It's a new year and the chance to plan your projects for the months ahead. But it can seem a little overwhelming! We've created a guide to help you get a balance between working on new projects big and small, finishing those WIPs and learning new skills.

A new year has started, and with it comes renewed energy for projects big and small, new skills and the chance to join the many sew alongs that are on offer this year. It can seem a bit overwhelming and also very tempting to do ‘all the things’ which ultimately means we won’t get them all done! So we’ve come up with some ideas for things to start (or indeed finish off!) this year and to help you plan your creative life.

1. Quick fix small projects

There’s no doubt that making quilts is wonderful and makes our hearts sing. But let’s face it, they take a long time. So why not write a list of some small projects that you want to make. Not only is this often a great way to use up scraps, but you can learn new skills on a smaller scale, make gifts for people and have that lovely warm fuzzy feeling that you get from finishing a project, without the time commitment of a quilt. If you’re looking for ideas, why not make some of the small projects from the 2021 Quilter’s Planner. We’re having a very relaxed sew-along over in our private Facebook group, making one of the projects from the planner each month, starting with this gorgeous mini wall hanging designed by Karen Lewis.

2. Join a Sew–Along

You will no doubt have seen many sew-alongs popping up on social media at this time of year, and they really are a great way to make a quilt as you’ll be stitching alongside other quilters at the same time. You can share tips, inspiration and even make new friends. We are sewing the Great British Friendship Quilt this year, and breaking it down into simple steps, so that you’ll have a beautiful quilt to gift at the end of the year. We’d love you to join in! Once again, we’re hosting it in our private Facebook group and it will be a nice relaxed pace and very manageable!

3. List your WIPs and prioritise which ones to finish first

If you’re anything like us, you’ll have a list of Works in Progress (WIPs) as long as your arm that need finishing. Use your planner to help you. Write them all out in your Projects-at-a-glance page in order of priority that you want to get them finished and check off each section as you complete it. This will help you keep focused and motivated to get things finished.

4. Expand your quilting skills

Is there a new skill that you want to have a go at? Why not sign up for a workshop – there are lots of online ones these days, or purchase a book about it. Maybe you want to learn to Foundation Paper Piece, or try your hand at English Paper Piecing. Whatever it may be, have a think about how best you learn, and start small. If it’s manageable, you’re more likely to achieve it!

5. Learn a new craft

Why not consider learning something other than quilting – another craft perhaps. It could be knitting, crochet, or whatever takes your fancy. Sometimes it’s nice to have something small and portable like embroidery or Japanese Sashiko, that you can just pick up and put down, and stitch in front of the TV.

We hope this list has given you some ideas for planning your 2021 projects. Do share your plans and makes on social media and tag us @quiltersplanner so we can see and cheer you on!