2015. What a year.
I took my quilt practice to a new level this year. I’m really proud of the accomplishments I made: finishing 11 quilts, learning to long-arm, entering my first juried show, getting published on a random chance in a magazine. It will be hard to top this year in terms of my quilting successes.
In some senses it was one of my toughest years yet. I had struggles in my professional life at the beginning of 2015, and as soon as I made the decision with my husband that I would take some time off to focus on raising a baby, those plans were abruptly changed. Suddenly I had no job, no baby and was left facing a brand new reality for the second time in 4 months. (the first being OMG we’re having a baby, now what?!)
Quilting became a way to get through the day. And my job, my therapist, my teacher. For a solid month all I could do to wake up, head to my sewing room, and piece tiny scraps of fabric together. Honestly, I can’t believe these two quilts came out of that time-but they say pain makes the best art, right? I’m so proud of these next two quilts.
The next quilt I finished was for my sister Emily. I had promised her a birthday quilt and she only got it 2 years later. Promising people quilts for birthday presents is something I’ve learned not to do.
This red and white quilt was one of the first tops I had made from a patter back in 2010. I had no idea what layer cakes were, but found a pattern I liked on the Moda Bakeshop-and set to work. I figured out what a layer cake was, cut my fabric down to that size, then cut my pattern pieces. Oh, how much I’ve learned since those early days! Since it was one of my first finished tops, I made it one of my first long-armed quilts. I love the way it turned out even after all the missteps along the way.
I was commissioned by the lovely Jennifer Moore of monaluna to make a cross quilt from her new fabric line Haiku. It’s a gorgeous line of organic cotton and I loved making it. She had this quilt on display at Quiltmarket, the editor of Modern Patchwork saw it and asked to include it in the fall 2015 issue. I was blown away to say the least. And nervous. They did an awesome job editing my instructions and took beautiful photos. You can download a copy here.
This scrappy quilt was from a retreat I was lucky enough to attend with my East Bay Modern quilters. We spent a weekend in Marin and quilting our hearts out in 95 degree weather. It so rarely gets that warm where I live in El Cerrito that the heat was a nice change of pace. Should I have been sewing heavy blankets in it? Maybe not, but we still had fun. We did a little swap and I came out with an awesome scrappy, modern log cabin quilt for my couch. 5 of us made 20 inch scrappy log cabin blocks, then cut them in four, and swapped. I love the result.
Log Cabin Swap
The last few quilts I made this year were for my nephews and nieces for christmas presents. No awards will be won for these, but they were fun to make and the kids all loved them.
I’ve spent the last week of 2015 organizing my studio and pulling out all the UFO’s that need some attention. It’s been really grounding to take stock and start planning my next year of quilts. I can’t wait to see what gets made.
Here’s to a quilty 2016!