Groucho Marx said, “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”
For several years I’ve chosen a “word of the year,” intending to use the word to focus my attention, or at least frame my experiences. In 2018 I chose the word “FUN!” My hope was to add more whimsy, more play into my making.
Did I succeed? Sure, probably. Somewhat, at least! I made a bunch of quilts, some that inspired and delighted me, and others that felt less engaging. I’ve already showed you pix of three for which I enjoyed both process and outcome, and I’ll add in the table runner I finished early this month. Click any photo to open the gallery and see more detail.
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.
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.