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37. My 2021 Quilty Resolutions

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Hi there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin? Each Wednesday, Join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin. This is the podcast for you.

Hey guys, Nicole here. Welcome to episode 37 of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. On today’s episode, I’m chatting about my 2021 Quilty goals, current projects I’m working on and what I’ve got in store for all of you in 2021.

But first, a quick reminder, I want to make sure that you guys all know that the best sewing machine for quilting is also the machine. You already have to help you out. I’ve created a guide to help you get your sewing machine prepared for quilting. Go over how to clean your machine, what accessories you’ll need and what settings to use. So to grab your free guide, head over to to download yours now.

Okay, guys, let’s get sewing.

Sianora 2020. I mean, is anybody sad to see that year ago? Holy cow, definitely not me, but I also learned so much about myself, about my kids (so much time with my kids) and also my business grew tenfold.

And for all of that, I am so grateful. And for the business thing, I’m grateful to each and every one of you. So I figured I’m going to pull what every other person in the world is doing right now. And talk about 2021 and what we’re going to do to crush this thing. And because you guys are interested in quilting, I’m obviously only going to share about my Quilty life, but I might get a little personal on you because let’s be real. Have I ever not rambled? Just a smidge? Hopefully that’s what you like about me because that’s who I am. All right.

So let’s talk. All right. So we’re going to start with resolutions and I really don’t like the phrase resolution. Not because I don’t appreciate a good new year’s resolution. If I’m being honest, I make new year’s resolutions every year. I’m terrible at them. I don’t stick to them, which is probably why I don’t like the word resolution, because if you like, look it up in the dictionary or like you have to resolve to make a decision and stick to it. And a lot of things that we pick for new year’s resolutions are not something that we can just decide and stick to it. Like it’s usually some sort of system, process or goal that we need to work towards or implement in our life to like obtain the final result. We can’t just be like, Hmm, I am going to be 10 pounds lighter. No, we need to resolve to go to the gym three times a week and eat better and do all these things. So resolutions don’t really fit for me, but honestly, I think it’s also because I suck at resolutions and I’ve very rarely finished them.

Um, but I can meet a good, healthy goal. So we’re going to talk about my 2021 goals. Okay.

So my first Quilty 2021 goal is to become more prolific. So I have this thing where first of all, in my house, I only have a couple, a handful of quilts. I give 99% of the things that I make away. I just do. So the quilts that I’ve kept are either too ugly to gift or that’s about it too, ugly to gift. Um, and they have sentimental value to me. It’s my first quilt I ever made, um, which I would never give to anybody because you can literally like stuffing is pouring out of this thing. I still love it. Um, as a matter of fact, even though it is pink and purple and sparkly, like just giving you a vibe of just how ugly this thing just might be.

Um, it’s also on my six year old son’s bed and he loves it. He sleeps with it every night. So there’s a lot of love for that quilt, but it’s not pretty. Um, and the other one that I can think of off the top of my head that we should snuggle with on the couch, um, was the quilt that I made for my husband. So technically I gifted it, but it stayed in house obviously, um, for a deployment he did. And it’s also the first time I ever did free motion quilting. Um, I also didn’t know, you have to drop the feed dogs for free motion quilting at that time. This is why I teach you guys how to quilt. And that’s why I want you guys come so that you guys don’t do all of these things that I did. I made so many mistakes and I want to save you guys from making these mistakes.

Um, but anyway, those are the ones I’ve got. So I want to be more prolific. I want to make more quilts each year. I want to keep more of my quilts. Um, and I feel like I can kind of ease myself into that by making a quilt for each of my son’s beds, um, making some decor type things. So like I’m really happy this year. I finally got around to making quilted ornaments. Um, and again, because I just have a need to give things like I love gifting. Um, I also made them for my mom and my sister and my in-laws and all of this, but I also have one for me. So that’s exciting. Uh, I’m looking at ways to make things for other people, but have them stay in my house. So I’m assuming my kids are going to end up with like new bedspreads and stuff.

