Friday, February 1, 2013


I'm not really a New Year's resolution person.  I generally think we should make new goals whenever we want or are motivated to do so.  And part of me still feels like the "beginning of the year" is in the fall with the beginning of the academic year, even though I'm not in school anymore.  But this year, when I got back home to DC after Christmas, that changed a little.  Maybe it was seeing the shambles I had left everything in while I rushed to finish some Christmas presents before heading to Atlanta.  Maybe seeing the piles of something left undone for who knows how long.  I have a tendency to think if I leave it in plain sight I will be more likely to do it.  I think it just makes me feel guiltier for not doing it.  So, looking around at this and with some unplanned weekends and New Year's in front of me, I decided I was going to finish.  I'm not really a "theme for the year" sort of person either, but my theme for 2013 is FINISH.  Finish what I start.

I made a list of little projects I had been meaning to get to, and I did a bunch of them.  I finished all the mending in my pile in about an hour.  I sorted out my shoes (including two bags brought home from where they'd been living under my desk at work) and filled up two bags to donate.  I filed away paperwork that had built up into a towering stack on my desk.  I moved some things into the basement storage unit (though this organization has been disrupted by very needed waterproofing work down there).  There were a few other things, but I don't remember them all.  And I turned my eyes to my sewing and quilting works in progress, some just needing one final thing to be finished.  I suppose I started this part of my resolution at the end of the year, since I finally finished up Melissa's two-years-in-the-making Hope Valley quilt and quilted Mom's, which had only been waiting since the spring.

In addition to the projects below, I sewed buttonholes and buttons on a couple projects that were just waiting for them.  Once I'm finished with that, MG will have a blouse and Shannon a dress that I sewed during Hurricane Sandy back in October.  My sewing machine can be very unpredictable with buttonholes so I end up dreading them.  I also worked on MG's Snow White dress, which is now pretty much finished.  Must take a picture of that.  While I was working on that one, I also made a top for Shannon from the same pattern.  It's finished except for the buttonholes, because my machine again became possessed and I set it aside.

I have a bunch of quilt tops that need to be basted, quilted, and finished.  I stocked up on batting in JoAnn's 50% off sale, so now I have the supplies for that and can get started.  I finished my Swoon quilt top (the one I emailed you photos of taped to my wall when I was trying to decide the layout).  I also went through my fabric, particularly the pre-cuts and made plans for future quilts.  For some, I had clearly bought fabric for borders and backing but couldn't figure out what I had planned.  I think I came up with some good options and should be busy on the quilt front for a while.  I've nearly finished one new/old quilt top from this pile.

I fixed the collar and hemmed this top.  It's a Wiksten Tova top for me!  Made out of some cotton lawn or voile from  It's very loose and floaty, and the fabric is very fine.  I wore it this week during our bizarre 70 degree weather, in between the ice storm Monday and the rain/snow at the end of the week.  The sleeves, all loose and a little poofy, make it hard to wear a cardigan over, which is a requirement for me.  I might try making a sleeveless version.  I can use more tops for work.

Shannon's birthday quilt, made with Far Far Away II by Heather Ross.  I bought a bundle of this fabric when it came out a few years ago, pretty much because of the owl and the pussycat fabric, and knew it would be something for Shannon.  But I didn't know what.  It's a cotton/linen blend and heavier and thicker than regular quilting cotton.  Then I saw this Storytime Squares quilt by Made by Rae and knew this was the way to go.  I made the quilt top in the fall with a cream colored Kona cotton as the background fabric and it drove me crazy.  It looked weird and the texture was all wrong together.  So I ordered some Essex linen, and ripped the top apart and re-did it with the linen.  It was so much better!  I watched The Bourne Legacy while I did this - funny how you remember those things.

This is the back of the quilt.  I didn't have enough linen for the whole back, and I thought it would be fun to use some of the larger chunks of leftover fabric from the front.  I watched Mulan while I pieced this.  The binding is scraps from the back, once I trimmed it after quilting.  I think it was finished right on her birthday, but of course you didn't get it in time.  These pictures are all wrinkled because I realized I had no pictures, so I took it out of the box and spread it on the floor of one of our conference rooms to take pictures with my phone.

Another finish - this past weekend I sewed up the jammie pants for Catherine's kids.  They each picked the fabrics from the sale section of a quilt shop we visited in Monterey in November.  I cut them out sometime in the fall so they were just waiting to be sewn up.  Jack's pants in the foreground are Anna Maria Horner's quick change trousers.  Connor's (the ant maze), MG's (the yellow candy), and Shannon's (pink ice cream) were made with the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajama Pants pattern.  I think they may be too big, but I guess that just means they'll be able to enjoy them longer!  Connor's and MG's are actually the same size.  These were made during my Saturday sewing and movie marathon - I watched Pitch Perfect, Looper, The Bourne Legacy, and then I started on the Alias.  Side note - Catherine, you should watch Pitch Perfect.  Not with your kids, though.

This is what I finished on Sunday - my Washi Dress by Made by Rae.  I cut these pieces out sometime last year, I think late summer?  I was super nervous about making something for myself.  It's so much easier to make things for kids - if it doesn't fit, they'll either grow into it or just pass it on to another kid, and they don't use so much fabric.  But I'd already cut out the pieces (without making a bodice muslin - I was pretty much on the measurements, so I winged it) so I didn't have much to lose.  I didn't use the little cap sleeves because sleeveless is a lot more versatile for me.  There's smocking at the back waist to help it fit, and because of that there are no closures.  The bodice fits well - my darts aren't perfect, but the dark fabric helps hide that.  It has a high, empire-ish waist, and the front skirt is pleated.  These photos aren't great, but it really is a flattering cut.  I wore it to work this week and was very proud of it!

I wore this cardigan with it.

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