December 24, 2018

2018 in Review & Goal Setting for 2019

2018 in review + goals for 2019 by Shannon Fraser Designs

What a year 2018 has been!

It’s had some amazing ups and some really low lows, but that’s what life is all about, right?

These ups and downs that force you to take stock of what’s important to you and learn to navigate those unexpected waves. It’s a juggling act, but one that I’ve gotten better at navigating. One of the main things that help me is my attitude. I’m definitely a glass half full kind of person. There is so much negativity in the world, you sometimes have to bring your own sunshine. And one of the ways I keep my joy is through quilting and being creative.

And 2018 was definitely a creative year! It was also the year of collaboration! I have such love for our community and felt truly lucky to get to collaborate with so many amazingly talented makers.


2019 Goals & Objectives for Shannon Fraser Designs

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Here are some of the highlights of 2018:

My first main project of 2018 was participating in The Creativity Project hosted by Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios. Have you been following along? Kim had such a great idea and I’ve loved getting to know fellow makers better and meet some truly amazing talent.

The Creativity Project week #6 Shannon Fraser of Shannon Fraser Designs

After experiencing a loss at the beginning of the year, it was such a pleasure to work with Tamara Kate’s Joy collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. I truly believe that sometimes projects come to you when you need them the most. The inspiration behind this collection and the gorgeous colours were exactly the ingredients I needed to bring more light and joy back into my life. I also got to challenge my design skills and bring a modern take to the traditional log cabin with my Reverberance quilt pattern
The Reverberance quilt pattern got so much love that Michael Miller Fabrics reached out to ask me to make another featuring their Marble Collection that launched at Spring Quilt Market. That was super cool and totally unexpected!
The Pink Lemonade quilt and pattern both finally got made and released! This one holds a lot of meaning for me, so I was thrilled to finally share her with you, but even more touched that she quickly became one of your favourites too!

Baby Pink Lemonade Quilt hand quilted detail


I started another 100-day project, that didn’t entirely get finished! While it would have been nice to get her done, life happened. And that’s ok! I really try not to stress when that happens. It’s not always ideal but going with the flow is a key component of not unnecessarily stressing. Now that life is a little calmer, I’m in the process of picking it back up and look forward to sharing more with you in 2019.
Blogging is a fun and bizarre activity. You never really know what and how people will respond to what you share. I was thrilled to see so many of you share similar concerns in my Are You a Fast or Slow Quilter? A discussion on creative sustainability post. 

Modern hand quilted mini with caption "are you a fast or slow quilter"

The first half of 2018 was tough because I was working on so many secret projects, but that focused sewing time lead to some really fun projects, like having my first quilt pattern – Double Windmill - featured in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Issue 67. Not only was she in the issue, but she landed the cover too! What a fun and exciting surprise! My first magazine feature and she makes the cover. It’s an accomplishment that I’m still on cloud 9 about!
I was super thrilled when I heard my Tribal Diamond quilt made the cut for The 2019 Quilter’s Planner. I adore my planner, for both the organization and inspiration it brings, and pinch myself knowing I’m one of those designers this year!

Tribal Diamond Quilt by Shannon Fraser Designs pictured in the wild by Kitty Wilkin

A fun unexpected email while I was on summer vacation lead to a fun new collaboration with Karlee Porter from Karlee Porter Designs when she invited me to share designs for her new Honest Fabric company. It’s a whole cloth quilt option with a database of quilt designs ready to be printed for all your quilting enjoyment. And I’m beyond thrilled to have my designs included in this fun new venture. More to come in 2019!

The Irish Vortex quilt pattern also got released, which was a last-minute impromptu design that I thought of and immediately had to make! She wasn’t on my original 2018 plan and is a great example of going with the flow when the idea strikes. This ended up being one of the most popular patterns of 2018!

Pink and Gray Irish Vortex Quilt laid out on the floor

I love supporting my fellow creatives and their projects and I got to do that several times this year.

Briar Hill Designs launched their Bequest fabric collection for RJR Fabrics and I made the Bequest Modern Aztec quilt to help showcase their gorgeous blue and white collection. This pattern is in the works and slated for an early 2019 release.
I also got to support Emily Dennis’ new Modern Quilts Block by Block book release. This is her first book and it’s such a fun one! I love Emily’s modern, clean and bright aesthetic and that is showcased throughout the 13 projects in the book. I love the Figure Eight table runner I made featuring her Figure Eight quilt block. Such a good one!
On the business front, I also launched my own store front! This was a scary and exciting step to take and I’m thrilled to have taken it!


