Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hindsight 2009

Every year on New Year's Eve, I do a silent inventory of what I have (or haven't) accomplished over the past 365 days. It can be quite a depressing exercise, but it's unavoidable. I think it's human nature to be retrospective on December 31.

I was all ready to head into 2010 with the same attitude... then I took a look at my early blog posts (I started my blog in January) and the list of projects on my sidebar. And I discovered that I actually did quite a bit this year.

First, an update on the 2009 New Year's Resolutions. I didn't like to call them resolutions, but that's essentially what they were.

* I had resolved to lose 15 lbs. You know what? I actually did that. I didn't get serious about it until August, and I never once blogged about it, but I went back to Weight Watchers and I am now down 15 lbs. (Well, maybe; I weigh in on Saturday and Christmas was tough - I might be up one or two.)
* I also said I would start (re-start) my master's degree. I am now 1/2 way done! I have decided to take a break for the next semester and not take a winter course, but I'll be back at it soon enough.
* I set out a quilting to-do list for myself. This is where things kind of went off the rails... On my project list was a quilt called "Snowmen in the Woods." I had started cutting fabric for it. Status as of today: still not finished, barely touched. Relegated to the 2010 list. I also bought fabric last December for a quilt called "Christmas Checkerboard." I didn't buy Christmas fabric, though; mine is browns and greens and turquoises and is just beautiful. Status: not even started.
That's not to say I didn't do anything, though. Let's take a figurative walk through the year and see what I actually did accomplish:
In January, my friends Bethany and Paul had a little girl named Jane. Her 'snowball' quilt was my first 2009 finish:

In an effort to put an end to what seemed like the longest, dreariest winter in history, I created the Spring Spell quilt and matching table runner from a Soiree jelly roll and some white-on-white floral fabric:

I finally finished "Let it Snow", in time for my very best friend Cheryl's 40th birthday in November and a pillow cover to match:

And I put together Swanky using a jelly roll and the Old Red Barn Co. summer quilt along pattern for the OnlyChild's best friend:
So... four quilts. Not great, but much more than I usually accomplish.
What else did I make?
* Two dresses and two skirts for me * Two dresses for the OnlyChild * Two Union Jack pillowcases - one for me and one for Mum * Two Itty Bitty Kitties * Five little change purses * One purse for a giveaway * Two Pink Penguin Baskets * One quilt block for a charitable cause * Ten out of twelve BOM blocks for two different quilts * Eight knitted scarves and two knitted hats * One elf stocking for my mum * Two Christmas pillowcases for the OnlyChild *
Other accomplishments of note:
* The OnlyChild told me last night (via Skype - she was in the basement and I was upstairs - this is how we communicate) that she wants to learn to sew. She is inspired! Hurray!
* I met all of you and, although Mr. P finds this weird, I feel like I have made some good friends through blogging - friends who share the same interests as me, who inspire me, and who have a lot to teach me.
* I have reignited my love of sewing, quilting and knitting. I've always enjoyed these pass-times, but often felt like I was doing them in isolation. Now I can share my projects with people who do more than nod, say "that's nice" and angle their heads to better see the t.v. that I am blocking with my new quilt.
* I joined an ATC swap with Cheryl, Stacy, Cory, Deb and Jill. This has allowed me to explore areas of creativity I didn't know existed. I have gotten to know four lovely ladies (Cheryl and I have known each other since junior high) and every month I now receive five tiny works of art to display and cherish.
* I travelled to Italy, Switzerland and France. Going to Paris has been a life-long dream for me and I finally did it... and before I turn 40!
* I am writing - it may not be the novel I've always wanted to publish, but I love writing and this is a start for me.
What's ahead for 2010?
For starters, I'm not making 'resolutions' again this year. I have some plans instead:
1. Continue with weight loss, attending meetings, and return to regular exercise. Between the business at work and a minor back problem, I haven't been exercising (other than my dance class) for a couple of months.
2. Travel - another trip to Italy with another group of students, and my friend Sandi and I are putting together plans for our stay in Paris this summer. (Fingers crossed it all works out!)
3. Maintain my sanity at work. If I have another semester like this one, I will crash and burn. I don't know if I need to re-organize my time, spend less time on the computer, or have a frank discussion with my department head, but something has to change!
4. And, last but not least, projects. This year I'm not going to post my projects on my sidebar until they are "Finishes". I don't need another To-Do list; I need a Done list! Having said that, there are some things I'd like to try:

My mum sent me these two awesome books for Christmas. I can't wait to do one of the French Braid quilts - so cool!

