Happy January. Always mixed feelings – but mostly good ones – when January rolls around. The Christmas season seemed to fly by faster than ever this year. I tried really hard to soak it up and enjoy, but if I’m honest, I’m also partly relieved when January comes and the lists and running around are done. I feel a sense of excitement looking forward to a (somewhat) blank slate.
I also enjoy looking back on what I learned the previous year, and I’m usually pleasantly surprised to see how much has been cumulatively accomplished that year! I also like the feeling of looking ahead to see what I want to change and improve.
2018 was a busy year for me, both quilting and otherwise. Here’s a quick view of some of the things that happened this year.
You can read more on each of these photos: (Left to Right, Top to Bottom)
Red Wonky Log Cabin quilt on tour in southern Utah
Pixelated Heart quilt for graduation
Keeping it real behind the scenes (sweatpants, messy buns, and squats)
To see more of what happened this past year you can also check-out the Quilts I’ve Made pinboard.
and Gretel this past November. Wow. I’m seriously still pinching myself that I have this opportunity, but I also learned that I’m not sure I’m up for 2 collections in one year. It was rewarding, but also a lot of work. I need to figure out a little more balance moving forward …
I published 5 new patterns this year including Granny Smith, Red Delicious, A Bushel and a Peck, Brickyard, and Fraulein.
I also hit 10 years of blogging. Whoa. 10 years. That’s kind of amazing. I don’t know that when I started in October of 2008 I would have thought I’d still be doing this 10+ years later. And I definitely never would have dreamed where these 10 years would take me. It’s been pretty amazing and I feel SO lucky. (I’m planning a belated 10-year-anniversary party soon, so we’ll reminisce more then.)
What I’ve learned and looking forward
Here’s what I wrote at the beginning of 2018 about what I’d hoped to learn this year. My main points were:
Cut back on commitments
Make more time to be creative
Focus on what I can control
Make more time to be still.
As I look at that list, I feel proud of myself. I made more time to sew for fun, not work. (The Round We Go blocks above have been a great creative outlet.) I’d say it took pretty much the whole 12 months to really work my way through goals, but as I look ahead at 2019 I feel like I made big progress in these areas and I’ve created more flexibility in my life and put myself in a position to simplify even more.
So here are my thoughts looking forward to the new year:
- Simplify even more – declutter my space and my time
- More creating for the joy and satisfaction of creativity, rather than a deadline or a job. (Allison’s post on Contentment really resonated with me.) For a good part of the last 10 years, sewing has been my job (and a great one! no complaints!) but I’m feeling the need to getting back to doing it more for creative outlet, not an added stress.
- Use what I have – shop my stash or pass it along to someone else. (I plan on donating and destashing a lot of fabric this year.) I’m also setting a goal of not buying any new fabric (besides backgrounds or backing – but only if absolutely necessary) for the next 6 months. I think I can do it! I have lots of fabric that I still really like and want to put to good use. (Caveat: I do cheat a little on this one. Because I work for Riley Blake Designs, they do provide fabric for me to create projects featuring their upcoming collections. So I will be bringing in new fabric from time to time, but I’m serious about not purchasing.)
- Work toward finishing one old UFO (unfinished object) each month. Ooo. This might be the trickiest for me. I’m not going to force it (because I’m working on simplifying and creating with intention, not stress) but I’m also excited about this one. I have some great UFO’s that need to see the light of day and be finished!
- Focus on my home – focusing on the house I live in as well as the people who live in it. A lot of home and yard maintenance has been put on the way back burner while I’ve been working on sewing/work deadlines. This year I’m looking for a little more balance between the two. The painting we did a month ago really got me motivated to take the time to update as well as declutter our house.
So, there you go. More than you cared or needed to know, but thanks for listening. It helps to write it all out to keep myself accountable.
And THANK YOU for your support and encouragement over the past year + the previous 8 1/2 years before that. I am truly grateful.
Finally, wishing you the best as you look ahead to your own new year. Don’t forget to give yourself a high-five for the many ways you learned and grew in 2018. I shared a great Old You thought that I really loved from Emily McDowell in my most recent Instagram post.
Looking for some practical tips for sparking your creativity in the new year? Check out this wonderful list from Samantha of Aqua Paisley.