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Revisiting Rulers & Other Notions in the Coming Year

Quilters have a tendency to buy any new gadget, ruler or notion that hits the market. New gadgets soon lose their appeal unless you have projects to accompany them. The ruler or gadget bought for a single pattern or project sometimes ends up in the sewing-junk drawer after the project is made. What once seemed so exciting loses its appeal when you have no more projects in mind for it.

Have you ever considered revisiting those things? Have you ever thought about other ways to use them or checked to see if new patterns have been released to support those items?

This is only a small portion of the rulers and gadgets I've accumulated through the years.

Each new year I give myself a challenge and a mission. I'm realistic in my goals, and I'm usually very practical. I have a goal for self-improvement -- one to expand my career or knowledge -- and one for my creative soul. Those goals equal the challenge, and my mission is to complete both in the coming year. The key for me is to have goals I can realistically complete. I know my time is limited, and if the goals are ones I know I can accomplish, I will not give up as easily. Therein lies the key to success for me.  

As 2014 begins, I've made my lists, and I have a plan to guide me in both my goals. For my creative soul, I will revisit the many quilting rulers I've purchased through the years and put a plan together to research other quilts and patterns that can be made using them. It's such a shame to use a good ruler only once. My hope is that I can match several of my many rulers up with possible patterns, and then use some of my stash to make at least six charity quilts in the coming year. This way I will manage to work on a few problem areas. If you read my newsletter on a regular basis you know that scraps plague me. I can't seem to toss them out, and my stash keeps growing. If my plan works, this could be a great way to reduce the sewing-room clutter.

The scraps are totally out of control.

As for all the sewing gadgets I've collected through the years, those, too, I plan to revisit. I'm sure it will be like Christmas all over again as I rediscover all the clever and wonderful time-saving tasks they can do. 

As for the expanding my career or knowledge, well, that's an easy goal. When you work at what you love like I do (and I do love quilting), it's easy to find inspiration to expand your horizons. All I have to do is read our readers' comments to get the wheels turning and send me on a new journey. Actually, the idea for making six charity quilts this coming year began as I read through the Letters to the Editor from the last newsletter. (I really do read them all!)

I'd already decided to revisit all my rulers and make a plan to find patterns and projects to reuse them. Then came the readers' comments, and the idea of incorporating my scraps and stash into charity quilts using those rulers became my challenge. It's not a new concept, but for me, it was a way to reduce the clutter and an excuse to do more quilting. It also gives me a means to work on one of my goals for the year -- the one for expanding my career or knowledge. I've always found working with scraps a difficult task, so maybe by doing these charity quilts I will finally discover the joy of scrapping. And the real bonus is my chosen charity will benefit from it. 

Some of my best ideas come from our readers.

The comments we received on scraps from our readers were so inspiring that I want to share as many as I can with you. There were so many comments and good suggestions it will take a while to post them, but I will keep sharing them as space allows. Make sure to read the readers' comments this time and in the coming newsletters. I'm sure each and every one of you will find some bit of information that just might spark the idea that sends you on your next quilting journey. Quilters have the best ideas and are always willing to share.

How do you deal with scraps? I'd love to know. Email me at
For the next several newsletters I will be sharing these scrap tips with you, so if you have suggestions you would like to share please send them to me. Maybe your idea will be the one that another quilter is looking for. Also, take a look at our free pattern Raggedy Log Cabin. It has a great tutorial. This pattern has great possibilities for using scraps.