Tuesday, May 7, 2013

April Resolution Review

I'm a week late with this post, but April was a whirlwind for me, and I'm just now catching up.

I set some goals at the beginning of the year, so I thought I'd give a quick monthly update on my progress in April. 

  • Goal - 18 Books and more than a year of Mother Earth News and Hobby Farm Home back issues (and yes, I've let the subscriptions to those magazines expire).
  • April Progress - Read 2 books (9 books of 18 total), and none of the  magazines (so still at 10 magazines of 38 total). 
The books I read were:

  • Goal - 12 completed projects, preferably one a month, with one being a quilted item and another being knit socks.
  • April Progress - Quilted a table runner for my dresser ( 4 projects of 12 total)

So, I finally quilted something.  So many people (I'd venture to say they're mostly women) say quilting is their hobby of choice, so I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and learn a new skill.  I enjoyed the process, but I didn't love it.  On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a crafty project I hate, like mending clothing, and 10 being a project I love, like crocheting an afghan, I give quilting about a 6. 

I chose colors that coordinated with our bedroom, and I think selecting the fabric was the best part of the process.  I also enjoyed doing the machine quilting, which in this case was simple diagonal lines.  Cutting and piecing the top was okay, as was sewing on the binding.  The part I didn't like was, that as careful as I felt I was being, there were still glaring mistakes.  I've read that it's to be expected with a first quilt.  I chose to leave the mistakes in, because I just didn't have the patience to rework any of them.  That is the main reason I may not quilt anything else.  Then again, maybe I will.  It will probably depend on the type of project and my mood.

All that said, here it is.  It's a simple hourglass pattern, without border, but with binding I cut myself.  I did all of it on the machine.  If anyone is interested, here is the pattern, and here is the websites I used to teach myself the basics of quilting, and how to get the diagonal lines straight.

  • Goal - Organized planning, leading to an organized garden.
  • April Progress - We completed our spring planting sometime early in April, but I don't recall taking time to fill in what we did in my garden organizer.  I really need to do that before I forget entirely.

    And I'll just be blunt.  Three mornings of frost in late April sucks.  Snow (yes, snow) during the first week of May sucks more.  So far, everything has survived, with the help of tarps and upended buckets for cloches, but growth has been very slow for this time of year.

  • Goal - To switch over to less harmful types of sweeteners and/or reduce sugars in our foods.  To grow more of our food in our backyard.
  • April Progress - We switched away from buying granulated white sugar in March and were able to stick to that decision in April.  No other changes were made.

  • Goal - To join a local yoga class better flexibility, balance and overall health.
  • April Progress - Again I say, gardening is great exercise!  Reach high for the tarps, carry them to the garden, spread them out, haul firewood to hold them in place, wait out frost and snow, then reverse.  Repeat approximately once a week, well past last average frost date.

  • Goal - To pay off our RV.
  • April Progress - Shane continues to work out of town several times a month, so we are continuing to pay extra each month toward the loan principal.  A noticeable dent in the balance is being made.
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