Wow, we have a lot to get to on this Main Crush Monday, less than two weeks before Christmas! Even though I feel like we keep the holiday low key at my house, there is still plenty to keep me busy. Busy enough that I shouldn’t be starting a new quilt project.

But does that stop me? Noooooo….. I brought home a couple yards of some gorgeous ombre fabric, and before I knew it I had this:

Ombre Rectangles

Three hundred and sixty rectangles, cut and ready to sew.

I have decided to make an ombre version of my Spinning pattern. You know, just because. Yesterday afternoon I started sewing, and with chain-piecing it goes pretty quickly.

Chain Piecing Spinning

This is one of those projects that I shouldn’t be working on but I just can’t help myself. Do you ever find yourself doing that? 🙂

But – I have a customer quilt that I absolutely, positively, MUST work on today. Let’s hope I can stay disciplined enough to keep the ombre in the project box for the next few days!

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I have been doing a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work here at the Cooking Up Quilts blog that involves planning for 2017. During the second half of 2016 I focused on participating more in the online quilting community, as well as in my local quilt community. My goals are simple: To meet other quilters to receive and provide inspiration, to increase my skills and grow as a quilter, and to get printed copies of my patterns into publications and more brick and mortar stores.

The groundwork is beginning to pay off and next year promises to provide new opportunities that I’m really excited about.

Even though there is a lot happening, sometimes — as a blogger — it can feel as if I’m working in a vacuum. And even though I know what my goals are, it would be easy for me to let go of one or two of them if I don’t share them with anyone. This is where what I call an accountability partner can be a real asset.

All of us have that one friend that tells us like it is, right? Whether it’s trying on clothes (get that off!), dating (he’s NOT the one for you), a work-related issue (get your big girl pants on and ask for that raise!), or any other life issue, she/he will tell you like it is. And for the most part, we know that person is right and appreciate their honesty.

I think it’s important for us, as quilter/bloggers, to have that same type of relationship with other quilter/bloggers who can relate to what we’re doing or trying to do. Someone to bounce ideas off of, to provide feedback on an idea, or just listen when we’re having a time of it.

I have found that person in Julie @ Pink Doxies. Julie and I met through our blogs, talked by phone for months, and then finally met in person over the summer. We live within easy reach – only about 2 hours away which is a real bonus. We have chosen to be a support person for each other in our quilting journey.

One of the most interesting aspects of our relationship is that Julie and I approach quilting and blogging quite differently. I’m more mainstream, and Julie pushes boundaries and experiments more. I want to write patterns; she wants to dye her own fabrics. It has been fun to see the path she has taken, and watch her interests evolve over time. When we talk, her perspective always gives me a “why didn’t I think of that” moment and encourages me to think outside the box a bit.

Julie and I both have specific goals for 2017, and while we may not publish them (or all of them) here, we are encouraging each other to reach for those goals.

For this new year, I would encourage you to find someone you can share your goals with. Maybe you already have someone….maybe you need more than one person. I’ve met several quilters through this blog who support me in different ways and I value all of them. There are a few who push me to be better just by reading and commenting here, and they don’t even know it. Maybe it’s time to tell them, right??

I would love to hear how you approach goal-setting and accountability. Please share with us in the comments.

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Now we have one more bit of business before we get to this week’s Main Crush Monday party. What business, you ask?

Oh yeah, that business! First though, I want to welcome all new followers. THANK YOU for following along! I hope you find inspiration here, on Instagram and Facebook and enjoy going on this crazy quilting/blogging journey with me.

Congratulations to Esther G! Esther is the winner of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway and will receive a $20 gift certificate to Fort Worth Fabric Studio. Esther, I have emailed you!

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Now, because this post is so long already we’ll get right to the linky party. What has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? Are you working on last minute Christmas gifts? Or has a special project distracted you (like me!) Please share!

You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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