Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 In Review

I love seeing the mosaics popping up on blogs, summing up the creations for the year. Not only does it show at a glance the many accomplishments, it's also a great way to get an overall impression of a quilter's style. Here are my quilts for the year as well as a few other favorite projects:


Slowing Down
2013 was the year to reassess what I'm doing on this little blog. About halfway through the year, I had a very strong feeling--inspiration if you will, that I needed to slow down. I knew I could no longer try to do it all. I was going crazy, and all my relationships were suffering. I terminated my advertising agreements with online shops, stopped writing patterns (for now), stopped saying yes to every blogging opportunity, and stopped putting so much pressure on myself. I needed to minimize those I was responsible to. If this were actually a full-time job for me, I'd obviously feel different. But it's a hobby, and other things need to take priority in my life.

I have learned how to be more selective about what I take on. I have only a few significant commitments for 2014 at this point, but I'm excited about each of them. I found when I said yes to everything, I dreaded them all because I was creating deadlines for myself and ruining my love for this hobby. I couldn't keep up, and it took away all the fun.

I'm trying very hard to keep the "should's" out of my brain: I should try to write a book. I should do a quilt-along. I should try harder to get published. I should write more patterns. I should write a tutorial for that last post....The list goes on. My focus lately has been on what I can and want to do rather than what I "should" do. It's been a nice change.

Simplify
As is typical, I've been thinking a lot about goals for the coming year. The word that keeps coming to my head is "Simplify". I know it's such a buzzword right now. Simplifying is trendy with dozens of new books written on the subject, but simplifying sounds so calming to me right now. I plan to get rid of the extra things, ideas, projects, etc that seem to clutter my life and make things more difficult.

Just this morning I took an hour and finally shortened the curtains in my daughters' room. They have been driving me crazy for more than a year because they kept getting caught behind the bed. They needed to be shortened to window-length rather than floor-length. I finally fixed them and feel surprisingly better. I no longer have fix the curtains every time they got caught behind the bed. It just simplified things a tiny bit. It's funny how much relief comes from finally fixing the little things.

As for quilting, I plan to simplify as well. I'm craving simpler design and more negative space. We'll see what my brain cooks up this year. I have several projects sketched out, although nothing is on the design wall yet.

The beginning of the year is a wonderful time to reflect and plan. I love the feeling of a new year, full of possibilities.

I wish you all best of luck in your plans for the coming year! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone creates!

14 comments:

  1. Love your mosaic! Such beautiful quilts and pillows. I can so relate to simplifying--a big reason we downsized and moved back to the city this year. I started out last year trying to get more followers and getting more involved...and got overwhelmed and burntout and I'm back to just doing things that I enjoy and picking up followers and fun things to do along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love what you've created this year :o) Funnily enough I've just reached the same kind of point, certainly as far as blogging goes, and I'm hoping that clearing out a lot of stuff from my living room/sewing room into my newly decorated and furnished spare room will leave me less of a feeling that the sky will fall on my head at any moment (the sky might not, but there's a teetering pile of fabric that might!)

    I hope you have a great 2014 creating what you want to create at a pace you desire :o)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Simplify is a great goal for the new year. I'm with you - I get so bogged down with so many of the "shoulds" that I lose sight of what I have actually accomplished, LOL!

    I think you are on track with the new year :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great mosaic! And great goals! It's good to read about someone who wanted to slow down and did. At then end it's not really going to matter whether you were published or not, or how big your blog became. Your family will matter though. Good on you and hope your 2014 is great.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post, Kati....I couldn't agree more. Love your work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to seeing your creations in 2014!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like you are string your priorities for the new year, just right! The most important going if family. And as long as sewing is a hobby (even if it becomes more) it should be a source of joy, not stress or tension.
    I have really enjoyed seeing your makes over the last few months, and it look forward to seeing what you do throughout 2014.
    E xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry. "Setting" your priorities. :-/

      Delete
  8. Good for you! I think there are a lot of bloggers out there feeling the pressure to write a book or become published in one way or another. Although I have always admired your work and I LOVE your style, I also admire the way that you balance your quilting life with your family life. I have twins also (they just turned two) and it makes a big difference when I used my meager amount of sewing time to just do whatever I want to do without being bogged down by commitments. Sewing should be a release, not a drudgery.
    Happy 2014! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Reflecting on the past year and looking ahead is so important. Glad you are finding balance and enjoying your hobby as it should be. The little things that nag can eat away at our spirits, congrats on recognizing that and making a fix, you are inspiring to me and to many.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful review of your work, and great decisions for this new year!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bravo!!! I am glad to see I am not the only one out there that feels this way! You know what really is sicking Kati, is there are people out there that make ya feel awful about having to keep up with everything and do everything. I just recently looked over a very popular blogger's book for a book review, and it only proved to me more that ya can not have it all or do it all. To me the book was a rather big disappointment, and the fact that this blogger took almost two years off from creating anything new or blogging to write this book. It was sad. I honestly do not like giving bad reviews, and I hate to say it but this book just reached the best sellers list all because the author lives on social media. You can get more flies with honey than vinegar but it does not make ya real. What I am saying is I hope that your 2014 becomes very liberating with your new found sewing freedom. Not to mention here is to looking forward to another wonder mosaic like the one above.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're so right about being selective about what to take on! I too have had the problem of saying yes to everything, mostly because I DO want to do everything. But when the time comes for all the doing to happen, I find I'm on overload. And I'm retired! Like you, I should be doing this because it's a hobby, not to be a drag on my time. Thanks for your viewpoint which hits close to home. Here's to both of our successes at prioritizing and simplifying in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I very much understand Kati! My word the year is Balance. I feel like last year became a bit unbalanced and I too have been struggling to evaluate what my priorities are and where to put my time and energy. I want to sew because I love it...even if I've committed to it, I want to be happy about that and not feel burdened.

    I've stepped down from swaps because I felt I couldn't give them the energy that I used to. I want to be able to do a bit of that still but I was wayyyy over committed to those at one point. It's definitely a year to make decisions.

    ReplyDelete