Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflecting on 2017 and Planning 2018

2018 Planning Party

I looked at my post from last year where I set my 2017 goals.  I see I have accomplished a lot, but there are still many goals that have not been completed.  So, this year, I want to get a fresh start and work on the goals that were not finished in 2017 and also work on some new ones for 2018. In addition, focus time to work on my long-term goals.

Personal Reflecting on 2017

Personally, I look back, and I’m thrilled with myself and what I accomplished this last year.  One goal was to maintain all the weight I lost in 2016, and I did.  The program that enabled me to lose the weight and keep it off, also ensured I had plenty energy throughout the day to focus on my business.  Another goal was to hike in Colorado, but the bugs were terrible out there this year. So instead, I got to spend a wonderful week with my youngest son and his girlfriend. Speaking of travel, I was able to attend REI Outesse, an enjoyable experience that every woman that loves the outdoors should participate. It was a 4-day adventure in New England, where I got meet new people and learn more about outdoor activities. I As for those Unfinished Quilting Projects (UFO’s), I only got one of them done this year.

Business Reflecting 2017

For the business, this was a learning year for me.  I learned more about the Social Media, Newsletters and blogging through some classes at the Spring Quilt Market.   These lessons were helpful, but I feel I was not as productive as I wanted to be in this area in 2017.   As for Magazines, I was in two Quiltmaker 100 Block Magazines and had submitted a few patterns, but these were turned down. As for teaching and lecturing at guilds, this is a work in progress and so is learning how to grow my business (see 2018 goals).  I have continued to work with Fabric Companies, so that is another goal that will be knocked off my list.  I have been so busy designing this year that I have not found any time to make personal quilts. 
Ramblin' Star Block of the Month
I was delighted with the talents God has giving me, and I feel that they are starting to show through with my patterns.  I had another fantastic year as Island Batik Ambassador; designing monthly patterns helped me a great deal in my designing.  Also, I was blessed to have pattern designs selected for the Island Batik Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2017 catalog.  I was very excited about the Fall/Winer Catalog which featured my first Block of Month Quilt “Ramblin’ Star.”  Ramblin’ Star was and still is a learning process, with the writing and working with the Fabric Companies to get the pattern out.  Ramblin’ Star pattern and the Island Batik fabrics will be released in May 2018.  I will have blog tutorials and YouTube Videos for the quilt.  While making this quilt, I fell in love with Studio 180 design rulers and have started designing patterns for the rulers.

2018 Goals

My Personal goal for 2018, is losing a little more weight.  Plus, I want to tone my arms and stomach areas in addition to keeping up with my running. To complete these goals:
  •     I plan to get back in my Isagenix program full force once again, Starting January 2nd.
  •     I have signed up for Half Marathon for May of 2018 and planning on running another probably in the fall as well.
  •     Plan on strength training in the gym 2-3 times a week.
  •     Do more hiking

Business Goals

I’m working toward several business long-term goals. 
  •     Build my business name
  •     Become a Certified Instructor with Studio 180 Designs
  •     Become Island Batik Signature Collection Designer

I know these long-term goals will take several years and the following short-term goals will help me with these goals and help me work toward building my business.
  • Growing my Social Media, Blog, and Newsletters with more followers
    • Planning to Post more than one time a week on Facebook and Instagram
    • Add Facebook Live Posts.  These posts will include Week Tips, New Pattern Announcements and much more.
    • Post more to my Blog.  I will be starting off with a Block Buster Challenge that I will be starting the First week of January.  Helping prepare me to work toward my Studio 180 Instructors goal.  Also, more tutorials blogs on quilting.
    • Produce more YouTube videos
    • Work on getting Newsletters out in a timely order.  Also, build my Wholesale Newsletter following to the stores.
  • Lecture and Teach
    • Build my business by teaching and lecturing at Stores and guilds.  My first one is scheduled in January.
    • Add more workshops and lectures to my Truck Show listings.
    • Create Brochures and letters to mail and post on my websites for guilds.
  • Take more classes in the building my Business
    • Start the year off with taking a Creative Passion to Profit Boot Camp, January 8th.
    • Attend the Creative Arts Business Summit in April.
    • Take more class at Fall Quilt Market.
These are just a start of what I plan for the year; I also plan on to do more designing and producing throughout the year, for Island Batik, Studio 180 Designs and much, much more.  My goals are now down on paper and going to keep them in front of my me always, plus putting them down in my Quilters Planner for 2018.

Please follow me as I work on my goals and build myself towards my long terms goals.  I will be announcing my dates for my Facebook Lives post and other recurring events this next week as I finish planning my schedule and year.

I wish all my followers a beautiful and safe 2018.  


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

December Scrappy Table Topper Challenge

The Island Batik Ambassadors are back working on a new challenge for December and Preparing for a nice Blog hop for January.  Let's start with December challenge which was to design a scrappy table topper.  

My Island Batik scrap bin

Since I have been designing as an Island Batik Ambassador,  I have been keeping all my scraps and fabrics in one location in my studio so I can find them easily.  My scrap cube was packed full of Island Batik fabrics just waiting for a project like this.

Scrap Block
So my idea was to design a simple patchwork table topper that was a variation to a rail fence block that uses patchwork pieces instead of full blocks. The 12" blocks use 24- 2 1/2" squares of various colors for the patch pieces.  The 4 neutral pieces that make the rail fence in the block measure 2 1/2" x 6 1/2". 

Now with the design done, I dumped the scraps on my cutting table and began sorting through all of the Island Batik fabrics.  Looking for pieces that measure 2 1/2" or larger.
Before cutting
After Cutting
I decided I wanted to cut all the pieces fast, so I dusted off my Accuquilt cutter and found my 2 1/2" strip cutter.  My strip cutter worked great for this project.  I would get the 2 1/2" strips made then I would lay them horizontally on the strip cutter and run it through again to get the 2 1/2" squares.

Once I had enough squares, I start to make six patch units.  I needed four - six patch units per block. I would sew the neutral strip on top of the six patch units, then I would assemble the four units together like in the diagram above.

Tabletop mockup design

I made six blocks and assemble them together to get the above design to get a quilt topper that measures 36" x 24".  I decided that this table topper did not need a border, so I did not to add one. 
Scrappy Backing and Binding
To keep with the scrappiness of the table topper I made a scrappy backing.  I sewed six wide scrap strips together to get a significant enough backing piece to the put on the longarm and get it quilted.  The binding was also made of scrappy neutrals.
Scrappy Table Topper Finished
My Island Batik scrappy table topper is bright and wonderful to look at. I would make this again and would love to create a bigger version of the quilt made out of just of Island Batik fabrics for a bed. 

It's hard to believe that my second year as Island Batik Ambassador is coming to close in January.  I really hope that Island Batik will let me return for my third year.  So be sure to come back for January Challenge reveal in the Island Batik Ambassadors Four Season Blog hop starting the week of January 8th and going throughout the month.

Also, Be sure to check out the other Island Batik Ambassador's table toppers.

Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seam to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore