Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in review

It's been a LOOOOOOONG time since I've blogged, so I've got a lot of catching up to do...

We'll start with photo collages, okay?  That should help speed things along and get me back to finishing the hand-sewing of binding on those last few UFOs for the year...

So there was the UFO challenge.  I put 13 quilt tops on my list, the first one being done just before 2017 started (the elephants).  Then came the other 12.  Some months I got behind, but in the end, they're ALL quilted.  Two still have the hand-sewing portion of the binding to be sewn down, but since it's literally 5 degrees outside, I'm happy to stay inside, under a quilt for a holiday weekend!

Some of the photos aren't great, but I wasn't good at keeping up with photographs either.  So the hubby and I went into the back room where there's a good amount of natural light, but also some junk and not a lot of room, so pardon some of these being less than awesome photos.  (There was also a lot of whining from the hubby - and the comment "I'm being REALLY good" was heard about a dozen times...)

What's on the backs?

In no particular order.  I had a lot of fun with backs this year!  (Well, most of them.  Some are rather boring...and that one that looks grey/tan is actually orange.)

Want to see some of the quilting closer up?  I'm getting more confident and a little better!

Some of these I blogged about and there are better photos there.  Some...nope.  (And where's that photo of the red and turquoise one?  That looked awesome...)

(oh there it is, hiding...look at my awesome swirls!)

(and while we're looking closer, let's look at the quilt that's been renamed "Nope" because it was so difficult and refused all the quilting ideas I had...

...Lexie is helping with this photo, but I really like (most of) the quilting I did!)

And hey, where's that turquoise quilt.  That quilting was kinda awesome too...

Okay, enough showing off...

And it seems I take a lot of on-the-longarm photos and post them to my guild's facebook group.  I snagged a few of those for fun...

(That last one there is a quilt on the longarm on the left, but the combine editor chopped it off, but I thought you'd like to see Emma helping.)

And since I had to photograph so many today, how about a photo of the aftermath?

Speaking of cats helping...

We adopted a 10-month old kitten this fall.  She's learning how to cat from her older brother and sisters.  Her name is Gabby-Don't-Eat-The-Pins.  Or Spazarella.  As you can see here, they all help.  (And I'm a little miffed that the one with the orange is chopped off cause that was a nice one of Emma and Luka.  Ah well, what do you want for free software?)

There were also four baby of which I took zero photos...oops!

None of these are the quilted, finished quilts.  See - I was bad at the whole shebang this second half of 2017!  But these were all loved, three of the four were surprises, too.  (Though two of the recipients had gotten quilts for previous kids, I'm not as close to them as I was the first go-round, so I'm sure they weren't expecting it.)

Then there was the 40th birthday quilt that my hubby decided needed to be done about a week before the surprise party.  Thankfully I have a closet of tops, so we just had to choose the right one.  He picked this one:

And because I did such a great job of taking photos, here's the last photo I have of it before we gave it away.  It's actually a 13th anniversary of her 27th birthday party gift.

Yep, I'm awesome.

I challenged myself to make one dolly quilt a month for a charity my guild contributes to that gives out gifts to needy kids on Christmas.  Santa rides a fire truck around town on Christmas eve and visits the right houses.  Any young girls get a doll, a few outfits and some sort of blanket - knitted, crocheted, quilted.  My guild donated over 100 quilts, but it was in big part because I extended my self-challenge to any members of the guild who were interested.  Most didn't make 12, but even just one more than they might have made otherwise made a difference.  I ended up donating 13, but also gave away 4 to other little girls that I do know.

The collage below has a couple of the favorites I made, plus a good number of what the guild donated spread across the whole floor of our meeting room.  A floor that, when a king-size quilt is spread out on it, makes the quilt look small.  This was no small feat for my guild and I'm super proud of us!

I participated in a block exchange this year.  I didn't remember to take photos of all the boxes as they came to me, but here are a few:

I guess I'd better quick go take a photo of what I got back...I'll be back in a minute...

I'm owed one, but here are my blocks. I asked that each person make a house.  Any kind of house.  In whatever colors they wanted.  Whatever size they wanted.  The DQ (Dairy Queen) block cracks me up because the gal who made that one owns the local DQ and said that feels like home the months it's open because she's there more than her real house!  And the one below...that's an outhouse.  Bill is quite a character and his wife cringed at his insistence to make this block for me, but it's Bill.  100% Bill and I love it.  They're all so awesome.  These blocks are on my 2018 UFO challenge list to get them together into a top.  If I don't have the missing block when this number is called, it just won't be in there, I'm sad to say.

I also joined the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I decided I was going to make 144 cats.  Well, I didn't realize when I joined I was going to make 144 cats.  I decided I was going to make these cute cat blocks.  And then I realized how small they were and how many it was going to take.  But making 13 each month (December is put-it-together month) wasn't all bad.  Of course, I didn't make a dent in my scraps, but whatever.  I had fun.  And, for the most part, kept up.  Enough that it December, I did put the top together!

They made a big, pretty, rainbow-ey stack.

