Wrapping Up 2020
Considering that I stayed home most of the year, I didn’t get that much done — but those things I did finish brought me a sense of comfort during this crazy year.
I worked on some bed-size quilt tops, but didn’t finish any.
My favorite organizational guru is Cassandra Aarssen of Clutterbug — she divides people into 4 groups based on their preferred storage style. I definitely belong in the group she calls “Bee,” visual thinkers who will organize on the micro level. So, I am happy to alphabetize my spices, but if things are not out where I can see them easily, I forget I have them, and then buy duplicates. Choosing to follow her organizational system has been a time-saver for me, in part because I have just made a choice instead of looking around at all the other possibilities.
So I finally mounted a pegboard in my sewing room, and brought all my rulers, rotary cutters, hoops, etc. out of the drawers where they had been hiding. Hanging them out on the pegboard did not save me that much drawer space, but having them visible has helped me make better use of them.
Since I couldn’t attend International Quilt Festival this year, I missed my yearly visit to the Spirit of the Artisan booth. They sell beautiful fair trade handwoven silks and cottons, and batiks, and I usually buy packs of coordinated handwoven fabric from them —
I decided to sew some tops from these fabrics, but there was only a yard of each one. Finally it occurred to me to use one fabric for the yoke, and one for the body.
I used this pattern for a huipil from the V & A Museum — since it is a traditional garment, there is very little cutting, and I only needed that pattern to figure out how big to cut the neck hole.
I made these huipiles very large, about the size of football jerseys! But they are so comfortable, especially when it is hot outside. I also finally finished two tunics I had started in 2015 — I finally had the confidence to set in sleeves! But the picture didn’t turn out well so I am not posting it.
I also made myself a casserole carrier for my oversize casserole dish, and I made six pillowcases and 20 microwave bowl cozies as gifts.
I think I finished 6 lap quilts of the 40″ x 40″ size. I have two more lap quilt tops ready to go, and I got 4 crib quilt tops done, including these two, that use my favorite pattern from KatyQuilts. (Well, I say my favorite, but I have had so much fun working on permutations of it, that I have not ventured into all of her other patterns.)
(I have made three other baby quilts from this pattern.)
And I completed four projects for the online art quilt group, The Endeavourers.
I hardly did any shopping in 2020, yet due to donations, I ended up with tons of lovely fabric, mostly all pre-cut! I am making four I Spy quilts simultaneously — once I make the design choices for a row, I just sew it up four times.
The only interesting textile purchase I made was this Japanese doll.
Things I Did Instead of Working On Textiles
The pandemic focused my attention on our family archives. I scanned and transcribed hundreds of pictures and documents, and put 140 posts on the family history blog where I am able to organize it all. I love the fact that we can just browse through to see what catches our interest, or we can search by person, place, or time. What is most amazing to me is that I have hardly made a dent in all the cartons of materials we have — I got all this stuff three years ago, and with as much time as I have put in, I would have thought I’d be at least half way done by now.
Summing Up, Looking Ahead
It was an extremely scattered year, but we got through it as best we could. It felt so good to finish things that have been on my to-do list since 2015! I have made a list of my Works In Progress, and it comes it at around 28 craft projects, and 14 family history projects. My hope for 2021 is that I will work through those in a steady fashion, and have a lot more finishes to show next year.
I enjoyed walking through your year with you – it’s been a good one, despite the curves 2020 sent us! I need to go check out Clutterbug. Maybe I’ll find some insight! Happy New Year!
Some of her comments have reminded me of you and your remark that “I can straighten up, or I can just grab these scraps and turn them into something….” 🙂
Yep, that sounds like me! Happened this weekend, as a matter of fact! 😂
I remember those and still LOVE that Japanese Doll.
Happy New Year to you and yours!
If you ever want the doll, just let me know! I rescued him but I don’t need to keep him! I have too much stuff!!! 🙂
Happy New Year, Gwen,
R. John Howe
Textiles and Text
Virtual Textile Museum
Musings of a Rug
and Textile Collector
Happy New Year to you and yours, John!
gorgeous fabricky makings. Thank you for sharing. And I had no idea the V&A sold patterns, *rushes to their website to check what else I can get!*
Better yet, it’s a free download! I should’ve said.
Happy New Year! I’ve enjoyed seeing your textile projects this year and also reading your posts. There is always something interesting and unexpected on your blog. Today I find I’m an organising butterfly (sadly, I’m not surprised) but I now see what I need – apart, perhaps, from a large barn and several workshops for various crafts – is a peg board! I wish you health, happiness and a return to ‘normal’ life in 2021 and I’m looking forward to following your adventures here and seeing your quarterly art quilts on the Endeavourers blog 🙂
I have two barns but my husband has commandeered both of them!
I hope you get some good tips from Clutterbug. I like her because her organizational ideas go beyond, “Well, just get rid of all your stuff and then your house will look great!” 🙂
I so understand why you don’t seem to have gotten through as much archival material as you had hoped. The stuff grows extra limbs and gets fluffed up as you handle it, so it takes up more room. And you should be pleased at the number of quilts you made, of all types. Plus, now you’re organized in a way that suits you. Too often the organizational gurus want to impose their way on you. You’re starting off 2021 well.
Now I am picturing the archival material turning into octopi and crawling out of the boxes! And yes, I am definitely responsible for the extra fluff. The letters were stuffed in candy boxes — I scan them, transcribe them, and print out a copy of the transcription to store with the original so I am at least doubling it in volume. It needs its own climate controlled storage room.
Thank you for all of your interesting posts throughout the year. I love seeing your creations.
Thank you, I hope to post more this year!
I think you’ve had a super productive year even though it might not feel like it
Love those tops made from unusual textiles! I, too, get sucked in at booths having textiles I haven’t seen in shops 😉
And since I started out as a weaver, I have a great appreciation for beautiful handwoven fabrics. I know it would take me forever to achieve the same effects, so I am happy to purchase some else’s work!