Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year-End Review: Progress, Changes, Loss, Gain

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I started this blog a year ago today with the hopes of tracking my progress in making quilts, but to also share bits and pieces of my life. My goal was to complete 12 quilts in 2013; I completed 8. While short of my goal, I'm very happy with the progress made because I typically get one quilt completed each year; this year has been my most productive. I was hoping to complete the 9th quilt by yesterday, but due to illness this week I couldn't make that happen.
7 of the quilts completed this year
The year was also marked with loss--my friend Sharon, my Aunt Bettye, and our beloved dog Buck. Just under two weeks ago one of my co-workers passed away. Sharon's passing is what really spurred me on to get more quilts completed (life is short); Aunt Bettye was the last of my Women of Great Influence of whom I have thought of a lot since her passing in October. Her passing also made me the new matriarch of our family. At 55, I feel I'm way too young to have that title and told my family members so--but they said I had been in training for it my entire life and I was ready.

And changes--we gained a new family member, Will. He's been with us for 3 months and it's been an adjustment. We're still finding our way but things are okay.

I have also noticed that I am turning inward and wanting to spend more time alone in the Bottoms Up! Studio. I have always been a social quilter and love quilting with the girlfriends, but I believe my quest to complete several quilts forced me to spend more time on my own getting the projects done instead of gabbing our time away. Please don't misunderstand me--I LOVE my Girlfriends and I will always want to stitch with them...but it seems I am no longer the person who says, "Oh, I'd love to teach you how to quilt!" Nope. I'm getting pretty selfish with my time these days.

As far as my fabric stash is concerned, I didn't add much to it last year, but definitely dipped into it. I purchased fabrics for another secret project (probably a total of 2 yards) and a few pieces in August for Love Endures (about 3 yards, all used in the quilt). That's all the shopping I did this year in the way of fabric; the lightest fabric year ever, I believe.

So what's on tap for 2014? More quilts, of course! But instead of a goal of 12 quilts, I'll tone it down to 6. I have one quilt I had planned to enter in a show (the secret project mentioned above), but don't believe I'll be able to devote the time I need to complete it by the show due date. I'll still make the quilt, but without the pressure of the deadline. I also will be making a retirement quilt for a co-worker--those are the two have-to-make quilts this year. I also decided this week that I want a Christmas quilt on each bed by next Christmas, and I have several quilts already pieced and waiting their turn on the longarm.

The hubster and I will also be doing a lot more shepherding for our ward, Will. We're getting him registered for the ACT and SAT exams, and will soon be checking out colleges. I expect this to take up a lot of our time this year.

My sister and I will be helping our uncle clean out my grandparents' house. My cousin was living in it until Aunt Bettye passed away and he will be moving into her house soon, and we'll then put the house on the market. I have mixed emotions about selling the house--many of my happiest memories are from time spent in that house, but I can take those with me. As much as I love the house, it's time to let it go.

I started quilting 21 years ago today. My tastes in quilting have evolved through the years and I find myself entering a bright and saturated color phase. We'll see where this takes me.

I wish you a year filled with joy and happiness, and more quilting!

Happy quilting,