Best of 2020
Through someone else's blog I found a link up to Best of 2020 posts at Meadow Mist Designs. I had been thinking about doing a "best of" post because I refuse to end the year thinking about the bad parts. So, I'll do this in 2 parts. Part one will be the creative part sort of in line with the link up and part 2 will be the personal part.
Best of 2020 Creative
1. I relearned crochet! After finishing all of the flower applique blocks I wanted another TV project and I wanted something easy. I decided to give crochet a try again after a 40+ year break. I didn't have any specific goals but I had a couple of rules. Those rules were to only make baby blankets and to not build a stash of yarn. In the end I made 14 blankets, a number that I would have scoffed at in January. As for the stash, I only have yarn for 3 blankets and one of those is a third done.
2. Speaking of applique flowers, I finished Kim's Garden and gifted it to my friend just before Christmas. This is my most ambitious quilt of the year. This quilt has so many hours in it and I enjoyed every one of them. I worked on these flowers in front off the TV, in the car and on vacations. I have one other top made with these appliques and enough of the basted flowers for another quilt...or two.
3. Veterans quilts - My quilt club makes veterans quilt for the local VA hospital Interventional Radiography Department. They give them primarily to patients receiving ports for chemo. But they can give them to any patient they want. They use them to help particularly distressed patients. It calms them so that they can focus on their treatments. In previous years we have averaged 60 - 75 quilts per year. This year we donated a record breaking 108! See, what some extra time can do for you? I try to quilt at least 40 each year but I had lots of help this year from other longarmers. I quilted 39 for other people and made an additional 15 myself. I don't think I've ever made more than 4 or 5 in a year before. I love making the veterans quilts and hope to keep up the pace in 2021.
4. The Pizza Oven mosaic. My best friend built a grilling area with a pizza oven and recruited (drafted) me to help mosaic it. I really thought I was done with mosaics after the basement walls but I was ready to tackle one more. Mosaic on a shaped surface is really different from mosaic on a flat surface but we figured it out. It took one weekend to set the tiles and another to grout it and it was all done in million degree heat in July. Chris was there for the grouting and we couldn't have finished it without him.
5. Food Bank fundraiser. We have several wonderful local food pantries and other community service organizations in our area. My quilt club specifically supports WHEAT which is run by one of our members. When the need increased in April and May I decided to get a bunch of tea towels, dye then and sell them to raise funds. My friends and fellow quilt club members really stepped up and I sold so many that I had to order more towels, In the end we raised over $1000 for WHEAT. It was such a good fundraiser that I might do it again next year.
As I think back on the creative part of my life in 2020, these are the things that make me the happiest. A few honorable mention items are:
- The UFO list is, for the first time ever, under 10!
- The Groovy quilts made with ice dyed fabrics
- Penguins on Parade quilt for my one of my SILs
- Corona Cats quilt for another SIL (I have one more to make in 2020)
All in all, it was a great creative year.
Best of 2020 Personal
It's very easy to sit here and think about the things I missed in 2020 including going to the AQS show in Paducah, vacation in Sedona and an Elton John concert but as I think back I really had a pretty darned good year. Here are the 5 best things:
1. Vacations and hiking: We did have to cancel one vacation in March but Chris got to go to Vail in February (where he caught covid without any severe symptoms or consequences). He came home with it and I didn't catch it. We stayed locked in through April but the Outer Banks of NC opened the week that we had our family vacation reservation. We went and had a blast. Then we went to the Great Smokies for a few days of hiking in June followed by 3 weeks in Maine in August. It was during that trip that I turned 60 and two of my best friends were there to help me celebrate. I even met my goal to hike Cadillac Mountain on my birthday. We came back from Maine and immediately planned another trip to the Great Smokies in October where we hiked Mount LeConte. There's no way I could have done that hike 2 years ago. We will take our last hike of the year tomorrow with friends on Cole Mountain in Virginia.
During these trips and in between I spent some quality time with my friends and family. We may not have seen each other as often as usual but we made the best of the time that we had.
2. Clay shooting: I started taking clay shooting a few years ago and I was REALLY bad. I do enjoy it and I realized that if I could work on it more that I could improve my distance vision. I stuck with my lessons this year and I am now doing report pairs and I can even hit a few rabbit clays. Those are MAJOR accomplishments for me.
