Thursday, December 31, 2020

What I learned in 2020

I suspect that everyone has been feeling a little off balance this year. I went from periods of incredible productivity to periods of total lethargy. Sometimes these periods lasted weeks and sometimes it was all within a few days or hours. 

Without consciously choosing it, my word of the year for 2020 was Frenzy!

What I learned in 2020

The year started as every other year. I had been working from home since the beginning of December 2019, but had no idea at the time that in a few months everyone else would be doing the same!

Small Projects

This year was dominated by smaller projects. Some were quick, like most of the Project Quilting pieces, the journal covers and some of the's Stitch Club 2020 projects. 

Making Stitcher's Journals

Working with translucent fabrics
I'm happy to say that I used my agenda and extended it to 2021. It's so useful to have one place to put all of my quilting and blogging plans and dates.

FMQ agenda cover

Quilting and blogging agenda

Of course having an agenda is not the same as actually looking at it 😊 as I learned yesterday morning - I was sure that the 2021 - My Stitching Resolution was on December 31st....well it was not 😔 and I was late to the party. That was very typical of my year, so why should it change now?

Major Projects

With all of the small projects going on, I have to say that my major projects this year were rather small, and most of them not finished. I did finish my Exit Strategy 1.  It was supposed to be the first of a series but I wouldn't put any money on it! There are just too many squirrels in my life and my attention span is very short right now. 

Exit Strategy was finished in 2020

For my 350th post, I blogged about starting to piece my son's quilt. This is an ongoing project that is not quite done. My One Monthly Goal (OMG) for December was to finish the quilt top but that won't happen. I am happy to report that I'm not that far off.

Here's a bit of an update as of December 28th.

The parts that are outlined in red
have been re-done

Blue print of the quilt re-do

As you can see, I spent a lot of hours working on this project during the holiday season. Chevy was, as always, hanging around. She slept through all that was going on at the cutting table.

Chevy can sleep anywhere

I took out my large cutting mat
to work on this project

I'm really hoping to post the completed quilt top by mid-January. I'm going for my third round of making this my One Monthly Goal - my January OMG is a finished quilt top!

In May I started working on the Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt during Free Motion Mavericks. I think that working consistently on one project brought some needed stability to my quilting life. Of course now I'm at a part that I can't just fudge my way through, so it may take a little while to get back into it.

A new studio

My pride and joy this year is my new art studio. I am so grateful to have this place to play. 

We all love the new space

What I learned
  • I'm quite happy to say that I reached my blogging goal, which was to write at least as many posts as last year. This is the last one, taking me to 68 for both 2019 and 2020!
  • This post has been about what I learned, but here is my take-away:
    • It's been a difficult year for everyone. I realise more than ever that self-care is important. You can't take care of others if you are not well yourself. I am physically fine but I will need to spend more time in 2021 taking care of my mental health. 
Calm is my 2021 word of the year.

Related links

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2021 - My Stitching Resolution

 My first resolution is to try to keep up with the dates in my calendar - sorry I'm late to the party Carla 😔

2021 Stitching Resolutions and Plans

Last year was incredibly hectic learning and stitching wise. If I resolve to keep it easier, will that really happen? I'm not convinced but here goes!

Long Promised Quilts

There were on my PHD list of UFOs to finish for 2020. This year only 2 long awaited quilts are on my list. First is my son's version 2.0 of the quilt that my mother made him, while the other is my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt.

Version 2.0 of Loved-To-Death quilt

Version 1.0 to be remade

I haven't done anything to my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt other than think about it. It's going to be modern but otherwise, it's still a pretty blank slate.

One Paddington Bear quilt
coming up this year!
Paddington Bear mini

Slow Stitching, Art Quilts, Dyeing and Surface Design

I suspect that I will be spending most of my time learning new things and practicing my slow stitching and making more mini art quilts and samplers. I have a few projects that I started this year that I would like to finish, such as my Traveller's Blanket which is made up of hexies and meditation stitching blocks. I've even been practicing some new embroidery and Sashiko stitching on it. I've been adding Sashiko stitches to my new Stitcher's Journal. I'm sure that I will get caught up in all of this and more with the's Stitch Club.

Traveller's Blanket - lots of progress
made since this image was taken

Practicing my Sashiko stitching


Free Motion Quilting and Free Motion Mavericks

I'm hoping to keep it simple this year. I have a Pinwheels & Star baby quilt to finish FMQ. 

An out-of-this-world FMQ centre for the baby quilt

A big space to fill!

I'm also hoping to FMQ both my son's and eventually my daughter's quilts in 2021. I'll be sharing these projects every fortnight during Free Motion Mavericks' linking parties.

What I learned
  • I was too ambitious last year. I suppose if I had not added the 12 UFOs to the PHD in 2020 it might at least have looked more reasonable!
  • You may have noticed that I didn't add any blog hops and other events on my list. I will try to participate in Project Quilting again this year but only on the weeks that excite me. I'm not committing to anything right now!
Related links
  • Since this post is already late, I'll come back later today to add my links.
  • You can also read about What I learned in 2020, December 31, 2020

#2021 Planning Party with Quilting Jetgirl
I am linking up to Quilting Jetgirl's #2021 Planning Party. I've been so much more reasonable this year. Let's see where that takes us!

