To a Successful Year of Stitching: Our New Year’s Resolutions for 2012…and a New Year’s Giveaway

Saturday is New Year’s eve, time to make those annual resolutions aimed at making life happier, healthier, and–perhaps–more productive in the months ahead. For dedicated stitchers like the four of us at See How We Sew, this extends to our creative lives as well. Here’s what we’ve each resolved for 2012. Somehow, putting our goals out there in writing makes them seem more real…and exerts just the right amount of “gentle” pressure to see them through.

Christie wasn't keen on showing her current workspace...but this should give you the idea!

Christie:  I’m finally going to put together the sewing studio that I designed years ago. This goes beyond cleaning and organizing the hideous mess that is there now. It involves getting the proper furniture and storage cabinets so that everything has a place. I’m tired of tripping over fabric stacked on the floor and wasting time looking for tools that hide under the multitude of projects. Goodness only knows what lurks beneath the stacks that haven’t seen the light of day for a decade or so: it could be exciting, or maybe a bit scary!

Laura does her homework before starting a new project.

Laura: I generally work best with deadlines. I purchased some new video equipment a few months ago with the goal of learning to use it properly and to put more instructional videos on my personal website and here on our blog. This is something I’ve wanted to explore for awhile. I love teaching and sharing techniques and hope that this resolution will give me the push to move forward toward my goal.

Jennifer vows to "express herself" with a quilt this year.

Jennifer: I want to make a quilt that represents me and not a project for any particular purpose. There’s an idea that’s been floating around in my head for many months and now it’s time to let it “bloom.” I’m going to feature dimensional-applique flowers, of course, but the quilt will also have beads used in more atypical ways. We quilters have a tendency to let our personal projects drop to the end of our to-do lists, perhaps because those projects demand the most of our capabilities and skills, but they’re the ones that truly represent our creativity. I’ve got one more project to finish  and then, no more excuses!

Darra: I resolve to devote at least 30 minutes a day, everyday, to doing something creative. Granted, there will be some days when I spend more than 30 minutes playing with fabric and thread; messing with beads, buttons, and other embellishments; doodling in my journal; experimenting with my camera; visiting a show, a gallery, or a museum. My hope, however, is that this promise-to-myself reminds me not to let a day go by without indulging my creative side, for I know how easily a day becomes a week, a week becomes a month…and the “habit” of creativity becomes lost. Thirty minutes a day is a reasonable goal, and a creative Darra is a happy Darra. As the old advertisement used to say: “I’m worth it!”

The countdown begins for Darra's "year of creativity."

So there you go! We’re all on the record, and we promise to let you know from time to time in the coming year how we’re doing with our individual intentions.

What would you like to accomplish in your sewing life in 2012? Give yourself that added incentive by putting it in writing. Leave a resolution as a comment below by midnight (PST), December 31, and we’ll enter you in a drawing for a special, secret New Year’s giveaway. Christie will announce the winner in her January 3 post, our first post of the new year.

Don’t forget to check in later this week for our final post of 2011 ;-)

Until then, happy stitching!

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40 Responses to To a Successful Year of Stitching: Our New Year’s Resolutions for 2012…and a New Year’s Giveaway

  1. Pingback: New Quilts –and Other Updates–from Previous Darra Posts (and a Giveaway) |

  2. Pingback: Chairs, Prayers, and Blossoming Creativity: Our Favorite Completed Projects of 2012 |

  3. Ann Bishop says:

    2 things for me in 2012: keep a color journal (not sure what this means yet) and try to be less cautious/more fearless in my quilting.

  4. Laura Sorenson says:

    Well, here goes! I spend most of my creative time just dreaming about projects and wishing I was stitching instead of thinking about it. I have what I believe are good ideas about potential projects but I lack the confidence that I can bring them to life. Then… those ideas just slip away. My first resolution is to start an idea book, I’ll write my inspiration down so it won’t get lost. Also… in 2012 I endeavor to make the leap of faith in myself, dive into the deep end and JUST DO IT!

    • Jennifer says:

      Amen! An idea book is an excellent idea. I’ve got piles of ideas–perhaps compiling them into a book would be just the ticket. Take the leap!

  5. LindaCatlett says:

    A better space. We are in a new house and I ended up with no sewing room and
    a small table for my sewing room. To do any cutting I have to move out to the kitchen
    table. It all works but I need a better space. My goal for 2012 is to somehow rearrange
    the guest room so I have a better working space. It is hard to create when you can’t
    get your hands on what you need when you need it.

