Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflecting on 2007

Today is the last day of 2007 and it seems fitting that I should reflect back on the past year. (I will limit my reflections to quilting only as this is first a quilting blog.)

I set a goal of completing 12 specific UFO's in 2007 and listed them on my sidebar so they were public. I completed 7 of those 12 projects that were listed. This has proven not to be the best way for me to work through my UFO list. I like to work on a specific project when the mood moves me. Listing specific projects just adds to my feelings of guilt and seems to further hamper progress so I won't be listing specific projects for my goals for 2008. However, of the 7 specific projects that were listed by name in 2007, five were gifted to others which is an achievement that I will celebrate. One of those projects was particularly old and was a challenge for me on the most extreme scale--this was the South American Challenge which was a quilt developed from non-traditional quilting fabrics that had significant meaning to my niece and formed part of her wedding gift when she was married this year.

In addition to the quilts I targeted for completion, I also finished 14 other projects in 2007. Five of these projects were also gifted to others.

This brings my total for the year to 21 completed projects of which 10 were gifted to others.

Projects Completed in 2007: 27 (see two lists below)

Top 12 UFOs for 2007:

1. Christmas Nickels~flimsy, quilt, bind
2. Christmas Gratitudes~flimsy, quilt, bind~completed Jan. 27/07 (Given to Aunt Ardelle for Christmas 2007)
3. Double Four Patch~ bind~completed Feb. 7/07
4. Bluework BOM Snowmen Blocks~completed Jan, Feb, Mar, and Apr
5. South American Challenge~flimsy, quilt, bind~completed Aug. 24/07 (Given to Laureen when she got married September 2007)
6. Bricks and Stepping Stones~quilt, bind-completed Mar. 31/07 (Given to Allison when she got married April 14, 2007)
7. Simple Cross~quilt, bind
8. Nine Patch Path~flimsy, quilt, bind-completed Apr. 29/07 (Given to Mom H. for her birthday in May 2007)
9. Christmas Stack'N Whack~quilt, bind
10. BQ Pumpkin #1~bind~completed Oct. 21/07 (Given to Mom P. in October 2007 for no specific reason)
11. BQ Pumpkin #2~quilt, bind~completed Oct. 5/07
12. Snowman Courthouse Steps~flimsy, quilt, bind

Other Finishes for 2007:

1. Wicked Easy~completed March 2
2. Parrot Building Blocks~completed May 11
3. Octagon Halloween Table Topper #2~completed May 15
4. Ladybug Building Blocks~completed May 25
5. Color Catcher Strings #1~completed June 14
6. Frogs Warm Wishes~completed August 15
7. Laurie and Jamie's Trip Around the World~completed August 24 (Given to Laureen when she got married September 2007)
8. Butterflies Warm Wishes~completed August 30
9. Nine Patch Path Leftovers~completed October 20
10. 4-Patch Stacked Posies – Burgundy Flowers~completed December (Given to Mom P. for Christmas 2007)
11. Snowman Table Runner #1 w/Warm & Natural batting~completed in November
12. Snowman Table Runner #2 w/Thermore batting~ completed in December (Given to Mom P. for Christmas 2007)
13. Poinsettia Table Runner #1~completed in December (Given to Mom P. for Christmas 2007)
14. Snowman Hot Pad to match Snowman table runner~completed in December (Given to Mom P. for Christmas 2007)

I have been working towards reducing my total number of UFOs for some time now. I managed to add only 3 projects to my UFO pile in 2007 and finished a further 12 projects to the flimsy stage. I am definitely moving in the right direction and seem to have taken control of my UFOs for the first time in years. This I am very pleased about!

Projects started in 2007 that remained unfinished in 2007 and have added to the UFO total:

1. Green and Beige Double Four Patch
2. Poppy 4-Patch Stacked Posies
3. Guild block exchange / challenge – The Elements

Projects completed to the flimsy stage in 2007 and remain unquilted:

1. Dryer Sheet Diamond Strings
2. Canada Day
3. The Simple Life Quilt
4. Color Catcher Strings #2
5. Color Catcher Strings #3
6. Shamrock Table Runner (black) #1
7. Shamrock Table Runner (black) #2
8. Shamrock Table Runner (white) #3
9. Shamrock Table Runner (white) #4
10. Snowman Table Runner #3
11. Poinsettia Table Runner #2
12. Pumpkin 4-Patch Stacked Posies

My goals for 2008:

1. To continue to have fun with my quilting! I quilt to explore and express my creative side and quilting must remain fun for me or else it is just another job.

