Ho! Hum! My word for 2020 is GROW. This week I have been experiencing GROWing pains! 😀
It’s my on-going battle with developing Free Motion Quilting skills vs. Perfectionism! Of course it is impossible to become a skillful crafter without tons of practice and the production of less-than perfect quilts along the way. Even
As the title of this post suggests I’ve been enjoying a very mixed bag of projects this week! My activities have been affected by a head cold. I’ve spent more time at home than planned. There were times when my brain seemed to be completely surrounded by a fuggy blanket so not all those hours indoors were particularly productive! Never mind, whenever the fuggy blanket slipped I was able to move into the sewing room and enjoy some of my patchwork projects 🙂
On Monday I started revising the pattern and class notes for a workshop called ‘Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin’. The class is booked for 6th March. Before Christmas I made a flimsy to test out my idea and to check the accuracy of the fabric quantities I’d calculated. I began writing the pattern as one to sell but over time came to the conclusion that there are more than enough Log Cabin patterns and tutorials available in books and for free on-line so I’ve been revising my pattern into a class handout. I’ve also been twiddling around with the block design on EQ7. This all takes time – quite a lot of time actually! Especially as I haven’t been able to master graphics software so I do all the pattern illustrations using Microsoft Word. And I probably use that in an inefficient way… but repetition is a good teacher and I’m learning!
All the above is by way of an explanation as to how it is I’ve done quite a lot of thinking and computer work around sewing but so far this week haven’t actually got to switch on my sewing machine! That is about to change though 🙂 I’ve finally broken into a roll of strips, dividing them into two sets to make the normal and curved Log Cabin blocks for a second test quilt. (There are quite a few strips left over from the roll – these have led me down a rabbit hole*). The background fabric is a low volume text print that has been hanging around in my stash for too long. I’m hoping these fabrics will give the quilt a modern look in contrast to the much more traditional looking quilt flimsy I made before Christmas.
I’ll need to be a bit careful doing this as the Scrap Challenge leaders and enders fabrics are quite similar to the fabrics I’m using for the Log Cabin blocks!
*Oh! But Dear Reader! I have now been drawn into another sew along! Scrolling through Instagram I discovered that Allison Jensen @woodberry_way is hosting a Scrappy Trip Quilt Along. I know I shouldn’t (this is definitely a squirrel tumbling down a rabbit hole!) but I did so enjoy the 2019 Trip Along organised by Gnome Angel ... And now I’ve got a growing collection of 2½” strips….(see above*) And Allison’s how-to videos on Instagram and in her blog posts are so interesting and so appealing…. 😀
Well! Last week I shared my word of the year – GROW. It certainly seems the number of projects I have on the go is GROWing 😀 But hey! One week into 2020 and I’ve signed up for a needle turned applique class – definitely got the GROWing skills buzz going! Have you chosen a word for 2020? Has it been inspiring your thoughts or actions?
Lastly, it’s a new term so there must be a Beginners Class starting at Purple Stitches! In fact Viv has filled two classes, one running Saturday mornings, the other in the afternoons. I’m looking forward to meeting the class members and seeing the fabrics they’ve chosen for their first patchwork quilts. Before Saturday I had better print class notes and prepare my demonstration materials…
There wasn’t a lot of sunshine during our New Year’s Eve walk across Hengistbury Head but it was lovely to be at the seaside 🙂
The Old Year, New Year Stuff:
Over the past few years I’ve gotten into the habit of choosing a word of the year for a focus rather than going for New Year Resolutions that only set me up to fail. I do fit some goals around my chosen word but my core intention is to use it as a consistent reference point rather than a way of assessing progress or achievement.
My word for 2019 was ‘COMMUNITY’. My word for 2020 is ‘GROW’. I toyed with words on the theme of expanding/moving forwards, such as ‘develop’ (sounded a bit clinical) or ‘nurture’ (maybe a bit too airy for my practical nature?). So this year GROW is the word (I just heard ‘Grease is the word, is the word’ run between my ears as I wrote that! :-D) but I won’t be letting go of ‘community’.
What is the legacy of community and how does Grow fit with my patchwork quilting hopes and dreams for 2020? Well…
Being part of the Worldwide Quilty Community both on online and in person has been a key motivator for me. Last year I focused on this with the intention of contributing and sharing more both through social media and through teaching.
Social Media: Regular Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts on this blog gave me a useful platform to show progress with my own projects and, more importantly, to share links to helpful and interesting posts published by other quilty bloggers. I definitely intend to continue with regular SQB&S posts. My Facebook page NewEveryMorningPQ and my Instagram feed @allisonreid.neweverymorning are other ways I seek to keep in touch with patchwork quilters. Bringing GROW to social media fits easily as a continuation of last year’s community theme.
Teaching: Through 2019 I taught four Beginners Classes at Purple Stitches. I also organised a workshop from scratch – booking the hall, taking bookings on line and teaching from my own design 🙂 I enjoy the challenge of leading workshops and gain great satisfaction seeing participants confidence GROW as their projects take shape. I’ll be GROWing the number of workshops I have available to teach through 2020. For the first quarter of the year I have scheduled two Beginners classes (both start on 11th January – there are a couple of places available in the afternoon class) and a new class, ‘Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin’, being held at Purple Stitches on Friday 6th March.
I’ll also be applying GROW to pattern writing. I aim to publish eight patterns this year. One will be the pattern that was printed in Quilt Now magazine at the end of 2019 and another will be a pattern accepted for magazine publication in July this year 🙂 So there’ll be quite a lot of behind the scenes/secret sewing going-on to GROW in this area! I do have plenty of pattern ideas swimming around in my mind, I need to work on creating a properly organised computer filing system so I can use my written instructions and diagrams more efficiently… Of course, patterns need to be tested so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to make patchwork quilts 🙂
I’m planning to GROW my own skills and practice the art(s) of patchwork quilting. To this end I’m excited to be booked onto a free motion quilting class in February with Jo Westfoot aka The Crafty Nomad. And I’m intending to purchase another sewing machine (jumps up and down in excitement): a Juki 2200 Mini which I’m convinced will GROW my free motion quilting skills 😉
It’s all very well making these plans for 2020 but I am reminding myself that ambitions built on my own strength are actually built on sinking sands – I have no idea what will happen to me hour by hour let alone through a whole year! To trust and act on the rock of Jesus’ words (Matthew 7:24-27), knowing the solid truth that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8) is, I’ve found, the best way to look to the future. Whatever happens to enhance or thwart my plans my wisest choice will be to GROW my trust in Him. 🙂