2021 - My Stitching Resolution blog hop participants

With Carla from Creatin' in the Sticks
Here are the other participants. Hope you'll get a chance to check them out! Thanks so much Carla for organising this.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Free Motion Mavericks & the Holiday Season

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season for everyone joining us this snowy Christmas eve. Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks week 312. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season

I'm keeping it light on content today. Just have a look at some pretty Christmas and holiday season quilts. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here is my very long post! 😊

Chevy and I wish you a happy, happy holiday

Linking Parties
I will be linking up to some fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on! Remember to link up your FMQ or holiday post below!

Free Motion Mavericks

Thank you for linking up last time. I always love looking at your ongoing projects. Did you get to see Cheryl of Gone Stitchin's  Wonky Hexie Quilt? It includes two of my favourite things in one quilt....wonky and hexie! How cool is that? If you didn't see it, have a peak!

Wonky Hexie Quilt by
Cheryl of Gone Stitchin'

It's now your turn. If you have FMQ a project this week, please link up. However, if you just want to link up a Christmas or holiday related post that is recent or of years ago, please feel free to do so.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, December 21, 2020

A Studio Tour

I've been working on my art, sewing and working space for almost a year - the first few months in my dreams and since June, on the real thing. I hope that you'll join me on the grand tour!😊

Celebrating my art studio

In June, my son moved into his own apartment. I have to admit that it was pretty tough to see him leave - but, the art studio that I had been dreaming about has now become reality. Since my son is doing wonderfully well and comes home every couple of weeks, I don't feel that guilty about taking his room. The only guilt that is left is the quilt that I owe him! Hopefully the hardest part of that project will be done by the end of December, as part of my One Monthly Goal (OMG).


My seasonal door hanging quilts are much
safer from the weather inside the house :-)

Being the smallest bedroom in the house, it's not a large area. The previous owners had painted it bright yellow, and it hasn't changed. I was afraid that the yellow might not play well with my creations, but I shouldn't have worried!

Sewing space

As you come in, I have my sewing space which is about the same layout as it was in my bedroom. My trusty Jag is surrounded by all that I need to sew. When I need more support for sewing a very large piece, like my king-size bed quilt, I can easily bring my extra table and chair to help.

My sewing centre with my trusty Jag

Support for quilting large projects

I have a lot of things in my studio. It would be nice if it was large and airy but I've made it cozy, which is really my preference. If it was large, it would just be filled with more stuff 😀

Cutting and ironing area

One of my favourite piece of furniture in my space is this IKEA change table that I bought years ago. It served as a music centre when CDs and stereos were a thing. It has now made the transition to a cutting and ironing table, while still functioning as a small library. 

For most of the cutting that I do, it's more than adequate. If I need to cut something big, I can always go to my kitchen table. I also converted a small hand-made shelf into an ironing space. I created a quilted mat this is slightly larger than the shelf and attached it with elastic. I love that it is the right height for cutting and ironing. When I don't need the ironing shelf, I just place it behind the unit. It's also great for cutting because I can get to three sides of the table (well sometimes Chevy has to move). 

Cutting and ironing space
Portable table and design wall

The cutting table with the
ironing shelf against the wall

Fabric Storage Space

I though before I moved into the studio that I would have enough space in the closet - boy was I wrong! It's amazing how many things I had squirreled around the house 😊

I've had a great time finding baskets for my fabric. My latest purchases are my favourite - they are children's baskets for toys, again from Ikea. I bought the ones on the top-right shelf this spring and they contain most of my cotton scraps. Now Ikea have even better ones that are perfect for fat quarters. They are the three yellow stacked baskets on the second shelf of the unit on the left. I still have some fabric left in the bottom of my husband's closet (that's where most of it was hiding!). I should be able to bring them in soon.

Two units of Ikea shelving for my fabric

Sitting & Stitching Corner

I hadn't planed for a sitting area in my studio but sitting on my computer chair for more than a couple of hours is not comfortable. This fall, we got a beautiful new chair for our bedroom as part of our plans to create a reading area. I had this older chair that has great sentimental value (another Ikea purchase over 30 years ago). I tucked it in the corner, in front of my closet. It's a little in the way but I love sitting there for my zoom calls and for some slow stitching.

Sitting area for slow stitching

Art & Computer Space

This is probably where I spend most of my time - at my desk. My laptop and my embroidery supplies are all easily accessible from there. I have placed many things on large serving trays that I can easily move around, depending on what I'm working on. I had originally placed my sewing machine in front of the window but it turns out that I spend a lot more time at my desk, so I moved them around. 

In the corner I have an older desk that I use for my current projects. Since I use it as a table, I have placed my mother's nightstand underneath it. There really is no wasted space in this room!

Corner table and nightstand
My desk - where I write this post, plan
my projects, watch tutorials, etc.

What I learned

  • I did a lot of research in the months before moving into this space (when my son started seriously thinking about moving out). He drew me a chart on graph paper of the space. I have to admit that none of it turned out as I planned. 
  • Although the closet had been fitted with a wonderful storage system, it was way too small to fit all of my supplies and my fabric. Once I started filling the space it quickly became obvious that a trip to Ikea for shelving would be needed. 
  • To make a long story short, almost everything in the room was moved around a few times before it got to this point. I can now say with confidence that at this time, it's the best use of the space for me. I love it!
Related links
Linking parties

I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. If you get a chance, go check them out! Patchwork & Quilts, Design Wall Monday, Monday MakingTo-Do TuesdayColour & Inspiration Tuesday, Peacock Party, Off The Wall Friday