#quilt15February is going strong

I figured that everyone loves a good challenge and I really work well when I have a personal challenge to meet. My husband and I challenged each other to not each out for lunch or dinner more than once (each) in a week. This is HUGE for me because I have a tendency to go buy lunch EVERY day, or almost every day at work. A friend of mine usually asks me to go to lunch with her. It doesn’t seem like much but those $5 or $10 lunches really add up! I’m happy to report that I made it through one entire week and only ate out for lunch one day that my friends had already planned a lunch for. That was a BIG deal! My reward? My husband gave me a “credit” for one yard of fabric of my choice (which I have to pay for). Why did he give me that credit? I mean, I have a good paying job and I am perfectly able to buy fabric any time I would like, but that’s another challenge that we made with each other.

He said he didn’t think I could go an entire YEAR – yes 365 days – without buying ANY fabric. I’m calling it the #fabricnobuyzone challenge! If I break down and buy anything, I have to sit through multiple episodes of South Park, which is a cartoon that I absolutely HATE more than ANY other show I can think of. Although, Family Guy is a very close second. So, it’s the perfect deterrent. And I’ve made it through all of January without really even WANTING to buy fabric. I spent a good amount of 2014 buying fabric because I was stressed at work and the only consolation I could give myself was that the job paid enough so I could treat myself to some fabric, EVERY MONTH. So, yeah, I built a nice stash last year. My prize if I make it all 365 days is going to be one of those adorable little Singer Featherweight sewing machines.

Doesn’t my “credit” for a yard of fabric make more sense now? The best part? I don’t even know what I would use it on! I already ordered a 1/2 yard bundle of Doe (that was on 12/31/2014 before the No Buy Zone kicked in). Also, there was a #fabricforward giveaway hosted by someone on IG and I actually WON the fabric I had been dying for, the viewfinders from Melody Miller. And these aren’t even from her new line, they are from her ORIGINAL print of that fabric (it has a little linen texture to it). They will be the PERFECT addition to my Child of the 80’s quilt! But I WON the fabric, I couldn’t even believe it!

So what is my current challenge to myself? I’m calling it #quilt15February and so far I’m not doing too great. My goal is to sew, piece, quilt, plan SOMETHING for 15 minutes every day in February and share my progress under the tag and get others involved too. I mean, 15 minutes is barely anything! And I’m finding out that it’s difficult to quilt, sew, or create something for ONLY 15 minutes. I always want to keep going, luckily, I have had extra time so far. The truth is that once I get started I typically have a good 30 minutes to 2 hours to sew, create, or quilt! And I’m seeing progress on my Scrappy Log Cabin quilt that I would typically lament at not having enough time to work on! At this point, I’ve managed to do some sort of Quilt 15 on February 1st and 2nd, but 3rd and 4th were not so great. I’m planning to make up for that today. Truth is, it’s just been exciting to check the hash tag on IG and actually see other people joining in! It’s been amazing to see that 40 people liked my original idea to do this for 15 minutes a day and that they are encouraging each other! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

If you like a challenge, please join in, I’m hoping to put together some prizes at the end of the month for those who participate. Who knows, you might just win that fabric you REALLY wanted!

Here are just a few ways to participate in #quilt15February:

1) Cut out a project you’ve been planning for a while

2) Pull out fabrics and plan a new project

3) Sit and sew some scraps together to practice improv piecing, see how much you can sew in just 15 minutes

4) Sketch out an idea that’s been bugging you lately

5) Attend QUILTCON or another local quilt show

6) Make Valentine’s gifts for your children or their teachers

7) Load a quilt on the long arm

8) Quilt a quilt on your machine

9) Lock yourself in a quiet room and enjoy perusing your favorite quilt magazine (Or wait for the kid to fall asleep)

10) Whatever you do, take a picture and tag it with #quilt15February to be entered for prizes!!

I’ve also found that some projects can be broken down into parts, so one evening you might cut the pieces and the next night you sew some together. By the end of the week you’ll two or three blocks finished! Quilting really is my therapy!

