Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 in Review

Here are my accomplishments for 2017, followed by pictures and headings only. Details are in my past posts as indicated by a clickable completion date after each name. My own assessment of how well I met my 2017 goals is at the end.

2017 COMPLETIONS:

  • 2 quilts
  • 6 home decor items
  • 10 stuffed dolls with accessories
  • 42 burp cloths
  • 4 crib sheets/covers
  • 1 knitted item
  • blog books


2 QUILTS

Storybook Charm (54" x 54") (July 5, 2017)


Out of the Blue (63" x 63") (August 16, 2017) and (September 19, 2017)


6 HOME DECOR ITEMS

Lion and Lamb pillows ( 20" x 20") for Vivian's 3rd birthday (April 5, 2017)



Halloween Houses (26" x 16")  (October 20, 2017)



Pumpkins (31" x 39") (November 1, 2017)


Tree Skirt (November 29, 2017)


Zebra Pillow (December 6, 2017)



10 STUFFED DOLLS WITH ACCESSORIES

Lil' Superheroes pair of toys for Autumn's and Isaiah's Easter (April 14, 2017)


Coral Queen of the Sea mermaid doll with accessories (May 14, 2017)



Second Coral Queen of the Sea mermaid doll with accessories (May 20, 2017)


Third Lil' Red doll with accessories (May 20, 2017)


Third Coral Queen of the Sea mermaid doll with accessories (May 23, 2017)


Hansel and Gretel dolls with accessories (October 11, 2017)


Madeline and Westly Cowboy and Cowgirls dolls ( December 21, 2017)


42 BURP CLOTHS

6
barnyard theme burp cloths for a baby girl (May 9, 2017)




9 fox, geese, giraffe, and owl burp cloths that are gender neutral  (May 9, 2017)






19 burp clothes for three baby girls see (May 26, 2017) post for individual photos
  • 12 pastel ones were for twin baby girls (blonde)
  • 7 brighter ones went a baby girl with jet black hair


8 burp cloths for baby girl, 4 gender neutral and 4 feminine (October 13, 2017)






4 CRIB SHEETS / COVERS

2
 spider-Man sheets (August 17, 2017)



  1 Spider-Man changing table cover (August 17, 2017)


1 Minky/Mickey baby blankie (November 16, 2017)


1 KNITTED ITEM

Round Baby Blanket (December 20, 2017)


3 BLOG BOOKS

DianeLoves2Quilt - Vol. 6 (June 27, 2017)
actually created in May of 2016 but accidentally got left out of 2016 Year in Review


DianeLoves2Quilt - Vol. 7 (June 27, 2017)
actually created in December of 2016 but did not make it into 2016 Year in Review

DianeLoves2Quilt - Vol. 8 (June 27, 2017)
created in June of 2017



HOW DID I DO IN MEETING MY 2017 GOALS?

I am sure glad I called these goals this year and not resolutions! So few were accomplished. I do not feel too badly though as I browse my list of 2017 projects. I did not do nothing, I did other things instead.

My self-evaluation of these goals is quite an eye opener for me and will definitely guide me in making goals for 2018 - if indeed I do make any. I guess it boils down to doing what it takes to enjoy my hobby. This is not a business for me; it is what I do for relaxation and enjoyment and self-expression. My goals should reflect that. I am a list maker, so seeing a list of accomplishments is satisfying. Seeing a list of failed "To-Do"s is not.

Reductions (like losing fabric weight from my stash)
   • At last count I have ten purchased kits waiting in the wings. Complete four of them. ✅✅
   • Another kit purchase is permitted only for every two completed.
   • Continue to implement a method for scrap management, organization, and usage
   • Buy tools or threads instead of fabric
   • Take only technique classes. Success is learning the technique not completing a class project.✅
GRADE C+ for REDUCTIONS
I made up two kits and bought two kits. But twice I won the block of my month at my guild and I did make those up so they count somewhat like two additional kits completed. And really – how could I go to the Houston show and not cave on something? And Houston was a nice surprise not on my radar or in my goals. I did cut way back on my fabric purchases, bought thread and took no classes therefore generated no additional UFOs.


Completions (like decluttering those UFOs & USOs -  unfinished & unstarted objects)
   • Complete quilt from the Sandy Klop Flying Circles pattern named Whirligiggles by April 👎
   • Piece, FMQ, and bind Who Says Woof quilt (from 2015) by Christmas  👎
   • Assemble, FMQ and bind Mask Quilt (from 2011) by Halloween  👎
   • Make one mandala wall hanging  👎
   • Complete anything new I start within six months of beginning it.✅
GRADE B- for COMPLETIONS 
I did complete piecing the Sandy Klop Flying Circles, which I called Whirligiggles, sandwiched it but ran into a snag with lumps and bumps during the FMQ. I did not touch the Who Says Woof, Masks, or mandala quilts. Maybe they no longer interest me. Sigh. I am quite proud to say however that whatever new item I did start, I did complete in six months or less!

Skill-building (like exercising more)
   • View at least half of purchased Craftsy classes (new goal) 
   • Practice with my new featherweight Fiona by taking it to one class or visit 👎
   • Make one quilt top or wall hanging with curved piecing OR appliqué OR paper piecing 👎
   • Practice my FMQ skills by quilting at least three community outreach quilts✅✅✅
GRADE D+ for SKILL-BUILDING 
I watched and completed a couple Craftsy classes and have faithfully watched the Midnight Quilt Show with Angela Walters which is now sponsored by Craftsy so I sort of made a dent in that goal. I did do a small amount of iron-on bonding - sort of like the prep for appliqué I did practice my FMQ skills on community quilts. But the new feather weight, curved piecing, and paper piecing I did not touch at all.

