2020: Choosing Joy and Other Resolutions

I was waiting for 2020 to arrive for a long time! At times 2019 felt a bit too long, perhaps because in general it wasn’t one of the best years of my life. But now that it’s gone, I’m very excited for the new year! 🙂

Last year I decided to pick a word to set the tone for the entire year, and my word for 2019 was “peace.” I even designed a peace sign block to remind me of what I wanted from 2019.

That block sat in my work-in-progress drawer for the entirety of 2019 waiting to be quilted. I don’t know why I never got to quilting it.

I sometimes wonder if that’s why I never fully achieved “peace” in 2019 the way I envisioned it at the beginning of the year. The curse of the unfinished quilt block! 🙂 So, I decided to do things a little differently for 2020.

Specifically, I made two changes: one, I chose a phrase rather than a word for the new year. My phrase for 2020 is “choose joy.” I like this better than picking just a word like “joy” because the act of choosing joy makes me feel more in control of what I want from the new year.

The other change I made was to not only make a block for the year but actually complete it and hang it on my wall. Here’s my mini quilt for 2020, the last project I completed in 2019, which is currently hanging on the wall right behind my sewing machine where I get inspired by it every single day!

To make this mini quilt, I used Lori Holt’s letter patterns found in her book Spelling Bee. I used a disappearing ink pen to write the word “choose” and then hand embroidered it using a 12-weight thread.

Besides choosing joy, I’ve decided to make several other resolutions for 2020, which is not something I typically do. But I want to spend this year more mindful of what brings me joy and what doesn’t, so that I can choose effectively.

Here are a few quilty resolutions I’ve made for 2020:

  1. Buy as little new fabric as possible. Just like most quilters, I already have a sizable stash that seems to be growing by the day. In 2020, I intend to reduce my stash, buying fabric when it’s absolutely necessary (for example, for a specific pattern I’m working on or if I need yardage for backing fabric).
  2. Experiment with scrappy quilts. This resolution is a direct result of the first one. I tend to use a lot of solids in my quilts, but somehow I’ve collected a lot of prints in the past few years! If I’m to reduce my fabric stash, I need to make more scrappy quilts, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone. But we all know growth happens outside of our comfort zones, and I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons! 🙂
  3. Reduce waste. This is a resolution that I have for all aspects of my life. I’ve never been a big waster, and I tend to be conscientious of my environmental impact, but recently I’ve realized that I can do better! My patterns try to minimize waste of fabric in general, and I tend to keep even the smallest scraps for fun projects here and there, but I want to find creative ways to minimize my waste of fabric, thread, paper, and other disposables. This means coming up ways to reduce my use (e.g., use of paper for certain patterns), reuse/re-purpose (e.g., re-purpose clothing fabric or reuse trimmings as filling for pincushions and other 3D objects), and recycle (e.g., compost cotton fabric).

So, those are my quilty resolutions in a nutshell. Did you pick a word/phrase/theme for 2020? Do you have any resolutions for the new year? I’d love to hear from you!

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