The Year Of the Stash

Over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge, The Year of the Stash is happening and I'm joining up!

This is a great link up, as there are really no rules, but it's a neat way to be mindful of what you're quilting with, as well as a way to use more and buy less. 
I decided to participate because "shopping" my extensive stash makes me feel good about what I'm quilting, helps fulfill two goals of my 2016 goals (quilt more, use up/don't buy), means the chances of using reclaimed or recycled fabrics is increased, and helps me declutter so I can actually see what fabrics I have. 
Usually, I can always find something in my stash the fits any bill I might be looking for in any project. So why buy? I guess the answer to that is bc it's fun! And there are so many gorgeous fabrics! I have to admit I went on a bit of a buying frenzy at the end of last year. Ostensibly, I had to buy some things for projects I'm working on, but really, I had enough in my current stash and didn't need to by anything. I'm happy to have all the fabrics I bought, but ultimately I feel worse for buying them, disappointed in myself for collecting more things that I don't need, and a little sad that my current collection of beautiful fabric went unused.

To help me be mindful in The Year of the Stash here is my manifesto:

1) Buy as little new fabric as possible. I won't say buy none. I want to be free to get a great new piece here or there, patron indy quilt shops, or buy backing when needed. I'll buy used, reclaimed, and/or vintage fabric when possible. I pride myself on using these fabrics in my quilts, and need to scoop them up when they preset themselves. But I want to be mindful not to add too much to my stash!
2) Use some used, vintage and/or reclaimed fabrics in all quilts. Last year was the first time I used all new fabric for some quilts and it just didn't feel right. As I said above, I pride myself to use these vintage items, and I need to get back to that. I have such a wonderful collection in my stash, it needs to get out into the world!  
3) Organize as I go. When we moved, I started folding and color coordinating my stash and discovered that I have far too much fabric!! I barely made a dent before I filled up the entire space I'd set aside. I'd like to utilize this space better this year. I want to use up, organize, and consolidate during The Year of the Stash!
4) Sew, sew, sew! One of my goals is to have at least one finish per month, I'd also like to make one new block per month. Sourcing from my stash will help me as I have so many wonderful fabrics at my fingertips! 

And that's it! Simple, right? I'll be posting blogs about my Year of the Stash and linking up regularly at Quarter Inch from the Edge. I hope some of my readers will join in as well! And be sure to check out other quilter's manifestos here

2015 Finish Along Q4 Recap + 2016 Finish Along Q1 List

I really enjoyed participating in my first Finish Along in 2015 (Check out all the details for last year here). I didn't get a as much done as I would have liked last year, but it was a nice way to track my progress. I'll be happy to look back at my blog posts in years future. I can't wait to start 2016!


Although technically I missed the cut off to link up my 2015Q4 List, I still made one and completed a finish on my list! I haven't been able to post the quilt I finished bc it's still hasn't been gifted. Since I wasn't able to add to the link up, it didn't really matter. But keep your eye out for that post: coming soon!

Here's the 2015Q4 list:
1) Finish quilting, bind, and label Quilt for Grandma Doris.
I thought about this project a lot, but I suppose that doesn't really count. 

2) Finish quilting and making, stuff and use, Pillow #1 for a New Secret Project.
Moving put a hold on this one....

3) Start, piece, baste, quilt, bind and label OC/GC Baby Quilt.
Some work got done on this and it'll make the new list. 

4) Piece back, baste, quilt, bind, label Baby Quilt Commission #1.

5) Finish piecing front and back, baste, quilt, bind, label, Baby Quilt Commission #2.
Work got done on this and it'll be in the new list, too!

6) Finish piecing front, piece back, baste, quilt, bind Xmas Medallion Quilt. 
I'm not even sure where this quilt is...

On to 2016Q1!

pile fal.jpg

In my goals for this year, I want to get a quilting finish done each month. This won't stop me from making my 2016Q1 list longer than 3 items!

1) Finish piecing, baste, quilt, bind and label OC/GC Baby Quilt. 

oc fal.jpg

I'm gonna try and list these in order in which they need to get done, and this is the first.  

2) Finish piecing the back, baste, quilt, bind, label, Baby Quilt Commission #2

baby com 2.jpg

I have some ideas about how I want to quilt this one, so I can't wait to get started. 

3) Finish quilting, bind, and label Quilt for Grandma Doris.

grand fal.jpg

This quilt was on all 4 of my 2015 Finish Along lists. It's time it was really put to bed.  I'd love to have this finished in time for Mother's Day, but I've said that before...

4) Quilt, bind, and label Geometric Gift Quilt. 


This might be my biggest quilt to date and I'm eager to finish it. 

5) Finish quilting, bind, and label Original Mini. 


This one goes way back!

Setting deadlines is another one of my goals this year, so I feel that this is a great list to help me achieve that.
I'm so pleased to be linking up with Debbie at A Quilter's Table this year for the 2016 Finish Along.  This year's FAL is spread over several blogs, but here's where you can find all the details to join. I hope some of my readers will join up and share their progress with Mad Cat Quilts!

