Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 FAL Q1 Goals

Stick around if you want to hear about what I've got on MY list - or head to the previous post HERE to link up your own GOALS. Remember that you only need to do it once on any of the hosts blogs and if you need a refresher or are new to the FAL, be sure to check out the information tab for 2019 Finish a Long.   

My 2019 FAL Q1 Goals

 1. Improv Abstraction Log Cabin   2. UFO Mini  3.  MQG Mini Swap  4.  QuiltCon Workshop   5. Improv Abstraction Large Multi-Color  6. Layer Cake friendly Experiment  7. Freddy Moran Workshop top One 8.  Wedges 9. MM challenge mini

 10. Improv Abstraction Log Cabin Mini  11. BOM mashup 12. Freddy Moran Workshop top TWO  13.  MQG QOM Merge top Red 14. BeeSewcial 2018 blocks Connections 15. MQG QOM Merge top Tan/blue 16. Nosey Kittens 17. BeeSewcial 2017 blocks Eyes 18. Maria Shell workshop top. 

19. Lastly, I'm including Composition in Color from Maria Shell's workshop from 2015.  The photo below was before the big stitch that I started in the workshop with Tara Faughnan's class.  Our guild introduced a Sit and Stitch social that I'm hoping to be able to attend and this will be the perfect portable project. 

So what do you think?  The list is double my usual and I'm the months ahead are super busy but I will be attending a retreat in March so I may just check some off.  

Rolling Over New Years Goals
I'm also going to take this reflective opportunity to post a rerun of my 2018 New Years goals as they all still apply to 2019. 

1. Organize:  My stash is in desperate need of attention.  After retreats and workshops the piles just collect and it's hard to tell what I have and where to find it.  
2019 Update:  Plans and progress has been made to move into a designated sewing room and out of the "temporarily" corner of the living room

2. Purge:  This one is tough for me but I know I'll feel better keeping the most likely to use stuff and finding a good home for the rest.  This is especially true for notions. 
2019 Update:  no big change in this plan. 

3.  Pause:  "Admire, Don't Acquire" is a phrase that I read somewhere (sorry I can't remember to give credit) No point in thinning my stash if I continue to collect more without restraint.  I'm not going on a full fledged fabric diet but I'd like to be less impulsive. 
2019 Update:  Sorting my stash helps with this because I find things that I've forgotten about.  Solid yardage on sale is my only justified purchases.

4.  Teach:  I had the opportunity in 2017 (and 2018)  to teach a workshop and loved the experience.  It was a lot of work to prepare for but a worthwhile process and very rewarding. 
2019 Update:  I've been invited to present a trunk show and talk about my quilting journey. 

5.  Pace:  I'd like to create without the extreme highs and lows.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy diving in and being so engrossed in a project that everything else disappears.  Maybe just fewer marathon sessions and last minute makes would be an improvement.  
2019 Update: Still working on this.

6. Blog Briefs:  The number of posts this last year is pretty thin and thankfully being a 2017 (and 2018)  Finish-A-Long host has kept me going.  I'm going to try to share on the blog more often even if the posts are brief. 
2019 Update: I think that as long as I do my best to not neglect the blog I'm not going to stress if they aren't regularly posted but more when I'm in the mood. 

7.  Blog Header: I'm emotionally attached to the header I've had for so long but it's getting outdated so I'd like to make a new one. 
2019 Update:  This shouldn't be so hard.  I've mocked up a few but nothing felt right.  I'll probably crowd source options to force myself into a change. 

Hope the New Year is off to a happy and healthy start. 
Happy Stitching,

2019 FAL Q1 Goals - Linky Party is Open

Happy New Year, everyone! It is time for a NEW round of the Finish-A-Long (FAL)!

As you can see, a new round of the Finish-A-Long is starting today. New logos (thank you so much, Marci), some new hosts (and some familiar ones), some new sponsors as well as some we have known for years now. Presumably we will have some new participants as well as many who have been taking part regularly for a long time...

So let's get to it!
You can now link up your list of projects that you want to finish in Quarter 1 of 2019. We are hoping that the FAL community will inspire you to work on your unfinished projects this quarter, and to get them finished!

Our 2019 Finish-A-Long Hosts

The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:

For those of you who are new to the FAL, here is an explanation: The Finish-A-Long is a community aiming to motivate and encourage each other to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging around, sometimes for far too long. At the start of the quarter you post and link up a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months. Then, at the end of the quarter, you link up each successful finish from your original list.

