2021 in Review

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wow, 2021. I've been thinking a lot about this past year (and about writing this post) over the last few weeks. It's taken me some time to figure out what I want to say about it.

There were definitely some really good things that happened; getting our vaccines, finally seeing our family, and growing closer to Michael being the major ones. On the other hand, 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. We lost our sweet bunny George in February, and that grief has taken me on a journey this year. I felt unable to do much of anything creative for a big chunk of the year. Beyond that, here were a lot of other personal struggles this year that I decided to keep private. I started seeing a therapist this year, which I've never done before. Honestly, I wish I'd done so sooner, it has been helpful for me. Either way, I'm glad I sought out some extra support. I'm grateful that I have access to mental health services.

On that note, my main focus in 2021 ended up being my phsyical and mental health. I didn't push too hard to make things when I didn't feel like it. Instead I tried to keep busy doing whatever felt right. That ended up meaning a bunch of home projects (would you like to see more of those?), a well tended garden, lots of puzzles, trying out new recipes, and some back to basics crafting. I did still manage to finish four quilts, including two long-term WIPs which felt really good. I vanished from this space and instagram for long stretches of time, but I still managed to post some tutorials last year and hosted another lined drawstring bag sew along. Hoping to avoid those stretches this year, but no promises! Sometimes it just felt too overwhelming to show up, and again, I didn't push it when it didn't feel right.

Alight, now that I've gotten all that chatter out of the way, let's look at some creative highlights from the year and how I did on my crafty goals!

First up, my yardage tracking. For the sixth year in a row, I tracked my fabric and yarn yardage. (See how I do that in this post.) As in other years, my goal was simply to use up more fabric than I bring in. I'm very happy with my numbers this year! I only added 25 yards of fabric to my stash all year. I'm so proud of that! This year I really only bought fabric for specific projects, with a few exceptions. And I used up a decent amount, 123.25 yards. Considering I went for months at a time this year without much sewing, I think that's pretty good.

On the yarn side, 0 yards of yarn came through my door, for the second year in a row. I still have SO much yarn in my stash, and I made a good dent this year, using up almost 2400 yards worth!

2021 Fabric Stash:
Brought in: 25 yards
Sewed up/destashed: 123.25 yards
Net: -98.25 yards

2021 Yarn Stash:
Brought in: 0 yards
Knit up/destashed: 2319 yards
Net: -2319 yards

Okay, let's dive into some favorite projects from the year!

My favorite quilt finish:
Double Gauze Plaid Quilt (still need to blog this one!)

My favorite lined drawstring bag finish:
Present Quilt Block Bag

My favorite garment finish:
A double gauze lightweight jacket (need better photos and to blog it!)

My favorite knitting finish:
Astra Hat for Michael

My favorite weaving finish:
favorite scarf
Hi Lo Scarf

My favorite crafting finish:
Spooky Halloween Village

My favorite woodworking finishing:
Outdoor Sofa

My favorite home project:
Painting our stair risers and hanging a gallery wall.

I managed to publish seven tutorial/informational posts this year!

- How I Organize my Digital Sewing Patterns
- How I Organize my Paper Sewing Patterns
- Golden Afternoon Quilt Free Tutorial
- How to Customize Wooden Beads with Paint, Stain, and Dye
- Present Quilt Block Drawstring Bag Free Tutorial
- Reusable Gift Tag Ideas for Drawstring Bags
- How to Use Trim or Ribbon to Embellish Your Drawstring Bags

I didn't publish any new patterns this year, but I did start carrying Round Wooden Beads and two colors of Nylon Paracord in my online shop!

A look back at my 2021 Crafty goals, and how I did. I would say overall, not great. But I'm okay with that! Every year is different and I never could have anticipated what this year would bring. Glad I managed to complete some of them!

Sewing & Quilting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
Success on this goal again! Decreased my stash by 86 yards this year.

- Complete one long-term quilt project (kaleidoscope, double wedding ring, HST book quilt tops, etc.).
I finished my kaleidoscope quilt! Still need to blog about that one. I also finished my Golden Afternoon quilt which was a very long-term WIP too.

- Sew four new-to-me patterns, ideally one per quarter.
Didn't do so well on this goal. I only made a project from one new-to-me pattern, the Sit 'n Sew Pincushion Pattern by Shannon Fraser.

- Complete one small scrap project per month.
I fell off this goal pretty quickly. I feel okay about it though. I am itching to make a scrap quilt this year.

- Finally sew the Kelly Anorak Jacket (ideally in time for Fall).
This one didn't happen. I've decided it's time to destash the pattern/hardware this year.

- Practice techniques that are unfamiliar or new to me.
Didn't make time for this in 2021.

