I've been following some blogs for years. Most quite casually, I'd just bookmark the homepage and stop by every now and then to see what people were up to. I think I first saw the ALYOF link parties in 2012 - and by late 2013, I wanted to join in.
So I created a Flickr account and began posting goals and finishes.
Then I started this blog - and I'm getting more excited about setting goals and telling everyone about my finishes! Without further ado, here's my progress for 2014:
Gramps wasn't in the best of health this year, and I thought he could use some love from me. It's over a 5 hour drive to their place, so frequent visits are out of the question. Solution: make him a quilt in his favourite colour!
I used the free pattern Bed of Roses from McCall's Quilting, then changed the colours from pastel florals to blues. I had won a fat quarter bundle from Amy at www.diaryofaquilter.com so I used some of those, plus some from the shelf to make the top.
Gramps loves to nap on the couch, so I wanted to have a fleece of minky back - I was shopping at Walmart and found a thermal blanket on clearance that was the perfect mix of warmth and soft!
In March, I took on the task of designing and teaching my son's school how to quilt. Each student made 2 blocks using a marker dying technique, then with the help of another mom, we pieced the tops. I basted and bound each quilt over the March Break, then returned to school to let the students tie or quilt the layers together.
Lots of work, tonnes of fun - and I'm scheduling another quilt lesson for the school in 2015!
My goal was to make a quilt for 2 of my neices as Christmas gifts this year. The first to be completed was for Maddy. She chose brown and green as colours and said she wanted flowers on it. I had originally planned to applique flowers on it, but after assembling the disappearing 16-patch, I thought it was busy enough.
I added flowers in the quilting pattern - a pattern I doodled while waiting for lunch at a restaurant! Love those places with the craft paper table cloths and a cup of crayons!! My April goal was to complete the top, and in May I wanted to quilt and bind it.
I really liked the loopy flower that I doodled, so I used it on Celtic Solstice as well. Celtic Solstice is a Bonnie Hunter pattern, the mystery quilt from Thanksgiving to New Years 2013. I had stitched most of Celty over the Christmas Break, and finished the top in January.The quilting went very quickly - I think it was only 5 hours to quilt and bind!!
The third quilt I finished in May was the bright version of Deckade the Halls (a free quilt along with the Fat Quarter Shop last summer). I used lots of different free motion fillers on this quilt, whatever caught my fancy as I was stitching! I then filled the background with a kind of loopy Christmas tree motif.
I made a second version of Deckade the Halls, this time in metallic poinsettia fabrics. I really wanted this to be different from the first, so I quilted with invisible thread all the texture on the pieced blocks. Again, lots of different filler designs - I visited Leah Day's website and used several ideas from both her Craftsy classes (quilting a sampler and free motion fillers Vol 1).
I made a bold choice in using a dark green rayon thread to quilt a holly leaf on loopy vine on all the background fabric. I really love the effect the green has in creating movement.
My August (and carry over to September) goal was to piece, quilt and bind the log cabin windows quilt. This quilt was gifted to my neice at Christmas - she wanted a neon quilt, but I just couldn't deal with something that bright, so this flannel kit from Connecting Threads plus some fabric stash made a great compromise.
My October (and November!) goal was to quilt and bind this runner that I appliqued in the summer. Why it took 2 months to finish, I'm still not sure. I had a hard time deciding how to quilt it, and I finally just did a meander and some ditch quilting. It looks great, and my aunt loved it at Christmas!
And finally, in December I finished a quilt top that had been sitting on the shelf for over a year and a half. My son has been asking for his own blanket for a LONG time. I had some blocks made in this red/black colour scheme, then found the dalmation print and the project turned from a BOM to a gift specific for him.
By my count, that's 8 goals met in 2014. Not too bad - some of these were big projects that I thought would take much longer, and others a small project that kept going forever!!
Three cheers for ALYOF organizers Shanna and Melissa! You are instrumental in keeping me motivated to start (and finish!) my quilty projects. Let's hope next year is just as successful!
Sometimes I need a deadline to keep me motivated to complete a quilt. What better motivation than participating in a bloghop?
While the snow and cold temperatures keep you inside, why not work on projects for this year's fair? The full listing is available to download now!
This month's block used paper piecing technique, one that all three of us were familiar with and happy to assemble!
My favourite customer, Ashley asked me to make a quilt from her daughter's baby clothes. I have previously made her quilts for her sisiter-in-law, her boys and she won a school quilt!
August's quilting technique was English Paper Piecing (EPP), a method I was skeptical to try at first.