Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

  2013 happy new year decorations

Happy New Year! I just know this is going to be a good year. I have been having a tough time since about 2008 when my dad became totally disabled, but each year it gets a little better. Sometimes when I think I just can't deal with any more stress, pressure, expectations, etc., I find out I can deal with it. It just takes time to adjust to it all. One good thing that has come out of the entire ordeal is that I've learned what not to do to my own daughter. My dad has always been private about his business and his personal life, and I've respected that. That's a mistake! Just because you think you're ten-feet tall and bullet-proof doesn't make it true. Someone close to you needs to know enough about your personal business to be able to step in and take over if that becomes necessary, because they may be in a position where they have no choice, and it's helpful if they at least know they're acting in accordance with the way you want things done. The first year my dad was totally not in his right mind, and I had to file his income tax, pay his property taxes, make sure all the bills got paid, you name it. I wasn't even sure what he owned, much less what needed to be done about it. Luckily I knew his CPA, and that helped a lot. So the moral to this story is to write everything down, keep it updated, in an accessible spot, and make sure someone knows where it is! Talk to them, and let them know you trust them to whatever is necessary. In fact, that would be a good New Year's resolution.

On the subject of resolutions, here are some good ones for quilters (they're not original to me, I copied them from the Superior Threads January 2013 Newletter):

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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!

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.

Number 9 is already on my list for this year. I still haven't tried all the stitches on the Janome 7700 I bought over a year ago, and of course, Number 5 is on my list every year--instead of finishing "a" UFO, I need to finish about a dozen!

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