But anyway, my problem with it’s not that I don’t quilt every day cause I do. I quilt every single day. I sew every single day. Um, but I also tend to bite off ginormous product projects and I will dive a little bit deeper into that later, um, when I go over something else. But, um, very rarely are prolific quilters making queen-size and king-size quilts all the time because they take time, they take energy and they take focus. Um, and when they are that large, they typically don’t have small pieces unless your name is Nicole Gilbert. And then you do do them with small pieces. So they take forever. So my goal is to do one small project every single month. So that is my goal. I am going to stick to it. I also, and I know this goes against so many people because I feel like there’s so many people out there who are like, I have too many works in project progress.

I need to slow it down. I’m going to focus, do one thing to the end and finish. That’s always been my goal, my thing, which is why I’m not that prolific because I finished everything before I start the next thing. And then it’s like, well, I only made two or three quilts this year. Bummer. Now I’m going to have multiple projects going at once and you’re going to see how I’m going to be able to do this. And I’m very excited. Um, it’s going to help me check a lot of boxes personally. It’s going to help me check a lot of boxes professionally. And I also think I’m just going to have a lot of fun. So this is my year of letting go and making a lot of stuff. I’m really excited about it. So that’s goal number one. I’m rambling already. See, I told you, there is no such thing as new year, new me.

Like this is just who I am guys. Okay. Number two, I am going to get into English paper piecing. I, I was about to say, I’ve never done an English paper piecing before, but that’s a lie. I started it three days ago or a week ago. So if you are following me on Instagram and you follow me at Nicole Gilbert quilts, you will see some of my early endeavors with English paper piecing. I have not completed anything yet. I am in the process right now. I’m living in like Hexie heaven or Hexie health, depending on how you want to look at it. Um, I’m finally getting a lot of use out of my Cricut maker. I bought it to cut fabric and while it does do strips and whatnot, it is perfect for English paper piecing between making the paper pieces and also cutting out all of those crazy little fussy pieces. Cricut maker is where it’s at. I’m so happy I have it. Oh my gosh, I’m obsessed. So English paper piecing. And for those of you who are not familiar, English paper piecing is where you have pieces of lightweight cardstock of various shapes and sizes. And then you have fabric, that’s cut a quarter of an inch or more larger than that piece of paper. And you wrap the fabric around the paper and you can spaced stitch it or baste it with glue. Um, and then you hand so the pieces together.

Um, I it’s never been something that I was particularly interested in because I do like big traditional quilts and a lot of English paper piecing that’s out there. These days is very modern. However, I recently went down a Tula pink rabbit hole. I’m sure you guys have noticed I’ve had a lot of Tula in my posts. Um, and I just, I love her. So, and she is huge with Pieper P English paper piecing. And I recently got one of her patterns for just like a pillow. And so right now I’m doing two English paper piecing projects. I know it’s crazy. I’m crazy too. At the same time, one is really just getting the feel for it. Um, it’s like a self-designed pattern, cause it’s nothing special. It’s nothing but heck CS. Um, and it is in my head, it kind of reminds me of a crocheted granny square, kind of a deal, super cute.

Um, really pretty colors think lavender and turquoise and, and pinks and pale yellows, like really, really cute. Um, so I’m working on that and then I’m also working on this T uh, to a pink pillow. Um, that is way more upper-level than my, my granny square project, but also I think doable and I like to have a good stretch goal. I think everybody, when they’re learning to do any new skill should look at what a beginner can do and then try to go one step further. I think that’s really important. Um, it’s why I chose the pattern that I choose for my students in the modern quilters Academy. Um, we can all so five inch term squares and there’s nothing wrong with sewing five inch term squares, but I want you to get a little bit more skills and I want you to get a little bit uncomfortable because when you get uncomfortable, when you learn and it’s when you get curious and it’s when you start thinking, huh, I learned that skill.

I didn’t like it. How can I make that better? Or how can I learn a different way to do it? And that’s how you get better at quilting, because there are so many methods to do everything there’s so many different ways to think about it. So I love me a stretch goal and this pillow, this English paper piece to pillow by Tula pink is my first real project stretch goal. So that’s number two. Number three is I’m going to tackle a Bayani bag. And actually I want to tackle several by any bags and I’ve already got the patterns and I’ve ordered most of the supplies. Um, and I’m super excited about it. Um, if you’re not familiar with Bayani, go-to by Annie B Y a N N I and check her out, she has, she is like the authority on patterns for homemade bags.

