How Many Quilt Books Do You Have?

How many quilt books are in your library?

It’s getting to that time of year again. My birthday is next week, and I often treat that day as my own personal New Year.

I used to use the transition as a time to make resolutions. But that changed a few years back (turning 60 will do that to you), and now I issue myself a challenge, something that will push me to grow over the year.

I’ve already decided on one challenge, drawing once a day. I’m doing this with a friend who knows that this is a skill that I’ve long wanted to foster. Still not sure I’ll show anyone what I do—hmm, except maybe for the first and last pieces I make, just to see what happened.

But I want to do something in the quilting arena as well, something to push myself. However, it has to have a practical application (I am a Taurus, after all), and I think I’ve got it.

I have a lot of quilt books, collected from many different sources over the years. I look at them, sometimes just because, sometimes for ideas, sometimes as a reference on a technique. I also collect design ideas from the web that may or may not be quilt-related. I also have a number of patterns, though this number is smaller than the number of books.

So here’s my idea: Use them.

Instead of just letting them sit on my shelves and collect dust, I organize them and use them to challenge myself to try new blocks, new techniques, figuring out how to make a design idea manifest.

I have a week before this will begin, and there’s my UFO pile to complete. But that can be a source of challenge as well as I push my machine quilting skills.

I find this type of challenge makes me eager to add a new year to my life. It’s not a matter of getting older. It’s a matter of attitude.