Monday, January 1, 2018

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Happy New Year! I wasn't going to do a year-end post this year. Our holiday celebration really ramped up in the last few days, and now I'm feeling lazy today. But it's nice to have a recap of my year's worth of quilts all in one place, so here goes. I did this as a trunk show last year. This year I'm going to link up to Cheryl's Best of 2017 party at Meadow Mist Designs, but I'm also going to add my other finishes and a couple of unfinished items that I was going to link up to Tish's Adventures in Wonderland's Quilty Confessions party (sadly, that ship has sailed). 

First, the numbers: I finished 6 throw size or larger quilts (4 for donation and 2 for gifts), 4 wall hanging size quilts (all for me!), 9 blocks for community-made quilts, and 4 other items that relate to quilting, or at least sewing (a heating pad, a crossbody bag, a mug rug and a blouse.) I also made some Christmas ornaments--not really quilting, but they were fun handwork. Maybe I'll share them in a separate post or on Instagram

So, first the top five quilt posts according to number of views. (Frankly, I was surprised by which ones got the most views. I think it partly depends on what and how many parties I linked to, but it is a way to pick five after dithering over what and how to share.) The link for each is in the listing.

1. Fall Maple Quilt--Seasonal Mash-up Post

This is a pattern by Ruth B. McDowell from her book Piecing Workshop. I started it in August 2015 and then hand quilted it--mostly during vacations. I finally finished it in February 2017. I was surprised that it was my top quilt post (1034 views) because it's not an original quilt--except for the fabric choices. 

2. K's Quilt
My daughter asked me to make this quilt for a friend of hers who had just been diagnosed with cancer and was anticipating chemotherapy. It was definitely one of those urgent Drop Everything and Make It (DrEAMi) projects that Sandra at mmm!quilts invites us to share each month. The pattern is a variation of All in a Row by Leni Levenson Wiener. (967 views)

3, Hexie Finish
This is a donation quilt I made for one of my favorite organizations: Margaret's Hope Chest. It was donated to the Mother and Baby Program at Pine Rest Hospital to serve as a hug around a mother during therapy for perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. The most enjoyable aspects of making this quilt were sewing those giant hexies by machine and doing the wavy walking foot quilting. (943 views)

4. Tree Quilt

This "top five" was another surprise for me because I didn't post it until November 22. But it is a holiday--or at least a winter--quilt, so that probably made it a timely view. It is now hanging on my front door. It was one of a fair number of squirrels for me this year. I had a great time using some ancient scraps and doing dense FMQ to give it texture. (744 views)

My last of the top five is actually two posts, each with 652 views. 
5a. Homes 

These are blocks I made for the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild to make quilts for the families of victims of an attack on a Quebec City mosque in Canada. They represent a response to one of what turned out to be many disasters this year--either through violence or natural causes. There have been way too many opportunities for quilters to come together to ease the burdens of people who have been victims, but it is heartwarming that quilters do work in community even though we live far from and are usually strangers to each other.

5b. The Grunge Quilt
This was another large squirrel, as I decided to make it less than 3 weeks before the 40th wedding anniversary of my brother and sister-in-law. It was not without its challenges, but I did get it done on time. Strange name for an anniversary quilt, but that is all Grunge fabric.

Now that I look at these top fives, I see that they are representational of the work I do: quilts for donation to people with health issues or victims of disasters or violence, blocks for community-made quilts, gifts and little indulges for myself. Big quilts, little quilts, FMQ and hand quilting. So yeah, these make a lot of sense. 

There's one quilt I just have to share because it was one of my favorites. The finish post for it is next in line of my top views (627), It's Deconstructed Coins, an improv quilt I made to challenge myself to make a quilt without planning it all out ahead of time. I made it in conjunction with a challenge from Kaja and Ann of Ad Hoc Improv Quilters. It was a true joy to make, even if I blogged about it ad nauseum while I was making it. It was the quilt that I learned the most from this year and confirmed once again that it is the process that is most meaningful to me in quilt making.

Now for the trunk show of the rest of 2017. I made two other "big" quilts, both for donation: Quilt for Vegas made from Grayscale and Heart blocks from Cluck Cluck Sew and Quilt for California, a variation of Falling Triangles by Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Two more door quilts: Painted Daisy (a pattern in Pieced Flowers by Ruth B. McDowell) and Autumn Abundance (from a pattern by Soma of Whims and Fancies with my own borders). The autumn quilt was started last year before I broke my shoulder, and finished (triumphantly) while I was recovering.

