I’ve been thinking about going back to the list of 2016 goals I published earlier this year and check-in on how I’m doing against them. This past Saturday I was really pleased to read Yvonne’s (Quilting Jet Girl) mid-year review post for two reasons. The first was that it was a very interesting, well thought-out post. I appreciated how her goals were focused at two levels – shorter term and big picture – and I found her goal setting and commentary very thought provoking. I think I will follow her lead and structure my goals in this format next year. The second was that she started a mid-year review link up party. So no excuses for me now…I have a link-up to join!
My goals this year were pretty short-term and what I’d call ‘tactical’ – things I wanted to get done. Some skills I wanted to improve, but mostly projects I wanted to tackle. As I head in to the second half of the year, I’m thinking of a few more skill-building and big picture goals I’d like to add.
The original list:
1. Start this blog. Figure out how to link up to things and add buttons.
I’ve done pretty well here. I got the blog going, have learned how to do lots of things, including link-ups and buttons, and more importantly, have learned to figure out how to do things on my own. I am proud that I saw that someone else had a Instagram feed on their blog, thought, ‘hey, that’s cool!’, went out and searched for methods to do it, and got it added. I also joined the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop which has been great, both in community building and for my learning process.
For the second half of the year I have 2 goals with my blog. First is to keep it up – I’m just starting back to work after about 3 months off, and I’m worried about finding time to sew and blog. Second is to think about a tip I recently read on Mary Fons’ blog Paper Girl about blogging. She said that your blog needs to serve people. It needs to help in some way, and that a blog is not a diary. This made me stop and think a bit. What am I trying to do with this blog? I’m not sure, and at this point I’m certainly not trying to change the world, but I thought it was an interesting point to keep in mind as I go forward.
2. Improve my Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I’ve been doing FMQ for some time, but have kind of fallen into a rut of stippling and swirls. I have two or three smaller quilts I can use to practice, plus practice sandwiches, and maybe I’ll try a few mini quilts.
I’ve done reasonably well here. I quilted both Chemistry (above) and Do the Math, from the Facets QAL. I did a lot of practice on small pieces that became zippy pouches. I also took a free Angela Walters Craftsy class that was great, and used some of those concepts to finish another quilt (more on that one later). Finally, I took a great long arm class at my local Bernina dealer. I’ll also post more about this class later, but it was a great day, and I learned as much about designing quilting for a quilt as I did about using the long arm. Good progress here, but this will be a continued source of focus for me.
3. I joined a few quilt alongs – the Stitchery Dickory Dock’s Sugar Block Club 3.0 BOM that my Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild is doing, Christa Watson’s Facets QAL, and The Splendid Sampler. These should be fun, educational, and push me outside my normal boundaries.
I’ve done really well here, and really enjoyed these projects. Plus I am all caught up on all of them as I head back to work. I did join another QAL – Moda’s Bee-utiful QAL – but I haven’t been able to get any of those blocks done yet. No more new QALs/BOMs for me until I finish the 3 remaining ones that I am in.
4. I have an awesome hand-dyed houses quilt that I need to finish…I’m holding on to it for a little while until I improve my FMQ! I want to do something with big swirls.
Boo. I have basted Row Houses, but no quilting yet. It is stuck in a limbo state due to either my procrastination and/or my discontent with my skill at the swirls I want to add.
5. Use my stash! I bought a few new things for these quilt alongs, but I really want to focus on using up what I have. I’m trying to do the whole Splendid Sampler from my stash.
Sort of a mixed bag here. I’ve done a good job of only using my stash for the Splendid Sampler, and I went through my stash and got rid of a big bin of stuff I know I won’t use. But I still have a lot of stuff, and I did break down and buy more. BUT NOW! NO MORE FABRIC BUYING! I SWEAR! haha
6. Work on a few other pet projects – I need to make some little zippered bags for some friends, and I’m really digging the Plus quilts that She Can Quilt makes – so I think I’ll tackle those too.
Another mixed bag – I got a bunch of zippered bags done, but no progress on the plus quilt.
Adds for the second half of 2016:
- Design. I had a great time doing my hexies challenge quilt and loved how it came together. I have two opportunities for design in front of me – planning what I want to do with my Blueberry Park fabric, and I entered the Cloud 9 block design challenge (part of the New Bloggers group). I need to find a good mix of designing something that is unique but not taking forever to make decisions and get going.
- Think more about whether I want to buy a long arm. I took that class and boy, I was terrible at it. But I think it is something I want to do and will eventually help me enjoy the whole quilting process more.
- Think more about what I’m trying to do with all this quilting and blogging. Really, there are only so many quilts I need. Am I doing this just for myself? Do I want to get into designing and selling patterns? Do I want to sell my quilts?
Thanks again to Yvonne for hosting the link up and inspiring me to pause and reflect on the first half of 2016!
Liking up with Quilting Jet Girl’s Mid-Year Review.
You’ve made great progress on your initial goals and your new goals look like they are designed to take you in a new direction of growth which is awesome. When you start the new job you might have to give yourself permission to be flexible around your goals as you go through the adjustment. The blogging point made by Mary Fons is interesting and worthy of thinking about but i think that for many people a blog is a sort of a diary and that’s fine.
Thank you! I really appreciate your positive thoughts!
Thank you so much for linking up! It is awesome to look back and see how much you have accomplished so far this year. In terms of your blog serving the community and bigger picture goals, I certainly did not have answers for that myself after 6 months of blogging. Now 2 years and 6 months into being a blogger, I have a better idea but still am excited about growth and potential. Some big picture things just take longer to come into focus! I hope that you have a lovely second half of 2016 and I wish you a smooth transition back into the workforce and hope that you find a good balance for maintaining your quilting and blogging momentum.
Thanks Yvonne! Yes some perspective is in order here…I am still very new at this. Balance will indeed be a key focus area for me for the rest of this year. Thanks again for pulling together this link-up.
It seems that you have some great goals and that you’ve made excellent progress. You’ve given me a lot of food for thought. Thanks for the inspiration.
You have been doing really well on your goals for 2016. Love your hand-dyed houses quilt.
Thanks Jennifer! I just need to finally get it quilted.