A few goals for 2014

After the last several weeks of sewing toward a big deadline that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for, I spent some time last night reflecting on what an amazing year 2013 was and thinking about goals and thoughts about 2014 and what kind of year I want it to be. I've always loved making lists, so whenever the new year rolls around, I always enjoy all the list making that seems to come along with the new year, from goals to plans to the to do's for putting away the holiday decorations.

my 2014 filofax

For 2014, I splurged on a new paper planner - a Filofax - for the first time in years. I've been using inexpensive yearly paper planners from Target and the like for the last few years, after years and years of using a Franklin Covey planner, and I realized I missed that hyper level of organization day-to-day. After shopping what Franklin Covey had available, I didn't really love any of the planners, so I hunted for some alternates, and fell in love with Filofax, after considering Arc and other competitors. Yes, the Filofax binders themselves are an investment, but the refills are pretty cheap compared to others, and I fell head over heels for this pretty yellow one (currently out of stock but available in purple, green and orange). I've been using it for a few weeks now, using the week on two pages paper format, and enjoying that so far. For 2014, I'll be using the page per day format, to give me the most space possible for my task lists.

nothing like a paper planner to make me feel organized!

While I'm normally pretty ambitious about my goals for the year, I decided I just wanted to set some personal sewing goals for the year - not necessarily big ambitious ones, just some things I really want to sew this year. I feel like I spent a lot of time sewing for deadlines this year, which is a fantastic and wonderful thing that I'm very thankful for, but I'd really love to find some time for some selfish sewing this year. I'm also hoping to make more time to blog in 2014 and not fall prey all the time to sharing things only on Instagram!

goals for 2014

Happy New Year to you and yours! What are you hoping 2014 brings?

this is the idea way to ring in the new year...
And don't you agree? this pup needs his own dog bed so he can stop hogging my couch pillows!

2011: A year in stitches

At the end of every year, I'm always amazed by how quickly the year passed.  This year is no exception...but this time, I have lots of pretty pictures to remind me of all the wonderful things that happened throughout the year.  There's so much I'm proud of having done this year, I think I've grown immensely as a quilter, and I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

the year in quilts
I can hardly believe this, but I made twenty-five full quilts this year!  Holy cow!  I couldn't possibly pick a favorite, I love them all so much in different ways.  There's two quilts in this mosaic here that I can't show you more of just yet, but trust me, you'll be seeing them soon.  There's also a boatload of mini quilts I made in addition to this collection of 25 this year.

There were so many things that happened this year in my sewing life, but here's a few that I will never forget:
* Going to the Sewing Summit and meeting so many new friends
* Being published in two print magazines
International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene 2011
Quiltmaker Jan/Feb 2012 issue
* Participating in fantastic quilt bees and swaps, too numerous to name
* Co-hosting a fabulous swap with Megan, For the Love of Solids
Round 2 sign-ups start January 1st!
* Hosting two fun quilt-alongs
Sliced Coins quilt-along
Kaleidoscope quilt-along
* Sharing my first Moda Bake Shop quilt recipe - and finishing a second that will be up on January 1st
Bella Crossing quilt recipe
* Opening my pattern shop and releasing my first patterns
My pattern shop
Fabricland quilt pattern
Xs and Os quilt pattern

the year in other sewing projects

I made a lot of lofty goals last year, most of which I met, and some of which I changed my mind about as my tastes changed.  This year, I'm aiming to make fewer, more simplified goals, with room to adapt my goals as my taste and my schedule.

1. Say no thank you more often!  I participated in countless swaps this year, coupled with guest posts, bees and other side projects that often left me feeling stressed me out and rushed.  This year, I'm vowing to be a bit more selective with what I say yes to and to plan my time accordingly.  Thanks, Lee, for reminding me about this one!

2. Write more patterns!  I've got boatloads of sketches and plans in the works for 2012 and I'm really excited to get started.

3. Try more new things!  I've tried hard to branch out from basic stippling in my quilting, and I've really enjoyed the results so far, so I want to stretch myself more often.

4. Finish my outstanding projects!  I feel like I started a lot of things that I didn't follow through on and finish.  I haven't finished my Single Girl quilt, Birdie Stitches quilt, and probably a few other projects that I've forgotten about, but I'm aiming to finish them off and be done with them this year.

5. Host a Christmas in July blog party!  Back in June, I came up with an idea to host a Christmas blog party for July, to encourage all of us to get our Christmas sewing early in an attempt to ward off the holiday crazies that come with homemade gifts and decorations, but I didn't get around to it in time.  This year, I totally want to put it together in time, because I don't have a single sewn Christmas decoration at my house, and this is going to be the year that changes!

the year in bee blocks

I first read this T.S. Eliot quote about the new year back in college, but it's a memorable one and I've always loved the sentiment...

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.

So, here's to new beginnings in 2012!  Thank you all so much for your comments and support over this last year, I appreciate every single one of them.  Happy New Year to you and your families!

How is it that 2011 is already a quarter over?

We are three full months into 2011 - how did that happen?  How is it that time flies so fast these days?  I don't remember thinking that time went by quickly as a kid, but as an adult, especially one with a young child, it seems like time disappears amazingly fast.

