Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking towards 2012

I love this time of year!  Christmas is always such a fast-paced, over the top, joyous time!  This year was really exciting for us because this was the first year Hurst really "got it".  He talked non-stop about Santa and could always be heard singing Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells or the Grinch.  We spent our time with lots of family, eating lots of food and opening lots of gifts.  Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

But, I'm so glad it's over!  I was always a little sad when Christmas was over as a child, but as an adult I look forward to getting back to our routine.  The only thing I will truly miss is having my husband home with us.  It has been so nice spending so much time with him.  I hate to see him go back to work!

I love this week between Christmas and New Year's.  I get the chance to clean the house, eliminate some of our clutter and recover from the Christmas chaos.  During this time, I've been thinking about what I would like to accomplish in the coming year.  I have decided this year to keep it simple as far as my quilting/sewing goals.  Last year I had a very long list and while I started most of the list I didn't finish most it.  Don't worry I'm not beating myself up about it!  Sometimes life gets in the way, and that's okay!  That's why this year I'm trying to keep it a little more manageable.

1.  I want to tackle my stack of projects that I've started, but haven't finished yet.  I have quite a few really beautiful quilts that I started and then put in a box and ignored.  Well, this year I want to finish them...well at least work on them.  :)  I have joined the UFO Challenge at Patchwork Times to help me reach this goal.  It really seemed to help other quilters in 2011 so I'm hoping it will do the trick for me this year.

2.  I want to continue to eliminate my fabric stash.  I still have a ton of fabric from when I first started quilting 15 years ago that I will never use.  My plan is to use some of it to make quilts for the Quilting Angels.  If all else fails I think I will donate the fabric to the group and others might be able to use it. 

The second part to this goal is to grow my stash the right way.  Most of my fabric shopping is very impulsive.  While that's very fun and it looks pretty on the shelf, it's not very practical.  When I decide to work on a new project, I find I have to shop to get everything I need.  I really would like to have a stash with enough variety that I can just pull from it and start working.

Next week I'm taking my machine in for it's yearly checkup and while it's there I'd like to spend some time organizing my fabric.  I think I'll use this series on color by Jeni to help me.  Once I see which colors are lacking I'll SLOWLY fill in the gaps.

I've set the goal of no shopping until I've made good progress on my WIPs.  Of course, all bets are off when FMF comes out, but other than that I'm really going to try to stay focused this year!

3.  I want to spend more time with my quilting groups.  The time I was able to spend with the DC Modern Quilt Guild and the Quilting Angels this year has been so good for me.  It got me out of mommy mode, doing something I really love while surrounded by people who have the same passion.  Everytime I left a meeting I felt a renewed desire to quilt.  Now that things have settled down a bit at home I really think this goal will be easily achieved.

4.  I want to blog more often.  I have missed my time spent in this little corner of my world!  I look forward to making new friends and cultivating the friendships I have already made.  I also think writing about my projects will help keep me on task especially with the WIPS.

So there it is!  Not too bad!  I think I will look back at this list next Christmas and see that I've made some real progress!  I am so looking forward to seeing what is going to happen for the Burnett family this year!  Graham will be a year old soon, Hurst will start preschool this fall, who knows what will happen to mommy and daddy??  Big things I'm sure!

I wish all of you and your families a very healthy, happy and safe New Year!  I look forward to spending a lot of time with you in 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Last Stash Report of 2011

Well I stuck to my guns and didn't buy any fabric this month!  I am very proud of myself!  Fortunately, I was so busy I really didn't have time to look at fabric sites or go shopping for anything other than Christmas presents.  I also didn't have a lot of time to sew either, so my stash busting numbers are still dismal.  Oh well, there's always 2012 right? 

I'm definitely doing the stash report again next year.  While I didn't bust my stash the way I had planned, reporting has been a very eye opening experience!  I always knew I bought a lot of fabric, but I had no idea how much!  This year was also a very busy one for us as a family especially with our new little guy, and his rough and tumble big brother!  Big fun of course, but I have had very little time to sew.  I'm hoping now that we are starting to develop more of a schedule as a family, I will find more time to spend in my sewing area!  I want 2012 to be the year of using my stash!  Of course I'm sure I will find some fabric that I must have, but I would like to try to be a little more thoughtful about my purchases!  Here's hoping!

My numbers for 2011:

Used YTD: 34.75 yards
Added YTD: 137.75
Net Added this year: 103 yards

I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else does tackling the stash this coming year!  If I don't find myself back before the 31st, Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 UFO Challenge

I have been doing Judy's Sunday Stash Report this year, and it has been a blast!  I have made new blog friends and have seen some incredible stash busting!  Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the stash busters.  This was a year of stash enhancement for me, ahem, but it was still a lot of fun and I'm definitely playing next year.

I've also decided to join in the fun of Judy's 2012 UFO Challenge.  Not only will this help me finish up some of my projects, but maybe it will help the weekly Stash Report too!  A girl can dream right?

1.  My Halloween Table Runner.

All I have to do is sew on the binding.  Why haven't I finished this yet?  Ridiculous...

2.  Fruitcake Quilt. 

I wasn't able to finish this in time for Christmas, so I'm going to try to finish for next year.  Hope my son is still fascinated by snowmen next year!

3. Nicey Jane Quilt.

I was making good progress on this one earlier this year, but when I started assembling the rows I realized I wanted it to be bigger.  Then I came to a complete standstill.  I would love to give it to my wonderful Aunt Kathy next year for either her birthday or Christmas.  If I can just get it finished!  I blogged about it earlier this year, see a WIP pic here.

