Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 Big Year New Project!

It's 2020 and I (Annetta) finally get my wish project with Stephanie. I've been trying to get her to do this project with me for the past four years and this is the year she agreed to it!! Yahoo!!!!! I seriously happy danced and still do every time I talk about this new Year to Inspire project.

This new year we plan to take one picture Every Single Day of the year. The picture should reflect our day in one way or another. We also plan to do a quick 10-word description of our day, nothing big and nothing fancy, but visually beautiful.

January 1st marks our first day as we kick off another year of us questioning, "Why the hell did we ever sign up to do this?!" If you've never asked yourself this question then you've never really stretched yourself creatively. We know that in the end, it's always worth the pain.

Thank you for joining us for ANOTHER year of this beautiful, inspiring and painful project.

2019 Wrap Up Post

2019 Wrap Up Post

Stephanie |

What was the hardest thing for you during the 52-week project?
  •  A few different things. Dealing with the instructions in the book was tricky at times. I didn't feel the instructions were clear sometimes. Or if you needed to know how to assemble a certain piece, it would refer you to instructions at the front of the book, but sometimes this would refer you again to another section. Another thing that bothered me was not having room for error when sewing. For example, it would tell me to cut out the fabric to the finished size, rather than making it slightly larger, sewing, then trimming down to the correct size. This is where I believe I could have prevented many wonky and short lines. I am still a beginner and my sewing shifts at times, especially when sewing diagonal, I need that bit of a buffer. Finally, just losing motivation and this feeling like work. There were times, especially at the end, where I was dealing with other things, and this wasn't a top priority. I kept pushing it to tomorrow...or the next day. I would scramble to finish Sunday to post, but it got easier and easier to wait till Monday. It lost its appeal in the final weeks when other things got hectic.

Are you happy with the outcome of your projects?
  •  Overall yes. I am happy that I was able to fully complete 1 of the 2 quilts. I just have some assembling to do on the 2nd one and it will be finished also. I definitely made mistakes, my blocks are not perfect, but done is better than perfect.

Would you do this project again?
  •  I don't know. I want to continue quilting. But this felt like such a long and drawn-out process for only completing 1 quilt. It seemed like I was doing the same thing week after week, cutting the same fabric, to the same size, making the same pieces...but the assembly was different. It wasn't the most effective use of time. But I guess that just comes with doing a different block 1 week at a time.

What has been your favorite part of this project?
  •  Being creative, exploring quilting, and continuing this crazy A Year To Inspire project with my best friend.

Annetta |

What was the hardest thing for you during the 52-week project?
  •  For me, it was finding the time to sit down and focus on this project. At the beginning of the year, I had little hours at work and not much on my plate. Towards the end of the year, I signed another work contract on top of my part-time job and picked up my own personal side projects. I am happy that I picked a crochet project because it forced me to learn the craft, but I didn't realise the commitment it took to actually crochet a single square. For some reason, the square didn't magically crochet itself.

Are you happy with the outcome of your projects?
  • I would say a big yes. The first crochet blanket that I finished I gifted to my mother. She crocheted so many blankets and things for me in the part that I thought this would be a beautiful gift back to her, something made by her only daughter. The first blanket turned out prettier and bigger then I thought it would when I started. I would have liked to pick out different colors, but other than that I am very happy.  For the second 'blanket' I am also happy because this gave me a chance to pick my own squares and really learn how to read a crochet pattern. The whole project has been a beautiful learning curve. 

Would you do this project again?
  • Maybe, it really depends on the crochet pattern, the yarns and colors that are used and who I was doing it with. Stephanie and I did projects that focused on different creative outlets. I would like to do everything the same, but I say like because it's not a possibility. 

What has been your favorite part of this project?
  • I would have to agree with Stephanie on her answer. I LOVE working on A Year to Inspire with her and that is always my favorite part. We are far from each other at the moment and this gives us a beautiful place to reconnect. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Week 52 | Filled In Granny Square + 3 Finished Squares

Week 52 | Filled In Granny Square + 3 Finished Squares

Annetta | This right here is our LAST post for 2019!! We are dancing here people! These year-long projects are so good, but oh so hard to actually follow through on and complete! I have finished one big crochet blanket that I gifted to my sweet momma whose made me so many things. On December 31st we will do a recap post of our finished project and end of the year thoughts. On January 1st we have something NEW coming!

Now for my LAST square for a very very long time because I am going to give all the squares a nice long break.

I had a different square in mind that I wanted to do, but when I went searching for the pattern I couldn't find it. I settled on a square I actually haven't done before as my last square. The pattern I chose is a simple filled in granny square. There was nothing special or complicating about the pattern. I love how the center is a circle and then goes into a square.