2019 GOALS

I’m really excited for 2019! I started thinking about what I wanted 2019 to look like back in the early fall. While this is not atypical for me, it is atypical of me to actually start writing down key goals at that time. I can see that being a key task I’ll start planning for annually. It’s making me feel so much less stressed about 2019 and it’s already helped me say “no” to certain projects so that I can say “yes” to what I really want to do.

I’m all for going with the flow and keeping your options open for new unexpected opportunities, but I have to balance that with keeping time for the things I also want to accomplish. It’s a balance and having it written down in my planner helps make sure I’m not over committing myself and/ or allows me to see if I can move a projects timeline around to accommodate this new opportunity.


And some of the first key goals I captured in my planner are the new quilt patterns I want to release in 2019. There are several and I’m hoping I’ve spaced them out sufficiently to give me the time to draft them, test them and release them. Pattern writing is deceptively time consuming, so I’m just hoping that by being focused I’ll be able to hit my goal.


While I may have a love hate relationship with social media, what I do love is the connections I’ve made with you – especially over on Instagram. I really hope to have the chance to travel this year and attend some shows, conferences and/or sewing retreats. It would be so awesome to have the chance to sit and chat over a nice hot cup of coffee. Plus, my hands will thank me for giving them a typing reprieve 😉


I’ve been working on a quilting how to series for awhile now. Different steps are at various stages of development, but what I’m trying to figure out is the delivery method. Once I figure that out, I’ll be sure to share more details with you.


I normally get this through my 100-day projects (2017 and 2018), but I want to bring this mindset to all of my projects. It’s really about focusing on having fun and exploring and seeing where I end up. Life is short, and I want to be having fun! So, that’s a key theme this year. If I’m not having fun, then it’s not what I should be working on. 


I think this will be an annual goal! I don’t know that I’ll ever get my WIP pile down to zero, but I would like to see it moving rather than stagnating and just sitting there taking up space. That’s what I love about participating in the Finish-A-Long series. I check in every quarter to see what I have and haven’t finished up. This check-in often reminds me of projects that weren’t on my radar. Plus, you get to see what other makers are working on as you encourage one another to finish things up. You should totally consider participating if you haven’t already.


I’ve already started making some changes, but I would like to continue streamlining my work flow. I have a sewing studio maintenance system in place (which you can read about here) and now I want to turn my focus to keeping my tools and notions to the absolute essentials. I’d also love to figure out a new fabric scrap storage system. I have one, but I think there’s room for improvements. I have limited storage space, so I’m either going to have to DO something with those scraps or figure out a better storage system. I’d also like to figure out a better interim storage solution for WIP. Sometimes I have a quilt top finished but can’t get it basted right away. If I don’t have a project already in the works, then it can hang out on my design wall, but more often than not, the design wall is taken 😉 So, it ends up draped over the back of the sofa. It works, but it’s not convenient. Maybe I should clear a spot in a closet and hang it? What do you do with your finished quilt tops? As is usually the case, more questions pop up then about this topic solutions at the moment. It clearly needs more thought! And I hope 2019 is the year it gets sorted out.

It looks like 2019 is shaping up to be a busy year! 

What are your goals for 2019? I’d love to know what you’re working on this coming year – share it in the comments below! And don’t forget to link up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl’s #2019planningparty

Here’s to making 2019 the best quilty year yet!



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  1. I'm glad you had some lovely things to celebrate to help balance out the lows in 2018, Shannon. Much love to you! I hope that you have a fantastic 2019, and I agree that knowing the big direction you want to head helps with whether a "yes" or "no" is right for opportunities as they arise. Thank you so much for linking up with the Planning Party!

    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne! Last year was my first time participating and it was fun to put my thoughts and ideas together before the New Year. Thrilled to see the Planning Party is still going strong 😉

  2. Dear Shannon, Loved reading your 'Goal setting for 2019' details. Could you let me know how you submitted the pattern for publishing into Love Patchwork and Quilting, please. I mean, is there an email id? I tried searching through a copy of the magazine but couldn't locate. Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Sonalee, happy to hear you enjoyed this post! I just emailed a general marketing email, but they also have this post on best tips for submitting an idea: Hope that helps!

  3. What beautiful quilts! Best wishes for 2019, and I look forward to seeing what else you will create!

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! Wishing you all the best in 2019!!

  4. You had a wonderfully productive year and it looks like you have a wonderful 2019 planned. Good luck with all your endeavours and thanks for sharing your glass half full attitude.

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Thrilled to hear my glass half full approach caught your eye 😉 Wishing you all the best in 2019!