Friday, July 3, 2020

The Midyear Review for 2020 Quilting Ambitions

I finished the last of my midyear reviews with my direct reports at work yesterday.   The purpose of the midyear review is to make sure you are on track with your goals. If you are not on track, it helps to identify the obstacles or changes in priorities and adjust accordingly. Also it's a good opportunity to celebrate your successes. It's just natural for me to apply what we do at work to the quilty part of my life.  Back in December I set my 2020 Quilting Ambitions as part of Quilting Jetgirl's 2020 Planning Party.  Here's how things are going at the mid year mark.  

2020 Ambition #1:  Finish 12 Quilts in 2020

Only two finishes so far this year, as my PHD in 2020 report shows.

 Twinkle Stars, block Tutorial by Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy and 
Stripes from the 2019 Quiltygirl Winter Quilt Along

Twinkle Stars and The Winter Quilt Along are it so far.  But only one new start so far this year.  So I'm doing much better about not chasing squirrels, which is hopefully helping me do a better job of focusing on moving the existing projects to finishes.  

Though not finishes yet, there's been really good progress on three other projects so far this year.  

Frolic, 2019 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

he 2019 Bonnie Hunter Mystery didn't finish up until about mid January.  So it's gone from having three blocks finished to finishing and assembling the quilt center.  I've started on the borders. 

Mosaic Mystery Quilt from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs

The Mosaic Mystery Quilt along finished up in early January as well.  It's progressed from a set of blocks on the design wall to just needing the binding.  This should be finish number three in a matter of days. Almost perfect timing as this year's Meadow Mist Designs Morewood Mystery kicked off with the fabric requirements this week.  I don't count a quilt as started until I start cutting the fabrics, so I still have time to finish this one before I actually start this year's (which was on my 2020 quilt plan as a planned new start). 

Storm at Sea, Paper Piecing Class by Carrie Randell (Quilter's Hideaway),
Setting self designed

Storm at Sea just needed the last three borders at the end of last year. But I got side tracked with too many mystery quilt alongs and new projects, so Storm at Sea got put aside.  All the borders are on and it's a finished quilt top.  I'm still searching for the extra wide backing that I think was ordered. Several blog buddies have suggested checking my receipts or order records to see if I actually ordered it. That's the part of the plan next week, before I get too deep into clean up plans. (I'd so much rather stitch on my staycation).   

So in review, I'm really likely to get these three to the finished stage this year, for a total of 5 finishes.  There are two quilts that just need borders, backings and quilting to be finished this year.  I think those two are likely to make it to the finish line for a total of 7 finishes for 2020. That would tie my best year for finishes.  That may be as good as it gets this year. Which would be pretty awesome, even if it doesn't meet my goal.    

2020 Ambition #2: Host 15 Minutes to Stitch, Work in 15 minutes of stitching time 85% of days in 2020

With a full time job and a family, it's easy to let my stitching time fall victim to all the other things going on in my life.  But working in regular stretches of stitching time is crucial to maintaining some semblance of sanity in today's madness.  Hence the goal to work in just 15 minutes of stitching time most days.  Up till this year my goal was to work in that time every day, but I finally realized that was adding to the stresses I was trying to get away from. So for this year,  my goal is to stitch 85% of the time (or at least 6 days a week). Year to date, my success rate is 87.5%.  So I'm doing well on that front.

As far as hosting the weekly 15 Minutes to Stitch linky party, there have been 25 posted link ups for the 26 weeks of 2020 so far.  I missed hosting a link up the Sunday after our company decided to close all office locations and have everyone work from home due to Covid 19.  That first week of working from home was so stressful, I couldn't summon the words for a post.  Not that things have gotten any less stressful on that front, but at least we have more knowledge on prevention and treatment. Plus we've gone back to work in the office under very stringent face mask and social distancing requirements. Which is actually much easier to manage than working from home.     

Thanks to everyone who regularly links up for the 15 Minutes to Stitch with tales of stitching time or the lack there of.  Many of us have struggled with our sewing mojos this year, understandably so.  Thanks for sharing both the good and the tough in your posts.  I feel a lot less alone and so much more encouraged due to all of you. 

So that's the planned progress for 2020.  Since I work in a service organization, I always encourage my direct reports to leave a space for "unplanned contributions" in their performance agreements because you never know when a customer issue/problem will end up taking over your working life.  I think mask making definitely qualifies as an "unplanned ambition"  this year.  

There are masks for me, My Guy, the Scientist in Training, the SIT's  roommate, the SITs research group, friends, and coworkers in the mix above.  I didn't make any for the local medical community, but I hope that the ones I made and shared will help slow down the spread of the virus.  

In the supervisor training at work there was one lesson that said if an assignment doesn't match up well with the skill and motivation of the individual, it's likely they won't succeed. That's kinda where I'm at with stash management, so I've no ambition on managing that part of my sewing life. 

So overall, not a bad first half of the year.  I didn't expect to get 12 quilts finished this year, I'll be happy with what gets done. But it doesn't hurt to dream big, it pushes to do more than you think you can (at least that's the management theory anyway). Hope you've done well on your quilty ambitions for the year.  Good luck with your plans for the rest of 2020.  The end of the year will be here before you know it (I sincerly hope that 2021 is a much, much better year).  


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

You've had two beautiful finishes and made great progress on your other quilts, Kate! Those aren't simple designs you're working on. With all the strangeness this year has brought into our lives, it's no wonder the sewing mojo isn't always there. Hope you're getting a nice long holiday weekend, with no work involved!

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

With all the mask making and adjustments to life this year, I think you're doing a great job. I hope you have a great second half to your year!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I just love your Twinkle Stars and Mosaic so much - they are my favorites

The Joyful Quilter said...

With two finishes, progress on additional projects, and nearly 50 masks, I'd say you are doing GREAT, Kate!! Best of luck on further finishes and more progress in the 2nd half of the year.

DawnyK said...

You are doing great, Kate. And we are all in this together! I'm thinking of getting the new book "Love Your Creative Space" to make my space more usable. Maybe when you feel interested, you could check out the C&T blog and the people on the blog tour to hear about the book and maybe it will help inspire. I so appreciate your comments on my 15-minutes blog postings.

Shasta Matova said...

You've had a great half year, considering. You have rolled very well with the punches. With gorgeous finishes to boot.

chrisknits said...

I think you are well on track to meet that goal! And they are such wonderful finishes, ones to be very proud of.

MissPat said...

You're doing a lot better than I am, Kate, and I'm retired and have no excuse. On top of a lack of motivation, it's just too darn hot right now and we don't have air conditioning.

Susie H said...

Twinkle Stars is a true beauty. I remember sewing that block! Never even thought about a whole quilt but my mind is running now. Good luck on the BH quilt. This year's mystery quilt seemed to take most a lot of time to sew together. You've got a full load scheduled ... GOOD LUCK!

Emily said...

I like your definition of "unplanned contributions" or unplanned tasks. Masks certainly fall into that category. I think you've had a real productive first half of the year and are set up for a strong number of finishes for 2020. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

That’s a great report on the first half of the year - hope that the second half of the year has less stress for you. The quilts and tops you’ve finished so far this year are just gorgeous!

Karin - BluePip Designs said...

I love your Storm at Sea quilt. The masks are so much work - they definitely should count as one of your 12 quilt finishes!

Mel Beach said...

15 minutes of sewing most days is a wonderful goal--congrats on exceeding your numbers there. Yes--tackling those PHD is tricky, and I found limiting the number of new starts (aka chasing squirrels) is more effective than trying to finish. Easier said than done!!