2. To continue working towards eliminating my UFOs, even if they are just moving to the flimsy stage.

3. Continue to make quilts to give as gifts--of course only to those who appreciate my work. There is no point in going through the effort to make something for someone that doesn't like quilts! That is a waste of my time and effort aside from the costs involved. I have some specific quilts in mind that I want to finish for certain people in 2008--one person in particular who has patiently waited for years for a quilt just, just for them. (Sorry to remain cryptic, but I want to keep the surprise just that--a surprise!)

4. And finally, a commitment that many on this blog ring are making, use from my stash first! Of course, my stash may require "enhancement" from time to time to keep the stash in an overall usable state! Thanks to Hanne for creating this button to remind me of this commitment.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Progress on Projects

Yesterday, I finished the center of the Double Four Patch quilt. I just need to add borders now and quilt it.

I also got out the shamrock / St. Patrick's Day fabric that Pam sent me last year and made a couple of table runners. These need to be quilted as well.

Notice the socks of the quilt holder? She specifically asked to be "cropped out of the picture". I couldn't resist showing her feet since they matched the table runner!

A White Christmas

This was the view from our bedroom window when we went to bed on Christmas Day. We managed to have a white Christmas this year--something that only occurs once in every 10 years here.

These photos were taken on Boxing Day just before my daughter and I headed out for the traditional Boxing Day shopping. The temperature had warmed up quite a bit from the day before and this snow quickly turned to slush.

This morning we woke up to even more snow. I am now officially tired of this white stuff and will be welcoming the liquid sunshine should it decide to return!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Images of Christmas 2007

This post is all about the Christmas season at our house.

First, is a picture of our tree. This year, I considered not putting up the large tree. I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the preparations leading up to Christmas, work commitments, etc. My husband insisted that we needed to have the tree and so while I cleaned the house and rearranged the furniture to make room, my DH put up the tree and with my DD's assistance, the tree was decorated. This is how handsome our tree looked this year in the corner of the living room.

I collect snowmen and these are some images of my favorite snowmen that were displayed in the house this year.

My DD not only assisted her father with the decorating of the tree, but she was also responsible for unpacking of the snowmen and other Christmas decorations and setting up the displays throughout the house. My DD was also responsible for wrapping most of those presents that were under that tree.

Of course, Joey the helper cat was never too far away!

This is a picture of my DS and DD on Christmas morning. They are just starting to open the presents in their stockings.

Later, we were joined by my parents. We continued to open presents--just look at that pile of wrapping paper in the center of the room!

My DS.
My DD with some computer software that my DH and I gave her. She looks tired, doesn't she.

My Mom received some quilts from me. Here she is with one of the table runners that I made for her.
And here is my mother with her latest table topper - the first 4-Patch Stacked Posie Quilt that I made. The quilt collection grows! Note the quilt inspector (Joey) in the foot of the photograph.

After dinner, my DH played board games with the kids.

My brother and his family joined us after dinner. This is my SIL, nephew, brother, mother, and father.

...and my niece.

Merry Christmas to you and your families from our house to yours!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Double Four Patch

This is a picture of the progress that I have made so far on my newest quilt. This photo represents the first three rows.

This quilt is a Double Four Patch which I am making following the directions provided by Mary on her blog page. Like Mary, I am making my quilt from a variety of greens and beiges.

Since it is Sunday, Judy L has us reporting in on how we are doing on our stash busting. As you already know, I made some substantial fabric purchases in the past week. I am comforted in the fact that I have plenty of company in our guild membership who did exactly the same thing that I did. At our guild meeting this past Wednesday, our President had us put up our hands if any of us had not taken advantage of the fabric sale at Liquidation World. I only saw one person put their hand up! In fact many of us have gone back several times! The beiges and many of the greens in the quilt that I am making are purchases from that fabric sale. Does it count towards adding to your stash if you purchase the fabric and within 24 hours have it laundered, ironed, and cut into strips for your quilt?

