Saturday, January 01, 2011

happy new year!

I love this time of year. The new year holds all kinds of promise and the thought of a fresh start. It's a time to breathe for a bit before things get crazy. Again. I'm enjoying the (relative) calm while it lasts. I've enjoyed reading so many new years blog posts...what a fun thing to reflect collectively on the past year and look forward to the new one.

Looking back....

2010 was quite a year. I've been thinking about the highlights for me....

I finished 26 quilts, which is quite moderate for me. Yay for moderation!

My husband and I started Body for Life in March and we are still sticking with the program 9 months later. We exercise 6 times a week (which is inSANE, if you ask me) but I lost 16 lbs so far. WOO-HOO!!!!! My husband has lost 60 lbs!!! I'm so proud of him. It's been quite a journey, but a good one. A very good one. During that journey- somewhere about August-I became a runner. I love to run and I'm pleased as punch that I enjoy it! Never thought THAT would happen. My husband says I'm a sick woman. :)

I did more teaching/speaking in 2010, which I love. It also opens the door for all new levels of insecurity. But, hey, what do you do? It's good to be stretched out of my comfort zone. At least that's what I tell myself. :) It's so fun and rewarding to share the love of quilting with others.

Looking ahead.....

I have a lot of hopes for this year. I hope to teach more. I hope to use more of my stash. (Isn't that the same every year?) I hope to stash less fabric. (I'm afraid that this just may remain a hope and not a reality.) I hope to use tons of my scraps.

But my resolution for this year is actually from the book Collaborative Quilting. I read through it recently and something in the book really struck a cord with me....more like it jumped off the page right at me. It said:

"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it." Gwen Marston

It was revolutionary for me. Because when you quilt (and blog) there is so much pressure to make what will impress...to continually come up with something new and stellar...to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. It's hard to do that when there is nothing new under the sun. For me, while blogging, it's hard not to be competitive. (I won't delve into this topic further, it wouldn't be pretty.) But having permission to do what I want to do, quilt wise, now that is refreshing. I really, really hope I can make this happen. Quilting will be a lot more fun! So that is my one and only resolution for the upcoming year and I'm excited about it.

Happy New Year to you! Thanks so much for reading. I so appreciate it!

100 comments:

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Happy New Year Amanda! Yes, do what YOU want to do! I will too!

La Mañosa said...

Happy New Year! I really like your resolution. I need to focus on that, too. Congrats on all your hard work taking care of your health!

Sarah Craig said...

Happy new year, Amanda! I enjoy your blog so much!!

Diane said...

Great post. I have loved watching your projects this past year and hope you continue to do the projects that you want to do. Its hard to not get sucked in by 'the trends'.

Flo said...

Happy New Year, and I hope you enjoy a year of quilting exactly what you want to ! Sounds like a great resolution.
I enjoy your blog, and am so inpired by your creativity...and my kids love the name (although I think they would like to apply it to me as well lol) Thank you for sharing so much, as a beginner I have learned a lot!

Anna R said...

What a wonderful post! I love your blog...I too need to use more of my "stashed" items this year (in all sorts of things, not just quilting).

I hope you have a faboulous 2011!

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

I love quilting almost as much as running, so if I ever make it to one of your retreats I'd love to go run with you! :)

live a colorful life said...

Happy new year, Amanda! I hope each of us can take this post to heart and create for creation's sake, for ourselves, not for anyone else.

Kate @SwimBikeQuilt said...

Happy New Year! And congrats on becoming a runner! It's fun and kind of weird when it happens, eh? Love your resolution-mine is similar, I plan to make quilts that are interesting (to me), not just crank quilts out for other people. :)

Amy said...

Pat on the back to you and your hubby for sticking with the program! I'm proud of both of you. It is tough being consistent especially when real life happens.

Becky said...

YES! That is a great resolution. I'm new to all this stuff and I couldn't pinpoint it, but that's it exactly. There is a pressure to make what's trendy, have it be new, etc. I'm joining you with that resolution. I'll be inspired by the blogs, but not pressured by them.