3. Health research: Covid sent me directly into a research rabbit hole to learn more about the virus and how to strengthen my immune system for this or any other virus or illness. I believe that we have approached this thing entirely wrong. We are so focused on the specific pathogen instead of the body's ability to fight ANY pathogen. I'm grateful for doctors like Dr. Mobeen who have taken so much time to share true analysis of studies and reports and explain how our bodies work at a cellular level. I fell like I've become so much smarter about my own health. As a result I have changed some of the supplements protocols that I take and delved deep into nutrition. Long term, it's been a true benefit for me to have the motivation and time to do this and it's this knowledge that has allayed all of my fears of this virus, or any other. I'm confident that I have improved my immune system dramatically. Now I'm deep into various nutrition research topics.
4. Vitamin D: Because of the covid research I learned about the many studies that shows a direct correlation between covid severity and vitamin D levels. As a result I spent a ton of time researching Vitamin D and went on my own personal trial of high levels of vitamin D. As a result I solved several long term chronic problems including nerve damage, TMJ, esophageal spasms and chronic muscle and tendon pain. I don't recommend doing anything above 10000iu without having your vitamin D levels tested but I was able to take 30000iu safely for a few weeks and it was during that time that these big things happened but I saw a lot of benefits even at 10000iu.
5. Exercise: As a result of the vitamin D and getting rid of my chronic muscle soreness, I'm now able to exercise twice as long at a higher level. For the first time in my life I actually enjoy exercising. If for no other reason than this, 2020 was a great year!
12/29/2020 06:26:24 pm
I would say you had an extraordinary year both in productiveness and in health. I agree a lot about the immune system and fighting everything, not just one thing. I hope your 2021 is just as productive and you might actually get to a year of no UFOs.
12/29/2020 07:56:35 pm
You have a good year! Now I need to review my year so I can be even more grateful.
12/30/2020 08:15:52 am
You truly had a great year. The last two - solving chronic problems- are fantastic. My reading showed me that Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in our society. I am taking high doses regularly also. Anything that improves the immune response is good. Plus, some research shows that a low Vitamin D level is linked to depression. As someone prone to depression, I think that is all the reason I need to take it.
Tina in NJ
12/30/2020 09:30:29 am
We haven’t gone anywhere this year, even though I wanted to take a big trip when I turned 60 earlier this month. But our daughter graduated high school and started college and our son got married the first weekend in October. The staying at home part of this year is getting old, but we’ve been relatively healthy, except for the soap opera that is my heart. I just can’t do anything normally, it seems.
12/30/2020 10:46:29 am
I enjoyed reading this post Vicki. It was nice to re-visit some of your projects and to read about your personal 'wins' as well. It was nice to read something so positive about a year many of us would rather forget.
12/30/2020 12:01:08 pm
I'm impressed with all that you've accomplished. Great projects!
12/30/2020 12:01:24 pm
Wow! Quite a lot of accomplishments, I would say. It was fun to read and recall those posts. I love the Kim's Garden. Your quilting is marvelous.
12/30/2020 03:20:17 pm
WOW!!! What an incredible year you've had. I'm grateful for a pretty decent year, in spite of no travel, our state being in "lock down" due to extremely high numbers of cases and hospitalizations, and missing seeing family & friends. We both stayed healthy, our lifestyle is mostly stress free, and we haven't gone without - a nice safe home, plenty of food & necessaries, clean air & water, no lack of entertainment or things to do, and we learned to stay in contact with others in new ways - thanks to technology. 2020 was a life lesson for the entire globe. Happy New Year
12/30/2020 08:58:49 pm
Such great finishes for 2020! Thanks for linking up and happy new year!
1/1/2021 12:04:34 pm
Love your fundraiser! Where did you get your towels? Thanks for the info on Vitamin D. I had my vitamin D level check several years. Not sure why the doctor ordered it, but I just contacted my current doc to see if she'd order the test. The research I've read suggests that it might not protect me from getting COVID but if I do I'll be able to fight it off easier. And that makes sense. I've taken Vit D in the past and then quit. Thanks for the nudge.
1/2/2021 09:14:16 pm
Sounds like you had a great year on a number of levels. Congrats on getting your UFO List below 10 in 2020!!
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.