I fell into a bit of a trap when creating goals for last year, so 2021 is about aspirations. I don’t want to measure success against anything but my own happiness and progress, so aspirations just seemed a better way to frame it this year. Plus 2020 really did us dirty last year and messed up everyone’s plans. Aspirations will help me be more flexible and focused, I think.

Three words sum up these aspirations: color, modern, and quilting. So without further ado, here they are:


The first area I want to work in is color. A couple years ago, I joined the Playful Color Quilt Guild from Rebecca Bryan. I literally did nothing with the group for a long time, but I started hopping into sessions back in October, and I’ve already learned a lot. I realized how predictable and juvenile my color choices were, so this year’s aspiration on color means I’m going to find my signature color palette.

Which means I had to clear out all the old to make room for new projects where I could play and learn. I’m slowly chugging through my pile of quilts to bind, and I’ve already finished three!

a stack of finished quilts

I plan on sharing my color journey with you a couple times a month as I work through different challenges and exercises. Or when I have aha! moments. If you’re as excited about color as I am, I highly recommend joining Rebecca’s guild. She’s really great at explaining what she means and goes all out to make sure members are getting everything they can out of the program.


While I don’t know if the quilting world will ever agree on what is/is not modern quilting, there’s definitely a look out there that I’d like to be more intuitive about. I was struggling to figure out how I might learn more about modern quilting at my own pace in a way that would be explicit enough to teach this old dog a new trick or two.

Then I was scrolling on Instagram one night and found the Modern Makes Membership from Alderwood Studio! This subscription gives you a modern quilt pattern each month to play with. The first one was a mini, but I’m not sure if they’re all minis. Anyway… there’s a digital option just for the pattern, or you can get a subscription box sent to you each month with the pattern, fabric, and batting to complete a project. That’s the option I chose. I did my first one already, and I’m in love! Here’s a sneak peek:

closeup of streamline mini quilt

I’ll share more about this one once the binding is done, but I’m already excited for my next box.


Is it weird that I’m a quilter and feel the least comfortable with the actual quilting part of the process? Would your answer change if I told you I’ve been doing this for 20 years? And that I’ve only ever sent out one quilt for someone else to do? I think it’s weird. So my third aspiration is to get better and more comfortable with the actual quilting process.

By the time I’ve basted a project, I’m so at a loss on how to actually quilt it that I have two go-to patterns, and they’re really starting to bore me. So to develop my skills, I’ve done two things: marked up my straight-line quilting books with things to try and enrolled in the Free Motion Quilting Academy from HollyAnne at String and Story.

walking foot quilting books

My class starts next week, and I’m excited/nervous about it. What I really like about it is that we get two weeks to practice each skill instead of moving on week after week. I feel like I’m going to need that time! At the end of the course, you put together a quilted sampler and a whole cloth mini project. There’s an online classroom, tons of videos, and a great community on social media that already looks like a bunch of awesome people. Wish me luck!

So there you go. A full year of aspirations that I think will really improve my skills and make me a very happy quilter. I’d love to know what you’re working on in 2021. Let me know in the comments.