Anonymous said...

Yay for runner/quilters! :)
Happy new year!
kate C.

Lara said...

Happy new year Amanda & family! 26 quilts is amazing. Looking forward to seeing you make and create more in 2011. Just so happy that you are back blogging! Congratulations to your husband and you too! Awesome result.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Amanda,

I've been reading/lurking (occasionally popping my head up to leave a comment) for over a year.

Thanks for blogging your thoughts and process as well as your wonderful quilts. I want you to know how encouraging and inspiring that is for newish and relatively bumble-fingered quilters like me.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next year :D

Julie

Melissa said...

I hope you do give yourself the gift this year of making what you like. All of this creating is supposed to be fun. I thank you so much for sharing what you do. You are so inspiring!

Paula said...

Your quilts are beautiful - and congrats on becoming a runner. I'm slowly beginning to call myself a runner and it probably the last thing I ever thought I'd be- and the thing that gives me the most joy.

Libby said...

Happy New Year Amanda Jean!!

Teresa Felgueiras said...

Happy New Year Amanda. Keep up with your 2011 resolutions. I have to make some myself.

Muddling Through said...

Good resolutions, all. And quilting just the way you want is what makes it fun for me. That's one reason I don't like to take "orders". (Plus the fact that I'm too likely not to get it just right.) To me, it's about doing your personal best. Not someone else's.

Goddess in Progress said...

Happy, happy new year!

Way to go on the exercise, running, and weight loss! That's fabulous! I was never a runner, but started last year and was surprised that I started to like it. I look forward to getting back into it after this baby is born.

LOVE the affirmation on making what YOU want. I can understand the pressure to impress and come up with something new, but sometimes we all have to step back and just make something that we *like*. I was struggling with that when trying to decide what to make for this baby's quilt. I got caught up in wanting to make something "impressive," and really had to talk myself into making the quilt that I simply *like*.

beth said...

Happy New Year! Yes. I hope we're all making WHAT we want the WAY we want to! That's the spirit of quilting that we all LOVE!....
singing in the background "I did it my way"......

Jan said...

I love the resolution and think that would suit me very well, too. I am a relative beginner to quilting with little or no tuition locally so I follow your blog with interest. Thank you and a very happy New Year.

angela said...

Congratulations on sticking so ling with a healthy plan! That's a huge accomplishment.

And hear! hear! to using stash and adding less for the year.

Huge round of applause to your Gwen quote. I love her books for just that kind of wisdom.

Here's to the fun of enjoying the creating!

Julie Phillips, aka Julieloveslucy SCS said...

I'm betting that you are so creative it won't matter what you blog about because it will all be wonderful! I love to see other people's creativity no matter if there are imperfecttions or not. In fact, to show that you do have imperfections is wonderfully human! And less intimidating to those of us that are less skilled! Happy New Year to you and your family and happy blogging, I love to see what's next.
Hugs
Julie

Ann said...

Happy New year to you!!! What a fantastic post! I love it that you are doing so well in your eating and workout routine. Good job! And running. I started running this last summer as well and just love it. I did a couple 5k races. I am still trying to decide if I want to make a 1/2 marathon my goal this year. If I happened to have a fellow quilting friend that wanted to run a race with me I might consider...imagine how fast the race would go if we just talked quilting the whole time :)

As for your new goal, I LOVE IT!! Sew what you love!!

chicquiltgeek said...

Thank you so much for your blog - it is truly inspirational. I do hope you can create for you - that is so important these days when we are constantly trying to please

And huge congrats on the weight loss - send some of that willpower my way, will you??!

Andrea said...

Happy New year to you and your family... I look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2011, I'm so happy that you returned to blogging, I enjoy what you have to say - and when you say it subtly. ;-)
I hear you on all aspects of your post. (except for the exercise thing...that's my resolution this year so I can't relate yet)
Cheers to 2011 ! (any tips for someone who is trying to be a runner? )

Karen said...

