Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Annual Reckoning: 2013 in review

Here's my final finish of 2013!  The photo shows a corner of Chevron Strings folded over on the backing.   I used variegated thread and meandered. Easy. And done. [The backing is a Jennifer Sampou print that I got at a closeout sale. The binding was already cut, intended for another project (which I cannot remember).] 

And now: the Annual Reckoning.

 I began sewing when I was in fifth grade.  I began to acquire a stash of fashion fabric when I was in college.  In the 70's and 80's I made most of my clothes.  My stash grew with purchases from independent fabric stores and yard goods departments at dime stores and J.C. Penney.   During those years I also needlepointed and cross-stitched and acquired yarn, floss, canvas, and evenweave, much of which I still have.  In the early 90's I found out that quilts could be pieced and quilted by machine. My course was set. My stash took on an entirely new life. 

In 1998 I began to keep track of the fabric I used and acquired.  In 2004 I started to track what I spent.  My qualifiers:   "used" means sewn, sold, or given way. "Acquired" means purchased or received.  (If I swap, it's a wash.)   I calculate how much I use in a project by measuring the square inches. It is fiddly, but it's easy because I use a calculator. (A quick example: a 9-patch made out of 2" squares is 2 x 2 x 9, or 36 square inches. A quilt top with 100 such blocks -- 45"x45" --  has 3600 square inches.  My all-purpose estimate for a yard of fabric is 1512 square inches (36 x 42) so that 9-patch top is 2.38 yards.)  I don't count what I spend on thread, batting, notions, patterns, books, or subscriptions.

Last January 1 I said that my goals were to end the year with 10 or fewer flimsies in the box and to get good at a new technique.  I met the first goal and sort of met the second goal.

In 2013 I turned 36 flimsies into finished quilts: 14 were created in 2012 or earlier and 22 were created in 2013. 

The "new" technique was not so new, but I got better at it.  My guild hosted a workship with Pat Sloan who taught us her method of machine applique.  I used her technique not only for the class sample (which is done-done: quilted, bound, labeled) but also for this project

Other 2013 accomplishments:
* I made 18 refrigerator magnet Valentines and 70 Christmas ornaments. I repurposed three vendor totebags and made another. 
* I sold 5 quilts for a total of $400. 

In 2014 I want to:
* Finish the 10 flimsies in the box. [See the "Flimsy Completion" tab at the top of my blog.]
* Keep up with the  NewFO challenge.
* Pick a specialty ruler and become proficient with it.
* Make 100 Care Bags.  (Care Bags are ditty bags, about 13 x 14, that are filled with hygiene or school supplies and distributed to kids in crisis/disaster situations.  They use 100 per month and several years ago I made a personal pledge to make one month's worth each year. I've gotten off track and want to get back.)
* Sell 100 yards of fabric.
* Use more and acquire less than in 2013.

Here's to a great 2014 for all of my quilting friends and fellow bloggers!


Susan Torrens said...

Great accomplishments and wonderful goals for 2014! My goal for this year is to use more stash! I was tempted by too many year end sales this year. I'm hoping to make multiples of small items that I can donated to my guild's boutique at our 2015 show, as well as keep up with my donation quilts both for my northern guild, and southern quilt group.
I love the way you do your year end report!

busylizzy said...

I can't even imagine counting what I have but kudos to you for doing this. I'll stay tuned on SMS to see what you accomplish. :o)

Lori said...

I love to read other peoples goals/accomplishments. I learn so much, about them and what might work for me. Thanks Nann!

June D said...

Fabulous to see Nann - always fun to visit your blog. Your records help us all but especially those of us who quilt by ourselves without guilds or in-person neighbor friends. This year I'm going to keep track of what I do and will increase my projects too! Best wishes!

Beth in MN said...

Wow! You have accomplished a lot in 2013 and your goals for 2014 seem very doable.

Michelle said...

I like the footnotes that explain the huge numbers -- what happened in 2005? :-)

TLC said...

Happy new year from one fabriholic to another!

Louise said...

You are brave! I intend to keep up a used/acquired fabric list, plus a UFO completion goal. You didn't mention quilt you have "too many" quilt books? Another goal of mine is to cull them so they all fit in ONE bookcase!

Shasta Matova said...

I need to follow you around to see how you get to all these estate sales! You've done a wonderful job this year with so many accomplishments. 36 finishes! I have posted my accomplishments as well - don't have nearly as many as you do.

MMorton said...

Nann, what a productive year you've had! Some day, when you have time (and I don't know when that would be because I can't figure out where you find the time to do all you're already doing), could you please tell us how you make the repurposed tote bags? I'm drowning in bags and fabric...what a good way to use up both at the same time :). Have a healthy, happy, and productive 2014.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the info on the Care Bags. I think that would be a great way to use smaller pieces of fabric, ie, not big enough for a pillowcase. Congratulations on getting some flimsiest done from the collection. I'm surprised you didn't list the number of finished quilts. I don't have all that many flimsies because I don't count fabric used until the quilt is totally finished. I have several pretty large quilts ready for borders and then quilting. So I may have a good year for fabric usage. Am I reading your stats correctly? You are recording how much new to you fabric you've brought in over the last year as well as how much you've used. If that's right, where are you stashing all these finds? No wonder you generally can find something to go with whatever you are working on. Congratulations on a very successful year.

Nann said...

I re-read my post and realized that what I wrote was unclear. (Clear to me, but not to readers.) I changed the wording to "I turned 36 flimsies into finished quilts." BTW, I count fabric used when I get a project to the flimsy stage.