Wrapping up 2018
I did not get a whole lot of quilting done in 2018, but many of the things I did accomplish had been on my to-do list for a long time.
2018 was the year I finally joined an online quilting group, in this case, The Endeavourers, and here are the four small quilts I did for that group.
I finally designed fabric and had it printed up, for a nature quilt for a new grandbaby!
I also joined in with a more informal online group to celebrate ScrapHappy Day, the 15th of every month, and that was the impetus for me to finally finish this quilt, Chips and Salsa, that I had started in 2017. This was the only large quilt I made this year.
My older daughter loved it and took it home, so I am happy it has found its forever home already!
I made four lap quilts for Veterans’ Administration Hospital patients. One is way too plain to even take a picture of. But for the others, I finally made a sailboat and lighthouse quilt I bought the fabric for in 2010! And I used just a few of the red scraps I bought from a downsizing sale in January 2017.
And I finally treated myself to a new sewing machine —
These baby quilts were made in a more timely fashion — this post from KatyQuilts caught my eye in December of 2017, and I had these three pieced in February and finished in October. That is very rapid for me! 🙂
I did not do any weaving at all this year! But I did make 7 of these gift bags from designer fabric samples (that I rescued from a dumpster in 2017).
A few of the things I accomplished were ones I had no inkling about at the beginning of the year. While working on our family archive project, I found some wonderful primary sources about the textiles available in Ohio in the first half of the 19th century, and I did my part for textile history by typing them up. I started with the textile inventory of an ancestor, in an ordinary Ohio household from 1844. Then I found two estate inventories of Ohio shopkeepers in the early 1800s, Thomas Kincaid from 1838, and Jacob Weaver from 1847.
I also found out a friend of mine is an extraordinary cross-stitcher and author — Jo Lopianowski-Roberts. I was lucky enough to see her pieces in person and to conduct an interview with her.
Back in January, I picked “Quality” as my word of the year, and I made an acronym out of it:
Uploading (more of my pictures, and the family archive materials)
Art Journal and Archives
Layers of —
Interest – My role model here is Joanna — she finds such a variety of ways to mix interesting fabrics, shapes, and details into quilts that hold my attention.
Thread Sketching – I have received lots of different kinds of thread and I want to make the most of it!
Yoga – for my flexibility and circulation, I really need to get back into doing yoga almost every day.
While I didn’t get as much done in any of these categories as I would have liked, one thing that really helped me stay on track was a bullet journal. I used a blank book, and divided each page into 4 sections — Quilting, Uploading, Art Journal, Yoga & Exercise. Then once a week I just noted what I had accomplished in each of those categories. It was interesting to track those activities, and to see that a busy week in one category correlated with a drop in the others.
I am still thinking about my word for 2019, but I plan to continue the bullet journal.
The news has been so bad these last few years; a lot of times I feel that the light nature of this blog is inappropriate. I don’t want it to seem like I am skimming over tragedies unaware, but I certainly don’t have any wisdom to add to the issues.
Connections through textiles across countries and across the centuries spark my curiosity and give me comfort, and I hope these posts do the same for you. Three years ago, listening to my old quilts whispering stories, I wrote a poem that still expresses my hopes for this blog:
Pull out all the colors
Blend the patterns bold and bright
Swap your scraps and stories
and slowly build the light.
Gather in a circle,
place your stitches next to mine.
We’ll pass on all the love we can,
our hands always intertwined.
Gwen Lanning, Textile Ranger
You are an inspiration, even if you say you didn’t “do” as much this year. I have so many questions, I’m like a kid! How long does it take for you to do a quilt? You seem to do quite a few during the year. And I hope you do keep blogging next year. This is where I learn so much about the art of quilting from someone who really loves it.
Thank you so much for your kind words!
It takes me a long time to do a quilt — for one reason, I jump around on projects, maybe I do some piecing for three days, then I move on to a totally different project…You know how it is.
Then, I have a regular home sewing machine, not a long-arm quilting machine — it is wearing to maneuver the quilt through the machine, so when I am at the quilting stage, I probably only work on it an hour or two a day. The hours just melt away when I am quilting though! 🙂
How fun to see your year and read your thoughts you’ve shared. Of course, I’m watching the Endeavors quilts closely, as a newbie to the group while I’m pondering the next project. Happy New Year, Gwen!
I know — that theme of Texture is a mind-boggling one! So many directions we could go. I am so happy you were able to join the group! Happy New Year to you too!
Yes! I’m having a difficult time settling on a direction to go, but it will come at the right time 😉. Happy New Year to you too!
I love all of your quilts, but it is especially fun to see the ones made from my tutorial. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! I love that pattern and your many other projects too! You add so many things to my “Someday…” list!
I always enjoy your posts and I hope you will keep on with them! Textile art is something I really enjoy but won’t be able to do myself so it’s fun to see what you are doing with it. I too have huge concerns about events in the world but in order to keep my mind tuned up and aware enough to think clearly and do the things I can do, I have to remain involved with art. Happy New Year!
Thank you so much!
You are right, if we didn’t have art, it would be much harder to function in this world!
And textile art wise — have you thought about maybe having some of your creek pictures printed into fabric? Your images have such beautiful abstract qualities. You could make little clutch bags without too much sewing… And those digital services are even getting into sewing the object up for you. I seem to remember that those made-up objects are pricy, but it doesn’t cost anything to go play on the website. Just sayin’, in case you are stuck in the house and bored some time. 🙂
Hmmm, really intriguing ideas, I may look into those at some time, thanks!