Happy New Year, Amanda!

Congrats on the weight loss and running! Amazing!

When "Simply Quilts" was still on t.v. I saw several episodes with Freddy Moran and loved her ideas. Same with Gwen Marston and I like her quote which you mentioned.

Your quilts are all amazing, as always and I've always been inspired by them. It was such fun participating in your QALs in the past....great way to learn.

Have a blessed 2011!

Hugs, Karen

Robin said...

I also became a runner several years ago, and was so surprised that I love it! Yay for loving something good for you! I wish you could hear me clap and cheer in this comment for that quote you posted. I have been a much happier quilter since I started quilting the way I want, rather than just trying to quilt like someone else whose work I love. I think it so great to be inspired by someone, but even greater to love your work as much as someone else's...or even more because of the satisfaction you should achieve in creativity. What good is developing a talent if we don't appreciate our own ability to imagine and create something beautiful that is uniquely our own, even if not technically correct? Quilt what you love and do it the way that works for you!

MichelleW said...

Happy New Year to you and your family :0)

You and your husband have done great sticking to the program and making so many beautiful quilts this year.

Really really stick to your resolution we put too much pressure on ourselves to make things a certain way or to make a certain thing and it has to be 'perfect'.

I had a good talk with myself a couple of weeks ago because I was feeling unhappy and I realised it's because I want to do things my way - yes I want to make things in a skillful way but I want them to have my own unique twist on them. I love playing the fabrics, techniques, different mediums and combining them together. And it's ok for me to do that cos there are no rules apart from those which we impose on ourselves. So I banished all rules lol :0))))

I hope you find your own way and your own happy in 2011 cos it's different for each of us and that's what makes it such fun xxxx

Eva said...

FELIZ AÑO TAMBIEN PARA TI
BESOS DESDE ESPAÑA

Mystica said...

A very happy new year to you.

kimland said...

Congrats on your "lifestyle change" it is so hard but, so worth it, when you stick to it!

I think, I had an ahh haa moment reading your post. I am going to have to find Gwen's book.

I really enjoy reading the quilt blogs and find so much inspiration. But, I find myself worrying more about others than myself and "WHAT I WANT TO DO!"

Thanks for the honesty and tack in your post, I do believe it came along at the right time!

My best to you and yours in the New Year!

Kelly said...

very good thoughts about making what you want to make...isn't that kind of what the modern quilt movement is all about? that's what i love about it, and that's what drew me in from my first MQG meeting in LA. i totally never saw myself as a quilter because of the traditional aspect, and now - less than a year later - i feel comfortable calling myself a bona fide quilter!

Andi said...

Happy new year Amanda!

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

hey Girl! Happy New year! You made some beauties this year, as you always do. I was struck by your saying that you make to impress or reinvent the wheel thing.. really? I see you as doing what you love already. You do things the way you like... Been great knowing you girlie, hope to see you this summer.

Quilt n Queen said...

Happy New Year Amanda Jean and congratulations on your life style change.....I'm not a runner but in September 2009 I started an exercise plan and changed my diet and lost 30 pounds...I feel so much better and take less medication.

...love your resolution as spoken by Gwen Marston. All the best in 2011!!

Em said...

Happy new year! I hope this year is a happy one for you and your family. I made a list on my blog of things I want to do this year, but I think I need to add "Make a pucker-less quilt!" I'm so frustrated as I keep making sure to cut things right and sew seams straight, but still get blocks that don't fit or seams that don't match because something is slightly 'off' somewhere! So - I'm hoping that TRYING to make more quilts will lead to more successes on that front!

Sarah said...

happy new year! that is a great quote!

Megan said...

Thank you for your lovely and refreshing post. I feel like this was written for me! Happy New Year and I'm thrilled that you have returned to blogging.

Lindsay Conner said...

Good luck with another year of quilting! Hosting a new year's resolution linkup at: http://www.lindsaysews.com/2010/12/craft-2010-year-in-review.html

Alissa said...

