Hello all, Mary Ellen here.
Are you one who makes resolutions each year? I used to be such, but didn’t usually follow through very well. I have good intentions, but…
In the latest newsletter from Superior Threads, in my inbox this morning, Mother Superior gives a suggested list of resolutions which I think I will give a try. Some I do already, which cuts the list down from its ten. And others I’d like to push myself to try. I’m including her list here, with a few annotations from me. See what you think.
1. I will read my machine’s Owner’s Manual.
If it puts you to sleep, at least read the Tension chapter. If you do not have the Owner’s Manual, go to Google and type in “machine brand, model number, owner’s manual” and you should find it online.
2. I will use a thread I have never used before (as long as it’s Superior).
If you like softer and muted colors, try a bright and bold color. If you usually piece with only neutral colors, try matching the piecing thread to the main fabric color. If you applique with cotton, try silk or Bottom Line. If you usually use fine or medium wt. threads, try a heavier thread just to see the effect. If you use only solids, try a variegated. (Last year I gave King Tut from Superior a thorough trial, using it for almost all of my quilting, both free motion and walking foot. I LOVE it. Never gives any trouble, great colors-solid and variegated.)
3. I will take a class. There are opportunities to learn and improve skills and techniques at shows, online, at local quilt shops, and at guilds. Our educational Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob DVD is free this month. (Think, seminar!!)
4. I will be understanding.
Let’s face it. Your husband will never understand why you need so much fabric or thread or so many quilt magazines. It’s borderline addiction. Just smile and be thankful that he really has no clue how much you really have. Encourage his hobbies.
5. I will finish a UFO.
We all have them. Pull one out and commit to finish it. If it isn’t one of your favorites, finish it and then give it to someone who will enjoy it. (Got one out yesterday-a jacket from a class I took from Alice D. at a seminar about 5 years ago. I’m determined to get it done so I can wear it, dagnabbit!)
6. I will donate some of what I will not use.
We all have some fabric that was bought years ago and we will probably never use it. Most guilds have a philanthropy or charity arm and would love to use it to benefit those in need. Heather had dozens of quilts she made in her beginning years. She said they were not good enough to use, show, or even give away. She offered some to our children and they were thrilled. One became a nice picnic quilt. Many were donated to the local quilt guild to use for charitable donations. (Hope you all do this already through our community service initiatives at the guild. And many of you probably donated things for our January auction. If so, you can put a check mark next to this resolution already!)
7. I will share my love of quilting or sewing with another person.
Young children and grandchildren love to learn. They watch you and would like to try. A few words of encouragement and some patience from you may be all they need to discover why you love it so much. Or perhaps there is a neighbor or someone new to the sewing or quilting world who would like to learn. (I have a little sewing buddy next door. She got her own sewing machine for Christmas this year. Yesterday she and I got it all hooked up and working. I let her fill a ziplock bag with fabric from my scrap box. You would have thought I gave her a million dollars. It’s lots of fun watching her have so much fun as she learns new things. Try it-you’ll like it!)
8. I will step out of my box.
Some people always use Civil War style fabrics; others always use only bright fabrics. Step out of the box and try something so. . . totally . . . not . . . you! (I already use many styles of fabric in my projects-but I seldom use orange. That’s going to be my challenge to myself this year.)
9. I will create a stitch book to learn the capabilities of my machines.
Make a file of various stitches using different threads. Write a note next to each stitch stating what thread was used, what needle, and the perfect tension setting. Then try some decorative stitching in your projects.
10. I will organize my fabric stash.
Whether by type, color, motif, or project, it will be easier to find if well organized.
11. I will learn to use those tools I bought. We all have them – rulers, gadgets, and accessories that haven’t been touched.
I hope 2013 will be a good year for all of us.
If you have a sewing resolution, please share it in a comment. We can then keep one another on track, maybe checking in here periodically through the year. In addition, there will be a blog candy prize given to a commenter, chosen at random, one week from today!