And your lovely little bird is hanging over my bed! Always sings a little song to me if I am feeling low. You’ve had a facinating year. Love to read about it .
I am glad it has a happy home!
What a great round-up and wise words at the end. All the best for the coming year.
You too! Looking forward as always to reading your posts and seeing what goes on in the worlds of Canada, Italy, and couture sewing! 🙂
I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate your blog. I love the positive tone of it–no need to apologize. (If I want to hear opinions about how horrible our world is, all I’d have to do is hang around Twitter for a while…) I love reading about the things you find interesting. (I share some of your passions.) I like what you did with your bullet journal–I might try something like that. I also like your word of the year for 2018, and the poem you closed this post with. Happy 2019, and may it be even better than the last year. Love you.
Oh, Andrea, thank you so much! I feel the same about your blog — you have such wide-ranging interests and it is so much fun to read about them, and you are so regular in posting even though you have such a busy life. I was very honored when you included my blog in your favorite quilting blogs, and I get a hit from that recommendation almost every day, so thank you for that. Love you too! Happy New Year!
You’ve achieved a lot this year. I see no reason why you should expend any effort on acknowledging the grimness of the world right now; you provide some balance to that grimness, for which I thank you. I’d *much* rather look at your work with fabric than have global warming and the lunacy of our leaders pushed in my face 😉 I’m consumed with envy of your Juki, mind you….
Thank you for your perspective, it really helps me hone in on direction for future posts!
I looked at Jukis for 3 years I think, before I finally got one. I am enjoying it, and I hope you can get one sometime soon!
J & D > You say repeatedly that you didn’t do this and didn’t do that and didn’t get round to doing a lot of other things, and yet what we’re thinking is how much you have done – and, dammit, everything done so well! We have missed your posts for a few months due to being so busy, but it’s good now to be actively following you again. We particularly enjoy thee posts where you explore history, starting from a photo or receipt or whatever. We wish for your 2019 that you get an extra hour per day to make up for the time you give up to pleasing so many of your followers!
That is so kind of you! Who wouldn’t love an extra hour a day!
And I think you all accomplish about five times what I do. I love reading your adventures too. Your Big Garden page makes me tired just reading it; here the weeds take over so quickly and every summer we surrender to the heat and let them. (Also, I tried to comment over there, and although I could see one comment, it wouldn’t let me, so you might need to check your settings on that page.)
One of my chickens is a Welsummer so whenever I see her, I think of you and your flock!
You had quite a year! And the news isn’t ALL bad, it’s just human nature to dwell on the bad (I just read a book about this tendency).
That is true. I know I used to avoid the news, and now I check it 3 or 4 times a day. And I have read enough history to know that it could be worse! I also listen to TED talks and read books like Enlightenment Now, to get doses of optimism. I just don’t feel good about never acknowledging the trials and tragedies that I am aware of, but I don’t feel I have any alternatives to add to the conversation either. It’s just an issue I think about. 🙂
Good point. And thanks for reminding me of TED talks, which I really like.
I’m so glad your blog reflects your omnivorous curiosity and enthusiasm about the natural and created world. And I dearly love Sewist’s Universe. I don’t see your blog as “light,” but as a saner alternative perspective on our world, more of the long view on what came before.
Oh, thank you! I did not write that part to dig for compliments, but these comments about how people see the blog are so helpful for a direction for the future! Thanks again!
What a year! I’m always impressed when I see people *finally* do something they’ve intended to do, especially when it represents a stretch for them. Your stretch into new quilting arenas and in transcribing old documents has been fun to watch.
Like you, I feel this acutely: “The news has been so bad these last few years; a lot of times I feel that the light nature of this blog is inappropriate. I don’t want it to seem like I am skimming over tragedies unaware, but I certainly don’t have any wisdom to add to the issues.” As I’ve mentioned before, I often feel mute when my thoughts are weighted with worldly issues. I’ve rarely brought it up in Catbird Quilts, and not much even in Our View. And given personal difficulties that others deal with, sometimes I feel like quilting and my writing are insignificant at best, damaging in some way at worst. It’s hard to find the right entry sometimes. Anyway, I just want you to know you’re not alone in this.
ALSO cutest baby award! 🙂
What a year! You did so much and I love seeing the quilts here in one post–it really highlights the range of your work. I think the Endeavourers expeiemnts must’ve really suited you–your work for that is SO interesting and creative! Of all of these, though, the Chips and Salsa is my favorite–I love the use of solids and the joy in that quilt. And I love your poem and the soothing sense of connection and cooperation in it. Couldn’t we all use more of that? Onward, Gwen!
Thank you! I feel the same about your blog — when you write about weaving or stitching, I know exactly what you mean. When you write about living in upstate New York, I want to go there and enjoy some time there myself! And the only way I make any progress in all the areas I want to work in, is to block out some “stints” of time like you wrote about once — I always think of you when I do that successfully! 🙂
I love knowing you use that stint approach–I still do and it keeps me feeling like I have a balance of the things I enjoy!
I love your poem and I enjoyed revisiting you makes from 2018. The archive research you did was fascinating and I though all your Endeavourers quilts were amazing. I can’t wait to see what you come up with this year. Now, I’m pondering trying to make a word of the year acronym too. I see you did it last year as well with wonderful results 🙂