2016 Goal Visualization Quilt

Another year, another list of realistic and unrealistic goals, another quilt to represent it all.

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

After my 2014 quilt I knew I had to simplify my designs if I had any hope of keeping up with a yearly series. My design for 2016 was a basic bar graph. Completion of goals is shown in percentages. For those items where I was able to surpass my goal, the bar goes beyond the 100% mark in a slightly different color. And one of the items didn’t make it onto the graph at all (0% completion).

Nikki Maroon quilted this for me. The piece measures 53” x 33”. Mitch Hopper took photos for me.

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, back

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, back

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, label

2016 Goal Visualization Quilt, label

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt

When I made my 2014 Goal Visualization Quilt, I thought maybe I was at the beginning of a series. I typically start each new year with a list of resolutions or measurable goals or whatever you want to call them, so why not document them in quilt form? I knew that I would have to really simplify my designs if I were to make this a yearly project, since my first goal visualization quilt took me 3 years to complete. So I set about planning this series, each year writing down my resolutions and then sketching a visual representation for each year. And now, four years later, I’m finally getting around to making the quilts.

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, 56” square

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, 56” square

For 2015 I grouped my goals into 5 categories:

Strength for fitness related goals,

Center for things related to spirituality and mindfulness,

Work for goals related to finishing art/quilt projects,

Family for things I wanted to make time to do with my husband and kids, and

Routine for some simple daily self-care habits I wanted to build.

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, label

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, label

I represented each goal as basically a box to be ticked. And X means I accomplished the goal for the year, an empty square means I did not. Even though at a lot of these boxes were empty at the end of the year, I still found it a valuable exercise. This process of “failure” helps me hone my goals each year and make them more realistic, helpful, and useful for me.

This quilt measures approximately 56” square. It was quilted by Nikki Maroon and Mitch Hopper took photos for me.

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, detail

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, back

2015 Goal Visualization Quilt, back

2014 Goal Visualization Quilt

This quilt is a document of my list of measureable goals for 2014.

 

The wheels started turning for this quilt when my husband Nate asked me one day, "Has anyone ever used quilts as data visualization tools? Like infographic quilts?" I said I didn't know, but it sounded like an interesting idea. I thought about what data I'd like to document in a quilt, and settled on something very personal, my New Year's goals. I have always been a person who makes New Year's Resolutions, despite repeatedly reading that they don't work, no one every keeps them, etc. I didn't care, I made them anyway, always hopeful for the self improvement they might bring.

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A few years ago I noticed an Instagram friend talking about her measurable goals for the year. More specific than the hazy concept of New Year's Resolutions, measurable goals have a number attached to them. I decided to adapt her approach. For 2014, I had 14 measurable goals. I assigned a traditional quilt block to each goal. (I picked 14 different blocks that were made from half-square triangles, just blocks that I visually liked). The idea was to make a block for each of the times I was supposed to do each task. So if my goal was to host friends for dinner 4 times in the course of the year, I'd make 4 blocks. If I met my goal, those 4 blocks would go on the front of the quilt. For goals that I didn't meet, I'd break it down into a ratio. For instance, I only listened to 6 audiobooks, when my goal was 20 (too much tv). So 6 of those blocks went on the front of the quilt. The remaining 14 blocks were pieced into the back of the quilt. And if I exceeded my goal, I made the extra blocks in a different colorway (red/orange/yellow). There is a key on the label of the quilt, so viewers can understand it, and also so I can remember everything. 

 

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This quilt has a lot of tiny piecing and a lot of piecing in general. While I started it in 2014 when I was actively trying to accomplish all these measurable goals, it took until 2017 to finally finish it. Nikki Maroon quilted it for me, and Mitch Hopper helped me design the label, which I then printed on Spoonflower. Mitch Hopper also helped me take pictures of the final product. This quilt measures 53"x78". I was happy to have it accepted into the juried show at QuiltCon 2018.

The finished top

The finished top

Completed quilt

Completed quilt

Quilt label and key

Quilt label and key

Quilting detail

Quilting detail

Complete back

Complete back