Friday, January 6, 2017

Planning for 2017 Finished, First Project and Starting at Zero

I have to say I've enjoyed the first week of the year despite the bitter cold we've been experiencing.  Since New Years Day fell on a Sunday this year it meant that my annual tradition of reviewing my prior year quilt activities and planning new projects while watching the Rose Parade was done over two days instead of one day.  I've already did my 2016 review so I spent some time on New Years Day looking over projects I wanted to do in 2017 and writing them in my Quilters Planner.  I watched the Rose Parade the next day on Monday and I have to say I enjoyed watching the parade without the distraction of thinking about my projects. All of the floats were really beautiful and colorful.  It's on my bucket list to go to Pasadena and see the parade live.

Thanks goodness the 2017 Quilter Planner has two pages of project planning which now allows you to list up to sixty; I am at 45.  I have a good mix of projects on my pages, some of them commitments, some UFO's, some machine quilting I have to do or my LAQ, some projects already cut and ready to sew, some projects kitted and room for some que sera sera projects when I get the inspiration the make something I see on Pinterest, Blogs, etc.  I have to say I was pretty excited about these projects and wish I could morph myself into eight persons since there were so many projects I wanted to start working on.  But, my sewing project for my daughter-in-law's upcoming Baby Shower which is later this month is taking priority so I was only able to start one project.

While reading other quilters' blogs I noticed that some of them have a word for 2017.  My word last year was LIMIT which meant I wanted to limit buying new fabrics.  Unfortunately, I subconsciously added the word NO before LIMIT so I did buy a lot of fabric, in fact, way too much new fabric.  I just can't resist Cotton + Steel fabrics and sale fabrics.  And it doesn't help when one of my sewing peeps, Dee, sends me photos of her mail call and Carol buys me fabrics when she's at Jinny Beyer's shop in Virginia.

 So instead of coming up with a word for 2017 I came up with a challenge for myself; the Minus 100 Yards Challenge.  My goal at the end of the year is to decrease my stash by 100 yards which means tracking what I use for anything I make, quilt top, backing, binding, etc.  Since it obviously doesn't work for me to say I can't buy any new fabric,  it allows me to buy fabric but it will offset any reduction I make.  These are my guidelines:

  • Any new fabric ordered in 2016 but does not arrive until 2017 does not count.
  • Any fabric that is part of a monthly sample box, i.e., Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sample and Pink Castle's Cotton + Steel Monthly Fat Quarter Club does not count since I am currently enrolled in these programs.  Any new program I join will count.
  • Any fabric that is given to me as a gift, at no charge or won on a bet or giveaway does not count.  I may start participating in giveaways.
  • Fabric donated or given to a friend, organization, cause, etc. counts as a reduction.
  • Fabric usage will be rounded up, I am on my honor not to inflate this figure.
I think this goal is pretty attainable since I already estimated my yardage usage for the 2017 projects. Just the twelve baby quilts for my church's Blanket Ministry alone will decrease my stash by 42 yards and when the tops are quilted and bound, another 50 yards.  And who know how many baby quilts I can make for my not yet arrived grand baby.  Also, I could make a fabric donation to help reach my goal or fabric bomb some unsuspecting friends.   I've created my log sheet and as you can see I am starting the year at Zero.  I passed my first big test because one of the first e-mails on New Years Day was from Pink Castle Fabrics informing me that the latest Cotton+ Steel fabric was in and was I tempted.  I just have to wait until March when it will be added to the month's fat quarter bundle which I receive and does not count.  Thankfully, Dee and Carol are aware of my challenge and they too will be limiting their fabric purchases this year.  And I hope UPS, Fed Ex or the mail carrier enjoy their lighter workload.

So this week I started reducing my stash by working on my first project, a sew along which Connie Tesene proposed last year, Red Pepper's Modified Pickle Dish which so happens to be now the first project I changed or as I call it MODI-DIED.  

                  Rose's Flutterby                                                                   Connie's Modifed Pickle Dish

I just wasn't enthused about cutting all the drunkard path blocks and sewing curves and since there wasn't a die that I could buy, I just found a different pattern that I think sort of has the same essence:  Jen Kingwell's Flutterby pattern.  I modi-died the original pattern which was a 10" block and made it a 12" block since I had the dies to make this block this size. This is my first Flutterby block which I wanted to test to make sure the patches were cut to the right size which you should do.  Maybe being a little over-confident that this would work, I have to admit I already die-cut all the pieces and I'm ready to start sewing the rest of the patches.  Once the thirty blocks are made I will add the fabric usage to my log which should be around five yards.  There is another sew-along I'm doing this year with my friend Carol, Lucy Carson Kingwell's Smitten pattern, which we are paper piecing and there is no chance of me changing, and I want to do a test block this weekend.  Who would have thought I would be doing two Kingwell projects after my Gypsy Wife experience which would have been lovely had I been able to use either my shape-cut ruler or die-cutter.

My 2017 projects are off to a good start and the challenge has begun.  There is a TV show that I recently started watching "Two Broke Girls" which at the end of the show they always show a cash balance, the premise of which I don't know why, but I'm going to end my posts for the rest of the year with my current Minus 100 Yard Challenge balance and this post it's ZERO.  Wish me luck or you can send me fabric, no, don't, just kidding.  I wish everyone a good creative year for 2017.


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