Not everyone likes New Year’s resolutions. But others appreciate the opportunity to start the year anew, with bright eyes and a clean slate. We asked Moda designers to share their resolutions with us, and with you. We’d also love to hear YOUR resolutions—let us hear about them in the Comment section. (And I don’t know about you, but my idea of a great New Year’s Eve/Day includes at least a little bit of time with fabric, needles, and thread. Wishing you a Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!)
Janet: Apart from the usual eat healthy/ exercise resolutions (that I’ve been happily ignoring for years now) mine is to slow down and learn to relax. I choose a word for the year and 2016’s will be ‘savour’: Savour (v.) to enjoy and appreciate something to the full, especially by lingering over it.
Betsy: Here is my resolution for 2016 along with the usual losing weight and getting more exercise…learn EQ7.
Also, to have a better relationship with time. I’m always down to the last minute meeting deadlines. I’m always busy. Time gets away from me. I would like to beat the clock, with time to spare.
Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles
Lynne: My goal for the Christmas break was to finish cataloging my newest antique quilt purchases. The pile on the chair is about half of what needs to be photographed from this last year. Since it’s quickly approaching 2016, it’s made the list of New Year’s resolutions.
Do my “minimum-yoga” every day: Close my eyes, take a deep breath. Or two. Raise my hands, stretch, breathe. Feel my heartbeat. Breathe. And that’ it really… nothing complicated.
Say more “no” without explanations.
Sewing related? Well, on my list is to reproduce an antique sampler quilt!
Business? The launch of my new pdf-pattern-webshop!
Luke Haynes: LOTS of resolutions, mostly about what not to overeat and to take more naps. I am joining a climbing gym in January. I will also be working on smaller projects. (Personally, I am not one for resolutions. I try and do that throughout the year, for better or worse.)
Sherri McConnell (on the left): I do have a big quilting resolution: to get my scraps under control by making one scrap quilt each quarter! I’ll be tracking my progress on my blog and IG to keep myself motivated!
Kaari Meng: My New Year’s resolutions include taking more quilting classes—hopefully with Heather Jones and Denyse Schmidt! I am also learning how to ride a cutting horse and plan on continuing my lessons twice a week. And finally, I started stitching every morning for an hour and would like to stick to it!
Jan: My husband said that I should resolve to go to more fabra-holic meetings. Unfortunately my fabra-holic meetings take place at the local quilt shop.
Kathy: I want to work on a wall hanging which will simply be for my enjoyment! The backing will be flannel so that I can turn it over and use it as a small design wall when I need one. For the past year I have just had the flannel hanging there. Not too pretty! Time to get started!
Kathy Schmitz’s design wall/wall-hanging to-be.
Pat: I have always set up goals for my year. Like many other, some I reach, some I…well…some I add back for another try! 2016 is going to be a very fun year, I have a lot of projects planned, teaching events, sew alongs for you, books, fabrics…and goals! Sometimes I actually try and make goals that are realistic and attainable, even if they are rolled back into the mix! So here we go, for the whole world to see:
Actually move some of my UFOs out of my house. This goal is a remix, mmmm…it may actually be ON the list every year! But in 2016 I plan to eliminate six to ten UFOS. I think that is a reasonable amount!
I’ve done a word-of-the-year for a long time. Some years I totally knock it out of the park and love my word, other years after February I’ve forgotten about it. This year I’m going to use my word and keep it right up front with me. I have not yet decided on what it will be, but you can follow along at my website (be sure to join my newsletter so you are first to know what it is!)
And a personal goal is to get out and walk every day that I can. I sit a lot for work, and for my hobby. Getting my body moving is important!
I am so excited for 2016, please join me!
Beth Snyder (fourth from the left, above): My New Year’s Resolution is to spend at least 10 minutes a day in my sewing room, even if that’s just tidying up or playing with fabric. I know to some people, 10 minutes sounds like nothing, but with a busy family and business, just getting into the room will keep my creativity flowing. Besides, I know perfectly well once I get in there, I’ll probably sit down and actually accomplish something. Even if it’s 10 minutes at a time, that can add up!
Kate: Sewing: I’d love to broaden my skills and learn how to sew curves. Personal: I hope to read more, paint more, and sew more. To help make those goals easier, we canceled our cable TV *today*!
Deb: My New Year’s Resolutions are: To get moved into our new home (next door to our grandsons!) and new community. And of course….eat better and exercise more!
