Tag Archives: goal setting

Looking Ahead to 2018

When I sat down to write this post and thought about all that happened in 2017 I realized what a crazy, wonderful year it was.  Our family had many big events – the marriage of one son, birth of our first grandchild, my husband changed jobs to a new company and new position, Julia raised two pigs for the first time, and most recently, my youngest son became engaged to his girlfriend.  We traveled more than usual with two trips to Vermont and one to Toronto. The year was filled with so much joy and it buzzed by so very quickly.

Looking back at what was accomplished in the sewing room was also interesting. I made nine quilts, two shirts, a number of projects for my grand daughter, as well as numerous small projects like tote bags, mini quilts and zip pouches.  Additionally, I made about 50 chemex cozies for my Etsy shop.  I am happy with what I got done, especially in light of all that was going on in our family.

My biggest accomplishment has to be the expansion of my shop to include quilting cottons.  I began this process at the first of the year. It has been a tremendous learning experience and a rewarding one at that.  Figuring out how much to buy, how to market it, when to promote and when not – all of this has been a wonderful process.  I am grateful for all of you who have shopped with me, supporting my shop. Thank you so much!

In addition to my fabric shop, I opened a second Etsy shop where I carry sewing patterns.  This has been a great project but quite time-consuming. It is satisfying to have over 400 patterns listed, with another 150 or so that still need to be listed. The shop opened in June and I have had 145 sales thus far.

Now to look forward.  In the new year I will focus on five goals:

  1. Continue to grow both of my shops.  Adding new fabrics and holding occasional promotions is something I am looking forward to.  I also will be working with a group of quilt bloggers and creating blogger bundles each month.  Stay tuned for more on that, beginning in January!
  2. Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.  I have an opportunity to work with a gal that lives quite close to me who has a long arm.  She is interested in trading me time on her long arm for fabric from my shop.  This will enable to me have access to a machine close by, rather than driving to the shop where I rent time. (That shop is 45 miles from my home.
  3. I have three quilts in process right now.  I would like to really focus on these and finish them up.  I love each of them. My Twisted quilt top is about 50% complete. I have a scrappy HST project that I made as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016 and it sat in the closet all year, lonely and wanting to be finished. Finally, I have my Ring Me quilt.  This is going to be such a cool quilt.  I started it when I took part in a blog hop to celebrate No Scrap Left Behind, Amanda Jean Nyberg’s latest book last spring.  Originally I was going to make it lap size but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  So, I have decided to make it a queen size and it will be used in the guest room.
  4. Not really quilting or sewing related, but I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.  Seems like a small thing but I love receiving a note from someone in the mail and it is becoming a lost art.  I have a huge family but I am putting everyone on the calendar and cards will be sent!
  5. Finally, and most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.  For years now, I have had this drive to be super productive as a blogger and quilter (and also as a wife and mom). But my situation makes it really difficult to have a consistent level of productivity. It has been especially apparent over the past six months or so with my unhealthy days far outnumbering my healthy days.  This is really frustrating for me. So, the goal for 2018 is acceptance. Not that I won’t do what I can to stay healthy, of course i will.  But on the days I am down with a migraine and unable to be out and about, on the computer or at my sewing machine, I need to be OK with it. Blog posts are fun to write and I really enjoy the on-line quilting/crafting community but there will be weeks with less interaction. Such is life.  I am blessed in so many ways and on the down days, I need to remember this.

OK – Five goals.  I am absolutely confident I can achieve the first four.  It is the fifth that I will struggle with. I am up for the challenge though!  What are you planning for 2018?  If you are a goal setter, be sure to link up your post with the 2018 Planning Party hosted by Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl. You can link up until end of day on December 31st.

In closing I need to let you know I am having a huge End of Year Celebration over at my shop!!! All fabric, including the newest additions, is on sale. Hop over and take a look.

New Beginnings

I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t really like the New Year’s Holiday. I think it was because to me it signified Christmas was over (oh how sad I was to see my mom take down the Christmas tree) and school was starting up. I didn’t like school a whole lot as a child – I would much rather be at home!  Anyway, New Year’s wasn’t my thing, that’s for sure.

Now it is signifies a clean slate, opportunity, and a new beginning. While I do love putting the tree up and decorating for Christmas, by New Year’s Day, I am ready to take it down and clean the house. Time to embrace the new year and the awesome opportunity that lies within!

