First of all, I would like to publicly apologize. At the beginning of last year I uttered the words out loud: “I hope that 2020 is boring”. All of the ensuing chaos this year is totally my fault. I’m purposely not going to express any pronouncements or opinions about 2021 at this time. You’re welcome.
In all seriousness, every January I think it’s interesting to look back at the year in review at what was learned, gained (or lost), and accomplished. This year maybe more than ever. As we all know, this year as been SO far beyond what we expected. But I can say without hesitation, I’m thankful for what it taught me.
Every January, I also think it’s interesting to look back and see what I’ve made over the year. And every year I’m surprised at how much I actually did. (And PLEASE – lest anyone compare and feel themselves lacking, keep in mind, making quilts is my job, not just a pastime or hobby.)
I already shared a list of my top tutorials of 2020. Here are more of the quilts I made for fun or for gifts. Crib-size quilts were definitely the big trend of 2020 for me. I made at least 12. And I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me. I’ve always loved the ‘quick-fix’ of a smaller quilt project. A great way to play with colors and fabric collections, without taking on a giant, overwhelming project. You can find the links to each project below.
Diary of a Quilter – Year in Review:
Looking back I’m not just talking about achievements we can number – like quilts completed, or books read, or puzzles finished – but ways we have evolved or become better.
Here’s what I wrote at the beginning of last year about what I’d like to work on. Let’s see how I did, shall we?
- Simplify even more – declutter my space and my time
- More creating for the joy and satisfaction of creativity, rather than a deadline or a job.
- Use what I have – shop my stash or pass it along to someone else.
- Work toward finishing one old UFO (unfinished object) each month.
- Focus on my home – focusing on the house I live in as well as the people who live in it.
- Make more time to Be Still. I’m trying to feel less frantic in my life, more present with my family, my faith, and my health. This will probably mean less sewing (and probably blogging) this year – and I’m perfectly okay with that.
I think ALL of us would get a good laugh at the plans we had made for 2020. For example, we had BIG travel plans – all of which were totally scrapped. But I’m also laughing how many of those goals were fulfilled in very unexpected ways.
I accomplished a bunch of these in ways that I never expected (and possibly because I was utterly forced to do so. lol) As in “Focus on my home – and the people who live in it.” YEP!
LOTS more time in my home, with the people who live in it to a level we have never experienced before! I’m grateful and so lucky that I genuinely enjoy my husband and kids. They’re at fun ages to hang out with and enjoy.
But I’m not going to lie – there were days I was dying for some time at HOME ALONE. I’m still missing my days of quiet alone while everyone was at school/work. But I’m adapting.
Which brings me to: Make more time to Be Still. YEP AGAIN! In that way, I suppose, this year was a gift. I got a lot better at just sitting still – whether because I was emotionally wrung out, or my kids just needed a real life person to sit and hang out with them, or I just went and read a book in the back yard so that I could find a quiet spot – there was more time to just be still.
Even with all of our canceled travel plans, I’m so lucky could escape to the nearby mountains for some solitude and deep breathing. And I’m thankful for that.
And thank goodness for sewing to get me through this uncertain, upside down, surreal time. It’s been my favorite go to restorer when I’ve hit my surge capacity.
There was often a swing between Service Sewing and Sanity Sewing. It felt therapeutic to both sew to help (I made a LOT of masks last spring) and sew to heal. A little bit of both helped me feel balanced.
My plans to finish a UFO (unfinished object) every month were far less successful. (As in these two UFO’s are still sitting on my sewing table waiting to be finished since May. lol) And while I made some honest and productive efforts at using and purging my stash, I still have quite a ways to go.
And finally, to be honest, there were times my “Sewjo” was totally MIA and I was in a funk much more frequently than usual for me.
But I’m learning to do a better job of giving myself grace, letting it go, or working on something simple to find my creative motivation again, and each time it came back.
I know life weighs heavy for so many of us. It has been a challenging year in so many private ways on top of a global calamity. And so many of you have had much bigger challenges or lost loved ones.
On top of all that we’ve been through collectively, I’ve also personally learned a lot about abruptly adjusting plans and expectations as we’ve been dealing with our son’s unexpected change in health.
As an unexpected result, I’ve had a tremendous shift in perspective this year, mainly because of those challenges. Being forced to simplify so many things has brought clarity and reminders of what really matters. It’s been a humbling time, and clearly I still have a lot to learn about life, but I can say with honesty that I’m thankful for what this year has taught me.
Hindsight, I can say without a doubt though, that 2020 has taught me SO MUCH. And in an odd way, I’m even thankful for those lessons.
So what is my plan for 2021? Make less plans. 😉
My motto this year is the lesson I’ve learned most from the past year: Come what may and love it.
More concretely: I think I’ll stick with a lot of those same goals as before: declutter, simplify, slow down, be purposeful etc. Those are probably lifelong goals.
At the same time I’m excited to dig in and start some new projects. (I always feel that way come January!)
Wishing you all the best for 2021. Thank you again for all the support and encouragement you show me here. I wish I could give you all a big group hug!
What about you? Have you done a year in review for yourself yet? What was they highlight of your year and/or lessons you learned? Let me know in a comment below!