I am very pleased with how this quilt is turning out. I am sure that the success of this quilt lies in the variety of fabrics that I am using--something that I could not have accomplished with my stash in its condition before the sale purchases. My guilt has been relieved!

New Thimbles

Back on November 9 ( I posted about my thimble collection.
A loyal, but silent reader who is also a guild member read my post and shared the 16 thimbles in the above picture with me.
I am thrilled to add these thimbles to my collection. My DH is already thinking of designs for a new display to put on the wall beside the first one he made me.
Thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Stash Busting Efforts

Last Tuesday evening at our quilting group Christmas dinner, one of our members mentioned that there was an upcoming fabric sale at Liquidation World on Saturday. I had other commitments on Saturday so I thought I was safe from the temptation of purchasing more fabric. When I got home from errands and my SIL's on Saturday there was a phone message on the answering machine from another quilting friend telling me about a fabulous quilt fabric sale at Liquidation World. She mentioned that there was an ad in the paper advertising the sale. I was now at home and I was not interested in going out again. After all, I had lots of fabric and missing this one day sale would help me stay on track to finish existing UFOs and using up existing fabric in my stash.

I did have a peek at the paper though to see just what the ad said. It looked like a one day only sale so I presumed I had missed it.

Then the phone call came this morning--from the quilting friend that had left me the phone message from the previous day. She told me that I really should head over there--there was so much fabric when she was there on Saturday that she was sure they would still have the sale going on.

I phoned Liquidation World only to find out that they were indeed open on Sunday and yes, they still had that fabric sale going on. My daughter and I were headed to town anyway for other errands so we decided we would stop in.

The sale was 70% off everything, so it was easy to adopt fabric! This is what followed me home:

Fat Quarters: 22 black and white, 12 beige, 11 novelties.

Fat Eighths: 6 novelty prints

Cuts of fabric (minimum 1 m cuts): 19 meters of fabric in all.

Included in my fabric cuts were these: a wonderful chicken border print that will go with an existing fat quarter collection from the same line and these two pieces of Laurel Burch cat fabric that will also go with an existing fat quarter collection of the same fabrics.

I also brought home two kits: the first kit is a chenille scarf and the second kit is a cat quilt.

The first item on the left in this picture is a rooster needle punch kit, the second is a pattern from Maple Quilts called, Long Lines, the third item is a pattern to make quilted sweatshirt jackets, and the last pattern is a Christmas Rooster.

The last purchase was a book that I have been wanting some time, One Block Wonders.

So you see, I confess...I did not bust any stash this week, I did not quilt at all this week for myself, and I did not stay away from the temptation of purchasing new fabric. I hope I have time to prepare my defense before the Quilt Police come knocking on my door! LOL

If it helps, my purchases totalled less than my quilting friend's purchases. VBG

Happy Birthday Dad!

December 16th is my Dad's birthday.

We are fortunate that my parents now live in the same town that we live in. For so many years, communication was by phone with 800 to 1,200 miles between us (depending on the year and where everyone was living at the time). Visits in person were jam packed with activity, limited to a few days at a time. Now we are able to pop over to Mom and Dad's for coffee and visa verse. We are thrilled with this arrangement! Saturday night we headed to Mom and Dad's to enjoy birthday cake with my Dad.

For as long as I can remember, a birthday cake was an angel food cake. That is why this cake looks remarkably like the cake we had on my birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I couldn't resist including this picture. This picture was taken by my mother of my daughter and myself taking pictures of Dad with his cake. At one point, Dad said, "That's it, enough pictures." I told him he had to sit still for at least one more because I had only taken one so far--the rest had been taken by the other shutterbugs in the family! I heard my daughter tell her boyfriend that this was part of the tradition, getting your picture taken with your birthday cake.

I love tradition and love even more that my kids are picking up on the traditions and sound like they will continue on with them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Customer Quilts

The last customer quilt for Christmas delivery is finished and off the frame! Picture me doing a happy dance!

As I scan through the pictures of the customer quilts that have been finished recently, I wonder how many of these quilts will be under the tree this year, ready to surprise friends and family, ready to wrap the recipient in a warm hug.........