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Finishing Quilts in 2015

2015 Diary of a Quilter projectsHappy 2016 everyone! Here it is – that time of year for resolutions, diets, and year-end-round-up photo collages. (Which I happen to really love seeing.) As always, it’s fun to look back on the year past and reflect on what’s been learned and accomplished. Toward the beginning of last year, I was inspired by a friend to make a spread-sheet of all of my projects, including all of the on-going WIPS (works-in-progress)…

I’m happy to say, that spread-sheet made a difference! While I didn’t knock-out all of my old WIPS, it was good to get a visual list of all of them and I definitely made a dent in finishing a bunch of them. It also helped me keep track of all the projects I finished this year – I think it’s the first time I’ve ever had a count and I’m a little blown away.

I highly recommend making a list – just the act of counting and writing them down helped motivate me to pull out a bunch and finish them. I even wrote down projects that weren’t started, but I already had fabric for. Helped me remember not to buy more fabric. 😉

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After the final count I finished 26 projects this year. Some were baby size quilts. Not all of them were start-to-finish-projects.  A bunch of them were some of those WIPs that just needed borders, or backs, or to be quilted, etc.  That feels so good! That said, I also started a bunch of new WIPS… time to start a new spreadsheet. (Also, keep in mind, that I generally do not quilt my own quilts, – someone else does that for me – so that definitely pushes the number up too.)

To find out more about the quilts in the collages above, you can find the proejcts and links to the posts, on my Quilts I’ve Made pinboard.

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Another thing I’m feeling proud of in 2015 is that I decided to start making my health a priority. I started attending a regular Barre class that has made a huge difference. I’m rediscovering muscles that I thought had atrophied for good. I also decided I really like hiking – especially when I can go with my husband who has been an avid hiker for years. I love it equally as much for the exercise as I do for the way that being in the quiet of the mountains helps me clear my head. I didn’t realize how much I needed it!

Both things definitely cut into my sewing time, but it’s a good thing and I feel so much better for it. My goal for this year in that regard is to work on eliminating sugar. Wish. Me. Luck. Because I know I’m going to need it. But I’m feeling motivated – I know I’ll feel so much better for it.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store! Each year I’m amazed by the opportunities that come along. I’m so excited to teach at Winter Quiltfest in a few weeks and attend QuiltCon for the first time. There are other plans and projects happening behind the scenes that I’m looking forward to sharing over the coming weeks and months.

Thank you again for all of the kind words of encouragement here – heck, just for stopping by in the first place. Best wishes with your own plans and goals for the coming year! Bring it on, 2016.

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristin
    January 2, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    They put all those warning labels on tobacco and alcohol – I think sugar needs a warning label too! I know it’s time to really be mindful of how much sugary stuff I eat, and I need a lot of help on that. Good luck to you!
    Also, your quilts are beautiful!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Sugar has been my weakness my whole life. My husband stopped a few months ago (but gives himself one cheat day a week). It’s worked for him and he said he feels SO much better – more energy especially. It’s been my motivation to do it because I need more energy!

  • Reply
    GeminiJen NZ
    January 2, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Happy New Year to you too Amy! Thanks for sharing your finishes for the year – so nice to see them altogether like that. Well done with your exercise efforts and good luck for 2016.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    January 3, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for writing your blog I really enjoy reading what you have to say and seeing the things you make.
    I had to have my gallbladder removed, which means for me my diet has to change so I’ll be eating much less fat.
    Happy 2016 to you and your family
    Colleen

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Thank you Colleen. So sorry about your gallbladder – that’s not fun, but if it’s like my mom, she felt so much better when it was done. I hope it makes a difference for you.

      Best wishes for 2016!

  • Reply
    Julie Stensness
    January 3, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Hi Amy,

    Happy 2016 to you and your family. Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement over the last year, you are one of my favorite bloggers! I just bought a load of fabrics on sale so I am planning to make your Christmas Tree quilt which I love. My aim is to have it done by next Christmas…spread sheet a good idea for projects… Julie

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Julia. I hope you enjoy the Christmas Tree project! 🙂

  • Reply
    Michele@CrayonBoxQuiltStudio
    January 3, 2016 at 5:09 am

    That is just wonderful. Congrats on getting so many done.

