Happy new year! I’m looking forward to another great year of sewing education and instruction in 2016. We recently announced our schedule of live and in-person Martha Pullen Company events for the new year, and I do hope you’ll make plans to join us for some sewing fun. We just opened registration for the School of Art Fashion Boutique and Serger III Licensing EXPRESS events in Lakeland, FL. What is Licensing EXPRESS? Well, it will include everything you love about our live licensing events – lots of kits and the whole curriculum – but in fewer days! We only have 20 spots available for this event, so don’t delay! Registration is also open for our Vintage, Classic, Contemporary licensing in Atlanta – we’ll open registration for the other events soon, so be sure to stay tuned.
The beginning of the year is a great time to set resolutions, and sewing goals are no exception. I have several sewing goals I’ve set for myself for the new year:
- One of my goals is to spend more time creating for my granddaughter Mally. Sometimes I feel like the shoe cobbler – the one whose own children didn’t have shoes because she was busy in the business of making shoes, ha!
- I want to learn at least one new sewing tip or technique each week. New tips or techniques could save me a lot of time and give me “sew” many new project ideas.
- I want to create a “great sewing ideas” book so I can organize my sewing thoughts and really good sewing ideas! I have lots of doodles and sketches, torn pages from ready-to-wear catalogs, ideas on my computer, etc. I need to organize!
In designer Kay Whitt’s book the Sew Serendipity Workbook, she shares some tips for managing your time so you can achieve your sewing goals. I thought I’d share these tips with you today, along with a goal-planning worksheet from Stitch Craft Create you can print out to write down your resolutions for the new year:
Set goals. The best policy for making the most of your time is to be focused on the task at hand, and to use your time as wisely as possible as often as you can. I find that it always helps to set goals for myself, both short-term and long-term. For example, what kind of task do you think could be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes? The result might just surprise you. Whatever you do, don’t approach a task by piddling away a few minutes here or there-if that is all the time you can make for a task, you will never realize the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I think one of the things that we do too often is bite off more than we can chew. Plan one project at a time, then work on it. Be sure that you really care about seeing the project all the way through before starting. If you are only lukewarm about it to begin with, chances are it will become another one of those unfinished beasts sitting and staring at you from the corner!
I know what you are thinking: “But I can’t get rid of it! I spent all this money on it and I hate it now, but it is so wasteful to let it go!” Quite frankly, letting go of something you never intend to finish isn’t wasteful at all. I think we all have the best of intentions when we start a project. The excitement is high, the thrill of the beginning is great, but then the work settles in or we hit a snag and we get busy with other things. I think the lesson here is to choose projects that you can visualize yourself actually completing and enjoying. Use this as your motivation to finish it.
Focus on having fewer unfinished projects. Don’t feel bad if you have unfinished projects. We all do! Just focus on how to end up with fewer incomplete projects. By looking at the real reasons we abandon projects to start with, we can eliminate wasted time, energy and supplies. To evaluate, ask yourself the following questions:
• Could I change something about this project so I can get something from it?
• Do I know someone who would love to have it under the condition that they finish and enjoy it?
• Can I salvage the materials in this project and use them for something else?
It is best to unburden yourself and free up your space for more creative thoughts. As they say, “Out with the old, in with the new!” If you find yourself getting rid of a lot of old stuff, then think about how you can have a different outcome next time. I always try to make a change when I think something needs improving. I have a bad habit of holding on to fabric scraps after a project, so I have taken to donating them to folks who use them in quilts and other projects. It makes me feel good to know that those pieces will have life somewhere else, and it leaves me with room for more stuff, so it’s all good!
Finally, always take some time to reflect. What kind of sewing goal would you like to set for yourself? Remember to start small with something that you know you can accomplish. How will you feel when you have realized this goal? Remember that reflection is important to growing and learning more about yourself, so don’t skip it!
For more inspiration for the new year, check out our 2016 Internet Embroidery Club! Members receive hundreds of beautiful designs, including four alphabet collections, sewing labels, heirloom designs and more. Plus, you’ll get new designs every month of the year! January’s monthly collection is a set of adorable Valentine’s Day designs.
We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.
Much Love to You All & May God Bless,