Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting Back on 2008 and Goals for 2009

I can't believe that we are at the last day of the year already. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing a similar post reflecting back on 2007. Here we are a full year later.

By my tally, I finished 21 projects this year. Out of these 21 projects, 16 were either gifted to others or donated to charities. I also finished a further 10 projects to the flimsy stage. I also finished 21 projects in 2007 so 21 must be my number.

One of the projects I finished this year was from my "Top 12 Projects I Wanted to Finish for 2007" list. Only 4 projects remain unfinished from that original 2007 list: Patience Corners, Bluework BOM Snowmen blocks, the Simple Cross quilt, and the Snowman Courthouse Steps quilt.

Because it is important to me to document my projects, I like to list my finishes for the year so here are my lists.

Projects Finished in 2008:

1. Mexico Strings - donated to Pam's Mexico Project

2. Green Double Four Patch - gifted to AA for her 65th birthday

3. Tulip Spiral Table Topper in purple

4. Small St. Patrick's Day Spiral Table Topper - gifted to my Mom

5. Tulip Spiral Table Topper in green - gifted to my Mom

6. 2008 We Care Quilt - donated to PieceMakers' We Care Project

7. Sunflower Convergence - gifted to my Mom

8. Quilt as You Sew Courthouse Steps - gifted to Uncle Aaron on his 80th birthday

9. Hibiscus Convergence

10. Dryer Sheet Strings

11. Merkitty 9 Patch Pizzazz for Mexico - donated to Pam's Mexico Project

12. Lilac Table Topper #1 - gifted to AA

13. Lilac Table Topper #2 - gifted to my Mom

14. FAB Challenge Table Topper - gifted to Cher

15. Charm Party Tote - gifted to AA for Christmas

16. All About Halloween

17. Quilts From the Heart Quilt Show Challenge

18. Crib size Flannel Scrappy Nine Patch - donated to Community Services fund raiser

19. Christmas Stack'N Whack - (from my 2007 Top 12 Projects I Want To Finish list) gifted to my Mom for Christmas

20. My DH's Fish Quilt - gifted to DH

21. St. Patrick's Day table runner - gifted to Pam

Flimsies Finished in 2008:

1. Christmas Bargello

2. Crayon Box

3. Fall Warm Wishes

4. Poppy 4 - Patch Stacked Posies

5. Tiger Lily BQ2

6. Criss-Cross Apple-Sauce Table Topper

7. Pansy D9P

8. Pansy (made from the Chicken and Egg pattern)

9. Christmas D9P

10. Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

My Goals for 2009:

My goals for 2008 are very similar to what my goals for 2007 were. If you read back to my list for 2007 you will see much of it repeated here. My goals for 2007 reflect very much where my quilting continues to be in 2008 and so the goals hold for 2009.

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

I don't do New Year's Resolutions in the traditional sense of the word, but I do like to set goals for myself. Last year I wanted to focus on reducing my UFOs. I don't seem to be on target for meeting this goal as only 2 of the projects that I finished this year were UFOs at the beginning of the year. Although, I did not make much progress in finishing UFOs this year, I did manage to finish all projects started in 2008 to at least the flimsy stage with one exception--1 project started in 2008 remains in the pieces stage. This may seem like I have fallen short of my goal of reducing my number of UFOs, but in reality since I have not further added to my UFO list in great numbers, I have succeeded in changing my behaviour. Two years ago, it was hard for me to finish anything, now i am finishing projects that I start. This is progress. I will continue to work at finishing those projects on my UFO list. One year, I will be able to get rid of that list because I will have no more UFOs!

In 2007, I started three projects during the year that remained as UFOs at the end of the year. Of those three projects, 2 have been finished to the flimsy stage in 2008 and the last project will never be completed. I am not happy with that project at all and so I have made the decision that it will end now and will not languish for years of the UFO list.

