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.  


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Seven quilt finishes in the year sound just great to me, Kate! They're all beautiful! I think my favorite is Storm at Sea - pretty colors and such a neat design. Good luck with your ambitions in 2021!

Quilting Gail said...

Hi Kate,
& quilt finishes is 7 quilt finishes!!! I think that's great!
Glad you are joining in PHD in 2021! Hopefully we will all achieve our goals!
I will be joining in your 15 minutes to stitch ... although I make myself do 30 minutes ... (I'm assuming that's ok?)
Happy New Year and Happy Quilting! :-)

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

7 quilts while holding a job is quite an accomplishment, especially when you make big quilts that aren't designed to be quick and easy. You did a great job making wonderful quilts and hosting the 15 minutes to stitch. I am selfishly glad you are continuing into 2021. I agree that momentum does help push things to completion, since you don't have to figure out where you left off.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Love your new header!! and 7 finishes is awesome!! They are all so beautiful. Enjoy the snow!

Anonymous said...

7 finishes is fantastic! They are all wonderful, but the Storm at Sea is a personal favorite.


Emily said...

Seven finishes is fantastic! Congrats! Sounds like you know what works for you in terms of focusing on projects.

Jennifer said...

Great recap of the year and reflection on what worked for you - I really enjoyed seeing all of your finishes this year and linking up with the sewing time at the end of each month. I’ve never had a year where I’ve been so grateful for hobbies that I can do from home! I share your hope for 2021, may it be a great year for you!

Juliana said...

I really enjoyed your recap. It's very inspiring to read your thinking process as well as to see and hear about your successes for 2020. It was such a challenging year on so many levels, and I really appreciated your blog posts all year. My favorite quilt continues to be your Sophia's Closet, but I also love your Storm at Sea this year. I'm looking forward to following you in 2021. Best wishes to you!