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Goals come in many forms

For most of us embroiderers, our goals are to finish a certain number of projects within a limited amount of time. We may also have the shared goal of learning new techniques. But some of us are struggling to feel better so that we can enjoy our hobby or get back to our old selves. Some of us are trying to be cancer-free for 3-months, 1-year, 2 years or more. Some of us are just grateful for today and the joy it can bring.

Those of us who are blessed with good health often look for ways to show that gratitude. It can be displayed by helping others, giving monetary donations or contributing to a great cause. My daughter Janelle chose to run in the LiveStrong Austin 2011 Marathon and Half Marathon last weekend. She set a goal to finish the half marathon in two hours. And she made her goal – and more! She finished the 13.1 mile race in 1:56:56, in her very first half-marathon. Wow – what an accomplishment. The race is 13.1 miles but she ran many, many more miles preparing for that one day race!

And she wasn’t alone – in a field of over 14,000 there were celebrities, survivors, athletes and regular folks armed with a goal. Our industry was represented by at least two professionals, Ron Goldkorn, owner of Sew Much More in Austin, and Linda Rainwater, Baby Lock National Training Manager.

Ron Goldkorn, owner of Sew Much More

The biggest celebrity was Lance Armstrong – I happened to be at the finish line when he crossed, 8 minutes under his goal of 1:30. What a thrill to see him cross the line, beat his goal and celebrate his survival.

Janelle was touched – moved to tears – during her race as she passed hundreds of signs dedicated to cancer victims. She thought of those in her own life – her grandfather Pat Ward, my partner’s wife Helen Gardner, a dear friend of the Designs family Scott Moore, her aunts Sue Rowlyk and Ron Roche. She said those thoughts spurred her on to finish. I wish I had her drive and her athletic ability but I take comfort in the fact that I am blessed with good health and to celebrate that I ran in the 5K with my sweetheart, Pete Kutsopias. It was fun to participate and we too thought of those who are struggling with health issues.

I thought of how achieving goals brings a sense of accomplishment whether that’s running a marathon or tackling your first in-the-hoop project.

Whatever your goals are, continue to reach for them, you’ll get better with every step.

What new goal are you working towards? Leave a comment letting us know what your next accomplishment will be and you could win Stipple! Butterflies!   

Last week we asked what your favoite machine feature was.  The winner of the $100.00 shopping spree to Embroidery Library is… Alice McFarlane!

“One of my favorite features is the bobbin letting me know it is almost out. Gives me time to change it and start back to sewing or embroiderying on my pfaff creative vision. Basically I love all the features on my machine. Use the basting feature all the time when I am embroidering.”

Congratulations, Alice!

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  • Pam Duxbury

    My goal is to be able to wear a size 14 dress to a wedding on Long Island in October. I am a diabetic so losing weight is a problem. I have been unable to exercise because of back and neck problems for 4 years. And know I find myself in size 18s.

  • Anna Brim

    Thank you for the encourgagement of this blog. My intentions are to learn all I can not only sew but everything. I know that sounds like a lot, but you just can’t limit yourself. My love of sewing and embroidery will be first, but there is a lot to learn and not enough time, as always. Anyway thank you once again for the encouragement of this blog.

  • Barbara

    MY next goal is to loose a few pounds before summer and to keep on stitiching my way through spring !!

  • Judy Parker

    As I read your blog I was moved to 31 year old autistic daughter had a stroke last week…walking as a child didn’t come natural to took 2 years of hard work and determination for her to walk…now we start again…she is paralized on her right side…our goal is to see her walk again with the use of a single hand walker but as with any goal we accept what she is capable of…every we will strive to do our best to help her along the walk to cheer her on and tell her how proud we are…my quilting and embroidery has been put aside now for my daily trips to the hospital..the many phone calls to arrange for her to be able to be set up in rehab..etc…but I will pick it back up again…embroidery and quilting is my sanity…its cheaper than a shrink….thanks for sharing your amazing marathon and the survivors inspired you to reach them..blessings

    • eileen

      Oh Judy – your daughter is blessed with one great mom. My hat is off to you for all the care, drive and determination you provide for her. Keep up the good fight.

