Kickstarting your Sewing: Ideas from Moda Designers’ Blogs

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Moda Designers Share New Year’s Resolutions

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

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.cupboard of antique quilts




  1. 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.
  2. Say more “no” without explanations.
  3. Sewing related? Well, on my list is to reproduce an antique sampler quilt!
  4. 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!

IMG_6853 IMG_7423



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

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!

pat sloan new year resolution



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.

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!

1canoe2: Vibrant Design Grows in the American Midwest

1canoe2 farmstead1canoe2 operates out of an old barn in rural Missouri, on the farm where Carrie Shyrock grew up. Though she’s lived and traveled elsewhere, it’s the landscape she grew up in that provides inspiration for the designs she creates for the company she started with friend Beth Snyder.

“I’ve traveled and lived a lot of different places and now I realize there’s something so beautiful about this place,” she says. “I’m obsessed with the sky—seeing the clouds change and the storms roll in—and with the wildflowers that grow on the roadsides in summertime.”

1canoe2 group photo_2014

The happy crew of 1canoe2. At left are business partners Karen Shyrock and Carrie Shyrock. Partner Beth Snyder is fourth from the left.

That love of nature right outside her window will be shared with fabric lovers in October, when 1canoe2’s first line of Moda fabrics, Tucker Prairie, hits the stores. Beth is especially excited by the opportunity to create fabric. “I majored in graphic design and fiber in college, so fabric design is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says.


Beth and Carrie went to high school together and college too—at the University of Missouri in Columbia—and both studied and enjoyed art. After college, Beth was working as a graphic designer and living in Nashville when her husband-to-be bought her a small letterpress on Ebay so she could print her wedding invitations. “I just love touching ink, changing colors, and getting dirty,” says Beth. Carrie contributed some drawings to the process and after they wedding they continued to work together long distance.

Beth moved back to Missouri in 2008 and she and Carrie opened an Etsy shop, selling wooden recipe boxes made by Beth’s father, filled with the recipe cards they’d designed. Since they’d enjoyed canoe trips together on Missouri’s clear, spring-fed rivers, they decided to name their shop 1canoe2, which Beth says is shorthand for one canoe, two girls. “But I didn’t really think it through, because I’m always having to tell people ‘It’s the number one, the word canoe, and the number two,’” she says with a laugh.


In the loft of the renovated barn, where Carrie’s dad used to store lumber, 1canoe2 staffers prep samples for Quilt Market.


Today, 1canoe2 employs between 11 and 15 people. Carrie’s sister-in-law Karen Shyrock has joined as a partner. “It’s a talented, hard-working team and I’m so proud of how they treat one another and how they help 1canoe2 do our best,” says Beth. The company works with manufacturers to produce greeting cards, calendars, art prints, notebooks, glassware, tea towels and more, which they ship themselves to shops large and small. (They still print some of their designs via letterpress, although a much bigger press than the one they started with.)


Another view of sample-making in the loft. The open, light-filled spaces work well for the 1canoe2 team.


Each 1canoe2 piece is adorned with the fresh designs that are typically based on Carrie’s paintings. “Carrie comes up with brilliant ideas and color palettes no one else would ever think of,” says Beth, who then imports them into her computer. The two sit side-by-side to make design choices. “My role is to do design and to run the business and I’m really enjoying that. We have total artistic control and we think having our hands on every product is what makes them special.” She mentions that working with Moda has been a perfect fit in that way. “They’ve let us do exactly what we wanted and have been great to work with.”

Friends and relatives gathered this week to prep samples for spring Quilt Market. Beth's mom is on the step stool. Her aunts also helped out.

Friends and relatives gathered this week to prep samples for spring Quilt Market. Beth’s mom is on the step stool. Her aunts also helped out.

Carrie and Beth are preparing for Quilt Market: Beth’s mom, aunts, and family friends pitched in to make samples this week, and 1canoe2 employees did the same. In the photo of staff in the loft, it’s easy to see the barn has changed significantly since the days when Carrie’s great-grandfather raised mules and when her dad stored lumber here. Concrete’s replaced dirt floors and insulation keeps it warm in winter. “It’s a bright, open space that’s perfect for what we’re doing now,” says Carrie.

Outside the barn Carrie’s family still grows corn and soybeans in the wide open fields that inspire 1canoe2. Inside, 1canoe2 raises an appreciation for color and fresh, vibrant design. “We feel so lucky we get to do this work,” says Beth.


More Quilt Market prep. About the sample sewing day Beth said, “We made a big mess and had a lot of fun.”