For 2017 I have a few major goals:

  1. The first of which is to greatly expand my Etsy shop. I have a plan blocked out for this but I believe I will save the details for another post. I am excited to share this with you but need to finish a few things up before I do. Now you’re all curious, right??
  2. The second goal is to continue to improve my free motion and long arm quilting skills. I feel like I made great strides in 2016 and want to keep the momentum going. To this end, I am plan to:
    • Make some smaller projects (baby quilts and several minis) because I can quilt those with ease on my home machine which provides lots of practice.
    • Additionally, last night I made a stack of small-ish quilt sandwiches to practice on. Using batting scraps that I stitched together and old fabric, I pinned four sets to be used strictly for practice. For whatever reason, I usually think I need to actually “make” something before quilting. Really, I just need to practice. Using up scraps and weird fabrics will be an economical, quick way to get some practice in.
    • I have two larger quilts planned for this year which will be provide practice on the long arm that I am able to rent. Also, I still have one quilt in my UFO pile and will quilt it on the long arm as well.  (It is the Harmony quilt that was made for a wedding gift for my nephew. He was married in September and I still haven’t finished this. Not for lack of trying though!  I have made two different appointments to rent time on the long arm but both times woke up with a migraine and had to cancel.  Lucky for me, they are very kind about these things. Hoping to schedule time later this month to finish this up and then I can mail it off to the newlyweds.
  3. Next on the list is to fit in a few garment projects. I have several really nice patterns that I would like to make. These are patterns I have picked up while collecting product for my Etsy shop.  Refining my skills in actually fitting a garment would be wonderful. Seems like the main thing that holds me back from making clothing is the difficulty around fitting the pattern. There are a billion tutorials for this, many of which are found at www.collete.com. I subscribe to their newsletter and follow their blog. This year I am going to actually implement some of what I read on their site! First off, there is a vintage fabric I found a long while back. It is a border print and I think it would be cute for a simple skirt. Wish me luck!
  4. Last on the list is time management. There is SO much I want to accomplish. The best way to ensure I can do this is by managing my time wisely. Between sewing, blogging, my Etsy shop and taking care of the house, I seem to run out of hours in the day. To achieve this I plan to:
    • It is my hope to use the Quilter’s Planner even more this year. (I was fairly good about using it last year too.) If I can set goals for each week and plan blog posts out for a few weeks at a time, that would be great. Last year I tried to sketch my week out each Sunday. This year I would like to sketch out farther than one week at a time.
    • Stop multi-tasking. Seriously. This is my downfall every time. If I start one thing, invariably I stop to “just do one quick thing” and then I don’t finish the first thing. I need to stay put. Finish the quilt block, complete the Etsy listing, write the entire blog post, etc. Finishing what I have started would be hugely advantageous. Texting is a big distraction. Turning off the sound on my phone is very helpful
    • Meal plans also help. I do love to cook but if I don’t have a plan for the week’s meals, it feels like a chore. Trying to come up with something at the end of the day often results in dinners like omelets (thanks to our ever diligent hens).  Let’s just say Julia is sick and tired of eating eggs! I love knowing what I plan to make for dinner. It allows me to put more energy into the rest of the day, especially if I prep meals ahead.  Meal planning is something that I do sporadically. It would be so helpful if I planned at least four meals weekly – so that is the goal here. It makes grocery shopping much more efficient as well. I make more quick runs to the grocery store when I don’t have a meal plan. (This is actually a fallacy; from my house to the grocery store is a 14 mile round trip which  means there is no “quick run” to the grocery store!)

With these goals listed, I have a plan. Each objective is easily broken down into steps which makes achieving them much more likely. Go 2017!!! I am off to begin reaching for these goals. Later this week I will share the book that I selected for the Winter Book Share. Stay tuned! Happy New Year everyone!

 

Q4 – Finish-a-Long

Not sure how this happened but it is the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2016 and I never once set goals for the quarterly FAL that happens at She Can Quilt. Leanne hosts an event each quarter to incentivize each of us to get organized and approach our projects with some level of prioritization. Of course this means to participate, I have to actually think forward a bit and decide what is reasonable to finish up.

