Crafting Goals for 2014, or, Consolidation of Mental Energy Regarding WIP’s

Oh my, my, my…

I don’t have a lot of progress to show on any projects right now because I succumbed to a mean little germ late last week, which forced me to spend a couple days laying down, which then made my back go all wonky.  (Such a waste of a weekend!)

I came back to my craft room today for the first time in many days, only to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of different projects I have going on all over the place.

Intrigued, I decided to go through the entire house and round up all the works-in-progress that I have strewn about, and consolidate them into one pile so I could wrap my head around what needed to be done.

Alright, in no particular order, the molehill of WIP’s include:


  1. The “Blue Daffodil” quilt, started in 2006.
  2. The Matroyshka dress, started in 2013.
  3. The Cowboy baby quilt, started in 2008.
  4. The Pastel Flower baby quilt, started in 2008.
  5. Green & Pink Hexie bag, started in 2014.
  6. Free-motion quilting quilt-as-you-go sampler quilt, started in 2014.
  7. Storybook Hexagon baby quilt, started in 2014.
  8. Batik Hexagon quilt, started in 2014.
  9. Aspen Frost mini quilt, started in 2014.
  10. Patriotic ruffle skirt, started in 2012.  (Not pictured)
  1. Dragonfly Stripe Shawl, started in October 2013.
  2. Pink vest for my son, started in August 2013.
  3. Purple Echo Flower Shawl, started in March 2012.
  4. Purple Fingerless Mitts for my best friend, started in August 2012.
  5. Gray Rock Island Shawl, started in October 2013.
  6. Crocheted Christmas Granny Square Afghan, started in November 2012.
  7. Peach Fair Isle Baby Cardigan, started in January 2010.  (Not pictured)

2014-specific crafting commitments and dreams I’d like to also (start and) finish this year:
  1. Faberge Shawl for a sister’s wedding day
  2. “Star Spangled” quilt for my third daughter.
  3. “Rocket Age” quilt for my son.
  4. Peacock Stole for my granny, which I promised to her four years ago.
  5. 2 Christmas quilts
  6. Baptism wall hanging for my 2nd daughter (And I should probably make one for my first daughter as well…never got around to that.)
  7. Church crayon bags for all four of my children.  (I’d like to keep their regular backpacks set aside for school-related stuff, instead of switching out contents all the time.)
  8. Advika mittens for myself.
  9. Winter accessories for my first daughter, which were supposed to be done already.
  10. Sample Tweedy Pumpkin hat for pattern re-market in the autumn.
  11. Sample Harmony Wave Cowl(s) for pattern re-market in late autumn.
  12. Woodland Winter Mittens, as many as possible
  13. Socks for me.  🙂
  14. Aprons.  There’s a serious shortage.  Aprons in April…I like the alliteration of that.  Easter?
Geez, no wonder I always feel overwhelmed!  I’ve found that writing a blog post like this helps me to focus, and then I can also come back and re-read it whenever I’m tempted to add in a new project.  Bear with me.
Some sort of eliminating criteria needs to be applied here.  Alright, two categories:  1. What’s close to being finished already?, and 2. What has a definitive “need by” date?:
Almost Finished (less than a week’s worth of work):
  1. Matryoshka dress, but only if I shelve all my ideas of embroidering and lining it.
  2. Cowboy baby quilt, only needs binding cut and sewn on.
  3. Pastel Flower baby quilt, needs the edge quilted, binding cut and sewn on.
  4. Hexie bag, just needs the sides sewn together and zipper, etc.
  5. Patriotic ruffle skirt…maybe.  I think I may have to start over, but it would probably take less than a week to make from beginning to end anyway.
  6. Pink Vest, attach pieces, add ribbing.
Needed by a Specific Date:
  1. Matryoshka Dress–spring/summer, daughter will outgrow it otherwise.
  2. Storybook Hexagon baby quilt–a gift for a friend, due this spring.
  3. Patriotic ruffle skirt–spring/summer, same daughter will outgrow it otherwise.  (She hates to wear pants.)
  4. Pink Vest–making slightly large for my son, but it’d be good if he could wear it this winter as well.
  5. Purple Fingerless Mitts–these need to get done, it’s been too long.  Best friend’s birthday’s in April, but otherwise they need to be done by October.
  6. Gray Rock Island Shawl–a wedding shawl with a weird back story, I’d like it to be done by October.
  7. Faberge Wedding Shawl–wedding’s this summer, I’d like it done by June to avoid last-minute stress.
  8. “Star Spangled” quilt–I’m re-doing the “Little Kids” bedroom this summer, so by August.
  9. “Rocket Age” quilt–ditto.
  10. Peacock Stole–this could win ribbons at the County Fair, so by July if I’m interested in that.  Otherwise, it’d make a great birthday or Christmas present for my granny, whose birthday is also in December.  It’d have to be done by Thanksgiving for that.
  11. 2 Christmas quilts–I know should give up on this idea, but I really want Christmas quilts.
  12. Baptism wall hanging–her baptism will be over Labor Day weekend, so preferably done by August.
  13. Church crayon bags–wonderful Easter basket gifts, yes?
  14. Tweedy Pumpkin Hat–done by mid-August so I can do all necessary photography and re-marketing.
  15. Harmony Wave Cowl(s)–ditto.
Alright, let’s see what we can do with that information.  Things nearly finished should just hurry up and get finished, while things that are needed by a certain date definitely need work no matter what, plus there should be enough “just because” projects because this is a hobby, not a career.
I’m going to think on this for a couple of days, just so I can weed out the unnecessary projects–there’s a lot of “must be done by” projects this year, so I’m going to have to be a little severe in my selections if I actually want to finish the stuff that’s important to me.

