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From My Studio

Hard to believe it’s mid-November. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Are you ready? I’m thinking about how different it will be this year. Just as good; just different.  

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. I’ve been thinking about planning for 2021. I already have dreams for what I want to accomplish in 2021. The first step for me is to evaluate 2020. Even though it wasn’t quite what any of us expected, I know there is plenty of good to be found if I just look.

That’s my first step – go back and write down all that I achieved in 2020 and the lessons I learned along the way.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of blog posts about the planning process. I expect to do that in the coming weeks.

Until then, it’s time to plan to plan. Block out times on your calendar to do this. Get planning tools. Get started.

Here’s a blog post from years ago where I wrote about planning to plan. It is still relevant today. I love the idea of creating your own covered boards for your perpetual monthly calendar pages. Have you ever tried that?

2. Were you a fan of Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns? Originally published in black and white in 1993, it is being updated to include 161 new blocks and is now in full color! All of the 4,000+ pieced quilt blocks in the book are illustrated with both a line drawing and sample color suggestions. You can use the book to identify blocks or look for inspiration.

The book is available for pre-orders at a 30% discount on the Electric Quilt website.

3. Speaking of Electric Quilt, the site 5amily, which offers personalized quilting garments and other products, has named Electric Quilt as well as On Point Quilter as one of its top 10 blog sites for quilters. On Point Quilter specializes in online learning of Electric Quilt. Its blog offers tips and inspiration for using Electric Quilt 8. 

4. Are you a fan of Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 designs and tools? They are designed to make quilting easier and more fun. One of their premier designers, Tina Dillard, has released her first book. Poppin’ With Wings showcases stunning flying geese quilts with a pop. You can order the book directly from Tina through her website Quilting Affection Designs. Also, check out her Facebook Page for a tour of the book and to see all the quilts.

5. Are you looking for a fun project for the holidays? Debbie Wendt of Wendt Quilting has created a Winter Tree-Land Quilt Along. This diamond and triangle pieced tree is the perfect shabby chic addition to your table. Debbie is teaching the class in an American Quilters’ Society Facebook group. Details are here.

6. What am I reading and watching?

I just finished reading Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. This is a coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old white girl from Mississippi who runs away from home in 1963. She is heading to Nashville to find her mother, whom she believes is a country singer. Along the way she meets and befriends a lonely black woman who suffers both loss and abuse. The road trip becomes life-changing for both of them.

In the non-fiction arena, I’ve just started reading Podcasting: How to Start a Podcast and Create a Profitable Podcasting Business by Amanda Mayo. This book was selected by my business coach for her clients to read. Over the years, I’ve thought about creating a podcast. Since 2010, I have recorded more than 100 interviews with creatives. They are available to members of our ICAP Members’ Studio. I’ve considered moving them to a public podcast. As it is, I’m reading the book and applying the lessons to content creation, aka, the blog. If you already have a blog or are planning one, this would be a good reference.

We also just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Highly recommended.
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