I've got a lot of help hand-quilting.
This year I set a huge crazy goal: I would make 6 quilts in the remaining 9 months of 2013. That might not be a lot for some people, but considering I had only made a total of 3 quilts in my whole life, it was just big enough to be inspiring.

Today I've written about the power and magic of setting big crafty goals, over at Sew Mama Sew. You can read it here.

Since I think it's a safe bet that I'm not going to finish another quilt in the last few days of the year, I wanted to update you on my goal (and show you my newest quilt, which has been an internet-secret.)

This year, I finished:

  • Emerald Isle (pictures and full story here).
  • Red Kaffe (more below).
  • Candy Christmas (more below).

I started

  • A baby quilt.
  • Crystal Coast, another collaborative quilt with my mom.

No, I didn't reach my crazy goal of 6 finished quilts. But I DID finish (and start) more quilts than I have in any other year. And I know how 2 handmade quilts in my house and gave my mom another fabulous gift. I've also had more quilt ideas than I do what to do with. (Next up: something like this and this.)

Red Kaffe

This quilt started as a fabric bundle my mom bought. Last December she passed it on to me, because she just wasn't into the colors anymore. I got obsessed with following #scrappytripalong quilts on Instagram. Even though this fabric bundle was nothing like you'd usually use in a quilt like that, I decided cutting up all those big prints would make an interesting, fractured quilt. (You can read more about the details here.)
Bound and washed and perfect. Beau approves.

I finished it around the beginning of August, but it still hasn't had an official photo shoot.
Inappropriately obsessed with my adorable hand stitches.
Final verdict: SUPER HAPPY.

Candy Christmas.

After writing this post on holiday gift-crafting, I had an epiphany: My mom really appreciates a handmade gift. She cried when she opened last year's quilt. So if I'm going to craft for anyone (I hadn't planned to), it's gotta be a quilt for her.

I had this epiphany late in the afternoon on November 14th.

I went right to Fabric.com and started to click around for fabric ideas, then found Stitched in Color's Penny Patch QAL and knew it was the perfect pattern. I hit the fabric shop on November 15th and bought everything I'd need + found a few pieces that would work, left over from quilts mom + I have made together:
After looking through my scraps, I have everything I need! #quiltsbyChristmas

I starting cutting on November 19th…
Onto the neutrals! #quiltsbychristmas

And kept working…
Today's to do list.

All squares finished, back to the design wall. See any weird spots? #pennypatchqal

I pieced the top in two nights, the week of Thanksgiving.
Off the wall and ready to sew. Tomorrow. #pennypatchqal

I sandwhiched it late Wendesday night, so that I could be handquilting during the Thanksgiving drive.
Sandwiching the quilt top. #pennypatchqal

And then I spent every spare second, for 3 weeks, handquilting with cream thread, inside the big squares.
My weekend plans. I must finish hand quilting this weekend so I can sew on binding this week.

On December 18th I trimmed it…
Trimming before binding! #pennypatchqal #yay
and machine stitched the binding to the front:
Sewing on binding while watching Charlie Brown. Perfect.

and handstitched the binding to the back:
Hand stitching the very last bit of binding...in the car on the way to the gift recipient. #stitchfaster

I finished it in the car on the way to Mom's house on December 20th and wrapped it on the trunk of my car, in a parking lot.
Finished! Wrapped it on my trunk, in a parking lot.

And I gave it to Mom the morning of December 21st!
The finished quilt reveal. #yay #pennypatchqal

Moms new Christmas quilt, on top of last year's Christmas quilt. #nofilter #pennypatchqal

Final Verdict: TRUE LOVE.

How about you?

What goals did you set in 2013? Which do you reach?

We're reviewing our year inside the Starship this week, and finding our own North Stars to guide in 2014. Boarding closes next week, so beam up before then!




6 Comments on My big crazy goal…results

  1. Vanessa
    December 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow, I thought I won favorite daughter points by giving my mom the BEST jigsaw puzzle ever. And the shawl I made her last year. But this? This wins best daughter in the universe prize.

    Maybe 2014 will be the year I finally try to make a quilt! (I end up cutting things wrong because I have no idea how to use a ruler.)

  2. deborah
    December 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm (10 years ago)

    Your Penny Patch turned out beautifully! Lovely mix of prints. I’m a little afraid to revisit my 2013 goals… pretty sure I fell far short. Ah well… there’s always 2014!

  3. Alexis Helmrath
    January 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve always hated the quote about shooting for the moon, even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars, blah blah blah…but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I love how even though you didn’t meet your quilting goal, you still got more quilting done than you ever have before! I saw your blog on the linkup at Jeff Goins’ 500 word challenge and just wanted to stop by and say hello!

  4. Tara Swiger
    January 3, 2014 at 11:30 am (10 years ago)

    Thank you!
    But reviewing not-reached goals is an important part of the process! You can figure out why you didn’t reach it (maybe it wasn’t the right goal, maybe you don’t *really* want it, maybe something else came up), so that you get more effective of getting what you really care about done!

  5. Tara Swiger
    January 3, 2014 at 11:30 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks, Alexis!

  6. marshaseiberling
    January 3, 2014 at 11:59 am (10 years ago)

    I really wanted to hand quilt my Penny Patch but time wise I was already finishing it days after the Dec 20 goal. It’s finished now as of last night and posted to my blog. Man…I have never machine quilted anything but a baby quilt until now. I did simple and large lines. It’s ok. I learned to hand tie quilts and that is what I really prefer.

    I did not finish even one quilt in 2013…in fact, I barely worked on any! I made smaller projects like wall hangings and table runners (honestly think I will mostly stick to those too)