Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Revolution in Resolutions

I love New's Resolutions. And I rarely keep them.

I usually set broad goals like "lose weight" and specific ones like "write for 2 hours per week." But the goals usually span most of my life areas: health, family, work, and church.

This year, I decided to hone my focus to one area of my life that I don't attend to enough: quilting/sewing/crafting (QSC).  QSC not only brings me joy but also helps me to get more joy out of life in general. This past year, especially the last 4 months, I did almost no QSC. After some reflection, I determined there are three reasons.

1. My church calling took A LOT of my time. 
2. My hobby room is disorganized and overfull (it doubles as my clothes closet).
3. I spend too much time doing other less fulfilling time-sinks (time-sinks are things that take time and seem to collapse in on themselves, taking even more time; social media is a good example of this; I log on to check Facebook, and then I'll check my blogs, and then I'll hop on over to Pinterest, and then visit interesting blogs, and then...and then...you get the idea.)

Those time-sinks kept me from making these for the women in my life for Christmas. 

The scissors are nice ones that I bought at Costco, and I figured out the pouch design all on my own (though I still can't decide if I should add a loop on the back to hang the pouch. It has a soft fleece lining and a ribbon closure (that I think I'll change to button-and-loop). Anyway, it didn't happen. Sadness. (That potholder that I use as a mug rug was a gift from Alamosa Quilter Lynn: LOVE HER!)

My lack of time spent on QSC was disappointing not just because I didn't get those Christmas presents made but because I missed out on an ongoing activity that renews and recharges me. QSC helps me fulfill my creative urges, create beauty in my life, and calms and centers me. 

The interesting aspect of those 3 reasons is that I have plenty of time to available to QSC, but I need to reallocate that time so that I can QSC.

In retrospect, when I think of 2013, I don't get an overall happy, satisfied vibe in any area, neither work nor personal, and I think my lack of time spent on QSC is a contributing factor. I'm going to change that.

2014 is going to be a QSC year.  I resolve to spend more time on quilting/sewing/crafting. 

If there is one think I know about behavior change, it's that just resolving to do something isn't enough (though it helps tremendously to actually write goals down). So, I took those 3 reasons and began making changes to keep those things from consuming my time.

1. I delegated my church duties to my committee. I am one of those people who thinks mot many people can do it better than me (except in the area of QSC; I am neither extremely skilled nor particularly gifted in this area, but I do enjoy it). Even so, I didn't have a committee to speak of to delegate to anyway, so I clamored for that, got a committee and just spent a few days orienting the committee leader and gave her a slew of to-do items.

2. I am working on getting my hobby room cleaned-out, de-cluttered, and organized. One things I did was buy an IKEA shelf to put my QSC projects in so that they are readily accessible yet "put away." Talk about a time-sink: I had leftover paint from a church activity and so I decided to paint it. This is what it looks like in the catalog. 
Boring white.

I knew painting laminate would be a challenge. So I researched it and landed upon a plan. A later blog post will detail that. But here is the finished project.

In short, it chips easily and unless you are a meticulous painter (I am not) every error will show. I don't much care. I'm on my way to organization. This product is now on sale for IKEA Family members (a promotional thing like grocery stores do) so there may be more of these in my future but I doubt I will take the time to paint another one.

3. This one is harder. The habit I have gotten into is to plop down in front of the t.v. with my computer at the end of the day, do a little work, and then reward myself with social media time. I'm going to try spending an hour of that time sewing, maybe while Rhett is getting BonnieBlue ready for bed, that way the sewing machine won't bother anyone. It's likely that I will be enjoying myself so much that I will spend more than an hour. This change alone would result in probably 300 hours more of sewing time than I spent last year. I could certainly get all of my project goals completed in 300 hours!

Here are my project goals:

1. Finish my Summer Sky quilt. My inspiration is my niece's quilt:

She took up quilting just this past year and has been incredibly productive and has created some beautiful quilts. This one in particular caught my eye. I tend towards quilts that don't require me to buy a pattern, and I was able to figure out one for this one pretty easily. I named it Summer Sky because that is exactly what I think of when I see this quilt. I've already spend more time on it in 2014 than I did in all of 2013.

I have enough fabric for a full size and a twin, or one queen. I'd love this quilt for our bed; I bought a faux-down duvet at IKEA that is, yes, boring white, and it would make great batting for this. Has anyone thought about using duvet-like blankets as "batting"? It's cheaper than batting. My only concern is the loft. I quilt my own and I'm not sure it would be easy to get through the machine. 

2. A denim quilt. I've been saving my jeans for a couple of years now. It's time. Something like this from instructables:
I don't necessarily want a show piece (not that any of my quilts are). Instead, I want something that can be used outside or at the drive-in that I won't care if it gets ripped or dirty. And this one is easy. Any other ideas?

3. A ribbon holder. I've got wood blocks and a bunch of ribbon. It can't be that hard. The ones you can buy at Joann's have horrible reviews. Seriously, it just can't be that hard.

4. I've been wanting to make my younger sister a quilt of baby clothes I've saved since her 2 girls were about 10. I have her baby clothes because she saved a lot of them and then gave them to me about 7 years ago when we adopted BonnieBlue. I save a bunch of the ones she gave me because I remembered her kids so clearly in them. And then I found adorable pig-themed flannel for the backing. My sister likes pigs. Now that her kids are 14 and 16, it might be time to make this. My goal this year is to get all the clothes cut into squares and strips and stabilizer ironed on them. Piecing and quilting it are next year's projects.

5. I found this at crazylittleprojects.com and thought it would make great baby shower gifts!

 Costco baby wipes are the best, but they come Costco-sized and won't fit in regular-sized wipe bags. This one is designed specifically for Costco-sized wipes! We have about 25 women having babies in our ward (church congregations). I thought it would be nice to make these as a gift from the Relief Society presidency (of which I am a member). More personal than just the wipes and more affordable than giving them an entire case of baby wipes (about $19 for 10 packs).

Well, there you have it, my resolutions! If I keep these I am hopeful that I will be happier, more productive, a better mom and wife, and more dedicated to work because I am being fulfilled in this area.  Here's to 2014 and more QSC!


  1. Instead of using the comforter as batting I would use the quilt top to make a comforter cover. To make it washable, I would back the quilt top with just a fabric and do some simple quilting to hold these two pieces together. Then you'll need a back for the cover and some Velcro, snaps, ties or something else to be able to shut the open side.

  2. I was wondering if something like this would be a better option. Thanks for the feedback!


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