And I’ve got to say, I am not a quilted purse, kind of a person. Um, I am definitely a designer purse kind of a person. Um, yeah, but she has such cool patterns for so many different types of things. So like I got the take a stand pattern, which is going to be an Epic airplane bag, like so cute Epic airplane bag. She also has some re I got something called the zip it up, which is going to be perfect for my English paper piecing since it is hand sewing. And I will be able to have like a thread snips in there and my paper pieces and my fabric pieces and my glue and my thread. And like, it’s like a tiny little project bag and it zips up like a skinny, small trapper keeper, but you make it yourself so cool, but she’s got a lot of different type of stuff.

So I definitely am not a purse person. She does have purses on their handbags. If that’s your jam, she’s got awesome patterns for it. It’s not my personal jam, but there’s a lot of really cool things. All of that to say, I’m going down the [inaudible] rabbit hole because there are some really cool things and I’m going to make them this year. And goal number four is to start an Etsy shop, which is so funny because everyone’s everybody who knows me personally is like, how do you not have an Etsy shop? And I know it’s crazy. I know, I know, I know I don’t have an Etsy shop because I make all the things, you know, I was making face masks for everybody. I’m kind of happy. It’s slowed down. Um, I kind of anticipate a little bit of a resurgence, uh, now that you know, the world starting to open it back up again, and I’m sure it’ll shut down and open and shut.

And so there will be little bursts, but like I was doing it very like under the radar, like, okay, $5 here, $10 there, like cash transactions, Venmo all day. Um, and everyone was like, this would be so much easier if you just had an Etsy shop. It’s like, I know, I know, but I just don’t do that. And also I have never seen people have great success selling their quilts. Um, people do sell their quilts on Etsy all the time. I’m not saying that there are not people out there who are successful, but the time and energy that would go into making a quilt that was worth selling to a stranger would be so expensive. That there’s a very particular buyer out there. And it’s not as easy as that. And nobody’s getting rich making face masks, nobody. Um, and I would rather spend my time teaching people how to quilt than selling my personal quilts.

Um, I just enjoy it more. I enjoy answering your questions. I enjoy talking to all of you, so that’s where I am or that, but I am going to start an Etsy store. So that, that way, as I become more prolific goal one, and I have some more stuff hanging around, I can list them and, uh, see how that goes. I’ve just always been really interested in it. And I think that there’s, there’s some things out there that I can do. So those are my goals for 2021. Number one become more prolific, number two, learn and work towards mastering English paper piecing number three, complete more than one by Annie bag and number four, start an Etsy shop. So now let’s talk about what I am currently working on. So number one, I am working on that granny squares, English paper piecing project. And so the way that I did it was, and I’ve kind of touched on this a little bit already.

I use my Cricut maker and 65 65 pound weight cardstock, uh, that I got at Michael’s for like $8. It was like a ream of 200 pages. And I just cut out a Julian one and a quarter inch hex seas, um, from the cardstock. And then, because I have the Cricut maker, which is the one that has a rotary cutter wheel, so it can cut fabric, which is awesome. Um, and the reason why I got it in the first place, I then cut one and a half inch hexes from the fabric. And I have been making this granny chain English paper, pieced lap throw thing. I’m still not a hundred percent sure how I’m going to end it, what it’s going to look, but I’m excited about it. And it’s just nice. Number two, I am working on the bike and he’s taking a stand bag, and this is a little bit of a stretch to say that I’m working on it.

I have all of the items before me. I have cut a single cut of fabric and that’s about it. I do plan on doing a lot of it in the next, like 48 hours though. So like the ball is going to start rolling. Um, but that’s, I’m starting like I’m, I’m hitting the ground running guys at number three, which actually should be number one so that I can just finish them already. I have to finish cash to full-size court house, step quilts, um, that are absolutely beautiful. Both of them feature. And there’s two of them, which is just Cray. Um, they feature to the pink, true colors, the entire true colors line, both of them do. Um, and they’re gorgeous. One of them, uh, it is the, the, the, the, the, the, the pattern is sweet escape by symbol blossoms. Uh, it’s a super cute pattern.

