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My big crazy goal…results

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!

 

 

 

The power of choosing (and quilts)

This week, as we've been map making in the Starship, I've been thinking about my own goals, and my investment into the belief that This Is What Works.

 

Even though I'm always exhorting you find what works for you. Even though I'm always reminding you that what works for someone might not work for you…there a few things that I stand by as Good For Just About Everyone. Map-Making is one of them. Not because you need to grow. Not because you need to do more.

But simply because, this is what's bumming you out.

When you feel like you're not going anywhere, when you feel like you “never finish anything” (a phrase I hear a lot!), the problem usually can be boiled down to one thing: you don't have a direction. All of your dreams and hopes and ideas live in the puffy land of One Day. And so you beat yourself up, you feel bad, you don't think you know/act/ARE enough.

And, darling, that's just not true.

 

You are enough. Brave enough to follow your dream. Strong enough to do the hard work. Smart enough to make the big decisions.

 

The reason you're stuck is because you don't know which way to turn. So, by making a map, you pick a direction. You just pick one. ANY direction is fine as long as you start making movement towards it. The Map doesn't care what your destination is. The power is in CHOOSING. Choosing to focus yourself. Choosing a path. Choosing to figure out what will get you there. Choosing to take action. Choosing to honor your dream by making it do-able.

 

Once you get in the habit if taking consistent action toward your hopes, you might not need a map, you might be able to wake up each day and just do what you need to do, without creating some big plan.

Then again, you might be the kind of person (like me!) who likes to have milestones to reach, who likes to set crazy challenges to test what you're capable of.

And that brings us to what I really planned to write about today – my crazy quilt goal. Last March I decided to try to finish 6 quilts in 2013. I joined the Finish-a-long to keep me on track. Last quarter I hoped to finish two..but I only completed one. This quarter I want to finish the two I've started and get as far as possible on a brand new quilt.

Here's the two I've got so far:

Red trip

(You can read more details here)

I am so close to being done! I just have 8-10 short hand-quilting rows left! I'll share all the details when it's done!

 
 

Blooms & Dots

This is another collaboration with my mom. We each picked 9 fabrics, cut them in strips, and are piecing all 18 fabrics into our own tops. I'm still not 100% sure on my layout, but I have a 40″x40″ panel done so far.

 

 

What are you choosing this week?

What's the goal you're working towards right now?

 

 

 

The Adventures

Every week is an adventure and I share the view, the path and the finds on Fridays, with an invitation for you to join me. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

Running in 81* weather was made bearable by the FLOWERS. Everywhere. #coloroverload! #yayspring
Rosebud! #foundwhilerunning #lookup
It's a little too rainy out there. #accordingtoBeau
Weeping Cherry = my favorite! A gorgeous day to explore a new neighborhood  & route. #foundwhilerunning #uar
Conclusion: I can't imagine doing this with a whole quilt. Don't like all the pulling & gripping. Will stick with hand quilting!

The Finds

The only thing I can focus on this week is praying for Boston. I wish I could do more, but what we can all do is donate to help the victims. Give here. If you're looking for some distractions, here's what I enjoyed reading this week:

  • I love this post about beauty and our cultural insistence (even in the Dove Real Women ads) that beauty is important to self worth.
  • I feel in love this with quilt.
  • And this one. I'm definitely making it soon!

 

 

 

The Adventures

Every week is an Adventure..and these are the view, the finds and the path that made this one special. You can see all my adventures here.

The View

Yay! Jay hung a shelf & now my shawls can be admired! (Not sure what will go on the shelf, this was just silliness)

A new place for shawls!

Yay! Just found my long-lost favorite bobby pin!

My long-lost favorite bobby pin

Three things to remember (this year), from Mary Oliver.

A Mary Oliver poem read New Year's morning

The Finds

  • The BIG FIND of the week was a Scrappy Trip  quilt-along. The best way to view it is the Flickr group, or the Instagram tag #scrappyquiltalong. The pattern is here…and I will be starting it this weekend.
  • If you wanna join me, this is a great guide to how many strips (and thus, fabric) you'll need.
  • And in between this weekend's quilt obsession, I jumped all over the Seafoam edition of Project Life. Can't wait!
  • If you've been wondering how to eat more veggies, whole grains and less meat or cheese, this series is a very good place to start. (You don't have to be fully vegan to want to eat more vegetable-centric meals!)

The Path

  • It was completely delightful to get to meet Maritel. If you missed it, you can catch up on our conversation here.
  • I opened up the Map-Making Guide this morning (yes, I use it to make my quarterly plans!) and was overwhelmed with the desire to update it ALL. So I did! New fonts, new facts (gathered from over a year of helping explorers make their own maps!), and a few edits for great clarity.
  • Finally! I jumped into a “public” Facebook page. Hang out with me here?

 

 

How was your week? What was your view, path or finds?

 

Feel Good: Quilting

As part of my feel-good experiment, I'm saying yes to the stuff that feels good. One of the biggest challenges (for me) to doing what feels good is LOGIC. I can logic-away all kinds of fun stuff, insisting that I don't have time, I don't have energy, I really should spend my time on finishing those other projects instead of starting a new one. But this month's experiment is saying YES to something I know will feel good, so instead of saying NO to my newest crazy idea, I fully embraced it.


This week's crazy idea was Elise's Quilts by Christmas challenge. After a recent weekend spent quilting with my mom, I wanted to do it again. I was visiting this weekend and my mom has a great quilting set up: a big table to cut on, two sewing machines, plenty of ideas, so this was the perfect storm of inspiration and opportunity. Before I left I sent mom a link and my new quilt was born.

Love LOVE new fabric store. Unfortunately, didn't have black I needed. #quiltsbychristmas



We spent the weekend buying all the supplies, experimenting with the best way to cut triangles (we settled on this one), cutting, sewing, and ironing.
Part of my feel-good experiment: giving in to #quiltsbychristmas Details on the blog.
It felt great to dive into a new project: the endless Pinterest-searching, the fabric-buying, the cutting, sewing, chatting, charting. And you know? None of the logical reasons I had to not start matter at all. I feel refreshed and inspired for my other projects, and knowing that one of my Christmas gifts is halfway done feels fabulous.

What feel-good activity have you been logic-ing away?