Looking Forward

Happy New Year!! I have been away from the computer for the past week and a half or so spending time with my children. All four kids plus my daughter-in-law were here for a week over the Christmas Holiday. What a treat. I love having them all at home. The last of them left this afternoon. We had a great time together – lots of time for visiting, playing cards, seeing relatives and eating, eating, eating. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season as well.

Business first! In my last post I was celebrating my 51st post and 51st follower with a little giveaway. Mari, who writes at the Academic Quilter, won the giveaway. Today I packed up a box of treats and will get that shipped of to her tomorrow. Congrats Mari!  If you haven’t ever popped over to her blog, you might want to do that. She is a clever writer and a talented quilter – which makes for good reading!

As with many of you, I have been considering what goals I want to set for the coming year. Quilty resolutions, you might say. I have decided upon just a few. Being a list-maker and goal setter, this works well for me. Rather than list off 20 goals and only accomplishing a few of them, I am trying to be realistic. Here are five goals that I feel are attainable.

  1. Finish my three unfinished quilts before starting a new one. Once I get a quilt top done, I am so excited to start the next one. But then I have unusable quilt tops staring at me in my sewing room. Considering the work that went into those almost-quilts, I want to finish and enjoy them. Right now I have a nine-patch batik quilt top, my Aurifil BOM quilt, and my RSC14 patchwork blocks to sash and assemble. So, first things first, I will finish these before beginning a new quilt. (This will NOT be easy for me but should be really gratifying.)
  2. I am often inspired by Amanda Jean Nyberg who writes at Crazy Mom Quilts. She is both an amazing quilter and teacher. Over the past few months she has mentioned that she is on a “fabric fast”. She, like many quilters lately, is trying to sew strictly from her stash. She hasn’t bought fabric for several months! I bought a ton of fabric over the past year. I intend to sew from the stash in my sewing room and use many of the beautiful pieces that I have. My plan is to “shop” my stash and sort it into a few projects. Of course I won’t begin those until I complete number one. See above! 🙂 I will have to purchase batting and I am not sure I have yardage large enough for quilt backs but I absolutely have enough to piece a number of quilts. It will be interesting to see how long I can avoid buying new fabric. As you know, this is one expensive hobby. Not buying fabric for a while will be good for the budget!
  3. Take more time to enjoy the process of piecing. When I am piecing a quilt top I become so anxious to see the finished result. It seems like this anticipation causes me to hurry, which isn’t a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, it makes for sloppy piecing and second, it takes away from the enjoyment of the process. I love the whole bit – selecting the fabric I want to use, the pattern for the quilt, then cutting the pieces and making the blocks. I want to focus on slowing down. I am confident that just by slowing down, my blocks will be more precise and my points more accurate.
  4. Improve my photography skills. The pictures that I use on my blog aren’t as nice as I would like so I intend to learn more about photography. I take millions of pictures but usually just candids of my kids. I would like to focus on learning how to better use my camera and set up my pictures. For Christmas I received a photo light box from one of my boys. This will really help with the pictures I take for my Etsy listings. I have only just started to play with this. I also asked a friend of mine that is talented with her camera to give me some pointers. Making progress on this goal already!
  5. Finally, I plan to learn a bit about quilt restoration. I have two quilts that need to be restored. One is a log cabin quilt and was the first quilt I ever made. You can read the story of that quilt here. The other is a pretty, antique quilt that I was given. If you look at the picture below you will see that the center of the star is shot. There are quite a few diamonds that are threadbare and in need of repair. It would be great to learn how to replace these pieces. (I assume by applique?)

image

I have been working on goal number one this morning. I am trying to finish the quilting on my Aurifil BOM quilt so I can get the binding sewn on. I made a scrappy binding, which is a first for me. (Check out that pile of Clover binding clips. My Christmas gift from me to me!) This should be my last finish for 2014 – if I can get that binding on today!

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So it boils down to these five goals; finish my UFO’s, sew from my stash, improve my piecing by slowing down, focus on my photography skills (hah, no pun intended!), and study up on quilt restoration. If I can accomplish these I will be satisfied. It seems like a reasonable list. We shall see! Who else is setting goals? Let me know so I can go over and read your list. All the best in the new year!

Linking to Let’s Bee Social and Linky Tuesday. Please take a look at these wonderful blogs. Their link is at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

12 thoughts on “Looking Forward

    1. Bernie Post author

      Happy New Year Lorna. Here’s to slowing down and enjoying the whole process. No need to rush! Enjoy the long weekend.

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  1. JanineMarie

    Happy New Year, Bernie! I do enjoy reading your blog and wish you many fun opportunities for sharing your quilts in 2015. I don’t usually set goals, but your number three goal resonated with me. I do enjoy piecing and don’t tend to hurry with it. Now that I’ve started machine quilting, though, I do find myself rushing on that part. I start out all relaxed and moving smoothly and carefully. I tell myself not to do too much at a time and to take lots of breaks. But once I get going, I just want to get it done. I go faster and faster and my stitches get more uneven. I forget to take breaks and end up tense and cranky. The first quarter of the quilt is always my best work. So I guess a goal for me should be to slow it down and enjoy the machine quilting. It will still get done in a reasonable amount of time. Happy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Janine, I do the same thing. I think I get a little bit bored with FMQ. Then I just want to get it over with. I need to be more creative about how I choose to quilt a project and challenge myself to be consistent throughout. My stitches are erratic and that is so frustrating. Keep me posted on your progress and I will do the same. That way both of us will end up with some gorgeous stitches this year.

      All the best!
      Bernie

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Happy New Year Vickie! Hope all of you had a great Christmas. I like doing that kind of organization – cleaning the hobby room will give you the satisfaction of a nice, clear space! Then you can set up a sewing machine and learn to quilt!!

      Reply
  2. Mari

    Thanks for the shout-out Bernie! Those are some great goals. I want to improve my photography as well. Perhaps it starts with a new camera. Not sure, but I’m going to work on that as well. Happy new year!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Any time! I have a pretty good camera. It is more an issue of learning to use it. Hence it is on my list! All in good time tho. Enjoy the rest of your break. Do you go back to school soon?

      Reply
  3. Sarah Goer

    Great goals! Glad to see (from your more recent post) that you’re already making progress on #1. Your new photo light box sounds fun. Good luck on the photography. Are you using a point and shoot or a DSLR?

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I have both, a new point and shoot (Canon) and a DSLR that is several years old. The point and shoot has a rather wide lense which is hard to use sometimes but has better color. The DSLR has rather dull color which frustrates me. But that’s what I am currently working with. Yes, the lightbox is fun and makes for a clean background.

      Last year I didn’t really structure my time or set any short term goals so I hope to change that this year. You were part of the inspiration for that as I was impressed by your monthly goal list when reading your blog last year.

      Reply

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