June Progress Report and Goal Setting

May was a busy and frustrating month at the Three Cats Ranch. We've celebrated three birthdays, Mother's Day, an anniversary, attended a couple of family get-togethers and two concerts! Mike was remarking on how cultured we've become, attending two concerts in the same month. He neglected to notice that they were also the only two concerts we'd attended in approximately 25 years (with only a hint of exaggeration in that 25-year number). Nevertheless, we've been regular gadabouts during May. That, along with my sewing machine woes, kept me from meeting my biggest goals.

As I've said many times on this blog, challenges are only opportunities in disguise, and the past month has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate how I'm structuring my sewing day. I'll say more about that in a minute, but first, I'll review my progress on last month's goals.

1. As my "official" goal for ALYoF, I want to quilt and bind the "We are the World" top. In Progress.

No one is more disappointed than I am that I wasn't able to finish quilting and binding this quilt. I am so excited to see it finished! My sewing machine had different ideas for me, and having it out of commission for the better part of the month (including right now) has prevented me from meeting this goal. Oh well. As many of you have pointed out, these are first-world problems. The quilt will get finished eventually and I will forget all about the frustration. Here's a little peek at what I've done so far.

2. As my quilt-top-to-finish project, I want to sew together the blocks for the "Good Morning" quilt that I finished up a few months ago. No Progress.

What can I say? (Sigh.)

3. Bind the Intel Underneath quilt. Complete!

This quilt is for Matthew's graduation from engineering school.

4. If I'm feeling really energetic, I'd like to finish quilting and binding Joseph's Quilt. No progress.

(See machine woes and other whining above.)

5. As my project for "Let's Book It", I'd like to get a start on this quilt called "Aspen Tree". No progress.

I decided to postpone starting this project, but I substituted a different project for the "Let's Book It" Challenge below. (Did you see what I did there?)

6. As my "New" project for "Something Old, Something New", I'm taking a hand applique class later on in the month, and I'll be learning to make this block by Connie Sue Haidle of Apple Blossom Quilts. Barely started, but nevertheless, this goal is Complete!

I'll be linking up to:
Never too hot to Stitch!

7. As my "official" NewFO project for May, I want to get a start on the Sulky BOM from 2013. No Progress. 

Here's where I started re-evaluating the "rules" of the sewing room. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was only going to start small quilts and table runners in 2014 because I don't want any new long-term projects added to my to-do list. I'm putting this one on the back burner for a while, and I'll explain more below.

8. I want to make a block for my Guild Block of the month. This month's block is Railroad Crossing. Complete!

9. The Grim Ripper. This was a free pattern from the Fons & Porter website. No Progress.

Putting this one off until October. It's really a Halloween project, and it'll be fun to save it until then. (An excellent excuse, I'd say.)

10. The Astronomical Quilt Block Challenge. The challenge invites quilters to make a block to be sewn into a quilt by astronaut quilter Karen Nyberg. Complete!

11. I had so much fun with my stained glass applique project from last month, that I want to make another one. This one is called Yukon Sanctuary. Complete!

I'm calling mine, "A World Apart". And this is the project I'm linking up to:

I'll admit that I've already done one project from this book, but I really, really, really wanted to make this quilt, and so I did.

12. Finally, I figure I should add in an embroidery project as well...this Retro Camper project by Lova Revolutionary. Complete!

13. Hopefully, I'll also get caught up on my Rainbow Sewing Machines. I'm behind from last month, and there will be a new color chosen for May. Complete!

14. Make a block in the monthly Block Lotto. Complete!

And so that brings me to my June goals. Here's where I would ordinarily make up an impossibly long list for myself to complete, but I've had a reckoning about that. While it's tempting to indulge in a lot of self-analysis here, I'll spare you the drudgery. All I'm going to say is that I know my activities are out of balance when I start feeling burdened by something that is supposed to be fun. And rather than take the joy out of quilting, I'm dispensing with most of my monthly goals...especially the ones with arbitrary deadlines set by someone else.

There are certain challenges I enjoy, and I'm going to continue with those. Heck, I'll even tell you what I have planned. Also, I'm realizing that I really want to see some of my oldest projects complete. While it has seemed worthwhile to keep everything moving along at the same pace, my list of long-term projects has become so onerous that I can only work on each one every couple of months. I've decided to focus on about half a dozen of the oldest ones for now, and put the others on the back burner until I can shorten the list by quite a bit.

