Sunday, January 31, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 5 of 2021

The last day of January is going to be cold and really windy, perfect stitching weather.  The weather this last month has been really conductive to spending time in the sewing room.  That's definitely helped get me back on track in terms of working in some stitching time most days.  How about you?  Are you finding more or less time to stitch in 2021?  

Work was cooperative this week and we didn't have to work very late any evening, plus we took our monthly day off on Friday.  It was a good week on the stitching time front. 
  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 28/30 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 28/30 days
  • Success rate = 93.33%
I've only missed two days of stitching time this year, so I'm off to a good start on that front. You can link up and share how your first month of 2021 is going at the bottom of the post. 

With all the nasty weather this month, I've had a few sewing sessions that lasted most of the afternoon/evening.  It's been nice finding the time to sew, but I paid for those sessions with a sore shoulder and aching back the next morning.  I had similar problems back in 2018, so replaced my student desk with an adjustable sewing table. That helped a lot. So why are the problems back again?  I've been using an old office chair for the past 15 years. It won't adjust anymore and that was causing me to hunch over the sewing table.  So it was probably time to replace it.  The replacement came Thursday. 

It took a day to get the height right. But I was able to sew all afternoon yesterday without a back ache.  Definitely a good decision.  I'm hoping for another full afternoon of pain free stitching today.   

So how did your stitching go this week? 
1. Chriskntis
2. Julie in GA
3. martha mumaw
4. maggie f
5. Chris in Canada
6. Ivani
7. Meloney
8. Quilting Gail
9. DI
10. DesertSky Quilting
11. DawnyK
12. Jennifer in Indy
13. dreamworthy quilts
14. Shasta @ High Road
15. Amanda
16. Marti
17. Carol Andrews

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

To Do Tuesday for 01/26/2021

The weather has been mostly dreary and cold the last week, which makes it easy to get into the sewing room. More time in the sewing room usually translates to a lot of check marks on the to do list. 

Weekly To Do List for 01/19/2021
  • Red, White and Blue Stars: Package and mail
  • Grassy Creek: Continue to make blocks and sashing 
  • Morewood Mystery: Continue making Block A 
  • Unity: Make HSTs for clue 6 as leader and ender 
Four for four is definitely a good week. Even better it's easy to see the progress when I look at the design walls.  Other than the RWB Stars, the other projects aren't anywhere close to a finish, so this week's list is going to look a lot like last week's list.  

Weekly To Do List for 01/26/2021

Morewood Mystery: Finish making Block A

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

This is the last week of January.  The next clue will come out on February 4th. So stitching the remaining 9 blocks will catch me up so I'm ready to go on the February clue. 

Grassy Creek: Continue making blocks, sashing

Grassy Greek, the 2020 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

There are enough bits and pieces finished to move the blocks and sashing to the big design wall.  Just one more set of 4 subunits to finish and I can concentrate on making the blocks and sashing pieces.  

Unity: Make HSTs as leader and enders project

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

Unity had to come off the design wall to make room for Grassy Creek, but I've left the blocks for the next round up on one side so I can keep count of how many are finished.  I've been making the HSTs as leaders and enders, but will sneak in stitching a full block once I have the 8 required.  I've been sewing a lot so the line of blocks has been growing a bit quicker now.  

My word for 2021 is "Focus", so I'm going to leave this week's to do list at just three items.  Based on what I learned last year, limiting the list to fewer projects does result in more finishes.  Besides, I'm really excited to see Grassy Creek come together, so it's really no hardship to limit the the list for now.  

Linking up with Home Sewn by Us for To Do Tuesday.  Good luck with your to do list for the week.  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Making Mysteries

It was cold and cloudy all weekend, perfect sewing room weather.  I took advantage of that and spent all of Saturday afternoon in the sewing room. Saturday morning I braved the biting cold (the wind made being outside absolutely miserable) and finished my January One Monthly Goal.   

The Red, White and Blue Stars quilt is all cleaned up, pressed, boxed and is now on it's way to Trudy for quilting.  My January OMG was to get this project prepped and mailed. Hopefully that means my first finish for 2021 will happen in February.  

Now that the RWB Stars is out of the sewing room for a few weeks, it was time to focus on something else.  Rather than pull out a UFO to focus on, it seemed prudent to focus on the three mysteries that were started last year.  I did pretty well at keeping up with Grassy Creek, the 2020 Bonnie Hunter mystery.  It's a typical Bonnie mystery with lots of pieces in each block. I've only got two blocks completed, with a third in progress. I have started finishing some of the sashing pieces as well.  

