It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.
Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me.
Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps.
Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
Try new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour.
Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago.
Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life.
Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare.
Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?
It’s time to sew some Christmas tree skirts and get ’em up in my etsy shop. After Halloween, which is in just over two weeks, the focus changes to the winter holidays. For Christians, that means Christmas shopping. Want a cute tree skirt? There are three medium sized ones up in my shop. Check ’em out! Click the photos to get to their listings.
I have six more in-progress. Fabrics range from traditional Christmas to animals and patriotic motifs. They’re medium and large sizes for now. I’ll be adding small ones for tabletop trees too.
The horses are getting basted to the backing and ready for quilting. This one already has batting. I re-purposed the panels from a bag I meant to make several years ago. There’s one unfinished project fewer and a cute winter horses skirt on its way.
I’m pinning the binding on this one as I watch TV tonight. It’ll be listed in the shop soon. Binding’s the last step! Well, technically I need to photograph it once it’s finished too.
As always, I love custom orders. Sheri L. ordered a skirt last year with her choice of fabrics and was thrilled with the result. These treasures are machine washable and super-durable for years of enjoyment.
I will also have Hannukah items in my shop this year. Perhaps winter solstice, new years’ and other holidays’ too.
My mini group is on a weekend retreat right now. I get to go play with them all day tomorrow. So fun! I couldn’t swing the hotel room and all weekend costs, but am extremely excited to spend a day sewing and chatting with some of my favoritest peoples ever. Soul food, for sure. Plus chocolate.
Also, I just wanted to give you guys a heads-up that I’m going on vacation for two weeks starting at the end of next week. My plan is to continue with my two-ish blog posts a week but it may be more or less than that, depending on the number of photographs taken and the time to actually write.
Hubby’s not coming with me this time but I’m excited to spend some quality time with family I haven’t seen in a long time… including one I haven’t met yet, baby Mary! Expect an update on her quilt with full photographs of it and her sweet cheeked drooly-ness either during my stay or once I get back. I’m also super psyched to spend some time with my baby brother who’s growing into a man and my little sister who’s now a mommy. And my Dad. Sorry dude that you’re last on the list of shout-outs but we’ve had some really great phone conversations recently that make me feel like you’re not halfway across the country.
So, big plans for me. I’m sewing like crazy to finish up some projects before I go.
Custom orders for Christmas are still available. It’s getting a little late in the season for Chanukkah, but you could always give a card saying what you’ve ordered and save the actual gift for when it arrives. Plus there are birthday and anniversary celebrations to be had.
I’ll have a few more posts up next week before I land in fly-over country.
Here’s my newest completed piece, “On A Good Day.” It measures 48×12 inches and was sewn entirely by hand. It’s pieced, appliqued, embroidered, couched and quilted. Texture, value and repetition were important to me when in the design stages.
This quilt began as a challenge in a quilting group. Each artist is making a piece of this size using the same red fabric. The quilts can then both be displayed as a group and stand individually. I think I’m the first one completely finished, but I’ll let you know if these ever go to a show or exhibit.
I leave you with a photo of my fuzzy helper, Milo. He likes to lay on my pillow and hug my arm while I’m doing handwork. Very cute.
How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.
Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.
Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:
A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
Binding some place mats for the senior center.
Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
Playing around with improvisational piecing
Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.
Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.