4.  Flannel Quilt.

This is one of the first quilts I ever started.  It's all flannel and it's for the Hubs.  He would be thrilled to finally have this one finished especially considering I started making it for him fifteen years ago...

I can't believe we have been together that long and that I still haven't finished the poor guy's quilt!

5.  Butterfly Quilt.

I started making this for the MSP Quilting Angels sewing group I joined earlier this year.  I really want to finish this one sooner rather than later, so if I can I'll finish this before Judy announces #5.  I've made all of the blocks, so I just need to add the sashing, quilt it, and then add the binding.  I think I can, I think I can...

6.  Kaleidoscope Quilt.

I have to finish this one.  I just need to finish quilting and binding it.  It is going to be donated, so I need to get the lead out.  If I have time after Christmas I will try to work on it.  Blogged about it here.

7.  Christmas Tree Skirt.

I really wanted to finish this for our tree this year, but it just didn't happen.  Next year, next year...

8.  My first QOV

I haven't technically started this one yet, but I'm putting it here.  I've picked the pattern, pulled the fabrics and it's taking up room in my crammed project box, so I'm counting it!  It will be donated through the MSP Quilting Angels group.

9.  Postage Stamp Quilt

This was the first ever Quilt Along I joined and then I never finished it.  I will be honest and say that when I started it I was so excited, but I lost interest soon after the piecing commenced.  Unless I have a complete change of heart I think this one will be donated to the Quilting Angels when it's finished.  See progress pics here.

10.  Heart Strip Quilt.

I started cutting this out for the 100 Quilts for Kids project this year and then ran out of time.  It would be great to have one already made when the next round is announed.  Since all I've done so far is cut the strips it's not picture worthy, but check out the tutorial here.

11.  Super Nova Quilt

I am so in love with this quilt!  The pattern and the fabric equally, but it's for me, so it kept getting pushed to the back of the list.  Hopefully 2012 will be the year I get to snuggle with it!  All I have to do is quilt it (it's even basted) and bind it.  See progress photos here.

12.  Dutch Pinwheel Quilt.

I've made a couple of blocks from this tutorial.  I'm thinking it will become a QOV that will be donated through my MSP Quilting Angels group

My goal for this project is not to necessarily finish all of these, but to work on them even it's just for the assigned month.  My concern is if I don't have a working list, these projects will be shoved in a closet and forgotten.  Of course I do want to finish some of them, I'm just trying to be realistic.  Twelve finishes in a year would be a lot for me and that's just my UFOs.  Don't get me started on the new projects I want to start...

I can't wait for 2012 to get here, so I can get to work!  How about you?  Do you have any UFO's creeping around your sewing room?  Care to join us?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Christmas Cookie Time!

My family loves Christmas cookies!  I know, I know whose doesn't?  Fortunately for them, I love to bake them!  I have the old standbys that I try to make every year, but I always try to find something new to add to the mix.  Most of the time it's more than one if time permits.  :)

Today it was the Blueberry and Cream cookie.  I have heard such great things about it that I couldn't wait to try it.  I wasn't disappointed!  I will say upfront that as far as cookies go, this one is a little more involved than most.  It's not a complicated recipe, but it does require advanced planning.  In other words, make sure to read the recipe the whole way through before starting! 

I only thing I did differently was add a bag of white chocolate chips to the batter at the end because in my world, cookies need a little chocolate!  I also found the cookies didn't need to be in the oven the full 22 minutes.  Mine were finished after 18 minutes. 

The end result was a really delicious cookie!  Crispy around the edges, chewy in the middle, and a nice sweet/salty flavor.  I'm so glad I decided to add the white chocolate!  In my opinion, they are the perfect addition!

Here they are on the Christmas cookie plate!  I think Hubs will be happy to see these when he walks through the door!

I'm linking up at Debbie's today for Tuesday at the Table.  If you've done any cooking or baking recently that you'd like to share please link up!  It's always fun to read and I'm so glad that I'm finally participating!

Christmas crafting

It is a gray, rainy day here in Virginia.  If you can believe the weatherman it's going to be like this all week.  We have kept ourselves busy with some holiday crafting!

Please allow me to introduce you to the newest members of the family:

Mr and Mrs Snowman (or as my son calls them, Mommy and Daddy snowman)

They are a little lopsided, but in our house they fit right in!  We have no room for perfection here!  Besides, I think they are pretty stinkin' cute!  I really loved that they kept my toddler and me busy for at least an hour.

Then, we made felt snowman ornaments for the tree:

We made two more for the grandmothers, but this one is mine!  I'm so happy that Hurst is finally old enough to do a little crafting with me!  I try to do a little something with him everyday while his little brother takes his morning nap. 

Last but not least, I was able to finally finish up my Christmas table runner recently!  Sorry in advance for the rotten photos, but like I mentioned above, it's raining here which makes for really awful photo sessions.  :(

It is just a simple disappearing nine patch made out of two charm packs of "12 Days of Chirstmas" by Kate Spain.  This line is tied with Michael Miller's Funky Christmas as my favorite holiday fabric ever. 

The quilting is a very simple little free motion loop that I think turned out pretty cute!  Just don't look at the back!

I'm so glad to finally have this finished and on the table!

Anyone else busy making spirits bright?

For the first time ever, I'm linking up to Fabric Tuesday!  I can't believe I remembered, so exciting!