|Image via RosieandViolets on Etsy|
I’m so excited about all the promise this new year has in store and I have so many exciting ideas that I could just BURST with excitement.
If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago, what my sewing goals were for 2014, my answer would have been so very different. You see, last Friday, I met up with my dear sewing friends Chrissy, Lee, Sarah and Xandi. I was working on a commissioned project (one that isn’t too exciting if I’m honest) and we were all going over our traveling medallion quilts. As we were thinking of what the next border should be, we all noticed the last borders of the quilt “smiled” at us and the quilt was not square. So, I’m going to come on out and share – the last border on the quilt, the ones that were terribly crooked and “smiling” were mine. I was completely and utterly mortified, although, my friends, being so dear and wonderful, assured me that it was fixable and that its a common problem in quilting. Whew.
Before I tell you my goals and the end of the story above, let’s rewind a bit and let me tell you a bit about my sewing journey. If I had to say what type of sewist I am, I would say “I make things” and those things can include everything from bags, to tree skirts, to stockings, to crib bumpers, and yes, it also includes quilts. I would not classify myself as a quilter. Why? Well, I kind of just “taught” myself how to make a quilt since I know the basics of how to sew and from watching my Mom all these years. I can follow a pattern, I know I need to use a 1/4″ seam allowance, I know how to make a bunch of HSTs. I know the basics, and from there, I kind of just figure it out.
So back to my sewing day with friends, Lee and Chrissy started to talk about “easing it in” and how to correctly sew borders to ensure no smile (although I want a happy and fun quilt, a smiling border is NOT ok) and I had no idea what they were talking about and how to do what they were saying. So, I did what every good sewist who wants to be a better quilter does – I helped Chrissy seam rip off all of the borders I added and pressed them down, and then I asked questions and watched to make sure I knew how to fix it, and what I could do differently in the future. Now, I know that was a long story, but I promise it will make sense in a minute!
A few posts from this past year have touched on this, and I have my friend Holli to thank. I REALLY need to slow down and learn to enjoy the process of sewing. I’m so deadline driven in my day job and with my Etsy shop, that I let it spill over into other things that are supposed to be fun and enjoyable and make them into a chore with a bad attitude of “I just have to hurry up and get this done!” So, this year, I vow to take my time on projects and embrace the make.
There are so many things that I know about sewing that I have taught myself and learned from trial and error, especially in bag making. However, in quilting, there is still so much I need to learn about nesting seams and ironing (I know I could improve here), paper piecing (I’ve learned how but haven’t really pushed myself), and the need to explore more complicated patterns or techniques – just so I can add them to my list of experiences. Since I will be slowing down and taking my time based on goal #1, its the perfect time to add a few more complicated projects to my list and just work on them at my own pace without a deadline.
I tried but failed to launch my selfish sewing series, but this year, I am going to resurrect it and stick to it! Along with this I really want to take time to explore projects and ideas to help me better understand my personal sewing style. Given that I spend so much time of my sewing time making things for others or for sale, I rarely have time to think about what I like anymore. Its so sad and pathetic I know! But that stops now. I’m going to say no a lot more to others so I can start saying yes to myself to be more creative with my sewing projects and learn more about what I like to sew for me.
I made a list of all the projects I still have to complete that I didn’t finish by the end of 2013, and that is NO WAY to start a new year with new sewing goals. So, first up will be to clear the decks and wipe the slate clean by finishing all of my projects that are still owed to others. Its a SERIOUSLY long list, and to be honest, only a few things on the list interest me enough to finish. But, the sooner I finish them, the sooner I can take a deep breath and focus on me for a while.
A year ago (almost), I started this blog as a new creative outlet without much of a purpose or plan. And, that worked for me over this past year, but I’m still craving more, and have SO MUCH MORE to share that I think others will find valuable. So, this year, I’m going to be more purposeful with the type of posts I share here on the blog. That’s all I’m going to say about that, as I don’t want to make it a formal list of post titles, but stay tuned for a few new kinds of posts to start cropping up in the next month or so!