January 2023 Update Blog


A very Happy New Year to you!

I can’t quite believe it, but somehow 2023 has arrived. 2022 was not a great year!

Between stress, illness and work taking over my life, quilting well and truly took a back seat to everything else.

I had such high hopes for 2022 to be a fantastic year, and it just wasn’t meant to be, but I am confident that 2023 will be better.

I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on 2022. I don’t want to beat myself up over it, it is what it is, and nothing more can be done. I want to see what I can do in 2023 to ensure the same things don’t repeat. So let’s look back on 2022 and try and smile 🙂

Reflecting on 2022

Work was one of the most prominent features of 2022. I unexpectedly lost my friend and colleague to COVID, and whilst grieving for her, it turned my work world upside down. In June, I was then promoted to CEO, adding to an already stretched workload.

To add insult to injury, we also went through our most significant changes and new product launch since we started the company in 2013, and my work days turned into 15-hour marathons as we dragged ourselves to the finish line.

Whilst I am CEO, I am still very much in the deep end doing everything, and I need to shift at least 70% of my workload to others so I can find the time to run the business and manage the team effectively.

I would love (and hope this will happen) to cut down to 3 1/2 days a week and then spend the rest of the time working on my quilting business, but we will need to take baby steps to get there. I’m starting with 1/2 a day a week in January and hope to extend it by 1/2 a day each month until I’ve cut down to 3 1/2 days.

All the best-laid plans for videos, patterns, blogs and other content just went out the window. There was no time for anything else, and any time I did have; I was exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was edit videos and smile on camera.

I got a few things published that had been prepared in advance, but it was a bust. Illness took me down for weeks, and I spent most of my time chasing my tail to catch up.

I managed to make 3 more UFOs in 2022. Two only came about because of my August Quilting Challenge that I hosted on Instagram. I made 25 the year before, so it’s disappointing, but I now have TONS of fabric to make quilts with this year.

I also didn’t finish anything of my 2021 UFOs and WIPS, which are now all UFOs 🙂

EDIT: I have just finished piecing one of three projects that were waiting to be finished. An early win already for 2023!

Let’s not dwell, though (too late, you might say!).

2023 Goals for my quilting business

I thought it might be interesting to share some of my goals for my quilting business in 2023.

I want to turn TCBQ into a side business that generates a bit of income on the side. I don’t see it replacing my primary work, but it would be lovely to cover my costs and make a bit extra to buy more fabric.

So with that in mind, here are some of my business goals for 2023:

  • Release 4 patterns for purchase
  • Finish and publish my “This is How You Quilt It” Book
  • Write and release 10 skill-building quilt patterns
  • Release a weekly video
  • be more active on social media
  • Write and publish a monthly update blog like this
  • Increase my newsletter subscribers from 800 to 3500
  • and launch a podcast.

I have tried to remember 2022 and be realistic with my goals, and I am hoping that I will reach and surpass many of them easily, especially if I can get more dedicated time each week to work on this.

Hopefully, when my 2023 review blog comes around, we won’t have the same record as we did for 2022.

2023 Personal Quilting Goals

Now you might wonder what about my own goals for quilting. All very well have goals and targets for my business, but what am I planning for myself?

I have thought about skills I’d like to master and quilts I’d like to make, and I have a few things I have come up with. I expect this will change and grow as the year progresses and my interests change, but for now, it’s a starting point:

  • Learn more about colour theory and colour placement in quilts
  • Try Foundation Paper Piecing
  • Learn to use a Longarm sewing machine and quilt a project using one
  • Learn how to make garments – including shirts and chinos
  • Make a monotone quilt
  • Master my sewing machine and learn how to use it better

I think there are more things I want to work on, but for now, I think that list is a strong start for 2023.

If you want to find out more about goal setting for quilters. I made a video at the end of 2021 that you might enjoy watching.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, my first monthly update blog for 2023. 2022 sucked, but I am looking forward to 2023 being a happy, fun year full of quilting and learning and less about working!

I hope your 2023 is a happy, prosperous year full of joy and quilting!

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👋 I’m Tom, lover of all things #quilting 🏡 Living near Edinburgh, Scotland. ⬇️ Follow me for video, vlogs and more