    • Gail

      Judy, My daughter is only 13- and it’s seemed like a lifetime. She’s also not typically autistic- PPD-NOS, but I always wonder if she’ll be able to be out on her own someday. I have to give you credit for 31 years of dedication to her. My oldest is 28, and I feel like I’ve been parenting forever! Like you say, embroidery and quilting is sanity- I think it’s the creative process in a life where there is so much that we can’t change or control.

      • Judy Parker

        Gail and Eileen..thank you both for your beautiful thoughts….my daughter is coming along better then they did anticipate but is still not able to use her right hand and is able to walk a little with the help of a prostetic and a single handed walker..the problem is she wasn’t cordinated before this..and now trying to use a third leg is very frustrating…my trips are still back and forth and she is about 2 hours away from me…we will be moving her to rehab this week but that will only take a half hour off my time….I enjoy reading the blog when I can and I am always amazed at the people on this blog…they encourage and inspire each of us onto new heights that we thought we would never see…Gail you too are a wonderful mom and you have great courage….I know what you mean about feeling like its a lifetime…and it is….but well worth the day to day love we receive…unconditionally from our children….blessings to you both….

  • Kandy

    My goals are working on a weight lost for myself and working on learning all I can about my machine to embrodiery with different types of fabric and new ideas.

  • Clara

    Several sewing goals this year:
    1) Learn new techniques
    2) Use fabrics from my stash!
    3) Complete current projects–stretch goal
    4) Participate in quilting guild charity quilts project (use fabrics from my stash option)
    5) Sew as often as I can. I agree with several writers–15 minutes to an hour as often as possible accomplishes lots!!

    Thanks, Eileen. I truly enjoy Designs in Machine Embroidery and will continue to subscribe.

  • Linda Machado

    To complete each 5D Challenge on the compusewwithjan on Yahoo to learn my software and I can say I just finished my first one and am very excited.

  • Vi

    My goal is to start and finish all the quilt kits that I have stashed in my closets, also to use my stash to make some more Hospice House Quilts.

  • Susan Spiers

    I battle MS everyday, I will be 60 this year & my goal is not only to celebrate that glorious day, but to always remember who grants me this grace!

  • Alice Luchini

    I have set myself a goal of learning my embroidery software this year and creating my own “modern art” designs. While doing so, I’m working out and working on my next 20 pound loss for a total, when I’m done, of 75 pounds! Woo! Hoo!

    Love your designs, Eileen!

  • Judy Craig

    We have lost a nephew and a niece to childhood cancer so anyone that helps raise awareness to this horrible disease has my heartfelt gratitude. I am a survivor of ovarian cancer so every day is a blessing and I will be 68 in a few months. My goal is to learn heirloom sewing so I can make my beautiful grand-daughter a dress for Easter. Then I want to learn to quilt. Wish me luck.

    • eileen

      Good luck Judy, you can do it! For heavens sake, you can do anything – you beat ovarian cancer!

  • marsha nelson

    My goal right after Christmas was too clean up my sewing room. It took about 4 weeks to do the remeasuring and reorganizing absolutely everything. The room didn’t need paint but I decided to do it anyway. Never had a pink room before. (Pale pink) Today I put up a cute, cute wallpaper border. Gonna clean the carpet and then replace furniture. Also making a new roman shade. I am so excited that I can’t stand it. I will love working in my new room. Congrats to your daughter on a job well done.

  • Jill

    I am working toward the goal of not expecting to accomplish more than I am capable of doing. I keep thinking I can make this quilt, do that embroidery, and still work full time. I have been trying to ease off on my expectations for myself and enjoy what I am able to do.

    • eileen

      I think many of us are victims of self-imposed stress, creating deadlines for projects that are too tight and too numerous. It’s a worthy goal to find balance in your expectations and enjoy the entire process instead of racing through it.

