2017 Review

Heckuva year, huh? 

There’s a lot I could say about it, both good and bad. Maybe you feel the same way. From a personal standpoint, it seemed busy. In both my quilting and the rest of my life, there were some real pleasures, some disappointments, and some frustrations. On balance, though, a pretty good year.

I finished thirteen quilts, all but two of them at least lap-sized. One more is on the frame. I thought it would be done by now, (I thought it would be done a month ago or more!) but it fits into the “frustrations” category.  I also made a shirt and a few other small sewn items.

Here is a list of my finished quilts, in approximately the order they were completed:

1. Kim’s Bright Garden — given to Kim

Kim’s Bright Garden. 71″ x 71″. Finished March 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

2. Small group mystery quilt — donated for quilt show silent auction

Mock Irish Chain mystery quilt. Approx. 50″ x 70″. Finished spring 2017. I’m not sure who took the photo to promote our quilt show.

3. Delectable Mountains (pink and brown)

Delectable Mountains. 61″ x 61″. Finished spring 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

4. Hibiscus Mountain (Delectable Mountains in red and white) — given to Kelsey

Hibiscus Mountain. 73″ x 73″. Delectable Mountains format. Finished spring 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

5. Muslin Mock-Up — given to Becca

Close-up of quilt for Becca. 68″ x 68″. July 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

6. Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice. Approx 68″ x 68″. Based on IQSC Object Number 1997.007.0797 from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, a quilt from 1800-1820. May 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

7. Spinning Star

Spinning Star. 50″ x 50″. Finished June 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

8. Dizzy

Dizzy. 60″ x 60″. September 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

9. Black Sheep Manor — given to Dan and Janet

Black Sheep Manor. Approx 58″ x 58″. September 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

10. Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas Is Coming! 67″ x 67″. December 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

11. Union — no pictures yet of the finished quilt

Close-up of quilting before quilt was bound.

12. Table runner — given to Kim

The table runner has the edge of red binding. Underneath it is another quilt on the table.

13. Chess board — given to grandsons

Some of these, like Kim’s Bright Garden and the Black Sheep Manor, were pure pleasure in making and giving. Some others have difficulties connected with them for one reason or another. My least favorite aesthetically is the pink and brown Delectable Mountains. I will say, though, that it is an excellent lap quilt.

I’ve been busy with other aspects of quilting, too. Currently I volunteer with my quilt guild in multiple capacities, including president. I taught a five-week class, rewrote my 50-plus page class booklet, did three presentations for guilds, wrote almost 100 blog posts on quilting, and at least a few for the blog Jim and I share. I took three classes: two of them were on block printing and one was on paper piecing.

My guild’s quilt show was the first weekend in June. I helped organize the silent auction, as well as donated two quilts for it. In addition, I created the video used to explain what goes into making a quilt.

In addition, I joined Instagram to share photos of quilts and other parts of my life.

Besides quilting and sewing activities, Jim and I traveled a lot. We figure we spent well more than two months away from home, in several different trips. We’ve been to or at least traveled through at least 16 states: IL, MO, NE, WY, MT, CO, IN, OH, WI, MN, ND, ID, WA, KS, OK, IA.  Now we plan to stay home for a bit.

It was a pretty successful year in many ways. But it rather wore me out and I intend to commit myself to fewer activities in 2018.

That’s not a very upbeat and optimistic way to end this post. However, optimism is part of me, and I do expect 2018 to be rewarding in a variety of ways. We have our son’s wedding and a granddaughter’s graduation to look forward to. And we’ll travel some, though perhaps in fewer trips.

Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous year. Thank you as always for reading and being part of my life.


21 thoughts on “2017 Review

  1. KerryCan

    What a great summary of all you accomplished! The quilts are all impressive (and I *like* the pink and brown DM!) but I’m especially impressed by your overall commitment to quilting–such focus of interest and time! Now, if the political landscape would just shift for the better, maybe we could really relax and enjoy this new year . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you! I am determined to enjoy the new year, regardless of politics. Resistance will take energy, and I will need every ounce of enjoyment I can get to feed the resistance. I wish you many blessings in this new year, and more peace than you experienced last year.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Cindy. I love the fabrics in the Spinning Star. If I’d made it under other circumstances it would have turned out differently (Ain’t that always the case!) But I do like it, too. Happy new year!

  2. snarkyquilter

    Oh I had forgotten the Spinning Star quilt, which I think is one of your 2017 standouts. I’m glad you took a moment to take the long view back to see how much you accomplished, and not just with fabric and thread. I admire your commitment to teaching, especially since your motives aren’t primarily pecuniary.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks for noting the Spinning Star. It’s funny — I think of it as the “extra” quilt for the year, because I made it in order to create the video. I think there are some things I can learn from it if I spend a bit more time. Also thanks for the comment on teaching. That’s one of the things I appreciate about you, too, how much you share with us about process, and also about some of the great experiences you have with museums and shows and such. It all helps me build a more complete view of creativity.

  3. Paula Hedges

    Melanie, I’ve enjoyed your posts, have been inspired by your work, and reviewed your 2017 accomplishments along with your other followers. What I could relate to the most was your personal reflection of how exhausting the year had been and your thinking of how you can make changes for 2018 to still fill the quilting/creating nature within you, give time to marriage and family, and find the balance where you will not feel physically drained. Although our situations are different, our search for that balance has much in common. Here is to the new path we each have mentally mapped! Enjoy the journey!

    PS – I love your chocolate & pink quilt! I want to use that color combo in a quilt, perhaps in 2018!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I think you have a lot of insight into this, Paula. I’m looking forward to a new year and new starts, and to the time to enjoy them fully! Thanks for mentioning the pink and brown quilt. I’ve done 3 now and I still love the combination. Once I get pix of Union, I’ll do a blog post showing the three together.

  4. Tammy Hutchinson

    The recount is inspiring, as have been the individual posts. I hope the review of these highlights brings a smile and satisfaction. I like the plan for the future and will stay tuned! Happy New Year!

  5. Kerry

    My husband was looking over my shoulder as I read the post – you got a fair few ooohs and wows!
    You must have been exhausted with all that activity yet still found time to write posts – which have been of great interest. I thank you for sparing that time.
    It sounds as though you will have a very enjoyable new year with your family.
    For us we are hoping to move further away into the country and finally own a smallholding. A bit late in our lives but if we have 10 years of living a dream we will be lucky. A big adventure indeed.

    I wish you and the family a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Bring it on as they say!
    Kind regards, Kerry

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Good luck on your big adventure! Yes, do move if that is a long dream of yours. Any time we have living more happily is well spent. thanks as always for reading and commenting.

  6. TextileRanger

    Your quilts display such technical expertise, and yet they are so lively and sparkling, not just dry examples of geometric precision as some technically perfect quilts can be. You always have interesting details at multiple levels, especially fabric choice and block combinations.
    Your posts are like that too – thorough, thoughtful, and thought-provoking!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you, Gwen. You might be surprised how much this helps me. When I look at these, this set in particular, I see a bunch of quilts that are technically very good (except the pink and brown DM, which I don’t like much!) But I don’t see much spontaneity in some of them. There are reasons for some of that, but I’d like to work a bit differently in 2018, leaving more room for quirks, or something! Anyway… thanks much, for all the kind comments.

  7. katechiconi

    Happy New Year to you too, and thank you for the time you have committed to reading the blogs of other people and making helpful, considered, intelligent and generous comments. I think you could add that to your list of achievements for 2017…


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