Friday, December 28, 2018

A quilty good year

Hi all, and welcome to the last Friday of 2018!  How is that even possible? What a year this has been, with some very high "ups" and some very low "downs." For our family, this has been a wonderful year of being with our children, giving thanks for our siblings and parents, and watching our amazing grandchildren grow and learn.  I am convinced they are smarter and more advanced than their parents were! In the sewing room, there were lots of ups and downs, too, but overall it was a fun year with lots of progress and many pretty things.  Let's take a short look back before 2019 takes over, shall we?

According to my handy-dandy quilt tracker Excel spreadsheet, I had 28 quilty finishes this year.  Wait, what? That can't be right.  Yep, it is! Many of these were previously pieced tops that I quilted up as I learned to use the walking foot to do my own quilting.  By far the most popular posts this year were centered on the Squared Away quilt along:


This is a quilt along that I did this year with Angela of soscrappy, and it was a lot of fun! I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's quilts and I'm looking forward to getting my own quilted up really soon.


All of the block tutorials and instructions are still available HERE.

Usually I can never pick a favorite quilt, but this year I finished one that will likely be one of my favorites forever:


This is a quilt I call Grandma's quilt, because it's a copy of a block that was made by my great grandmother.  I touch this quilt every day and it makes me happy every time.  I think it might make her happy and a little proud, too.

This year I also achieved something of a milestone-- I had two quilts that went to national quilt shows! 


Misfit Toys was shown at the AQS show in Virginia Beach, and It's Complicated is already off and will be hanging at the Road to California show in January.  Funny story-- all of the Road to California emails went to my spam folder, and I found out that my quilt was selected by accident.  Thankfully, there was still time to get the quilt sent!  Shows were never really a goal for me, but so far it's fun and I'm pretty happy about it!

This year I also made some special baby quilts:


Mountain baby went to the daughter of a dear friend for her first child and my friend's first grandchild (an incredibly adorable little boy!)


 Family of Three was a gift to my own younger daughter for her first baby girl, who is coming in January.

I made few doll quilts:


These were for the Share the Love event for A Doll Like Me, sponsored by my friend Bernie.

I made a T-shirt quilt:


And some free-pieced churches:


And I also seemed to have a thing for stars:

Falling Stars
Scattered Stars

And then the year finished with two happy quilts for my twin grandkids:


Two of a Kind

Overall, this has been a wonderful year and I'm so happy with how everything has turned out.  Thanks to all of you for coming along for the ride.  I really value this supportive and happy community, and I hope you'll all come back in 2019.  I always enjoy reading about your adventures and I hope you enjoy mine as well.  It can get a little crazy sometimes, and it's definitely messy, but it's still fun!

Small stuffies

I'm continually surprised by how fast the time passes, but I'm sure that 2019 will be our best year yet! I've got some fun things planned, and I know you do, too.  Wishing you full bobbins, tangle-free thread, happy fabric, and a creative and happy 2019!

Expecto quiltonum!

Sharing at Meadow Mist Designs for the Best of 2018 party, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Let's Bee Social.

https://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/2018/12/best-of-2018-linky-party.html

Friday, December 21, 2018

Two of a kind

Hi all! So, has everyone out there finished shopping, baking, and mailing?  Ha, ha-- I'm making myself laugh!  Is it ever finished?  At least this year I'm having a little more fun with it than I usually do and trying hard not to get stressed.  Hard to maintain that attitude in the grocery store, but I'm trying!

Today I'm showing off my last finishes for 2018.  After this, I'm closing the door to the sewing room so I don't see the mess in there and just enjoying the next couple of weeks.  I wasn't going to post this until after the holiday, but then I remembered that babies don't read blogs, so:


Ta-da!  These are the two quilts I made for my twin grandchildren for Christmas.  They didn't get quilts when they were born, so they are getting them for Christmas.  Don't worry, their older brother has plenty of quilts!  He's not being left out at all.


Both of these quilts are made of leftover pieced blocks alternated with large blocks of happy fabrics.  Let's look at the pink one first:


I love this quilt so much that if it weren't for my granddaughter I'd be tempted to keep it myself!  The pieced blocks were in the closet, and six of them were in a small top, with two other blocks pieced and parts that looked like they were just shy of another block.  I was confused, but I was able to look back to 2014 (!!!) when I made the top and discover that I'd need to piece together the remaining fabrics to make the remaining pieces for the last block.  Do that, or take the eight finished blocks and make them into a quilt for a tiny girl?  Hand me the seam ripper, because we're repurposing!  Easy choice!
 

I love the blue quilt, too! This quilt uses the remaining 15-inch blocks from the Squared Away project.  I had eight, which was just enough, and alternated them with a fun animal print.  I think they look great together and will be just right for a small boy. And I'm really fond of that turquoise binding, too.  The pink quilt is quilted with wavy lines, and this one is quilted in a cross-hatch that turned out smaller than expected, but is still cozy.

Much like the twins themselves, the backings for these quilts coordinate, but do not "match:"


Aren't those fun?  These are from the Modern Tykes line in two different colorways.  I think they're perfect!  The quilts finished in pretty good sizes-- the blue quilt is about 60 by 75, and the pink quilt is slightly bigger at 64 by 79.  This is just because the pink blocks were 16 inches and the blue ones were 15 inches.  They're equal in cuteness, though!

This Christmas my daughter in law asked for personalized gifts, especially for the twins, so these quilts include their names.  That's why I can't hang and show the whole thing-- I have to keep the tops folded over.  I can show you one or two letters, though:


Their names are in 6-inch letters and are appliqued on with a small zigzag.  I wanted to be sure that they wouldn't come off, so the zigzag goes through all layers, and I quilted over the letters, too. That should stand up to toddlers, don't you think?


