Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Goals

Image from freepik.com
2015 is quickly winding down and 2016 is approaching.  All in all, I have to say 2015 was a wonderful year for me.  It lead to so many things, that I would have never dreamed of doing that it blows my mind.  It also brought new friendships that I treasure dearly.  I can only hope that 2016 is even better.

My husband loves to do reading on leadership and goal achievement.  He tells me and my daughter all the time, that one trait most successful people have is goal setting and making lists.  You are more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down and look at it often.  I'm usually not a list maker...more like a list misplace-er with good intentions.  2016 is the time for this to change.

When Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl announced she would host a linky party for us to share with each other our hopes and goals for the new year, it just seemed like the right time to get started. 

I also wanted to take this time to declare my word for 2016.  (I've never done this before and it just feels right)  I have chosen the word "balance."  I'm always saying there are only so many hours in a day, how can I be expected to get everything done??  Work, house work, mother of a teenager, cooking, sleeping and of course quilting.   If I can find better balance by planning, I think I will see more success in my goals. So... 

This was a few years ago
1) First and foremost, improve my health.  Cliche right?  No, I've let it go for to long, half heatedly making an effort.  You might see me eating a salad at my desk but I can admit there is a stash of Reese's Cups and Snickers locked in my desk drawer.  My poor little FitBit hardly ever sees over 5 thousand steps a day.  Heart disease is a huge issue in my family and I would like to be around for a long time to make my daughter miserable (but in that motherly loving way) and see some grand babies (years away).  So my health goal is to get my high cholesterol back within normal ranges (no medication) and actually run a 5K all the way through (no walking).

2)  This small list taped to my desk has haunted me all year.  This was a list of all my un-quilted quilts as of the beginning of the year in 2015.  I did manage to cross two of them off.  However, I think I am still left with around 15 sad little/large UFO's.  My goal is to cross at least one of them off a quarter.  That would shrink it by four quilts next year, but that's two more than last year.  Plus, if I'm able to cross off more, I can give myself a bigger pat on the back.  Maybe have a big ol' piece of chocolate cake.  Oh, yeah goal #1.

3)  Write a full size quilt pattern and at least two smaller patterns.  This year I was able to write tutorials for three projects.  This time last year I would have laughed long and hard at you if you had told me I would do that.  It was just something I had never thought about.  But I have fell in love with the process and would like to see myself grow in this area.  Baby steps.  The ultimate goal will be to write a mystery quilt (have I mentioned how much I love those?) and host a quilt along.  But that seems like an end of the year/beginning of next year goal.

4) Self-evaluation.  (I'm not sure this is goal)  I'm giving myself the responsibility of checking in at the end of each quarter and evaluating my progress toward my goals.  But I am also granting myself the freedom to adjust or make amendments as I go and permission to forgive myself if I start falling short.

I think the next step for me, will be to set down in the next few days and start mapping out a plan of how to achieve these goals.  Those pesky little steps needed to get you where you are going.  That is where The Quilter's Planner by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter will come in.  Not only will I have a place to keep all of my drawing and ideas, but I can set scheduled times and days to start and complete tasks and log things like guild meetings and band concerts.

Well after checking my schedule I think I'm due for a nap in just a few minuets.  Here's to 2016 and all the productivity we will inspire in each other!!

P.S. Goal #5 Drink more wine ;)

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social,  2016 Planning Party and Tuesday Archives.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Indigo Crossing--Finish

Well, I did it.  I knew I would (that's probably why I let it happen in the first place).  I let myself get behind on the one goal I set for myself this year.  Completing the Aurifil 2015 Mystery Designer BOM challenge.  My goal was to complete each mini quilt as soon as I could after they were published.  I managed to keep a pretty good pace until September hit.

September's designer was Valori Wells and she brought us Indigo Crossing.  You can read Pat Sloan's interview with Valori here.  So you might ask, why, dear Tisha, did you stumble and not complete this tiny innocent little quilt on time?  (Warning: it's a bad answer)  Indigo Crossing is an improv piece based on a traditional log cabin.  So what's the problem?  I've never really tried improv and was (for some bizarre reason) too intimidated to give it a try.  From there I just lost my steam.

I decided NO I am not going to fail at my one and only goal.  Improv I shall!  I decided the best starting point was to pull out my Scraptastic Award and channel once again my inner, Grandma Carver.  I dug through the scraps until I had a pretty good pile of blue, gray and white scraps to pay with.  When I started separating my pile into lights, mediums and darks, I found a random bright pink strip had managed to sneak its way in.  I decided to leave it.