Back in December, I drew up a crazy list of quilty goals for myself because...well, I'm just that kind of person.  I like to have goals, I like to have lists, it seemed like a perfect marriage.  I hosted a linky for others to join in, and I was super excited to see that I'm not the only one who likes to make lists like this.  It is time to check in - even if you didn't link up back in December, feel free to join in with your own list and the progress you've made so far.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how I'm doing on my list.  When it comes to lists, I either wind up doing one of two things - I either totally "live" the list, checking it frequently, reminding myself of the goals, or I completely forget about it and don't accomplish anything on it.  I haven't looked at this list since December, so I'm super pleased to see that I'm actually making good progress so far...here's the list, complete with updates on my progress...

1. Bee quilts - total of 3 of them - Well, I've gotten to the be the queen bee in {Sew} Beautiful, and I have all of my blocks from the group, but need to make more to full up the quilt.  I've got my 6 blocks from the 3x6 Bee, but haven't decided quite how I'll use them just yet.  My turn to be the queen bee for String Me Along is in May, but I haven't decided on a pattern just yet.

2. Matching twin quilts for my new niece and nephew - Done!  The Sliced Coins Quilt Along grew from this particular item on my list, and I'm super proud of how these quilts turned out.

3. King size Single Girl - Almost done with this.  Stuck at the moment, thanks to the lack of available rental long arm quilting machines in my area.  Argh.  Supposedly, one of the nearby shops will be getting one in before the summer starts, so here's hoping.

4. Elizabeth Hartman's Kitchen Window quilt - I kind of forgot about this one.  I'm not sure what kind of fabrics I had in mind here, but I think I might have been thinking about a quilt for my sister with this one.

5. Spiderweb quilt - I decided to enlist the help of the amazing girls in the {Sew} Beautiful Bee on this one.  Their blocks are gorgeous - I just need to make some more of them (okay, 18 of them) to finish up this quilt.

What's on my wall today

6. Cathedral Windows pillow for my living room - I did make a cathedral windows pillow for my Urban Home Goods swap partner, but I haven't tackled one for my living room yet.

7. Zig Zag quilt - I love zig zag quilts...but I kind of forgot that I intended to make one.  I'm thinking that I might really like to use of some gorgeous Aviary 2 for this...

8. Postage stamp quilt - Yet another forgotten item!  I do definitely want to make a quilt like this, but I've got to find the right fabrics for it.  And the right recipient!

9. Yellow dresden plate or wonky sun pillow for my mom's birthday - Done!  I wound up going a completely different direction, when my friend Lee wrote an amazing pillow tutorial over at Fat Quarterly, but I did indeed do this one.

10. Margaret's Hope Chest charity quilt - Just finished this one off, getting it off in the mail tomorrow.  I'm so happy with how this one turned out, and I can't wait to work on another quilt like it!

How are you doing with your goals?  What are you waiting for?  It's check-in time!!  Link up below :)  This linky will be open until April 10th.

My 2011 Lofty Quilty List

First off - thank you all so much for the awesome birthday wishes yesterday!  I had a great day, and even started my first embroidery project, which is going pretty well for my first time.  Stay tuned for a sneak peek on Wednesday.

And now, another list for the girl who loves lists.

Have I ever told you about how my father-in-law actually mentioned my love for lists and Excel in his wedding toast?  I've always enjoyed making lists, and I find it hysterical that my munchkin is already showing his affinity for lists too.  He loves to say "check" in the grocery store when we're shopping our way through our list, and has once or twice picked up one of his handy dandy notebooks and pretended to make a list of his own.  Super cute.

Anyway, I was thinking that 2010 is quickly evaporating.  Where did the year go?  We've got a little over a week left, and for me, that's the time when I usually start coming up with grand plans for the next year.  Have you noticed that the New Year will begin on 1-1-11?  Pretty cool, if you ask me.

So what do I have planned for 2011?  Definitely more quilting.  I did a lot of quilting this year, and I've discovered that quilting is something I really love.  It's kind of funny to think that I didn't find a hobby that I was super passionate about until just last year, but that's the case.  Quilting and sewing makes me a more sane, more happy person.  So, definitely more of that.  Time for a list and naturally some inspirational mosaics...

1. Bee quilts - three of them! I'm the mama for one, and a participant in two more, so I'm looking forward to lots of bee fun this year.

2. Matching twin baby quilts for my brand new niece and nephew

3. A Single Girl queen size quilt for my bed (I'm thinking red and aqua here, how awesome would that be???)

4. Oh Fransson's Kitchen Window quilt from her new book

5. Spiderweb quilt, possibly using scraps and/or selvages from this last year of quilting

6. Cathedral Window pillow for my living room

7. A zig zag quilt

8. Postage stamp quilt

9. Yellow Dresden plate or wonky star pillow for my mother's birthday

10. Margaret's Hope Chest charity quilt - I'm making a pink quilt and I'm thinking one of three concepts - colorbrick, crosses, or square in square.

I decided to stop at 10 projects, at least for now, otherwise I'd wind up with a ridiculous list of 50 things and expectations that I'd never be able to meet.  I think I'm most excited about either my MHC quilt and working in the bees.

And now, it's linky time!  What have you got planned for next year?  A new quilt (or 18 of them)?  Finishing off a quilt top?  Organizing your sewing room?  I want to hear all about it!  :)