  6. Kathie L says:

    My resolution is to make more charity projects – a quilt for a homeless shelter, pillowcases for kids in the hospital, and placemats for Meals on Wheels.

  7. Mary Couch says:

    As I look at my finished projects over this past year, I am immensely proud of my growth and breakthrough into the world of art quilts…. However, I am far from being where I feel comfortable. I want to push myself to be more daring; think more creatively…Find an art brain that doesn’t need to be quite so literal… become abstract. And, my free motion skills need a lot of work. Golly, that just about sums it up… not too much to do… Oh, and I hope all that creative thinking can use the stash of batiks I already have because I want to save for a trip to Italy!
    Hugs from Mary

  8. Juanita Olson says:

    This year I want to become more artistic in my work and not to be so critical of my mistakes and view them as creative opportunities.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      This sounds so good Juanita. I find I am often much kinder to my students than I am to myself. It’s always a learning process. Enjoy every step along the way.

  9. Sandy says:

    I want to make a quilt for me! I started quilting in 1987. I have made quilts for charities, family, and friends, but not one for myself! Sure I’ve made the quilts on my walls, couches, and beds, but not one is “my quilt.” Does that make sense to anyone? Also I need to tackle my stack of UFOs!

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Makes perfect sense Sandy. My first quilt in 1979 was just for me. All others have been for books, class samples,charities, friends, etc. I think I too need a new “just for me quilt”. Here’s to making this happen in 2012!

  10. leaf says:

    I resolve to quilt up all possible of my UQO’s. There are well over a dozen tops stashed around the house. I also want to spend more time sewing, hopefully at least a little each day. I will work on my Endless Applique project! I will mow the pastures before the end of August!

  11. Judy, SC says:

    Renewing my resolution to work on UFOs. In 2011 rule was complete 3 UFOs before starting something new. Made good progress so in 2012 will change to 2 UFOs before something new. Of course, the new projects must be completed. Hope to do more hand quilting, especially on some special projects. AND the biggest of all – learn the meaning of and say NO!

  12. Patti O says:

    Last year I resolved to use my weekly class quilting time for piecing and my home quilting time only for quilting all those UFO’s. It worked somewhat until deadlines loomed or a special occasion quilt needed to be made quickly. So this year, I am renewing my resolution to get some of those UFOs quilted, especially the quilt for my bed which I pieced almost 10 years ago.

  13. Pat says:

    Planning/resolving to really learn FMQ this year. Signed up for the FMQ challenge and hope that will keep me motivated throughout, sounds like a lot of fun with much to learn!

  14. Audrey K. says:

    My three resolutions for 2012 are (1) to take a class in free motion quilting, instead of avoiding it because I think it will be too hard or that I won’t be able to do it perfectly. (2) Finish several old projects before I start more new ones, and (3), now that I’ve discovered them, I want to find and follow more great quilting blogs for inspiration and motivation!

    • Jennifer says:

      Excellent resolutions Audrey, especially the goal to follow great quilting blogs! I hear ya about the UFO’s–I’m still tackling my pile, but I feel good that I made such a great start in 2011 and I’m hoping that momentum will carry through to 2012. Fingers crossed for the mystery giveaway!


  15. Sue Leenders says:

    My resolution is to find my “Happy Place”. Worry and stress out less, sew and quilt more!

  16. WandaFish says:

    I’m resolving to stop procrastinating and just get on with it! I’ve got so many UFOs and I need to finish them without worrying that they’re not perfect – I’m sure I’ll learn from my mistakes and the next project will be better :)
    Oh, and to do less online ‘browsing’ and use the fabric I already have!

  17. I have many UFO’s & resolve to finish at least one a month & also to sent out one unquilted top to a machine quilter each month so hopefully I will end up in much better shape next year.

  18. What great intentions. They all resonate with me. I will tidy up my creative space. It is not bad now. I can find everything. It just does not really flow the way I would like it to. Furniture would help. I also will dedicate 30 min minimum to creating art…any kind I desire. AND THEN, I will remember the second part, to blog about it and share pictures. So, one hour per day, min., even on my busiest days. I just know it will renew me for the next day. Thank you all very much for all you do to inspire. :D

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Thanks Carol. Be sure to send us a link to your blog so we can add it to our list..and also so we can watch for pictures of projects you have made using the Soft and Stable!

