Quilter’s new year resolutions

December 26, 2012

It’s nearly time to close the door on 2012, and put all of the regrets about what “didn’t get done” aside. Time management experts would advise you to take inventory of your “to do” list in the same manner that you would your closet.

Professional home organizers tell you to go through the closet and throw away anything that is stained or torn. Next, donate any clothing that clearly does not fit your current body. Get rid of those jeans that are two sizes too small – if you succeed in achieving your new year’s resolution of weight loss, treat yourself to NEW jeans. Organize your remaining clothing by type and hang as much of it as possible. Put the hangers on the pole so the open end of the hanger faces you, not the back of the closet. In December of 2013, any hanger still facing that way designates an article of clothing you never wore…get rid of it!

So how does all this rambling about clothing and closets apply to quilters? It may be time to address your quilting “to do” list and prioritize your projects for 2013, and also take inventory of your stash, much like your closet! While many of us joke about how we will definitely come out on top in the “she who dies with the most fabric, wins” contest, some of us are also prime candidates for an episode of “Hoarders” or “I’m Stuffocating” when it comes to our fabric collections.

Use the slow time in the doldrums of winter to re-hash your stash. Designate a weekend where you pull all of it out of its hiding places and gather it in one central location. Sort it by color and value. Look at the piles to determine where you need to trim excess.

Now pull out all the fabric that is outdated or no longer your favorite. Organize a swap with some quilting friends. Or better yet, gather them and THEIR castoffs for a massive charity quilt party. After all, Super Bowl Sunday isn’t far off! Make fast, strip-cut quilts where one team member can slice up fabric, two or three can sew strips together and another can press. Before long you’ll have a pile of useful tops that can provide warmth and comfort to those in need instead of taking up valuable space in your closet.

Next, prioritize your quilting goals for the new year. If you took on the stash-cleansing challenge, you’ll have extra quilt tops to work on! But you’ll also have tops that you can practice new techniques on. If your goal for 2013 is mastering feathers, then assign one day a month to that charity top and practicing your skill. If your goal is to get 10 of your own quilt tops finished, block the time out on your calendar now, before it fills up with appointments and other commitments.

At the end of every day, what didn’t get accomplished moves to the next day. If it keeps hopping from one day to the next, evaluate its importance in the big picture and whether it truly needs to be done.

Here’s to a happy and successful new year!