2. To shop from my stash first.

I do not measure my stash in and out as some of the quilters on this list do. Measuring how much stash comes into my studio and deducting now much stash goes out of my studio by way of finished quilts is too much like inventory tracking for me. I track inventory in my day job and I am not going to start tracking inventory in my hobby!

When I shop from my stash for a new project and I am missing a particular colour to enhance the project, I make a trip to the quilt shop. I am also not saving fabric for "some day". I actually made some quilt tops from fabrics that I just love and hated to cut into. 2008 was the year that I decided that I could go ahead and use those fabrics to make a quilt because the quilt shops could sell me more wonderful fabrics to replace those that I used! What a concept! 2009 could be the year that I cut into that stash of chicken fabrics that have been aging in their bin waiting for just the right pattern to speak to me. Heavens, there are so many chicken fabrics in that bin, I need to look for several quilt patterns to speak to me!

3. To share my quilting with others by way of giving gifts of quilts to friends and family and by making donations of quilts to charities.

Of course, I only gift my quilts to homes where they will be loved and appreciated. I will not allow my quilts to be taken for granted.

4. To continue to incorporate travelling and quilting together.

I enjoyed meeting some of my on-line quilting friends in person in 2008. In 2009, I am looking forward to meeting more of my on-line quilting friends and I am looking forward to a FAB quilting weekend - in person! Some of the FAB members have been quilting together through the Internet for some time now. 2009 will be the year that the FABs quilt physically in the same location for a FABulous retreat!

5. To keep quilting fun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Black & White Bento Box Progress

My son held up this top for me so I could take the picture. He wanted to know if the quilt was for Joey as he could see cats in the quilt. No, this one is not for Joey!

So the center portion of this Black & White Bento Box is now complete. I am now stuck on what borders to add. I had wanted to put two borders on--the first, a red with black dots and the second, a black with white print that was used in the center of the quilt. My favorite print in the quilt is a Loralie Design print with cats:
This print is called Sophistikitties. The only problem with using this as the outer border is that my local quilt shop does not carry this print. I could use a plain black but I am reluctant to do that as plain black fabric picks up and shows every thread and every piece of lint. I intend that this quilt will be used as a lap quilt so I would like something that doesn't show everything that comes in contact with it quite so much. I find that the black and white prints camouflage the lint a little better than solid black. I have also considered using a bright green as an inner border rather than red.
The possibilities for borders go on and on. This is why I end up stalled on the borders. If I can't find a suitable black with white print for the border locally, I may end up taking the yardage requirements with me when I head out on my vacation later in January and see what I find on my trip.
For now, this top will sit as a UFO awaiting border decisions and fabric.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Black and White

Since the weather is not cooperating with plans to drive anywhere, I am staying put inside. Since I am housebound, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and I spent the day quilting.

I have been busy today working on this black and white Bento Box quilt.
I have joined the on-line Black and White Quilting Project . I have always wanted to work with black and white so I have used the opportunity presented by the challenge to work on one of my black and white ideas--the Bento Box.

The plan is to make this quilt lap size. I have a second idea I would like to try in black and white. Once this quilt is a finished flimsy, I will be able to use the left over black and white fabrics and start a second black and white project--a Disappearing Nine Patch (D9P).
I quite often use a website called, Webshots--, as a source of inspiration for future quilt projects. I have seen both a black and white Bento Box and a black and white Disappearing Nine Patch there. All you have to do is go to the Webshots site and type in the name of a quilt pattern, add the word quilt and search. You are often overwhelmed by the number of pictures of that particular quilt pattern that will come up.

It Continues to Snow

Just when we thought it couldn't snow any more, we woke up to another 10" of fresh snow this morning!

There have been reports recently on the news of roofs and awnings collapsing under the weight of the heavy snow so DH thought he should remove the snow off the roof of his shop. Here is my DH on the ladder in our backyard. Apparently just before I came out to take pictures, my husband had fallen off the ladder. It is a good thing that snow is soft!
And because the snow is so pretty, I spent a few minutes today snapping some shots outside.

Look who was watching me safe and warm inside.

