Ok, just to aggravate your sweet tooth, this was Sydney's first banana bread. Who would have thought she'd enjoy baking??? She made the homemade potato rolls for Tgiving and those loaves of halloween bread. Now this.
And, she's planning to make the monkey bread for our traditional post gift opening snack on Cmas day. Soon as we get up, it's coffee while the bread rises and then into the oven while we open. By the time we've putzed around a bit, distributed the gifts and started to open, the monkey bread is ready and we enjoy those delicious, cinnamony, raisiney, nutty bread bites.
So, I've been thinking about what to do next year. It's about time to think about some goals. And, I have to be reasonable. Last year, my goal was to finish all my UFO's. Now, I am absolutely certain that I finished 10-12 quilts this year (plus the one I threw in the trash). And, I know that I slipped up and started three new projects, including the current RRCB mystery from Bonnie (that I couldn't resist), a hand piecing/quilting skill builder and that fancy quilting skill builder. Only one of those is completely finished. And, I still have 9 WIP's and 3 UFO's left. (How did that happen?) My only consolation is that 7 of those 9 WIP's were WIP's last January, but weren't even pieced and are now ready for quilting. But, I can only quilt so fast. (There's that long dead time while I wait for a quilt to speak to me and tell me what to quilt on it. That can take a year before I hear it, which doesn't help.) Maybe finishing all my UFO's will have to be an every-other-year goal for me until I'm about 173 years old and have them all finished.
But, next year I have two new goals.
One; I want to work on my machine applique skills. I like machine applique and a friend gave me two whole extremely beautiful kits a couple of years ago and I want to make them. I've been intimidated by their complexity. Plus, I have another applique project picked out and all the fabrics are purchased for it. It's much simpler and will give me good practice. And, I have another applique quilt that was a BOM from last year and I think I got through July or August. And, one more that I only have a pattern for, but really want to start (Ruby McKim's Flower Garden quilt from the 30's as interpreted by the San Jose Quilt Museum).
Two; charity quilt. In 2008, I committed to Project Linus. My goal was to make a quilt every month and I did that. And, I attended the meetings each month to work with the group. I'd like to go back to the meetings, but am not going to commit to that. I'll have to wait and see. But, I do want to get back to the quilt a month for them. One week a month to start and finish a quick quilt. And, it will have to be quick and preferably made mostly out of my stash. I usually buy a half or three-quarter yard piece of focus fabric and then match to it out of what I already have, and I want to keep doing that. My machine quilting skills are good enough that I can get through a lap sized quilt in a couple of hours and I use the simplest of piecing patterns to keep that quick as well. I used to "birth" them all so I wouldn't have to bind, but now that I can machine bind, I can do that, too, if I want. I bound a quilt in under two hours the other night. If I can get it to 4-6 hours to piece, 2 to quilt and 2 to bind, this goal should be do-able. And, hopefully, I'll burn through some fabric that way.
Speaking of burning through fabric, Rob brought me home the simplest set of plastic shelves. Small, convenient, great for fabric. My current storage is all these bins and a huge black industrial shelving unit and there is very little space in my storage closet for all the other things, like ironing boards and vacuum cleanders that have to go there. I want to downscale and declutter my stash and move it into the more open storage unit and make a cover for that to prevent dust.
Stash is a very personal thing. Quilters love our stash and our children and our spouses and our pets and our machines and our gardens; in pretty much that order. So, for a quilter to say I'm going to declutter my stash is a really big statement. But, it is time. That's going to move a good bit of fabric into the Project Linus bin, which is another incentive to make as many Linus quilts as I can next year. I've let all this get a little out of hand and it's time to pull in the reins a bit before this gets absolutely out of control. Repeat after me. I do not have to have it all to quilt. I do not have to have it all to quilt.
I do not have to have it all to quilt.
But, isn't it fun to try?