Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My 2014 quilt goals

Happy New Year!

This year, I have decided to make some resolutions.  Quilty resolutions.  Here they are:
Fabric Fast 2014
I have lots of fabrics.  More to the point, I have more fabric that I can use in the next 10 years, so this year, I am jumping on the “Fabric Fast” bandwagon, or my adaptation of it.  Thanks for my guild mates Leigh Anne and Adrienne for providing the initial inspiration!  Here are my self imposed rules, and the inevitable exceptions:
No buying fabric… with exception:
  • I can buy solids / almost solid for background if necessary, and only when I need it. No buying background for a quilt I plan to make in 6 months. 
  • I can buy fabric for a backing if the backing can’t be pieced with what I have.  The top must be finished. 
  • I can buy up to 4 fat quarters if I am visiting a new quilt shop while travelling.
  • And of course, my husband can buy me fabric when he travels, as always, and I can give suggestions…
No buying books and magazines (but trading is allowed)
Here is what I can buy: threads, notions, tools, and a bolt of batting when the current one is finished. 
I can also sign up: for one workshop or online class.
Keep track of spending
This year, I plan on keeping track of my quilting and sewing related expenses.  Should be easy with the limited fabric acquisition, right?  But with notions, guild dues, workshops, machine repairs, purchases for the sewing room, etc., it all adds up.  This should be interesting…
My Creative Space
Organize and maintain my creative space… that is a tough one for me.  I am not a neat and tidy person.  I LOVE when things are organized, but as for putting the time and effort required to maintain an organized sewing space, that's a different story.  Last week, I got some help from my mom, who ironed fabric while I started tidying up the space.  The ironing was a big help, but mostly, it was her presence that was the big help.  Having someone to talk to while tidying up helps a lot.  Perhaps I should find quilty friends who want to trade evening of cleaning up each other’s space, even if it’s just to sit and do hand work while providing encouragement?  While I am hoping to maintain an organized sewing space all year long, The commitment I am making is to do one major clean up every quarter: January, April, July, October.

For January, I am off to a good start: half of my cutting table is clean!  see:

Other parts of the room are not so good:

Manage my stash
My stash is organized, for the most part, but as a dedicated pre-washer, I sometimes face a backlog of beautiful fabric that has not been washed, or piles that have been washed but not ironed.  Here's half of the unwashed pile:

Let’s get it done!  I am off to a good start… my visiting mom has ironed some 32 fat quarters for me a couple nights ago while I was doing tome tidying up in the sewing room.  I am committing to finishing washing and ironing everything I have by the end of February, and to washing and ironing any new fabric acquisition within one week (all from the exceptions above).

I don’t often buy collections, but I fall in that trap every once in a while.  They all look so inviting, but once I get home, I am paralyzed by them.  I don’t want to limit myself by such rules as "must keep collections/designers together".

So, inspired by this post from the Bitchy Stitcher, I am splitting up my collections and putting away fabric in a way that makes sense to me: Color.  I may still make a quilt from one collection or designer, but I will not avoid using collection fabric because I am saving it for some future quilt.  Physically splitting my collections is a step in the right direction.
Finish, finish, finish.
The list of Work-In-Progress could be a post in itself.  It is sufficient to say that I am determined to finish at least four of my WIP this year.  Yes, I can start other projects, but I will have one of these  existing WIP  finished by March, June, September and December.  I am not committing to specific quilts, but they have to be existing WIP as of today.   These would be likely candidates…
  • Daughter’s big girl bed quilt: still hand quilting this beast.  Really have to get this one done.  Can I do 2 hours a week and get it done by summer?
  • 1930s nine-patch: Have started machine quilting.  Should not be too long to quilt and bind.
  •  Our bed quilt: Top done, minus one small repair, needs a pieced backing, quilting and binding. 
  • Star quilt: 6 of 12 blocks made, other blocks already cut:
Give, give, give
  • Donate one bed-size quilt to a worthy cause, and at least a couple smaller items (placemats for Meals On Wheels, pillowcases, blocks for a block drive)
  • Send one quilty gift to an unsuspected recipient.
  • Find something else I could give: scraps?  Fabric? Books? Notions?
  • Guild: I belong to two guilds, and with all my other commitments, it is becoming obvious that I won’t be able to keep that up.  I am hoping to make it to a few more Mariners meeting, and to be an active participant in the newly created Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.
  • Online bee:  This year, I am joining my first online bee, and I am quite excited about it!  I need to learn to use Flickr, quick!  And of course I am committed to be a good Bee member and a good November Queen Bee.
  • Sew with friends: This is something I have not been doing, but always wanted to: do actual sewing, with actual sewing friends.  Our Maritime Modern Quilt Guild will have monthly sew-ins, so I hope I can make it to some of those.  And perhaps find other friends who would like to meet up at other times.  Shall I be daring and write down a goal of sewing with other people at least six times this year?
  • Blogging: No blogging related goals!  That is because I want quilting to take the centre stage.  As a working mom, I really can’t compete with all the prolific bloggers out there, so I need to focus on quilting first, and blogging without a self imposed schedule,  whether it is four times a week, or four times a month, or four times a year. 
That's a lot of goals, and only time will tell whether I meet them, but it feels nice to see them all listed.
What are your quilty goals for 2014?


  1. Phew! That's a lot of goals! I particularly love the give, give, give portion of your list - I might have something down the road that you want to jump into on that front. With all these goals, don't forget to have fun along the way!
    P.S. Don't worry too much about a tidy studio. “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” supposedly said Albert Einstein!

  2. Amazing Goals! I think I will track spending too, this will be super interesting and may be a tad scary. Mind you with the Fabric Fast it should not be too horrific :) I agree about the blogging goals. I was thinking about that today. As much as I like to blog, I hope it does not get in the way off all of the sewing that I have planned this year.... we shall see

  3. Great goals, Dom. I like the fabric fast idea. May have to jump on that bandwagon too.


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