Favorite moment of the week: This week was Christmas week so that means that my favorite moment was the WHOLE week! I love every day this week and every day has been special with its own memories.

Stephanie | I've been up since 6:30 this morning, working getting my remaining blocks - Sunburst, Octagon, and the Autograph finished. The Autograph block is only half complete as I need to go back and add in my embroidering. I will probably stitch it the same as the other one. In the end it looked really nice in the center of the other quilt. I like the color choice for the Octagon, the pink and red combo. I had solids for both red and pink, plus the same floral print in red and pink. I think its pretty all done up. I think that would be fun to do in a rainbow quilt where each Octagon block is in a different color combo. Finally the Sunburst also in a pink and red combo. I think this was in blues last time. Overall it looks good. I still have to go back and complete The Yankee Puzzle from a few weeks back. I assembled part of it wrong, and I have yet to rip the seams and redo it. Still left for this quilt is to assemble all the blocks together, add the sashing around the edge, add batting/backing, and finish with binding. Now that the year is ending....I am hoping to have enough motivation to finish it up.

Favorite moment of the week: Getting out of the house and finding a new park to explore. I was in a real bad mood and issues had been festering for a while and finally came boiling up. In a crazy turn, we ended up leaving the house as a family and enjoyed the warm sun and a new park together.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Week 51 | Love in a Mist + Classic Granny

Week 51  | Love in a Mist + Classic Granny

Stephanie | I am adding my part of this post a week late, but I'm getting it done! These last few weeks have been extra crazy, with Christmas activities and overall stress of the holidays, to getting the house ready for my Gramma to visit us, and some sickness thrown in there, I just haven't cared to get this done. I did try to sit down prior to Christmas and do some sewing, but I was just in a mood and it all was very irritating, so I walked away. So here I am, way late, kinda over it all, scrambling to complete this project.

Favorite moment of the week: My favorite thing was having my Gramma here for Christmas. We've been planning this since summer time and the time finally came for her to visit us. Too bad we spent the most of the time sick so it was kind of a bust. But we did get to see the girls perform in the school holiday performance, made a trip for Santa pictures, and made Christmas cookies together.

Annetta | On Sunday I sat down and forced myself to whip up three granny squares. It was hard because I had to do it all in one go and wasn't feeling the greatest that day, but watching Robin Hood helped to keep my mind off all the crocheting that I didn't want to be doing at that moment. By the time I finished the three it was almost pitch blackout as it's totally dark by 4pm nowadays. One thing I love about this pattern is that it is a no brainer, easy and simple really. I wish that my life didn't get as full with 2 jobs these past several months so that I can focus more on this project.

Favorite moment of the week: I asked my husband this questions because it seems like all my favorite moments happen during the weekend when I am with my family. He said my favorite moment was signing off of work this Friday. I think he is right. I might have even done a little happy dance because I am SO over working as much as I have. I am looking forward to the two days off I get this coming week!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Week 50 | Fanny Square + Completed Quilt

Week 50 |  Fanny Square + Completed Quilt

Annetta | I hate this square. I think I messed up the pattern somewhere, but I'm not sure where. I couldn't find the original pattern and needed to go off of what I already made the previous weeks. It's a bit wonky. I hope that when I join it all together it will straighten out. One thing that I love about this one are the colors. I did a good job selecting the right colors. I had no time this week to make more so I just made one because that is better than none.

Favorite moment of the week: Celebrating my husbands birthday with ice skating in Vienna was a pretty awesome part of my week. We did argue about how he likes to celebrate his birthday different then I and I thought what he was saying wasn't very true. In the end, I let him win because it was about him and I needed to understand his feelings. After that was out of the way the rest of the day was so much fun! He wanted burgers for lunch at one of our favorite places and then for dinner we eat bratwursts at the holiday market after we skated for a couple of hours.

Stephanie | I completed one entire quilt!! Yeah! I was determined to get it done this week. I have my Gramma coming to visit and I don't want to spend my time tied to my sewing machine. I even got all the topstitching done on my broken walking foot. I made 2 straight-line borders around the center square and then went over the edge seams of each block with a wavy stitch along with 3 others inside each block. The back fabric is white with a large pink floral print, the 2nd quilt has the same fabric except in teal. Both quilts have the same binding fabric. Since I am running out of time, I decided to machine bind this quilt, usually, I hand stitch. I was nervous to machine bind because I haven't mastered it yet and it doesn't look the best. I took my time on this part. I attached the binding to the backside. Then I ironed the seam to give a nice crisp edge. I also ironed in the fold to the binding for the front. Doing the extra ironing really helped keep my fabric nice. I also used my 1/4" foot rather than the walking foot I've used in the past. This made sure I had a night straight line without my fabric shifting on me. I will be doing these steps in the future and get my quilts done faster.

