Looking Forward by Reflecting Back

There is only one day left in 2019 and my mind is running with ideas of what I want to change and improve in myself for 2020. Somehow a new year means a fresh start for me, like many others. I know I’m making some pretty big changes within the next few weeks, and I’m excited to share some of them with you soon. However, today I want to reflect on the past year because our past builds who we are and molds who we become.

If you immerse yourself into the Instagram quilting community even a fraction as much as I do, then you’ve seen the trend of your “Top Nine” photos from 2019. I shared mine in my Instagram stories a few days ago.

Some of these pictures feel like they were taken a lifetime ago and bring back wonderful memories, but these weren’t the highlights of my past year with quilting. For me, the best part were the friendships made. You know when you’re young, and feel awkward, trying to find your place and where you belong? My mother always said, “Just wait until you’re in college. You will find like-minded individuals then, and you will feel like you fit in.”

I did make some solid friendships in college, but they weren’t without effort. Now, I walk into a room of quilters, where I know no one, but within minutes I feel like I’ve found “my people.” It’s such a comforting feeling. If you’re looking for “your people” too I’d recommend looking into your local quilting guilds. The wonderful ladies below are my tribe, celebrating my 30th birthday with me this year. Four of them I met through quilting and the Piedmont Modern Quilt Guild. I love these five women dearly and their friendship has changed my life for the better.

In September I attended a quilting retreat hosted by The Long Armed Mama in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I was extremely nervous to be attending a retreat where I wouldn’t know anyone, but it was one of the most memorable weekends of my year. Each morning when I went down to the lobby for breakfast other quilters would invite me to sit and eat with them. While sewing everyone was happy to share their knowledge and tools. We were learning about each another and from one another all at once. While there I made some lasting friendships with some women I enjoy talking to and bouncing ideas off of on a regular basis.

Brittany, of Lo and Behold Stitchery taught a mystery quilt during the retreat. It was so exciting to get to meet one of my favorite modern quilt pattern designers in person, and get to know her as a person. She was so kind and an encouraging quilting teacher. Since the retreat I’ve enjoyed staying in touch with Brittany on Instagram and joining her pattern testing team. This is an opportunity I would have missed out on if I had let myself be scared of stepping out of my comfort zone. One of my goals for 2020 is to push myself outside of my comfort zone often.

In February the English Paper Piecing (EPP) pattern designers, Brimfield Awakening, presented at my quilt guild meeting. I love their patterns and had just completed their Brimfield Block quilt. I had the pleasure of having dinner with them before and chatting their ears off after the meeting. (Again, I can’t stress enough how wonderful quilting guilds can be.)

Kim, myself, Nisha, and my long armer Annette.

Later, in June at the Quilters Unlimited Show I ran into Kim and Nisha of Brimfield Awakening running their booth. Unfortunately, Nisha wasn’t going to be able to work the show the next day due to a funeral and they invited me to help them run their booth the next day by demonstrating EPP to those who stopped by the booth. They think I did them a favor by helping them out, but for me they did me the favor. I had a wonderful day of hand sewing and sharing my love for EPP with my fellow quilters. It was on that day that I knew in my heart that I needed to immerse myself more into this world of quilting. I need to find my voice and make my imprint on the quilting community. In 2020 I hope to flush out this dream into a reality.

Myself and Kim of Brimfield Awakening and the Quilter’s Unlimited show.

From this past year’s experiences I’ve made my quilting goals for 2020:
1. Make more quilting/sewing friendships.
2. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
3. Make your mark/voice on the quilting community.

What are your goals for 2020? Feel free to share them below!

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