2016 in Review

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nani Iro Dreams Quilt.

I love the feeling of a fresh new year. It feels like an opportunity to start over. I struggled creatively last year. I spent a lot of time figuring out my identity after quitting fabric design. I made a lot of "just because" quilts. I indulged and cut into precious, hoarded fabrics. I said "why not" a lot more in my creative work. It has put me on a path to finding my voice again. I have a feeling it's going to be a continuing theme for the new year. But before we dive into 2017, let's take a look back at 2016.

The nice thing about tracking my yardage is I have a record of almost everything I made this year, which is cool. I'm probably I missed a few things, but I'm sure this is the best recorded year of making I've had. Some of the gifted makes still need to be shared here. Aiming for next week!

In 2016, I sewed...

13 throw (or larger) quilts, 4 baby quilts, and 3 mini quilts. (Vintage Sheet Scrappy Trip Quilt)

7 table toppers/runners. (Patchwork Halloween Projects)

5 pillows, and 2 pillowcases. (Coffin Block Pillow)

3 curtains. (Indigo Shower Curtain)

7 shirts, 4 dresses, 3 sweatshirts, and 1 pair of shorts. (Archer Popover)

21 drawstring bags, 10 pouches, 8 tote bags, 4 sew together bags, 2 maker's totes, and 2 sewing caddies. (Scrappy Patchwork Drawstring Bag)

And a myriad of other projects, like the mini patchwork stockings!

I released two patterns, the Webbed Quilt Pattern and The Elemental Tote Pattern.

2016 Fabric Stash:
Brought in: 266.875 yards
Destashed/Gifted: 267.25 yards
Sewed up: 250 yards
Net: -250.375 yards

In 2016, I knit...

7 hats, 3 pairs of mittens, 1 pair of wrist warmers, and 1 cowl. (Fiddlehead Mittens)

2016 Yarn Stash:
Brought in: 6520 yards
Destashed/Gifted: 2262 yards
Knit up: 1764 yards
Net: +2492 yards

Dreamin' Vintage Double Wedding Ring wedges.

Let's take a quick look at my 2016 goals and see how I did:

- Knit/Sew with more yardage than I buy. Make do and get creative to come up with yardage for projects.  
A+ for sewing, didn't do as well on the knitting/yarn stash. I absolutely LOVED tracking my yardage. One thing I learned and embraced about myself is how much I love to keep track of things. Knowing that each time I brought in fabric or used it up I'd need to track it was huge for me. It was often enough to make my think twice about buying fabric and it was a great motivator to get things done so that I could input it in my spreadsheet. It really opened my eyes to how much fabric I was buying and has made me look at my stash differently. I am excited to continue tracking in 2017. 

- Challenge myself to do more piecing for play/to warm up each day.  
Didn't do much of this, but have a challenge for this month to knit at least 15 minutes per day.

- Finish Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top. Make approx. 15 wedges per month for 10 months, leaving two months to assemble top. 
I fell off the wagon in July, but completed 96 wedges this year for a total of 112. I didn't make the progress I wanted but I did sew up a lot of wedges! 

- Sew through some of my garment pattern stash: Emery dress, Derby dress, Plantain Shirt, Lark Shirt, Mercer tunic, Josephine Blouse.
I made two Emery dresses, and two Josephine blouses. Still lots of patterns to work through.

- Start cutting into my Liberty fat 16th stash
I started a long-term quilt project with my Liberty stash, a scrappy churn dash quilt. I'm 5 blocks in.

- Make a list and work on works in progress (WIPs)
Finally made a list in November, but I didn't focus much on WIPs this year.

- Knit Fiddlehead Mittens.
DONE! And having been enjoying them very much.

- Knit another sweater.
Started swatching, but that's it.

- Finish Follow Your Arrow Shawl.
Tore out this project, wasn't enjoying it.

Kawaii Magic Stars Quilt.

All in all, I feel good about the progress I made with my goals last year. I'm excited to share my 2017 crafty goals with you next week. I've been sick with a cold since New Year's day, so I am feeling really antsy to get back to the sewing machine.

Goodbye 2016!


  1. I saw a lot of beautiful inspiration on your blog in 2016. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Wow so many beautiful inspiring projects!! I am so enjoying everyone's end of year round-ups - so many ideas of future projects and so many beautiful creations.

  3. Wow, you made a lot of beautiful things in 2016. Here's hoping 2017 is just as successful for you! I like charting things too - it really does motivate me to get things done so I can check off the list!

  4. This is probably a really dumb question, but how are you tracking your yardage use? Do you count it after you have made a quilt, do you count scraps? I love the idea of tracking how much I'm using vs. buying, but I haven't figured out a good way to do it. I bought some fabric last year, but I've been really trying to use up some of the fabric I already have, especially larger scraps.

    1. I count yardage once a project is finished! In terms of how I account for how much fabric I use it depends on the project. Some projects use up even amounts of yardage, so the math is easy. For projects that use smaller pieces, I'll use the number of squares and rectangles to calculate how many square inches of fabric it took, then divide by the number of square inches in a yard. There is some estimation/rounding, but it's relatively accurate. I like math, so I enjoy being pretty specific about it! If I use most of a fat quarter, I typically round it up.

      It's certainly a personal preference to do it this way, I'd just be consistent, however you choose to track!

  5. I enjoy seeing what you make. Since I am 70, the sheets you refer to as vintage are some of the sheets we used way back when. I see familiar ones now and then. I guess I am vintage too.

  6. You had a busy year! I love making your drawstring bags.

  7. What amazing growth your foray into fabric design inspired in your professional identity. I'm sure that 2017 will see you continuing on your path of self discovery and PROLIFIC creativity!

  8. I am really so proud of your accomplishments this year! it was a lot of fun committing to some new things with you, and I know this year will bring more awesomeness! <3

  9. I love your positive and inspirational posts. Some seasons of life we do struggle with our creativity... but it most usually returns. It's who we are! Thank you young lady.

  10. This is inspiring! You did fantastic this year, even if you didn't meet all your goals. That's why they are called 'goals', it's something to aim for! Do you use a spreadsheet you use to keep track, or just photo journeys? Is there a spreadsheet or counter available that you know of?

    1. Thank you! I shared the spreadsheet I used last year here: http://www.incolororder.com/2016/07/june-2016-report.html

      I'll be sharing an in depth post on my process on Monday.

  11. I love all of the stuff you made, Jeni.
    Everything you make is so lovely
    I adore your blog, and YOU♥️

  12. Hey Jenni,
    I know you said that you were struggling creatively last year, and I know the whole "figuring out who you are outside of design" was huge, but the quilts and other projects you made this year are just gorgeous. Those "just because" quilts have really sung. And it feels like you again. I'm going to say something that I hope you take the right way, but I felt a little lost on your blog when you were fabric designing. To me, it became a bit corporate and (for lack of a better word) manufactured. Not to say I didn't love your fabrics, but I missed you. I kind of feel like you're back. (please, please take this the way I mean it, which is chock full of love and squishy cuddles).
    I'm following along again, and really looking forward to seeing you 2017 makes - I hope they continue to reflect you and your voice and your joy in the making.
    E xx


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