How are your crafting goals coming along?  I saw a bunch of posts about them at the beginning of the month, so now’s a good time to do a little assessment!

Cookies & Cocoa

One of my Wise Mama bits of advice:  When you send your (young) children out to play in the snow, set a timer for 30 minutes when the youngest goes out the door.  When the timer goes off, start the kettle.  It usually works out that I’ve just finished mixing up everyone’s cocoa when some of them start heading back in, pink-cheeked and in need of some refreshment.  So much easier than having them clamoring around my knees and telling me how cold they are while we’re waiting for the water to boil.

Mom’s Dance Party of Horror

I was doing so well yesterday.  I was teaching, I was answering questions, and I was engaging in witty banter with my beloved offspring all while trimming down some hexies to baste.  Voila!  Lots of  hexies, and school going along on schedule to boot.

My inner celebratory dance spasmed into consciousness, knocking over the can of Diet Coke I had been enjoying but a moment beforehand.  Knocking over the can directly onto my fresh-faced hexies.  Knocking over the can so violently that the carbonation went out of control and spewed Diet Coke all over everything in its vicinity.

Hexies, chairs, worksheets, notions case, everything in the notions case.  Tidal waves of Diet Coke surging outward and destroying everything in its path.

Good feeling gone.

I didn’t freak out; I calmly dealt with the offensive can of explosive horror, wiped everything up, and then commenced with watching my once-starched hexagons curl up and peel away from their freezer paper templates throughout the remainder of the day.

This is what happens when moms dance, even just “pretending” in their heads.  Heed the warning.  Lock it up.

Hopefully Diet Coke washes out, and hopefully freezer paper re-adheres…everything was going so well yesterday.  Until it wasn’t.

Linking up with:

Green & Pink Hexie Applique

The long sides of my little bag are pieced, and now I’m working on appliqueing the teeny hexie strips to their proper places.  I decided to go with the hopscotch print for the main fabric of the bag because I just love it so much, it should be the main fabric, right?  Let’s just hope my girls don’t think that the bright pink earmarks it as only appropriate for the under-thirty crowd.

I do my handwork while listening to my kids recite their various school facts, or else I go insane sitting and listening to the things I recited as a young school child.  (The brain can only take so much–when you start in on the third kid’s schooling, you’re just kind of done.)  BUT, during my second grader’s math lesson, these little hexagons came in handy:

It was a lesson on angles, and she’d forgotten how many angles a hexagon had.  Hee hee.  Crafty teacher mama for the win!

Linking up with the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts, and Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Aspen Frost Piecing Completed

There’s all these link-ups on Fridays for “Finished” items, but I have no finished items to share.  Boo.

However, I did finish a step in the construction of my Aspen Frost…table cover/runner/mini quilt…thing.  (What am I going to call this?)  Hee hee, chevrons make me smile.

I’m thinking that I’m going to do a minimally-pieced backing instead of just one fabric.  I love the aqua blue in the Aspen Frost fabric collection, and so I’m going to try to get some yardage.  Then, after using the chevron side during the Christmas season, I can flip it over and enjoy the very appropriate winter hue during January.  It will be quilted with red, green, white, and blue thread…but I think it will work.

Or I could go with a plain color back and just let the quilting shine on the other side.  So many options.  I’ve never done a pieced back before, and I totally love the look of the ones I’m seeing in Elizabeth Hartman’s The Practical Guide to Patchwork, and would like to give it a try.

Decision, decisions…what do you think?