  • Gail

    My goal- achieve some balance in my life so that I can sew and continue to improve my craft. After working at alterations and the like, I want to sew creatively. I have a number of baby quilts planned, as there are a number of new babies coming in our church. Balance is a challenge- 4 daughters still at home, 11, 13, 16, and 18. One is on the autism spectrum. I’m learning that it is important for parents to care for themselves, and being creative is one of those ways I care for my needs. It just wants to ooze out when I don’t take the time!

  • Janet Recla

    My goal is to learn all about my machine as it has so much to offer. There are so many great features and I want to use the machine to is full potential. I have a creative vision and I absolutely love it.

  • Linda Coletta

    I have a deadline of March 20th to start and finish a teddy bear, a minky blanket and curtains for my daughter’s baby shower. Wish me good luck…..I’m usually always doing things last minute!

  • Karin

    Congratulations and THANK YOU to you all who ran & raised money to battle such a horrible disease! My goal is to get through each day with smile on my face, regardless of my own struggles & pain, and see if I can bring joy in some way to someone else or clean up my small piece of the world.

    Plus, I’d like to teach my puppy some new tricks, and I try to sew every day. I’d love to perfect my stitching and learn more about how to best use my new serger. Oh, and then there are the usual custom request deadlines – gotta meet those, because people are counting on me to produce something they need by their event dates.

    And, if, along the way, I should shed a few pounds, I won’t cry about that either! 🙂

    Thanks for all the encouragement and hope your blog brings!!

  • Cindy McCord

    My goal is to be the best friend I can be! My best friend Susan was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last October. We had many sewing days planned after we attended your seminar in San Antonio last September. Unfortunately, she got really ill about 6 weeks later and was diagnosed with cancer. We have not had an opportunity to sew together since her cancer diagnosis. Her birthday is next week and I am be making her a special gift which hopefully will put a smile on her face. Good heath is definitely a precious gift that no one should take for granted.

    • eileen

      Oh Cindy – I’m so sorry to hear about Susan. I was so impressed with you and your friends -you share such a special bond. Please send my good wishes to Susan and celebrate, really celebrate her birthday next week.

  • Enis

    Oh my word! I have several current goals. First, my husband is preparing to undergo a biopsy for potential prostate cancer. My goal is to show as much love and support for him that I possibly can — no matter what the result. Second, my youngest son is leaving for Army boot camp on 3/7. Same goal here — support and love. And, for the lighter side — I recent purchased 5D Pro Embroidery Software. I really would like to learn to use this program and all of its modules to their fullest.

    And, congratulations to Janelle and all the others who participate and contribute to all of the wonderful fund raising events in support of a cure for cancer!

  • Mary Kvam

    I just bought a Babylock Embroidery Professional which is totally new to me. My goal is to learn how to use it and to make a small picture to start with to show off to my husband for bragging rights! I just love colorful butterflies and was planning experimenting with different designs.

  • Lydia Kefauver

    My goal is simple yet quite difficult –
    To live each day to the fullest extent *I* can while always giving back more than I take …
    Found that my great-grandmother [whom I was named after] was so right … there isn’t a wrong way to give an extra moment to thank a kindness by giving one back! There are many days where I just want to stop, but then realize that sometimes a smile can carry a person for a long time …
    Thank you for giving to us Eileen!

  • Sue Anderson

    This past November I buried my mother after an 18 month battle with esophageal cancer. I also have GERD and am overweight. My husband and I have made a commitment this year to get healthy. My goal is to be in shape and off the GERD medicines by the 1 year anniversary of her death. We will also be walking the Rock n Roll Half Marathon, which occurs about a week after the anniversary of her death. My mother was my best friend and I miss her. I miss her coming up to my sewing area and watching what I am working on, our conversations and praying together. The last 18 months of her life were rough on Mom but she was strong enough to make it longer than anyone thought an 84 yr. old could with that particular cancer. This is my way of honoring Mom, our relationship and her strength.

  • Myrna Leard

    I am always impressed by the dedication shown by those who run in marathons, whatever the cause may be. Congratulations to all who participate!

    My priority goal for 2011 is to become healthier; lose weight and exercise more. I am happy to say I have been keeping my goal by losing some weight and doing some exercise.