These are wrapped and under my son's Christmas tree, and I can't wait to see them again on Christmas morning with some tiny humans chewing on them and dragging them around. 

And with that, the sewing room is closed for the year!  There will be a year in review post next week, but otherwise I will see everyone in 2019. I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, or a happy holiday if you celebrate something else, and a chance for some rest and relaxation.  Have some cookies and some wine and just be with the people you love.  May your days be merry and bright!  See you next year!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Dreaming for next year

Hi everyone!  I don't know about you, but I am having a heck of a month!  It has just been one thing after another for weeks.  I'm happy to say, though, that I did get my grades done and turned in a whole hour before the deadline, so that's behind me for now.  I've done some Christmas shopping, but I haven't touched Christmas cards or Christmas baking yet, so I'm still behind on plenty of things.  Story of my life!  Really looking forward to taking some down time and recharging over the next few weeks.


Since 2018 is very close to wrapping up, it's time to do a little planning for 2019.  2019! Can you even believe it? It sounds like someone has been making up the calendar all wrong.  I already know it's going to be a good year because we are having at least one new grandchild, which will undoubtedly be the highlight of the year, and I know for sure there are a few other happy developments coming.


Last year at this time, I was feeling really stressed and made up my mind to have no goals for the year because this is not my job, but something I do only because I enjoy it.  I still feel like rigid goals are not for me, but I do have a few "fuzzy" goals and one big concrete one for the sewing room next year.

First up are the fuzzy goals.  These are things I want to make sometime next year, but I don't have a schedule or anything for them, or a pattern or anything much more than an idea:

An Easter dress worn by both my daughters.  Can I take scissors to it?  We'll see!

First, I want to make a memory quilt for myself from the baby clothes I saved from my kids.  I've saved a couple boxes of clothes for literally 30 years, and I've never known what to do with them, except that I knew I didn't want to get rid of them.  Now that I've made a T-shirt quilt, I'm ready to tackle those boxes and see what I can get from them.  The real test will be whether I can bring myself to cut them up, so I guess we'll see what happens.  If you've done this with your own baby things, I'm open to any suggestions!

Red and white

Another fuzzy goal is that I want to make either a blue and white or red and white quilt.  I always admire these and I haven't ever made one.  I only recently discovered that there are some reds that I really do like, so the shopping for this project might be the fun part-- or the frustrating part, depending on how it goes.


This big pile of neutrals is another goal for next year.  I really am over using beige as a background, so I need to use these up.  I'm thinking of an all-neutral quilt which is all about value, but I don't have a pattern or anything.  Just an idea that I think a quilt could be striking if I do it right.  That's the trick with all neutral quilts, though, isn't it?

My last fuzzy goal, which I might be able to combine with one of the other goals, is to make a real quilt for our bed.  What?  Yes, I do not have a pieced quilt on my bed.  It's all because we moved from a queen size to a king size bed and all of the quilts were queen sized.  There's a mishmash on the bed now, and while I like all the quilts, I really need to make one just for that bed.  Maybe the neutral quilt would be a good choice for that? 

Patterns coming for quilts like these!

So, those are my fuzzy goals, but I do have one pretty firm one, too.  Next year I'm planning to start a quilt pattern company and start selling patterns! I know, I left the biggest news for last!  I'll be officially introducing Academic Quilts sometime early next year, but for now I'll just tell you that I've got three patterns in progress and I'll be asking for pattern testers in January.  I'm very excited about this and really looking forward to it, and I hope you are too. 

So those are my plans for 2019, as general as they may be.  I didn't have goals for this year and it turned out pretty well, so I think 2019 will be a great year, too.  If nothing else, it will be messy and fun, with pretty and warm and colorful things.  And the fabric, lots and lots of luscious fabric!  May all of the cutting and stitching make 2019 our best year yet!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and Yvonne's 2019 Planning Party.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Reader's Choice Giveaway

Hi all!  I know, two posts in two days!  Not to worry-- this is just a short little post to let you know about a great event that my friend Bernie is running starting today over her blog, Needle and Foot. You will be interested, because there's a great giveaway attached to it!


Do you remember back in September, when I chose a bundle of fabrics for Bernie's shop, and then made this lovely quilt top from the fabric bundle?


This quilt is off at the longarmer, but I definitely remember making it and am looking forward to it coming home.  All through 2018, Bernie invited different bloggers to choose bundles, and then offered the bundles for sale.  Now that 2018 is almost over, Bernie is running a little "contest" to see which bundle was the favorite.  Of course I would like the bragging rights here!

This was my bundle from September.

If my bundle "wins," I would get a happy feeling, but you could get something a bit more substantial, because there is a big giveaway attached to the event.  Bernie saved one of each bundle this year, and she is giving away the whole set!  By my count, that's 62 fat quarters, though I may have counted wrong, but that's a lot of fabric!

All you have to do to enter is hop over to Bernie's blog post (HERE) and vote for your favorite bundle!  Bernie has all of the rules on her site, but here are a few:

            --one vote per person, so there is no stuffing the ballot box
            --voting goes through Saturday, December 15, with the winner drawn on Sunday, December 16
            --because of the weight of the fabric, this is only open to quilters in the US

Remember that my bundle was September, though all the bundles were lovely, so I won't hold it against you if you choose a different one.  And I sincerely hope one of you wins the fabric!  I get nothing from this but bragging rights, but imagine what you could create with all that fabric (or who you could give it to. . .Christmas is coming)

Back to the grades for me, but enjoy the rest of the week!  And good luck!