  19. Debbie says:

    My goal this year is to not buy any more fabric, but to use all the fabulous fabrics I already have! I know I might need to buy some bigger pieces (like backing), or some very specific fabrics ( okay, I really do need fabric with beavers for a project!), but I think I’m up for the challenge ( as are my pocketbook and full storage space).

  20. Carmen Wyant says:

    I would like to do a few quilts with a more modern feel, learn paper piecing, do at least a few applique projects and some bags and small items. My main problem being that I have all these things I want to do and the materials to do them-I’m dithering about where to start! Going to stop dithering & work on a small applique piece this week.

  21. Bonnie says:

    I would like to finally get my fabric into mesh-type bins so that I can actually see what I have on hand. My current fabric storage is not very conducive to creativity, since it is a hassle to yank the piles of fabric out of the plastic tubs. When it is difficult to pull fabric for a project, creativity is stalled.

    • Laura Nownes says:

      Hi Bonnie – Mesh bins can be great however, I suggest getting shallow ones and folding and placing pieces side-by-side (for easy visibility) rather than stacking. I used deep mesh bins for years and honestly rarely made it to the bottom of the stacks. For me it was no different than plastic tubs. Just a thought. Best of luck with organizing.

  22. Joanna says:

    I plan to follow the Free Motion Quilting challenge to get back my rhythm with this technique.

  23. elaine says:

    one more thing… i checked out the book A YEAR OF CREATIVITY on amazon. looked so good–i ordered it. thanks again, Darra.

    • Darra Williamson says:

      You’re welcome, Elaine. I got that book about three (?) years ago as a gift from a quilting friend in North Carolina. This year, as part of my resolution, I actually plan to read it! Darra

  24. Judy says:

    This year, I want to learn to quilt, the right way. I am so self taught and so quick to take short cuts just to get a project done that it ends up looking ok, but never really good to me. Actually when I hear the word “quilter” I get nervous! Don’t know why, but just the term scares me, so this year I am going to start at the beginning and take a few online classes for basics and do the work just as perfectly as I can. I don’t dream of making beautiful large quilts, rather I dream of making beautiful wall hangings. So from organizing my space to learning better techiniques, by this time next year, I want to be a proud “quilter”, especially of landscape quilts (wall hanging size).

    Wish me luck!!!!

  25. elaine says:

    i have an ongoing list of personal goals. this year the only thing i am going to add is not item specific. it is to “plan time for me and not to squeeze in fun time with what’s left of my day”. when i started my first list of personal goals, i started getting up one hour early every day, which gives me an 8-day week. i did this to give me time for my personal projects. not sure how it happened, but it’s turned into time for everyone else. now i am ready to put that time back into my life. thanks for getting us to think about what we want to accomplish in the next year.

  26. Kris Jacobsn says:

    I have taken on a full time job and therefore have less time for my sewing. So the hours I do get to sew are going to be for me. I am cutting back on my teaching and will do quilts that I have wanted to do for years and am planning on working in my ufo’s instead of working on new classes to teach.
    My big goal is to get my son’s wedding quilt done by their third anniversary!

  27. Colleen Gander says:

    To help keep me on track with my goals to tackle the Farmer’s Wife Sampler and become more proficient in free motion quilting, I have joined a monthly class for the FSW and signed up forto follow daily free motion quilting (15 minutes per day). I have great resolve at the moment…here’ hoping I can follow through.

  28. Vivian Oaks says:

    It’s great that you’re making “creativity” a part of your New Year’s resolution! I’m afraid I need to spend a good bit of time just finding my sewing room, in order to get comfortable enough to start sewing again. I have several quilts in the works, but my sewing room is such a mess, I just hate going there to do anything!!! My most important New Year’s resolution is to clean out the house, get rid of what I don’t use, and keep neat what I DO use!!! Wish me luck….I’m not the best housekeeper in the world!

  29. Thread Ov Metal says:

    I hope to take more risks this year and not worry about doing “safe” projects. I worry too much about wasting fabric or messing up, and it stifles creativity.

  30. Jay Zitter says:

    Inspiring! I aim to learn how to do needleturn applique, including 1/4″ circles, and, following Darra’s lead, to devote at least 30 minutes a day to it. (PS Might you have meant the deadline to be Dec 31 instead of Jan 31?)

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