Setting Quilty Goals
Have you abandoned your new year resolutions yet? According to calendars that tell us fun things like when smile day is, you likely let those resolutions fall to the wayside just about two weeks ago. Or maybe you haven’t even developed any goals for the year. If you’re feeling frustrated or stuck, keep reading for my best tips on setting quilty goals that are perfect for you.
What’s your why?
For every what, there must be a why. If you can’t say why you want to set something as a goal, it’s going to be very hard to decide what it looks like to be successful or committing the time needed to meet the goal. This is especially true for goals that you’re setting because you think you should (finishing WIPs) or because everyone else is (Instagram hashtags, anyone?!). Because the why behind goals like these isn’t personalized to you, you’re going to struggle. And there’s no fun in that!
For example, a lot of quilters will make a goal of “finishing my WIPs.” But why? If having a ton of unfinished projects is a burden on your creativity, then let’s absolutely put finishing those WIPs at the top of the list. If you think this should be a goal because of the shame of having so many unfinished projects, I challenge you to let that go. For me, I must have several projects going at a time to fully tap into my creative potential. If multiple projects are your jam, so be it.
Once you know why you want to achieve a goal, getting there is so much easier.
Let why dictate what
Now you’re ready to start making a list of what those projects might be.
If you’re setting a goal because you’re getting ready to move and you need to downsize, finishing your WIPs might not be the best choice. (Are you really going to have time to finish all those projects while getting ready to move?!) Maybe the best goal for downsizing is giving away or selling some WIPs you know you’ll never finish or donating some of your fabric to your local quilt guild. I gave away nearly half of my stash not too long ago, and I don’t regret it one bit!
If your goal really is to whittle down your WIP list, does that mean you have to be the one to finish the projects or that they need to be finished at all? Maybe you started a project that you know would be a perfect fit for a friend. Off that project goes to a new home! Or maybe you pulled fabric for a project you never started and likely never will. Put that fabric back in the stash and cross the project off your list. Get creative about how you might approach a goal like this.
Starting with why is also a great way to add new projects to your list. I’ll get into my full goals below, but some of my reasons for setting goals this year were to sleep under my own quilt, support a favorite designer, make new quilty friends, tackle an intimidating technique, and design something that’s uniquely mine. From those, I came up with four projects to add to my WIP list as goals for 2024.
My quilty goals
Now it’s time to share the meat and potatoes (yummmm) of my goals for this year. I’ll share my why and then tell you the project I came up with for it.
First up, here’s my WIP list. I have a few projects from 2023 that are really close to being finished, so I’ll work on those when the mood strikes. Then I have another list for my 2024 goal projects and a third list of hand appliqué projects that I’m OK with letting hang around for a good while. It’s posted on the bulletin board over my desk, and I see it every day when looking at my affirmations, annual goals, and drawing prompts. Keeping your WIP list handy lets you know exactly what you have to work on whenever you start a new sewing session.
Sleep under a quilt of my own
While I’ve made plenty of quilts big enough to go on a bed, they usually end up in the quilt bin in the living room for us to use while we’re watching TV. Or binding other quilts, let’s be honest! I wanted to make a quilt for my bed, and this is the year I make that happen. The quilt is made up of 7” courthouse steps blocks and requires 221 blocks to be big enough for our king-sized bed.
Stop being intimidated by curved piecing
I love the way curved piecing looks in a quilt, but I always shy away from patterns that include it. I’ve also not tackled writing a pattern with curved piecing for the same reason. When I found the Learning Curves BOM from Erin at Mija Handmade, I knew that this would be the perfect project to get over my fear of curved piecing. The first block looked way harder than it was, and I was able to have it cut and pieced within about an hour. Victory! I’m excited for a new curved challenge each month this year.
Make something uniquely mine
If you’re new here, you should know that I’m in love with Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. If left to my own devices, I would spend hours playing this game every single day. I had an idea to make my island into a quilt a couple years ago, but I never got serious about it. Then I drew a block of one of my favorite villagers, Puddles. Then I made her into a quilt block. I am so h*cking excited about designing the rest of this quilt. I also love the bonus of having an AC quilt to snuggle under while playing AC. It’s going to be very meta.
Support a favorite designer, make new quilty friends
I am a Rebecca Bryan devotee. She could bring me a pile of dirt and tell me she’ll teach me how to make it into a beautiful quilt, and I wouldn’t be able to give her my money fast enough. She builds her yearly BOM around a community of quilters, and I’ve met some of my very best friends in the world in Rebecca’s programs. When I saw her Aurora launch for 2024, I knew I had to rearrange everything about my quilty life to be able to do this project with her and the community. The fabric pulls and month one finishes have been stunning. With this project, I can support Rebecca and continue to make great friends.
Are you ready to make some goals for 2024? Or maybe you’re ready to get back at the ones you’ve already abandoned. I’d love to hear about them. Drop your goals in the comments and see if you can find an accountability partner to help you along. I can’t wait to see what you do!