I had fun at my guild's sew-in in mid-December figuring out a layout (without the help of real cats, thankyouverymuch) and then worked my tail off to get the top finished.  I have 3-day weekends both this weekend and last weekend, so my goal was to have all the 2017 projects ready to quilt for the Christmas weekend and get them quilted.

This was the second quilt on the longarm for the weekend!

It's done!  The binding is about 1/4 done and that's where I'm headed soon - more binding!

(I did get all the 2017 quilts quilted and the machine-side of binding sewn on all of them!)

It's big.  Like 70x80 or bigger.  I L.O.V.E. it.

What's on the back?

I found this in a fabric (not quilt) shop in July.  I stood there, literally squealing over this, knowing exactly what I was buying it for.  My mom rolled her eyes.  I bought the bolt.  Bring on another eyeroll.  Guess what?  It was the PERFECT amount.  I did no calculation, just hoped and figured I'd make it work somehow.  (My mom believes in using leftovers and junk for quilt backs.  As you can see from my earlier collage, I do not.)

And then there was the squirrel.  Er, sheep...

And what's on the back of this quilt you ask?

More sheep!  (How could anyone seriously NOT buy this for this quilt?  I mean really?)

This quilt came together very fast.  I was motivated and absolutely love it.  It's on my couch right now and has been washed about a dozen times already.  It is AWESOME.

Some other projects?

I repainted my bedroom and hung the APQ Swap Quilt on the wall!

...well, I guess you'll have to imagine the swap quilt on that wall behind the bed because apparently I don't have a photo of that running around...I swear I had one...  But hey, you can see my Cherrywood quilt is getting used!  (And it's WARM!  I haven't used my electric blanket yet and we've had overnight temps in the negatives for about a week now - even in my drafty old farmhouse!)

And I know those pink flannel sheets with bunnies on them make you all jealous of my decorating abilities!

I got some awesome new shoes...

And I quilted a quilt for my mom to give to my dad for his birthday:

He liked it.  You know, for a guy.

There were a few other tops worked on and a few of those made the 2018 UFO list...

As you can see, one quilt in particular is getting a lot of months.  Because paper piecing.

But you can also see I'm planning to do the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again this year.  I'm going to make the Patchwork City quilt. The one done in all brights.  I've got it broken down into colors and have a few extra months to catch up.  There are only 75 blocks this time around (yes, I'm laughing at "only 75" too), but many have templates and all sorts of new challenges, so I figure a few extra months to catch up can't be bad.

And finally, the Bird Seeds quilt I started this summer needs almost all of the seeds appliqued.  If I do 2 a week (which isn't really that hard - it's the prepping of the applique pieces that is the real task), I'll be done by the end of the year.

Lofty goals?  You bet.

Can I do this?  You bet.

What if I don't?  There's always the 2019 UFO challenge!

Happy new year and happy quilting!

PS By my count, that's 20 large quilts (plus the Boy Scout one) completed this year.  Plus I think 17 dolly quilts.  What a year!


a good yarn said...

Happy New Year Katie!! What a fantastic array of projects completed in 2017. Literally - awesome. I love your swirly quilting. You certainly have your money's worth from the long arm. The backing fabrics for the cat and sheep quilts are fabulous. Cute puddy tats (Gabby don't eat the pins. . . chuckle). I'm in awe of your productivity and marvel at the variety of styles and colours in your quilts. Patchwork City is an amazing quilt and a great choice for RSC 2018. Looking forward to seeing Bird Seed too. You've had a fantastic Quilty 2017 and I can see that 2018 will be just as successful.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Goodness! You had QUITE the productive year. LOVE the "aftermath" shot of the photo day and the kitten collage!! Best of luck with 2018's projects.

Carol R. said...

Well, now that I've read your blog, I'm ready for a nap. My own blog post will have to wait until tomorrow lol. I tried what you suggested but found that's where I was before - and it didn't help me edit the way I wanted to. Started getting a headache from trying to figure it out.
Happy New Year!

scraphappy said...

Wow! What a busy year. So glad the kitties got done — and lots of other things too!

Ruth said...

I had been wondering why you hadn't blogged lately, but figured you would eventually. Good to see all your many projects!! What a productive year with so many wonderful quilts finished! I have been traveling for the last month and haven't made a list of 2017 accomplishments, but maybe when I get home - next week. I have decided to participate in a scrap challenge with "Confessions of a fabric addict." I will do a post about that list as soon as I get a list made. Besides that I have some UFOs to work on (surprise)!! What would we do without all these quilts to make? We would be bored silly, I guess!!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

WOW!! You have had quite a year!! I love ALL of your beautiful quilts and your quilting is AWESOME!! And I agree - there's always 2019 - ;))

Happy New Year!!

canuckquilter said...

Well, just let me catch my breath over here. You had one super-quilty year! I had my most productive one so far, but no match for yours :) Love, love love those sheep :) Glad they're getting some daily attention.

Sandy said...

Well Katie, it is official. You are one amazing quilter! I think the photo of the aftermath says it all. I love that your cats all want to help. (I wish my dog felt the same.) The sheep quilt is just too darn cute, but my favourite is the rainbow scrap challenge. The background fabric was an excellent choice, and who can resist all of the beautiful kitties faces.