Tuesday, December 27, 2016

5 Tips for Setting Quilting Goals

Hello! I hope you've had a wonderful holiday weekend and a Merry Christmas! It's get organized week for me...I have an entire week without too many commitments, and I've been careful to set aside this week for organizing and for some "just for me" sewing!


The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock, evaluate, and set some 


realistic goals for the upcoming year! Here are some of my favorite ideas for getting organized so that you can have fun and accomplish your goals at the same time!


First, review the projects you worked on and completed this year.

I'm always surprised to find that I've actually completed more projects than I realized. I think that reviewing the prior year's projects is one of the most helpful tools for setting realistic quilting and sewing goals for the coming year.



Second, make a list of your finishes.

I like to list my finishes from the prior year according to category.  Some of the categories I used this year are: quilts, small quilts, bags, pillows, wall hangings, and accessories. I think listing finishes like this helps us to realize how we spent our time, and it can also help us to evaluate what types of projects we want to focus on for the upcoming year.

Third, make a list of your works in progress.

Use any method for this. I find it's really helpful to have a paper list of works in progress I can keep in my sewing room and refer to as needed. For a terrific free download, AllPeopleQuilt has this handy form for tracking 12 projects (plus they've already updated for 2017).  I think the most helpful part of this list is the status column. Even if you don't finish this project, you can at least note your progress at the end of the year.  


Fourth, make a list of projects you'd like to start this year.

This is always the most fun: there are so many possibilities! I am constantly thinking of new projects I want to work on, and sometimes I fail to write them down and they just don't get made. I try to keep this list to a dozen projects or fewer since I know more will get added to this list as the year goes on. Sometimes projects on this list never get started--something else replaces it before I get to it. But I definitely feel like having this list keeps me from forgetting about a lot of want-to-makes.

Finally, clean off all of your sewing and quilting work surfaces.

For me this always means cleaning off my cutting table, my sewing machine table, and my ironing board--these are the places where I tend to accumulate clutter!  Try not to get distracted by fabric and projects you might find while doing this task. If you don't have a designated place for some of your sewing tasks, make a concentrated effort to keep the areas you use extra clean:  I did all of my cutting and sewing for over 15 years on our dining room table (not ideal, but you can make it work)!

I hope some of these ideas will be of help to you as your get ready for the new year...oh...and save some room on your list for my Quilting Life Mystery Block of the Month program for 2017! I'll be releasing a 12" block pattern and tutorial during the first week of each month, and close to the end of the year I'll also give you setting and finishing instructions. More information on this coming soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

22 comments:

Quilting Dee said...

I usually make a list of UFO's. After reading your post, a new positive list will happen. I'll like adding future projects too.
D

Brita said...

Me, too. I make a UFO list, but didn't think to list those I finished, and especially projects I want to make. A friend gave me a journal last CHristmas, and I've written a few things, but I'm going to add the things you suggested. Thank you, and have a wonderful new year!

Brita said...

Me, too. I make a UFO list, but didn't think to list those I finished, and especially projects I want to make. A friend gave me a journal last CHristmas, and I've written a few things, but I'm going to add the things you suggested. Thank you, and have a wonderful new year!

Jeanna said...

These are great tips, Sherry. Will you BOM be scrappy so we can pull from our stash? Or do we wait for the first hint?

Tracey Holzer said...

Great tips, Sherri! Your FW is coming along, heh? I'm excited to read more on your Block of the Month!! Enjoy the rest of '16!!

Jan A. said...

Sherri, thanks for the great tips. I need to sit down and really go over what quilts I want to make in 2017. I have thoughts scattered all over and it would be great to have a single list.

Margaret said...

Those are great suggestions, Sherri, and you have motivated me to get started organizing. Thanks a lot, and Happy New Year!

Hildy said...

Thanks for you great tips especially the one with the positive list I always tend to focus on the projects I didn't finish.
A BOM from you? That sounds amazing!

Janice said...

Those are great tips! Thanks so much for getting us going in organizing. While making my finished list, it surprised me how much I had actually accomplished! This year, I want to set a goal of documenting my work better. It inspires me to look back at my "finishes".

Deonn said...

Thanks Sherrie, these are excellent suggestions - especially the one about cleaning off surfaces. I have lots of surfaces in my sewing/quilting rooms, and it seems that by the end of the year, I'm so buried in projects that there's not time to do much more than clear a path to the machine! And yes, becoming distracted by all the pretties is definitely a problem when cleaning up! I think I need a "sponsor" to come and check on me while I go through my little piles this week, getting all ready for another great year of making. Best wishes to you for a Happy New Year, and I look forward to your Mystery Block of the Month!

JanetD said...

Thanks for your tips! I keep a little quilting journal where I write down my finishes by date and recipient. It's fun to review at year's end. I also start a spread sheet every January with my wip's and projects I'd like to make. I lost each step of the process and color it in as I go. Hoping to get a few more projects finished in these last days! Looking forward to your Bom!

Lucy said...

Sherri, Thanks for all your tips. I just keep track of what I sew each day in a quilting diary, I will want to try your tips, I enjoy your blog and all your
tutorials. You make such great things.

Cathy Calloway said...

I did 1 - 4 today. #5 will be a challenge! Good tips for how to start the new year. Thank you.

Janan Doster said...

What great suggestions! We have just closed in our backporch to make it into my sewing room, I have a clean space, clean slate!! This weekend I will be starting to place my quilting things in there. I am super excited!!! I also purchased Lori Holts new Scrappy Project Planner and I hope to be pretty organized and productive in the new year. I have just created and printed my FIRST 2 patterns, and I have several new ones in the sketch process right now too. I am also excited about this! I also make T-shirt quilts, and was able to create two of those last year for my customers. Stop by my little blog for a visit: vintagebloomsquiltdesigns.blogspot.com

Diane Warburton said...

This is useful handy info. I'm having a 'finish-a-long club in 2017, so i'my going to share this post with them. I particularly like the idea of noting what we finished this year first. That's a great mindset method.
Thanks.
Diane

Pat Gottshalk said...

Thanks for the reminder that our glass is half full.

cherylh said...

Dear Sherrie,
I am so happy that you came to our Flying Geese Quilt Guild, and that I discovered you. I always read everything you post (sooner or later) and you just seem to know how to make our lives as quilters and sewers so much better. I'd say in Yiddish you have "seichle", which means you are very wise. I am going to print out this amazing list of lists, and I am hoping I will follow it (and not misplace my lists, LOL) and figure out what I am doing.
Wishing you a satisfying, productive, and happy New Year.
Cherylh

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great tips Sherri, I'm a list maker also and it really helps!

Bonnie said...

Nice list of things to do as 2016 winds down. I already keep a running list of UFO's with status on my computer. At the end of each year I remove the finished items and add items I didn't finish to it. I am trying to finish a ridiculous number of UFOs and not start new UFOs. But the idea of keeping a separate list of finishes intrigues me. Must see if I can remember what I finished this year -- which wasn't all that much compared to previous years. Then on to some new goals for me. Thanks for sharing this list.

Quilt Fabric Pizazz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nann said...

Thanks for the concise listing, Sherri.
I will post my annual reckoning on January 1. That summarizes my quilting year. In 2017 I'm going to challenge myself to try a couple of more ambitious (trickier) projects.

Stitches Quilting said...

Love your post Sherri! Thanks. I need to post something similar. I love your idea of toting down things that I have already completed small or large. Even blog hop project along with their posts are an accomplishment along with writing patterns!!! Deanna

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