Sunday, January 16, 2022

Trackers, planners, checklists and games

I make lists. Do you?
Actually, I need to make lists because the barrage of demands that vies for my attention at any one time can cause me to forget what I'm supposed to do. 

I also like trackers and calendars. And apparently, several of you like them too since I've been asked where I found some of mine. 

My assortment of stitching strackers, planners, checklists and games.

I use trackers to keep up with and document the progress on long-term and short-term quilting and sewing projects and daily practices. I find it interesting to reflect on past years' accomplishments and compare them with current plans... and I also enjoy "ticking off the boxes." 

Trackers and planners: paper or digital?

Many of my trackers are paper trackers that are printed from digital files. Online sew-alongs and Challenges often offer downloadable PDF trackers to keep participants organized. I print these out and then paste them into a sketchbook. 

With these, I get to physically "color in" or "cross off" the completed activities—usually with a variety of colored pencils.

Some of my trackers are digital

This is my new Create Daily success tracker for 2022.

Create Daily success tracker for 2022.

This tracker was for the 100 Days 100 Blocks project in 2021.

The 100 Days 100 Blocks tracker/checklist for making, photographing and posting photos.

Staying encouraged

Every checkmark or colored square gives me a sense of accomplishment. I'm always thrilled and  pleased by how much can be completed when working on something every day—even if only for a few minutes. Having a visual reminder of things I've finished and prompts for new things keeps me  motivated, mindful and on track. 

All boxes covered on my guild's Quilting Success Bingo card. BINGO!

And who doesn't like coloring in or crossing off the little boxes??? Then one day you shout... BINGO!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

A new "Create Daily" tracker for 2022

Formerly called my Stitching Success Tracker, this year I have a new "Create Daily" tracker

Create Daily 2022 success tracker.

This cool 2022 round calendar chart is the creation of Sarah Reebs from Keep Right Except to Pass (New for 2022 post) and on Instagram at smrt783. We crossed paths on IG having both used the Nerd Bucket calendar last year. 

Sarah created this new calendar for a project in 2022 and licensed it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. I had to add the dates/numbers in the boxes so I could more easily keep up with the day of the month.

It's a very eye-catching calendar, don't you think? She did a fabulous job.

Creating a daily practice

I achieved 365 days of stitching success in 2021. So this year I'm incorporating other creative activities into a daily creative practice. Along with stitching activities—patchwork, free-motion quilting, sewing, knitting, slow stitching, etc.—I'm including art and mixed media techniques—drawing, stamp carving, painting, collage, etc. This is why I've changed the name from Stitching Success Tracker to the Create Daily success tracker. 

The color-coded legend indicates the different colors for activities and finishes. I'm hoping the inclusion of art processes in a daily practice will help me improve these skills. 

For all the activities I will be using my hands to create. I like that.

Monday, January 3, 2022

I'm taking the Make Nine Challenge in 2022

I scored 100% on Make Nine 2021 and am looking forward to a productive Make Nine 2022! This will be my fourth year participating in this "gentle" Challenge.

My Make Nine 2022 worksheet.

What's new for 2022? 

I’m keeping several of 2021’s prompts because they worked well, but will interpret them with new projects and possibly different techniques—especially the “Something New in '22” prompt (formerly the "New to Me" prompt). Make it Again is a new prompt and I'll likely make a new garment from a "tried and true" pattern that I love. 

I’m including two UFO Finishes in 2022 as I’ve amassed too-many-to-count projects in addition to those that were started during the 2020 lockdown. 

A Wild Card keeps the door open for the unexpected, and I hope to do more hand (slow) stitching with a goal to learn a few new stitches or techniques through an online workshop or class. 

Scraps and Crumbs is a great stash buster and also lends itself to kitty quilts and charity projects. Mending and Upcycling is prevalent these days and I'm all for elevating textiles to new creations or extending the lifetime of a something well-loved. The Fast and Fun prompt (another favorite) offers instant gratification and a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment. 

My Make Nine 2022 prompts

  • UFO finish x 2 
  • Wild Card 
  • Fast and Fun
  • Something New in '22—a new-to-me pattern, technique, supply or tool
  • Mend / Upcycle
  • Slow Stitching 
  • Scraps and Crumbs 
  • Make it Again 

Worksheets from my three previous years are at Make Nine 2021, Make Nine 2020 and Make Nine 2019.

