Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Work in Progress Round Up and 2016 Goals

Welcome to the third annual Snippets of Sweetness Work in Progress Round-Up and New Year Goals post! At the start of each year, I like to reflect on my current pile of WIPs, as well as my goals for the coming year. This time last year, I had seven WIPs. This year, I have six. Here they are, for your reading and viewing pleasure:

Cuzco Days Quilt

I haven’t worked much on this quilt this year, although I have made progress. Last time I worked on it, I realized it needs more solid fabrics than I had set aside for it, so it has been pushed to the bottom of the WIP pile.

Christmas Scrap Quilt

Poor Christmas Scrap Quilt! It seems I only work on this one during Christmas break. This year, I sewed together all the segments for the next three rows. I really enjoyed working on it, but it lost its appeal as soon as the new year started.

Unvalentine Quilt

I started this quilt at the beginning of 2015. In preparation for Lee Heinrich’s Alternative Gridwork class at QuiltCon, I cut up a bunch of blocks I didn’t like, sewed them back together and got…more blocks I didn’t like. I finished the top during the class, and started quilting it once I returned home. The quilting wasn’t speaking to me, so I put it aside until I figure out how I want to quilt it.

Seattle Modern Quilt Guild 2015 Block of the Month Quilt

This is my current favorite WIP. However, I got stuck when I decided to replace one of the boards with hand appliqued circles a la Carolyn Friedlander’s Ariel Grove quilt. I really want to finish this one so that I can start the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild 2016 Block of the Month Quilt guilt free. I just need to set aside my crocheting and start hand sewing!

Scrap Vortex Quilt

I love this quilt, but a hot summer and nebulous pattern sidelined it before I could complete the top. I would love to finish it before this coming summer.

Four Patch Scrap Quilt

This quilt was started just before I learned about the Scrap Vortex sew along. I may cannibalize it to speed up my Scrap Vortex quilt.

Astute readers will notice that two of my WIPs from last year are not on this list, and have not been finished. The Low Volume Hexagons and Sashiko Waves projects are officially abandoned. I am trying to figure out if I should pass them along to someone else, or if they are destined for the trash. Either way, I have too many projects that I’m passionate about to spend any more time on projects that just don’t speak to me anymore.

2016 Goals

Last year, I had six really big goals. This year, I have one main goal for my creative pursuits: Spark Joy. Yes, I got that from the uber popular book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In 2016, I want to focus on making room in my life for the things that truly bring me joy, and let go of the things that don’t. I’m purposefully not making more specific goals so that I can see where this new mindset takes me. This month, it means I’ve been binge sewing garments from my apparel sewing stash. Turning stashed fabrics into wearable garments has freed up a bit of space in my sewing nook and has lifted a weight from my shoulders and has brought me joy. Once I run out of steam (or fabric), I may finish a quilt, or start a new one for a friend. Who knows! What I do know if that I am looking forward to doing lots of sewing, quilting and crocheting this year.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 In Review

Lately I’ve been discouraged about the general lack of sewing since around September. However, reviewing my completed projects for 2015 has been hugely inspiring and I’m excited to see what I can accomplish in 2016! This past year, I made eleven quilts, seventeen garments, thirteen scarves, a handful of small objects and twenty-four gift bags.


Wow! I’m super excited that I made eleven quilts in 2015. That’s an all-time record for me! Let’s break it down, shall we?

Four quilts out of Carolyn Friedlander’s book Savor Each Stitch
Two baby quilts adapted from Camille Roskelley’s Swoon pattern
One super fun quilt from Krista Hennebury’s Improv Under the Influence class
Four of my own original designs

It’s really hard to choose, but I think my favorite quilt of 2015 is my QuiltCon Compilation quilt. I had such fun making it and I’m so happy with how it turned out.


Apparently seventeen is some sort of special number for garment making, because I made the same number of garments in both 2015 and 2014. I was a little disappointed about that, but then I realized that this year, I made all my garments in nine months, instead of twelve. Between work, the stress of pattern testing and holiday craziness, I didn’t make any garments at all the last quarter of this year. I hope to rediscover my garment sewjo soon, because Me Made May will be here before you know it!

