2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 Year in Review

As I said at the beginning of 2014, I always enjoy taking a little time at the end of the year to look back on the projects I worked on.  I tend to take pictures of projects as I get them to some point of completion, so most of my pics at the end of the year are of completed projects, or at least completed tops. 

As I went into the folder to pull the pictures for my collage, I didn't think I would find much. It really seems like I didn't do a lot of quilting throughout the year.  In the end, when I pulled the photos together, I found I had the exact number of photos as I'd had last year! Several of this year's projects were small, so they were quick ones, but that was also one of my goals for this year, so I am pretty happy with the outcome.  

Now that you've see the picture of what I finished, here's how I did on my goals for 2014: 

1. Quilt some tops.  I realized this year that I tend to stall on my UFOs when they get to a finished top stage, unless I have a specific deadline, so I am going to try to focus on quilting several of the tops that are waiting for me now and also quilting the new ones which I make through 2014. I did well on this one. I didn't get through as many UFOs as I had hoped, but I hardly had any projects that got stalled at the quilting phase this year.  The only two tops that I finished which haven't been quilted are the two that I made at my fall retreat, and I have been keeping the longarm busy since then.  I haven't figured out how I want to quilt either of those, but hope to get to them in 2015. 
2. Use my patterns - I have done a fair job of this over the last few years, but want to continue to work on making patterns that I've bought, because I liked them all when I bought them, so I really should use them! I did okay with this, but not smashingly. I did make one quilt from a pattern I really wanted to use (the curved piecing one with the teal and purple), and I did make a couple bags from existing patterns. It will continue to be a challenge for me to make patterns I have already bought! 

3. Keep my Avante busy - quilt another 20 quilts this year, and really work on improving my quilting skills through taking my Craftsy classes and trying some of the techniques in them.  While not all quilts will call for custom quilting, I would like to do that on a few. I am pleased with how I did on this. I quilted 21 tops this year, with several being done for my mom or other friends. I finished both of my Angela Walters Craftsy classes, and I used custom quilting techniques on 4 of the tops I quilted. 
4. Stitch Away! I am near finishing my oldest stitching UFO and plan to keep stitching after that one is done. I'd like to finish 6 stitching projects this year (and actually finish them, not just put them into my pile of "stitched but not framed" linens). I had a great year for my stitching (I need to take a photo of them too!). I completed the stitching on 8 projects, and finished 2 of them into gifts, and also did the finishing work for 2 more (one stitched in 2014, and one stitched long ago). I am really glad to have found "The Twisted Stitcher" blog with all of the finishing techniques. My mom and I decided that we need to dedicate a full day to finishing work every once in a while. 
5. Make gifts - I have so many patterns that will make great gifts, so I'd really like to focus in 2014 on making gifts for others - and throughout the year, so I am not backed up in December like I was this year! I did make several gifts this year, and gave them out throughout the year. When it came time to pull out gifts for Christmas, I had a few and had to make a few, but I certainly wasn't pressed for time like I have been in a few years past. 

Personal goals: 
1. Watch more movies - I want to take the time to go to the movies and watch them at home. We have a Netflix subscription that Mike and the kids make good use of, but that I don't use as much. I'll set the goal at 1 movie a month in the theater and at least 1 a month at home.  I did so-so on this one. We started the year well and made it to the movies four months in a row, but then missed several. I think in the end, I saw 6 or 7 movies in the theater last year. I did okay with Netflix and worked down my queue a bit. I would guess that I watched 8 or 10 Netflix movies. 
2. Keep cooking - with the success of our recipe challenge last year, I want to keep cooking new things and making good use of my recipes. This year, I won't pick a specific cookbook each month, but I do want to work my way through some of the paper recipes. A+! We had a great year of trying new recipes, and I have already shared a little of that. I am glad to have whittled down many of the recipes I pulled to "try one day" and we found some new favorites. 
3. Keep working to clean stuff out. I did a fairly good job of going through my stuff last year, but I didn't clean much out and I know I could revisit this. I also need to get a handle on the kids' outgrown clothes and their old toys and books. Hmmm, didn't do as much as I could have/should have on this one. The kids and I did clean out toys and books over the Thanksgiving break and I did a good sweep of clothes early in the year, but there is still far too much junk that I am hanging on to - this continues to be a challenge, so will continue to be a goal. 

I hope that you were able to take some stock at the end of 2014 and are happy with the results of your year.  I already have 2015 goals in progress and will share what they are soon! 

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