-do" and project list gets way too long, as it tends to do.

#3 - Traditional Christmas Quilt

Although I tend to gravitate toward modern styles of quilts and fabrics these days I still have a substantial collection of traditional fabrics and works-in-progress. When we had all our family come to our new home for Christmas I quickly realized that condo living had left me not only with a shortage of beds, but of bed linens, blankets, and quilts! How badly I wanted to be able to put a Christmas quilt on each of the many, many beds we had set up, but that just didn't happen. I'm determined to be able to do differently next year and got this older quilt top of mine quilted and the binding stitched onto the front by machine. I want to finish the binding and have it ready to go for next Christmas - like the project above, it's probably better to get this done now instead of hoping to squeeze it in during the busy holiday season.

#4 - Traditional Flannel Christmas Quilt

I had a flannel quilt kit that had languished in my sewing room since 2006. No more of that! The top is made and a backing has been pieced and it is ready for quilting. These are the scraps since it's too dark to get a good shot of the top right now but hopefully I'll be checking this one off as complete during the first quarter of this FAL.

#5 - 30th Birthday Quilt

I'd like to say the 30th birthday in question was in 2015...

I think that's a plenty ambitious list but as long as I remember "less scrolling, more sewing" I think I can get all of these projects done, and maybe even a few more!

Linking up with Leanne and the First Quarter 2016 Finish-A-Long post!