22. July 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Mid Year Review · Categories: Quilting, Reviews, Sewing

Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl called for a mid year review.  She even sent me a nice email.  So here I am.  Reviewing.  Original text in black, new comments in red.  Here we go.



Goal 1:  Don’t stress about this blog.  Blog when I want to.  Blog about what I want to.  Do not hold myself to any ridiculous standard of posting schedules that conform purely to dates and times other blogs have link up parties.  What is the purpose of link ups you ask?  It’s pretty simple . . . to bring people to your blog.  I’ve decided not to care about this.  When I switched the focus here to quilting, it was mainly because my mother urged me to keep a record of everything I make.  I still think that is the very best plan for me.  I still love photography and photographing my makes (though it is frustrating for me that that the only free time I have to do this is my daughters nap time which is my least favorite time of day for photography – I’m an early evening kinda gal.)

I just told you what I want for this blog.  But what DON’T I want?  I’m not looking to be famous.  I don’t want a million readers and sponsors and companies sending me freebies that will just eat more into the little free time I have.  I don’t want to create tutorials and teach others (yet) because I have way too much to learn myself.  I don’t want to write and publish quilt patterns.  I don’t want a book or a line of fabric (okay maybe I do want this one . . . it’ll be all bunnies, nothing but bunnies, bunnies as far as the eye can see!).

The other day I woke up early and didn’t feel like sewing or cleaning, which is what I normally do in the wee hours of the morning.  So I lay in bed, listened to my husband snore, and browsed my own blog.  I realized I am quite proud of the space I created here.  I’m proud of its diversity and ability to remind me of things I had forgotten.

I’ve posted twice (now three times) since the original 2016 planning party and pretty much neglected this blog so I’ve got the “don’t stress about this blog” part down.  Since I’m only blogging again at Yvonne’s prodding, I clearly don’t have the “don’t post just because of link up parties” thing down.  Whooooops.

Goal 2:  Finally get a sewing table.  I sew on the dining room table BUT we have a guest room that almost never gets used for guests (I already keep my sewing supplies in there).  Of course the one time someone wants to stay is right after I’ve just laid out 120 quilt blocks on the bed aka my design wall.  Figures.  My husband says we can talk about converting the guest room completely to my sewing room at some point.  In the meantime I have a corner carved out and really want to finally get a table.  It needs to be a certain size and dimension and of course I’m the crazy person who took apart my grandmothers old dining room table in the hopes of repurposing the wood into my sewing table.  I’m complicated.  I know.

Here’s my future sewing corner.  Hopefully.


I have a guy.  A guy to build me a table.  That’s a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.

Goal 3:  Be on Instagram less.  I check Instagram way too often and really want to be more intentional about this.  More mindful.  I’d love to detox from it every weekend and I’d really love to give it up completely for lent next year.  I think this will help me focus on my makes rather than others’ makes.  I’ve already made some nice friends there though so I do really love the Instagram community.

I stink at this.  Working harder to unplug.  Sometimes it’s muscle memory.  Pick up phone, check Instagram.  I need to retrain myself.

Goal 4:  Make a lap quilt.  I’ve made lots of mini’s and mini mini’s and baby quilts . . .

Minis small

but nothing I can snuggle under.  I really want to change this.  I have a Modernized Disappearing Nine Patch laid out on the guest bed.  It fills the entire top of the bed so it’s going to be big.  I may pay a long armer to quilt this for me.  Maybe Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl or Cassandra from Not So Dramatic Life?  I think they both offer these services.  I don’t know anyone local and would rather pay shipping charges to have someone I trust quilt my very first large quilt for me.

Modern D9Patch


YES!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did it.  My son immediately claimed it for his room.  I still haven’t blogged about it or even IG’d it.  But I kinda love it.


I also made a smaller quilt for my daughter’s second birthday.  She rarely uses it but my son and I snuggle under it every day.  

Charlotte's Birthday Gift

Goal 5:  Finish my WIP’s or send them packing.  Probably to mom’s house.  WIP’s make me twitchy.  And my tastes have changed drastically in the past year as I become more ingrained in the quilting world.  I either want to finish my WIP’s or give them up entirely.  I’ve already sent one project to mom and she’s currently completing a lap quilt for me to give to my Mother-in-Law for next Mother’s Day.  I have a few long term scrap projects (a Wanta Fanta quilt for one) I want to start but I NEED to get the other WIP’s in check before I start more.

Mom finished the quilt I sent to her and it will be gifted next month.  I started working on a large lap quilt with a set of Polaroid blocks I was gifted . . .  and it’s sucking the freaking life out of me.  It’s so monotonous I don’t even want to sew right now.  And I’m not.  But I will finish and I’ll be so happy when I’m done.

