Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolutions

With the new year, comes my New Year's Resolutions!  I actually enjoy the process of dreaming up and finalizing my top 5 resolutions.  There are usually 1 or 2 that are locked in early but then I need to whittle down my list and figure out which 5 will provide a fun challenge that will help me grow as a quilter.  So after some serious consideration, here are my top 5 New Year's Resolutions for 2014:

EQ7.png1.  Explore Electric Quilt 7:  I'd like to draft my own unique quilt patterns and designs.  I've heard great things about this software and know many top quilt designers swear by it.  And in my eagerness, I may have already purchased it with my American Quilter's Society membership discount.  Once I install it, I will look forward to exploring all its capabilities.  Several of the LQS offer classes on using it, and I noticed the Electric Quilt Company website has tutorials, forums, challenges and more that I plan on checking out to help me fully utilize this software.





2.  Learn how to hand dye my own fabrics:  After working with absolutely gorgeous fabrics hand dyed by Frieda Anderson and Marjan Kluepfel, I've developed a new love of hand dyed fabrics.  I've picked up a few bundles at recent quilt shows but will admit I am afraid to cut into it as they are just too breathtaking!  Perhaps if I had a way of replenishing my stash with hand dyed fabrics, I'd start actually using it in projects?!?  So I am setting out to learn how to hand dye my own fabrics and I've done a lot of preparation for this new adventure:  acquired several books on the process; enrolled in several Craftsy classes on technique and color theory, Jane Dunnewold's "The Art of Cloth Dyeing", Malka Dubrawsky's "Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist" and Joen Wolfrom's Color Play for Quilters on color theory; and finally gathered many of the supplies, dyes, fabric and equipment needed, many thanks to Doug's thoughtful Christmas gift.  I am sure the process will be a messy one but one that will yield a lot of beauty.






3.  Continue my FMQ Education and Experimentation:  Yes, I had so much fun with FMQing in 2013 that I want to continue the fun.  I will definitely continue my education with even more Craftsy classes:  Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Fillers Volume 1 and 2, Ann Peterson's Beyond Machine Quilting and Continuous Line Quilting, and Mandy Leins' A New Look at Long Arm Quilting (and any new classes they might offer this year!).  Additionally, I'd like to experiment with new tools and threads to enhance my quilting designs.  I plan on watching Superior's "Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob" to help me "eliminate frustrations with threads, needles and tension, as well as utilize the vast literature and education they have available on their website.  I'd like to learn trapunto to add another dimension to my quilting, as well as more bobbin work and texture. 



I will also be seeking out new sources of inspiration for FMQ designs and motifs.  Besides adding new images to my Pinterest board and journal, I also want to check out Zentangles.  I've picked up a few books to explore this art form which I believe will nicely translate with thread and fabric.

And who knows, maybe, just maybe, I will check out Long Arm quilting, whether this will involve taking a class to use a LQS machine or possibly purchase one of my own.

4.  Continue my UFO conquest:  I still have a few UFOs that are very dear to my heart that I want to prioritize for completion this year:  Butterflies in Free Motion, FMQ Sampler, Dresden Quilt, Hummingbird Wall Hanging, Double Wedding Ring,  Kool Kaleidoscope and both Black Opals & Ribbon Candy quilts.  I'd like to match, if not beat last year's UFO completion record of 7 UFO finishes.  Moreover, I may need to make some difficult decisions with regards to those UFOs that are no longer working for me and whether they might be best passed onto Philanthropy or another guild member who would find more joy finishing these projects.        

5.  Use what's already in my studio/stash:  After the recent studio makeover and reorganization, I realized how many tools, templates, rulers and fabrics I've accumulated that are just waiting to be used.  I've got special collections of fabrics and precuts that are just waiting to be turned into a quilt or project.  So I am determined to select projects that will utilize these fun finds.  I was recently invited to join a "Never Even Started and UFO" challenge with fellow guild  members determined to finished up 10+ projects in 2014.  Earlier this week I went through all my patterns and selected several that I want to pursue this year as part of this challenge.  I even started to pull out fabrics from my own stash to bring these patterns to life!

Top Left to bottom Right:

  • Fire & Ice:  This one will require some new fabric purchases, but all small yardage of various Kona solids
  • From the Blue Chairs Ombre Lattice:  I already had all the ombre fabrics and just needed to purchase 1 yard of white solid fabric.
  • Modern View from McCalls magazine:  Again, I had all the yardage and just needed 3 yards of solid white for the background.
  • Phillips Fiber Arts Squedge/New Years Resolution Quilt:  My plan is to use all scraps from my stash and the previously purchased ruler/template.
  • Some kind of Diamond quilt:  Possibly the Diamond Alley pattern shown and/or one from Jan Krentz Quick & Easy Diamond Craftsy class or books.  
  • Hexie Garden:  This pattern which will also utilize fabrics from my stash and has lots of negative space to feature some FMQing!!
  • X-Blocks:  This tool/technique has been on my to do list for some time now, as I am hoping to incorporate some fun magical fabrics to take it to another dimension.
  • Yolk Music:  This American Quilter magazine pattern will be a great project to use my growing collection of 5" charm squares and yardage for the center circles (possibly a yellow/orange print or possibly black and white fabrics?!?)
  • Morning, Noon & Night:  100% from my stash which should be a quick and easy projects.
I am excited as these projects are all perfect in my mind.  But I am about ready to start cutting into the Morning, Noon & Night fabrics to get started on a fresh, new project for a fresh, new year!

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