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!

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How do Moda Designers’ Gardens Grow?

When I talk with quilters, I find that in addition to fabric, they frequently love gardening. There’s something very similar about putting together a quilt—taking into account color, scale, texture, and pattern—and combining plants in a flowerbed. I’ve asked some Moda designers to share their gardens with you and you’ll see what I mean. (You’ll also see that their gardens are as diverse as their designs!)

First up is Pat Sloan.dp_pat-sloan-1I started to garden as a teenager when I lived in Brussels Belgium. In the Grand Place they had a market during the summer weekends. I bought a begonia, then tomato plants, and from there I’ve had flowers, herbs and the occasional veggie somewhere in my yard!Pat Sloan sunflower

Pat Sloan day lillies

Many of my quilts include flowers, from a daisy or rose that I grow in my garden, to simple posies like the ones in the basket on my quilt The Sweet life. Those add that little splash of flower and are so easy to stitch.Pat Sloan Sweet Life Sew Along block 2bOne of the happiest things I can do is visit a garden. I love to plan out all the flower beds, and buy flowers like I would fabric, planning how they will look together. pat sloan verbena

Pat Sloan white flowersWhen I created ‘Friends Forever’ I was thinking about my grandparents. Their neighbor was an amazing gardener and he would give my grandparents boquets for their kitchen table.. my grandparents never did do any gardening!pat sloan friends forever 1

For my Let’s Go Sew, I added my mom’s favorite, the rose! She love pink best, if she sewed I’d make her one with pink flowers!

Pat Sloan Lets go Sew pattern

Next is Janet Clare.

dp_janet-clare-300x282-1 We live in a commuter town about 40 minutes outside London. Our house is Edwardian (built around 1908) and we have been renovating it for the last 12 years. The garden has been sadly neglected and I suspect the last time there was a green-fingered gardener living in the house he was an Edwardian too!

But, we do have space for a table and chairs (all thrifted and gathered over the years), all mismatched and wobbly. I cover them with quilts, blankets and cushions and we sit outside as often as time and the British weather allows.

JClare ChairsThe garden is very green and wild and we have two large oak trees which are home to bats, birds, squirrels and bugs.We also have lots of sky which I love. Our neighbours are all tucked away and no-one over looks our garden.

Trees, sky and a comfy chair are all I need in a garden.

Here’s what Barbara Brackman has to say about her garden.dp_barbara-brackman-300x282I moved last summer from a Victorian house in a grove of oak trees to a 1970s house on top of a rocky hill. Under the oaks I got good at shade gardens, appreciating the subtle greens of hostas. But now I am thinking sun, sun, sun and color, color, color. I’m starting small with a strip in front of the front deck. Brackman garden1The photos show the sun garden in June. I’ve always concentrated on foliage but now it’s flowers. I am planning vegetables for next year.

I am also in the habit of container gardening so I can move the plants around as the sun shifts throughout the summer. I don’t need to follow the sun anymore but do love the color of the pots.Brackman garden2 The colors in the garden definitely show up in my latest line The Morris Jewels, William Morris prints in colors he’d never thought of.

precuts Morris jewels
Lynne Hagmeier enjoys the non-green aspects of her garden as much as the vegetation.
dp_kansas-troublesI don’t have much of a green thumb, I just grow whatever the deer won’t eat and fill in the bare spots with garden junk. I collect birdhouses made with odds and ends and place them strategically around the yard for bird watching. When flea market shopping with the grandkids, we watch for old wheels, interesting silverware, rusty parts, and thing-a-ma-jigs. They claim I grow more rusty junk in my garden than flowers!I love instilling in them that even castoff parts can be repurposed and enjoyed in the garden.

Lynne Hagmeier garden 2


Finally we’ve got Kate Spain, a gardener extraordinaire who is not afraid of hard work.dp_kate-spain-300x282You may remember her garden from two years ago, including the 7,000 lbs. of stone Kate and her husband hauled in as part of their landscaping project. Here’s what’s happened since:

I love to garden and some of you might remember that two summers ago, Pete and I endeavored to transform our “blank slate” backyard into a retreat for birds, butterflies, bees…and us. I always enjoy seeing before and after photos, and when I sifted through my pictures documenting our progress…even I was surprised! For fun, you can get your bearings by keeping your eye on the bird feeder in the corner. It was one of the few things that didn’t move! So, here’s what the yard looked like when we moved in:Kate Spain garden BEFOREThis is after we rototilled and plotted out the patio:Kate Spain Garden1Here is the patio with stones in place (all put there by Pete and me!), before the stone dust was swept between the cracks:Kate Spain Garden2And here it is now! I start just about every day out on that bench, sipping coffee, watching the birds and seeing what’s grown overnight.Kate Spain Garden3Another view…Kate Spain Garden5Here’s the shade garden with a little wall I built with stones we dug up throughout the yard:Kate Spain ShadeGarden1And here it is now:Kate Spain ShadeGarden2It seems that we grow vegetables, flowers and inspiration! I find so much happiness outdoors and every season offers something different in the way of color/texture/shape. I often stroll around taking photos of details that catch my eye. Before I start designing a fabric collection, I refer to these photos as starting points to build palettes and designs around. Here are some I took the other day that may turn into something eventually.Kate Spain Garden ColorsI also love succulents for their distinct edges, shapes and layers. We have a bunch of different varieties along the bed borders and in planters. These are some that I drew and included in Canyon.Kate Spain CanyonInspiration3Kate Spain CanyonInspiration2Can’t wait to see what’s blooming tomorrow! Happy gardening!

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Taking Hexies on the Road

Taking handwork along while you’re vacationing (or just taking your kids to swim lessons or the doctor’s office) makes a lot of sense. Small, easy-to-carry and easy-to store projects help idle minutes fly by and can yield big results. In past posts we’ve shared Moda’s designer’s tips for appliqué and embroidery. Today the focus is on hexagons.

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