What a perfect resolution that all of us should take to heart!! I hear you on the blogging thing. It's tough when the blogging because you sew turns into sewing because you blog. I'm going to try to adjust that considerably in the coming year and just freakin' let myself off the hook. Why is it so tough to find the balance?

Anyhow, happy happy new year to you Amanda Jean!! Here's to a wonderful 2011 for all of us!

OX-Alissa

Tine said...

Happy New Year AmandaJean!
I agree, you should make what you want to make! I don't see any reason to work any other way - unless it's a paying job ;)

I wish all the best for you and your family in 2011!

nicolette said...

Happy New Year Amandajean!

I fully agree, make what you want to make and make it the way you want to make it!

Dolly said...

Wow, does that resolution ring a bell in my head.

Last night I finished piecing a little plus quilt top. When I pinned it on the wall on top of a full-sized quilt that was hanging there, my hubby said, "you're going to make it bigger, right?"

I said, "no, that's it's size; I like it."

HE LAUGHED

Suddenly, I found myself coming up with all these excuses why it shouldn't go any bigger----no room to lay it all out, etc.
And now today, I'm auditioning borders........I didn't want a border; I didn't want it bigger ! It's MY quilt, and I just enjoyed making it THAT big.

I need a backbone......didn't find one in my stocking.

The Tulip Patch said...

Thanks for picking up the blog again...I love reading your posts. You are really putting the crazy in crazymom for being insecure, though! You are the reason I realized I could quilt and it didn't have to look like a a million tiny pieces in civil war prints (nothing wrong with that, but it was just very daunting!). You gave me inspiration by putting beautiful but doable things on your blog. There is no competition, you're my fave!

MariQuilts said...

26 quilts in one year!!!! That's amazing!! This is my first visit to your blog...very enjoyable.

Terriaw said...

Wow, congratulations on losing 16 pounds! That is amazing! You must feel fantastic. I like your thinking for more teaching and more stash using. I want to learn more in 2011, so I look forward to learning from your great teaching.

Yes, please, make what YOU want and don't worry about making to blog or what other people are making. (Just do what's in your heart; you will feel less pressure, and have more fun.)

Happy New Year to you, my friend!

Annie said...

Great post! Happy New Year to you. LOVE your blog and am amazed that you love running - it makes me cross! Wish I did love it!! I think 26 quilts is amazing, I was shocked at 12 for me. I must do a round up myself.

Allison said...

Well, new or inventive or not, i think you stuff is great and your blog encourages me to stretch myself, not "be better" than someone else, which I like. Your blog is the only quilting blog i read. so, you must be doing something right. (at least as far as I am concerned)

Elena said...

26 quilts?! Wow wow wow!!! Excellent work done, not to mention all your great posts and tutorials. I only wish I could make half that many...maybe even 1/4 of that many! lol

Thea said...

Happy New Year! I wanted to comment on your blog and tell you how beautiful I think your quilts are, but I was afraid this would undermine what you are trying to do this year. I hope you can take this in the spirit in which it is intended.

Congratulations on the Body for Life -- I tried that about six years ago, but couldn't stick with it.

Thanks and Happy New Year, again!

Di~ said...

Everything you say strikes a cord with me, except the competition part, I'm not competitive at all, I'm kind of a low achiever, not sure I should be confessing that...:)What I get from you is inspiration AND always a smile! (I heard G. Marston speak once, she's awesome!)

Arnden said...

Great idea! You should definitely do what you want in 2011 and beyond. We promise to still love you (and continue reading your blog) if you never come up with anything new ever again. What a prolific 26 quilts you made... I am proud of the 8 that I completed. :) Happy New Year!

dara said...

Congrats on the weight lose. My husband and I have entered the ZONE. This will be an interesting adventure. As always I love your blog. I am actually looking into buying a JUKI like yours. In fact my husband worked an extra shift yesterday at double time and said all that money is going to the JUKI fund!! I am excited.
All the best in 2011!

Michele said...