This snow accumulated on my son's car from 11 pm the previous night.

Mom's Christmas Quilt

This is the quilt that I gave my Mom this year for Christmas. As promised, this is a better picture of the quilt--now in its new home, in the spare room of my parents' house. Ignore the topper on the table in the corner. That topper is on its way out and will be replaced with an all white one.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

This is a picture of my husband with the fish quilt that I made him. Although this quilt was finished in time for Christmas this year, this was not a Christmas gift (not this year anyway--LOL). Several years ago, I gave my husband a completed block for this quilt as part of his Christmas present that year with a promise to finish the quilt after Christmas. I guess I should have specified which Christmas because here we are several years later and the quilt is now finished. No more cold knees for my husband, Pam !

This is the Christmas quilt that I finished for my mother for this Christmas. The flimsy was finished in September 2006 ( and this top sat in the "to be quilted pile" since then. As Linda pointed out, "It isn't doing anyone much good sitting in a bin somewhere", so out it came and I finished it in time for this Christmas. My mom has promised to provide a better picture of the quilt once it is in place on her bed.

The following three pictures are of some of the Christmas vignettes from around our house.

Notice the totally green poinsettia? This is a plant that my husband brought home from work. He tried to tell me this was a new variety of poinsettia. Turns out that this plant didn't receive the appropriate amount of light and dark to trigger some of the leaves to turn red. At first I thought it looks a little odd, but the longer it lives in my dining room, the more it grows on me. I think it fits with the red and green theme going on in the dining room at this time of year.

This is my nativity set--all white porcelain. I was thinking I didn't have room to properly display it. After rearranging some things in the kitchen, I found a great place to display it on the corner of the kitchen counter.

This is this year's tree. As you can see, we weren't shorted in the present department. There were plenty of things under that tree for all of us!

This is my son and his girlfriend.

This is Joey checking out the presents before all the unwrapping activity started. I think he smelled the catnip mouse that was under the tree for him.

These are the stockings--overflowing with stuffers before they were opened.

This is my son, his girlfriend and my daughter sitting on the couch at the beginning of the present opening phase of the morning.
This is my daughter and husband playing Santa as they distribute the presents to everyone.

This is my Dad.

This picture was taken a little further into the unwrapping frenzy. Paper, paper everywhere.

We saved the presentation of the quilt for my mom for last so we could all watch her open it.

We have experienced a higher than normal amount of snowfall in the past week. It started snowing again on Tuesday night and it never stopped until we got up Thursday morning. The next three pictures were taken Wednesday (Christmas Eve Day). These pictures are of my son shoveling the driveway.

The last seven pictures were taken around our yard and show the recent snow accumulations. This is the first white Christmas coast to coast in Canada since 1971!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Guild Christmas Potluck

Last Wednesday night was our quilt guild's annual Christmas potluck.

The first three pictures are taken in the hall of all the ladies who attended this year.

I missed taking a picture of all the food. What a spread! Even though you tell yourself that you are only going to "taste" each dish, you still end up with a plate full of food. Quilting potlucks have the best food!

After dinner, we had a Christmas stocking show and tell. Any members who had made stockings brought them to share with the rest of us.

One of our members has been leading us in a mystery quilt. The project has been totally created by her and is proving to be a lot of fun. Those who having been playing along for the last three months brought their creations to share with the rest of us.

Even though everyone is working from the same directions with the same pattern, just changing the fabrics changes the look of the quilt.
We are also having a block of the month lotto. Each month we are given instructions to make a block. You bring your finished blocks to the next month's meeting. At that meeting, a name is drawn from all the blocks contributed and the winner wins all the blocks. Each block you enter gives you an entry--the more blocks you make, the more chances you have to win. This month's block is a string block foundation pieced onto used dryer sheets.

The last item on our agenda before the "meeting" part of the night is show and share (show and tell). This is the most popular part of our monthly meetings.

One of the guild members came up to me during the meeting and told me she has just discovered my blog. Hello, Ursula!