Monday, December 31, 2018

Best of 2018

Cheryl Brickey from Meadow Mist Designs is once again hosting the Best of 2018 Linky Party, and I almost didn't join in this year, but after seeing everybody else's posts, I decided it would be fun to come up with my own top 5 list.

Most Viewed: Beach Retreat

Beach Retreat is a quilt I made for Kelly Young from My Quilt Infatuation's blog hop to promote her book Stash Statement. It was so fun to play with improv in a controlled setting, and I love the quilting ideas I did for this quilt!

Most Commented: Postage Plus

Postage Plus is a quilt I made for the blog hop promoting Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander's book, Modern Plus Sign. I really really loved using all the hot pinks in this quilt! Figuring out how to quilt the background was challenging, but I'm super happy with how it turned out.

Most Challenging: Feathered Star

Feathered Star is a quilt along that Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts hosted over the summer, and despite a lot of apprehension, I decided to give it a shot. It's definitely one of the biggest challenges I've done, and I felt like I held my breath as the quilt assembly came together because I was never sure it was going to work. But ... I did finish the top and it turned out pretty well!

Favorite Top: Cityscape

Another quilt along I participated in over the summer is Tula Pink's City Sampler quilt hosted by Angie Wilson of Gnome Angel. This was a huuuuge quilt along on Instagram with daily posts and tons of participation, and I decided to work on two quilts simultaneously. Of the 2 tops I ended up with, they're both among my top favorite projects of the year, but if I have to pick one, I have to pick Cityscape. It's just a little more me. (The other one is Trellis.)

Favorite Finish: Skyways

I'm very surprised myself that I picked Skyways as my favorite finish of the year. But I fell in love with the inspiration of the machine quilting design, which is a futuristic city with all these pathways intersecting in the air above a lush landscape, and given the fantasies in my head of living in some place like this some day, I have to pick this quilt as my favorite finish of the year!


Thanks for visiting, and thanks especially to Cheryl for hosting this linky party!

Goodbye 2018!

It's the end of the year, and I just couldn't resist writing a summary post. It's so fun to look back on the year and see what I managed to do. Overall, it was a pretty exciting year, and I don't think it will be easy to top this one!

In Numbers

Completed quilts (throw size and up): 19
Runners, minis & mugrugs: 4
Charity quilts: 8
Bags & accessories: 7


  • In February I went to QuiltCon in Pasadena and met my quilting idol, Angela Walters. To say she changed my life would be an understatement!

  • I finished my longarm room so now it's a beautiful, airy, and bright studio. It does seem to attract spiders so I have to vacuum often, but otherwise, it's wonderful and I feel so blessed to have it.

  • My quilt guild, Prairie Star, brought in some amazing teachers this year, and I took classes from Karen McTavish, Tara Curtis, and Jacquie Gering. (I was also signed up for a class with Sharon McConnell, but I couldn't make it due to a blizzard that hit us the day before.)

  • I participated in 3 blog hops, to promote the books Modern Plus Signs and Stash Statement, and also my last year participating as a New Quilt Blogger.

  • I worked on some challenging projects that I didn't think I would be able to do. Among them, a large English Paper Pieced quilt, curved piecing, and a complicated quilt with lots of bias called Feathered Star.


    It's always fun to look over what I've completed and pick my favorites, and sometimes I'm surprised by my reactions. There are quilts that I thought was only okay when it was a top, but became a favorite after quilting. And then there are quilts I thought I would love oh-so-much, but got relegated to the back of the closet when it's done. But of the finished quilts, these 4 are my favorites of the year:

    Top row: Critical Sunshine and Urban Cabin
    Bottom row: Skyways and Tangerine Dreams

    But that's just for finished quilts. I found a lot in my WIPs list that I just have to share, because these are some of my overall favorite projects of the year:

    Top row: Candy Dish, Pick-Up Sticks, Supernova
    Middle row: All Stars, Postcard Row, Feathered Star
    Bottom row: Trellis, Cityscape, Lantern Lane

    Each one of these is very special to me, but I can honestly say that I don't know when I'll finish them. Sometimes, I think I enjoy the idea that they're there waiting for me to finish them, more than the idea of finishing and using them ...

    Beyond Quilts

    I love to make quilts just for the process of making them, but I don't really worry about whether they will be used beyond their point of completion (and photography). When it comes to bags and accessories, it's the opposite. I don't enjoy making them nearly as much, and I do it for the end product more than the process.

