With a new year on the horizon (like less than 10 hours as I sit here at my computer), I wanted to share a few sewing goals - this will serve as a reminder and accountability for me when I ponder what to work on next. I suppose I already know that posting more often on my blog should be a goal since this is my first post of 2023. Life has been busy - in a really good way. That hasn’t been totally the case the last few years so I’ll take it and use it as momentum to build a healthy 2024.
|My last project of 2023 - I made a couple new quilted bookmarks for my bookworm dragon-loving daughter.
Start Fabric Usage Tracking
I definitely feel like it’s time to have a more accurate picture of how much fabric I’m using vs. buying. I have more fabric than I can possibly sew, so starting a more mindful practice is important. I will purchase fabric when either: a) it’s truly something I know I’ll use sooner rather than never (I’m looking at you, Postmark by Alison Glass!) and b) I’m actively working on a project and I need more of a particular fabric to finish.
Jeni Baker has a fabric tracking spreadsheet available on her blog, In Color Order, that I plan to use for my fabric usage tracking. You can find it directly at this link.
Make and Give 10 Quilts
I generally gift and donate a few quilts each year. I’ve been grappling this year with what to do with all the quilts I make, why I make them, and who I make them for. Oftentimes, it’s not a clear answer and I’m okay knowing that each quilt I make has a different purpose. However, I do have a desire to put more of my work into other people’s hands. I’ve already identified some people in my life I’d specifically like to make quilts for and I’ll fill in the rest to get to at least 10 by donating several quilts to a few local organizations that help people in real need.
|I started this quilt in mid-December (and it's actually already quilted and bound now) - it will be the first quilt I gift in 2024.
Make a Temperature Quilt
I’m very behind on this trend, but I think I’d like to make a temperature quilt. There’s absolutely no chance I will make blocks daily, so I’ll likely batch and sew monthly. I have no idea what style I want to make but I have a month to figure it out. I like the idea of capturing a moment in time in a quilt. Imagine 100 years from now people studying alllll the temperature quilts and evaluating that data.
Outside of a temperature quilt, I have a few other ideas of projects I’d like to make. A lot of what I end up making will be determined by time, having enough stash fabric on hand, and whatever new things catch my eye :)
Just Sew Simple Things
Late in 2023, I was standing and staring at piles of fabric in my sewing space and I told myself I had to pick some of it up and sew it RIGHT NOW. And I did. I pulled out Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilts book and went straight to the stars section (my favorite) and picked some of the simple stars, calculated oversized block sizes, and made six quilts. I’m excited because we immediately realized a couple could be gifted right away and now I have a few ready to gift. Sometimes I fall into the trap of believing I need to spend my time making more complex or intricate quilts. I do enjoy that challenge sometimes when I sew, but sometimes quick and easy and finished is amazing! I’m hoping to piece at least 2-3 quilts per month that fall into this category.
|This is a throw-sized quilt top I made by just enlarging a star block, cutting fabric, and sewing! I made two at the same time - it took just a few hours to make both.
Figure Out How I Want to Connect
Community is one of the amazing things about quilting. I’ve been able to meet wonderful people and bond over our shared love of quilting, mostly via Instagram and a local guild. I posted a couple weeks ago on Instagram that I’ve found that I have disconnected quite a bit from it. Sometimes the bickering or the performative nature of the platform is too much. But then I miss the really great positives that come from it - the sharing and celebration and collaboration - and I have missed that. It’s always a tricky balance and I foresee a similar in and out kind of relationship in 2024. The same is true of the guild. Protecting my wellbeing has become a top priority - to show up as my best self and to show up for others in a way that uplifts and supports them has been the best outcome of this year, while leaving behind the things and the people who belittled and hurt me. That’s left me to wonder how I want to best connect in 2024 and I don’t know the answer. I am hopeful to blog a little more, reach out and start more meaningful conversation more with quilters I admire, and actively plan more time to sew in community.
Do you have any sewing goals for 2024? Is there a specific project you want to tackle or a skill you want to try? How will you connect with community? I’d love to hear more about your plans!
Other Cool Sewing Stuff
And because you took the time to read through all that, here are links to a few things I think look like fun!
Book Club Quilt Pattern + Sew Along
Happy Hour Stitches is publishing a cute new pattern on January 1, 2024. It’s a mix and match books on a shelf pattern (with some fun accessories like plants and mugs too). They plan to host a year-long sew along where participants can document their reads for the year through the quilt. I love this idea, especially since 2023 was the year I took back control of my time and started devouring books again :) View the pattern and follow Happy Hour Stitches on Instagram at this link.
Crafting Calm: How Tidying Up Sparks Creativity in Your Sewing Room from Feel Good Fibers
There are tons of great tips on cleaning up your sewing space - I imagine there could be a few resolutions out there to start this endeavor soon and this helpful blog post gives you a great place to start. Read the blog post at this link.
Creativity Bundled in One Email - The Scrap Basket
No one needs another email to subscribe to, but if you’re looking for one special email that has lots of quilting and creative inspiration, I highly recommend Debbie Jeske’s newsletter, The Scrap Basket. It’s one of the few emails I bookmark and actually go back to because I want to read more of her round up. You can review past issues to see if it’s the right fit for your inbox and then subscribe at this link.