Um, I’m doing the full size, the background fabric, and I’m using it, um, dove by Kona and lavender fairy dust by Tula pink. And those are the background colors. And then the rest are of, it is like very, the vibrant tones from true colors. And it is, I mean, both of these quilts, one of them is my design. While the other one, the quilt top is finished. I just have to quilt the darn thing. Um, and then this other one is the blocks are all finished. I just have to sew the quilt top together. Um, it’s beautiful. They really are beautiful, beautiful quilts. Um, they’re perfect. They are for two little girls. They are each little girl is six years old. They are best friends. Um, and their moms are very good friends of mine. And so I said, I would make these quilts for them.

And I love these quotes so much. And I say that in the exact same breath that I say, I hate my life at this point, when I’m making these quilts, there are, I mean, the, the S there’s so intricate, it’s really easy to put together super quick to put together a single block. Each block goes together in about 20 to 30 minutes. Um, so not super labor intensive. However, each strip on each quote block is only an inch and a half wide. So it sewn, they end up being one inch wide strips. And so when you think about one inch wide strips and big a full-size bed is it’s a lot of sewing. There’s a lot of tiny pieces, a lot of seams, lots of directions, lots of pressing. Um, and so granted I, if I ever finished these things, but my goal is to finish them by the end of January, I have to finish them by the end of January, mostly.

So I don’t have to look at them anymore. Um, and they really are so pretty. Oh my gosh, they’re so pretty, but, Oh, I’m just sick of making them already, uh, which is my own personal thing. And back to why I want to do smaller or projects this year. Um, I just need to be done, but they really are cute. Um, and also Sherry and Natalie, in case you’re listening to this, uh, they’re going to be adorable and the girls are gonna love them. Um, I just gotta be done and I will be making much smaller projects this year. Okay. So that’s all about me. And now I just want to give you guys a little bit about what I’m going to be doing for you. So I have reworked the modern quilters Academy experience with me and a new class of the modern cultures Academy has the doors open on February 2nd.

So if you are interested in joining me, that is when you will be able to dive on in, and I’m so excited, and I cannot wait to welcome you, um, into the group because we do have so much fun together. Uh, number two, which I I’m so excited about doing these, I will be doing color theory workshops. So I know that there are a few of you out there who are like, Hmm, I’m not ready to do the whole quilters Academy, but I really want to know more about color theory I will be doing. It will only be one hour long, the workshop, so super low commitment, um, super, super easy to get in. Um, and I’m, I’m still in the works of like figuring it all out when I’m going to do them, how the layout is going to be. I’ve done them within the modern cultures Academy.

Um, and so all of my students who have gone through the modern quilters Academy has had the option of viewing one of my color theory workshops. Um, but I’m going to kind of do, I think I’m going to start with one, see how it goes, um, for all of you. So that is coming up and then number three, I’m going to start crafting out or like happy hour, but less tequila. So this one I’ll actually be, I think, really fun. And I’m looking forward to doing these, um, I am going to start doing and you’ll get emails. So if you guys are not on my email list, head over to the modern quilters Academy dot or the modern quilters, get on my email list, download something, and you will be on there so that you can get updates. Um, but I am just going to have, it’s going to be like sowing hour for us, so you can hop in, uh, it’ll be on zoom, I’ll be sewing, probably English paper piecing so that you guys aren’t listening to my sewing machine, or maybe I will be on my sewing machine if that’s what you want me to do.

Um, but you guys can have whatever projects you’re working out on out at the same time. You can ask me any questions that you have, and I will answer them right then and there. Um, I can assist you with certain types of techniques. Um, and I think it’ll just be a really great way for us to get to know each other a little better. So I am for sure looking forward to crafty hours and that’s it in a nutshell, and you guys have just finished

Another episode of this stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Thank you so much for hanging out with me to catch up on today’s episode and all past episodes, head on over to the modern culture,, and make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. No stop scrolling and start.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle