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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Until you decide where you want to go, you'll never get there.

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

We are 1/6 of the way through 2019. How are you coming on your quilting goals for this year?

Wait! WHAT??? You didn't make any quilting goals for this year?

It's OK. We can still be friends.

But let me give you some friendly advice:


Until you decide where you want to go, you'll never get there. 

The truth is I'm not one for "New Years Resolutions" per se. I don't think the calendar should decide when you can get your act together.

HOWEVER.... I AM a believer in making a plan and sticking with it.

I didn't say I was good at it ... I just said I'm a believer.

As the years pass, I'm getting better at it. It's a work in progress, as am I.

The first few years as a quilter I didn't have goals. I just started projects as they came along. If I saw something I wanted to make, I'd download the pattern and purchase the fabric.

Sometimes that was as far as I got. Sometimes I'd abandon what I was working on to start the new project.

Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon on Unsplash
Those were expensive years.

Been there, Spent that.

I came to sewing from scrapbooking.

I never saw myself as a great scrapbooker. But I loved hanging out in the craft store, buying anything that caught my fancy. Few days went by that I didn't make it to a scrapbook store.

I described myself as a "craft store philanthropist".

When I started building my paper stash, I'd buy 5 pages (or more) of any paper that was 5 cents a sheet.  Which meant at every sale cycle I'd buy stacks and stacks of paper that I had no plan for.

There is an entire wall of paper storage in my house. I'd take a photo but there is a second wall of scrapbook do-dads in front of it, and another of scrapbook tools and other ephemera in front of that.

When I bought my Grace frame I just moved all my scrapbook stuff against one wall to make a space.

Not that I have hoarding issues or anything... Ahem... moving on...

History repeats itself

Early in my quilting career, a large fabric store had an amazing sale where I bought 30 yards of fabric in 1 yard cuts. I had no plan for any of it, but it was a steal at under $3.00 per yard.

Most of those beautiful fabrics are still on my shelf, still with no plan to be used.

I quickly learned that few patterns used single yards of fabric.
There is one exception! I have a designer friend who designs amazing quilts using  five 1 yard cuts of fabric. Find Bonny Peters and her awesome patterns at Cat Den Mountain Quilts.
Get a grip, Save some cash

So my next quilting goal was: Only buy fabric in amounts needed for specific quilts. No more purchasing "because it was on sale."

I realized that if I only bought fabric for projects I was ready to start making, even at full price, I'd save a ton of money over buying fabric on sale when I didn't have a project in mind!

Once I was able to internalize that decision, I realized I no longer needed to hang out in fabric stores. That, in itself, saves me a ton of money.

(Although I still have an online purchasing problem. It's just too easy, if I'm stuck on a pattern, or bored, to click over to the land of infinite, inspiring fabric. I'm working on it.)

Year by year

I made a fabric budget in 2016 of $50 per month. That's $600 for the year, I thought that should be PLENTY to spend. Nope. I easily doubled that amount, and I think I only finished 2 quilts.  :-[

Please don't tell the Hub.

In 2017, two of my kids announced they were getting married. So the goal for that year became finishing 6 Queen sized quilts. I already had fabrics for them so I didn't need to spend any money except for the backs.

Some of those quilts are still waiting to be quilted, but that's ok too.

Then in 2018, as an encore to the weddings, two of my kids announced they were expecting in late summer. So that year I dedicated my sewing time to baby quilts. I finished 6 baby quilts before August, and a whole host of other projects in the rest of the year, without purchasing fabric.

About the same time that the babies came, I started this blog. That was 6 months ago. I've only been in my LQS twice in that time. I didn't buy fabric either of those times.

It felt weird.

Now it's 2019.  What I've learned is, as I said at the beginning:

Until you decide where you want to go, you'll never get there.

To say "I'm only going to spend X amount of money", didn't work for me because I wasn't working toward anything. But to say "I want to finish 6 projects" kept me focused on finishing.

Once the goal focused on what WILL happen, not what WON'T happen, it became more DO-ABLE.

What comes next?

So what's the plan for 2019?

This year's plans are largely blog driven.

I've committed to having a monthly project and pattern for you. If extra projects happen, that's great too, but there will always be something for you.

One weakness I have, that the blog is helping me to address, is finishing. I'm not great at finishing projects. I'm more of a planner than a follow-through-er.

I'd rather piece a top than sew on a binding.

Wouldn't we all?

I also have some publishing plans. I'm working toward an e-book which will (hopefully) be available this Summer. And I have some patterns coming out in The Quilt Pattern Magazine this year. The first one will publish in March 2019. If you are not a subscriber, here's a link.
But wait... there's more!

Here is a discount code for you toward a new subscription to The Quilt Pattern Magazine. It's an online magazine full of tested patterns. They publish EVERY month so it's a great value.  Just Click right here and use the secret code: SP 

Another goal for this year is to get my UFOs and WIPs under control.

Don't know what that means? I'll explain more in a future post. For now, don't worry, they are not (very) contagious, although they do seem to spread if not properly addressed.

How About You?

What are your quilty plans for 2019?

Are you working on something special that you want to finish?
Do you want to dedicate the year to finishing projects you started last year... or the year before?
Do you want to learn a new technique? Or use a tool you already own? Or a new one?

The great thing is every day is a new day!

It's never too late to decide where you want to travel on the great fabric road.

Every finished project is a smile ready to be shared.

Don't you just LOVE sewing? It brings joy whether you are the maker or the receiver.

Another thing I love about The Quilt Pattern Magazine is that your subscription includes access to the online quilters group at Pattern Pastiche. At Pattern Pastiche you can ask any quilting question you want. It doesn't have to be related to the magazine.

My favorite ongoing discussion group offers a place to write down your monthly quilty goals. Everyone in the group is happy to cheer you on or add opinions when requested. 

You can subscribe to TQPM here. Use the discount code for Seamless Piecing readers: SP 

What you are working on this year?
Do you have a plan, or are you "wingin' it"?

Is there something you'd like to learn? Maybe we can learn it together.

Leave a comment if you need help or inspiration. I'm a pretty good cheerleader.

You can follow by clicking the button in the right sidebar.
You can also follow on Facebook and Pinterest.

If you want to contact me directly I'm at RB.seamlesspiecing@gmail.com


  1. I agree, it definitely helps to have specific goals in mind; even better if they are written out in a prominent place. I finally started doing this when I subscribed to TQPM listed above. The Pattern Pastiche group there encouraged me to join their goals group. It has really helped me to stay focused, not go binge shopping for fabric, and feel like I am getting things accomplished. Everyone is so encouraging and helpful there. I've made many quilting online friends here--it's like a quilting guild online.
    My goals right now are to finish the 2 projects from here--the Dresden pillow and the Bargello rainbow hanging. I am also working on some quilts as gifts to my sisters.

  2. Thanks, Kathy. Good luck with those projects. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm just a click away.


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