Knitting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
Giving myself an A+ on this goal this year. I didn't bring in any yarn and I used up a lot of yardage (for me!).

- Knit a matching hat and mitten set.
Sort of completed this one. I knit myself a hat to match the mittens I finished on the last day of 2020.

- Start a new weaving project.
Very happy to say I really exceeded my goal on this one! I wove four scarves this year and really found it soothing especially in early 2021.

- Finish or frog one long term knitting project (Briochealicious, Daybreak, Sundial, or Hitchhiker shawls or machine knit socks).
Did not tackle this one. I knit some on Briochealicious, but I have a long way to go. I am considering a few frogs though early this year.

I have one more 2021 wrap up post, and it will be up next week. A dedicated post to my 2021 garden! I can't wait to share it with you. Then hopefully I can get my 2022 goals figured out next!

Happy New Year!


  1. You have always been the most relatable crafter to me. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on the goals you met!

  2. Hi Jeni! I am so impressed with your list of goals and what you accomplished. I am so sorry about your sweet friend, George. My daughter and I used your fabric gift bag tutorial to make 8 bags for Christmas. They turned out beautifully. Thanks so much for offering that!

    1. Thank you! Hooray, that's awesome! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Jeni, I'm sorry you had a rough year and I hope that 2022 holds better things for you. I always enjoy your posts and find inspiration in them!

  4. Please DO blog about your gauze jacket, it's too cute! I'd like to make a quilty-ish related jacket but it needs to be softer and have more drape than most of the quilt jackets I've seen online.
    Also, I'd love to see more of your woodworking projects. That's something that piques my interest greatly!
    Glad you're feeling better - good for you to counsel with a professional about your mental health!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Will do, for sure! Just need to have Michael help me take photos of it on!

      Thank you, and happy new year to you too!

  5. It’s so hard to lose a pet. I feel for you. I bought your drawstring bag and made a dozen or so bags in time for Christmas…..I LOVE them and will continue to make some throughout the year. Thank you for the excellent pattern and inspiration.

    1. It really is. Oh I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! Happy Sewing!

  6. I'm not really sure but it may seem that we pigeonhole people...thinking that because some people choose not to display their feelings...or some may have this "perfect" life due to images or whatever..we think...they don't have problems they are having to deal with..we have this stereotypical perception...and I actually just heard someone on video a few minutes ago suggest that we should be kind and respectful to everyone and not prejudge someone because we don't know what their situation may possibly be. Some choose to make life seem easy (like not having any problems)while others don't...either way we should be kind to ourselves first and not be so hard on ourselves...then be able to pay it forward..and I want to thank you for taking the time to create a nice blog for us to visit.

    1. Agreed, so important to be kind to others and to ourselves. Everyone is dealing with something!

  7. I enjoyed reading. My two favorite projects are the painted stair risers and the hat you knit for Michael. Thanks for sharing today and all throughout the year!

  8. Your hands are pouring out golden things! Hoping you'll have a wonderful 2022 and things turn out well for yourself and your mental health. X

  9. I always love your summary posts! And yes, I would be interested in the other things you’re doing like gardening etc.

    I remember when I lost my sweet bunny 5 years ago, and I think it took me at least a year to not have the feelings of grief be so intense. I did end up getting a rescue bunny 14 months after that loss, which really helped. Pets are just so sweet and innocent.

    1. Oh I'm glad! Thanks!

      I feel like I'm on that same journey with my grief. We were so strongly bonded, bunnies are really special. I'm glad adopting another bunny brought you some peace! <3

  10. So sorry to hear how difficult the year has been for you and do hope 2022 will be easier for you. Losing a furry family member is heart wrenching, I know this only too well and was sorry to read you blog at the time. I've loved reading about your projects achieved during the year even with the difficulties you've faced and your gauze jacket is a real treat, please do a blog post on this. I bought your bag pattern before Christmas but sadly due to health problems never got around to making. I also headed to your blog from 2012 on crafting with arthritis, I found that extremely helpful as I too have arthritis. Thank you again for your very interesting blog posts.

  11. Welcome back Jeni! Good for you know what is good for you and act on it! We all miss you oso much because you are such an inspiration.

  12. Just caught up with this blog entry. So sorry to hear about he loss of your sweet boy. Losing a beloved fur baby can leave a tremendous empty space in our hearts. The best, smartest and most productive thing you did this past year was to recognize that you needed to slow up on other things and make taking care of yourself a priority. Way too many folks castigate themselves for slowing up when self care is needed. You were so smart to allow yourself some time for healing.


Thanks for keeping this blog a positive place, I appreciate the time you are taking to leave a comment! I will answer any questions here in the comments section.

All comments are moderated to filter out spam. Your comment will appear after it has been approved.