One Oslo cardigan
One Coco top
Two Staple dresses (my first time sewing with brushed cotton and my first time sewing with rayon)
One Belcarra blouse (my first time sewing with double gauze)
Three Aberdeen tunics
One Julia cardigan
One pair of Manila leggings (my first time sewing something resembling pants)
One Clémence skirt (my first time sewing a skirt)
One Mesa tunic
One Aurora tank
Two Hemlock tees
One Geranium dress
One pair of Tania culottes

My favorite garment I sewed this year is the Gemstone Geranium dress I made for my daughter. The garment that gets the most wear, however, is my Black Aberdeen Tunic. I wear that thing constantly.


I find it highly amusing that scarves get their own category this year. While I made the two sewn scarves early in the year, the rest of them were made after I rediscovered crochet this fall. Two scarves are not shown here, but I assure you, they do exist.

Two sewn infinity scarves
One Scarfie
Nine Triple Luxe Cowls
One Ribbed Cowl

Small Objects

In addition to all the other things I made this year, I also managed to fit in a few other miscellaneous items:

One Cargo duffle bag (my first time sewing a piece of luggage)
One sashiko placemat
One improv composition book cover (my first time sewing a notebook cover)
Four improv blocks for various Seattle Modern Quilt Guild projects

Gift Bags

I really need to up my gift bag game in 2016. Yes, I made twenty-four gift bags this year, but last year I made thirty-five. I could see the difference quite clearly when it came time to wrap Christmas presents. I was disgusted by how much wrapping paper we used. I think that I didn’t sew more gift bags in 2015 because got bored. As you can see from the mosaic, I used the same pattern for most of my bags, and the repetition wasn’t very stimulating. Now I’m on the hunt for the next great gift bag pattern to reignite my gift bag making fire and save my family from the dreaded pile of discarded Christmas wrapping paper next December.

2015 Goal Progress

I don’t know what I was thinking setting six large goals for myself in 2015. Even so, I’m happy with the overall progress I’ve made this past year.

Use my stash: I did really well on this goal in 2015. Most of my projects used fabric from my stash. I only bought new fabric for four whole quilts and a few backings. I used up a lot of apparel fabric as well, although I’d like to continue to reduce my apparel fabric stash in 2016. I’m trying really hard not to amass a large yarn stash now that I’m crocheting. In a perfect world, I would use up most of my existing fabric stash and have a small stash consisting of only solid and special fabrics. One can only dream!

Use my scraps: Ah, scraps. No matter how much I use them, there are still more! This past year, I made one garment and three quilts entirely from scraps, and have several more scrap quilts in progress. I fear this will be a never-ending battle.

Keep It Small, Silly: All the quilts I sewed in 2015 were small wall quilts, baby quilts, table runners or mini quilts, so I definitely accomplished this goal. Now I’m itching to make a few bigger quilts.

Declutter My Sewing Nook: While I did donate a couple bags of fabrics, and throw away some scraps that were too small to use, I still have a long ways to go on this one. Using up more of my stash and scraps would help.

Submit a Quilt to a Non-Guild Show: In 2015, I submitted quilts to not one, but two non-guild shows! My Scrappy Migration quilt was shown in the Microsoft Employee Art Exhibition. I also submitted three quilts to QuiltCon, but none of them were accepted. I’m going to keep submitting quilts to shows, by am not going to have a specific goal around it in 2016.

Participate in the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge: I feel I completed this goal, even though I didn’t do each and every assignment. I definitely thought long and hard about my color palette, made a plan, and didn’t deviate very much from it. However, I feel I took it a little too far, and my end of year mosaic is kind of boring. Next year, I hope to make a mix of sensible items that I know I will wear often and more creative, risky items that are more fun to make in order to help me recapture the joy of garment sewing.

Whew! That’s a lot! It’s taken me all evening to write this up, but it is well worth it. I really enjoy looking back on my previous years’ review posts. Here they are, for your reading pleasure:

Happy New Year!