Anticipation for 2020 (Looking Back)

It’s been almost 13 months since I’ve posted here! Between breast cancer treatment in 2019 and general world craziness in 2020, writing and posting slipped off my list of things to do. And while I’m not going to make any promises to either you or me, I’d like to come back and write here from time to time. I’ve always loved the interaction with you, the format to document my quilting work, and a way to ponder out loud how I think about a broad range of quilting and making topics.

Before the end of 2019 (another year in which I barely blogged,) I began writing this post, “Anticipation for 2020.” It included the following list of things to enjoy in 2020, not in order of importance:

  • travel with Jim
  • fencing lessons
  • skydiving
  • granddaughter’s college graduation
  • Houston’s International Quilt Festival
  • finally stepping down from the guild’s program committee
  • getting some upper body strength back
  • hiking more
  • finishing some quilts, starting some quilts
  • entering quilts in the Iowa State Fair

We all know how that went!

In fact, I did resign from my local guild’s program committee! And I did attend granddaughter’s graduation via Zoom.

And I did finish some quilts and start some quilts. So overall, I guess it was an entirely successful year!

I want to share a few of the quilts I finished in 2020. Today’s post will look atΒ Cimarron.

Cimarron. Designed, pieced, and quilted by me. Approx. 48″ x 48″. Made in 2020.

This quilt started with a fat quarter of aqua and cinnamon print, which my daughter gave me. The color combination was striking and unusual, and it inspired me to build out from there. You can see that inspiration fabric in the very center, as well as sprinkled out from there.

I wanted a white fabric for brightness, and to highlight the tiny bits of white in the feature fabric and in the other center “background” fabric. I always look to stash first and found the white below. The print on it is actually a strong red but in fine lines. The “right side” of fabric shows how red it is. Using the wrong side makes it show as speckled pattern more than color.

I quilted it using a very pale aqua thread, So Fine 50 weight from Superior Threads. So Fine is my go-to thread for almost all quilting. I also use it for piecing more often than not. The quilting design is a free-motion panto-like design of swirls and bumps.

The quilt is named “Cimarron.” The colors and shapes reminded me of a fresh river running through mountains. The Cimarron River flows from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico, and the name stuck to the quilt.


44 thoughts on “Anticipation for 2020 (Looking Back)

  1. Pingback: More Donation Quilts | Zippy Quilts

  2. Elizabeth E.

    I’ve been absent from reading, drinking in the news (and horrors) of our past year, one giant bucket at a time, leaving little room for much else (just trying to get through). I decided I’d reactivate my Feedly, erase everything that had accrued and get back to reading.
    And your lovely quilt is my first read! This color combination is so fabulous–a real punch up of hue that accompanies your great design. I never tire of your medallions and so glad to see this one. Looking forward to the rest of your 2020 quilts. Glad to have you back! πŸ™‚ Elizabeth

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks for your welcome. Yes, the never-ending onslaught over the last year, especially, left me without resources for readin’ and writin’. My feed is so quiet, it looks like many of the people I used to follow might be in the same mode.

      Thanks for the compliments on the quilt. It was a confusing one to make! I pushed it around oh so many directions before feeling comfortable. Thanks again!

  3. jmn

    Welcome back. Great quilt. Terrific contrasts. I can’t tell, did you actually use the white (with fine red lines) on the wrong side?

  4. Sue

    Hi Melanie Welcome back! I have missed your blogs and look forward to your future musings, and quilt photos. I particularly like Cimarron. Love the colours as they are unusual together, but also the dog tooth which I hope to have a go at soon. I over committed in 2020 and am still catching up:hoping to do some quilts for self and family instead of masks and scrubs .
    I hope you continue to be well.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you, Sue! That’s very kind of you. Also thank you for devotion to sewing scrubs and masks. That’s a tough job I think, from the emotional standpoint if nothing else. Here’s to an easier 2021.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Hey Gwen! I’ve been missing you! It was a pretty long sabbatical, to the point that “they” thought about firing me. πŸ™‚ I do feel refreshed right now and am hoping we all get to feel more of that.

  5. katechiconi

    You have been missed, and it’s lovely to see you back and posting. I hope your recovery is proceeding well. Another of your gorgeous medallions, and I’d have been inspired by that fabric too. Love the colour combination, and the ‘winged’ corners.

  6. knitnkwilt

    Great quilt! What first struck me is the interaction of the borders, next the colors. Was thinking about you a couple months ago when I started two medallion quilts. (They are in waiting now as I’m on a knitting streak. ) Welcome back.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks for taking a look! Yes, I’ll admit I am pleased with how the borders “interact,” as you say. I hadn’t thought of that word, but it describes it well. Thanks much!

  7. Kerry

    Nice to see you back again. It doesn’t seem that long! Love the quilt, bright yet warm colours. Now did you get to work on your green man?

      1. Kerry

        You are most welcome. Upper body work – try Nordic walking. It gets pretty much everything working – next best thing to swimming. But don’t go full on Nordic – yikes they go fast!

        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          I’m not a swimmer, so that’s out. I do weight work about 3 times a week, but need to solidify that as a habit. Nordic walking sounds interesting! I do have hiking poles, and they certainly do add to the upper body workout while also taking strain off the knees. Win-win!

  8. Allison Reid

    How lovely to have you back in the blogosphere Melanie πŸ™‚ Your quilt is as balanced and as carefully thought through as I remember your quilts from other years. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your ‘2020 Collection’ over the coming weeks and months.

  9. Tammy Hutchinson

    Welcome back! I always enjoy seeing your medallion style quilts, and love the color combination in this one. Happy 2021!


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