I’m not a big resolution-maker around the new year, but sometime in January, I do usually at least think about a few things I would like to change or accomplish in the coming year. While I still have some thinking to do about my personal resolutions, I have thought of a few things I’d like to accomplish related to sewing and crafting.
1. My biggest resolution this year is to open an etsy shop. I signed up for one almost a year ago, but I have yet to list a single item. My goal is to list at least a few things by March. The scariest part for me is the photography. I’m just not sure I can get an etsy-worthy picture of my items, but I just need to get over that and do it. I already have several items that I’ve made specifically with etsy in mind. I currently have quilts at two local shops, and I’ve only sold one in several months, so I’m hoping that etsy might reach a wider audience. Either way, I won’t know until I try. While I’m not looking to make a significant income, it would be nice to have a way to “get rid of” all of the things that I make. I love quilting, and a person can only keep so many quilts in a house until it’s overrun with them. I give them away as gifts, but I still end up with too many. Even though I usually love what I make, I can only keep so many, and it would be nice to make a little money to fund my habit!
2. Branch out with quilting. Until this point, I’ve either quilted in straight lines or in a stipple pattern. If I get really crazy, I add a little three petal flower into the meandering design. Frankly, I’m pretty good at stippling. It came easily to me, and I didn’t even have to really practice to achieve fairly even stitches (the above picture is my very first attempt at machine quilting). However, it gets boring after a while, and I’m at the point now where I really need to challenge myself with more difficult designs to make my projects really look nice. To this end, I’ve signed up for (and already watched!) Angela Walters’s class on quilting negative space. There are several more challenging designs in there that I’m anxious to try. I’m honestly quite scared that I won’t be very good at it. I don’t have a stitch regulator, and it gets difficult to pay attention to a pattern as well as try to keep even stitches, but if I don’t practice, I’ll never be able to do it. Angela has a long arm machine, and while she makes it look easy, I’m sure it’s not easy on that, either. A domestic machine does present difficulties, but I plan to start on a small quilt and then go from there.
3. Severely reduce the amount of fabric I buy. I’m running out of shelf space, and we just installed all new bookshelves in my craft room a few months ago. I have WAY too much fabric—more than I could use in a couple years at least. I know it’s not practical to vow to not purchase any fabric at all in 2013 because sometimes I’ll need a solid, more white fabric if I run out, etc., and I also want the freedom to pick up something I love if/when I find it. However, I’m going to make a conscious effort to not go into fabric shops unless I need something or have some birthday money or something like that. I need to use what I have before I don’t love it anymore, and we all know that tastes change, and fabric goes out of style.
4. Along a similar line, I’m vowing to stop hoarding my favorite fabrics. Just in the last couple of weeks I’ve already started to do better in this area, but it hasn’t been without effort! However, I’ve found that it’s been quite rewarding to use some of my favorite prints. I love buying charm packs and layer cakes, but I also hoard those in anticipation of the “perfect” project. In order to make this a measurable goal, I’m vowing to use at least three pre-cut packs that I currently have, and I will make at least two quilts using fat quarter bundles. I’m also going to start spreading the wealth—i.e. using some of my favorites on swap and bee projects. A lot of times my favorites are others’ favorites, too. I know there will always be new fabric lines that I love, so there’s no reason to hoard the good stuff—it might not be so good in a few years anyway. (Remember the orange and brown of the seventies/eighties? Ugh. Although I love gray and yellow right now, I think gray will be the new brown in another decade, so I might as well use it now while I like it!)
5. Work more on my blog. When I started the blog, I didn’t know if I would keep up with it or even enjoy it, but I’ve stayed consistent for over a year now (with a short break in there when the baby came), and I’m still enjoying writing and keeping a photo log of what I’ve made. However, it would make things more interesting to me if I knew at least a few people were actually reading my posts. So, I’m going to start linking up to other blogs, pinning my pictures, etc. to see what can happen by the end of the year. I’m also going to try to learn more of the technical aspects behind the blog. My best friend, Laura, is my technical guru, and she keeps everything running smoothly for me. However, I’m at least going to get a few books from the library, do some reading, and try to learn a little more about what makes things work (or not work) around here.
6. Finally, I’m promising to make more things for myself. Most of what I make is for others—for gifts, to sell, for swaps/bees, etc. Over the last year, I think all I kept for myself was a pair of pillowcases and a Christmas quilt. That’s going to change this year. I have a couple of quilts lined up for myself, and I’m going to make it a priority to finish them this year. I’ll still sew for others, but I will also not feel guilty sewing a few things sewn just for me, just because I want to.
I will try to revisit this post bi-monthly to see how I’m doing at keeping my resolutions.