Saturday, 14 January 2017

New year, new goals, and new dreams

Welcome to another year. For me it will be a year full of new goals, new ideas, and new dreams.

Goodness me..... I cannot believe it was six months ago that I made my last blog entry! Sadly, both my blogs were neglected for the latter half of 2016. Somehow there seemed to be less hours in my days to achieve all the things I had planned and my list of priorities kept changing on a daily basis. So here we are planning for another year already.

What are your goals and dreams for 2017? Will you be stitching more? Travelling? Creating? Designing? Will you join a new group? Participate in a challenge? Commit to a BOM? Stitch for a charity? Try a new craft or technique? I would love to hear what my readers have planned for 2017 and maybe share in the progress of your goals for 2017.

Hopefully, I will be able to share my new goals and progress with you a little more frequently in 2017. But before I move onto my new goals for this year I thought it would be worth a little recap on my achievements for the latter part of 2016.

The OWO and I spent the majority of 2016 travelling around the country in our new A-van - in fact we were home for less than four months last year. Of course that had an impact on the number of projects I was able to complete throughout the year.
The year started with all good intentions, setting goals that seemed achievable at the time with the intention of completing some "projects-in-progress" (PiPs). Readers may recall that the OWO assisted setting my goals by drawing two numbers from a basket that represented craft drawers where the PiPs were stored, in their various stages of completion -- that dreaded Drawer 3, remember ? I certainly do!

I am pleased to report that the majority of those projects in DD3 were either completed or received some attention during the year. Drawer 6 contained blocks for a beautiful quilt and all those blocks are now complete and ready to be built into a quilt in 2017!  The two drawers are not empty perse, but progress was certainly made.

Maggie's First Dance BOM
In my last post I showcased a block from the online BOM, Maggies First Dance by Jacquelynne Steves that I started in July. Sadly I am still working on those blocks with an estimated finish for early February. It has now become a PiP for completion in 2017.

My first quilt for AHQ
The online BOM was not the only challenge I signed up for in July. I also joined the team at Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags, a not-for-profit group that makes quilts and laundry bags for our Defence personnel serving overseas. My first contribution was completed in August (photo below), which I was very proud of as I designed and machine quilted that quilt all by myself. I struggled a little, to say the least, to finish the quilt on my Brother domestic machine but I persevered and was very proud of the end result. I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do. I shall continue to contribute to this lovely group in 2017.

More travelling
At the end of September we were once again off and travelling, this time to Tasmania for ten weeks to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Plenty of time for hand stitching - or so I thought! I did get some embroidery done but nothing special. Unfortunately due to severe bad weather we decided to shorten our time in Tassie and returned home two weeks earlier than planned.
BONUS as far as my creative persona was concerned. Two reasons for that - more time to complete my Xmas gifts, but more excitingly, I could finally have my special anniversary/early Xmas present delivered and set up! Yay, hooray!

Home for two days and the lovely Marilyn from MK Sewable and her very helpful man arrived with my special package - a brand new HQ 'Sweet Sixteen' quilter.
Oh my, am I going to have fun with this little beauty - and just in time to finish a special Xmas present, Master Landon's quilt. Yep, more finished quilts will be leaving the 'Cave' in 2017.

There are still many, many PIPs in my 'Cave' but that will always be the story for this Creative Miss. Surely isn't that what retirement is all about - accepting new challenges to make life interesting?  So maybe if the OWO ever decides it's time to "retire" from travelling this vast and beautiful country, there will be more time for activity in the "Woman's Cave" -- I can always dream!
The first of many - I hope - on my new "play thing"
So here are some of my "finishes" for 2016. (in no particular order of completion or progress) There were many more made for Xmas gifts, but sadly no photos!

 .......... May there be many more challenges in 2017.......
'Love Letters' Quilt blocks now complete -
Drawer 6 item - one more block to go!

Framed embroidered owl for my
lovely friend Heather in Tasmania
Heather & Graeme
Another quilt -3 more appliqued
blocks completed in 2016

Variety of placemats, runners and
cushion covers were completed


Embroidery completed - what next??

Beading now complete -
just needs frame
"Miracles by Appointment"
Wallhanging - D3 item

This was a special table center - "An Aussie Christmas"
by Smee Designs - made for Miss Heidi in the UK

"Subversive Santa" by Smee Designs
I couldn't part with this one!

Completed quilt for Master Landon

One very happy recipient!
Do you think he liked his quilt?
Oh, I think so!!!
Until next time --  Hugs - and - Happy stitching!


Marilyn Spencer said...

Hi Diana,
And a very happy new year to you and hubby.
Love the Aussie Christmas.
I have been very remiss in keeping in touch. 2016 was the pits. lost too many family and friends, and my health was deplorable, 10 courses of antibiotics for a nasty chest infection in winter that reared its head again in November so another 3 courses, along with all the usual med I've been rattling nicely. I did another RR with Julie & Co. and we all chose small projects so all were home by Christmas.
I also knitted jumpers for my sister and her oldest my niece, who is only 6 years younger than me. Lovely Aussie wool from Bendigo knitting Mill.
My niece has decided she would like another jumper this year in 4ply, so that will be interesting, I think the last 4ply I knitted would have been something for Brooke when she was little. Also on the knitting side of things I knit dog jumpers and beanies that get sold in Spain and UK that help abandoned and neglected dogs in Spain which a friend fosters and then gets them back to good health and then finds homes for them in the UK.
Also knitted beanies for for Womens Aboriginal refuge in Kalgoorlie. But my biggest project is going to be a Poncho that is going to be entered into Craft show in Tasmania. My cousin has finally cleaned, washed and spun her Alpaca fleeces it is a lovely pattern that I knitted for her while she was still on the farm. Only this one I am going to put hand slits in as she found that when she was driving there was a lot of weight sitting on her elbows and as you know you never seem to drive short distances in Tassie so you need to be comfortable.
This year will probably do another RR. I think there is still a few dragons that need to be stitched before the wall hanging will be complete for Anmarie, she is making me feel old as she has just turned 44.
Can't wait to see your exploits for this year. Take care xx Maz

Cynthia Woodham said...

Happy New Year. Glad to hear you are making progress even if you didn't finish as many as you wanted. I know I didn't finish what I wanted to complete and there was a few I didn't touch. My plan is to make more sewing time and select of 3-4 projects to work on at a time and I can't start or swap to another project until one of those projects are done. Let's hope we all have plenty of sewing time this year.

Marilyn said...

Hi Diana, Happy new year. Lovely to see what you have been sewing lately they are all beautiful. The sweet sixteen will make quilting a breeze for you now, maybe more quilt tops will get finished. I have one too and I promised myself to make more tops this year to use up some of the fabric pile.