Monday, January 1, 2018

Year in Review: 2017

Happy New Year!

2017 was a big year for me. It was my first full year quilting, and it was completely amazing. I learned new techniques, improved my machine quilting game, learned what my limitations are, and the biggest of all ... I joined the longarm quilting club! (That, in turn, is one of my best decisions ever, next to taking up quilting to begin with.)

I made New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of last year, so how did I do?

1) Love it, Use it: I'm not sure whether I succeeded or failed on this one. On one hand, I did use up many fabrics I love. On the other hand ... I started a questionable habit of buying doubles of my favorite lines, one to use and one to look at.

2) Stash Judiciously: I think I did pretty well here. For the most part, I only brought home stuff I really loved. I didn't bring home something I was only feeling meh about, like I had a tendency to do last year. But I did buy a few more jelly rolls than I intended to.

3) Go 3D: Check. I made a few zipper pouches, then made a tote bag and even a canvas crossbody bag. I'm quite enjoying bag making, and it provides a nice little interlude between quilts. The great part about bags, besides their practicality, is that even with sloppy sewing, it tends to look pretty good!

4) Learn EQ7: I did learn some aspects of EQ7. Do I know tons about it? Nope. But I know enough to design simple patterns or audition fabrics, and for now, that's enough.

5) Attend a Guild Meeting: One. I attended one meeting. That counts, right? I joined the Prairie Star Quilt Guild toward the end of the year, and next year I should be able to go to more meetings.

All in all, not too shabby! And now for the fun part ... I get to look at and tally my quilts!

Lap quilts: 16
Bed quilts: 2
Wallhangings: 2
Charity quilts: 8
Abandoned quilts: Just 1!

Here are my favorite projects of last year. Believe me, it was really hard to make up my mind!

#3: Tokyo Subway Map

Tokyo Subway map was the last quilt I quilted on my midarm Chloe, my Sweet Sixteen. I love that it was entirely made out of scraps, and looking at the quilt brings up memories of where I got all the various fabrics. The quilting was improv, random, and I enjoy looking at it even if I don't think there's enough contrast.

#2: Think Pink

Think Pink is easily the most modern quilt I've ever made. With the improv blocks and the asymmetrical borders, I had no idea it would be so challenging to piece. Quilting it took longer than anything else I've ever done, because there was so much ruler work. But it was worth it! Ironically, everybody loves the filler quilting in the gray border the most, even though that was so much easier than the rulerwork. Some things are just more bang for the buck, I guess!

#1: Flux

Flux is my favorite quilt of the year, which is surprising because it's not one where the quilting is the main star of the show. The fabric is. But the fabric is so amazing and the design so striking that I don't even mind that the quilting isn't as visible!

One strange thing happened last year. Before I got a longarm machine, I always had at most 1-2 quilts on standby waiting to be quilted. But after I got a longarm machine, this is what I ended up with at the end of the year:

I'm not sure how that happened! (Maybe it has to do with the fact that I spend 3-4 times as long quilting something as I do piecing it ...)

I won't write up resolutions for this year, though. I have a ton of projects to quilt (obviously), and I have many, many more projects on my todo list. But my only real goal for myself is to enjoy the journey and not burn out. There are nights I'd rather play video games than quilt, so that's exactly what I do!


  1. Liz, I think my favorite is your Subway quilt. I enjoyed watching your work in 2017 and look forward to see what you do in 2018.

  2. You had a wonderful 2017, I can't wait to see what you create this year!

  3. What a great year you had! I love the buying doubles of a favorite line. Sometimes I think rather than a signature style I could go with signature fabric choices! Look forward to seeing what you do in the new year!

  4. OMG, you play video games too instead of quilting; I don't feel so bad now. I am surprised of your quilting backlog, perhaps you're piecing faster now too. Can't wait to see these quilts. Have a happy new year of quilting, I enjoyed our friendship this year.

  5. Great year! Can't wait to see how you quilt those tops. You are an amazing quilter.

  6. What an amazing year!!! You have accomplished so much and you are such an amazing quilter!!!


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