Here’s installment number two for a recap of the progress I made on my 2020 challenges. This covers what I accomplished with my cross-stitch challenge and a few other things.
As with last week’s Books recap, here are the updates from earlier in the year.
I also reread my 2020 Plans post from about a year ago. So many things on that list that were never touched. It just wasn’t a good year for a few things. Let’s hope 2021 is better, although I also have decided reading will be my only challenge. I’ll have plans for other things, but no hard goals. Life’s too full of other things right now, and I don’t need to feel any pressure.
Projects completed since last report
Everything with a highlighted finish date in the chart below is a project I’ve completed since my last update in early September. I finished my list of ABC Challenge projects with Betty Broomstick and Love My Stitching on October 1. I had to come up with three months worth of additional projects!!
I focused on things I already had materials for, especially when it came to fabric. And most of them were relatively quick projects. I ended up completing 10 projects in the last four months of the year, with an average for the year of two hours of stitching per day.
For the last four months of the year, that includes one #24hoursofcrossstitch marathon in early November but also over half of December with no stitching at all.
In all, I completed 26 projects in 2020. Hmmm. I wonder if I could have assigned the new ones to a letter of the alphabet!!
What to note
I did several (9) projects by Lizzie Kate throughout the year. I have patterns going back to the 1990s and I’ve finally been working on them. That was part of my retirement plan, all those years ago. I even had the fabric for many of them, which made it easier to pick them up and work on them with minimal planning.
I discovered a couple of new designers this year that I will continue to stitch. First, is Stitching with the Housewives, which is a mother/daughter team. The mother creates chalkboard art and then they convert it to cross-stitch. Hands on Design, which is located in Sioux City, Iowa by the way, has also collaborated with them to create chalkboard patterns.
I’ve fallen in love with these chalkboard designs, even though working on black fabric can be challenging. You need very good light!! But as someone has said, it makes the colors pop. Wait and see what I’m doing in 2021!! (If you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, you’ve already had a peek!!)
You can find the patterns in their Etsy shop, as well as the Fat Quarter Shop. Hands on Design patterns can be found in 123Stitch as well as the Fat Quarter Shop.
Second, is Satsuma Street. I like her bright colors and unique, contemporary designs. I finished two projects this year – forest and autumn bird – and have a third one in my stash.
Speaking of my stash, it just keeps growing. So, while I’m working on some old patterns, I continue to add new ones!! I guess that’s part of any hobby, right?
I’m going to show you two groups of pictures: the finished stitched projects and then those that I fully finished. Having so many stitched projects does make it challenging to make sure they all become more than something sitting in a pile.
The last three projects in the first group still need to have buttons added to them, which will make them even cuter.
I made my projects into a standup (Betty Broomstick), a flatfold (Rainbow Unicorn), pillows (Wherever You Go, Ballerina Carly), a pincushion (Woof), and boxes (Yikes and the small Christmas designs).
Learning new things
Betty Broomstick was an old kit which may or may not have made the finishing instructions hard to follow. So, I looked online to see if I could find something that made more sense. And I did. In that process, I learned several new things.
- How to make my own cording for trim. I’ve always bought it, but it’s difficult to find colors that aren’t Christmas related. So, with this approach, I can make my own and use the same floss that was used in the cross stitching. I still need more practice, but I now have the tools and directions that make this easier to do.
- How to better stuff a pillow. My pillows always came out lumpy or uneven. There’s still room for improvement but I think my latest pillows are much better.
- How to press my finished project. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to add a crease when you iron but next to impossible to remove it? I was never getting my fabric to look crisp unless I used water and ironed it while it was completely wet. I was steered to a product called Best Press and it’s wonderful. I will never iron without it again.
- How to lace fabric around a board for framing. For smaller projects, gluing typically works well enough when you want to adhere your fabric to a piece of pressboard. For any project, however, lacing allows you more wiggle room in getting the fabric even and tight. And it’s surprisingly easy to do.
I also did a little bit of sewing. I wanted to make myself a Christmas apron and then decided I needed to make one for granddaughter Carly as well, since she loves to help me in the kitchen. I bought the fabric for mine last summer and didn’t have enough to make both aprons. I wanted them to match but I had to settle on something a little different for Carly’s apron as they no longer had the black print. I think they both look great and Carly loved hers.
Baking in 2020 was definitely a bust. Maybe this year I’ll get my motivation back. No new knitting projects. I did make lots of cards and spent lots of money on cardmaking supplies!! No t-shirt quilt, no scrapbooking for the grandkids. Too many other things that needed my attention.
Carly got a small American Girl doll – a Wellie Wisher – for Christmas, so I’ve found some cute patterns for doll clothes and I’ve already made one outfit. Since I completed that this month, I won’t include a picture here. I hope to have more to show you later. You’ll just have to wait!!
I have also picked out the cross stitch projects I want to work on this year. Not to satisfy any challenge but just to make sure I have all the supplies I need so I can pick up a new project without wondering if I have everything.
I spent over $200 buying the fabric and floss for these projects, so there should be minimal spending the rest of the year. Ha – I say that but I always find something new I can’t live without!! I’ve even pulled out some of the old kits I have, which really makes it easy to jump right in.
I think I may have identified 26 projects. We’ll see what I can accomplish. I still have more finishing to do as well. I may try framing this time around.
Here’s to a better 2021 in every way!!