Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Stitching together 2022

 Hello all, and welcome to the yearly wrap-up here at the Academic Quilter! If you've been reading along this year-- thanks! If you're new, welcome! Today's post is the year-end blog wrap-up, inspired by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and her Best of 2022 Linky Party. It's always a good time to look back and see what happened this quilty year, and look at some fun accomplishments. Come on along with me down memory lane. . .
(Clicking on the captions will take you to that post.)
For me, 2022 will always be about one non-quilty thing, but I did manage to get quite a lot of quilty stuff done this year. I finished 15 quilts and another seven tops, plus at least nine "other" quilty projects, like table toppers and a scrap basket, and heaven knows I started a lot more. (Why is starting a quilt so much fun?) That's not too bad, considering the last quarter of the year was pretty much a bust. Here are some of the high points from this year:

Biggest project
This year's biggest project was the Hands2Help donation quilt challenge. Our friend Sarah was unable to do it this year, so I took it over temporarily. It was a big project and ended up with 562 donated quilts! I learned so, so much, and made some new friends, and some great organizations got great donations. Sarah will be back for the next Hands2Help, and I hope everyone will go over and support this great project. It's so much work, so be sure to give her all the support you can!

Free patterns for donation quilts from many bloggers are still available! Check them all out starting right HERE, and follow the links for many great ideas.

Biggest coincidence

In a completely unplanned and surprising coincidence, I both started and ended the year with buffalo plaid quilts! 

A moose on my quilt, Icy and blue
I was really surprised when I looked back at my projects this year and found this coincidence. The moose quilt was a gift for someone and was the first post for 2022, and the blue plaid used up some fabrics from an abandoned project and was the last post. Look for more of these buffalo plaids in the future, too. They're fun and easy.

Most satisfying finish, over which many tears were shed
The most satisfying finish of 2022 was a scrappy Snail's Trail with a beachy feel:
 This quilt turned out great, but the tears were all about what happened when the tension on the longarm I was renting messed up and I ended up having to pick out a LOT of quilting. Several rows were like this:
Seriously, I almost gave up, but I managed to get all the bad stitching ripped out, remount it on the longarm, and then finish it off. There is a slight disconnect between the two stitching sessions, but no one will notice it but me. A very satisfying finish for sure, almost a rescue, and it used up so many blue scraps.
Favorite accident
Every quilter has accidents cutting fabric or stitching it, and the quilt above was certainly a very sad one. However, it was somewhat balanced by this happy accident:

Accidentally modern
This was an abandoned quilt backing for a quilt that was never finished, and I quilted it up more for practice than anything else. It turned out great! It's now hanging happily in my hallway outside the bedrooms, and it always makes me smile.

Brightest finish

A lot of my quilts use brights, though I've been trying to branch out this year and incorporate more colors and "feelings" in my quilts. I tried to pick the "brightest" quilt from this year, and was tied on these two that I really love:

Dinosaurs on Parade, Bold Choices
Looking at that bright, happy collage, you just can't help but be cheerful, can you? The dinosaurs quilt is from the Stay at Home Round Robin, a quilt along by Quilting Gail and friends, a prolific quilter and blogger who makes lots of stuff, and the other was a quilt I made to test the Synergy pattern by Sew Preeti Quilts. I love the pink background! I need to do stuff like that more often.

Donations were a theme

If this year had a theme, it was donation quilts. Between Hands2Help and other things, I ended up giving away a bunch of quilts, including these:

Clockwise from the big photo: Falling into spring, Cactus Flower, Beothuk Star, Cheerful checkerboard, HandsomeArabella's Garden
Oops, I see that a quilt I made for my sister-in-law snuck into the collage. It's the cardinals one in the lower left corner there. Oh, well! It did get given away, after all. Three of these went to Mercyful Quilts, which you can read more about HERE, and the others went to a couple of different organizations. I really enjoy the process of making quilts, and I'm even happier to give them away to someone who needs a nice quilty hug.

So there are some categories that pretty much wrap up this quilty year! Except I do feel compelled to add just one more:
Coming in 2023! My only goal for next year is to get these tops quilted up, and maybe to get the sewing room a little more organized. That's the never-ending story, though, isn't it? I'll probably also make a bunch more donation quilts, and I have a few ideas for the RSC as well. Looking forward to some simple projects that are easy to finish!