  • Reply
    lisa m
    January 3, 2016 at 5:32 am

    You have to make the sugar worth it. Having a pear, grapes, or raspberries to nibble when you want something sweet is so much better than a white sugar white flour empty calorie dessert. But a good quality morsel of dark chocolate, savoured, is also an occasional essential. At least in my opinion.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for the input. I’ve heard the same thing. I’m trying to have other sweet options to fill the craving that aren’t refined sugar. At least for now. Baby steps…

  • Reply
    Janet
    January 3, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Happy new year and thank you for sharing with us on your blog! I started keeping a quilt journal a couple of years ago- I just record when I finish a quilt and where it’s headed. Gives a sense of accomplishment at the end of the year! I also make a list in January (and usually revise in June) of WIPs and sort it by stage of completion- I think I’ll do it in excel this year- it also helps keep me focused. Last year I made a list of monthly goals- a mix of piecing, quilting, binding. That worked until about April! Will try again this year! Happy quilting!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Yes – I know what you mean. I was gung-ho on my list at the beginning of last year – then the motivation to finish WIP’s petered out for a few months – I needed a kick in the pants toward the end of the year again. Good for you for being organized!

  • Reply
    Rosemary Bolton
    January 3, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Our health is important. My parents are 92 years old, I am taking care of them.
    It is really wonderful to see what life long good habits can do for you,
    I am addicted to sugar. I would love to cut back, and increase my amount of proteins and healthier snacks. As an analogy, I have a friend that quit smokiing (30 years ago actually) but the way he did it was instead of having “your addictive substance” random and impulsive,
    set times for a specific sugar snack (cigarette) make it always at your weakest point, so that you focus on the times that you really want and enjoy it. Focus on eliminating all of the times you load up on sugar snacks just because it is there, or “you feel like having sugar snacks” So, lets say there are three times a day that you have urges for sugar. Use those three times to have a worthy sugar snack, your favorite one. Enjoy the sugar.
    Eventually you will develop a “habit” of taking your sugar snack only at these times.
    Slowly but surely, we can learn to lessen those sugar snacks to two times a day.
    At two times a day, keep those sugar moments your very very favorite times. and gradually make smaller doses.
    Slow and steady. Eventually we can win and quit the habit.
    I will try too. I am very addicted to sugar and it ruins my appetite for good foods.

    Your finishes this year are lovely, stupendous colors and designs. All really well done.
    I love them all. The two with the huge stars are so great!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Thanks for the good advice, Rosemary! I’m feeling motivated. I think setting short goals will help my start to kick the craving and the habit – because so much of my problem is just having it too easily accessible. 😉

      Best wishes to you (and your parents!) for 2016.

  • Reply
    Anina
    January 3, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Happy New Year Amy! I’m so inspired by all you have achieved and really hope to have a couple more finishes this year than in 2015. Making a list of ongoing projects is a GREAT idea!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline VH
    January 3, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Hi there Amy,
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    I just love it when you do a collage…so inspiring! Espec. love the hexagon quilt!
    Did you do a “Christmas Gifts for Quilters” round-up this year, like you did last year? I may have missed it, my Grandma died just before Christmas and with the funeral and everything I have been a bit out of sorts and have not had a chance to catch up to reading all of my favourite blog posts(you should see my Inbox…I’m afraid it’s going to crash!!!).
    Anyway, if you did do a gifts round-up, would you mind popping by with the link? Please!
    Thanks!
    Quilty Huggs,
    Jacqueline

  • Reply
    Terry
    January 3, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I enjoyed seeing your finishes. I too have started on a healthier path. Before Christmas I started a yoga class. Yep, new muscles! Also got a couple of massages to loosen up my muscles. I might join a walking group too.

  • Reply
    KathyinMN
    January 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Happy new year! Thanks for bringing us along on your journeys.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Thank you Kathy. Happy 2016 to you too!

