Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Quilting Goals

In my 2015 in Review post, I mentioned four focus areas for my quilting and other sewing and crafting in 2016. Here are those four areas and their associated goals.

  1. Completions
    This is restricted to a laundry list of those hanging-on projects that have become a millstone because of the inherent guilt their languishing creates. It will not include pie-in-the-sky ideas for projects that would be nice but have not even been started.
    •     FMQ Overlapping Squares top and bind
    •     Assemble and FMQ Mask Quilt and bind
    •     FMQ Poppy Bella Bird top and bind
    •     Complete master bedroom curtains and hang them
    •     Complete five barstool covers and mail them off
    •     Piece, FMQ, and bind Who Says Woof quilt
  2. Reductions
    This is broadly interpreted to be a series of assessments to increase awareness of, and pleasure in, the fabrics, kits, and patterns I have already purchased. It includes not only reduction but also reigning in expansion of my fabric stash. Awareness of it will guide my judicious choice of classes that increase skills without generating more UFOs.
    •     Donate/reduce my yarn stash to what I intend to use, one shelf max
    •     Assess my kits stash; limit impulse kit purchases to two maximum in 2016
    •     Organize my purchased patterns in one location - perhaps devote a blog page to this?
    •     Decide and implement a method for scrap management, organization, and usage
    •     Buy tools or threads instead of fabric - how to measure this?
    •     Take only classes that are technique oriented; avoid all UFO-producing classes
  3. Skill-building
    This is technique focused and will be broadly interpreted to include charity work where I can practice certain skills. Maybe curved piecing, appliqué, more FMQ filler and border patterns, and 3D folded quilt blocks will fall in this category.
    •     Practice with my new featherweight Fiona by taking it to one class or visit
    •     Make one quilt top or wall hanging with curved piecing
    •     Make one quilt top or wall hanging with appliqué
    •     Make one mandala wall hanging or equivalent to practice paper piecing
    •     Practice my FMQ skills by quilting at least three community outreach quilts
  4. Reflection/Networking
    I initially called this documentation but that seemed too stodgy and formal a title. This area includes blogging but with a bit more. Knowing how much I enjoy reading comments by others I want to make an effort to comment more on other people's posts and not just read them. My husband has noted that I become grumpy if I go several days in a row without venturing into my sewing room. Men want man caves so I suppose my "studio" (sounds fancier than sewing room) is my equivalent. I read a suggestion somewhere to devote a bit of sewing time daily even if just a small amount. I bought a quilt art engagement calendar with awesome weekly photographs of quilts and will experiment with jotting down phrases of progress or plans while spending a bit of time each day in my sewing room.
    •     Publish a blog post once a week on average or at least 50x/year.
    •     Take time 1x/week to comment on other quilters blog posts - not just read them
    •     Spend at least 10 minutes/day in sewing room 6x/week; put brief thoughts in notebook
    •     Share items at guild meetings and at Handi-Quilter club meetings 3x/year
    •     Generate at least one blog-to-print hardcover book
    •     Keep a running draft of my "2016 in Review" post as I complete items
    •     Remember to add labels to blog posts so I can find them more easily
Here is the planner I bought to encourage daily time investment with notes. The cover and that first week's photograph just reeled me in, hook, line, and sinker. 

So far I have notes for January 1st but I captured these images before then.


If the above goals seem kind of constricting, that was not my intent. I was aiming for SMART goals like are used in the worlds of business, management, and self-improvement. To make sure I kept myself honest while defining flexible goals for each area, I kept in mind the concept that SMART is an acronym for

       Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
       Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
       Attainable – assuring that an end can be achieved.
       Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
       Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

I like that the R of SMART that allows me to be Realistic! I know I will be enticed into starting something new before carrying out the around-the-house projects I'd like to do. I am omitting the home decor from a formal commitment hoping that perhaps it will get accomplished anyway in the pursuit of my skill-building and reduction goals. I want to at least keep the following ideas in my queue to preserve my awareness, even if I permit other items to cut in line in front of them.
  • Make a quilt for master bedroom (beach themed as part of pattern sort and fabric cull?)
  • Make quilt wall hanging for living room (curved piecing or appliqué perhaps?)
  • Make curtains for downstairs family room (paper-pieced valance?)
OK. Now that I have thought this through, let's see how I've done when I look back one year from now. Hopefully I will remember to check back periodically throughout 2016.


  1. I particularly like goal 1e! Thank you!!

  2. whew! Well you have a plan. I want to keep track of your blog now... I am going to look at that spiral runner, I bought the pattern too and haven't made it yet. If I managed to make something from each pattern and book I own, I'd have no room to turn around! LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I just reread my goals and "Yikes -whatever was I thinking?" We shall see. Enjoy that spiral runner. I made two of them. They were fun and they use up fat quarters!

  3. Those are wonderful goals - you have a busy year coming up. I love the SMART acronym - helps define more achievable goals. I'm especially interested to see what you come up with for "scrap management, organization, and usage". I struggle with that.

    I think I'll borrow the idea about "technique oriented" classes. I certainly don't need more UFO's sitting around. I need to learn or practice the techniques required to finish what I have.

    I'm also with you on the blogging goals - writing and reading. I get so behind on visiting other blogs that, when I do, I skim by without commenting. I think I need to take an occasional "cyber day" where I post, visit, comment and maybe even discover a few new blogs.

    What do you mean about creating a "blog to print" book? Sounds fascinating but not sure how that works.

    Thanks for sharing your goals and maybe helping me define mine a bit more.

    1. Much like guides you through making photobooks, I found a site that does that with my blog posts. This December 16, 2015 post of mine gives a history of my making blog-to-print books. It contains links to other posts telling what I learned to do and not do.

      Using you can pick and choose what posts go in a book. I just put all of mine in but you could perhaps make a book with just scripture discussions, just posts relating to your daughter, just posts about books you've reviewed, etc. I like having something in my hot little hands. I do not have faith in just those itty-bitty electrons running around on a server somewhere, subject to budget cut backs or technology incompatibilities in the future. Paper lasts forever, somehow. There is proof in noticing how kitchen countertops and office desktops seem forever to be filled with piles with it.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Tami. Always nice to hear from you.