Goal 6:  Buy less fabric.  Learn to WANT less fabric.  I’ve spent the last 5 months not buying fabric other than for projects involving birthdays or gifts.  I started this partially because there was a chance my husband would be needing back surgery and our insurance deductible is pretty high.  So not buying fabric seemed like a logical choice.  I also find myself getting a little anxious over all the new fabric lines that are constantly being released.  This is part of my issue with Instagram.  I see all the fabric everyone raves about and all the stash reports and all the amazing stuff being made with all the amazing fabric and it’s an overwhelming feeling for me.  I don’t like it.  I want to be the kind of person that is grateful and thankful for what I have and not be continually wanting more more more.  I think I am going to set a monthly budget for myself for my sewing hobby and I’m hoping this will help keep fabric purchases in check and help me be more intentional about what I buy.  Also I have realized that I don’t need half yards of every fabric in a line I like.  Fat quarters or even fat eighths are sufficient to whet my whistle and larger yardage can be saved for pieces I truly love or basics like the Grunge line from Moda.  My husband does NOT need back surgery, by the way (woot and woot) and his back is doing pretty well these days.  Prayers do work it seems.  Because we pray for this alllllll the time.

I bought a ton of fabric the first two months of the year then calmed down and then June hit and the big green eyed monster bit me again. So I’m a work in progress here.

Goal 7:  Start saving for a new sewing machine.  This is a long term plan.  I’d like a Janome Memory Craft 6300.  Renee at Quilts of a Feather has one.  Jessica at Quilty Habit has one.  My mom has one.  I have no desire to jump down the sewing machine research rabbit hole.  Recommendations by these ladies are plenty good enough for me.  My hope is to have a new machine when my daughter enters preschool so I have almost two years to save the money.  I think I can do it.

Meh.  I’ve decided I don’t sew enough nor am I a good enough sewer to warrant a new machine yet.  So I haven’t thought about it much.  Even when my husband gave me the go ahead to buy a new one.  I didn’t.  I shall consider that progress on Goal 6.

Goal 8:  Say NO.  To myself.  To others.  I see this a lot in quilt goals.  A lot a lot.  Which means it’s doubly important.  It also means I think you get it and I don’t need to elaborate too much.  I always told my mom growing up that quilters are TOO nice.  I still think this is true and sometimes to the detriment of their own goals and desires.  There is a line between doing for others (which I want to do – see Goal 10) and doing for yourself.  I’m planning on finding it.

I’m pretty much done making mini mini’s.  So that counts as a NO.  My friend Tara begged me to publish a pattern for the mini I made her and I said NO.  That counts too.  I’m cool here I think.

Goal 9:  Take regular planned sewing breaks.  I actually find this helps me refocus.  Gives me a chance to work on projects around the home like painting the dining room (I did this last month) or reorganizing the kitchen pantries (this is my January project), to sleep in if I want to (I’m an early morning quilter – early like 5 am) and to appreciate sewing again.  I think a 2-3 week break every 3 months should do it.

I’m doing this right now.  I kinda like it.  Hopefully I will WANT to sew more Polaroid blocks when I’m out.  

Goal 10:  Do for others.  I’ve made a few nice friends already and I hope to make more.  I’d like to be an encourager to these women who have encouraged me.  I’d like to send cards through the mail telling them how great they are.  I’d like to mail random fat quarters to internet friends for no reason other than to surprise them and brighten their day.  I’d like to do a few small giveaways on Instagram to pay it forward.

I’ve done a few things.  We can always do more.  But then I’m conflicting with Goal 8.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Goal 11:  Learn the scant quarter inch seam allowance.  I use a quarter inch piecing foot so my seams are consistent. Consistent is good but my seams are always just over a quarter inch.  When you add this up over an entire quilt top it can amount to quite a bit lost.  I’d like to correct this.  To have a 12 inch block come out to 12 inches.  Exactly 12 inches.

Nope.  Nada.  Zilch.  I need to buy that tool that shows you where it’s at.  Maybe next year.

Goal 12:  Explore art quilts more.  I’ve always thought my sewing path would lead me to making art quilts.  I still do.  I want to let go of that sewing which makes me unhappy (I’m talking to you half square triangle), find my creative spark again and CREATE!

I did design a pattern and make a large mini for a friend but I haven’t scratched the surface on this.  Maybe next year.

Goal 13:  Give myself a break.  Relax.  This one is self explanatory.

I STINK at this big time.  Sigh.

Goal 14:  Figure out quilt labels.

I haven’t done this either.  Mostly because I don’t know what I want them to say.  I blog and IG under Midwestern Bite which is my old “food satire” blog.  Not sure how appropriate that name is for a quilt label.  I should probably just use my full name.  I think I can decide and accomplish by the end of the year though.

Thanks for the prodding Yvonne.  You’re still one of my all time favorite quilters!  Aaaaaaand now I’m off to scrub the bathroom.  I’d say I’d rather be sewing but if I were sewing it would be Polaroid blocks and I’d kinda rather scrub the bathroom.

– Joanna

Linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for 2016 Mid Year Review



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