Join the Make Nine Challenge

Make Nine Challenge

If you'd like to join me in Make Nine for 2022, here are some tips and pointers and a link to the Make Nine grid from Rochelle, the creator of this Challenge. You can join any time and it's meant to be a "gentle" Challenge... so set yourself up for success—which is why I've been using "prompts" the last two years rather than identifying specific projects. I learned this after reviewing my results from participation in 2019.

I’ll also be using a Stitching Success Tracker in 2022. I color-code activities and choose a contrast color for finishes—including Make Nine finishes. My tracker is an ideal motivator and it's interesting to see activities over the course of a year.

Wishing us all a creative and fulfilling new year!

Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Stitching Success Tracker and My Year in Review

2021 has come to an end and my Stitching Success Tracker was 100% colored in—meaning I did some kind of stitching, patchwork, quilting or related fiber art each and every day in 2021. Some days could be as little as a few embroidery stitches on a sampler or basting one 3/4" hexagon to the free-motion quilting marathon for this year's guild Challenge entry. 

December 31, 2021: Stitching Success Tracker.

I'm feeling good about the projects that were completed this year—some new, some unexpected and a few that were languishing in the UFO pile for quite some time (4 decades for one of them). The photo montages below tell about my year in fabrics and stitching.

Online Challenges keep me motivated

Motivation throughout the year was provided by several online Challenges I participated in. The 100 Day Project (I did two different practices), September Textile Love, 100 Days 100 Blocks, the Dropcloth Picnic Sampler stitch-along, Make Nine 2021 and a Quilting Success Bingo game issued by my local quilt guild.

Online Challenges: The 100 Day Project, Picnic Sampler stitch along, 100 Days 100 Blocks,
September Textile Love and Quilting Bingo

One of the successes from the September Textile Love Challenge was documenting a garment I'd made in 2015. The prompt was "repurpose" and my Tablecloth Jacket was the epitome of upcycling and repurposing. I'm glad to have this special garment documented.

Useful items for family, friends and community

The practical side of me likes to make things that someone not only appreciates, but uses. I made several sets of pillowcases for family and friends, charity quilts and kitty quilts for our pack of tuxedo kitties.

Pillow cases and charity quilts.

Shop samples serve as inspiration to others

For my job as a fabric strategist and sales representative, I support my clients by providing ideas, projects and patterns that can be made with the fabrics I rep. Surprisingly, I made six quilts showcasing one of my favorite fabric lines, M&S Textiles Australia

Quilts and projects made with fabrics from M&S Textiles Australia.

I collaborated with a few longarm quilters to get some of these finishind and they are traveling around to quilt shops and independent sewing centers helping to inspire quilters, sewers and makers.

My Guild Challenge entry

A two-year project that I'm quite proud of is my entry for the 2020-21 Choo Choo Quilters Guild Challenge. The turn-out for the Challenge was exceptional and my quilt, "Alone Together," got the first place ribbon. One of the principles of a guild Challenge is to push oneself and try new things. I did and was very pleased with the results. My experiments and discoveries are documented here.

"Alone Together"
My entry in the 2020-21 Choo Choo Quilters Guild Challenge.

I was also on the hosting committee for the Challenge and made the four award ribbons for the winning entries.

Guild Challenge ribbons.

Guild Challenge ribbons (backs).


It must have been the year for my Australia fabrics because two of my makes—my Kangaroo Nine Lives top and my new Berwick St. tunic—were made from this fabric line (top photos).

Garment highlights from 2021.

The bottom two garments were both made during a Shakerag workshop. The Porcupine shirt was shibori dyed this year (a Make Nine project) and the Tablecloth Jacket was made in 2015 (a response to one of the prompts of the September Textile Love challenge this year).

A UFO quilt was finished!

My final Make Nine finish for the year was a UFO [unfinishing object] string quilt than spanned two centuries. It was happily gifted for Christmas.

"All Together Now" completed December 2021.

Small projects are big successes

Small projects are very satisfying to me. The time investment can be less or more than a bigger project. You never know. Three of these were made in response to the Make Nine challenge, the zipper pouch was a gift for a friend who retired, and the exposed spine artist book was from a workshop I took this year with Doug Baulos. The fabric twine was a new technique I learned and it was rewarding to find a use for skinny fabric scraps and trimmings.

Top row: needle book, fabric twine, crochet cat bed.
Bottom row: boro and rag drawstring bag, artist book, zipper pouch.

All and all, I think 2021 was a productive and well-documented year.

Good night, and Happy New Year.


For those that asked about the Stitching Success Tracker and where to get this cool, creative project management tool, here is my original blog post and where I found this calendar.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...