Each linked up finish is an entry into the draw for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list as long or as short as you wish. The 2019 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent 2019 FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Our 2019 Finish-A-Long Sponsors

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q1 of the Finish-A-Long. you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo. Please think about visiting them and saying thank you for their their support of the FAL.

Aurifil Logo
Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
Sew Sweetness Logo
$80 Gift Certificate

Mad About Patchwork Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Sew Me a Song Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns

2 PDF Patterns

Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Logo
1 Six Month Subscription
Bonjour Quils Logo
2 PDF Patterns

Hillstitches Logo
$30 Fabric Voucher
2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

Make your Q1 List of Unfinished Projects

So now it is time to sort out the projects/UFOs/WIPs that you want to finish over the next three months. Take a photo of each one and make your list. If you like you can use our Finish-A-Long Planner to list your projects and keep track of progress. It also has all link-up dates for the year, and the hashtags that we would use. Or use any method that works for you. Please ensure that you have at least STARTED your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is considered a project started - and remember it is only a FINISHED project that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

Post Your Q1 List

Post your list either on your blog, on Instagram, or on Flickr if you prefer. If posting on social media (Flickr, Instagram), it will be very helpful if you tag your list with #2019FALQ1yourname (where yourname is unique to you). Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing project progress or finishes helps the host to make the connection to your original list quickly and easily.
IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link up your finishes at the end of the quarter! We will be posting a reminder on the blog and on Instagram, but do keep an eye out...

Link-up Your Q1 List

The 2019 Q1 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below, on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on ONE host blog, and the link will show up on all the host blogs. If you are using Flickr or Instagram, post a mosaic of your projects and put your list in the description. Don't forget to include your unique hashtag.
If you need a little help, Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link up if you need it, and Marci has a post on how to link up from Instagram.

Join the FAL Community

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too.

If you want you can follow us on Facebook: Finish-A-Long and/or on Instagram: @finishalong, too. We'll post encouragement during the quarter and reminders when the finishes link up opens at the end of the quarter.

When creating your list there is one thing to remember - No deductions for not completing something so - Aim High! Nothing to lose!! Well now, get that list together and get linked up.


Feel free to use and share the FAL button at the top and this one too:

Remember: you only need to link up at ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs. Unlike your finishes, you only use a single mosaic of all the proposed projects.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Stretch - a BeeSewcial quilt finish 2018 FAL Q4 Goal

This one is a HUGE finish for me and I could not be more thrilled with the completed quilt.

If you're looking for the LINKY PARTY, it is open HERE!

The original post from February 2016 outlining the BeeSewcial prompt can be found HERE including inspiration photos.   Stretching my creative and social limits as well as pushing how to construct the blocks for this bee is partly the motivation for choosing the theme.  The other is simply the attraction to the visual elements that are evoked by the word Stretch. The palette is all about my love of wearing jeans.

A few design phrases that were given include "flexible, pliable, organic, in motion, layered and intertwined".  The makers all put their own personal touch into their contribution and created incredible blocks that could stand alone.   It was my task to join them cohesively and retain their individual awesomeness the best that I could which I took very seriously.
Finished STRETCH 56"x78"
Machine Pieced blocks by: BeeSewcial members Karen Foster (me), Stephanie Ruyle, Leanne Chahley, Hillary Goodwin, Kari Vojtechovsky, Debbie Jeske, Anne Sullivan, Marci Debetaz, Felicity Ronaghan, M-R Charbonneau, Sylvia Sutters  and Machine Quilted by Sharyl Sheppard
Detailed Quilting by my sister Sharyl
I am very honored to announce that "Stretch" was chosen to be exhibited in the Bee/Group category at QuiltCon in Nashville Tennessee, February 2019 and that I'll be able to attend.  Our bee mate Anne Sullivan is one of the three judges so the quilt won't be eligible for a ribbon but the opportunity to have it seen and enjoyed by so many is reward enough. 

Artsy Redwoods Photo - of course!
My local guild mates had the chance to see it in progress on more than one occasion.  I've been dragging the blocks to Retreat ever since receiving them in 2016 - rearranging and contemplating until finally in October of 2018 they were sewn together as a completed top!
All Stretched out at Retreat 
A finish or in this case top finish is bragging rights at retreat and you can see I'm all stretched out with a smile stretching ear to ear for this one.
Squaring Up 
After the quilting was done and I got it safely delivered by mail (nerve wracking), I used multiple rulers to square up the quilt before face binding.   It was pretty amazing how little distortion there was considering the intricate quilting done.

A Look Back

Several of the blocks were hand delivered at QuiltCon February 2016 and the remaining arrived by mail shortly after.   They sat in an intimidating pile for so long.  Part of the delay was because I wanted to sew the quilts in order which meant that I'd need to complete the 2015 theme Reflections first. When that quilt was completed in 2017 I no longer had an excuse to move forward!

Blocks Received 2016
Inspiration Mosaic
"Formal" Jeans theme family portrait 
There were some lines and curves that just fell into place next to another block and others that were more challenging to place.  The orientation of the blocks changed from this early version to one that emphasize a more vertical vibe.
An early layout version mini-retreat 2017
March 2018 retreat
Because the retreats that I attend twice a year have fewer people arriving on the Thursday night option, I usually take advantage of the open space and hog the table as I did here.
2016 Finish Along Goal
 I suppose I should find it a little amusing that Stretch has rolled over, and over and over on my FAL goal list since 2016 but when I look at the mosaic above I choose to focus on the fact that every other UFO shown are also complete.

It may take me longer than other makers and that's okay - to each their own pace.  I get to check off two from my 2018 FAL Q4 Goals (originally blogged) and link up Stretch along with Lone star.  LINKY PARTY is open HERE!
2018 FAL Q4 Goal mosaic

I don't even want to know how many hours I spend fiddling with the bridging options or just how many times I ripped out and started over.  It really doesn't matter since that is just part of the process that ultimately I love.  With that said - it's also a step that I'm hoping to streamline so that I can get tot the final results without quite as much mental gymnastics.

Also, bragging with a link up to Beauties Pageant 15 with Bolt to Beauty.
Happy Stitching, Karen

2018 Q4 FAL Finish Link Up Reminder

Popping in today for a quick reminder that the Quarter 4 Link Up for all your finishes closes on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 11 pm EST. So you still have a few more days to finish a project or two and link them up to be eligible for prizes. The link up can be found HERE or on the blog of any of our current hosts.

A few reminders for linking up:
  • Please only one finished project for each post that you link up, so that each finish can be an entry in the (random) prize draw. 
  • Please include a link to your original list in each post of your finishes (on Instagram the link is the unique tag #2018FALQ4yourname to be used in the Q4 list post, and in any Q4 finish post).
  • Please visit some of the other participants and leave a friendly comment, we all love to get those!
Finally, we hope you will be joining us for 2019 to do it all over again!! So get your list ready, the link up for Q1 Lists will open on January 10, 2019.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Finish-A-Long Q4 FINISHES Link Up OPEN

Can you believe it, the year is over!  We have made it to the end of the fourth quarter of the 2018 Finish-A-Long and it's time to link up your Q4 finishes.  We hope you have used the past three months to complete a bunch of those UFOs on your lists!  If not there is always next year...

The 2018 FAL has a community of bloggers across the world jointly hosting and this year's hosts are:

Before the link up, let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
During Quiet Side Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Quilting Jetgirl Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Sew Me a Song Logo
$20 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Charm About You Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Magazine Logo
3 Six Month Subscr.
Studio 39 Fabrics Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Tartankiwi Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Sew Sweetness Logo
A Minikins Bundle
Mad About Patchwork Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Blossom Hearts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Clover & Violet Logo
$30 Gift Certificate
Bunny's Designs Logo
$40 Gift Certificate 

The 2018 Quarter 4 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on all host blogs.

Link-up "Rules":

Add one link for each finish.  If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately.  Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws. 

Please ensure that the photo (Instagram or Flickr) or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the appropriate quarter, too). On Instagram, tag your photos with #2018FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your list, which also should have this tag.

Please become part of the FAL community.  Check out the links of others and leave a comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other.  The 2018 FAL Facebook page is HERE and you can follow us on Instagram @finishalong.

Our hosts will also link up their finishes to share in the community but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

The Q4 Finishes link will stay open from now thru 11 pm, EST, Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link (you can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right).  It is best to link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out.  The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings.  We will post the winners on each host's blog.

Lastly, don't forget to start making your 2019 list as the Q1 list link opens on January 10, 2019.