I’m not usually one for resolutions – I prefer to build habits when I notice I need them. Nor am I one for “my word of the year” choices – there are so many luscious words… how could I possible choose between them?! If I was forced to choose, it would probably be MAKE, but that’s more of a lifelong thing, not a yearly thing!
That said, I find myself predictably reflective as New Year approaches, and as I thought about what I would wish for YOU, dear friends, it turned into the following list:
- I hope you make yourself something this year. We spend SO much time making for others that we seldom keep a single thing. I hope you track down a pattern that you adore, and custom-make yourself something that will make you feel loved every time you see it.
- I hope you take care of your power tool/sewing machine by changing the needle regularly. While you’re at it, keep it oiled and de-fuzzed, too.
- I hope you change the blade in your cutter regularly. If you need to lean into it harder, or the cutting sound is harsh (rather than a smooth “swish”) it’s time. Sometimes your blade grinds because it needs to be oiled. But most of the time it’s because it’s dull. The safety of your hands is worth it!
- I hope you learn something new. Take a class, watch a tutorial, or treat yourself to a new book – but try something that builds your skills. Bonus points for taking a class with a friend or two and sharing the day (and some chocolate) with them!
- I hope you help a newbie. We seasoned makers are the keepers of this craft, and it will survive if and because we pass it to the newcomers. Take time to be welcoming to the new quilters at your guild or store, and cheer on their projects, regardless of the seam allowances or color choices. Don’t perpetuate a mean girls club of snotty superiority… be an encouraging resource!
- I hope you make one thing for charity. It could be a small NICU quilt, or a knitted hat for a preemie. It could be a big, bright quilt for a kiddos camp. It could be a simple lap quilt for your local seniors outreach program. The recipients of these gifts are so very appreciative.
- I hope you have a fabric purge. Take an afternoon to work through your stash, and pull every last one of the “what was I thinking?” fabrics. Include threads and weird notions. Get your sewing friends to do the same, and have a swap. Send anything left over to Project Linus (who make charity quilts).
- I hope you abandon any project that doesn’t thrill you anymore. I know you have a few UFOs, and I know some of them are worth the effort to finish. I’m talking about the ones that aren’t. Sort through them, and let a few go (send them to Project Linus with your purged fabric). Make space for something new (see 1 and 4!)
- Now that you have more room in your studio, I hope you go shopping (perhaps for the new quilt you’ll be making for yourself!) Take the time to love your local quilt stores by spending a little money there. We NEED these stores for the survival of our industry, so take time to help them out with a purchase, and a kind smile. They might also enjoy some chocolate 🙂
- I hope you take a moment to reflect on how special a talent it is to sew. The next time you sit at the machine, thread it, set up a 1/4 inch seam and get to sewing, take a moment to savor all you have learned, and all you command when you do this. Yep, it’s special.
Wishing you the best that a New Year can offer!
You are such an asset to the quilting world. Thank you for sharing your talents.
Margaret, you made me go mushy! Thank you!
I needed to see/hear your words this morning, kick me in the butt and jumpstart me into taking care of me and mine. Thank You Sam for the encouragement and mentoring.
You are most welcome!
Thank you so much Dear Sam! I was just thinking this am about the 11 quilt tops that are finished, and are really cute that I have lost the desire to batt, back and finish. I made them to learn a technique but I don’t need (or have the time) to finish them all and have another quilt in my house! I have bookmarked the Linus chapter in my area and will contact them when I get all this stuff together.
THANK YOU for being an outstanding resource ! You are such a treasure to the world and the quilting community in particular.
I hope we get to meet in person some day.
I’m so glad it was useful! Happy New Year!
Thank you for a great New Years list. I am in the middle of cleaning out my sewing room from top to bottom. Happy New Year to you and thank you for being the voice of WASWI.
Happy NY to you too, Julie!
What lovely thoughts, and a great list! Found you via Facebook; thanks to my friend who posted a link to this article.
I just found your blog from the old Quiltonomics article on Moore Approved – so glad I found you! I’m a young quilter and just made the mistake of WAYYY undercharging for a friend, then found myself in a pickle when one of her family members wanted one too. :-/ After doing some research on your site and others I decided to raise my price and if she didn’t want to do it, she didn’t have to, but that I can’t work on quilts for free. Live and learn! Anyway, I’m glad to know I’m “sew” worth it – and to start charging for what my time is worth, even for friends. 🙂 🙂
What wonderful inspiration for the upcoming year. So glad you moved to Pdx!
Me too! I got to meet sweet people like you!