What do you want to accomplish this year? At the outset of a new year, resolutions feel like a promise we make to ourselves. Then, a few months into the year, suddenly our resolutions feel like an extra weight on our shoulders. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We’re of the opinion that anything you resolve to do should be added to your list of resolutions—whether you planned it or not. Whatever your accomplishments may be three, six, or nine months from now, you deserve a pat on the back. There’s nothing wrong with resolutions made after the fact.
With that positivity in mind, we came up with some simple and straightforward quilting and sewing resolutions you were probably planning on implementing anyway. If you were stumped on resolutions to set for yourself, this should help you create some manageable goals for the year.
Tend to Your Quilts
As avid quilters, we’re surrounded by quilts. We have quilts on display, quilts in storage, quilts in use on beds. Now is a great time to take stock of your quilts and consider switching up their rotation.
Your displayed and used quilts may need to be washed. Lovingly handmade quilts can be delicate objects—especially if they have lace or dimensional applique work. Determine which quilts can be machine or hand washed (cold water only, gentle cycle, gentle detergent) and which need to be dry cleaned.
A good rule of thumb is that an actively used quilt should be washed approximately twice a year. Children and kids in the house? You might need to wash that quilt a bit more. If your quilts are on display, they may not need to be washed so much as hung outside to air out—choose a shady area, out of the sun, to preserve your colors!
Consider pulling quilts out of storage to replace the quilts you used last year for bedding and display. The more you rotate your quilts, the longer they will last on the whole. Check out our blog post on Our Favorite Ways to Display Quilts for some fun ideas to spice up your home with quilts in the new year!
Replace Old Needles
Your sewing machine needles get a really tough workout. As a result, they degrade at a fairly rapid rate. Old and potentially rusty needles create a nightmare for sewing projects. Needle points grow dull and blunt over time and use. If you don’t replace old needles they can ruin beautiful fabrics and threads and destroy your quilts before they’re even finished.
So, how often should you replace needles? We recommend always checking the needle before you start sewing—just in case—but a good rule of thumb is to replace needles after every three to four bobbins. Touch the tip of the needle when you first install it, and then after a few projects. Listen to your machine working with a new needle, and then working with a needle that you know is old and requires changing. You’ll soon learn what a new vs. old needle feels and sounds like, making it easier to determine when it’s time for a replacement.
Need to replace your needles? Check out our stock here.
Organize Craft Room
Take a deep breath. It’s time to tackle your fabric stash and—if you have one—your craft room.
If your craft room requires decluttering, now is the time. The process of decluttering and organizing your craft room should reveal some potential next steps for your fabric stash, but we’ll get to that later. If fabric is part of your clutter, set your stash aside for our next step.
First, take stock of your room and what needs to be addressed. Do you need to organize the space? Do you require additional storage to organize things? Take a look at our Pinterest board of Sewing & Craft Rooms for insight and inspiration on how to declutter and organize your space. There are lots of great ideas there, whether you have a large or small space. The Koala Slim Caddy is a nice organizational addition to any crafting room.
Organize Fabric Stash
Now, let’s talk fabric stash. Part of decluttering your craft space will likely reveal the state of your stash. First, ask yourself:
- What do I want to keep?
- What do I want to donate?
- What do I want to work with this year?
That last question is important, because it will help guide how to store your stash in your newly decluttered space. The fabrics you plan on working with this year will be stored at hand, whereas fabrics that pad out your stash for the future can be tidied away.
Go through your fabrics and make three piles that accord with the above questions. Make another pile for fabric scraps—we know you have them! Set aside fabrics you know you want to keep but won’t work with right away, and store them. Do the same for fabric donations—All People Quilt has a great list of places accepting fabric donations, plus ideas for donated fabrics.
Keep fabrics you want to work with this year close at hand, where you can see them. Nothing will inspire you to get your quilting started or done than seeing it every day.
We are big fans of scrap fabric projects, because we do a lot of quilting and make a lot of scraps! For ideas on things to make with those fabric scraps, check out Our Favorite Scrap Projects blog and our Favorite Free Sewing Patterns for Using Up Fabric Scraps. We try to make a new list every year (stay tuned!). You may also like our Upcycling Sewing Project Round Up blog.
Scrap fabric lovers should also check out our upcoming class with Krista Moser: Double Struck Star. Krista is leading sewists on making the quilt featured below, which is easy enough for confident beginners and striking enough for all quilters. The quilt uses up all the fat quarters and 2.5” strips you have in your stash!
Invest in New Projects
Once you’ve cleared your craft space of fabrics and pieces that “don’t spark joy” anymore, it might be time to invest in new projects.
Check out our growing selection of fabric bundles. Fabric bundles are a great way to expand your fabric stash around a particular color or pattern set—we add more and more options every day.
Kits are another great option. We love to create new quilt kits every season, so be sure to check back often to view the latest in our selection of kits.
Thimbles also regularly hosts Block-of-the-Month events, like Thimbles Clubhouse (see the 4 quilt choices below!), our Fair Isle BOM Club, and the 2022 Brown Bag Mystery Tour. These are great opportunities to invest in new quilting projects alongside other sewists. Not only do you get a new project, but there’s a lot of potential to make new friends, pick up some interesting skills, and grow your sewing community.
Take a look at your stash of threads. Are you running low or out of certain colors? A subscription club like the Aurifil Thread Club is a great way to enhance your thread supply. As a bonus, each month’s thread subscription comes with additional floral-themed block patterns. At the end of the year, the blocks can be pieced together as a quilt!
Invest in New Skills
One of our favorite New Year’s Resolutions is to learn something new. Quilting and sewing involve so many different, fascinating skill sets—whether you’re paper piecing, embroidering, dyeing fabric, or conquering the latest software.
Thimbles prides itself on its rich roster of classes, with everything from classes for Beginner Quilting to learning how to set up and use a Westerlee ruler foot to one of our newest hands-on workshops on Ice Dyeing Fabrics (seen above). A new year is a new opportunity to become better sewists and quilters and grow our knowledge of our craft in exciting ways!
You can see our full roster of classes, workshops and clubs here.
Finish Unfinished Objects
We saved the best (worst?) for last. Because if one of your resolutions was decluttering and organizing your projects, you likely came across some UFOs. This is one of those resolutions that can be hard to keep—we all love the shiny, new project we haven’t started yet. We don’t all love basting our quilts or the tedium of marking our sewing lines.
Well, Thimbles is here to get you through your UFOs. We hold UFO sessions once a month so we can all get together and work on our unfinished projects. We gossip, we gab, and we conquer our UFOs. Come join us!
Which of these New Year’s resolutions have you committed to this year? Are there any obvious sewing resolutions we forgot? Let us know on our social media channels!
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