Sunday, January 3, 2016

And That's a Wrap For 2015!

2015 Finishes
Looking back at my 2015 quilty accomplishments I feel a bit overwhelmed at all the quilts brought to the finish line, but also a nagging sense of 'is this it?' So puzzling as the time invested adds up to a whole lot of hours. What's with the 'is this it?' stuff? It must be the UFO's--the quilt tops that I would so love to see finished up and being used. Ah well. There's just never enough time in the day is there? Ten years ago I would have been bouncing up and down with joy at getting through twelve whole quilts, not to mention a little doll quilt and pillow {not pictured}! But don't worry, I'm still happy as can be. There's times I want to pinch myself just to see if it's real. Is this me? A true blue quilter?

Working on my Fire Quilt this past year, I actually gave myself tendinitis, which still plagues me occasionally. Who'd have thunk it? Quilting doesn't seem all that strenuous! But it happened, and luckily I caught it in time to not completely shut down my hand stitching/quilting efforts for the long term. I have learned to {ugh!} pace myself through the days and weeks and not go off on those extreme hand stitching/quilting marathons that are so tempting when a finish is right. around. the. corner.

So... the stats on the 2015 finishes. This is just something I like to take a look at--probably only interesting to me:

  • 1 doll quilt
  • 1 wall hanging
  • 1 baby quilt
  • 4 lap-size quilts
  • 6 bed-size quilts
  • 1 quilt {the doll quilt} was completely machine quilted
  • 5 quilts finished with mixed machine and hand quilting {4 using Perle Cotton for hand quilting, 1 with regular hand quilting thread}
  • 7 quilts completely hand quilted {3 totally using Perle Cotton, 1 using mix of regular and Perle Cotton threads, and 3 using only regular hand quilting thread}
  • 6 quilts in all {old and new} were gifted
I'm obviously working on trying to loosen up and be satisfied with mixing machine quilting with a bit of hand quilting. That was one of my goals for 2015 and it helped me end up with one more quilt finish than last year. Don't know how it's really possible to compare, as every quilt is different in size and stitching application, but it sounds good in theory!

And here's a closer look at my Big Star quilt, one that was finished up earlier in December when my computer was being worked on. The wintry outdoors made the quilt look just a little less vibrant than it actually appears, but my oh my, did this quilt sneak up and melt my heart.

Big Stars finish
I've had an on-again, off-again love affair with this quilt from the very beginning, but am absolutely thrilled to have it finally finished up. It's a permanent reminder to me to try the hard stuff and not give up. I was quite terrified to be sewing these big stars in the first place but while working on the hand quilting found myself touched by all the imperfections and mistakes I kept finding. Do you see them? Good, neither do I {from a distance}. But I know where they are and I'm charmed by them all the same. Because I did it. I won out over the little voice in my head telling me I could never sew this sort of thing. The mistakes are proof that it was indeed, a difficult project for me at the time!
A closer look
I also wrestled with the idea that I was cheating this quilt by not quilting more densely. It wasn't until the quilt was bound, washed and dried that I could more clearly see that this quilt didn't need the heavy quilting after all.*sigh  That slightly looser pattern makes for a much more cuddly, snuggable quilt--something I for one, am always striving for. Why do I even bother to doubt my instincts about these sorts of things? I haven't listened to the quilting police for a very long time. Which means, essentially, that it's been a  royal waste of my time to fret.

Moving forward for 2016, I fully intend to keep hand quilting with both Perle Cotton and regular hand quilting thread, continue making an effort to mix machine quilting with hand quilting, finish new quilt tops up along with older quilt tops so as not to have any sort of disconnect, continue to explore and play with improv. {figure out how to incorporate it into my quilts and make it part of my 'personal style'}, continue on with my love for applique {of course!} including other quilter's patterns plus whatever I dream up. I also want to keep trying to learn and grow, and more importantly, as Sweet P said so very well, keep having fun! Lists and goals are all very well, but quilting is supposed to be my happy place. Have-to's have a way of sucking out all the joy. Here's to another great year of quilting! The journey is never quite what I expected, but it's almost always much, much better than what I originally envisioned.

I couldn't end the year without also saying 'Thank You' once again to Tim Latimer. I credit him with giving me the initial impetuous {years ago} to be more prolific with my hand quilting via his very inspiring blog.









34 comments:

  1. you have certainly made some real beauties here and hand quilting them too. Like you I like perle threads but my quilts tend to end up in the flimsy stage think there are 9 on the pile at the moment!

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  2. Dear Audrey,
    what an accomplishment, your quilts are stunning and so many. Just to give you the picture, I have finished 3 quilts last year and there would have been not one more stitch I could fit in. You have made a lot of stitches to a lot of stunning quilts. The wacky flying geese quilt also cought my eyes, very beautiful.
    Greetings,
    Sylvia

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  3. Your quilts inspire me--truly lovely work...as well as your chatting about them all. Happy New Year Hugs, Julierose

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  4. A very inspiring collection, congratulations on all those beautiful finishes! Wishing you a healthy and very creative 2016!

