Reflections - Part I

If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know by now that I'm pretty reflective person. In general, I try to be as self-aware and aware of the world around me as I can. I look forward to milestones, holidays, and other moments that invite reflection and positive thinking.

The ultimate cliche of New Year's reflection is one that I always make sure to note. It's been one crazy year (and really, for my own personal reflection purposes, I'm including a few months of 2009 too since so much happened at the very end) and I feel like there are many ways that I want to look back on the past year (and change) in order to get ready for 2011.

I plan to do a series of posts about reflection, some of which are craft-related, some of which are not. Pick and choose which ones you'd like to read. And be sure to drop me a line if you plan to write about your own reflections!

Firstly, this has been an enormously crafty year for me, in part due to my limited employment (look for employment/job-related reflections in another post coming up soon). While obviously I would have preferred gainful employment in a degree-using job, I am thankful in a way that I've had the time and space (and the resources thanks to a generous support circle and very forgiving roommate who lets me take over a corner of our tiny living room - thanks sweetie!) to create a serious bunch of quilts!

I have compiled a list of all the quilts I've finished (including all the way back to June 2009, when I finished my first quilt!), as well as the bee blocks completed (see this pic - it's missing a few still but it'll give you an idea of how busy I've been in the virtual quilting world!), and also unfinished projects and random projects.

In looking back, I'm very proud of how much I've made. I feel like I have a definite "style" when it comes to quilting, and have gained a lot of knowledge about the craft itself.

In light of that, my knitting has sort of taken a back seat. I've been knitting for almost 12 years now and I don't think anything will comfort me like the sound of clicking needles and the feel of a handknitted garment in my lap. All the hats I wear are my own handmade creations and I have a number of sweaters that I treasure. We also have a cozy lap blanket knitted up that has recently made it's winter debut on our sofa (brr, chilly temps). Part of the lack of knitting is due to my newfound interest in quilting, but also to the simple fact that knitting is expensive! Yes, yes, quilting isn't exactly cheap but I would argue that through various means, it's cheaper to make a quilt (and build a fabric stash, at least for me). When I knit, I usually buy wool for a specific project. I'm also kind of a yarn snob (haha, big surprise, I know) so the skeins I covet are typically on the expensive side (hello, my newest love, Madeline Tosh Pashmina!). While I have a number of unfinished projects (2 gorgeous sweaters) as well as a handful of ideas for new wares, I've definitely focused more of my creative energy (and my wallet) on quilting. Knitting is like an old friend - I know that we can always pick up where we left off, even if we spend time apart. I do plan to get back into knitting after the new year. In fact, I've just dropped my sewing machine off to be serviced and plan on taking this "quilting break" (haha, except for when I head upstate at the end of the week and will most likely be using my mom's machine!) to focus on knitting, embroidery (another new skill gained this year - check out my first completed project) and some hand sewing (yay hexies!). I finished my quilty holiday gifts and will post pictures of them after they make their way to the recipients!

So in general, I've had a very good year, craft wise. Now, for the lists/numbers/descriptions:

Quilting Bee Blocks
I'm a member of 3 different virtual quilting bees. One is ending this month (though I still have to finish the blocks for it...) and the other two will end early next spring. In total, I have completed 41 quilt blocks (with 3 currently waiting to be worked on). I've done log cabins, string blocks, ticker tape blocks, and so many others. I've loved being part of each woman's creative process and look forward to assembling the blocks I've received for my months (2 out of the 3 bees so far). Be sure to check out this set to see all the blocks I've worked on. Thanks to Erin for all her hard work organizing and running a big part of the virtual community related to bees! Check out Quilting Bee Blocks for pictures, interviews, links to Flickr, and more.

Swaps and Quilt-Alongs
I've jumped on the swap train that is currently taking over Flickr. Thanks in a large part to Heather and Kerri, swap mammas extraordinaire, I've participated in the last 2 rounds of The Pillow Talk {Swap} and am definitely hooked. I've received 2 gorgeous pillows and can't wait to get more (though my sweetie may roll his eyes - we'll need more furniture to hold these pillows! Haha). A number of blogs have held quilt-alongs and serve as fun, community-esque places (albeit, virtual) to work "together" on projects. I finished the quilt top for Julie's Hexagon Quilt-Along but it has yet to be basted or quilted. Stay tuned in 2011 to see it pan out.

I've gone back and forth about my Etsy shop. Ultimately, I haven't put as much time or effort into it as it really needs. I will probably close it down soon. I'm not really that upset, since I'm still having a blast quilting!

Other crafty connections
People have definitely been able to see my work. A colleague commissioned me to turn a handful of her sorority teeshirts into a quilt. It was my first true commission and I look forward to many more! The amazing virtual world of quilting has definitely drawn me in. There are a whole handful of incredibly talented crafters whose blogs are my go-to ones in my Google Reader. I've learned so much and been inspired by so many of you - thank you! Special shout out to John, Greta, Leanne, and Brooke, as you've all been great pals through instruction, creative process, and just general life. :) But seriously, you ALL rock! And to my readers, whether or not you're quilters, sewists, knitters or none of the above, THANK YOU! I read all your comments and am profoundly grateful that you check in here to my little corner of the virtual universe.

Here's the total break down:

Quilting Bee Blocks: 41
Swaps: 2 pillows sent, 2 pillows received
Quilt-Alongs: 1 (quilt top completed)
UFOs (unfinished objects): 10 (some completed tops, some need to be pieced, etc.)
Other crafty/quilty projects: lampshade, embroidered quote, a ridiculous amount of handsewn hexagons
Finished quilts (since June 2009): 20!!!!! (check out most of them here)

Stay tuned for more reflection posts before we ring in 2011...

1 comment:

  1. <3 this was so fun to read...
    i can't wait to see the rest of your reflective posts.. i love that kind of thing.


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