Anne Sutton: One of my resolutions for 2016 is to learn a new craft. Every year I beg my friend Barbara for more pairs of knitted socks. She’s 82 and it’s getting harder for her to knit, so I’ve decided it’s time to learn. We have a knitting day planned for January 2. My two granddaughters, Alyssa and Michaela, are coming over and Barbara’s going to teach us how to knit socks. We are all so excited about this! I’ve ordered fingering yarn and circular needles. We all picked out our favorite colors and hopefully we’ll have three more knitters in the world as of Saturday! I’ve attached a photo of socks Barbara’s knitted for me.
Socks knitted by Anne’s friend (and future teacher) Barbara.
Anne and her granddaughters will use this yarn to learn to knit socks.
I also want to spend more time on embroidery and wool applique. I’m passionate about both of these, but unless I actually schedule time for them, something else always comes up. Seems to me these would be great evening projects, while I’m watching all the shows I’ve taped.
Corey: My resolution isn’t too fancy and you’re probably hearing a lot of this but I’m hoping to bust some UFO’s in 2016. My plan is to organize by progress, i.e. just needs binding; completed quilt top/needs quilting and binding; completed blocks that need to be assembled into a quilt top/quilted/bound; incomplete blocks; and lastly, projects with supplies purchased but not started at all. I will try to work on these UFO’s around other new projects—I know there will be a lot of new projects! Hopefully I can knock out some of these or send them on to a new home to be completed elsewhere if I just don’t see myself finishing it in the foreseeable future.
So there you have it! What are your resolutions? And Happy 2016!
I think I’ve told you that my brother Mark reads this blog. He likes to check my spelling and grammar – and he is my unofficial fact-checker. Meaning that he’s welcome to tell me that I’m wrong in my recollection of some childhood event but I’m not going to change it – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Mark made me a quilt frame for Christmas – it really is a frame, like you’d hang on the wall, except it has a rod at the top for hanging a quilt.
Please forgive the pictures – it’s big, the lighting was bad, it wasn’t hanging and it’s shiny! I think that’s my reflection in the bottom of it.
The sides measure 1 1/2″ wide and the half-square triangles in the corners measure 3″ on their short sides. The finished frame measures 36 1/2″ x 52 1/2″ – the proportions are based on the Golden Rectangle.
(The Golden Rectangle is well-known ratio-proportion in architecture, art and math-geometry because of it’s structure and balance.) (Yes, I had to look it up.)
He’s very proud of incorporating the Churn Dash element into the frame – he knows it’s one of my favorite quilt blocks. Of course, as his older-wiser – brattier – sister, I had to tell him that with the proportion of the sides on the frame he’d built, it’s actually more of a Monkey Wrench.
It’s made out of stainless steel and it can be hung on the wall – there are hooks on the back at the top. The rod has a bolt-nut-thing on each end, one of which unscrews easily so a quilt with a sleeve can be hung on the rod. It’s been ground-polished twice and given a few more days, Mark would have given it at least one more pass. No matter how many times I told him that I loved it exactly as it was, he’s a perfectionist. (I have no idea where he gets that.)
Mark got the idea for the frame last September after reading a Cutting Table blog post. It was to be his contribution to my Christmas present – what he likes to call the “second best gift I’ve ever gotten”.
I’ve often called Rosie my “best gift ever”, she was a birthday-Christmas present from my Dad.
So when Mark read about Luke Haynes and saw pictures of some of Luke’s quilts, he got an idea. He contacted Luke and actually met with him in Houston during Quilt Market to discuss the possibility of a commission. (Rather sneaky, don’t you think?)
Golden Retriever – Golden Rectangle. Mark likes that kind of synchronicity.
It’s perfect. I love the quilt – and I especially love the frame.
It might be my “second best gift ever” but it comes from the Best. Brother. Ever.
If you doubt me… when I went to Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in 2014 and didn’t want to put Rosie in a kennel, Mark flew from Houston to Phoenix and stayed the week. With my dog.
Best. Brother. Ever.
(Thank you, Mark! If you see a comment from “aka Golden Child”, that’s him.)
While it seems like I’ve been sewing with lighter, brighter fabrics lately, I love Reproductions and have made many, many quilts with them. Maybe not as many as Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings – the girl is P.R.O.L.I.F.I.C.
These are some – yes, some! – of her finishes from this past year. (From Lisa Bongean Instagram.) Maybe there’s something in the fiber of Reproduction fabrics that make folks sew lots and lots of itty-bitty pieces into big quilts quickly. Edyta is just as prolific.
