Oda May’s Resolutions


Well, we are 11 days into the new year. That means you all have your sewing spaces organized, your APQ UFO lists filled out (and you’re well on your way sewing through the first month’s project), and you have contemplated all of the things you will accomplish this year. Whatever you are chasing – health, wealth, dreams or tangible things – you have a calendar on the wall tracking¬† your projects and goals down to the very last detail…

Or maybe not. Me, neither! This time of year can feel overwhelming with the idea that we should all be trying to become newer and better versions of ourselves. This is how I’m easing into 2017 and I hope you’ll join me.

  1. Doing more with less. I don’t know about you but I’m overwhelmed with stuff. Household items, crafting supplies, unfinished projects. Baskets and bins and boxes to organize all of those things. My main goal of the year is to donate and sell things I know I won’t use. I already found a home for some of my unfinished quilt tops with the charity sewing group of a local quilt guild and I feel good knowing they will be finished and go to live with someone who needs them. Re-purpose and re-home!
  2. Finding the joy. Quilting and sewing are a hobby! Even if you make your living in the industry, don’t forget that this is art we are making and there should be joy and pleasure in the process.
  3. Being there, in person. Social media is wonderful and inspiring and it almost feels like you are still in touch with the folks you don’t see very often, but it is definitely no substitute for face-to-face interactions. It’s been way too long since I sat in a small group, working on hand sewing, sharing stories, tips, fabric, coffee, and laughter. This year I will get out and see my quilting friends more! Retreats, workshops, classes at my local quilt shop, and reconnecting are all on my must do list for the year.

Tell me, how are you settling in to the new year?


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21 comments on “Oda May’s Resolutions

  1. How refreshing to be reminded that for most of us sewing is a passion, a love and unless it is your job, should be treated as such. I had a good sort out before Christmas and really was horrified at how much stuff I have too and resolved to try harder to use the beautiful fabrics I already own instead of hoarding them. I have already started donating wool/yarn to others to put to good use as arthritis now prevents me from knitting. In the UK there are web sites and social media groups that come together and make items for charity including one that makes quilts and donates them to children that are having major surgery. They would always welcome donations of materials and UFOs. I admit to making a list of ongoing projects and ideas for makes for this year and what I will strive to do is tick one thing as finished before I add another. Well that’s the plan. Happy sewing to you all and particularly you Oda May.

  2. I have been feeling this way for a while. You have articulated it so well. Thank you.

  3. Annabelle Hammer says:

    Thank you, Oda, for mentioning in #1 giving away quilt tops to charitable quilting groups. I am on the other side of the coin. Since I retired last year, I have joined the Project Linus Chapter in my county. Several generous ladies have donated their unfinished quilt tops, which I’ve finished on my longarm. I have also taken their orphan blocks and put those together into quilt tops, which I also longarm. Now sick and traumatized children will enjoy some nice quilts, instead of the quilt tops sitting in someone’s closet.

  4. Pam Arbour says:

    I think most of us quilters are beginning to feel burdened by our enormous fabric stashes. When they are in bins in a closet or under the bed, we sometimes don’t realize how much we have. I recently moved and have the space to get all of my fabric in plain view. I have emptied quite a few bins and as I look out in the garage I am overwhelmed by the number of plastic containers which still need to be emptied! Since I am a finisher, this is a really big deal. Having said that, I am purposing to sew up my fabric and not add to my collection. By the way, a significant portion of my fabric is Moda.

  5. patty says:

    I straightened out my fabric storage room – yes, I have a room – and I don’t need to buy any fabric. My stash is down around 75 yards in 2016 with my self imposed diet of not buying unless I absolutely need something for a specific project, but overall reduction of my stash for the last three years is only 4.25 yard and I made 63 quilts in the last three years! I am trying not to buy fabric again year, but I have already fallen off the wagon and bought some Minion fabric that was on sale. I have to say it is for two birthday quilts for two little girls. Making quilts gives me a lot of joy and it is fun to shop my stash, but what I have is getting overwhelming.

  6. Rosemaryflower says:

    The first thing I need to do, is print out your very inspiring, concise list.
    New fabrics and new projects are always enticing.
    I have begun printing out my appetite of sewing and quilting ideas, and patterns. The urge to make it might wane, but I know some one else
    might find it just what they are looking for.
    I have many projects on the burner.
    I am taking care of my 93 year old dad, I have a retired hubby with glaucoma, and two lovely married daughters with gallant husbands and two grand babies.
    Aren’t we all blessed.
    Busy and blessed
    I am taking your resolutions seriously. So many others, of my favorite sewing bloggers are
    also pointing us in this direction.
    I am going to try
    Thank you for a lovely inspiring reminder

  7. Maybe a bit off subject but what are you planning on making with that beautiful pink and green Jelly Roll at the top of the page? I would appreciate the name of the roll, please.

