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Goal Setting and Quilting

L'Bri Pure n' NaturalWhen I’m not quilting, I’m a skin care consultant for L’Bri Pure n’ Natural. From my training with L’Bri I’ve been setting goals and working towards them regularly for the last two years.

When I want something, I’ve found that if I think about it enough and work towards it hard enough, I usually get it.

But for some reason, I’ve not been doing this with quilting.  Not regularly at least.

Last October, I did create the goal to become an award winning quilter, and did with the creation of The Duchess.  But after this goal was reached, I didn’t sit down and plan out a new strategy.

Upon realizing this today, I’ve added 2 more lists to the 3 lists I write each day in my journal:

1. Love list – Write a list of 10 things you love about yourself.  This was a really hard list for me to write at first.  I’ve struggled with low self esteem and a monstrous negative voice for much of my life. Starting each day with a clear focus and love in my heart is making a HUGE difference.

2. 5 Reasons I work L’Bri – There’s no point in working a job or owning a business if you don’t know WHY you do it.  Every single day I write down the top reasons I work my skin care business.  These reasons change on a daily basis because my needs change constantly too.

3. 3 Goals for L’Bri – Continually working towards a goal is extremely important.  If you aren’t working forward, you’re either standing still or going backwards.  Three goals work better than just one because again, needs and desires change on a daily basis.

4. 5 reasons I work Day Style Designs – Today is the first day I put this list on paper and I was delighted with the results.  I like skin care, but I LOVE quilting.  Understanding why I work this business on a daily basis will make a huge difference in what I accomplish each week and month.

5. 3 goals for Day Style Designs – Just like with skin care, having a focus is extremely important.  I’m realizing that setting goals with quilting is just as important as setting goals in skin care.

Many times I get distracted and unfocused, unclear what I really want from any of my businesses or my life for that matter.  Starting the day with a list of what I want is the first step to actually getting it.

Before I learned about business training I thought that my inability to finish even the smallest projects was my fault.  Now I realize that to finish a big project like The Duchess or Light in Me or even How to Piece Perfect Quilts requires more than just tools and materials.  It requires dedicated thought, planning, and determination to see the project through from start to finish.

Writing a list might not seem like the first step to finishing a quilt, but I’m going to see if it makes a difference for my life and my quilting business for the next few weeks.

After all, what do I have to lose?

Happy quilting,

Leah

Face Lift and New Start

So the day style blog’s just had a major face lift. Much more than a 15 minute treatment of L’Bri’s Facial Masque!

I’m wanting to use this blog to be more in touch, but to also share more about my quilting life.

This blog isn’t the only thing that’s changing for me right now.  The Duchess, my first wholecloth quilt will be shipping to Denver for the Denver National Quilt Show tomorrow.

After that, she’s headed to the North Carolina Quilt Symposium, then the National Quilting Association show in Ohio.

Needless to say, creating show quilts and teaching is my new focus!

This week I’ve been working on a series of simple quilts, probably to be called “Simple Blues” to showcase exactly how far you can “quilt it up a notch” even on the simplest quilts.

To celebrate my new focus and path, I’ve been expanding and cleaning my sewing studio.  Up until now, I’ve mostly sewn in my basement kitchen.  It’s a nice room, with plenty of space for my tables and machine.

Recently I purchased a new Bernina, and decided that it was time to split quilting and piecing.  Quilting will now take place in a smaller room off of my sewing studio that I’ve previously used just for fabric and sewing  junk storage.

It’s absolutely amazing how much sewing junk you can accumulate in just a few years!

Going through it all hasn’t been fun.  Deciding what to keep and what to throw away is very difficult, especially when I have several completed tops just waiting to quilt, but no time to finish them.

As overwhelming as it can be, I’m resolved to take everything one day at a time.  Today I will finish cleaning and block “Baskets in Bloom” and tomorrow it will be photographed.

Off to sort fabric!

Leah

New Focus, New Goals

This October was an absolutely spectacular month for my quilting business.

No, I didn’t sell a huge quilt for thousands of dollars.

No, I didn’t get contracted to make patterns for a big name company.

No, I didn’t even finish my braided bag tote pattern.

Instead I just refocused my goals and decided to learn how to really finish a quilt.  I was feeling pretty down about my quilting ability.  Piecing is fairly easy for me and is no longer a struggle to cut and piece fabrics very accurately.

But my quilting has always been less than stellar.

It’s not that I’m a bad quilter, I always had a fair amount of talent.  The problem was I couldn’t “see” what quilting design to use on certain areas of a quilt.  I assumed (wrongly) that all patterns had to be freeform and built into muscle memory so I could pull them out whenever needed.

Now for background filler quilting patterns, that is definitely true.  It’s important to know how to stipple, McTavish, do paisleys, and echo quilting at will.  I already had this ability, what I lacked was the insight as to how to design the quilting pattern to support, if not set off the piecing.

So in the past month, I’ve been a little MIA on this blog, and for good reason.  I’ve been working.

What I’ve discovered is the wonderful world of trapunto and just how amazing this technique is for quilting. Using this newfound skill, I took this quilt top (view above) and instead of doing random, meandering lines all over it, I’ve finished it with style!

Of course, the first attempt at a new technique isn’t always perfect. I definitely learned a lot with this first project and will post more about those lessons soon.  What I gained from this experience was the knowledge of how to look at a quilt pattern and see the potential quilting lines that could enhance it.  How to “see” that inner pattern and have the guts to draw and design new elements for a quilt that might otherwise have been finished very simply.

My newfound focus and goal are definitely starting to play out with my life and quilting business. I’m ready to devote real time and energy to making this business a success and it’s so exciting to share this moment with you!