Happy Stitches (even for 15 minutes),


Gearing up for 2015

I am really looking forward to 2015. I think it will be a great year. I’m finally settling into my job (only took 2 years for that) and I think I’ve gotten a decent routine down at home with the kid for sleep schedule and such.

Have any of you completed the Modern Quilt Guild Survey for 2014?  I just did mine a few days ago and one of the questions REALLY struck me with a tough realization. The question was:

How many quilts have you completed in 2014?

My answer? 0-3

WOW, ZERO to THREE completed quilts in an ENTIRE YEAR! And guess what? One of those three was the mini I finished for the Little Quilts Mini Swap that I send out in December!  That’s kind of pitiful, so it got me thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2015. Here are some of the “events” I’m participating in during 2015 that should get me motivated to finish stuff. Luckily, these also don’t have a ton of commitment required for them, I don’t have to send anything off or mail by a certain date. They are just casual events that will keep me accountable (to myself and my IG friends) to do something and maybe even finish something along the way!

I’m excited about the Scrappy Log Cabin QAL starting on 01/01/2015. I thought it was just going to be one day but it has sort of expanded to last the entire month! Of course, you can check out the hash tag #scrappylogcabinqal to see more about that little event (including giveaways!) Or, if you’re like me and only have one day in the entire month when you can sew (mine is 01/02/2015 because son’s daycare is open and I’m off from work) then just sew along with me on 01/01/15 or 01/02/15.

I’ve also committed myself to the #fabricfast2015 started by @whatthebobbin (Amanda) which means, I will NOT buy any fabric in 2015! My husband is keeping me accountable for this one. If I buy fabric, I have to watch 5 episodes of South Park with him! I don’t know if you have seen South Park but I absolutely HATE that show, so it’s a pretty good reason to keep to my fast. Plus, I’ve spent most of 2014 buying fabric because a) I was stressed out at work and it’s easy to shop online or b) I didn’t have time to sew, so bought fabric instead or c) I color sorted my stash early in the year and realized I had WAY too much blue, red and green, and sorely lacked in the orange, yellow and purple group so I have been stashing that all year. But now that my stash is beefed up (I’ve gotten an awesome collection of low volumes along the way as well) I’m actually excited to create something new and amazing in 2015 with all this beautiful fabric! I mean, that’s what’s it’s for, right? Why just keep it all pretty and folded on the shelf, why not USE it before the trends change and it becomes akin to the “fabric from the dark ages”?

As the Charity Quilting Coordinator for my local guild (the Houston MQG) I’ve presented a challenge for anyone who wanted to participate. Back in September of 2014 I gave out FREE fabric bundles (created from the fabric that had been donated to the guild) to the participants with the challenge to MAKE something with that fabric. It wasn’t necessarily modern but it was generally color coordinated. They were to go home and make something, adding as much or as little fabric as they needed/wanted to complete a quilt (top or quilted it didn’t matter to me). We set the deadline to return a quilt for January 2015. So far, I’ve had 3 or 4 people give me completed quilts! Yes, that even means quilted and BOUND!! And now we have a nice stack of quilts to donate, but I’m still waiting for the rest of the quilts to come back in January. So if you’re curious about that, check out the #hmqgcharityquiltchallenge tag on IG. I can’t wait to take a picture of all the finished quilts! (I guess I need to finish mine as well)

One more little “event” I’m going to play along with in 2015 is the Finish Along 2015 (#fal2015) which is so easy to participate in! Just post a picture of your UFOs (even those that you have fabric and pattern chosen for but haven’t started) and then post pictures as you finish them! I think there are giveaways and prizes to be associated with this one as well. I’m not as concerned about the prizes as I am about finishing stuff!

So as you can see, it’s going to be a busy year, but hopefully a great year of accomplishment as well. I’m hoping I’ll be able to say I finished 4-6 quilts in 2015. I have at least 4 that only need binding and then they will be ready to go!

Are you making any fabulous goals for 2015? Are you participating in any QALs or guild sponsored events? I can’t wait to hear what you’re up to (or maybe you’re still stressing about Christmas, which is completely understandable too).

Happy Stitches,