Oh, hey, look at that, a “Finishing” link-up that doesn’t require a fully-finished object.  Awesome!  I’m linking up with the Link-A-Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts.

The Yarn is My Proxy

I’m trying to be a good little auntie.

I have a weird sibling situation that I finally came to a conclusion upon last year about how I’m going to treat all my present, former, and kind-of siblings:  I’m just gonna love them all.  More love always wins, right?

One of my sisters had a baby last week, and there’s nothing like the actual birth of a baby to really light the fire under one’s rear end to finish the crafties intended for said baby.  She had a little boy, and he is beautiful.

I’ve been working on this layette since October.  The plan was to finish it all before Christmas and then ship it so it’d be there before the birth, but…yeah.  Whatever, it’s finished, and it’s heading to the post office in the next couple of days to make its way to the chilly, chilly Canadian town that boasts one more beautiful baby boy as of last week.

The cardigan is the Little Coffee Bean Cardigan pattern, knit up in Plymouth Yarn’s Jeannee Worsted (51% Cotton, 49% Acrylic).  The buttons are from JoAnn Fabric.  I knit up a matching hat following the Basic Hat Pattern in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd.

The blanket is crocheted, as is every blanket I’ve ever made from yarn.  (The idea of knitting a blanket makes me twitch a wee bit.)  The pattern is “Pastel Waves,” from Leisure Arts Our Best Baby Afghans, which I’ve owned for years upon years.  I used good ol’ Red Heart Super Saver for it, despite its baby-melting acrylic content.  I just haven’t reached the point where I can buy that much cotton yarn at once.  That also makes me a bit twitchy.

So I’ll send this off, with much love and many wishes that I could live closer to this new soul.  It’s somewhat heart-breaking to watch all these nieces and nephews grow up, and know that I’m only seeing it in photographs instead of experiencing it in person.  Sigh.  But, perhaps, they’ll be reminded that I care when they snuggle up in a blanket or sweater I’ve made for them.

That’s the hope–that they’ll feel my love and know that I wish I was right there with them.

Happy BIRTHday, Little Baby J.

This post is participating in Small Thing’s “Yarn Along,”
“Anything Goes Monday” at Stitch by Stitch,
and “Sew Cute Tuesday” at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Pink and Green Baby Hexie Strips

I’ve stumbled across the Monday Morning Star Count over at Jessica Alexandrakis’ blog, Life under Quilts, and I couldn’t resist sharing my little hexie project-in-progress:

They’re little, teeny half-inch hexagons that will embellish the side of a project bag found in Hexa Go-Go by Tacha Bruecher.  (Sorry, Jessica, for name-dropping on someone else’s hexie book–but rest assured, your hexie book is on my shopping list!)  The fabric is just completely random scraps I found in the bottom of a stash box.

It was the Life Under Quilts and A Few Scraps blogs that first introduced me to the idea of English Paper Piecing/hexagon quilting last year.  (Ironic that my first hexie book wasn’t Quilting on the Go…)  The idea’s been sitting in the back of my mind since, and then I saw Hexa Go-Go at the fabric shop I visited with my bestie over Christmas break, saw the author’s little blurb about how hexagons were “quilting’s answer to knitting,” and I decided that it was time to learn.  Lack of portability has been my main reason to avoid sewing and quilting all these years, and portability is one of the reasons why I love knitting so much.  I’m no stranger to crafting in public, and I’d love to include sewing and quilting in my arsenal of portable crafting!

Making hexies is fun.  It’s super simple and they come together really quick, and they’re way, way cute.  I’m planning to make my son’s upcoming “big boy bed” quilt with some sort of hexagon design element because I love the technique so much.

I’m trying to decide on the fabrics for the rest of the bag, so my sewing desk looks like this:

Too much cute!  (And can you tell that I mostly make things for little girls?)

Piecing my Aspen Frost Mini Quilt

I know, I know, Christmas is over, but I received Christmas fabric in my stocking and I just can’t leave it alone!  Part of the Santa Stash was two charm packs of Basic Grey’s Aspen Frost collection, and I succumbed to temptation over the weekend and started a new project:

I’m finally acknowledging my affinity for chevrons, and I keep seeing beautiful chevron quilts, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon and making one of my own!  If my math is right, this will end up measuring 36 x 36″, so nothing big, just a teeny wall hanging or table mat.  I’m excited about how it’s going to turn out!

I have a few ideas about how to quilt this–I started learning the basics of free-motion quilting before the holidays, so I’m eager to try out some new skills.  Hopefully we can all just get along and have a good experience?  Alright, Aspen Frost?  We’re cool, right?

I guess we’ll see…