Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year and What's On Deck for 2018

A Very Happy New Year To Everyone!
When a New Year dawns, we all think about what we hope the year will bring and what we can accomplish in it.  Normally, this is the time for quilters to reveal the "Word of the Year" that they want to guide their project aspirations for the year.  I have done some work this past year using a Bullet Journal and studying the prompts of illustrator and author Jessica Abel through her blog and her book "Growing Gills".  If you feel like you never seem to get what you want to accomplish done, I highly recommend the book (and the email prompts she will send you after you purchase it) to help you pinpoint what your issues are. 

Between the two, I realized my biggest problem was determining what the "Realistic" part of S.M.A.R.T. goals (see Tip #1 on this post) really means and how to truly prioritize them.  Those two things were the main reasons why I was able to stay on track at the end of the year and get a few projects competed even while juggling a Christmas gift project and Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery without getting discouraged or feeling like I was going crazy.
So as 2017 ended, I tried to think about what would be my guiding word for 2018.  However, as I rolled around the possibilities in my mind, two words kept bubbling to the top for me.  They represent what I want to do more than how I plan to work and that is:
Yes, for me the guiding principal will be that this year I want to finish up my original Bucket List goals.  I wrote about my Bucket List back in 2010.  The projects on it represented the quilts that when I started quilting, I felt I NEEDED to attempt in order to be considered a "real" (as opposed to fake?!?) quilter.  To fulfill those lofty aspirations, at that time I had seven projects still to attempt: Double Wedding Ring, String Quilt, Lone Star, Dresden Plate, Complex Applique and a Hand Quilted Wholecloth.  I finished the Dresden plate quilt called Merrimac Dresdens in 2013 so that left six more still to do.
I had actually started on the Double Wedding Ring way back in 2009, made siginificant progress on it in 2012 and had last worked on it in 2015.   
 For the Wholecloth project I had plans as far back as 2012 to start it and made them again at the start of both 2016 and last year but each time got sidetracked.  So with the Bucket List my focus, I could finally get it started this year.
 After doing the "Growing Gills" lessons, I wound up completely reorganizing my "Hussy" stacks (HSYs - Haven't Started Yet projects) which reacquainted me with some of the things I had chosen to fulfill my Bucket List goals.  For instance, while I had considered doing a number of projects to fulfill the Complex Applique wish, I realized that there was a project that I had long wanted to make that could actually fulfill that for me and I decided right then to forego all others in favor of it.  For that one I plan to make (or at least start) one of the Robert Callahan's Applique projects.

I also have stashed no less than five different Lone Star designs, all using different approaches to the construction. 
These are just some of the patterns I have.
 Again, I had long debated about which to start with but with cleared creative "Gills", I finally made a firm decision on which project to start with:  I'm going with the Jelly Stars kit I have.
Now that I know where I want to go, I am ready to plan the when and how.  I had always planned for the wholecoth to be a whole year project so the push for that one is just to get it started and in the hoop.  Once that's done I can work on it a little each week until it gets completed (and it will be great for "Slow Sunday Stitching" linkups).  For the other projects, I thought that the easiest plan for attacking them would be a personal quarterly challenge.  I can attempt to get one BL item started (or in the case of the Double Wedding Ring, continued) in each quarter.  If I plan well, some might even get finished within their quarter.  And from my experience at the end of last year, I know that it is possible to juggle more than one project as long as I was realistic about what I thought I could get done and monitored, accepted and re-grouped when I was sent off track from my plans.
This is not to say that I don't expect to work on other things during the year:  I definitely want to get the two Bonnie Hunter mystery projects, On Ringo Lake and En Provence, at least to the top stage:
Lots of parts still in progress......
A Bonnie project may also fulfill my String Quilt bucket list item but I haven't decided on that definitively yet.

I'd also like to make some headway on some decorating projects like my Halloween quilt and a few wallhangings I want to make for the house.  Hopefully what I learned last year about planning and deadlines, will clarify for me just how much additional time, realistically, I can devote to these projects if at all.  If I realize I can't get them done, then at that moment it will be time to decide what will take precedence.  I'm also sure there will be those times when the project du' jour may be frustrating me and I will welcome having a diversion at hand.      
So that's the 2018 plan for me in a nut shell.  What is your Word for the Year or plans for 2018?  Whatever they are I wish you well in bringing them to fruition and making 2018 the best it can be for you! 

1 comment:

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. I checked into Jessica's blog (And downloaded her worksheet) and added her to my blog my "word" for 2018 is: CREATE! I found your post to e inspiring and insightful. THANKS for sharing with us Viv. :)