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  5. Great finishes, gorgeous Big Star Quilt, love it!
    Best wishes for 2016 and thank you for all the inspirations!

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  6. Hi Audrey! These are gorgeus quilts! Happy New Year! x Teje

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  7. Yes, "pacing" has been my lesson too this year. Plenty of reasons to celebrate 2015, and much to look forward to in 2016! It may not always seem like it, but we really are living the dream. :D

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  8. You had a lot of finishes and it is always such a good feeling to have them isn't it. I too plan on mixing more machine and hand work together in order to save my hands - we that do hand work have to come to realize it is ok to mix the two mediums if we want to accomplish what we do

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  9. Thank you for sharing your reflections of 15, I am awed by your finishes & relate all too well to your thoughts on UFO's. Very inspiring, in fact I am thinking now I will hold back on the machine quilting planned for today & leave room for Perle cottons for my Quilty 365!

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  10. Oh man, I was drooling at your WALL of accomplishments!!Way to go! I cannot wait to see what you create and quilt in your HAPPY Place in 2016!! :o) All the best!
    P

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  11. Oh man, I was drooling at your WALL of accomplishments!!Way to go! I cannot wait to see what you create and quilt in your HAPPY Place in 2016!! :o) All the best!
    P

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  12. Another fine example of your quilting and your writing. Thanks very much for being an inspiration to me . . . and let's not forget to keep the fun in quilting!

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  13. Such a year! You always inspire me - especially to listen for my own quilting voice. Love the Big Stars! That idea/block has been a personal favorite for years. I'm with you on the "keep having fun" and don't let the have-to's suck out the joy. And BTW, did you know Tim Latimer's Super Power is hand quilting?!

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  14. Every one a beauty! I love your work, but you already know that:) Here's to a New Year of quilty happiness. May your scrap bucket always be full. xxx

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  15. Beautiful quilts! And such amazing accomplishments in one year!!

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  16. I always think your quilts are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, so that wall of work is right over the top. (I may have to go get my jaw reattached to my skull...)

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  17. An amazing body of work for this past year ; all gorgeous :)

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  18. What an awesome year of accomplishments! You should definitely be proud!

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  19. Wowzers! I am staggered by them all!

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  20. Glad you are going to keep hand quilting - the joy is still there! Love the stunning star quilt - another one that highlights your wonderful sense of colour. Thanks for a year of inspiration !

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  21. An amazing effort for 2015. I always love to visit your block and enjoy your creativity and honesty!

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  22. Oops....I mean blog not block

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  23. I love big star, too. The colors and border are especially wonderful. Congratulations on so many finishes last year.

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  24. What a wonderful year of accomplishments and experiences. Your quilts tell your story and it's a story of stretching your talents and skills and listening to your inner self. 2016 can be nothing more than more wonderful. It will be fun to watch where you head.

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  25. I'm so impressed! You made/finished a LOT of quilts this past year. And they are all so beautiful. All a little different, and all of them say "Audrey" loud and clear!

    I enjoyed your thoughts in this post too. Yes, we all learn to pace ourselves. A hard lesson, sometimes. But worth it! Keep doing what you do and don't worry about what you "should" do. (I have the same problem, so I understand) Quilting IS supposed to be FUN!

    Wishing you a very happy, quilty New Year!

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  26. You are amazing! Wonderful year of finishes - congratulations Audrey.

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  27. Oh my goodness - 'is this it?' As someone who finished 3 quilts in the year I find your output amazing and the best thing is that you have produced quilts that have their own particular voice. I love the colour palettes you are drawn to, your fearless applique and there are several quilts here I would quite happily steal given half a chance. Here's to the next year's worth of quilts.

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  28. Amazing! I have to quilt a little bit every day to keep my sanity, so why is it I don't accomplish nearly as much as you do? I totally enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for all your inspiration in 2105 and Happy Quilting in the coming year.

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  29. I am utterly in love with your big stars quilt...seriously you are my quilter crush💗

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    Replies
    1. The question marks are meant to be a heart!

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  30. Red Star is another beautiful quilt; I especially love the red triangle border. I commend you for all that you have accomplished in 2015, it's quite impressive, you are a remarkable quilter and one I look up to. :-) Best wishes for 2016!

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  31. Wonderful post! Your quilts are just amazing! I love the 'Audrey' style. I am glad that you are okay with combining machine and hand quikting. I have done on a few quilts that way, I was not sure if that was 'acceptable' in the quilting world, but it worked for me.

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  32. Love reading your blog and drawing quilty inspiration from your beautifull work, wishing you a 2016 filled with love and happiness.

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