PS Here are some stats and links to my 2015 Finish Along:
Out of 15 unique quilts that made it to my 2015 lists I finished 5. One third of my year's goal is a pretty good start, I think!! 
2015 Finish Along
Stormy Friendship
Label Maker
Scrappy Hearts
Commissioned Baby Quilt #1 - Post to follow. 

2016 Goals

 I'm so excited for the year ahead and the possibilities it offers! My list of goals for 2016 keeps growing. I don't like to make New Years Resolutions. I don't want to resolve to doing things, I want to aspire to doing them! 

Work on Creative Endeavors as Much as Work 
For 2015, I wrote "I have to make my art and sewing a priority in my life and not let working at my job be the only or most urgent thing that drives me". And this past year has taught me that this is a very difficult task. Nearly Impossible. I am excited to carry this goal over and continue to work towards it.  

As a way to work towards goal number 1, I need to work more on my craft. Some things I want to work on in this area are to improve my skills, be involved in at least one market, and one show, have a finish every month, and generally make more! 

In 2015, I made great strives in my blogging. I want to keep that up with regular blog posts. Like, really regular! I learned last year that I need take 1 month off from blogging. My slowest time for posts is over the summer. I failed to update shop regularly in 2015. This is something I hope to do. Hopefully that will result in more sales, as I would like to gain practice at selling, packaging, and gathering customers and followers to widen my community. 

Draw More (some).  
To inspire this goal, I've started a secret project. Something that might help this would be to do a drawing a day for a year. 365 drawings might be a weighty goal, but I'm going to try!

I want to learn to set and complete more deadlines for myself.  

House and Home
I want to continue to get better at taking care of my family and our home.  

I want to get better at taking care of myself and my health. I'd like to exercise at least 4 times a week. I want to stretch every day. I want to continue to make and eat wonderful and healthy foods. 

Wardrobe/Use Up, Don't Buy
I plan to continue my wardrobe project which I worked on last year. And I want to strive to reduce, reuse, and recycle more in my everyday life. I'd love to be able to not buy anything (besides food, necessities, etc...) for at least 6 months out of the year 2016.  

Now that I've moved, I need to get involved! Step one - get a job I love! I also want to make sure that I stay in touch with my old community, so friends will be a priority this year. 

Read More 
Nuff said. 

I'd love to hear some readers goals for the coming year. Leave them in the comments or show us a link!

2015 Goals Review

In the beginning of 2015, like many years, I set a list of goals for myself. I find that it's a good way to be mindful of some things that I want to work towards accomplishing. Some of these goals were realized, at least in part, some were thought about, mulled over, but none were completely abandoned. The list isn't made to be a worry or a task, it's really just a way for me to keep in mind things that I would like to do, ways that I would like to improve myself. Here is the original post from 2015.  

Below is the list of my 2015 goals and related blog posts:

Work on Creative Endeavors as Much as Work - I have to make my art and sewing a priority in my life and not let working at my job be the only or most urgent thing that drives me.
Although this goal doesn't have any distinct posts, I did try to work on it. I hope to carry this over to 2016.

Sewing/Blogging - More sewing and more blogging about it! I want to work on my online shop. I must do one market, or fair. 
One could say this entire blog should make it on this list.

Holiday Sale

Take Better Care of My Health and the Health of My Family/Take Better Care of the House - In all the hustle and bustle of work and life this is something I often forget to pay close attention to. I want to always be striving to make a better house for my family and plants and keep us in good health.
I think I made good strives in this direction, especially when the time came to move and adjust to a new environment. There are some areas that are lacking (exercise!!), but hopefully there can be addressed in 2016.
House Plant Goals

Stay in Touch with My Friends - I'm fairly antisocial by nature, but I love my friends and care to make them feel appreciated. 
This goal also doesn't have specific posts, but I felt I made good headway on this, even to the point of sending out holiday cards!

Use Up, Don't Buy
-  I need to reduce all things in my life and and make better use of the things I keep. 
This goal was a great way to keep in mind a lifestyle I aim for. 

Wardrobe Makeover
- One thing I have far too many of are clothes. I must make my wardrobe more manageable and stop buying clothes!
Some Little Things
Who Needs This Many...  

Travel when Possible - Always more exploring to be done.
Sea, Sand, and Snow
3 Days in Cape May

2 Days in Alabama
2 Days in New Orleans

Read More - I can only remember reading three books last year (2014). Pitiful. 
A Walk in the Woods

Saturn's Return to New York
Famous Potatoes
Ash in My Mouth...
Woman in the Dark

Move Out of the City - It's time.
I totally did this! 

And the year isn't quite over yet, there's still room to add more posts here...
Some of these goals will carry over to 2016, some may not. I feel confident that I at least touched on every goal in 2015. I hope to achieve the same mindfulness in 2016. 
Please, please share your 2015 goal recaps, or 2016 goal lists in the comments!! I am always grateful to be inspired by your posts!

Finish Along Q4 Goals + Q3 "Finishes".

So, while I've technically missed the cut-off to join the 4th quarter of the Finish Along a long time ago, I still plan to follow through until the end. First the Q3 recap! 

