The Free Motion Quilting Project: What is Your Word for 2016?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What is Your Word for 2016?

Yes, I'm one of those people that picks a guiding word for the year. Or rather a word seems to pick me. Two years ago I followed a guided meditation and the word RELAX barreled into my subconscious like a freight train.

This past year my word has been CREATE and I've certainly done a lot of that! I've created far more in the past year than many years combined, largely by learning how to get out of my own way and allow things to flow with less need for perfection.

I've definitely found having a guiding word to be a great learning experience. It has helped me stay more focused on an overarching goal that could otherwise have been lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Sometimes my yearly word has been challenging.

I know Relax doesn't sound like a challenging word, but it actually was! I had to learn how to relax, which started with learning how to stop working all the time. I'd developed a habit for always keeping my hands busy which seemed comforting, but actually made me feel increasingly anxious. I had to learn how to be still and really relax and overcome my fears of not working and not finishing my projects.

So your word for the year can be a personal challenge. Or it can be a guide to point you in the right direction.

My word for this year definitely feels like a challenge. It's GROW.

Now there are a lot of ways to take this word, but I've decided to take it at the literal meaning - grow plants. Yes, I'm going to be tackling gardening this year with gusto!

Gardening and I have a love / hate relationship. I love landscaping - leveling the land, building walls, hauling dirt, and improving my yard. I like building gardens, but I'm not a huge fan of actually growing the plants inside the garden.

It seems every time I put a lot of effort into a plant, it dies. Or bugs eat it. Or rabbits eat all of the beautiful collard green plants I've just planted right down to the ground (yep, happened this fall). It just seems pointless and temporary when I could spend that time making a quilt that will last forever and won't require daily watering!

So this word is going to challenge me to lose my bad attitude, get over my gardening grumbles, and learn to embrace growing things with my whole heart.

I'm also going to focus on growth in other areas of my life too. I want to grow as an artist and to feel more confidence with drawing and painting. Just writing that sentence would have been unheard of a few years ago because I've never really considered myself an Artist.

But these days, it's hard to deny. I make things, many of them artistic, so I'm an artist now. ;-) It's high time I get over that hangup.

I've decided to challenge myself to draw something, anything, every single day. Along with the drawing, I'm going to record a little journal entry so each day my drawing will be sort of like a diary for the entire year.

I know setting this intention and following through every day for 365 days has the power to change my life. I've experienced it before, and I want to see where this leads.

So what is your word for 2016? Do many words feel right this year or do you have one word shouting at you for attention? What are your intentions for this new year?

Let's go quilt (or draw),

Leah Day


  1. Great choice of word. I am going to choose a word for 2016, for the first time. Here's hoping we can both apply the words to our lives. Thank you for all of the quilting advice and tutorials, as they are super helpful.

  2. I like your word. Mine last year was finish. I started strong, but fizzled in the end. So this year, I'm trying something old and something new.

  3. My word his year is rhythm. To find the art of balancing all the aspects of my life, with the occasional boom tish, to form a pleasing tap-along rhythm. To find my rhythm in individual aspects of life; my art, work, family. To get to a point where everything simply flows and the boom tithes are purposeful rather than throwing me off.

  4. I have two words for the new year. Self Worth. I'm currently suffering from mental health issues and feel that these two simple words are going to help me. I'm going to cover my journal with them hand stitched on. Thank you for your inspiring words and wonderful artistic talents that you share.

  5. I chose "patience" this year. I was doodling one morning, when out of the blue that word jumped into my head. It's a really hard one for me right now.

  6. Leah, check out my blog on and participate in my Word16 event. Great sponsors!

    1. Awesome! I'm definitely going to participate!

  7. My word this year is. Serendipity.
    I need to see and appreciate the surprising, happy outcome. Lighten up and allow my muse a little ( free will) I love the word... *Serendipity* such a happy word! I could use a more ( happy) path in 2016... Here we go.
    Happy New Year everyone! I am very much looking forward to it.

  8. Creative.
    I want to be more creative, take more risks and not care what people think about what I have created.

  9. I also do word a year. This new year my word is enjoy or relax. I just retired last week. Everyone is warning me about becoming bored/sedate/relusive. I don't intend for any of that to happen. LOL

  10. Leah, I am so glad to hear you call yourself an Artist. I have dropped hints wherever I can that ; 1-If you insist on the word sewer (sounds like a toilet)-please change it to sewist and 2-Please call your self a textile, fiber, or fabric artist. We should all be proud of the things we create, so please refer to yourself as a fabric or textile.

  11. My word (actually a phrase) is "Let Go". I recently made a job change that I didn't want to happen and I need to let go of my resentment over it. My other reason is for me to try to let go of rules when creating. I find that the fiber art I love best are those that went way outside the rules. It's like coloring outside the lines, and I need to learn to let go so I can do that.


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