What I love about most Reproduction quilts is that you can work with a specific color palette – brown & red, brown & blue, blue & gold – cheddar, and so on. Or you can mix them all into a glorious celebration of color and pattern. Big pieces and tiny pieces, they all mix beautifully.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve been tapping my fingers waiting for the release of Betsy Chutchian’s new book – Classic & Heirloom Quilts. Published by the folks at It’s Sew Emma and the Fat Quarter Shop, the book and it’s quilts are beautiful. (I’ve seen the quilts and since Betsy won’t let me have any of them, I’m going to have to make my own.)
Aside from the gorgeous quilts, one of my favorite things about the book is that each of the eight designs comes in three sizes – a Mini, a Lap-sized and a large Bed-sized quilt.
Here are three of the Minis. The pieces are smaller but the blocks are the same. Did you know that Betsy likes to make mini versions of her big quilts first so she can check color-placement? True story. It’s sort of how the book came about… she had the quilts anyway, right?
For a few of the designs, the pieces in the Lap and Bed-sized quilts are the same, but for some of the designs, the pieces and blocks are in different sizes.
This is Stepping Out – it’s one of my favorites. If I had to pick one, of course.
Okay… all of the quilts in the book are made with Lizzie’s Legacy but since I have this idea of making a big quilt using the small-size blocks from the Mini version… I’m going to need more fabric, right? And if I need more fabric, that means I can add more fabric-S – as in, variety.
It’s not like Moda doesn’t have a lot of different prints – some that are already in stores and some that will be coming soon. (Just so you know… I collect Layer Cakes for just this sort of thing, their size is perfect for adding just a little bit and then being “done” with it when it’s gone. And no, that’s not my “genius” idea… credit Jen Kingwell for that.)
The good news is that calculators were provided. The bad news is that we were inside the warehouse and the solar-powered devices weren’t quite sure they wanted to work… or maybe that was just mine.
If you’ve ever worked in a business that involves selling stuff, you know that one of the annual rituals is Inventory. With a capital “I” – it’s that important.
That started today – with all hands on deck – sometimes literally – counting.
Clockwise from top-left: Lissa Alexander – the Director of Marketing and @modalissa / Debbie Outlaw – Chief pattern and book buyer / Doyle Parker – the V.P. of United Notions / Tammy Vonderschmitt – Marketing Dept. and @nithaystack.
Since I was supposed to be counting, I didn’t get around much to take more pictures.
Everything is ready beforehand – Brian Dunn and Bob Wallner run a very smooth operation, though Mr. Wallner says he ages about five years every Inventory. (I think he was just trying to make sure I would pay attention to the procedures.)
But they really did make it easy – we just pick up a stack of sheets – pink in the Moda warehouse, blue in the United Notions warehouse – with a list of stock numbers, that’s our starting point. Then it’s finding those shelves and start adding up the yards of fabric on hand for that stock number. Some are easy – 10 bolts that are 10 yards each. Others… not so much.
I don’t have enough fingers and toes to keep up, though my “skills” – relative term – at adding numbers in my head did get a little practice. The calculator helps but adding 9 + 11 + 12 + 11 + 13 + 15 + 15 + 15 and so on without a calculator tape… it’s easy to question your results when you get past oh… maybe 150. Never mind the fractions.
A few of the folks here were concerned about whether I’d get distracted and the plan was to relegate me to counting only the beige and tan fabric. And if I was fast – black. I could do black Bella Solid.
I might have started in the Bellas but I found my way to Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell and Farmhouse by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. There’s not much Farmhouse left – many of the pieces are sold out, and Gardenvale isn’t far behind. One of my favorite pieces in that collection are the multi-color stripes, they make terrific bindings. They’re almost gone. (Okay, so I got a little bit distracted.)
This is a “Random Quilt Picture” – just because. It hangs in MaryAnn’s office, it’s an antique she found many years ago. It’s quite wonderful – faded, soft and the colors are still beautiful.
I’m not sure when Inventory is finished but the warehouses are closed this week – partly for Inventory and then for the holidays. Can you believe that it’s this week? And can you believe that this year is almost over?
This year has flown by – I moved to Dallas a year ago last week, and as of today, I’ve been here 50 weeks. But I’m not going to think about that today – there’s still too much to do.
One last thing – everyone here hopes that you and yours have a wonderful Holiday season – safe, happy and very merry.