Favorite moment of the week: Getting this done is for sure a highlight! I'm so happy to have come to the end of this and even though it's full of mistakes and unmatched seams, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love the colors all put together and the back is so super soft, It was a great feeling pulling it out of the dryer and crinkled up and snuggling under it. Another favorite was watching my girls and their Girl Scout troop in the light parade and doing some Christmas carolling at some local nursing facilities.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Week 49 | Top Quilting + Freesia Square

Week 49  | Top Quilting + Freesia Square

Stephanie | Since its crunch time now, I decided not to rush my last remaining blocks, you all have already seen the patterns. Instead I am focusing on finishing my 1st quilt, so I have something complete to show at the end of all of this. If my 2nd quilt doesn't get done, I'll finish it in the new year. I just don't have the time to do it all before the end of the year, and that's just going to have to be ok. I'm struggling with getting this done easily. I already shared how I wasn't able to start top quilting a few weeks ago since I had to buy special needles. Well I finally sat down the other day to get going, I'm a few stitches in and hear this clunking sound. Turns out my walking foot keep slipping off the bar and is 1/2 way unattached to my machine. This keeps happening and I'm getting mad. After a video chat with my friend, we discover my walking foot is actually broken, one of the little hooks on it is broken, this keeps my walking foot secure on my machine. I then rubber-band it together hoping that can work until my new foot arrives....it does not! A few stitches in and it pops off. Whatever, I keep going and so far it has held together enough to quilt. I'm getting into it, but I have too much excess fabric hanging at the bottom, and I'm getting annoyed. So as its rolled up and dangling off the table, I trim it off, except I end up cutting into the quilt! Ugh, I'm just feeling so defeated over here!

Favorite moment of the week: My favorite moment is some news I heard. Its something I've been praying for and waiting for for a long time, and its finally happening. I'm so happy and thankful!

Annetta | Today I deviated from my plans. I honestly didn't want to make four more farmhouse squares because they are basic, needed, but still very basic. Plus they take so much yarn and so much work. Instead, I decided to find another pattern and give it a whirl. The new square is Freesia Square. It caught my eye because of its gorgeous four colours. I've been eyeing this pattern for some time and decided today was the day to try it out. I love how the square turned out, but I think they need to be blocked as the square is on the smaller side and wrinkles a little. I might make all eight squares today because it's a new addition and originally I had planned for every square to be eight times its pattern. Did I really crochet 8 years of each pattern? No. PS, the countdown has begun. We have three more posts to go and then that will be the end of this year-long journey. Will we start another journey?

Favorite moment of the week: This weekend was our only weekend to pick out our Christmas tree. I enjoy that time together as a family. We had a very full weekend with friends, parties and dinners so that time spent together picking out the tree and then decorating it has been a favorite of mine.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Week 48 | Mexican Square + Weather Vane

Week 48  | Mexican Square + Weather Vane

Annetta | We have a few more weeks of this year-long project. Honestly, the closer we come to the finish line the harder it is to actually find the time for it. This second blanket is nowhere close to how big the first one was and it's way less organized since I am randomly picking patterns at times. Luckily this week square is simple and straight forward. We'll see how I do with the last weeks because I have doubled my hours for work plus picked up a photography contract and can we say hello holidays?! Ahh!! So much and so little time. Wish me luck. 

Favorite moment of the week: We went on a church retreat. It was a very laid back event where we also all pitched in the make a delicious Thanksgiving meal. The days were spent socializing, discussing God's Word and eating really yummy food. I could use a retreat like this every month! 

Stephanie | I am really getting worried that I won't get all my blocks done before the end of the year. I have more blocks left than weeks in December, plus I need to quilt my completed one and attach the binding. That is a job just in itself. I was all geared up to start that about 2 weeks ago. I pulled out the backing fabric I ordered and it was so soft and thin. I found out its a different type of cotton called 'lawn cotton' Which I guess is a bit more durable and luxurious. But requires a little more care while sewing. I needed to buy special needles so I don't tear the fabric while quilting. I got the needles now, so I can begin.

Favorite moment of the week: This week was Thanksgiving for us, so that meant deep cleaning the house and decorating for Christmas, cooking, and getting sick. The kids had the whole week off, and it was a good thing, This cold managed to work its way through the whole family. We also lost our last 2 ducks and 2 chickens, likely to raccoons. I did manage to make a mini tree skirt for the new mini tree we got for the kids. They can put all their crafted ornaments on this tree.

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