Reflection/Networking (blog and internet socializing)
   • Enter at least four quilts in my guild's show this year✅
   • Publish a blog post once a week on average or at least 50x/year✅
   • Take time 1x/week to comment on other quilters blog posts - not just read them✅
   • Share items at guild meetings and at Handi-Quilter club meetings 3x/year ✅
   • Keep a running draft of my 2017 in Review post as I complete items ✅
   • Remember to add labels to blog posts so I can find them more easily ✅
   • Generate at least one blog-to-print hardcover book ✅
GRADE A for REFLECTION_NETWORKING 
I guess I am much better at talking about what I do do, than actually doing planned things. After all, isn't spontaneity more fun?

I am linking up with Let's Bee Social #209 to reveal my 2017 progress (or lack there of).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Howdy Dolls for Christmas

Usually I am very good about photographing projects as I work on them. I think I was in such a rush this year that I omitted that step for Howdy Lil Lady and Howdy Lil Cowboy panels by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda. My 3½ and 1½ year old granddaughters from Southern California were coming north for an early Christmas visit and I wanted the dolls finished in time to give to them. Each doll and its accessories were ready under the tree, though I did have to wait for the wood glue to dry on the wooden dowels of the hobby horses. At the last possible minute I wrapped the hobby horses in tissue and added them to the doll in each package before hurriedly wrapping the boxes – in pink princess paper of course.


Here are the panels before they were sewn up. The little girl doll is named Madeline. She comes with a skirt, a bandana, a pillow, a blanket, and a pink hobby horse.


The little boy doll is named Westly. He comes with a bandana, a pillow, a blanket, and a brown hobby horse. The hobby horse illustration was a bit bigger on the boy panel so I cut it out and appliquéd it on the yellow side of the Westly's blanket.


Incidentally, those horseshoe print borders are so cute on each panel that I trimmed them off and saved them for future use – what I do not know – but I could not bear to toss them.


I gave the boy doll to the older sister thinking she would be more aware she was going to have a little brother.


The girls had already left for home with their dolls when I realized that I had not taken any project photos. I asked my daughter-in-law to send a pix of the finished dolls and here they are. She had to sneak them out of the younger girl's bedroom while she was sleeping and so the accessories are not in the photo, only Madeline and Westly, hand in hand.


A quick search of google images will bring up several options of the finished product that also show the accessories. These photos are courtesy of fabricworm.com. In addition to the apparel they are wearing, each doll has a pillow, a blanket, and a hobby horse. The panel instructions said to just push the dowel into the horse head but I had my husband drip a  fair amount of wood glue in around the ruffled neck of the horse head to keep the dowel from being pulled out. Hope it works.


The horse's main is a folded over double thickness of fabric. In my version, I also inserted a piece of iron-on fabric adhesive to bond the two wrong sides to each other, giving it a bit more body.


But even without the accessories, I think I like this photo best. It  appears that 3½ year old Vivian likes both Madeline and Westly just fine. I wonder if making another pair is in my future?


Linking up to share this project and, of course, these adorable granddaughter photos with Let's Bee Social #208.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Round Blue Blanket for a Baby Boy

This is the fourth time I have knitted this circular blanket. Previously, one was for a granddaughter Vivian in yellow and green (post for December 26, 2013 ), one was for a second granddaughter Lillian in multicolor including pink (post for March 21, 2016 ), and one was for a grandson Isaiah in lime green and bright blue (post for December 21, 2017).


For a grandson due to arrive next April, I used a blend of two strands of Snuggly Wuggly yarn by Loops & Threads®, one strand in a light aqua called Soft Mint and the other in a strand of dark aqua called Cool Baby.

The pairing of the two tones give a tweedy effect as seen in the following closeup.


I used size 10½ straight needles and knitted the blanket in garter stitch in twelve wedge sectors. I needed three 5 oz skeins of each color. The finished diameter is approximately 50".


This yarn and needle size combination gives a nice drape, as is being modeled by my son the dad-to-be beneath the blanket. Yes, it is the same blanket in both photos, but I took the picture of it spread out flat at night when I completed it and the other draped one during the day when it was given, hence the color variation. The draped blanket is truer to color.


My post for December 26, 2013 contains more detailed instructions to make this blanket. When I gift my blankets, I typically accompany them with a custom poem. Here are the verses for this particular blanket, destined for my second grandson, the first boy for my son and his wife.

‘TWAS THE BLANKET
Christmas 2017 for April 2018 

It’s packed and it’s wrapped and tucked under the tree,
A round blanket knitted for Chambers child number three. 
The colors I’ve chosen are two aqua tones, 
For this yet-to-be-babe is a boy, name unknown. 

Nacho Boy, least for now, is his working name
At YMCA camp, Dan his dad had been called near the same
Boys are so different most onlookers advise
With two older sisters, ‘twill seem true we surmise.

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, so the old adage goes
Will Nacho Boy meet the challenge? I wonder. Who knows? 
With each click of the needle and each loop of the yarn
I don’t doubt this babe will have Chambers’ charm

April 9th is when Nacho Boy is expected.
If he should appear in March, that is also accepted
Whatever he chooses as the month to be born
There’ll be cheering and clapping and the blowing of horns.

But when the ruckus for this little guy goes into a lull
And nap time approaches, as it eventually will
I hope he will snuggle beneath this soft wrap
Can’t hardly wait to hold him in my lap. 

Linking up now with Let's Bee Social #208.