Grassy Greek, the 2020 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

I'm only making half the blocks. That should give me enough for a 3 x 4 layout.  I'm hoping to at least have all the blocks made by the end of February.  

Unity, Bonnie's coping with the pandemic mystery, is the current leaders and enders project. Since there was so much stitching this weekend, it moved along as well. 

Unity, 2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

The first border in the next round is more than half done at this point. Once Grassy Creek is assembled and out for quilting, Unity will be the next focus project. It's time to get it finished and off the big design wall.  

Linking up with Monday Making and Monday Design Wall.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 4 of 2021

In recent years, January has always seemed to pass so much slower than the other months of the year.  I wonder if that's because the last two months of the previous year there is lots of rushing around with holiday stuff and this month is so slow by comparison?  We've reached the 4th Sunday of January and still have one more full week before February begins. So if this week wasn't good on the stitching front, there is still one more left to work in some stitching time. 

Work was still a bit nuts this week.  I did have to work late one night, but was still able to fit in a bit of stitching time afterwards. It ended up being a pretty good week on that front.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 21/23 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 21/23 days
  • Success rate = 91.30%  
I'm back on track with my goal to stitch at least 85% of the days this year. 

How did your stitchy week work out?   

1. maggie f
2. Julie in GA
3. Marti
4. Chrisknits
5. karen
6. Ivani
7. Meloney
8. Chris in Canada
9. Rose in AL
10. Sherrie
11. DesertSky Quilting
12. Shasta @ High Road
13. martha mumaw
14. Quilting Gail
15. DawnyK
16. Andree at Quilting & Learning
17. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
18. Amanda

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

To Do Tuesday for 1/19/2021

It's been cold and windy in my part of the world.  Great stay in your sewing room weather. I'd prefer to do that, but I still have to work to support my fabric habit. Even with a few longer work days last week, the to do list didn't get neglected.  

Weekly To Do List for 1/12/2021
  • Red, White & Blue Stars: Clean up and press quilt top
  • Grassy Creek: Continue to make subunits, blocks 
  • Morewood Mystery: Continue making block A 
  • Unity: Continue making HSTs for clue 6 
Four for four, so definitely not a bad week.  I've decided to focus on finishing off Grassy Creek, so this week's to do list won't look much different.  

Weekly To Do List for 1/19/2021

Red, White and Blue Stars:  Package and mail.

Finding just the right size box is always hard. This one is a bit too long, but it will do.  I just need to add a bit more packing material, write out the address label and tape it up.  That's the easy part, finding time to drop it off at the post office is the trickier part.  

Grassy Creek:  Finish making subparts, make blocks

All that's left of the block subparts is these 5 square in rectangle units.  There are 8 pieces to each subpart, so they don't go together fast, but they aren't too bad.  Since I'm so far along with the subunits, it just seemed wise to keep up the momentum and get this project into a finished quilt top rather than pull out an older UFO to add to the mix. 

Morewood Mystery:  Continue making block A

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

Since Grassy Creek has been taking up most of my stitching time, there's only one more Block A up on the design wall.  I have till the end of the month to finish constructing all of these.  These blocks should go faster once I've got all the subunits made for the other project.  

Unity: Continue making HSTs and blocks as leader and enders

I've got a good number of the pieces cut for the blocks, so this should be an easy leader and ender for quite a bit.  Once Grassy Creek is assembled, I think Unity will be the next focus project. I'd like to get it finished and off the design wall. The Morewood mystery wraps up in April. It would be nice to have all of last year's starts out for quilting by mid year. 

That's my list for this week. Linking up with Home Sewn by Us for To Do Tuesday

Monday, January 18, 2021

The First Block

It was a quiet weekend.  The Scientist in Training was back for part of the weekend, but she heads back to school today.  She spent most of Sunday afternoon hanging out with me in the sewing room. She embroidered while I puttered around doing this and that. It will be awhile before we have the opportunity to do that again as classes start tomorrow.  

Part of my puttering around was to finish de-threading the Red, White and Blue Stars quilt. 

Not a huge amount of thread, RWB Stars is a lap sized quilt, so it's not that big.  

The top is all pressed and ready to package up with the backing.  I'm hoping to finishing the packaging and get it to the post office sometime this week. 

RWB Stars is my oldest project.  After working with it, I switched to my newest project, Grassy Creek. 