Looks like you had a productive year! Congrats! I have the book Collaborative Quilting and I love that quote too! Sometimes it's hard to do!

twin fibers said...

Well said, AmandaJean!

Happy New Year and I look forward to admiring your quilting!
:) Jessica

Amy said...

I really appreciate this post! I said a similar thing on my own blog recently and I totally get the competition and insecurities thing! It's always nice when someone reassures you that you're not alone and that you're valued, so I'm here to tell you- you're amazing and I am so grateful for all that you've taught me!
Thanks a bunch and looking forward to 2011.
xoxo,

Amy

tarabu said...

Ms. Marston is right - unless it's a juried show, the quilt police are fictional, like monsters under the bed - doing things 'right' for you is doing them right after all!

Wendy said...

Thank you for blogging and making beautiful quilts to inspire us. I appreciate all your time and hard work.

Wendy B

Tara said...

Well said! I personally can't wait to see more of what it is that you want to do! I'm sure I'll love it!

Leah said...

Happy New Year. Congrats on a successful 2010! Enjoy your running and great job on the weightloss.

All the best in 2011

Sara said...

You are my absolute favorite blog to read around 2-3 times a week sometimes:) Do what you want in quilting--what a great quote and such matter of fact in a way--we are always trying to impress. We NEED to be ourselves:)

Jessi said...

That's a great quote. I might put a copy of it above my sewing table. It's a great reminder, keep creating with your heart and it will show! Best wishes for 2011.

AMD said...

happy new year

Kim said...

Oh if we could all be more Gwen like.......
but it gives us something to reach for right?

so glad you are back and being a happy, healthy, quilter......
I enjoy your blog so much.
Have a blessed 2011

kmodich said...

I am a runner who became a quilter! I am so thankful for both, they provide such a wonderful outlet for a working mom. Happy New Year, thanks for the blog!

Thimbleanna said...

Happy New Year Crazy Mom! I LOVE what you've said -- there truly isn't much new under the sun, which makes Gwen's words SO much more meaningful. You're an amazing quilter -- your output is phenomenal. I can't wait to see what you really WANT to make this year. See you in Salt Lake City LOL!!!!

Chara Michele said...

Happy New Year Amandajean!
What a wonderful quote, it really is something to think about :)

Annessa said...

Fabulous quote!

Rosa said...

Wow, 26 quilts is amazing. I'm only just starting though so maybe one day I'll be that quick and still make them as amazing as you do! Happy New Year!

Ethne said...

Just think back - this time last year you were stopping posting on your blog - now you are back as strong as ever. Added to which you have made other changes along the way, your exercise, the running, and of course the lecturing etc., and this years resolution is just perfect. Gwen in 100% right in what she has said. I've found that sometimes if we get pulled to do what is 'right' we loose heart in it.
You are doing a great job - let your creative inspiration flow this year, blessings to you all.

Ruusukvartsi said...

Happy New Year.
I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and I love it. Thank you .

Lesley said...

Happy New Year. I'm de-lurking to say that I really enjoy reading your blog and looking at the lovely quilts you create. Very inspiring!

Esch House Quilts said...

Happy New Year and congratulation on all your wonderful accomplishments during 2010! Can't wait to see what wonderful things you create in 2011. Gwen Marston is a genius :)

Cheryl Arkison said...

This is going to be an exciting year for sure.

What Comes Next? said...

a very happy new year to you, too! Moderation is good - over doing anything - even quilting, has repercussions as we all know! I was not familiar with Gwen Marsten's quote, but it is a realization that I came to just the other day, and it has - at least so far - given me a new perspective in my quilts. SO much freedom - and a huge sigh of relieve! Congrats to you and your hubby - that is fantastic. Looking forward to a wonderful bright new year!

Jocey said...

Well said!!! I am getting a bit tired of the blogs that have filled up with sponsors and contests to enter if you follow them and tell everyone else to follow them and if you stand on your head and spit nickels and if you make this quilt by this designer with this pattern and I digress...

Annette said...