I even found several pre-pieced strips started by Mrs. Carver and decided I needed to work them into the piece as well.  How cool is that??

Slowly I started the process of sewing and trimming.

Things continued to grow and a small bit of pink made its way in.

Until finally I felt I had went far enough.

Looking at the pictures as I write this post, I'm not sure why I decided to do what I did next, but it felt right at the time.  I pulled out my ruler and trimmed my piece to be 12 1/2" square.

Now it was time to think about quilting.  Since the piece has so many straight lines, I thought some curves were in order.  I decided to start with a circle near the small white center square and spiral out using Aurifil blue #2780.  I thought that it would be easier to sew my spirals using my walking foot, but soon found out that it's not as easy as one might think.  The width between my lines of quilting started to vary in width, but I was perfectly okay with that.  This is an improv piece so those became my improve circles.  About half way through, I switched to my free motion foot.  Stitching that way was just easier for me.

In no time at all, I had finished all of my curves and trimmed the quilted square.  By reading blog posts over at Meadow Mist Designs Best of 2015 Linky Party I was introduced to Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts.  She shared with us a great machine binding tutorial she calls Susie's Magic Binding Tutorial and a video version of the tutorial.  There is a reason it's her most viewed post...it's amazing!!!  This tutorial may change the way I bind quilts forever.

By using this method, I would create a dark blue binding for my quilt with just the tiniest pop of pink.  Everything went surprisingly smoothly...

then I got to this step...combining my beginning and ending tails.  But fear not, it honestly went just as smooth.  I did keep my phone beside me and watch the video over and over as I went.  Marti, does warn that sometimes this step takes more than one try, but I was able to get it first time.  (Hold on for a moment while I find some wood to knock on)

For sewing my binding to the front of the quilt, I used Aurifil pink #1100 on top and Aurifil blue #2780 in my bobbin.  I could not be happier with the results.

I have to admit, when I envisioned taking pictures of this finished piece back when I started piecing it around Thanksgiving, I couldn't wait to see it against the fluffy white background of Christmas snow.  We have no snow.  How did that happen??  It's 72 degrees and a rainy muddy mess in my neck of the woods, but that didn't stop me from trying to sneak out and snap a picture.

This brings me to nine out of twelve completed Aurifil Designer Mini's.  Hopefully, within the next two weeks, I can share with you my versions of the remaining three.  Stay tuned.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social,  Linky Tuesday, and  Main Crush Monday.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best of 2015

I have to say 2015 has been a big year for me.  Why?  Because January 23, 2015 was the day my blog was born.  (Technically it's still a toddler, it's not even a year old yet) When I started this blog I had no expectations for it.  Heck, I didn't even know if I would have one reader or material to write about.  All I knew was I had a passion for quilting and creating and I needed to express myself somehow.  TishNWonderland became that vehicle.  Since its creatation,  it has allowed me to participate in things I didn't even know existed and meet so many wonderful friends that share the same passion for quilting.

One of those friends is Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs .  I met Cheryl along with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Stephanie at Late Night Quilter , and Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination when I signed up to participate in the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop (more on that later).  A few weeks ago, Cheryl announced she was going to host a linky party called the Best of 2015.  It's a way for us all to share what we feel are 5 of our best blog posts for 2015.  So here is my rundown for 2015.

Most Views

I have to admit when I hopped over to my stats page to find which post had the most views, I was quite surprised to find it was this particular post.  I figured it would be a tutorial post or a blog hop post, but no.  It was a post I wrote in late April before I knew what a blog hop or linky party was.  It is my Mini Quilt Addiction post.  Actually, it make me quite happy to find it was this post.  I loved the pattern enough I made two of them.

Most Comments

According to my google stats, my Dog Gone Cute post weighed in as the post with the most comments.  I made both of these 30" quilts when I signed up to participate in Lorna (the designer) at Sew Fresh Quilts blog hop.  As soon as I saw the Dog Gone Cute pattern, I knew I had to make it, so coming up with something for the blog hop was no problem.  The blog hop and quilt-a-long ran during the month of October and was followed by a linky party that anyone who had made a Dog Gone Cute item could link up to.  At the close of the linky party, everyone could vote on their favorite posts.  My sweet little pack of puppies ended up placing and I received and awesome Michael Miller jelly roll.  Also my first time winning something.  Woot!  Woot!

My Favorite Post

My introduction post for the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop has to be one of my favorite posts.  It was my "Hi, My Name Is" post.  The hop itself was such a wonderful experience and allowed me to meet many interesting people I can now call friends.  The hop also lead to other opportunities, such as participating in the Fabri-Quilt New Quilt Block Hop.

