Vacation Accomplishments and Ready for 2014

(Caution: Long post ahead!) I talked about this on my podcast, but here are the pictures.

Recall my blog post on spending Friday at my church sewing "Little Dresses"?

I didn't get any made that day, but I'd gotten some pieces cut out and brought them home to finish. And had to re-do it three times because I couldn't figure out how they were supposed to go together. I'd gotten a less-than-five-minute tutorial in the midst of chaos that Friday; now a few days later I was trying to recall what had seemed like a simple process at the time, but I just couldn't get it to make sense in my head. After ripping seams out for the second time (yay for my Havel's seam ripper!), I walked away in frustration and did something else for awhile. Then it came to me: Was it possible I was missing a piece?


After thinking it through, I decided to make a fourth piece from scrap in my stash. Sure enough, once I made that piece and sewed everything together in a way that seemed to make sense, I had a completed dress that, while not elegantly sewed by any means, is at least wearable and from a distance on a galloping horse, kind of cute.



I stuffed some scrap fabric in the pocket so you could see that feature better. Basic pockets I've done before, so no seam-ripping required there. The fabric is a Hawaiian "bark cloth" that I got in Hawaii a few years back. It makes a nice sun dress as it's a little lighter weight than traditional quilting cotton, but it frays like nobody's business. Ripping out those seams got harder and harder every time!

I was thrilled to hand that off following our Christmas Eve service at church to the woman in charge of the project. Done and done!

I then moved on to things I feel much more confident in, LOL.

Scrapitude 1-3.jpg

I completed Scrapitude Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3. Caught up! Well, okay, still need to trim some dog-ears and square up some units, but I'm considering it done. I'll trim here and there as I'm working on other things.

To set myself up for making serious progress on my 2014 Quilty Resolutions, I bought muslin for and made a boatload of quilt sandwiches for practicing my machine quilting. I think I now have 16 or so, all somewhere around 12-16" square. That should supply me for some time to come, anyway. (No pics since they're just boring white squares!)

Also towards my resolutions, I prepped several new pages so I can finish my Stitch Bible for the Carol Ann Waugh Craftsy class "Stupendous Stitching." I got about halfway through my Stitch Bible last January/February and ran out of pages; that became a stopper. I think I've now got enough pages to finish up the Stitch Bible so that's a priority for the rest of my vacation. (Also no pics yet--I'll wait 'till there's stitching on there.)


I finished the center of the Hunter's Star quilt I'm making using the Deb Tucker Rapid Fire Hunter's Star (petite) ruler I won from AJ at the Quilting Pot podcast.

Ain't it pretty? Points all met perfectly! The fabric is leftover from my grand-niece's baby quilt. I decided on my border fabric yesterday so now that I'm caught up on Scrapitude, this project is back on deck!

For the last couple of days I've been spending most of my time on this: After my husband surprised me by deciding to move his computer to another room (thereby also removing his computer desk), I moved the furniture around in my sewing studio/home office. And then moved some of it again. And a third time. And vacuumed a whole bunch. I think I'm now at an arrangement I really like; I'm going to live with it for a few weeks and then probably build myself that solid-surface cutting table like Tanesha's--boy, have I wanted something like that for a l-o-n-g time!

And then there were all those other extraneous cleaning and organizing things: the spice cupboard, the pantry (yikes!), my Dropbox folders, my photo files on my external hard drive (still in progress), and learning a new calendarizing/organizing mobile app that I believe is the app of my dreams, but with a big learning curve.

Apparently my sunlight lamp is really working--it's unusual for me to have this much energy at this time of year!

One more day off tomorrow, and then it's back to work. I hope everything I've put in place will make it easier to continue to make progress on my goals.

My word for the year in 2013 was "play." I really do feel like I achieved that. In 2014, I'm going to do my best to live out the word "balance." Everything I tackled this week was with both of those words in mind--what I could do that would be fun, and what I could get done that would help me maintain better balance in the coming year.

Have you done yourself any favors towards the future? If not, what's one thing you could do in the next couple of days that might make life a little easier for yourself in the months to come?