Thursday, December 28, 2017

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

2017 was an interesting year. Despite world events, I'm much happier than I was at the end of 2016; I think it's because I purposefully focused on self-care this year.

Essentially, I simplified my life. Less deadlines outside of work = less stress. Less blogging and less writing. More reading (and discovering the beauty of audio books!). More trips to the theater. More gym time (though that's gone off the rails the last couple months, as I've been constantly ill). Overall, it was an especially healthier year for my mind.

I always write a post at the end of the year to see how I met my quilting goals, and what I want to pursue next. This post is a really useful way for me to reflect on making.

This year, I finished 17 quilts (4 of which I can't show yet), all of which have linked blog posts on my Portfolio page (though not the top left just yet!). Some of these (namely Fall Spectrum and Today I Feel) are among my top favorite finishes of all time. I forced myself to stretch in a lot of new ways with both piecing and quilting this year (especially free motion writing). Also, I discovered my excitement over making and sharing politically motivated art.

I made a lot of smaller projects this year, too, including mini quilts (always lots of those), pillows, bags, a quilt ladder, and a needle case. Below are some of my favorites!

Here were my 2017 goals:

1. Use my Quilter's Planner to actually plan. This year it dawned on me that I'm just not a planner person (though I used to be in high school!). I didn't keep up with this as I wanted to, but that's okay.

2. Write more. Not sure if I met this one, but I certainly wrote most often in The Wonky Press newsletter, which is now 2.25 years old! Crazy. I did write some blog posts to be proud of though (linked in my recent Best of 2017 list right here). Over 7 years, I'm at 1,009 published blog posts and over 1 million views right now, and I'm pretty proud of that, too! I love blogging!

3. Widen my teaching scope. Definitely taught and lectured more this year. It was busy and very fulfilling. 2018 is lighter so far.

4. Develop a quilt-a-long for summer. I just couldn't make this happen, and I don't regret it at all. But...

5. Develop a quilt-a-long for 2018. Yep!! It's very laid back and most of the work on my end is already done. I hope you'll join my guild for the Modern Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) QAL!

6. Blog at least 2x a week. Most of the time, I did this. Some weeks had 1 post, some weeks had none. I spent that time otherwise engaged and I'm all the better for it. I still love blogging and interacting with you, but it was a lot to handle. And with my "simplify" theme, it just didn't always make the cut!

My 2018 Creative Goals are simple. They are:

1. Finish long-term projects: my Meadow Quilt, Purple Scrap Quilt, and 2015 Bee Quilt. These are at the quilting stage. I'm itching to take one out of the closet right now and get to work. I think I will!

2. Finish my long-term hand-quilting project. I started in the summer and paused for a while, but I think the chill of the next few months will keep me cuddled up on the couch working on it.

3. Knit more and learn how to knit a hat. Scarves are my specialty (I used to knit before I learned to quilt), and I'm just tip-toeing my way through my first cables, so there's a lot of fun to be had here (thanks to my teacher, Marika!). I've already found that knitting a couple rows can totally relax me.

4. Bake more. With my new KitchenAid mixer (for which I spent several years quietly price-watching from afar), I've been baking so much! The above cake is from my new Hershey recipe book (basically fudge cake with homemade coffee icing. YUM!). It just makes me happy.

5. Sew more clothes. I'm starting with the Peg Leg legging pattern by Patterns for Pirates and the Suki Kimono by Helen's Closet. It's been a couple years since I made my last garment. Yaaaay.

I'm not going to set any distinct blogging or writing goals. That feels great. :)

So, what's your top creative goal for 2018? I'd love to hear about it! Here's to a new year.

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  1. I love the way you recapped the year with photo collages, Jess. I hope that 2018 continues to bring you a lot of peace of mind and creative joy. I will certainly be eager to see what you make! Thanks so much for linking up.

  2. So many beautiful quilts! I really love your style and admire how your values and beliefs shine through your work. Self-care is actually my primary goal for this year and I'm glad you made that a priority for yourself in 2017 -- it's so important but so easy to overlook. My creative goal is to prioritize making for the sake of making and not allowing myself to get hung up in the have-tos and shoulds and not-good-enoughs that can really block my progress. Good luck in 2018!

  3. Love your summary, love that you visited my guild this year, love your goals. I, too, used to sew clothes, and i do have a goal to get back into it. Glad there's someone else doing that! Hope you have an amazing New Years, and keep up your quilting and blogging!


  4. Hi Jess. I think this is quite a list of accomplishments! Weren't you working on book? How is that anxious to hear more about it! The most planning I do is signing up to finish UFOs annually through my guild. So far 6 done over the last 2 years. Signed up for 3 more (the max) this year but may do some of the small ones, too. I've been thinking of doing a little bit of crocheting over the year...some Christmas snowflake decorations to give away!

  5. You had a wonderful 2017 and I look forward to seeing what you create in 2018!

  6. Wow! You've finished a lot of beautiful projects this year. IT is amazing to see them all together like this. I have an Instant Pot now, so I guess I should also add cooking to my list this year! I will definitely be trying out its functions in 2018!

  7. You had a productive year! All the best for the new one!

  8. What a beautifully productive and creative filled year you had. Sounds like you have a stylish and tasty year ahead!!


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