Going back through my posts of 2017, I realize that I finished more projects than I remembered, and I've made significant progress on other projects that are closer to completion today than they were at the end of 2016. So, here goes not-quite-nothing:
My first finish of 2017 was the Pajama Choir Concert Dress:
|Burda 6911 Modified, in Black Rayon Jersey|
I really love this dress, and I need to make another one with a shorter skirt so I can wear it more often.
I also made a baby quilt sample for a beginner quilter class that I'll be teaching at my local Bernina dealer in 2018:
|Beginner Quilting Class Sample|
I'm happy with that project, too, and looking forward to teaching new quilting students.
I also made a set of oven mitts this year, which came out cute but too small:
|Ha Ha Ha, These Oven Mitts Are Too Small|
In retrospect, that project was a big waste of time. They aren't even getting used, and store bought ones are so inexpensive. Sewing projects take so much more time than you think they will, and I should use what little time I have for sewing to make things that can't be found in stores, like that Burda pajama dress. I could have finished one of my UFO quilt projects with the time I spent making oven mitts that no one is going to use...
I also made a Killer Rabbit costume for Halloween this year:
|Behold, the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog!|
That came out pretty successfully, and it was much better than any of the costumes for sale at Party City. However, I wore it for just that one costume party and I'll probably never wear it again. Again, I could have used that sewing time -- and the pajama pattern I used to make the costume -- to sew something that I would get more use from, like actual pajamas.
I also finished the Burda 6911 top that I made as a test garment for my comfy choir dress, and was able to wear that for Thanksgiving. Like the dress, it's a win -- I love the way the V-neck is snug to the body so there are zero wardrobe malfunctions when bending and reaching! I'm definitely going to make this pattern again.
|Burda 6911 Top in Green Rayon Jersey|
The gathers are doing weird things in that photo because of the bra I was wearing under it. It looks much better with different undergarments, but this is the only picture of it that I could find.
The only other sewing project that I finished this year was the Christmas tree skirt that I made for my mom last week. I am very happy with that one:
|Mom's Christmas Tree Skirt|
So that makes a total of SIX finished projects for all of 2017. Let's reflect on that for a moment, shall we? An average of one finished project per every two months. Am I satisfied with that, or will I resolve to be more productive in 2018?
In addition to the finishes, I did make progress on several other projects this year. I made 8 more pineapple log cabin blocks for my California King bed quilt in 2017. I still have 8 blocks to make before I can assemble the top and quilt that one:
|Pineapple Log Cabin In Progress|
These blocks are tedious to piece, but I absolutely love how they are coming out. I'm still excited about this project and look forward to (maybe) finishing it in 2018. It will be huge, but nothing my 12' long arm frame can't handle!
I also worked on my Frankenwhiggish Rose applique blocks off and on throughout 2017 (more off than on, truth be told):
After finishing that first block, I pieced eight more block backgrounds and have gotten the flower centers, stacked petals, and stems stitched down on all of them. I'm currently working on the reverse applique tulips and plan to combine the applique blocks with some pieced blocks or pieced sashings eventually.
We bought the APQS Millenium long arm quilting machine in April of 2017 and I've completed two practice quilts on it so far, although I don't count them as finished projects:
|First Practice Quilt on the Long Arm Machine|
|Second Practice Quilt, Cheater Cloth|
Although I'd hoped to have quilted several REAL quilts on my long arm machine by now, I do feel like I've learned a lot with the practice pieces. That was time well spent for sure. I have my first real quilt top loaded on the frame now, ready to go, as soon as I 1. decide for sure how I'm quilting it and 2. screw up the courage to JUST DO IT!
|It's On My Frame, Ready for Quilting...|
Most likely, this Math Quilt will get a very simple allover pantograph design.
And my Bear Paws quilt is coming along, too. In 2017 I made the sawtooth corner stones and set the bear paw blocks with sashing, and added two of three borders. This one is really close to being ready for quilting now. I just need to add another outer border in solid white:
|Butterfly Bear Paws Top|
This one wants some custom quilting in all that solid white background fabric, don't you think? I think it's a good candidate for experimenting with those acrylic rulers...
Of course there was more to 2017 than sewing projects. My husband had SEVERAL unexpected, major heart surgeries. I sang with two church choirs, a semi-professional community chamber choir called VOX, and caroled in costumed a cappella quartets with the Charlotte Holiday Singers. I took a fascinating class on Martin Luther's legacy at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, attended Music Week at Lutheridge over the summer, and worked with several new interior design clients as well as hearing from a few repeat clients who were ready to refresh their interiors. And all this while raising two
hooligans rambunctious teenage boys who keep my hairdresser busy hiding my gray hairs... I kept the fridge stocked with groceries and the bureaus stocked with clean underwear. I paid all the bills on time, played with my dogs, and even managed to exercise fairly regularly. I wasn't featured in any embarrassing news stories or reality TV shows, we didn't go bankrupt, no one got arrested, and no one is suing us. Considering all of that, I'm going to call 2017 a smashing success!
For 2018, I'm hoping for another year like 2017 (except, hopefully, without all the scary medical stuff!). I'll be focusing on personal, professional, and spiritual growth rather than perfection, prioritizing health and family above keeping up with the Joneses, and enjoying the process of my creative pursuits more than worrying about whether I'm finishing as many projects as other people are. The only change I'm thinking about for next year is that I may want to spend less time writing about what I want to do and more time actually DOING it...
But all in all, I feel like I'm in a good place on the cusp of the New Year. I hope you do, too. I don't need to make a list of sewing goals to try to live up to next year. The one and only sewing related resolution I'm going to make is to give more priority to creative time, since playing with fabric melts stress away and makes all kinds of craziness easier to deal with. I think I'd like to make sure I get at least 2 hours of sewing time in every week. Does that sound reasonable?
The sentiment of the above meme is appropriate to this post, although I have to say, the little dude looks like she's running for her life in a blizzard more than she's finding joy in her journey...
Happy New Year to all of my blog readers, especially to those of you who take the time to reach out to me with your comments, emails, suggestions and advice!