New year resolutions: finish it SAL project list

First off: a happy new year!

My cross stitch friend Galdra, or magical525 on Deviants runs a blog with many beautiful sew alongs (SALs), check them out here: Magical quilts and more.

Galdra is an amazing pattern designer and I look forward to the day I can participate in another one of her SAL’s from start to end. So far, I’ve only participated in her spring SAL where I made the biscornu bellow. In this SAL she gave a piece of the pattern every four hours during the Easter weekend. This was both intense and a lot of fun. I participated in a similar New Year SAL but did not manage to keep up. But more about that later in this post. The SAL I want to talk about in this post is the finish it SAL.

In this SAL participants encourage each other to finish several pieces this year they really want to finish. I decided to join this SAL for the fun of it and as encouragement to focus this year’s sewing on certain key projects.

Spring SAL biscornu
Spring SAL biscornu

How does the finish it SAL work?

The first requirement is to post a list of all the projects you intend to work on. This post will be my entry. I’m not actually planning to finish all the projects I list here though, because some of them are huge such as the Dear Jane sampler quilt. I’ll use this finish it SAL to decide which projects to focus on most in the new year and to see how far I’ll get with them. I’m not even going to push myself to finish because I want to keep the joy in the projects.

Continuous big projects

Dear Jane hand sampler quilt

This quilt sampler is to practice my hand piecing and hand quilting skills. I haven’t worked on this project for months and my fingers are itching to continue. You can read more about the project here:

Started: October 2017

Goal SAL: Finish the squares of the quilt top. Now 90 of 169 are finished which means I still have 79 blocks to go. Also, all the squares need to be assembled. I will probably start the border triangles as well this year though because I am too impatient to wait.

My Kenyan quilt

The quilt I am making and designing while living in Kenya for my studies. I will be back in the Netherlands in March and after that, I have to find a job or PhD either in Kenya or the Netherlands. It is unclear if I will be back in Kenya anytime soon to finish the quilt here, although I would love to. Therefore, for now, I will continue work on this quilt and execute the ideas I already have for it and see how my academic pursuits pan out.

Started: September 2018

Goal SAL: Finish the quilt top and maybe start quilting in the winter when it’s cold. I haven’t decided how to quilt this one yet though, so there’s no hurry.

The big quilt: a memory quilt

This is one of my first big quilt projects. This project is started to create a memory quilt for one of my sister-friends using her old clothing and other significant patterns and fabrics. This to give her a warm blanket for peaceful nights and to ward off bad dreams. This is a very special project for me because I love making something for a  special person to me, and it also allows me to teach my friend about quilting. Plus, my mother did not believe in our improvisational approach in the beginning and yet here we are pulling it off! Looking back at some of the first pieces, I cannot really blame my mother’s pessimism though because mistakes were made. Read more about that project here:

Started:  2012

Goal SAL:  Finish the top and put the quilt together to be quilted. It would be nice to start quilting at the end of 2019 when it’s cold in the Netherlands. I cannot wait to see the top finished!

Acupictora’s cross stitch along

This is one of those ambitious projects that will take me more than ten years. Especially considering it is cross stitch which always takes longer than I think. But I like projects like that. The moment I saw the patterns of the Acupictora cross stitch along I was sold. My version is going to be a small tablecloth. You can find  more information about this pattern in this facebook group: Acupictora’s Celtic stitch along

Started: May 2018

Goal SAL: I am not even going to contemplate finishing this one. I am going to continue cross stitching, enjoying the process, and see how far I’ll get.


The ones to finish: Small projects

Hot air balloons cross stitch

This is a cross stitch I am also doing in Kenya. I am not super fond of the colours so far, but it gives me something soothing to do when I’m tired. Also, I want to see this piece finished to assess whether the colours used are really badly chosen or not. This is a kit I got from Aliexpress when I started cross stitching. This finish will be my first big cross stitch project, so when it’s finished I’ll frame it and hang it in my house like the proud person I should be.

Started: September 2018


The New Years SAL

I had friends over, so no time to stitch. Also, the days around New years eve where crazy so I did not do much for this one yet. Will definitely finish it though, because I have great ideas for it and I love the finishes other people have. See the patterns here:

Started: December 2018


Stretchy the dragon cross stitch

This is a free pattern from Teresa Wentzler you can find here: Stretch the dragon. I love dragons, enough said. For this, I use leftover floss from kits. Using that floss for this cool dragon is a nice way to tidy the chaos of leftover floss I owned.

Started: September 2018

Stretch the magic dragon WIP

Crewel embroidery landscape

This one I really want to finish because I always wanted to learn crewel embroidery. I got the pattern from Sol Y Mano studio on Etsy: mountain landscape pattern.

Start: November 2018

Crewel embroidery mountainscape

New starts:

Lucky me there is only one project I really want to start. It is a cross stitch of an amazing glass-stained dragon watercolour I found on Deviantart made by Euclidstriangle.

Pinkythepink, a cross stitch friend on Deviantart, converted it into a pattern. There is both a small and big version and I’ll go for the big version. Both because I want to know how that one looks, but also because I like it big. Ideas for this project so far are glow in the dark fabric, that would work amazing right!

Wrap up

Ok, this looks like more than enough already. Part of the challenge is to have monthly updates. Because I am already doing monthly sewing updates. I’ll stick to those and make sure they revolve around the projects I’ve mentioned above. Read those updates and you’ll know how well I am doing with my ambitious list. Some questions for you to end this post:

  1. What are your goals for next year, creative or not?
  2. Do you like to put deadlines to finish stuff on yourself or do you prefer taking whatever time it will take?

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


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