Best Tutorial

My first attempt at writing a tutorial was for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop.  My contribution was my 12 1/2" block I called Watermelon Taffy.  After jumping the hurtle of writing my first tutorial I have published two more on my tutorial page, Dandelion Mini Quilt and Americana Flags. 

Favorite Finish

 My favorite finish?  I'm going to cheat just a bit here, because my favorite finish is actually 8 (so far) finishes.  I set one and only one goal for myself this year and that was to complete all 12 of the Aurifil Mystery Designer mini quilts.  I still have four more to go (3 are pieced at least).


 February--Chubby Churn Dash

July--Jungle Gym

August--Grown Up

I have to say that I found it quite interesting to review and reflect on the past (almost) year of blogging.  I hope you have enjoyed traveling back into my year with me.  Please feel free to stick around and check out my other posts and tutorials.  Also, don't forget to hop over to Meadow Mist Designs to check out all of the other 2015 posts.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Stitch Fix--#3

That moment when you open your Stich Fix box

I interrupt this quilting blog to say, oops, I did it again.  I broke down and had a second fix in November.  Since we were debating on traveling to my sister-in-laws for Thanksgiving, I thought it might be fun to have a few new things to wear.  Raquel did not disappoint.

I fell in love with the grays, blues and purple as soon as a pulled them from the box.  I was over the moon happy to see that Raquel had read my blog post about the last fix and took a few minuets to get to know me and my little world.  My hope was that linking to my blog in my profile, my stylist would be able to see my clothes on me and that it would aid in picking out future items.  Maybe it helped, because I ended up keeping all five things in this fix.

So let's get on to the goodies, shall we?

41 Hawthorn Lizzy Colorback Striped Sweater

Kut From The Kloth Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean

In my last request to Raquel, I asked for boot cut jeans instead of skinny jeans if at all possible.  Unfortunately, she could not find any to send, but instead sent me the boy friend jean.  Heaven.  I still like my boot cut pants but these are so comfortable.  They are not a tight fitting jean, just soft and great to curl up in.  As for the sweater, I had actually pinned this item on my Pinterest page, so when I pulled it out of the box I was super excited to see it.  It also comes in a black and orange combo, I believe, and either would have been fine by me.

I love this outfit so much, I am actually wearing it as I type this post.

Before I made a decision on the next two items, I had to consult someone I look up to as a fashion guru, my sister-in-law Terri.  Before I committed to trying this service, I spent some time surfing around on Pinterest reading blogs about peoples' fixes...people I do not know and have never seen.  Someone would post that they didn't keep something because it make them look bigger or did nothing for them and I would be like what???  That looks amazing on you!!  So I realize sometime we do not see ourselves as others do.  I tried asking my hubby and daughter for their opinions but didn't really get any answers.  (Note: don't ask during PS4 or teenage drama time.)  So I turned to Terri.

Huebert Space Dye Open Cardigan

The cardigan was another item I had pinned and Raquel was able to hunt down.  When I first tried it on, I feared that it may be to long for me and made me look even wider.   Damn my short legs and torso!  But Terri assured me that I should keep it.  I trust her opinion, so I did.  And I'm very glad I did.  

Papermoon Marsha Mixed Material Top

As a quilter, I LOVE the pattern on this shirt.  I could just chop it up and turn it into something great.

Lots of purples, tans and white.  But I promise this shirt will not be harmed.  I even love those tiny buttons.  The shirt is longer in the back and kind of curves in the front.  Again, I wasn't sure that it did anything for my figure.  When I saw myself, all I could see was my stomach.  So, I snapped a picture and sent it to my guru.  She informed me I'm nuts and said to keep the shirt.

Bancroft Esme Beaded Oval Long Necklace

And last but not least, this long beaded necklace.  As far as jewelry goes, I have to admit that this wouldn't be my first pick.  I like long necklaces and I like beaded necklaces, but it just didn't scream at me.  What did scream at me was 25% discount on everything if I kept this 5th item.  Don't get me wrong, I will wear this and it will go with things that I own, so I'm very happy to have it.  But if I had been sending another item back, I probably would have sent this back as well.

So for my third fix, I think Raquel it a home run.  I love all of the pieces I have kept so far.  They have been great additions to my wardrobe.  Interested in a fix of your own?  Read more about how to get a fix of your own in my first post here and also check out my second fix here.

Well to sort of quote my friend Brianna at The Iron & Needle, I hope you have enjoyed my blind-date with a clothing shipment :)

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