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January - Easing into the New Year with Ideas, Aspirations and Commitments

Updated: Jan 22

January is one of my favorite months. It is always my month to wind down from the December crazy and take a moment to relax and fully appreciate my life. I am quite blessed with a wonderful family, dear friends, and the opportunity to be a part of the whole quilting community. But, I am not gonna sugar coat things too much - 2023 was a heck of a year for me. We moved out of our home for all of 2023 to do a full remodel. We started planning a wedding for my daughter. And oh yes, I fell and broke my right hand on the day we moved back home. So there's that. A heck of a year. It has been hard to focus and stay on track with anything. I am really looking forward to 2024 as a year to get back to what I love, including posting more on See How We Sew!

I thought it might be a great way to start our first post of the year by sharing some of the ways I tackle the first month of each year. I invite you to join in and share any tips you may have. You can leave them in the comment section at the end of this post.


My January usually begins with a few days of loafing around the house, relaxing, and then convincing myself to get organized and motivated for the new year. I like spending some time accessing my UFOs and any new projects I have mulling in my head. Sometimes reorganizing my storage helps with this. I also have learned that if I place everything to do with one project in a basket or open container, I am much more apt to pick it up and work on it in free moment. If it is stored in one of those plastic project boxes stacked on a shelf, it is definitely going to stay there for a while.


I am not a great journaler, but I do have my routine that I like for notetaking, ideas and sketches. I like to start a new notebook for the year, and keep a running list of ideas and thumbnail sketches of potential projects or classes I would like to teach. I love the old school, black and white composition notebooks. Remember those? I love that they are not too thick, they lie flat, but most of all, they stack nicely on a shelf. I can also write a title on the spine with a silver sharpie or white acrylic marker. I like to keep a stack of new ones at the ready for when I need them. I heard someone call this this technique Composition Journaling last week. That is appropriate for me! I like to compartmentalize my subject matters when it comes to note taking. Now I know it has a name - Composition Journaling! I have realized I may never be someone that journals and sketches every day in one ongoing, cumulative journal. But give me a shelf lined with notebooks delegated to each ongoing course that I take, class that I teach, or group that I participate in, and I will reach for that notebook every time I need to jot something down.

These composition notebooks are really fun to add a bit of your personality to, also. I love to doodle and collage, especially while listening to online lectures and interviews. Sometimes I doodle something all over the cover with my Posca Markers, other times I might collage some leftover paper fodder down for a quicker fix. Covering it with fabric would be fun and easy too! There are a lot of tutorials on how to do this.


Then I ask myself, "What would I like to accomplish creatively in the next year?" Whatever that aspiration is, I try find a way to keep that goal in front of me daily as a reminder. Sometimes I make a small drawing or a colorful play with the words, so that I can display it front and center at my desk. Other times, I just jot them down on a post it and tape it to the wall. Whatever it is, I think the importance is to have it as a daily reminder until it is embedded into your thinking. Think of it as a yearly aspiration for your creativity. It truly does help keep me on track.

The other thing that I love to do in January is to get all of my calendaring done. I love opening a brand new calendar and starting fresh with all my commitments. This can also include personal goal commitments. Sometimes I give myself a window of time to complete a goal. It's so easy to set reminders on my phone to keep focused on that goal. Hey, whatever it takes, right?

This year, I added to my calendaring responsibilities. After years of saying I would start listing my teaching commitments on my website - I finally did it. I thought it would be a daunting task, so I kept putting it off. Well, I was wrong. It was simple and not terribly time consuming. I just needed to sit myself down and focus on the job. I know it will help me in the long run. I have some very cool workshops coming up in the near future. I am really excited about them. I am finally getting to teach all the stuff I truly love! I will be sending out another post this week to entice you, but for now, here is the link:

I hope that some of these tips will help you jumpstart your creative spirit for 2024. I would love to hear any tips you may have to share with our readers. You can leave a comment for others to peruse.


Craft Napa has always been a big part of any creative endeavors I may be considering, Mostly because it is a week filled with creative play and being around like minded people. It just gets my ideas percolating. Craft Napa has been running for 8 years. I have been to 6, including the first one. It is held in mid January, so the timing is perfect for starting my new year out with a creativity burst.

This year, I had a different perspective though. I was fortunate to be asked to teach last week at the Craft Napa Uncorked 2024. What I found was that I was the ideas were still percolating, but the inspiration came from watching the students jump in fearlessly and put their own personal spin on what they were learning. This is my favorite part about being a teacher in the quilting industry. No two ideas are alike, no two styles are alike, and no two quilters are going to interpret their work in the same way. It was amazing to watch the projects grow throughout the day. Not to mention meeting so many new people with every class and appreciating the multitude of personalities and ideas that make up our community. I have put some photos of the students works in progress on my Instagram, if you would like to see what we were exploring.

Meet you back here on Tuesday! I want to share all the upcoming workshops that I have in the next few months.


1 Comment

So inspiring. I enjoyed reading about how you organize your mind and materials. Great photos too!



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