Christmas has been a lovely mix of time spent with extended family, Church family and immediate family. We still have a little bit more of Christmas to celebrate as our daughter and son-in-law will be joining us later in the week 🙂
Boxing Day finds us enjoying a peaceful afternoon; reading, resting, watching Mary Poppins or internet searching whilst drinking tea and digesting a light lunch.
So what went on in 2017? Well! I looked through my photo files and found several completed projects that never made it into a blog post 🙁 I’ve posted them into my 2017 Gallery for reference and to boost my sense of achievement (press the gallery link button above to see my finishes of 2017).
My word for 2017 was ‘venture’. I ventured into the world of free motion quilting and whilst my skills are still pretty basic that spirit of venture did enable me to complete several quilt tops using free motion techniques.
I also ventured into using my patchwork and quilting skills to teach workshops. Viv at Purple Stitches invited me to lead three beginners courses through the year, teach a table runner workshop using my Star Runner pattern and guide participants through the techniques used in the Chocolatier BOM. I learned to appreciate just how much effort goes into a well prepared workshop! I’d like to grow my workshop leading skills through 2018 (if anyone will have me!).
My three goals of 2017 were formed using Patricia van den Akker’s Dream/Plan/Do planner. I found articulating goals, being given monthly tasks and working on the monthly accountability exercises incredibly useful. At the start of 2017 I had no idea I’d spend so much time teaching and so little time selling my patchwork quilts. Although the direction of my patchwork and quilting activities have changed the goals have remained consistent and helped me make some pretty big decisions around the craft.
The first of the three goals was ‘to design and make a quilt to exhibit in a non-juried national show’. By May the goal had been achieved. I traveled to the Quilts UK show at Malvern and saw ‘In the Cool of the Evening’ hanging alongside a whole host of far more accomplished quilts. As a design the quilt has many flaws but my goal was achieved and I now know how to enter a quilt in an exhibition. The quilt also gave me the chance to be venturesome, doing lots of free motion quilting.
The second goal was to ‘produce, launch and sell three quilt patterns’. I achieved steps on the way to this goal but no new patterns have been produced. I’ve used EQ7 to design several quilt tops. The next stage, translating those designs into polished step by step patterns requires me getting to grips with some other software. I find giving time to learning such skills really difficult. I haven’t developed resilience when it comes to mounting the learning curve these computer skills demand. I just want to get it done and then be back in my comfort zone: fabrics, cutting mat and sewing machine!
The third goal of 2017 has been to give myself opportunities ‘to learn and practice new skills’. At the the start of the year I assumed those skills would revolve around hands-on patchwork and quilting. As the year progressed I found the skills I actually needed to develop were more about teaching classes and writing patterns.
I did do some practical skill developing: as already mentioned, free motion quilting; one venture into curved piecing; and a couple of projects involving foundation paper piecing. But I do have several unfinished Craftsy classes growing dusty on the digital shelf!
As I’ve been reviewing these goals and other aspects of 2017 my goals and plans for 2018 have emerged. Having goals and keeping to regular reviews has been so helpful that it was a no-brainer to invest in the 2018 Dream/Plan/Do planner and the encouragements guaranteed through membership of Patricia’s DPD Facebook group. The 2018 planner divides the year into quarters, working on a goal per quarter.
My initial goal for 2018 is to produce a patchwork pattern by developing my EQ7 skills and learning the basics of Inkscape.
Another goal is to be part of Hampshire Open Studios. This is an annual event involving over a hundred artists and artisans across the county. Studios/workshops/homes are open to the public through 10 days in August.
The other two goals will probably include opening an on-line shop on the British craft site, Folksy, as well as more learning/skill growing. And, of course, all will be accompanied by more making 🙂 and blog post writing 🙂
My word for 2018 is a return to one of two I chose for 2015 – LEARN. I have so much to learn, as described above, and there’s a raft of UFOs and WIP to practice on and, hopefully, finish!
I’m enjoying reading the reviews and plans of other quilting bloggers via Yvonne Fuchs’ linky, 2018 Planning Party.
Enjoying the closing days of 2017, looking back with gratitude, and forward with hope to 2018 🙂