Have you heard of the Finish-A-Long? It's a fun, free, and no pressure challenge started by Rhonda of Rhonda's Ramblings and hosted by a number of different bloggers around the world that encourages you to make a list of Works in Progress (WIPs) or Unfinished Objects (UFOs) that you want to finish in each quarter of the year. I've been participating for a couple of years now and really enjoy the community, seeing all the different types of projects that people are working on around the globe, and getting that little bit of extra motivation to finish something on my to do list.
The projects that I work on for the Finish-A-Long are always personal projects such as gifts or items for myself, never commissioned pieces. I always make a long list of items as well in the hopes that I can finish just a few of the items and then make some progress on the others. During this second quarter of the year I had a list of ten projects to work on and I finished three of them and made progress on another two. Here's a look at what I finished, what I made progress on, and what I'll be focusing on for the next three months. I hope you'll be inspired to make your own list and play along!
My Second Quarter Finishes
First up is the t-shirt quilt that I made as a birthday gift for my brother-in-law. You can read more about this piece here. My sister and I had been hoping to get this project put together for a few years now so it feels good to have it finished so that my brother-in-law can now enjoy it!
My second finished project was a birthday gift for a good friend. This quilt was made out of the extra fabric from her grandmother's t-shirts that we had previously used for three other quilts! I'll be doing a more detailed blog post about all of the quilts we were able to make out of one set of approximately 20 t-shirts as soon as we finish the final one. T-shirts contain a lot of fabric and I'm committed to keeping as much of it out of the landfill as possible when I make custom pieces! This small heart design uses 4.5 inch squares and came together quickly!
My third finished project is just for me! As makers we so rarely finish the projects that are for ourselves so this one feels extra special. It's a knit blanket that I started when I was visiting Cornwall last summer. I made it using materials and the pattern from the Cozy Knit Pillows Class and Cozy Ecru Blanket Add-On Kit from The Crafter's Box. The Crafter's Box is a genius subscription idea by Morgan Spenla that sends you the materials and tools you need along with access to video instructions to create a new craft every month. You can join for one month at a time and cancel without any penalty if the next month isn't a craft you want to explore. This particular box got me back into knitting, a craft I learned from my grandmother as a small child. It also showed me how to purl and how to do a cable stitch, two critical knitting skills that I had not learned as a kid. The pillows you see in this picture are all made using The Crafter's Box items and lessons as well. Check them out to see if they have a lesson for something you want to learn! You can sign up for many past classes and get the materials need to make them through their new marketplace feature on their website.
My Second Quarter Progress and Projects for the Next Three Months
While I only finished three of my projects on my list of ten items I still made great progress on a few other pieces. I also had some pieces that I didn't touch at all. I don't find this discouraging and I'm looking forward to making a few of those untouched pieces priorities for these next three months. The reason why I always create a big list is so that I don't feel like I have to work on just one or two pieces but can jump back and forth on projects as they fit my mood. So here are the projects I'll be working on (or not) in the next three months:
1. Polygon Play Quilt
I am working on appliqueing down the polygons on my Polygon Play Quilt that I started in a class with Jennifer Sampou at Craft Napa this past January. I only got one side of one polygon sewn down in the past three months but I'm looking forward to doing some more slow stitching on this one in this next quarter of the year.
2. First Pair of Knit Socks
I made lots of progress on this project between March and June and I suspect these will be the first project I finish in this third quarter. After picking up knitting again from The Crafter's Box, I asked a friend to show me how to make socks. She set me up with an easy first pattern and got me started. Since then I have watched some helpful YouTube videos to figure out some of the trickier steps, like turning the heel. The first sock is done and the second sock has turned the heel and is well on its way to finished. I'm looking forward to wearing these this winter and to making lots more socks in the future now that I know they aren't nearly as hard to make as they look!
3. and 4. Doll Quilt #1 and Doll Quilt #2
These are two items that haven't been worked on recently. They are doll quilts intended for two special girls and made from 1.5 inches scraps leftover from their parents' wedding quilt. It's high time that these get finished up and out the door to their respective recipients. I have the backing fabric picked and scraps of batting that fit them perfectly. Now I just need to sit down and get them pin basted and quilted. I'll be prioritizing getting these done this quarter.
5. Wedding Cross Stitch
This one is a new project on the list and is a wedding present for some friends who will be getting married this fall. The pattern is a lovely modern design from Satsuma Street on Etsy. I've only just started it but it feels like it will be a quick one to come together, especially since it doesn't have a lot of back stitching!
6. Strippy Quilt of my Own Design
I'm excited to say that I am working on creating a few different quilt patterns based off of my historical research with quilts. This fabric is going to be a feature in a strippy quilt and I'm excited to dive into the design process!
7. Up, Up, and Away Quilt
I've been working on this one for quite some time now and it's a nice project to pop in and out of. This pattern comes from the book Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. It consists of tiny blocks that are helping me use up the lots and lots of triangle scraps that I had left over from making high school graduation quilts for my sister and I. I'm probably going to be doing a different layout than the one suggested in the book but the block pattern is a great way save lots of small fabric scraps from the trash! I don't expect that I'll finish this one this quarter but I'm hoping to maybe get all of the blocks sewn up, ironed, and trimmed.
8. Punch Needle Art Project
This is another kit from The Crafter's Box that looks like a lot of fun! I haven't ever tried punch needle art so this one will be a new experiment for me. I find that trying new things helps to keep the creativity flowing and this one looks like a great weekend project for when I want a new challenge.
9. Hand Embroidered Utility Pouch
Another The Crafter's Box kit that is small and portable and therefore a good travel project! While I cross stitch all the time I haven't really experiemented with other forms of embroidery. Right now my Mom is working on finished a crewel sampler that she started in the 1970s and this seems like the perfect project for me to learn some of those stitches alongside her!
Phew! I know that seems like a lot to be working on in just three months, but again I always list a lot so that when I have some free time to craft for myself I can just look at this list and pick whatever sounds fun. I certainly don't expect to finish it all but I hope to finish two or three and make progress on a few others.
I hope that you'll join me in participating in the Finish-A-Long this quarter! Information on how to sign up can be found at Marci Girl Designs (one of the US based hosts). You have until Thursday July 18, 2019 to get in on this round and if you miss it then I hope that you'll join the fun in the future!
Photo Credit: All photos by author.