I'm represent both ends of the planning spectrum, from agonizing over every possibility while initiating nothing, to going about things so willy nilly that I forget my intentions and miss out entirely.
With three little ones, it's easy to get distracted, so I believe there's value in thinking through what I aim to do. I'm not likely to accomplish anything unless I make a conscientious effort.
To show my dedication to the cause, I'm joining Yvonne, aka Quilting Jetgirl, for her 2016 Planning Party.
My Quilty Aspirations for 2016:
- Decrease my UFOs. I won Craftsy's #WorksInProgress, which was simultaneously awesome (being rewarded for my procrastination with a free class) and embarrassing (81 unfinished things is hard to admit, especially when you neglected to take a picture of the UFO under the cutting table and the one in a basket on the floor).
- Prepare a course offering. While I can't get away for more than a few hours at a time due to my sweet babe, I enjoy teaching very much. I've also found it to be a more promising method of making a modest income than working at a quilt shop (immersive fabric-buying temptation).
- Give back. The ability to bring comfort and beauty to the lives of others provoked my desire to learn to quilt. I want to keep this motivational factor stoked.
- Enjoy the inspiration. I love attending quilt shows to soak in the inspiration. I must remind myself that I don't need the ability to replicate in order to appreciate.
Kan Oh Chi Rai---Prediction by Study the Past by Yoskiyuki Ishizaki
- Keep an appropriate perspective. My family takes precedence. I must bear in mind that, for a time, I need to prioritize my personal goals and delay some professional ones (book writing, soliciting a multitude of sponsorships, etc.) until it is more reasonable to dedicate myself more completely. Consistently cooking and getting my body back into a shape that remotely resembles a no-longer-pregnant lady wouldn't hurt to have as aspirations.
Photo by Jessica Inman
- Critically analyze my participation. I have served on the board of a local guild and participated in many others, joined swaps, and created quilts specifically for challenges. In the coming year, I aim to limit my participation to groups that provide an outlet for building friendships and fostering creative inspiration. When I join a group, I feel a sense of obligation to attend every meeting, whether or not it is a beneficial use of my time because I have already committed the money. This year I am continuing with the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild, since the evening meetings serve as a Mom's Night Out opportunity. However, I'm not going to religiously attend other guilds where the focus is on fundraising events, or far-away daytime meetings make focusing on the meeting with children in tow an unattainable dream. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of bees and a round robin, but repetitive monthly commitments that don't take nighttime newborn feedings into account are not ideal. Mailing costs, trips to the post office (30 min. lines and no bathroom is a mother's version of the underworld.), and blocks that may not be arrive or be up to par are additional discouraging factors. I prefer commitments I can take on a case by case basis, such as blog hops and linky parties. Challenges have resulted in some great accomplishments for me. However, I am prepared to refocus on things I've already bought and started. I prefer not to purchase fabrics, materials, and/or memberships I would not have otherwise chosen; spend time creating something under parameters that limit me creatively; pay an entry fee; and then have a high likelihood that my piece will not be juried into a show or win a prize.
- Host a linky party. I'll be starting a linky party in January. I'd love it if you'd consider joining along to share your "If only I had known..." experiences. If you don't have a fount of humbling experiences to choose from, as I do, that's perfectly fine. Observations, inspirations, revelations, new-to-you techniques, pointers, and anything else a quilter may benefit from knowing will also be welcome.
- Track and share my progress. If I take pictures and notes as I create it will be easier to explain how I arrived at the final product.
- Design a Quilt Along. I aspire to design a quilt so astoundingly awesome that the populace will be powerless to resist sewing with me, fabric companies will toss fabric my way to see their prints shine in the design's radiance, guilds will book me to teach said epic pattern....(Cue sleep-deprived, deranged ramblings of an ambitious optimist.)
- Make a masterpiece. I want to make something original that pushes me. While there will undoubtably be imperfections, I want to make a piece that I feel confident enough to enter in a show--one that I love whether or not it is accepted, because it represents what I can do when I'm giving 100%.
Something I believe is equally important to making goals, is figuring out what you don't want to do.
- Start a long-arm business. I have discovered that I enjoy the motion associated with sitting and moving a quilt with my hands. I enjoy crazy-dense detail in my quilting, and therefore prefer smaller quilts that are more manageable on my current machine. If I make a gargantuan quilt, I know long-armers who do amazing things.
- Sell quilts at a loss. While I'm happy to donate quilts to worthy causes, I am not interested in parting with my pretty creations for less than the cost of materials, solely to carve out cabinet space. It is difficult for many to comprehend why a small quilt should cost so much given that you can acquire a complete "quilt" set for $20 (shipping included). However, if it's all the same to the recipient, I would prefer to present her with a $25 gift card to the Wal-Mart, and tuck my own children under what cost me $130 in materials and fifteen hours to make. Heck, she's even welcome to shop Anthropology, where they have minion robots or house elves or thirty poor indentured servant children working at no more than $2.33 per hour (assuming materials fell from the sky and incurred no cost). Not to worry folks, it was a "labor of love". Ok, I think I'm done with that tirade now.
- Work for free. It's easier than one would think to fall into this trap. There's the shop samples aimed at promoting fabrics customers would otherwise dismiss. These necessitate unpaid hours piecing and creating a free pattern, along with out-of-pocket costs for batting, backing, and possibly compensation for the long-armer. There's the guest postings that require tutorial development and content exclusively available on the host's website in return for mention of your existence and a portion of the materials required to create the original project featured. I aim to ask myself:
- Is this something I would have otherwise picked to do in my free time?
- Is someone else being paid to do what I'm being asked to do without compensation?
- Is the person asking profiting by offering donated or wholesale product in leu of actual money?