  • Reply
    Sam Sinclair
    January 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Happy 2016 to you. Thanks for all the inspiration over the last year. Like most quilters I just need to find some more time! I like the sound of your spreadsheet, I think I might have to try this idea! I also need to get back to updating my blog as it was much neglected last year 🙁

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

      I was so amazed at how much of a difference the spreadsheet made. I even put on projects that I had fabric for, but hadn’t started them yet. Helped me buy less fabric. 😉

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    January 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I love the photo collages too. Thanks for sharing yours! I hope to meet you at Winterquiltfest in a couple of weeks. I head from Ohio to Wyoming two weeks from today and then down to Utah a few days later. Can’t wait and hoping for good travel weather. 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Oh, that’s so great! I’ll look forward to meeting you too! Please grab my attention. 😉 Good luck with the travels. I’m keeping fingers crossed for good travel weather too!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    January 3, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Your work is beautiful and inspiring! While I appreciate seeing your projects and getting ideas, I am glad you are finding time to get out and move as well! I changed my eating habits last year and was surprised how much better I felt…and I didn’t feel bad before 😉

    Happy, healthy 2016 to you and your family!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

      That is so encouraging to hear. Thanks Sharon!

  • Reply
    Tarnya from Quilting Focus
    January 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Happy New Year Amy!
    Great achievements and an inspiration to get organising my UFO! : https://quiltingfocus.com/2016/01/organise-those-quilting-ufos/
    Sugar is so hard to give up! Let us know how you go with giving up sugar. I am having some success with the 8 hour diet a few days a week. I have given up sugar in the past and then it creeps in. Having alternatives helps.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Thanks so much for the recomendations. I’m going to just take it a day at a time. My husband found that having one ‘cheat day’ a week helped him, but now that he’s done it, he doesn’t even crave it anymore. I need to get to that point…

  • Reply
    Lucy @ charm about you
    January 4, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Happy New Year Amy! Sounds like you’ve already made some great changes! I watched some great food documentaries, like ‘Fed Up’ that helped me give up processed sugar 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Oooh, thanks for the recommendation. I can use anything that will give me added motivation! Happy New Year Lucy!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    January 4, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I love hiking too! My two oldest daughters and I “hiked in the new year” with the department of natural resources first hike on Jan 1. We did 4 miles which was a little strenuous for my 7 year old, but they both loved it and so did I. Happy new year!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

      That is so awesome. Way to go!

  • Reply
    Mary ann
    January 4, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Happy New Year Amy! What a beautiful record of finishes. I am always inspired by these collages to do a better job of recording my own projects. So the goal this week is to make a 2015 list…think Instagram will help with that…and then start a spreadsheet of ufos and one for new projects. Thanks for taking the time to blog and share with us. We so appreciate it!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Do it! The physical writing it down makes such a difference! You’ll love it. THanks so much for your kind words, Mary Ann. xo

  • Reply
    Janine Smith
    January 4, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Happy 2016 to you! Again, as in previous years, you have been a motivator and inspiration to me. I wouldn’t have even started quilting if it weren’t for you. Love your projects and patterns. Can’t wait to see what this year brings.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Oh thank you Janine! That makes me so happy to hear. Good luck with all of your 2016 projects! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa E
    January 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Just want to say that I really enjoy your “voice” on your blog posts. I need to eliminate sugar too. Does your husband promise that I’ll have more energy!!?? Ha!

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Happy New Year, Amy!

    I am so happy I stumbled across your blog earlier this year! I have many WIPs and want to makes, but I have no idea how to start organizing them.

    Would you be willing to share the spreadsheet you used?

  • Reply
    Rebecca Grace
    January 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Wow, Girl — you finished 26 projects in ONE YEAR?!! Thank you for following that up by telling us that someone else does your quilting! I enjoy seeing everyone’s Year In Review posts, but I do find myself comparing my own meager list of finishes with what others have accomplished in the same time frame and it can be very discouraging. Even with quilting delegated, you still have accomplished quite a lot in the past 12 months. I look forward to seeing what you create in 2016. Happy New Year, Amy!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Don’t compare! Remember, I also treat this hobby as my “business” so that forces me to get stuff done too. 😉

      Hope you have a happy 2016 Rebecca!!

  • Reply
    Mary Baker
    January 5, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Amy,
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Today my family just returned from a quick 3 day trip to Utah….thought of you and your family. What a gorgeous place to live. We visited the Museum of Natural History and then skied for 2.5 days at Park City! Wish we had longer. It was magical! Didn’t do any fabric shopping or anything else but loved the glimpse that we had!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 8, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      I’m so glad you had such a great time! I’m also glad that you had some good snow for skiing. Last year was pitiful. This year is much better.

  • Reply
    Lara B.
    January 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Your photo collages are gorgeous Amy!
    Congratulations on all you accomplished and especially on the steps you took toward good health!

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