Task Three already! That went fast!
Tomorrow starts a brand new year . . . are you ready?
I’m excited! I have lots I want to accomplish in 2016.
Now that we all know where we stand regarding our fabric stashes and our UFOs, it’s time for a task that’s a bit more fun and exciting (altho I’m pretty excited about having my fabric reorganized).
Our third and final task is to:
It’s time to try something new!
You can do this with one of your current projects, or feel free to start something new, now that you have everything organized!
Learn a new technique.
Maybe you’ve wanted to learn machine applique, or English paper piecing, or hand quilting. Don’t keep wishing to learn it — make it happen! There are lots of online tutorials and classes you can use to teach yourself at your own pace.
Use a different color palette than you usually do.
Do you normally make dark quilts? Make a really bright one! Do you usually make really bright quilts? Try one in darker tones. Always use red? (I’m guilty of this one!) Try making a blue quilt for a change. Just do something you normally wouldn’t.
Take the leap. Challenge yourself.
Have you seen something you really like and want to make, but don’t think you can do it? Well, stop thinking that! You CAN do it. And you should give it a try! Buy that pattern, take that class, get that tool and give it a try. My Daddy always says: “Getting started is the hardest part!” Once you’ve started, you’ll see it’s not as bad as you were thinking it was, (or you’ll realize for sure that it’s not the thing for you) and you might just end up with a great new quilt to show for it, or a new skill in your repertoire. Just do it!
Join in on something you haven’t before.
Take part in a challenge. Make a mystery quilt. Participate in an online Quilt-Along. Start a Block-of-the-Month project. Enter a quilt show (or at least attend one). Join a swap or a bee, either in person or online. Go to a retreat. Attend an event at your local quilt shop or guild. There are many many options for things you can do or take part in. I urge you to try at least one — you’ll be hooked, you’ll most likely make some new friends, and you can learn a lot!
Back in the 70s, when I first began quilting, I did everything by hand. Then I started machine piecing (which sped things up greatly). Then I decided to learn how to hand applique, and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities! I also taught myself how to hand quilt, and now I have a longarm machine. There’s always something new to learn and try, and I encourage you to try as many things as you can. It keeps your quilting life interesting.
Here’s a few links to things that might help you with some of the above:
Missouri Star Quilt Company: They have LOTS of online tutorials for quick and easy projects, and for learning new techniques.
Creativebug: Another site with lots of online classes on lots of subjects. Go get inspired!
Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts: This gal is my best friend, and she inspires me every single day. Her book, 15 Minutes of Play, is chock full of challenges to get you thinking outside the normal quilting lines. I highly recommend it. Try one or all of her challenges. You’ll be surprised at yourself and what you create!
Pat Sloan’s 2016 Mystery Quilt: Pat is a wonderful teacher, and her new 2016 mystery quilt, A Secret Garden, has just begun, so you can get in on it.
I’m currently participating in the Moda Sampler Shuffle through Sew Sweet Quilt Shop. It’s been fun, and I’m a little bit behind, but it should be easy to catch up, and I love my blocks so far! You can still get in on it, too. Just click HERE. Here’s a few of the blocks I’ve made so far:
I even have a Quilt-Along going on myself over on my other blog, The Life of Hazel Ilene. Click HERE to join in on the current Triangle Salad Quilt-Along. We’re making lots of half-square triangles for an upcoming quilt:
Check with your local quilt shop to see if they’ll be offering any classes you’d like to take, or if they’re hosting any events you’d like to attend. If you belong to a local guild, see what they’re up to, or if you don’t belong, join them, and get in on all they have to offer.
Look around online for groups you can join. There are lots of Yahoo! Groups dedicated to quilting, many many FaceBook groups you can join, and hundreds of great blogs to read.
Also look for online quilt-alongs and challenges. There are many to be found, and January is a good start-up month for many of them, so the choices are great.
So tell us, what thing(s) have you been wanting to do or try that will get you out of your quilty box? I’d love to hear about them.
Are you in a great group, or are you participating in something fun already? Share the information. It might be something others would like to do as well, but they just haven’t heard about it yet.
How are you going to challenge yourself in the coming year, to make yourself grow as a quilter?
One thing I’m planning to do for myself is learn some new software so that I can do more drawing using my computer; I’m also exploring some new designs that are proving to be really fun, and if anything comes of them, I’ll be letting you know.
And tomorrow, January 1st, I’ll be announcing something new I’m planning to do this coming year that will hopefully get me out of a rut, strengthen my imagination, improve my skills in several areas, and inspire my creativity — and you can join me, if you want to!
Remember, you have until January 4th to continue working on the Final Countdown tasks and leave your comments on the posts. I still have some fabric reorganization to do, I’m still chasing down some wayward UFOs, and I’m seriously feeling the urge to start something new! How about you?