Can We Just…

Spend more time quilting and less time… all the other things?! At the beginning of the year, I was great about setting my quilting goals for this year, reflecting on everything I did and learned last year, and how I was going to share all of that with you.

Then 2022 busted in the door with a big ol’ “nah.”

And I know you probably thought you were done with happy new year posts, but I still wanted to share my successes and goals with you. We’ll recap 2021 and then talk about some exciting things I have planned for 2022.

2021 in Review

My 2021 goals were to find my signature color palette, learn more about modern quilting, and – to quote my planner – “become a walking foot quilting bad ass.” Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Find My Signature Color Palette

Short story, no. I’m a huge Rebecca Bryan fan girl and a member of her Playful Color Quilt Guild. Each month, she hosts challenges to help you learn to play with and use color in your quilts. The exercises are amazing and range from really simple to head-scratchingly curious. Each month, I would watch her challenge demo, get excited, and then get drawn into another project I just had to finish or a busy time at work.

This was on my goal list because I really admire quilters out there where you can tell right away it’s their work because of the way they use color. I wanted to use this goal to refine what I know and like about color so I could have a signature palette as well. This is still something I really want to do, so don’t be surprised if we talk about it again in the next section!

Learn More About Modern Quilting

Yes! At the end of 2020, I learned about the Modern Makes Membership from Amber at Alderwood Studio. Each month, I got a box with a modern quilt pattern and the fabric and batting to make a mini quilt. This was so fun! I could complete a project in a solid evening of sewing, and I could start to see what makes modern, modern. I posted my January, February, and March projects as I finished them.

Once I started to learn what I liked about modern quilting, I didn’t do every single project. Some I would trade away to quilty friends and some went to thrift donations. At the end of the year, I still had a solid collection of mini quilts to hang over my sewing table. I have a few more finished that I’ll share here if we can ever get a decent day for taking pictures.

sewing table with machine and quilts hanging on the wall

Spoiler Alert: Amber and Alderwood Studio will show up again later in this post! Can you figure out why?

Become a Walking Foot Quilting Bad Ass

No, but I have an excuse!! Almost as I was making this goal, HollyAnne Knight of String & Story announced an upcoming class on how to become a free-motion quilting rockstar. So I traded Bass Ass for Rockstar, and signed up!

The quilt hanging over my chair in the picture above was our homework for the class. We made a quilt with 30 blocks and filled each one in with a new motif. And I have to say, I got really good at free-motion quilting! The picture below is our “final exam,” a whole cloth mini quilt where we put everything we learned into making a piece of quilted art. God bless Sir for always being so willing to hold up my quilts on picture day!

close up of my whole cloth quilt

Sir even figured out how to broadcast the graduation ceremony to the big TV so we could enjoy dinner and a nice glass of wine while we celebrated my success.

TV screen from graduation with my projects highlighted

Hello 2022

Like I said above, I came into 2022 ready to go and make some progress on some new – and recycled – goals. The first three months of the year were really stressful in the rest of my life, but I’m not going to let that keep me from making big strides in 2022. Here’s what I have planned:

Find My Signature Color Palette

It’s baaaack! This probably means I’m no good at setting goals, but I plan to approach it much differently this year. Instead of waltzing out of 2022 in December with a “signature” palette, I’m going to schedule time to have four seasonal palettes I can choose from for new projects going forward. Trying to find The One True Palette is a little intimidating, so playing around to find four palettes I can sit with sounds a lot more doable.

I’ve also started blocking off two hours of my day before I start work to just be in the studio to make sure I get plenty of time to play and work. Not only do I get dedicated time with no distractions, I actually have more energy at the end of my work day to get back at it if I want. I think I’m going to dedicate the first Wednesday of every month to playing with color and going through Rebecca’s challenges.

Make Quilty Friends (IRL)

One of the best things about the pandemic was all these instructors and quilt shops opening up their classes online so that anyone could attend. I took a couple classes from Gotham Quilts, a store I have so little time for when I’m actually in New York. I took a ton of workshops on Saturday mornings and joined some small groups who get together on Zoom to sew together and talk quilting. It was such a great way to discover new shops and teachers and make new quilting friends, even if they live in Canada.

In my real life, though, I’m the only quilter – or even maker – in my friend group. They’re happy to listen to me talk about projects, but it’s not the same as getting in a room with other makers to learn something new. This year’s goals to make IRL quilty friends includes taking a handful of classes in person through my local stores and joining my local quilt guild. I’m lucky that we have a pretty robust guild with lots of chapters meeting at different times. I think I found a chapter that fits my schedule and isn’t too painful to drive to. I’m going to try to get to the April meeting to check it out.

Pattern Writing!

Alderwood Studio is back for this goal, as I’m about halfway into Amber’s class on pattern writing. We’re learning different software programs, quilt math, and pattern writing. The class is written so that we have a pattern ready to release when we complete the course. That sounds great, but I have no idea what to design! Every time I sit down to try to design something, my mind goes blanker than a new chalkboard. I’ve been taking lots of pictures whenever I’m out and about, so I’ll go through those this weekend to see if anything inspires me.

When the pattern is ready, I’m going to make a huge announcement here. I hope you’ll support me on release day, even if it’s only to comment, “Good job, Joni!” Those words of encouragement can go so far!

#fin

So there you have it. I feel like I had a pretty successful 2021, and I can’t wait to see what type of quilter I am in December. What are you planning? It’s never too late to share your goals.

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