Some Thoughts on 2015

With a couple of weeks left to the year, we naturally reflect on time past and hopes for the future. I could suggest my year has been a Christmas-letter perfect version, rosy with successes and accomplishments: all our dreams have come true (they haven’t), our children and grandchildren all have been happy and healthy (they haven’t), and world peace has been achieved (uh…) The truth is more complicated.

With age and deliberate mindfulness, I struggle less against the negatives than I used to. They are easier to accept, but they are still there. Effort made isn’t always rewarded; I screw up in various ways; random bad things happen to me and mine, too.

However, I’d rather mark the year remembering the good things. In that spirit, I’m going to share again some of the quilts I made this year. Click on any of them to see in a separate tab.

XX's Quilt. 75" x 75". Begun with a medallion print purchased in Boulder City, NV. Finished in February 2015.

XX’s Quilt. 75″ x 75″. Finished in February 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Little One Stained Glass

Stained Glass. 40″ square. Finished February 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Stained Glass Too. 66" x 70". Finished March 2015.

Stained Glass Too. 66″ x 70″. Finished March 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Garden Party. 62" x 68". Center panel by Julie Paschkis for In the Beginning Fabrics. Finished March 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Garden Party. 62″ x 68″. Center panel by Julie Paschkis for In the Beginning Fabrics. Finished March 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

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Marquetry. 87″ square. Made for my Medallion Improv! class. Finished May 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

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I Found the Housework Fairy But She’s Not Coming Back. 35″ square. Made for my Medallion Improv! class. Finished June 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

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DeLight. 96″ square. Finished June 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

20150716_092226

Branching Out. 45″ x 54″. Finished July 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

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Branching Out back. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

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The Mountain. 60″ square. November 2015. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

My quilts are a memory album. All of these quilts are my original designs, and all represent growth for me. As I look at them, I remember the challenges and how I met them. I remember where I bought the fabric, or who I was with, or other quilts it was used in. For those I’ve given or have a plan to give, I think of the receiver and what they mean to me.

Looking back on them gives me a way to remember 2015 in a positive light, despite some of the challenges faced. And it may not have been Christmas-letter perfect, but it’s been a pretty damn good year.

 

24 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on 2015

  1. Larri

    Such a difference between Branching Out and the Medallion quilts. It is wonderful how you can shift gears and come up with something outstanding. These quilts show your talents. You have shown me how to work from the center out creatively. My friend creates quilts in that way and she says she lets the quilt talk to her. Now I am encouraged to try the medallion method.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Please do try, and let me know if you have questions along the way. There are SO MANY ways to make the borders that don’t require a lot of math or engineering, though of course you can do that if you like! Thanks for taking a look.

      Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Linda. As I scan through them, I always stop at Marquetry, too. It’s pretty “conventional” but it still surprises me. Mainly, I’m always surprised I like it as much as I do. 🙂 Thanks for taking a look.

      Reply
  2. snarkyquilter

    I’ll vote for Garden Party, followed by Branching Out. I can see you explored different sizes of medallion centers and even introduced curves in two centers. Maybe you should think of 2015 as a balancing act.

    Reply
  3. KerryCan

    From a quilting standpoint, it looks like a spectacular year! I like Stained Glass and Branching Out the bestest. And I smiled when I read your response to a comment that you have nothing planned–of course not! 2016 is about playing, not planning, right?!

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It was pretty good, though a lot less “output” the last half of the year. That bothers me more than it should. I don’t think I have a bestest. There are a couple I like a little less, for one reason or another. But I think they are different enough I don’t need to pick. 🙂

      Reply
  4. mothercat2013

    I think The Mountain is my favourite … One of these days I’m going to try making myself a medallion quilt – when I’m feeling really brave! 🙂 I’m in awe of the amount of planning that must go into making them – and you designed them all yourself as well! Sheesh!!! 🙂

    Reply
  5. zippyquilts

    So many lovely, colorful quilts! Branching Out is still my fave, both front and back 🙂 And yes, it certainly can take effort to remain positive, but it’s worth it!

    Reply
  6. jimfetig

    One good thing about having a few miles on the odometer is the confidence that the bad stuff will eventually pass. Remember the 60s? The world was going to hell, but it didn’t. It won’t now either in the end, that is unless we F-up climate change.

    I’m thankful for many things this year. One of them is how much I’ve learned about quilting through the serendipity of WordPress.

    Reply

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