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This time I am joining in. Better late than never, right?  Here is my list:

  1. Finish the project for the Autumn Abundance blog hop that I am hosting next week. Obviously, there is no way to not reach this goal. Paintbrush Studios has generously sponsored the blog hop and we are excited to provide some autumnal inspiration for all of you! My project is nearing completion. I have been working on quilting it and now need to put some finishing touches on it and bind it. Here is a peek.
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  2. I am working on a little project that will be gifted soon. I am using a mini charm pack of Chic Neutrals, designed by Amy Ellis for Moda. I have only just started this one but it isn’t a huge project. Here is a shot of the patchwork. I really like the colors and geometric prints in this line.
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  3. Remember the Harmony Quilt? I was supposed to quilt this at the long arm shop last week. That plan was derailed (as happens far too often) by a series of migraines that caused me to lay on the couch for much of the week. But I really want to finish this. It is a wedding present for my nephew and the wedding was at the beginning of September. It is a gotta-get-it-done sort of project.
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  4. My scrappy projects will likely be done by  the end of the quarter. I am going to prioritize my Scrappy HST quilt over Gemstones. Mainly because I am not entirely sure what colors I want to do to finish up the Gemstones piece. So – for sure – I will finish the flimsy of the Scrappy HST’s by the end of the year.
  5. I have a whole cloth baby quilt that I just pin basted. This is a fun project, commissioned by my niece, for her friend who will have a baby this coming winter. Love the fabric for this one! I am looking forward to getting this going. However I need to wait for some thread that I just ordered from Craftsyimg_1457I think that is it. During the fall, I spend quite a bit of time sewing for my Etsy shop and usually end up making a few Christmas gifts. Since I don’t have the gifts planned yet, it doesn’t make sense to put them on the list. I suppose I could add in the Etsy items though since they will take a lot of my sewing time. Yes, that seems like a good idea. One more thing for the list. 🙂

6.  Etsy Shop – I need to make about ten more of the Chemex Cozies and five of the French Press Cozies.

That should do it for the next couple of months. Plenty to keep me busy and likely there will be more but this is the list of have-to’s.  How about you? Linking up this quarter? Today is the last day to link up if you want to join in.

 

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Today is the last day of the Supply Sale at Craftsy. Great prices on all sorts of supplies like batting, needles, rotary cutters and blades, thread, etc. I put in an order yesterday for some basics. It is nice to buy this sort of stuff at a decent price for a change!  Check it out.

(I am a Craftsy affiliate.)

Weekend Staycation

Today Ray and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. Eighteen years on the 18th of April. I like when numbers line up like that. 🙂 This is one of my favorite shots from our wedding.

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We decided to have a night away to celebrate over the weekend. Ian was available to come hang out with Julia which was just perfect. We stayed at the same hotel that we had our wedding reception at in town, The Holbrooke.  Like many things in this area, it dates back to the Gold Rush and is really adorable. The best part was we didn’t have to spend any time driving so we had time to play in the garden, visit with Ian AND spend a bit of time away. Isn’t it funny how we take what is all around us for granted? We live in such a pretty little town but we leave to relax.

Mom and Dad knew we were staying there so they stopped by with flowers and a card and asked the girl at the desk to put them in our room. When Mom explained why we were staying there, she upgraded us to the Bridal Suite. We felt very special!

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Needless to say, no time was spent in my sewing room. I have so many projects going right now so I want to be diligent this week to make some progress on each. I have been successfully using my Quilter’s Planner to keep my to-do list organized each week.  This is the list for this week:

  1. Complete the block assembly for Stepping Stones QAL. (I have about 1/2 of the 143 blocks complete.
  2. Make two items for my Etsy Shop. I need to build up inventory and if I don’t do a little at a time, it just doesn’t get done.
  3. Finish quilting the art quilt I mentioned in my post the other day. I have just one border left to quilt and I want to make it look like wood grain. Lori has an excellent variation here that I plan to use. Last night I practiced it on paper and it is a simple motif. Should go together with ease.
  4. If time allows, I will face or bind the art quilt.

OK – my list is now public and hopefully I can achieve each of these goals.  What is the plan for your week? Does listing your goals help you keep things straight?

Just for your enjoyment – spring is here!  A few pictures of what is happening in my garden this week.

The clematis are fully blooming.

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This squirrel decided to hide out in a birdhouse. Last year some sort of critter chewed the opening to enlarge it on two of our birdhouses. I actually made (with help!) this birdhouse one afternoon in Ray’s shop. He was giving me a woodworking lesson which was a lot of fun.

imageRoses are all starting to bloom.  They will be spectacular in a week or so.

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Artichokes are growing! This plant is fairly prolific. We will probably yield a dozen artichokes from it.  Ray has all sorts of lettuce growing and we should be picking some by the weekend.

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Hope all of you get a nice mix of outside time (weather permitting in your area) and sewing time!

Linking up (for the first time) with To Do Tuesday at Stitch All the Things.