Grassy Greek, the 2020 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

I'm not done piecing all the subunits, but I have enough finished to make that first block. I need to sew the three sections together, but it's enough to see how the colors play together.  It's always one of the most fun parts of a mystery to see how that first block comes together. The second is having enough of the blocks and sashing done to see how your version is going to look as a finished quilt.  It will be a bit before I reach that point in the process.

Now that the RWB Stars is out of the in progress rotation, I'll need to pick a new focus project.  Do I pull out the next UFO on my list or do I focus on moving Grassy Creek and Unity to finished quilt tops? 

Linking up with Monday Making and Design Wall Monday.   

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 3 of 2021

 January is more than half way over. How did that happen?  Usually this first month of the year passes rather languidly. Not this year it seems. There's lots in the sewing room that I'd like to make progress on, it's been slow going in spite of my better efforts to get to the sewing room this week.

Last week was really good on the stitching front.  

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 14/16 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 14/16 days
  • Success rate = 87.5%
I'm finally back on track with my 2021 goal to stitch at least 85% of the days this year.  January didn't get off to the best start for me.  I'm hoping things are lining out and I've got my working during the day/sewing at night rhythm back.

Last Sunday, Shasta of High Road Quilter posted statistics about finishes for the last year and then a summary of her lifetime quilting stats. I set up an Excel chart back in 2019 to track starts and finishes by year.  

 I was doing pretty well at finishing what I started till 2013. Starting 12 quilts in one year was unrealistic and I'm still struggling to get more than half of those finished.  I've started 90 quilts and have finished 68 of those for a 76% completion rate.  If I stick with my plans for new starts and finishes this year, I'm hoping to get the completion stat up to 80%.  I'm going to need to keep getting in those 15 minutes most days to make that happen. 

How did you do this week at finding time to stitch?

1. maggie f
2. Julie in GA
3. Meloney
4. Chris in Canada
5. Ivani
6. Marti
7. Chrisknits
8. DesertSky Quilting
9. Shasta @ High Road
10. Sherrie
11. Quilting Gail
12. Dq at Dreamworthyquilts
13. Rose in AL
14. Carol Andrews
15. Amanda

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

To Do Tuesday for 01/12/2021

What a difference a week can make. Back to work last week was really, really tiring. Consequently, spending time in the sewing room was more than I could do a couple of nights last week. The To Do List didn't suffer too badly thankfully. 

Weekly To Do List for 01/05/2021

  • RWB Stars: Prep back and front for quilting - Progress
  • Grassy Creek:  Start Clue 7, continue to work on other clues
  • Morewood Mystery: Start on the January clue 
  • Unity: Continue to work on clues 6 and 7 
Three out of four, with progress on the fourth is a pretty good week. The goals for this week won't look much different. 

Weekly To Do List for 01/12/2021

RWB Stars: Clean up and press quilt top

The back was pressed and cleaned up last week. De-threading and pressing the back of the quilt top is my least favorite quilting step, but if I want a finished quilt, it's necessary. 

Grassy Creek: Work on step 7 and continue with unfinished steps

Bonnie Hunter revealed this year's mystery quilt last Friday.  I haven't finished a full block or any of the sashing pieces yet.  I'm still piecing some of the component parts, but I'm getting close to having all those done so I can focus on working up the blocks.  

Morewood Mystery: Continue to work on the January Clue

These blocks are relatively simple 9 patches, so hopefully these will stitch up quickly.  The next clue for this mystery won't come out till February, so I've got time to work on these blocks.  

Unity: Continue to work on clues 6 and 7

Each block for step 7 needs 8 HSTs. I'm not making the block that Bonnie used in her version of Unity so I don't think it matters that I'm showing the HST size.  It's going to take a bit to finish these blocks since the HSTs for this project are my leaders and enders project for the moment.  

That's the plan for this week. It's pretty much the same as last week.  I'd really like to get Grassy Creek to finished quilt top in the next couple of weeks.  That would let me focus on some of the older quilts on my UFO List.  Unity is going to take a bit more effort to get to that point, but it's my current leaders and enders project so it will likely be slow and steady progress unless I bump it up in the priority order.  

Linking up with Home Sewn by Us for To Do Tuesday.  

Monday, January 11, 2021

Here and There Progress

It was a cold weekend, perfect for hiding out in the sewing room.  I finally took some time to spritz up the my space a bit by vacuuming, dusting and just generally picking up a bit. It's always nice to stitch in an uncluttered space.  