    From top right, going counter clockwise: Desktop Cubes, Retreat Organizer, Hanging Travel Organizer, Renegade Bag, I-Spy Pouch, and Grab and Go Laptop Sleeve.

    These projects are also a constant way to challenge myself and my sewing skills, as I tend to find them more difficult than quilts. And when they're finished, they sure get a lot of use.

    Achieving Balance

    Another change I made to my quilting life is that I decided to quilt less. During the summer, both my children were in summer school, and suddenly I had more free time than I've had in ... well, ever. I was ecstatic, and I thought I would spend all my time quilting. But ... I didn't.

    After just a couple of hours, I start to burn out, and want to do something else. That's when I realized that I can't just quilt all day, as much as it might have been a fantasy previously. It's much more enjoyable when I come to it in bursts, interspersed by other activities that I love. So I decided to get more balance in my life by dividing my free time between quilting and my other passions (yes, I have them!), as well as to more healthy life habits. It's been a few months, and I can say that it's been a very positive change.

    Onto 2019!

    One of my yearly indulgences is the Quilter's Planner. It's big and expensive, but it reminds me of one of those old Mastercard commercials:

    Quilter's Planner: $49
    A more organized life that allows more guilt-free sewing time: Priceless

    Having been a digital planner for most of my life, I wasn't initially sold on the idea of a paper planner, but now I really feel the difference, because it's just harder to procrastinate on paper than it is to do it digitally, since literally, it leaves a paper trail. Of course, the sheer beauty of the planner, the fantastic photographs, and the great projects it comes with is just the icing on the cake. I'm definitely excited to start using the 2019's Planner!

  • Friday, December 14, 2018


    Paradox is my last quilt finish (and likely last project) of the year, and I think it is a very good one to end on! When Zen Chic announced the Fragile collection almost 2 years ago, I squealed with excitement because I was head over heels in love with it. But then, when the fabric eventually arrived, I could not cut into it. It was just too beautiful.

    Around the same time, I saw Fat Quarter Shop offer a quilt kit called Paradox using Fragile precut into jolly bars. I immediately went for it so that I could get a beautiful quilt using Fragile but not having to cut into my bundle. (This would become the first of several Fragile kits I eventually bought ... but I digress.)

    This quilt was basically flying geese, flying geese, flying geese. I find flying geese tricky, but in this case, I had no choice but to make it as good as I can because I can't make them bigger and cut them down, as the precuts were already the right size. They seemed to turn out alright, though!

    Since this quilt is very very fabric and pattern heavy, I didn't need to quilt it to death like usual. The border is the only area I can really play with, and I put in a fun border design just for an extra touch of spice. I think it ended up being my favorite part of the quilt, though!

    The main part of this quilt offered a lot of opportunities to combine blocks, because the arrangement of the flying geese and the color placement created some interesting geometric shapes. I quilted feathers and a dot-to-dot design in chevrons, and did a flower in some of the diamonds.

    Possibly my favorite design in the block is this ferny feather design from Angela Walters. It's my very first time quilting it, and I'm happy to report that it's a lot easier than I expected. I love how it stretches and fills all the available areas, and I combined it with a geometric design on the bottom for some contrast.

    I love this quilt, and I'm so happy to end the year with it! Thank you to all my readers and friends for your support and lovely comments this year. I'll see you in 2019!


    Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, and Powered by Quilting

    Friday, December 7, 2018

    Minikins: Desktop Cubes

    Several months ago I was in Walmart with my husband and sister-in-law and I saw a little black / gold fat quarter bundle that I was immediately attracted to. But then the snob inside me came out and said, "Walmart fabric? Really?" But they were so pretty and shiny ... and pretty cheap, that I couldn't pass them up.

    When I was auditioning fabrics for making a trio of nesting Desktop Cubes from Sew Sweetness's Minikins collection, these immediately started screaming, "Use me! Use me!"

    I made 3 of the cubes, one in each size, because I figured making 3 is about as much work as making 1. Well ... that wasn't entirely true, but once the cutting (the worst part ...) was done, the rest of the steps I did in an assembly line style, and pretty soon I had a set of nesting cubes.

    Well, I really love them. Black and gold is one of my absolute favorite color combinations, and I think these are just so glitzy and glamorous looking. This is my 3rd Minikin, and so far I've been incredibly happy with all my Minikin projects. Previously I made a laptop bag and a vinyl pouch, and I use them pretty much every day. I'm sure these will get tons of use, too!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...