Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Calendar

Last year, I received a coupon to get a free calendar from Shutterfly.  I gathered a bunch of photos of my quilts and threw them together into a calendar and got it printed.

This year, I received another coupon to get a free calendar from Shutterfly.  I still haven't gotten things planned enough to make a decent planned calendar, but I thought that last year's strategy worked well, so I copied it.  I grabbed some images of quilts I have made - both finished and unfinished.

I didn't want to use the same template I used last year, because I didn't want it to look the same.  Last year's template had quotes on it, and I really liked that idea. Since the template I chose this year didn't have any quotes, I needed to find my own quotes to add to the calendar.  I chose story quote as the word to search. I was planning on finding different topics for inspirational quotes, but I liked so many that I kept with the same theme for the whole year.

Some of these story quotes are about living life, and some of them are about telling a story. I felt that both kinds are applicable to me.

I didn't include names of quilts this time. I probably should have recorded them, but I don't remember the names of all of them, and since many are unfinished, I wanted the flexibility to come up with new names.

I initially thought I had more images of finished quilts than unfinished quilts this year, but it is pretty much half and half.

I added the pictures to the month that it seemed to fit best in.  When I went to the actual page, I was pleased to see that the background color of the template worked well with all of the selected quilt images.

I especially like this purple one with this quilt, although I'm not sure why, since there is very little purple in the quilt.

If you haven't done this before, I highly recommend it.  Seeing the images of these quilts professionally printed makes me feel like a real quilter!

Most of these quilts have not been shown in last year's calendar. In fact, I think there is only one repeat. It is purely accidental; if I had remembered it was on last year's, I would have used a different image.

I had to take the pictures at an angle this year, so you can't see the calendar at its best.  Trust me that it is a high quality calendar and it makes my quilts look very good.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


People who have been reading my blog for a while will probably remember the word of the year that appears on the bar in the right side.  My word of the year has been Commitment for a while, at least for the last two years.  Although the goal has changed, it was there to remind me to create goals and to simply go after them, and to continue to go after them.

For 2015, I have decided that the focus word will be



I have several ideas for this year, and I think that this word describes them all. When I started this blog post, it seemed like I was saying that I don't already do these things or am not good at them.  But this really isn't about choosing my worst traits and trying to improve on them.  It is choosing three things that seem to fit the momentum I am already following.  I am choosing the path I am already walking on, and committing to staying on it.


I would like to incorporate clarity into my communication. .  My goal is to communicate more clearly, both in my written and in my verbal communications. This means I will make sure I keep people informed, enunciate, and choose my words properly. 

It should be easy for the other person to understand what I am saying.

House Management

I want to incorporate clarity in my management of my household.  To do this, I am working on reducing the number of things that are in my house on a bigger scale than I have done in the past.

Instead of a muddle of belongings, I will use clarity to identify the items that do belong in my home, and have an ideal place to put them.  I will have clear spaces that make the home more inviting, and the clear spaces will give me opportunity to make quilts without guilt.


Low Maintenance

Since last year, I've been looking for ways to make my home and my life more low maintenance.  Part of this has to do with the decluttering I mentioned in House Management; the fewer belongings I have, the fewer things I will have to clean.

But beyond that, I would like to find other ways to reduce the maintenance in the house.  If I plant shrubs, then I won't have to replant every year. If I plant annual flowers, I won't have to harvest vegetables. This is a fairly new goal so I haven't thought through yet how to have a low maintenance lifestyle.

What does low maintenance have to do with clarity?  If I am not bogged down with maintenance tasks, I will have more time to choose to do the things that really matter.  My to-do list will be small enough that I will be able to look beyond it and see that it is possible to complete all the tasks on that list.

I haven't found a good quote for the sidebar yet. This one will suffice until then.
Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to see things clearly. Never let your life become so filled with work, your mind become so crammed with worry, or your heart become so jammed with old hurts or anger, that there's no room left in them for fun, for awe, or for joy. Melchor Lim

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 End of the Year Show and Tell

I finished two quilts this year. At first, I was ashamed at that lowly number, but now I am proud of it. I quilt for fun, not for a job, so I don't need to be productive. I simply need to make the quilts that provide enjoyment for me. And I certainly did that.

Besides my finished quilts, I also worked on other quilt projects that haven't made it to the finish line yet.

 The quilt on the left, Tuxedo Diamonds, was made in early January.  It was fun to make.  I showed it to you last year, but the colors were not right.  They are more true in this one.

 I was impressed by all the red and white quilt shows, and thought I should make a red and white quilt or two to have my own.  It looks good with the red and white optical illusion quilt I made last year.  I got the idea for this quilt from a quilt I saw on Pinterest.  I don't like this one as much as that one, mostly because it doesn't look like I envisioned.

I worked on this Awards Banquet quilt in April. It goes with the red and white theme, but I wanted to add black.  I have a lot of black and white fabric from a fat quarter swap and I wanted to get started using it.  Like Tuxedo Diamonds, I did not use a quilt pattern, but simply used my own ideas.

I was really having fun making and designing this quilt when I found out I needed to spend a month in Lansing for work with very little notice and after the overtime had already started.

I took all my sewing stuff out of the living room and put it in (what was then) the newly organized craft room so my daughter wouldn't have to look at a mess all month. When I came back, I left the mess in the craft room and worked on other quilts and haven't taken it out yet. I think it just needs to be quilted.


My big quilt reveal, of course, is the Improv Quilt, which I already showed you recently.  Once I got over trying to please the Sherri Lynn Wood, I had a lot of fun with the designing aspect of the quilt. I liked being able to make my own decisions about what to do next. I know I can't remember the exact dates on this one, but it was finished before I went to Lansing.  I know I was working on Awards Banquet at the same time as the Improv Quilt. This quilt needs another name, so if you can think of one, let me know. 

I took my sewing machine to Lansing with me, and didn't have a lot of time to decide what project to take with me.  I grabbed a kit that was taunting me when I was cleaning out the craft room.  This kit was waiting while I was trying to implement the "finish the WIPs first" rule, but I decided that the kit had waited long enough, and since it was a kit, it was a WIP.  I was able to work on it after work at the hotel. In Lansing, I worked long hours, but since I didn't have the chores I have at home, I was able to find time to work on it. This one required careful cutting and piecing, which was quite a change from the liberated cutting and piecing of the improv quilt.  The top as directed by the kit is done, as you can see on the table, but I have been adding another border. I put it away when we were hosting a birthday party, and didn't take it out after the party.  I see a recurring theme here.  I think I shouldn't put away any quilts until they are done!

Last, but not least, is this Christmas trees quilt. I have been seeing a lot of trees quilts on Pinterest, and wanted one of my own.  I found a directions for a liberated tree quilt on Diary of a Quilter, and got to work. It is a liberated quilt. I have a lot of Christmas fabric I've gotten on sale over the years, and thought this was a perfect opportunity to use them. I made a whole bunch of trees, and rejected a few that didn't fit the finish size I chose. I'm sure I will be able to use those elsewhere - maybe the back. I started this quilt a couple of days before Christmas, and could have tried to rush this one so I would have another finish for 2014, but I decided to take my time and enjoy the process.  I now have a really nice head start for 2015.

In 2015, I hope to clean up the new mess I made in the craft room and finish organizing it.  Then I want to finish some of the quilts that got abandoned during cleaning missions.  I really enjoyed working on the quilts and they don't deserve to be abandoned. I don't think I will have time to do a lot of quilting in 2015 either, but if I work on finishing what I have already started, I should have some finishes to show for it.