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Looking back, planning ahead

As we finish up the old year and welcome the new, many of us like to look back at the list of projects we’ve completed over the past twelve months, and consider new directions for our work.

For myself, I like to flick through last year’s calendar and remind myself of the quilt shows I enjoyed and the workshops I took. Scrolling through my posts on Instagram is an enjoyable visual journal of the year’s creative projects, too.

These were two of my favorite finishes of 2021. I made the same quilt twice but in dramatically different colors. Both use necktie silks and a traditional pineapple block.

January brings opportunities to make plans and set goals. You know yourself best. If this kind of exercise motivates and excites you; go for it. (Sometimes I find myself rebelling against the deadlines I’ve come up with for myself - So I don't over-do the goal setting!) The following suggestions are meant to spark inspiration, not bring pressure to what’s meant to be the enjoyable pastime of sewing and quilting. Pick and choose what might work for you!

Looking Back:

  • Create or update your notes on projects you’ve made - It’s possible you might want to make that quilt again, so it’s good to be able to look up the yardage, cutting instructions, batting and binding details etc.

  • Sort through old UFOs. Are you really going to complete them? Could you finish them quickly and donate them?

  • Put labels on all your finished quilts. This video covers several ways to do that.

  • Identify the progress you made as a maker this year. What new techniques or styles did you explore? What would you like to do more of?

  • Got too much fabric? Now might be a good time for a clear out!

Planning Ahead:

  • List the patterns, projects and techniques that interest you for the upcoming year.

  • Need new fabric? Consider signing up for a fabric club that sends yardage and fat quarters of new colors and prints. I'm a fan of Tara Faughnan's Color Collective.

  • Treat yourself to a class with your favorite quilter. Creative Spark has some really wonderful classes from world-class teachers. There are also SO many free lessons if you know where to look.

  • Sign up for a quilt-along, round robin or block of the month.

  • Check out your local quilt guild or quilt shop to see what activities and challenges they’re offering. Being accountable to a Round Robin or Friendship Block group could be a nice motivator.

  • Follow your favorite quilters via their blogs or social media posts. Mel Beach is fabulous to follow as she sets herself 100-day challenges, month-long challenges, dice games and more.

My first project of the year is an experiment with Drunkard's Path. It's a block I've never made before and fits nicely with my resolution to cut back on the booze!

However you mark the beginning of a new year, I hope the coming twelve months will bring you health, happiness and time to sew!

We love to read your comments. What are YOUR new year's resolutions?

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