Sunday, December 31, 2017

Quilty Resolutions

    It’s always so hard to believe another year is gone! This past year, I only had one big finish— “A New England Album,” but I kept my resolution of not adding any more UFOs to my list! So now that I have actually figured out how to finish a quilt (instead of thinking about it, you actually WORK on it) I’m feeling bullish about more finished pieces this year. I pulled out a few UFOs from earlier years to make my Quilty Resolutions.

So let’s open the box!

    This is for a challenge in April, and is first on my list to be finished in 2018. I’m off to a great start— I promised myself that it would be pieced by the end of the year and it is. I also promised myself it would be beautifully pieced— and it is!

    See the dotted fabric in the inner three borders? It's the same fabric, just different colors and I actually pieced it so the dots align on all three. Who does that?! Haha. Then, check out the 1/8” inch appliquéd strip on the saucer. One thing I have really made progress on this year is my turned edge appliqué. Practice, practice, practice! I am going to add the phases of the moon...

   They are the size of a nickel!

  I have some really fun quilting patterns sketched including coffee bean plants, and anything and everything that is shaped like a circle— gears, the sun and moon, yin and yang and more. Sort of like a graffiti quilt. Going to start quilting as soon as I can get my hands on batting January 2nd. Hope to finish by the end of February.

     This, of course, is our San Francisco Stitch Co. Block of the Month for 2017, and my best hope for a show quilt next year, which now needs a ton of finishing work. Contrary to the photoshopped version on the website, this is where the real thing stands. I need to finish the setting triangles, stitch it together, and I have beautiful quilted flower borders in mind. The blocks are obviously formal bouquets, but the outside border is going to be a scene of wildflowers from up close, then faraway flower fields, right up to the sky, all around the edges. And I am piecing white on white pinwheels to embroider on. Over the top enough for you? 

     Unlike last year, when I didn’t know how well the Baltimore borders would come out, I’m going to write instructions for these as I go along— so you’ll be able to stitch them as well. But be patient with me! It’s going to take time. This one I’d love to have ready to show first at my home quilt guild show, Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod, in August.

   I will definitely get those two quilts done this year— so then it will be time to dig into my UFO box and finish up some others. Let’s go! Here’s my wish list of four more finished in 2018.

   After the bouquets, I am going to want something small, fast, and fun to work on, but I will still be loving flowers, so here’s a UFO from 2016. I took a class with Laura, (google her) and it was advertised as not requiring a sewing machine. ???  Well, we didn’t, and I never had so much fun in my life. It was all free cut, fusible applique. 
     To add to the fun, my friend Tere took a dying class at MQX earlier that year— we never laughed so hard as when we were on our hands and knees, rinsing the fabric in our hotel room tub.  As my reward, Tere gave me my choice of her custom fabric— and that is the fabulous, crazy background you see. 

   Later that year, when I tried to hand embroider the flowers, that was when my rotator cuff totally separated--not because of the piece, but just general wear and tear— that was NOT FUN at all, and I put it away: there it is with the needle still in it. But I would totally enjoy making a flying geese border and just throwing some colorful free motion quilting on that piece. It just looks so happy to me. Should be an easy finish!

    This is an older piece, when years ago I had digitized a Dungeness Crab in honor of my time in San Francisco. I wanted to make a larger piece with that embroidery, which I was, and still am, so very proud of. I also wanted to make a compass star. I stopped, for whatever reason, with two borders to go, and I now can’t find the fabric I was using. I still love the piece, and can just envision waves and shell quilting across the sand. Deserves to be finished!

     I really love zentangle drawing style, and obviously you do too, because my fruit sets always sold well (and yes, I will do more at some point this year) SO I started just making a fun, random quilt with all cherry themed ideas to match the embroidered block in the upper right. I made the bowl of cherries block, a block with ric rac that’s supposed to be the top of a pie, and the most fun of all was collecting cherry themed fabric, buttons, notions. This one has a sketch tucked in with it. And I’d love to finish it this year.

Those three pieces are all small, and very do-able... but now we’ve reached the bottom of the box and there’s something that needs a lot of work!

    Here’s my most GUILTY PLEASURE that I love to work on. Yes, I am a hopeless Lori Holt fan, and even though my conscience tells me I should be working on original art, this comes out from time to time.
   The history is, that I bought the Farm Girl Vintage book when it came out 3 or 4 years ago, and I greatly enjoyed teaching my daughter how to piece the blocks. One summer especially, we made most of these, right before she left for college. Now, I got her to the point where she was a great piecer, but as it turns out, quilting isn’t really her thing, and it took me time to “get over it,” and I put it away. So I am totally over it, but I’m on my own now— I would still LOVE to finish this for her, as a memento of a special time we spent together. It’s called OUR HOUSE because many of the blocks had special meanings for us, like the baking set and the camera. I can just see it all completely machine embroidered with tons of cute details. 

 And just because that’s not enough work, I discovered the Chuck Nohara quilt— (google it after you google Laura Waslowski) and decided I want to finish it with tiny Xs and Os in the border, like hugs and kisses. So I'd need about 500,000 border pieces. And maybe I need more like 100 blocks for the best look! So this still has a lot of work to go, but I’d love to just advance it this year.

   What are your quilty resolutions? Pull out one today, and take a picture of it! You might just surprise yourself a year from now, if you actually work on it, instead of just thinking about it— and trust me, 2018 is gonna fly!

Happy New Year!



  1. I "resolve" to "catch up" on my San Francisco Stitch Co. projects this year. I think I'm so far behind, I'll NEVER catch up, LOL.

    Happy New Year!!! And, looking forward to more inspiration.

    1. Happy New Year, Dottie-- forget embroidery--your job is to keep the travel photos coming! XOX to all your gang.

  2. Love reading your blog. So very talented, funny and inpirational to the rest of us who so enjoy your embroidery designs and quilting projects. This makes me walk to my guest room closet where two unfinished quilt tops sit and all the parts and pieces to the Summerhouse quilt are waiting for my attention! Happy New Year to you and your family too!