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Reflecting and Planning

As the year draws to a close, I often take time to reflect on what I have accomplished this year and to begin planning for the next. When I looked at my list of quilts for 2021, I was surprised at how far my skills have come in a year. And 2021 was the first full year of Better Done Quilts. The business end of it has been successful and it looks like I will end the year in the black – not bad for the first full year of operations.

A year ago the idea of teaching quilting classes was just an idea. Now, I have taught the Tree of Life class series twice, a class on curved piecing, and I have been contracted to teach several more classes in 2022.

In December 2020, I found out that my Playtime quilt had been accepted as the June 2021 quilt of the month for the MQG Journal . You can follow the link and see the quilt. I had only written one quilt pattern, and I was both excited and scared. But I got the sample quilt done, the pattern written and I was so excited to see it come out in the spring. The Playtime quilt will also be going to QuiltCon 2022 as part of a special exhibit of quilts from the MQG Journal. I even made a second quilt with the original colorway I designed:

I got to make a quilt to show off the fabrics for the Fall in Love With Fall collection from Dandelion Fabric and Co. Here is my picture of the quilt in progress – much better pictures will be released in the upcoming months.

Fall in Love, 2021

I made a couple of Tree of Life quilts this year. I am currently working on a series of seasonal Tree of Life quilts. I finished Autumn Abscission in August.

Autumn Abcission, 2021

I branched out and tried some new and different ideas in my quilts. I took an idea from a earlier quilt of using strip piecing to create a landscape, and expanded it to add a silhouette. The result is “Madison”. This depicts the skyline of one of my favorite places.

Madison, 2022
Madison (detail), 2022

There is a lot of detail in this quilt, from the columns of the capital to the shapes and placement of the windows on the buildings. It was challenging to figure out, and a lot of fun to make! I am excited to share that in 2022 I will be teaching classes in making strip pieced land-, sea-, and sky-scapes.

I also finished several large quilts this year. I am so happy that I finished the Singapore Sling quilt. I still have to get outside to get good pictures, but here is one that shows off the fun fabrics from the Good Vibes collection by Christa Watson for Benartex.

Singapore Sling, 2021

I had some challenges with the quilting on this one. I quilted it on my Juki, but with the curves, there was some distortion in the fabric and the points don’t match as well as I would like. While I was quilting it, all I could see was the rough spots. When I was about 1/2 way through quilting, I considered taking it all out and quilting it on a long arm. After encouragement from experienced machine quilters, I kept going. And I love the texture now that it is done!

Singapore Sling (detail), 2021

As I begin planning for 2022, I am thinking of making a few less quilts. Some will be more complex, and some are new ideas that require me to learn new techniques. I am planning a trip to Phoenix for QuiltCon in February (virus permitting) and I plan to be at the Mid-Appalachian Quilt Guild retreat in July, 2022.

Stay tuned for more adventures in quilting in 2022.

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