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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

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Quilted Jewelry???

Quilted Jewelry CuffI’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for the last 2 months fighting to get out.  The idea is quilted jewelry, specifically bracelets and cuffs.

I was a jewelry and beadwork buff for 8 years before I got into quilting.  Though I collected beads, made jewelry, and even worked in a bead store, after getting into quilting I realized just how much beadwork was a struggle for me.

For some strange reason I also had a very firm view of what “beadwork” was and somewhere in my limited teenage mind I convinced myself that beading on fabric was “cheating”.

Of course The Duchess has completely destroyed that silly view and I’m interested to see how I can incorporate beads into more quilts.  I plan on beading large sections of Light in Me, but what about smaller projects?  What about quilted jewelry?

Quilted Jewelry Cuff ClaspSo after 2 hours of playing with fabric, batting, and my machine I produced 2 cuffs.  The first was so terrible I’ve already thrown it out.  My mistakes don’t usually last long enough to photograph, a tendency that I’m working on.

The second was much better.  I haven’t yet embellished it with beads, but plan to add a border of black or dark red beads around the edges.

The thing I love most about this cuff is the fit and shape of it.  It fits my wrist absolutely perfectly and even though I’m only using a hook clasp, it’s never fallen off even with heavy use.

Of course, now that I’ve made one cuff, I really want to make a thousand of them.  I keep thinking of doing a cuff with quilted circles and dense micro stippling and then to showcase a bead within each circle.

I’m off this weekend to quilt symposium and will hopefully have some time to play in Asheboro with more quilted jewelry!

Piece,

Leah

One Percent…

A guy emailed me tonight and asked if I consider myself a “one percenter”.

I had never heard this term until tonight. Here’s a good analogy that explains this:

Imagine that everyone in the world is a honey bee. Out of every 100 drone, worker bees, there is 1 queen bee.

That is your one percent.

What is the one percent? What makes us different? Do we have special genes, or do we all have this ability to go from an employee to business owner?

I believe it all comes down to a few simple questions and a choice.

The questions are simple: who are you and what do you want?

No queen bee is very successful if she doesn’t know how big she wants her hive.

The decision?

Never to give up, even when you get knocked down.

This month I received the very best news I could have thought possible. I won a ribbon with The Duchess in Denver.

But this win was also tempered with a loss. I didn’t make the final cut of the Quilting Arts 2010 Calendar.

Does this loss destroy my win? Never. Winning my first blue ribbon was a life changing experience that no loss, no amount of defeat can take away.

I’m a one percenter because I know who I am. I’m a damn fine quilter.

I’m a one percenter because I know what I want. I want to own a successful quilting business and teach people to become damn fine quilters too.

And I am a one percenter because I will never give up, no matter if my first place ribbon in Denver is the only ribbon I ever win in my entire life.

Thank god for tenacity,

Leah

The Duchess Has Left the Building

duchesscenterfinThis week I had the feeling of a mother watching her young child leave on his first day of school.  No, my 2 year old isn’t going anywhere, these feelings were for a quilt.

It’s kind of weird that I should be so very attached to a quilt, but after 300 hours, I guess it’s expected!

The Duchess is my first wholecloth whitework quilt that I created from November 2008 until February 2009.  She is quite simply, perfect.

But such beauty really can’t be kept to myself!  I had to show this quilt, I made it to show!

So this week I went to the UPS store and shipped her to the Denver National Quilt Festival, hoping and praying that she gets there safely and comes home fine too.

I almost don’t care what happens at the festival so long as the Duchess comes back in one piece.  Well, almost!  I certainly do what the quilt to do well, but just the fact that it got in is enough for me right now.

So while the Duchess has left the building, I’m reminiscing by watching the video I created while working on her.  This video takes you through from the beginning when the quilt was just a plain piece of muslin, through marking, trapunto, and hand embellishment.

It’s so wonderful to see a beautiful quilt, but it’s even more fun to watch it being made!  Check out this video and larger photos of The Duchess here.

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