I made 6 other blocks for donation to community quilts: Hexies for Manchester (to be made into a quilt for victims of a terrorist attack in Manchester, England) and Puppy blocks here and here (Lorna's Dog Gone Cute from Sew Fresh Quilts) for Kaholly to make into quilted items to raise money for and honor pet rescuers in Hurricane Harvey.

Finally, my other projects: a heating pad, crossbody bag for my granddaughter, mug rug, and (not quilting, but sewing related in a sew-along with Bernie of Needle and Foot) a blouse. I like the blouse, but not on me. I've only worn it twice, so it's destined to become part of a quilt.
So what's next?
I have 2 UFOs. Yes, only 2. Really, they are just long-term WIPs. I tend to finish things up, Boring, I know, but that's the way it is. I have my Lake Michigan quilt which I've been working on forever. The top is done and quilted, but I have to add hand embroidery.
Sorry, dark picture.
The other is my Hollyhocks quilt (another pattern by Ruth B.Mc Dowell in Pieced Flowers). I'm working on the hand quilting. 
These are both long-term, quilt-in-the-evening-or-on-vacation projects, so it will be awhile before they are finished.

I have lots of projects in-process in my mind. I have fabric set aside for some. My daughter is collecting fabrics for another. So we'll just see where the new year takes us. And that's my plan for 2018.

If there are any attribution links I've missed in this post, you'll be able to find them in the original posts. Okay, here's the link to Cheryl's party again, 'cause the link is way up at the top.

Have a great 2018 quilting year, everybody!


Cheryl said...

Wow! You had a productive and wonderful 2017, I love all of the projects! Thanks for linking up and happy new year!

Preeti said...

This is such a fun post, Janine. I remember some of the quilts and loved seeing them again. But I missed a few of these so it is absolutely priceless to have them all together here. I don't think I saw the Falling Triangles before. It is a darling. Your puppies motivated mine. Your Hexie quilt is a show-stopper. But if I had to pick just one, it would have to be the Deconstructed Coins. I am in love with it. Seeing that photo shoot with the sculpture has inspired me to step out of my backyard and look for more picturesque setting to shoot mine. You have been an inspiration to me, all year long. Lots of love and good wishes in 2018!!!

Bernie Kringel said...

Nice recap of the year!! It was nice following along with you on these projects - I didn't think you over posted on the improv quilt. That one took a lot of thought and it was interesting to read about the steps taken to get to a great finish.

You are right - to many opportunities for quilting for victims of sad or natural occurrences. But how giving of you to work for so many others. You have a very kind heart. Happy New Year Janine. :-)

PaulaB quilts said...

You certainly have a nice variety and can take pride in making so many donation projects. I love the Hollyhocks. Your process in doing the Coins quilt brings back memories of that challenge. It really stretched us. I haven't finished mine yet, still dithering about the lettering.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Claire said...

That is my kind of plan. LOL.
Some of these I remember, some I don't. Wonder where I was when they were shown the first time. I especially like the wavy line quilting on the hexi quilt. Claire aka knitnkwilt

Tish Stemple said...

Cheers to a productive 2017! You definitely had your quilting game going on strong with all these lovely finishes. It was so much fun to read and watch Deconstructed Coins takes shape and come to life. Hope you have a happy and wonderful new year!

Janice Holton said...

No, finishing things and only having 2 WIP's is NOT boring. I admire people who can actually finish things! I can't seem to stay focused and get too easily distracted by new projects. I'm going to try and avoid starting new projects this year and if I do anything new, they will be very small ones. I really love your improv quilt! That is beautiful!

Louise said...

And now I'm a little misty eyed about your many wonderful charitable projects! You have such a big heart and I think you instinctively are drawn to make something to give away, to be one of the Helpers in the world. And you do it with such bright, cheerful, fun quilts. I admire that so much in you! You're also very focused and thorough, following through and getting the darned things finished :) Here's to a year full of more lovingly finished and happily gifted quilts!

Mari said...

Oh, I recognize that little mini! Still bringing me joy! You had such a great quilting year. These are great projects, but the Lake Michigan one is my favorite. It's so pretty! I can't imagine what else you're going to do to it. Can't wait to see! Here's to a great 2018!

Linda said...

You had a very productive year! I enjoyed your top 5 and the trunk show - very inspiring.