Q3 was less productive than Q2. Here's the list:

1. Finish quilting, bind, and label Quilt for Grandma Doris.
2. Finish quilting and making, stuff and use, PIllow #1 for a New Secret Project.
3. Piece, baste, quilt, bind, and label Beach Blanket Quilt.
4. Finish piecing, baste, quilt, and bind and gift Tattoo Trade Quilt.
5. Piece, baste, bind, and label Bright Triangles Quilt.
6.  Start, piece, baste, quilt, bind and label OC/GC Baby Quilt.

Not a single one of these projects got finished and many were not even touched. Some new projects were started, so the list for Q4 will look quite different!

Not much time for doodling, with everything going on at home...

Not much time for doodling, with everything going on at home...

1) Finish quilting, bind, and label Quilt for Grandma Doris.


I won't get this one done in time for her Bday on Nov 6 (89!!) but I might be able to get it done for xmas. 

2) Finish quilting and making, stuff and use, PIllow #1 for a New Secret Project.


I'd love to have this secret project moving along by Jan/feb. Finishing this is the first step!

3) Start, piece, baste, quilt, bind and label OC/GC Baby Quilt.


Needs to be done by Feb. No Spoilers. 

4) Piece back, baste, quilt, bind, label Baby quilt commission #1. 

baby 1.jpg

This one HAS to be a Dec finish. So, really, this should be in the number 1 slot. 

5) Finish piecing front and back, baste, quilt, bind, label, baby quilt commission #2.   

baby 2.jpg

This one isn't needed until April. Phew. But I do want to get a jump on it. 

6) Finish piecing front, piece back, baste, quilt, bind Xmas Madallion Quilt. 


This is the last hopeful quilt on the list. Doubt I'll even get it out....

Linking this post up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching .

Alright, time to get to work!

On My Mind on Friday Morning

A few month ago I tried to come up with a semi regular series about what I was learning about that week. I still really like the idea of that, but it didn't quite translate the way I was hoping. It was too long, too boring, and too time consuming to write. 
So instead, I'm just going to let you know what's On My Mind on Friday Mornings. 


Couches, couches, and more couches.  
This cute bralette.
A book I can really sink my teeth into. 
This view:

It doesn't look like much but it's pretty special.

It doesn't look like much but it's pretty special.

Right now I'm asking YOU:
We're headed out to NOLA for a few days this month and suggestions are wanted! Any thoughts on where to eat, where to play, what to see? Ideas are much appreciated. 

2015 Finish Along

This year, I want to blog more, I want to sew more, I want to finish more!

So I'm participating in Adrianne's (On The Windy Side) 2015 Finish Along.
For those of you haven't heard of this before, every year a lovely blogger runs a Finish Along (FAL) where sewists can make quarterly goals to finish for the year. The projects can be quilts, clothes, knits, etc... But they must be a semi started project when you link up at the beginning of each Quarter. As you finish a project, you make a blog entry, and at the end of each Quarter you link up again with all that you have completed. There's no punishment or negativity if you don't finish, but there are potential prizes if you do! More than anything, it's a way to keep a list for yourself, and also to have support from the sewing community as you go!

I'm a big fan of to do lists. I make one everyday for myself at work. Although I have included quilting on some of my lists, I have never made a list just for sewing. 

Here is my First Quarter List!
Since this is the first time I'm joining in, I'm gonna go easy for my Q1. I've picked 5 projects to get done in 3 months. 

1. Repair, Label and Gift the Friendship Star Mini.

This quilt is pretty much done (so much so, that I already blogged about it once). Although I consider it a 2014 finish, it needs repair where the binding didn't catch. It needs a label and to given to whom it belongs. I think this is a good goal to start the year and Q1.

2. Finish hand-quilting, binding and labeling All Gingham, All The Time quilt. 

This project was started way back in Jan 2014. I set it aside when I wasn't happy with how the hand quilting was going. After some months of space, we have reunited. I want to finish this one up completely for Q1.  

3. Finish Nest Block Jacket. 

I have an old red wool jacket that my mom gave me quite a few years ago. It's really red. I started a wee star block to add to it. I'm hoping it breaks up the red a bit. I have the block, but I have to figure out how to best affix it to the jacket. This seems like a simple Q1 Project, but it may go sideways if the jacket needs more work. 

4. Baste, bind, quilt and label Stormy Friendship Mini Quilt. 

I made the top for this at the same time as the yet to be named Friendship Mini. Now I've got a back made. I want to have this one finished this Q1. This should be a straight forward project.  I just have to keep on task .

5. Finish piecing, baste, quilt, bind, and label Quilt for Grandma Doris. 

This is the biggest project on the list bc it is the least done. I started this quilt Nov 2014 with very high hopes it would be done by xmas. Not to be. I'd love to have this one done Q1 with the idea to gift it for Mother's Day, maybe? But there doesn't really need to be a special occasion to gift someone a quilt, right?

OK! I'm feeling good about this list! Let's get going!
Linking up with Adrianne, of course!