Chains and waves

This brings 2022 to an end. For me, it's a chance to turn the page and look ahead to better things, since the end of this year has been quite the beating. Here's to all kinds of creativity for all of us in the new year, and a 2023 filled with peace and joy. See you there!

Linking to Cheryl's Best of 2022 Linky Party. Be sure to check out everyone's posts for tons of quilty goodness!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Icy and blue and holidays too

 Hello all, and welcome to a very windy and wintry day! I know that a bunch of you are experiencing the same things, including in places where it's not usually so cold. Kind of bracing, isn't it? We had rain but not snow, then the front came through with blue skies and cold temps. It looks lovely, but it is quite chilly!

UPDATE: Posting from Panera! Yesterday, just as I was about to publish this post, we lost power. It's still out and is now 43 degrees in our house! Expected to be back on tomorrow by 3 pm-- Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to us! Everyone stay warm!

Today I have just a simple quilt top finish, and that will wind up the quilts for this year. It's time to get to the merry-making, you know? I tried to take pictures yesterday, but rain, then today it was wind. Ah, well, you'll get the idea:

This is the only outdoor picture I could get because of the wind, and you can see how it's pasting the quilt top to the bench. This is the simple buffalo plaid I made to use up the pieces of a a quilt that I had cut but no longer had a real interest in making. I made a table topper with the finished blocks and repurposed everything else.

These plaids are very simple but very satisfying quilts. They're easy and very meditative to create, and always turn out great. I had mine cut in squares from the planned quilt, so it took a little more time, but I know from experience that strip piecing makes it go very fast.

And that pretty much winds up the quilty year for me! It's a nice, soothing way to finish, and I hope to quilt this with some other small ones I have basted over the rest of the holiday. Plus, here's a sneak peek of another repurposed project that may get some love:

So many ideas! And you can see that it was blowing around, too.

All the best from our house to yours, and a happy holiday, no matter what you celebrate. Have some cookies and tea and put your feet up-- the best way to make merry!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting, Patchwork, Applique.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Feeling kinda modern

 Hi everyone! How are you doing these days? Things have not been too snappy here at chez AQ, topped off with a root canal and then final exams. Talk about piling on! But we're not going to dwell on the negative and instead we're just going to look at a nice quilt top I finished off this week.It's a little modern and a little different for me, but it turned out quite well and I'm pretty happy with it.

Here is my finished Solstice Sampler quilt top:

Yahoo! I can't believe I kept up with this sewalong and actually finished the top in a reasonable time. This is the Solstice Sampler organized by Alderwood Studio, and you can get the instructions and patterns right HERE, but only until December 31. After that some of the designers will be selling their patterns, so grab them while you can. 

I started this project to distract me from some of my troubles, but I'm really surprised at how much I like the finished product. Some of the blocks are very modern, but most of them are different takes on traditional. This top is just about 60 by 60 and will get a binding from that same blue if I can eke it out of the scraps. Also, I really need to use more batiks. Note to self: go fabric shopping.

Of course, I had to modify some of the blocks to make them fit my own feelings, too. For example, the original design of the block in the bottom left corner had more floating elements that just reminded me of the floating candles in the Harry Potter movies, so those had to go and everything else got shifted around. I like how it turned out, though, and it's close to the original.

The problem child of this quilt was the center star block above, which I remade because the original (in THIS post) just looked like a hole in the quilt. It was paper pieced and came together well enough, but it took forever (at least four hours) to make each copy of the block. So many pieces! Maddening. But at least it looks good in the quilt now! I saved the first one and am going to turn it into a small pillow or something, too.

So there we are, another quilt top finished! I have amassed a big stack now, so it's time to rent some longarm time and get a bunch of things finished up. Sounds like a good way to spend the rest of the year, doesn't it? 

Hope you all are doing well and getting ready for the big holiday that I would like to skip this year. I won't, but it's very tempting. For right now, though, I have to find a small rake or something to clean the carpet in the sewing room. There is thread and little bits of paper-piecing paper everywhere!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting, Patchwork, Applique.