Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Wrap-Up and 2018 Goals

2017 was a bit of a milestone for me, quilting wise.  I took a quilt class in the fall of 1997 as a sophomore in college (not curricular!) so fall of 2017 marked my 20th anniversary with quilting.  And since I turned 40 earlier in December, I have now officially been quilting half my life!

As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at 2017 and see how I did on my goals, as well as to set goals for 2018.  Yvonne aka Quilting Jet Girl hosts a yearly goal-setting party, which I really enjoy.  It's great to see what others set as goals for themselves as well as to have the opportunity to put my own goals out there and have some accountability.

2018 Planning Party

First, a look at 2017's Goals

2017 Big Picture/Overall Goals

Goal: Big Quilts
I didn't so much tackle this one as give up.  I decided that I am okay not being comfortable with big quilts.  The one really large quilt that I made, I sent to a long-armer.  I have come to peace with not loving big quilts, especially the quilting part.

Goal: Focus on what's already started and what I own
As mentioned in the original goal, this is hard to quantify.  I bought a lot less than I have in previous years, and I bought very little fabric in the first several months of the year.  I also made far fewer trips to my LQS which cuts down on the buying.

Goal: Maintain Commitments
Success!  I was in 2 bees in 2017 and was on time with all my blocks!

Goal: Remember that "It's okay watch from the sidelines and still be inspired"
That phrase is in quotes because it comes directly from Diana at Red Delicious Life.  I will also call this one a success.  I sat out both the mystery quilt alongs I had done each of the 2 years prior and I sat out many other QALs so I could concentrate on other projects.  I did join 2 QALs that were unplanned and I do not regret either--they were chose somewhat intentionally and were fun, as opposed to a chore to keep up with. 

Goal: Blog Styling
More success!  My husband gave me a logo for Mother's Day and Valerie of Valerie of Inkblot Design Studio did an amazing job. I also moved to a professional blog template and am very happy with the overall look.

Goal: Use my Quilter's Planner
This one didn't go so much for me, though I did say in the original goal that figuring out if it works for me was the goal, so in that sense I guess I was successful. I really like the idea of the Quilter's Planner, but I found that I didn't use it really at all after March.  I'm going to try something new for 2018.

2017 Quantitative Goals

12 quilts donated to Project Linus -- Even better--13!
6 mini quilts or pillows completed -- Yup!  Several small projects completed!
6 scrap projects completed --Yessiree!  I lost count but did finish many scrap quilts.

I also made a list of 12 projects as a part of All People Quilt's 2017 UFO challenge.  I completed 6 of 12 projects on that list.

2018 Goals

Goal: Maintain Commitments
I'm in 2 bees again this year and am Hive Mama for both.  I'm also part of a secret project in the spring and would like the opportunity to take on more commitments in the quilting community.

Goal: Finish The Big Five
I have five bed-sized quilts in various stages of completion that I would like to finish: Laura's Quilt, I Spy for our bed, I Spy for Mom, Bookshelf quilt, and food-themed picnic blanket.

Goal: Track Fabric Usage (aka use more than I buy)
Overall, I want to use far more than I buy and I think tracking usage will help.  I also plan to track fabric purchased. I don't have a quantitative goal for yardage out but I am curious to see the numbers.

Goal: Try simpler version of Quilter's Planner
Using the Quilter's Planner didn't work for me so for 2018, I bought a pretty blank book and plan to use it to track just a few things.  I'm hoping that going simpler will mean I keep up with it.  Part of this goal is to figure out what I want to keep track of.  I like the idea of tracking yardage.  I wish I had a better record of when I finish projects. Kate at Life in Pieces tracks the days she spends at least 15 minutes sewing and that sounds intriguing to me.  So I guess I'll start with these and see how it goes.

Goal: Remember that "It's okay watch from the sidelines and still be inspired"
That phrase is in quotes because it comes directly from Diana at Red Delicious Life. This is a repeat from last year and I'm hoping I can do as well again.  I like to join in on the fun but I have so many projects already that taking new ones on can stress me out when I feel like I need to stay caught up.  I felt like I had a good balance this year and I strive for that again in 2018.  So I guess one way of looking at this goal is "join some of the things but not all of the things."

Goal: Clean Up/Organize Sewing Room
It's so hard for me to spend time cleaning up or organizing, partly because I don't really enjoy it (though I enjoy the finished product) but also because I'd rather be sewing with that time.  This is an example of where I'm hoping that writing it down helps me make it happen.  I don't have dreams of it being completely neat or organized, but better than it is would be nice. Part of this is likely to include giving away abandoned projects. 

Goal: 12 Quilts for Project LinusThis is my standard yearly goal since I got involved in 2015 and works out to one a month, though that's never how they actually get finished.  I tend to work in spurts. I also attend monthly meetings of the Charlotte chapter.

And 2 personal goals:

Goal: Weight Loss
In 2017 I lost about 15 pounds. I'd like to lose at least that much again in 2018.  Ultimate goal is 40 pounds from starting weight.

Goal: Learn Spanish
My husband is from Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker and of course so are my in-laws.  While all of them are fluent in English, they would much rather speak Spanish when they are together.  It is past time for me to learn Spanish.  I've made a few attempts but nothing has lasted.  One of the perks of my job (I'm a librarian at a community college) is that I can take 1 class per semester for free.  I am registered for a Spanish class that starts in January.  I am aware that the class will cut into my sewing time but I think that the time investment will be worth it.  And I have a live-in tutor!

I had a good year in 2017 and am ready to see what 2018 has in store for me.  Happy New Year!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up, Emily. And how cool to know you've been quilting for half (or more than half) of your life! I hope that you have a lot of quilting joy in 2018 as you work on these projects, and I hope the Spanish class you are starting soon goes well. Happy New Year!

  2. Love that you've been quilting half of your life. I just use a plain spiral notebook to keep track of my quilts and my clients quilts, too. I find if I keep things simple, I'm more likely to keep up with it. Best wishes with your Spanish! That sounds like a worthy way to use your time. Great job in 2017!!!

  3. Congrats on the success with your 2017 goals. It's easy to forget that part of the whole goal thing is learning what works for you and what doesn't. You've got a very thoughtful goals for 2018. I'm with you on the sewing room organization, I'd rather sew. I'm trying something new there. I'm going to work on one area of the sewing room at a time and spend 15 minutes on that area each Saturday and Sunday, the days when I have the most time to sew. It will take a while, but if I do the 15 minutes consistently, hopefully by the end of the year, it will be mostly organized.

  4. You had a great year Emily. I am especially interested in your thoughts on using a quilters planner,I have never had one myself but I was thinking of starting a loose leaf file to use instead. I'm with you on tidying the sewing room, I love sewing in a tidy organised room and it's one of my goals too. I like that you added in personal goals, I could do with joining you on the first one. Good luck with learning Spanish, I am always in awe of those who speak more than one language. Good Luck with all your goals, from my experience you are making a great Hive Mamma!