    Now as far as 2017, I just fractured my right shoulder this past weekend and won’t be sewing for at least six weeks, so there goes at least one UFO, but I will spend the time planning. I have about 6 UFO’s ready to finish and about 12 plans with fabric for my next few projects.

  8. Barbara Johnson says:

    I have been living your resolution for a year now…. It is so uplifting! I make what i want and love, and give it all away to charity of one sort or another… It truly is a “passion”. Am now retired enjoying the day with DH and loving every minute… My goal,,, to use it all up… some pretty funky stuff comes from that but “oh what fun”…:)GrammaBabs

  9. blg2240 says:

    Thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel about too much stuff, remembering that quilting is my hobby and that giving to others is a very good thing. I don’t make resolutions anymore, never followed up on them anyway, but I am going to make a concentrated effort to finish my projects. So many things I want to make for friends and family, and for myself, all that gorgeous fabric I’ve collected needs to take form instead of just sitting there nicely folded. The Bake Shop is one luxury I never miss. Just reading the patterns, seeing the new fabrics, etc. is enough to make a beautiful day. Thank you for all that you do and please know that we appreciate your hard work to make our days bright.

  10. Rebecca Abbott says:

    I have been digging into my huge stash to find UFO’s, some from as far back as 2001, mostly from long ago classes. And I am refraining from taking any new classes, except from one lady who mostly invents her own patterns…. at 3am when she cant sleep. My big thing is attempting to refrain from getting any more from Mo Star., my preferred web vender. We also have 2 very good shops in the area. I feel obligated to do biz there also – if everyone goes to the web, our retailers will die.

  11. Gale says:

    I spent the day with four of my friends, quilting and chatting away the afternoon. We meet every Wednesday afternoon during the winter months. Can’t beat the laughter shared among friends.

  12. Susan says:

    I, like you, feel burdened by too much stuff. It is hard to find anything as every container is sooooooo full. I am trying to reduce my stash and extras in all aspects of my life -including me! I could stand to lose a few pounds of stuff too. Thanks for sharing- you expressed a lot of my thoughts very eloquently! Happy new year!

  13. Beth LaMotte says:

    Well, I had the best of intentions to finish what was already started, but fell off the wagon once quilt alongs started. I have managed to only buy fabric truly needed though, and was able to put together a large box of material to send to Africa with a local missionary. Her goal is to teach women how to sew feeling that this will give women an opportunity to always be able to earn a living. Putting together the box of fabric was such a joy for me. Knowing that the fabric will be used (and not hoarded) to lift women up and hopefully out of poverty is truly heart warming.

  14. At age 60 I decided to not only use the good fabric, but to use all of the fabric. I have similar goals, to finish UFOs and refrain from enlarging my big stash. I donate fabric to the local thrift shop. I finished 2 little projects for Valentine’s Day, one from a Moda Bakeshop pattern, ‘Hearts A Flutter.’ The other a UFO of heart blocks. I am determined to work on seasonal UFOs which makes for extra fun.

  15. Thank you so much for your admission that you are not in the goal setting frenzy to Complete, Complete, Complete! Taking joy in the art’s progression is so soothing! The promises you have made to yourself are totally achievable and very inspiring!

  16. Karen Poling says:

    I found my sewing table which had been buried under pre-Christmas fabric, scraps, wrappings, sketches, etc. Hubby got me the shelves I needed for my individual project cases which had been stacked randomly around the studio. This year I wrote on my calendar what I am supposed to work on each day. It isn’t working perfectly, but my productivity so far is greatly improved. It may help to put a timer by the computer so I spend less time looking at beautiful fabric I don’t need and downloading patterns I don’t have time to make. Now if I can just reduce last year’s UFO list……

  17. Boycott American Women says:



    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

  18. Linda Evans says:

    Oda May are you placing any of these quilt top for sale anywhere? i am learn to teach myself free motion quilting, would love to see them if you are. Email me if your are lindae@sbsalpha.net

  19. ElizaBeth Haubold says:

    I am cutting up my charm packs to make a postage stamp quilt. I have started cutting my fat quarters into strips and sewing them. My goal this year is not to buy fabric. Use what I have. Pare down the 12 bookshelves of books. To sew, cut fabric, or iron fabric everyday. I’m finding if I do something quilts before I go to work my good mood lasts longer than when I just go to work.

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