The biggest to do for the weekend was to get the Red, White and Blue Stars quilt back cleaned up, pressed and packaged in preparation for sending the project out for quilting.

That's finished.  I don't always mark the top of the back, but will if I think it would help Trudy on her end. 

I didn't spend much time in the sewing room last week, so there's not a lot of progress on my other projects. Unity is still up on the big design wall. 

2020 Bonnie Hunter Sew-In-Place Quilt Along

The next round of blocks is going slowly. Each block has 8 HSTs and those aren't going very fast as they are my current leader and enders project. My primary project is the newest Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  She released the reveal last Friday. I don't even have a completed block as yet so no pictures. I'm still stitching up the various subparts.  

The small design wall has the first completed block for the Morewood Mystery quilt.  

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

There's not as many pieces for this block so I was able to get one stitched together. Just thirty something left to stitch.  I have all month to finish those. 

That's it for my progress over the last week. I'm hoping for more sewing time this week.  We'll see how that goes.  Linking up with Monday Making and Monday Design Wall.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 2 of 2021

It was back to work for me this last week. You'd think after being so well rested after 2 weeks off going back to work would have been easy.  It wasn't.  It really felt like going from 0 to 60 mph in a couple of seconds.  I wasn't ready for that.  How did your first full week of 2021 go in your sewing space?  

I didn't get the best start to a new year of finding time to stitch. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 5/7 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 7/9 days
  • 15 minute days/2021 = 7/9 days
  • Success rate = 77.78%
One day I came home from work, ate and went straight to bed.  I was that tired and was really not feeling well.  The second night we had to deal with some car problems and we didn't get things lined out in time for me to get in any stitching time.  I'll need to do better the rest of the month to get myself back on track with my goal to stitch 85% of the time. 

I've had some company when I did make it to the sewing room. 

The Scientist in Training decided to learn how to embroider.  I did a lot of cross stitching during Christmas while we were hanging out together watching British Baking on Netflix. She asked to try a few stitches.  Once we got home she decided to wade in just a bit more and wanted a small project to see if she'd like it. We made a trip to the local Hobby Lobby and found her a simple kit to start with.

She finished the project in just a couple of days.  Not bad for a first try.  She finished her second project yesterday. 

This one took almost a week. All that satin stitching takes time. She did a great job on both projects. I'm pretty sure she's hooked. The SITs birthday was Friday. She got her own embroidery scissors (so she'd quit taking off with mine), a needle minder, and a few new kits to work on. The SIT is 22 and this is the first time she's expressed any interest in anything that has to do with needle and thread. We'll see if that interest lasts, but she's had such fun in learning all the new stitches that I think she'll stick with it for a bit, at least till school ramps back up again.  

How was your stitchy week?  Hopefully you got off to a much better start than I did. 

1. Meloney
2. Ivani
3. Julie in GA
4. Chrisknits
5. karen
6. maggie f
7. Marti
8. Chris in Canada
9. Rose in AL
10. Quilting Gail
11. DawnyK
12. Deborah
13. Shasta @ High Road
14. DesertSky Quilting
15. Amanda
16. Dreamworthy Quilts
17. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

To Do Tuesday for Week of 01/05/2021

The last week was really good on the stitching front.  There was lots of time to hang out in the sewing room and get things done. There was really good progress on last week's To Do List. 

Weekly To Do List For 12/29/2020

  • Daisy Chain: Finish binding 
  • Grassy Creek: Start clue 5 and 6, work on older clues 
  • Unity: Continue to work on clues 6 and 7 
  • Red, White and Blue Stars: Make Backing 

It's a really good week that includes a quilt finish and finishing a backing for another.  A great end to 2020 and a good start on that first finish for 2021.  I'm back at work, so there definitely won't be as much time to sew, but the goal is always to just keep projects moving.  

Weekly To Do List for 01/05/2021

Red, White and Blue Stars:  Clean up top and backing for quilting

My One Monthly Goal is to get this project sent out for quilting. The back clean up should go fast, the top always goes a lot slower, but thankfully RWB Stars is a small quilt.  

Grassy Creek: Start clue 7, continue to work on previous clues

Clue 2 is missing from the photo, but I've finished all of those hour glass blocks and the gray/white flying geese are all done too. I'm only making half the blocks to start. All the pieces are cut for the these steps, they just need to be sewn together.  I'm looking forward to seeing how all these pieces go together.  Think this week's clue will be assembling a block?  

Morewood Mystery: Start the January clue. 

The previous clues are all done. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for this mystery.  I have all month to finish this clue, so just getting started on it is the plan for this week. 

Unity:  Continue to work on clues 6 and 7

I've only finished one full block for those two clues. Those HSTs take a bit to make, especially when you are working on Grassy Creek at the same time.  Unity is the leaders and enders project at the moment, so it's slow going, but it is moving along.  

Progress is the goal, so even if I don't check any off the list as long as projects keep moving it's good.  Linking up with Home Sewn By Us for To Do Tuesday

Monday, January 4, 2021

Pushing Daisies

 The first Monday of the new year means back to work after two weeks of nothing much but a bit of around the house spiffing up and lots of stitching time.  I can't say I'm ready to go back, but working does support my fabric habit, so back I'll go this morning. Thankfully this week is light on meetings so I'll time to deal with left over 2020 stuff and get a handle on the 2021 stuff.    

There was some good progress in the sewing room over the holiday break. I was able to sneak in one more finish before the new year.  

The Daisy Chain mystery quilt was labeled and bound on 12/30. The pattern is from the 2019 Little Bunny Quilts quilt along.

The fabrics, except for the background and black border, are all left overs from another project. Hence the name.

The backing is a black, red and beige stripe that caught my eye many years ago, but doesn't really suit the style of quilts I make now.  It was a perfect match to the quilt top. 



Trudy did the quilting in gold. 

The curly swirls make me think if the wind. I wasn't sure the quilt would ever make it back from being quilting. The package was shipped priority the first week of December, but didn't show up here till just before Christmas. 

Odds and Ends doesn't have a home as yet.  I usually donate a quilt to the auction sponsored by the organization that provides trained service dogs to veterans. The Scientist in Training's roommate has trained service dogs since she was in high school. With the pandemic there was no auction this year.  So unless this quilt finds a new home, it will likely go to that cause next year. 

Odds and Ends was my 7th finish for 2020. That ties my record for quilt finishes in a year. I'm hoping to build on the momentum from last year and finish eight quilts this year.  

Linking up with Monday Making and Monday Design Wall this week.    

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 1 of 2021


Welcome to the first 15 Minutes to Stitch Linky Party of 2021. February 2021 will mark ten years of me working to find even just 15 minutes of stitching time most days.  Why just 15 minutes?  That's from the statement "Anyone can do anything for just 15 minutes."  I have no idea where that came from originally.  If you search the Internet it's a common time management/life coaching statement. If you want to make changes to your life (add exercise, start organizing, learn to write) start by finding 15 minutes a day for your chosen activity. Most days, I sew for much longer than 15 minutes, but there are days the schedule is just so packed or my energy level is just so low, that 15 minutes is all I can manage.  But those 15 minutes really add up.  If that's all the time you have, over a week that's an 1.75 hours. You can do a lot in almost 2 hours.  

What counts as part of your 15 minutes?  That's up to you. For me it's anything that moves a project along. Some days that's actually sitting at the sewing machine, others it's playing with border options in EQ8 or playing around with label designs.  It could also be organizing your sewing room, cutting up scraps, picking fabrics for a new project, etc.  

How to track it?  I use Excel.  The spreadsheet I use has two sections. The first is just a running list with the date, day of the week and the activity or project worked on.  Like this:

Once the month is over, I just delete the Date and Activity entries, leaving the Weekday entry and start over with the next month.  Nada means I didn't get in my 15 minutes that day.  I don't keep track of how much time I sew, that's not as important to me as just getting myself into the sewing room. But you could certainly modify the sheet to track that.  

The rest of the tracking is just keeping up with the days per week, per month, and per year that I stitched.  Here's what 2020 looked like.

Those who've been following along for a while know I graph everything. Here's what 8 years of tracking my stitching time looks like.

I've tried running correlations with fabric usage and quilt finishes with no success. I'm obviously missing some variables in those comparisons as there doesn't seem to be any direct link between stitching time and those two outcomes. 

Whatever you decide to count or track, I hope you'll link up each week with how your efforts to find time to stitch worked out.  

I make a clean break at year's end.  So here's my metrics for 2020 and for the first few days of 2021. 