So here's where I ended up after a significant amount of arguing with myself.

Quilting and Flimsies

1. I still want to finish quilting one quilt per month, and I'm really hoping to finish up "We are the World"  this month. Big Bertha will be the one making the decisions about that. Hopefully, she'll be back in the pink of things soon, and we can continue on without interruption.

2. I still want to get one quilt to "flimsy" stage each month. And since I didn't make any progress on the "Good Morning" quilt during the month of May, it remains my quilt top to finish for June.

Monthly Challenges

3.  For this month's "Let's Book It" Challenge, I'd still like to get a start on the Aspen Tree from Jean Wells book that I committed to last month. This quilt

from this book:

4. As my "New" project for

Never too hot to Stitch!

I'm taking a thread painting class from Oregon's own Helene Knott this month. (I know! Look at me with the classes!) It's something I've always loved looking at, and I'd like to learn more about how to do it myself. According to the supply list, I'll be stitching some sort of butterfly, but beyond that, I don't know much more.

5. I have a partner in the Doll Quilt Swap this month.

 Doll Quilters

And so I'll be making a quilt for that, and that will also serve as this month's NewFO.

2014 NewFO Challenge

6. This month's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is yellow, and so I'm planning to make a block for that.


7. I may or may not make a block for my guild's block of the month. This month we're making Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties.

8. I may or may not make a block for this month's Block Lotto. 

Join me on the Block Lotto Blog

Because of technical difficulties with Sophie's back (ouch!), we haven't seen what next month's block is, but I know it has something to do with yellow. And since I'll already be digging into my yellow scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, it seems a good choice for the Block Lotto. Thank you for considering my busy schedule in your planning, Ladies. 


Finally, this is where I've done the most arguing with myself about turning over a new leaf in the sewing room. I've decided to choose one quilt per month to focus on with the intent to finish up some of my oldest projects.

9. For June, I'd like to focus on the Folk Art Cats quilt with a goal of finishing all the blocks.

I have 7 of 12 blocks finished, and so I'm hoping to finish the remaining 5, or at least make a good-sized dent in it.

And that is it. Now I know I'll hear from some of you that my list is still too long, but I did cut it significantly. And for meeting my goal of cutting my list of goals, I'll give myself a big Complete! 

What's on your June Agenda?


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Once your Bertha is home, you should quickly get back on track. Lists aren't hard and fast and can always be rewritten. Keep the fun

Michele said...

Even with all your machine woes you still accomplished a lot so don't be too hard on yourself. I think a smaller list is a great idea and if you are able to complete it and do anything more you'll be happily surprised.

gpc said...

Okay, since you anticipated what I wold say, does that mean I shouldn't bother to mention that it still looks like too much to me? You are amazing, you always get so much done, and such beautiful work. I'm impressed as always. :)

Dana Gaffney said...

Lots of completes in that list even with all of the problems you had this month. Matthew made me smile again, there's something about his goofyness.

Val's Creative Life said...

From one list maker to another...quilt on girl. I'll be looking forward to your finishes...esp the we are the world...and oh! Those folk art cats are awesome! I love their whimsy personalities!! :)

Tami C said...

You sure have been a busy lady this month! We are the World in coming along quite nicely. Here's hoping that Big Bertha will be home soon. Got my fingers crossed!

Cath said...

I have to say, I gave up on lists back in.....er....April! I have good intentions every January but after a few months, it all gets a bit too much. Good luck in completing yours for June and I do hope Big Bertha comes home soon.

quiltzyx said...

I'm not much of a list maker, but I do enjoy seeing your lists & how much you do accomplish from them. June looks like I'll have more "real" work hours, so there's that. I'm behind on our UFO challenge for guild, but I do have the other challenges in hand for a change! I've been thinking that I might like to do the block of the month for guild next year. We haven't done it for a few years, so maybe we'll get some renewed interest.
Hope B.B. is home soon!

LethargicLass said...

Your upward email isn't working? I just got a delivery failure notification?

Kate said...

Looks like an ambitious, but balanced list.

Hope Big Bertha gets all fixed up and comes home soon.