I do want to get my two un-finished (or un-started) projects done, but no timelines. They'll get done when they get done!

I'll finish my two BOMs.

I have an Oh Cherry Oh! jelly roll and honey bun that I'd like to put to use.

And I'd like to try this neat little project to use up some scraps.

Of course, there will be other projects that come along in between, but that's okay too. I love to sew clothes, Halloween costumes, and smaller items that deliver a quick finish.

Anyway... I didn't mean for this to be such a long post. It's 11:30 and I'm still in my jammies (but who cares, right?). It's time for me to toodle along, take a shower and get down to what's really important... marking.

Thanks for sticking with me to the end (of this post). I wish you all a Happy New Year! All the best in 2010 - may it be a wonderful year, full of great fabric, fun projects and steady friendships.



Thimbleanna said...

Wow Rachel! You got a ton of stuff done -- not the least of which was the weight loss! Congratulations! And Happy New Year!!!

Patty said...

Happy New Year Rachel. You Rock!

Dawn Gahan said...


You, little missy, have accomplished a great deal in 2009! You need to give yourself a ton of credit for having so much on your plate and creating such prettiness, such successes!

Happy New Year to you!

Dawn (and Harleigh and Gideon)


Happy New Year Rachel,
You did A LOT!!! Good for you.
I make a list of things I want to get done each year also.
Time to think about the ATC card for Jan.
Enjoy the evening.
Deb :)

What Comes Next? said...

way to go! Have a great NYE and a wonderful 2010

julia said...

You have been very productive! Congrats on the weight loss!!
I'm sure your 2010 will be just as great! I'm very glad to have found your blog. Now, to evaluate my year. Hum.......

Pat said...

Oh, gosh....after reading that, I feel like I should go and inventory my accomplishments, but...guess what? I'm too tired and feeling too sick to do it, so....I won't!!! LOL Happy 2010 to you and the family, too. How great that your daughter wants to learn to sew!!!

goldenbird said...

Wow, you had a great year! It was interesting reading about all of the things you accomplished-- you were busy! Your quilts are so pretty and I especially love Spring Spell. Congrats on the weight loss. I'm so glad I met you and have enjoyed reading your blog and swapping ATCs with you. Happy new year, Rachel!

Pokey said...

You have accomplished much, and have goals for more, looks good to me!
Oh, and I put in my day at school yesterday, without students, (amazing what you can get done without them!) and I'm ready for 2010! Bring it on!

Happy New Year, Rachel!

Dogwood said...

What a great blog post. Thanks. It was fun and interesting to read your 2009 resolutions. Wow, lady you did a lot of good stuff. So, so proud of you!

It has been so much fun getting to know you and exchange blog posts. I do love our ATC group. So much fun.

Happy New Year to you...

tango's trash & treasures said...

You are awesome!!
Happy New Year to you & yours!

andsewon said...

Oh. My. Goodness. You got tons done !!!
I think sometimes we over load ourselves with things we WANT to get done in a year, not really being realistic about it.
I know I do. This year I plan to DO more but keep it real!!
Wishing you all the best the new bright shinny year 2010 has to offer you and your family, Rachel!!

Riel Nason said...

So nice to read your blog. Happy New Year. Your quilt for Cheryl is gorgeous! Sounds like your 2009 was pretty productive to me. The comment about your new quilt blocking the TV -- LOL!

Amy said...

very productive year and admirable goals for 2010 - best wishes for all of them to come true!

Vesuviusmama said...

Seems like a pretty productive year to me, not just in the sewing room, but in all aspects of your life. Congratulations! Here's hoping that 2010 brings you at least as much fulfilment, and much less work angst.

Jeanneoli said...

What an amazing year you had and you accomplished so much!!!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wow that's a great list of accomplishments! Congratulations and I look forward to seeing what you achieve in 2010!