    Another goal is to complete some embroidering/quilting that is waiting for my attention. I’m afraid to admit I have 53 projects either as a ufo or a kit and | won’t mention the numbers of patterns that are on my to-do list. I will only purchase fabric that is needed to finish a project I already own…..another goal for 2011 is to use what I have.

  • Lori M

    My goal is to try to get ahead in my sewing/embroidery projects this year. Also all my UFO’s. I’d love to have a stash of future gifts made up so I only need to make a few personalized one when the occassion arrives. I am out of work for the first time since I bought my first machine 9 years ago so I finally have time to devote to my hobby. My stash of fabic is huge and my secondary goal is to try to use up what I have and only buy what I need to finish a work in progress.

  • Bertie L Stringfellow

    My goal this year is the make a duvet for our bed using the pattern in July/August 2004 Vol. 27 issue of Designs, “To Duvet or Not to Duvet”, using washable faux suedes and satins with embroidery and stippling. I made a duvet for my grandson for college last year using this same issue, “The Little Cowboy Room”. I made a shadow image of his 6’8″ stature on one block, turned out very well.

  • marie zinno

    We are so proud of Janelle on her amazing accomplishment! I know some of my goals this year are work out more and eat healthier. Maybe the Stitching Sisters can do a race together in the future!! (I have never ran a race).

    • eileen

      Hey sister, as Janelle would say, “Bring it!” Meaning, you’re on – let’s pick a race, mark it on the calendar and work towards it. We can discuss it this weekend while we’re setting up for our next Stitching Sister event in Torrance, CA. Bring your running shoes!

    • Janelle Roche

      I am holding both of you to this. I will train you 🙂

  • Kari

    My goal is to sew something at least once a month (preferably new clothes for me as my wardrobe is woefully limited these days). I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have let “life” get in the way of my enjoyment (and sewing is a stress reliever), and I wanted to start small to make it work for me.

    • eileen

      This winter I made three new garments for myself. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the process and love the new additions to my wardrobe! One a month is a great goal – manageable and challenging!

  • Janelle Roche

    Hello everyone!!

    I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your support with my mom’s magazine. The fact that each of you have set a goal is already amazing and it is the first step to achieving it. I know for me, setting the date was the wake-up call I needed to push hard and finish my half-marathon. I am truly blessed that I have been given this ability to run and that my family and friends are so supportive.

    One of my dad’s favorite quotes is “you will always miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” So get out there and don’t let anyone/anything tell you that you can’t meet your goal! Good luck to each of you!

  • Mary L Haggenmaker

    I recently got a new Designer Diamond. I had been using a Designer 1 for the past 10 years. There are so many great new features on the Diamond and my goal is to learn them all including embroidering with the Majestic hoop.

  • Donna Viar

    Due to the illness of a family member, my goal right now is to add stability to the lives of three precious young girls. My sewing adds peace to my life and I know it is always waiting to give me comfort when I need it.

  • karen trott

    Your daughter’s mission is inspiring, and such a tribute to the goodness of humanity.
    Women like her are our future and it comforting to see such capable hands holding it.

    • Janelle Roche

      Thank you so much Karen! That is so sweet of you to say. I will think of this whenever I am training and it becomes almost too difficult to continue. Your words are inspiring. Thank you!

  • Carol Seavitt

    Wow — thank you for sharing in your daughter’s accomplishment. Those of us with cancer LOVE to hear of other’s support. For me and goals? Just to be happy and keep love in my heart in all I do. Right now the short term goal is to put names on 30 girls basketball goodie bags. Oh what fun! Embroidery makes my life so wonderful.

  • Becky

    My goal is to save up enough to quit my full time job and be involved with full time volunteer work. I’ve been working toward this goal for many years and I see an end in sight finally. I have some friends just learning to sew also and I hope to help them grow their love for sewing.

  • Margaret Pepper

    Right now my goal is to make a success of my shop I just opened on I have been wanting to work for myself for a long time and I am working hard to make it a success. My shop is I sell products I have made for babies: Stroller Blankets, Burp Pads, Paci-Pods. I am adding new things all the time, so I am embroidering and sewing all the time. It is immensely enjoyable and rewarding.