Wonderful "stash" of quilts there! I will absoultely take on the message at the end of your post. There is no right or wrong in any art (even though the teachers here in Switzerland actualle grade the kids art in school... SIck!) and I consider quilting being an art so yes! Make what you want to make and make it the way you want to amkeit. For you only. And of course we all will love it and be happy that you share it. :D. Good on you with the running... I ws just getting into it in June, went on 10 days holiday and booooff! Dropped it. Maybe I should give it another go... You inspire me.

mathea said...

I love your resolution to make what you want to make. It's definitely one I try to live by, even though it makes my work less trendy. And 26 quilts in one year? That's one every two weeks! Amazing!!!
Happy new quilting year!

Amanda said...

Happy New Year! Love your blog & love your quilts! Just do what you love girl!

Bonnie said...

Happy new year to you as well! I am so happy that you decided to come back to blogging and think your resolutions are wonderful. You are so inspiring to so many people, and I can't speak for anyone else but I am just happy when you share you work (it doesn't have to be incredibly new or inventive!).

RebeccaL said...

Happy New Year to you guys. I'm glad I found your blog. Your tutorials have been incredibly helpful since I'm self-taught.

I also started running in 2010...it's awesome! There are some fantastic races. I'm really looking forward to the Disney Princess Half Marathon next February!! And since you're up north, check out YakTrax, they're incredible for running in snow and ice!

Camille said...

Thank you!! I needed this. Really. Love the quote, and all of your thoughts on it.

Happy 2011!

highwaycottage said...

Happy new year !! What a fantastic resolution. I've been thinking of something along the same lines, about not being too influenced by what's fashionable or what everyone else is making but really doing my own thing. All the best for the coming year.

Denice said...

I love it all! Happy new year.

Annemieke said...

It 's the first time I visit you. I liked your post very much. The book you mentioned is my favourite and I copied those lists of quotes and put them up on the wall! It is really an eye opener isn't it?

Happy and creative, the way you want it, new year!
Groetjes
Annemieke

Pat said...

Wonderful resolution! I knew I was in trouble when I realized I was knitting/quilting for my blog. I felt like I had to keep a steady stream of projects coming which is NOT the way I crafted before blogging 5 years ago. Trying to get back into my own flow - not worry about pleasing others!

sarah, rsm said...

happy new year, aj, and thanks for another year of WONDERFUL sharing!!

sarah xoxo

Karen said...

Congrats on all the completed quilts. I just read this post and realized that I said almost the same thing on my blog on Sat. I totally agree with you and hope this year will be wildly creative and inspirational.

Kimberly said...

Happy New Year! That is a great quote. I have been thinking along those same lines when it comes to my quilting and sewing. I don't blog and its not a competition thing for me but so often last year I found I was making gifts and they weren't things I really wanted to make and they didn't allow me to be as creative and try the new things I wanted to try. This year I hope to spend more time making what I want and developing some new skills.
I think your NY resolution is a great one and I have a feeling even if you make what you want and do it how you want we will all still be impressed and appreciative!

Heather said...

Alot of truth in these words... I also feel the need to impress. I want to do more things just for FUN!

...julia... said...

I LOVE that quote. Speaks to my heart... Thanks for sharing! I will be sharing that quote on my new blog, http://www.bluejcottage.blogspot.com Hope you'll check it out!

pratima said...

Wish you a very Happy and peaceful New Year, Amanda. It is a treat to see your fabric pieces taking shape and blossoming into beautiful quilts. Thank you for the inspiration :)
Happy Stitching in the New year!

tif said...

happy new year amandajean!!!

Andrea, the little collector said...

Amanda, I love this! Celebrating your New Years Resolution!!! Carry on my friend!

Andrea, the little collector said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You are so awesome!! I love reading your blog, and I have learned so much from you. Thank you.

Mollie

Poppyprint said...

Here's to doing it the Amandajean way in 2011! And congrats on sticking to your fitness program, that is really fabulous.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Happy New Year!! Wishing you all the best for 2011!