Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 wrap up / 2016 goal setting

2015 Wrap Up

2015 was the year I found the online quilting community.  Oh, I knew it was there, kind of, but I hadn't really ventured in.  I decided at the beginning of the year that I would track my finished projects.  I had created a blog to facilitate an I Spy Swap and I decided to use that forum.  Not long after deciding that, I learned about the Finish Along, hosted in 2015 by Adrianne.  This is a quarterly goal-setting adventure where one lists unfinished projects and aims to complete them.

In April, I found A Lovely Year of Finishes.  This is a monthly goal-setting program where you pick 1 project to complete that month.  I participated every month from May through December.  I even won a prize in October!  This program will not continue this year, but I really feel like it helped me finish things and am glad I found it.

In the spring, I started my first mystery quilt, which was also a quilt along.  I liked it so much, I joined a second one in the summer.  The first one, I finished.  The second is still going on.
I did several projects that were patterns or skills or techniques on my bucket list.  I also did zippers for the first time in 2015, and am not longer super-intimidated by them.

I'm not sure that I have a total number of completed projects for 2015, but I completed 24 projects with the finish along.  That's an average of 2 per month!  Some were bigger than others, some were more complicated than others, and some were already pretty far along when I picked them back up, while others were started fresh.

One thing I am particularly pleased with is that I had a few long, long unfinished projects that I finally put the last stitch into in 2015.  On that list of 24 projects, 3 were what I classify as a long-term UFO, meaning it has been unfinished for longer than 2 years.  My oldest UFO was started in 2002 or 2003, and now hangs on my wall at work.

 Now, on to 2016!

General Goals:
12 Project Linus quilts
5 Minis
3 Scrap Projects

I will continue with the Finish Along, which is quarterly and runs all year.  Beyond that, I wanted a little bit of a plan.  I was interested in Pat Sloan's UFO Busting Plan, but her specific process doesn't work for me.  I also like the idea of the UFO Challenge hosted by All People Quilt, but I don't like having what to work on when decided for me.  So I'm kind of combining both and doing it my way.

Instead of specific projects, like Pat suggests you identify, I went with general goals.  Many of the things on my list of projects, both in process and in my head, fit into one (or more!) of those groupings.  Setting number goals helps, without completely limiting what to work on.  I also listed 12 specific projects, as suggested by the UFO challenge, but am using it solely as a wish-list of projects I'd like to have completed by this time next year.  It's more of a "I have some time today, what should I work on?" list than a hard-and-fast must finish list. (Not a great photo, I know, but there are 12 projects listed, all in varying stages at the moment.)

Year Long Commitments:
Stash Bee
Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I'm also involved in 2 year-long commitments.  On is the stash bee, which I'm super excited about.  I'm in Hive 3.  Each month, one of our eleven hive members is Queen Bee, and she chooses a block.  Each person in the hive makes her a block (or more, if they choose) and mail it to her, so she'll receive at least 10 blocks in her month.  I'm Queen in September, and I'm already thinking about what I want.

The other is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  This one has been around for a couple years, but I just found it.  The idea is that each month, a color is announced, and you go through your scraps and make a block, or lots of blocks, or a whole project, from scraps in those colors. I've seen many people pick a specific block, then make one block per month, then at the end of the year they have stack of blocks to assemble into a quilt.  That is my plan, though I'm still deciding what block (or blocks) to use.)

So those are my goals for 2016!  If I can even come close to keeping up with 2015, I will be a happy quilter!