  • Cathy

    My goal right now is to get the basement finished for our son, his fiance, and the baby on the way. Then goal # 2 is to take his old bedroom and turn it into my new embroidery and sewing room. A place just for me, some where to escape to with a big DO NOT DISTURB sign on it so I can get back to my projects.

    • eileen

      Hi Cathy – Make it a pretty Do Not Disturb sign – full of color and applique letters (or something that suits your fancy) so your family will smile AND hesitate before knocking on your sanctuary door!

  • Betsy

    My goal is to cook healthier meals, dust off the treadmill and use it….so I can enjoy many more years with my family and my passion, sewing!

  • Rhonda L Gillette

    I have MG (Myasthnia Gravis) coupled with a type of vertigo that comes and goes. These past few days my vertigo has been really bad so I’m struggling to just get done what I can. I gave up on deadlines and just take it one day at a time. Thanks for the information. : )

    • Charisse Leblanc

      Hi! Rhonda
      I too was diagnosed with MG. I am very fortunate that my symptoms are not that bad,though I have experienced vertigo myself. I have been going to my chiropractor for adjustments every other week. He recently introduced my husband and I to the HCG diet. We started Jan 21 and we both lost 30 lbs. We have been married for 30 yrs. With just this little weight lost, my symptoms are almost gone. I still have a ways to go,but I feel like I can finally do it. Glad to talk to someone else withMG.

  • Charisse Leblanc

    Miss Eileen, I have to know who the manufacturer is on the article in your magazine with the jean dress. It is so stylish! I want to buy the Urban trends,however they didn’t
    list a JEF format. I have a Janome embroidery machine

  • Carol Haley

    I sew for my neighbor’s daughter, who mentors young mothers through their pregnancy and the first 2 years of the baby’s life. We make a set for each mother; receiving blanket, tote bag, bib, and burpie. I try to squeeze in my own fun projects in between. I love my embrodiery machine, Brother ultie. I love embrodiering the hem of pillowcases that I make for babies and also for adults.

  • Tips

    Hey there! A professional in my Myspace and facebook group propagated this website along with us so I visited give it a look. I’m most definitely enjoying the tips.

  • Lucy Anderson

    I am working on the trapunto table runner in Machine Embroidered Quilting and Appliques. I have rescued some gorgeous Japanese theme print from a UFO that has been “resting” for 4+ years and plan to make the Scallop tote. Then I’ll take a break from embroidering to make a bedskirt to go with my new white Matelesse bedspread.

    I look forward to being with you in Utah for the Stitching Sisters…I’m coming to visit my daughter who lives in SLC. I had so much fun on the cruise last year that I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity. Besides, I still need practice with continuous embroidery…h

    Congratulations and best wishes to you and Pete. Happy Wedding…
    Love, Lucy Anderson

  • gwendolena1

    I have lots of Goals one of them is to get into remission with MS and PTSD(a life long companion for all who have it). The combination of the two, culminating in a definite diagnosis of MS 18 months ago, left me shattered. With stress being a family dynamic ( I have a beautiful family) for a few years I had not left my room for a very long time , going out terrified me.ALL I could think about was sewing and quilting (new) and machine embroidery; A Very Old Passion, sew where was I, I bought a futura 250 and there it sat until last week .
    Goal numbers !1 and 2 Get up 2 sew.
    done it done it done it done it , YAHOO.
    my strength is coming back (painfully), as whilst I am on the blog list I listen to the Golden Oldies and dance on the chair , now standing up with my walker , now standing on one leg is possible!
    Tomorrow is always another day packed with stuff….I can’t wait to get to…A Great Big Sloppy Kiss to all of you your blog has encouraged me .
    Keep your fingers crossed
    Bucket list
    number one turning out great on the bucket list, my daughter is having number 5 child , so a piece of pre qilted material (from her crib as a baby) is turning into my first piece of sewing . Had fun remembering all the things I had forgotten with the tee shirts…specially the strappy one ! hurp hum (clears throat guiltily)