  • 15 minute days/week = 5/5 days
  • 15 minutes days/Dec = 25/31 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 324/366 days
  • Success rate = 88.5%
  • 15 minute days/week = 2/2 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 2/2 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 2/2 days
  • Success rate = 100%
So how did you do this week at getting in your stitching time?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Ivani
3. maggie f
4. karen
5. Meloney
6. Chris in Canada
7. DI
8. Chrisknits
9. Marti
10. Amanda
11. Rose
12. Andree at Quilting & Learning
13. DawnyK
14. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting
15. Carol Andrews
16. Deana
17. Quilting Gail
18. Jennifer in Indy

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

One Monthly Goal: January 2021

The old year ended and the new year started with some significant sewing room time.  I've mainly been playing catch up with the Bonnie Hunter mystery, Grassy Creek.  That will be high up on the to do list, but it's probably more than I can finish for my January One Monthly Goal

The plan for 2021 is to continue reducing the size of my UFO list. Since that's the goal, the January OMG should probably be getting the Red, White and Blue Stars quilt prepped and sent out for quilting. 

Red, White and Blue Stars: Setting self designed

The quilt top was finished back in November, but both work and the holiday rush started and it just sat.  One of my stitching projects on New Year's Eve was to finish piecing the backing.

The backing is all pieced, it just needs a good pressing and final clean up, as does the quilt top.  I need to check if I have the right sized batting too. 

So that's my OMG for January, prep the quilt top/backing, locate the batting and package it all for shipment out to Trudy for quilting. That should be doable this month.  Then hopefully I can claim my first finish sometime in February.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the first OMG of 2021.

Friday, January 1, 2021

End of the Year Review: 2020 Quilting Ambitions

Happy New Year!  When we went to bed early this morning, we could see the ice forming on the trees.  But when we woke up this morning, this is what we saw. 

It's still snowing, though it has slowed down some. I'll definitely take a snow storm over an ice storm any time.   

I stitched up to just a few minutes before midnight last night in hopes of hitting some key metrics for the year.  I didn't get any more finishes, but I'll start 2021 on a good foot. Before moving on with my 2021 ambitions, I should look at what did and didn't work with my 2020 ambitions.    

2020 Ambition #1: Finish 12 Quilts

I played along with Quilting Gail's PHD in 2020 to keep me focused on this goal.

 Here's my completed tracking sheet.  

There were 7 finishes in 2020, the most recent happened on 12/30/2020. Talk about cutting it close!  I didn't meet my goal of 12 quilts, but finishing 7 is a personal best I've only managed three other times (2010, 2011 and 2017).  

Finished quilts includes Twinkle Stars (started in 2015), Winter Quilt Along (2019), Mosaic Mystery (2019), Storm at Sea (2019), 2019 Christmas Mystery (2019), Frolic (2019) and Daisy Chain Mystery (2019).  

What did I learn from the PHD challenge last year?  That focusing on fewer projects, 2 or 3, rather than my normal 5 or 6 helps push more projects to the finished column. 2020's word was "Finish".  This year's word is going to be "Focus". 

The other "ah ha" moment from last year was realizing that there is something to momentum when completing a project.  If you look at the completed list, 6 of the quilts were started in 2019. Some of those were on my 2020 PHD list, but several weren't. It's just easier to keep working on a recent project. So my three 2020 starts are on my 2021 PHD list right at the top. 

The other part of the finishing quilts ambition was to limit new starts.  I allowed my self three new starts, two beloved mystery quilt alongs and one other project if something caught my eye.  I met that goal, with Unity, Morewood Mystery and Grassy Creek the only starts for 2020.  

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

There were 51, 15 Minute to Stitch linky parties in 2020.  I missed posting one linky party the first week of work from home back in March. It was just such a stressful week and I hadn't wrapped my head around the implications and realities of the pandemic as yet. I couldn't even convince myself to start up my personal computer (A large part may have been just dealing with the stress of spending so much time on my work computer with all the virtual meetings that week).  Almost 10 months later we all have our fingers crossed that the vaccine will bring an end to all the pandemic restrictions and stress.

I managed to fit in at least 15 minutes of stitching time 324 days out of 366 (remember 2020 was a leap year), for a success rate of 88.5%.  My ambition for stitching time for many years was 90%, but that's really, really hard to meet if you have job that requires travel (I had two business trips early in the year) and a job where unexpected projects added to an already full plate requires long work days (which is what happened in December).  I still finished seven quilts last year.  So while it's important to get into the sewing room regularly, it's also important to focus on just a few things at at time.  

From a quilting perspective, 2020 was a really good year.  Maybe in part because other parts of 2020 weren't so great. Fingers crossed that 2021 is much kinder, gentler and much less anxiety filled than 2020.