Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Year of Hearts

This challenge, to make a heart a day for a year, has been a fun experience for me, and I now that the year is just about over, I want to take a quick look back in this final post.

I'm going to start with the biggest thing I learned:  you don't have to know what you are going to "do" with something before you make it.  If you feel like making something, make it!  Try a new design, or technique, or fabric; the reason I make a lot of things is simply that I want to see what it will look like when it's done.  You can figure out what to do with it later; the important part is that you have the experience of making it, and the knowledge you gain in the process can be transferred to future projects.

Sometimes, things don't come together the way you plan--and that's okay.  Like when I made the alphabet hearts at the beginning of the year--I thought I would make a garland with them, but before I got around to that, I did a personal swap with a friend who wanted several of the letters (her children's initials), so the alphabet is now incomplete...I could remake the letter hearts to complete the alphabet, but I think I will probably just give them away one at a time, each to a person whose name starts with that letter!

Sometimes things are left unfinished, and that's okay too.  I just went back to the beginning of this blog, and found a post I started but didn't finish; it was going to be the first post for this 365 blog. These hearts were never included here, because they were part of some Christmas ornaments I made for a swap, and Christmas was over!  They are layered like a quilt, with batting between two layers of fabric, to they are nice and flat--they could be package tags or name tags, or ornaments all by themselves.

You can't always see where the road is leading--which is part of the fun.  I started out thinking I would do one random heart after another; an ornament here, a brooch there...I never guessed that I would stumble into several large projects.  First, there were the pin cushion hearts I made for a Random Act of Kindness challenge on Craftster in February.  Remember these?  I LOVED surprising the swappers in my Fabric Basket swap with a handmade goody!

Then, I developed my Hope Hearts project.  This is the most important thing that came out of this 365 challenge, since it is on-going.  I'm so glad to be able to help other crafters support family or friends who are seriously ill in this way.  I've sent out almost 100 Hope Hearts kits already.

And most recently, there has been the fun of making hearts to decorate the charity Christmas tree for The Giving Heart--134 of them, to be exact!  That was truly a labor of love, and I was so very happy to be able to put my heart-making skills to good use.

I ended up going far beyond my goal of 365 hearts; but when I went beyond that, I stopped counting, because numbers didn't matter to me any more.  It would have been nice to actually post one heart every single day for a year, but instead I did it my way, and it turned out to be great!

Thanks to everyone who has followed my progress this year, and thank you for every comment you have left here.  It's wonderful to know that you were on this journey with me!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Charity Hearts DONE!

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  2
Hearts Completed: 144

With these last 23 hearts featuring the names of volunteers at The Giving Heart , this project is DONE!  I've taken pictures, now I just have to box up all the 144 completed hearts so they will be ready to mail first thing Monday morning.  I plan to write about it and include more pictures on my other blog, Leslie's Art and Sew on Monday.

Now that the year is coming to an end, and I reached my goal of sewing 365 hearts long ago, my friend and reader Kay asked if I will be starting a new challenge in 2013.  The answer is, YES! 

I plan to do another "365" challenge, this time revolving around my new interest in Blythe dolls. I want to post at least one new picture of a Blythe every day.  This time around, I want it to be more of a "true" 365 challenge--no working ahead like I did with the hearts!  

Some of the pictures will include clothes or accessories I've made for the dolls, and some will be interesting pictures of dolls "out and about".  There are actually quite a few Blythe blogs, and I really enjoy seeing how the bloggers pose the dolls so they appear lifelike, and I especially like it when the pictures are accompanied by a narrative telling the story of what the dollies were up to that day.  I hope to make most of my posts the story-telling kind.

I know this new blog won't appeal to all readers, but that's okay--I'm doing it for myself, to expand my horizons with photography, and to have fun making things for my dolls.  I still love hearts, and I will show you any hearts I make after December 31 on Leslie's Art and Sew.  In the meantime, there are still 44 days left in 2012, so I'm sure there will be at least a few more posts here on 365 Sewn Hearts before the end of the year!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Names, Part Six

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  4
Hearts Completed: 121

These blue and white hearts look so cool and wintery!  

My mailing deadline for these hearts for The Giving Heart's charity Christmas tree is fast approaching (Nov. 19th); I have the last batch of hearts sitting near my sewing chair, unstuffed.  I know what I will be doing for the next few evenings!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Names, Part Five

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  6
Hearts Completed: 109

I LOVE pink, and I think that the bright pink damask print I used on this batch of hearts is just beautiful.  As you can see, I only wrote female names on these!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Names, Part Four

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  9
Hearts Completed by Me:  92 /100 

Hearts from wonderful Kay:  10
Current total: 102!

Here's a big batch of 22 new hearts with the names of more volunteers at The Giving Heart:

I just heard from my friend Kay in England that she has made and sent 10 hearts directly to The Giving Heart for their charity Christmas tree--thanks so much Kay!!!  That pushes the current total over 100!!!

That is great news, because there has been a change of plans:  instead of delivering the hearts in person late in November, I will be mailing them, and the date for that is now November 19th, so I have a little less crafting time than I had expected.  I am therefore DITCHING my tentative hope of reaching 200 hearts;  I still have a pile of "name" hearts to finish, and when they are completed, I will call this project DONE!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Names, Part Three

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  26
Hearts Completed:  70 /100 (or 200?)

Here are eight more hearts with names of volunteers at The Giving Heart for their charity Christmas tree:

I love this striped fabric!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Names, Part Two

Days Remaining until hearts are due for The Giving Heart:  28
Hearts Completed:  62 /100 (or 200?)

I add five more hearts to the total today.  I kept the design of these name hearts simple for two reasons:  one, there will be so many colors and patterns on the tree that more details aren't necessary; and two, I need to speed things up if I'm going to finish on time!

For these hearts I printed all the names from my computer, then used a light box to trace each name onto the heart with a micron marker.