I think 2017 was the year I became a quilter. I’ve been quilting since 2008ish, but in the last twelve months, I’ve learned a lot. Maybe the biggest blessing of maintaining this blog is the accountability to keep learning and growing and finishing projects. (If I don’t ever try anything, I can’t ever write tutorials.)
I finished a lot of quilts this year. Some of them didn’t go so well. By the end of the year, though, some were going well. I bought a quarter of an inch presser foot. (a HUGE help for making accurate seam allowances.) I grew a fabric stash. (I don’t want it any bigger, but this was also a growing process.) I tried my first bit of hand quilting. (Branching out is always enlightening.) And much more!
I’ll write more about these in the coming months.
This was all a result, though, of failing miserably at a quilt in the fall of 2016. I love patchwork. I love fabric. Fabric designers are amazing people with incredible talent, and I love supporting them and their beautiful work. My quilts never worked, though. Something always went wrong…like majorly wrong.
The turning point was learning to perfect my half square triangle. I had to go back to the basics and find out what I was missing. I have a long ways to go, but I’m a bit further than I was in 2016.
I think I’m ready to move forward with some goals for my little business here. I hesitate to use the word goal because this blog and my Etsy Shop are quite far down on the list of priorities, but I think goals still encompass my intentions best. Even though my life in the online world isn’t big, I can still use it to continue to grow and learn, right?
I went back and looked at last January to see if I had written a post about what I was hoping to accomplish for my little business and blog.
I hadn’t written anything of the sort.
I was, though, reminded that I was very pregnant at the time with our third little boy. He was born in February. My mind was likely not focused on growing a blog or business. I probably looked at the year ahead and wondered if I’d be able to make any time to sew at all.
Truth is, I had plenty of time to sew and found much enjoyment in the process.
The last couple evenings, my husband and I have talked here and there about goals for our family and anything we want to change in 2018. In the process, I’ve been mulling over a few for my blog and business.
I can’t hold myself to many high expectations, but I still enjoy being purposeful and intentional with moving forward.
In completely random order, here are a few of my thoughts:
1. I want to keep Instagram a priority.
I enjoy Instagram. I have ‘met’ so many online friends, and I truly enjoy them and seeing their lives. Instagram has been a great way to discover other quilters. I’ve learned so much from them and enjoy the freedom to ask for their help and advice.
2. I want to quit using Facebook.
I’ve kind of lost the thrill of Facebook. Am I the only one? I’ve never been able to grow a following on Facebook, and I can find myself mindlessly scrolling forgetting why I opened it up in the first place.
3. I want to continue utilizing Pinterest.
I continue to find a plethora of inspiration on Pinterest. It’s so easy to use too! Plus, the majority of my blog hits come through Pinterest.
4. I want to make one product each month for my Etsy Shop.
I think this is realistic. My original goal in 2016 was one sale a week, but I can’t devote that much time to products. Twelve products this year! I want to keep my shop open and active, and I think this small goal is realistic.
5. I want to try branching out a bit of being just a niche blog.
My blog is definitely a niche blog. I focus almost exclusively on sewing and quilting. I’d enjoy branching out a bit, but I’m not sure how to do that.
6. I want to write a monthly newsletter.
Crystal at Your Blogging Mentor changed my mentality one time when she mentioned writing a newsletter like you’re writing to a good friend. I all the sudden had things to write about again.
7. I want to work on finishing many of my quilts in process:
Dresden Plate Quilt
Economy Block Quilt
Nine Patch + Denim Quilt
Checkered Garden Quilt
Cotton + Steel Quilt
Bow Tie Baby Quilt
Charlie Harper Bird Economy Block Pillow (Fruit label, AMH fabric, black and white)
8. I might try sewing a leather pillow cover.
I love leather. I love the way it wears and looks great all scratched up and worn. I think it would look nice sitting on my little denim chesterfield couch. Once I learned that I can sew leather without an industrial sewing machine, I grew very tempted to give it a try.
9. I want to try to post here once a week.
I like maintaining this blog. I like connecting with readers. I enjoy the small doses of income that come from affiliate links and Etsy sales. One post a week is usually realistic.
I find it quite a privilege to have a place here that allows me so much community with fellow quilters! I get to snap a few pictures as I grow and learn a handicraft. I talk with you and respond back and forth as we try solving problems together.
Is there anything you have in mind that you’d like to see here in 2018?