Thursday, December 29, 2016

Remembering 2016 While Planning 2017

{My quilt display for a talent night at church.}

2016 has been a great year, even if it was crazy busy.  My theme for the year was to "Enjoy the Journey."  I listed six specific journeys I planned on taking this year in my 2015 year end post.

1.  Creating and Quilting

My creating and quilting journey is really what kept me going this year.  Quilting is very therapeutic for me.  I feel like I accomplish more and am a better wife and mother when I am taking time to create.  I finished 25 of my own quilts this year.  12 were donated to good causes, 3 were given away, 3 were for my boys, and 7 were for my home.   I made three mini quilts, a table runner, four quilted buckets, thirteen baby blankets, 14 seasonal bunting/banners, and 26 drawstring bags.  I also quilted 9 quilts for other people and repaired four quilts.

Here are five of my favorite projects from the year (in no particular order) for the Best of 2016 Linky Party.  Click on the captions to learn more about each project.

{Controlled Chaos}

{Beach Party}

{Dancing Daisies}

{Mr. Bones}

{Lego Rainbow}

Plus one more (or five in one) just for fun.

{Chunky Race Quilts}

It was such a busy year that I didn't do as good of a job with stash reports.  So the following is an estimate based on my memory. Thank goodness for a blogging record of projects made throughout the year.  All of the fabric I purchased was for specific projects with the exception of Kona black, white, and snow.  

In 2016 I used approximately 170 yards of quilting fabric and purchased about 65 yards.  That means that my stash of quilting fabric is more than 100 yards less than than it was a year ago.  I used 39 yards of baby flannel and purchased 54 yards on Black Friday.  So my stash of baby flannel has grown which is good because I need to make more blankets.  This is about 100 yards less fabric used than the previous two years, but with everything else going on I still think it is pretty good!

Now back to my journeys which I enjoyed in 2016...

2.  Teaching Quilt Classes.

I am still teaching beginning free-motion quilting at my local quilt shop.  I taught the class three times this past year and my next class is already scheduled for 2017.

{The classroom all set up}

3.  Building a New House.

Building a new house was a bit stressful.  I was grateful for the reminder to enjoy the process as well.

{Our house December 2016}

{Our house February 2016}

4.  Moving to New House.  

We were so grateful for our family and friends who helped us in the moving process.  We had most everything packed and settled within a month.

{Our House April 2016}

5.  Making it a Home.  

It took a few months to get to know the neighbors and decorate the house how we wanted.  It then started to feel more like a home.  You can take virtual tour of my home here.

{Our home November 2016}

6.  Being a Mother and Wife.

While quilting keeps me going and keeps me sane, I find my responsibilities in my family the most rewarding.  I took a two month blogging break during the summer to spend more time with them.  I am so grateful for all four of my boys.

{My wonderful boys}

I am now looking forward to a new year in 2017.  My focus will be on "choosing joy" while working on these seven goals:

  1. Use my stash ~ I would love to use up the rest of my old stash fabrics.  I am sure I will still have some new stash fabric at the end of the year.  
  2. Use my scraps ~ I have lots of possible projects I can make out of my scraps and leftovers.  I would love to cross some of them off of my list.  
  3. Use new fabrics ~ I am sure that I will be buying new fabric.  I just want to use a lot of the fabric I purchase.  
  4. Finish quilts and other projects ~ I love the process of making quilts, and I love finishing them even more.  I want to finish at least one or two quilts every month.  
  5. Make quilts to donate and give away ~ I want to donate at least six quilts this year.  That will average out to one every other month.  
  6. Help others to finish their own quilts ~ I want to keep teaching classes and hosting my small quilting group at my house.  
  7. Keep my family as my number one priority ~ I find joy in quilting, but true joy comes from time with my family.  

Once again, Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a Planning Linky Party for the new year.  I will be joining her party as well.

2017 Planning Party

I wish you all a Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Last Quilt Finished in 2016

I almost didn't blog about this quilt because I think it is kind of ugly.  My husband thought I should, because "not everyone will love everything they make"  and "every quilter needs to make an ugly quilt to find out what they really like."  At least he didn't lie and tell me he loved it anyway.  Lol.  However, when Monkey decided it was still cuddle worthy I felt a little better about it.

This was a simple stash busting quilt using up most of my old brown fabric.  (Anything that is left will be donated to a good cause.)  I used my Calculations for Race Quilt Variations and pieced it randomly.  The strips were all cut six inches wide.  It made piecing the twin size quilt take less than two hours.

I had hoped that it would improve after the quilting.  I quilted it the same as this other race quilt.  (The blue and green is so much prettier.)

While the quilting seemed to take forever due to the hard-to-use polyester batting and the not-so-pretty colors, it really took less than two hours to quilt on my Tiara.

The backing was pieced together using more of the old brown fabric.

I might like the back better than the front.

I bound it by machine and used a zig-zag stitch to try something different.

This quilt will be donated to a local shelter.  Even though I don't like it, I am still glad I made it.  It went quickly (less than seven hours start to finish) and I hope it will bring comfort to someone in need.

Quilt Stats #195
Name:  Brown Race
Pattern:  Race Quilt Variation
Fabric Used:  Browns from old stash
Amount Used:  10.5 yards
Batting:  Low loft packaged polyester
Size: About 71 x 88 inches
Date Finished:  December 2016

On a different note, my sweet husband gave me a quilt stand so I can take photos of the whole quilts again.  (I have been missing my old deck with the clothes line.)  This is the first quilt I tried it out on.  I think it is going to be perfect!

It is made by Craftgard and can be found here.  (I'm not affiliated, just a recent happy customer.)


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Quilt Kisses Family.  We have enjoyed decorating and getting ready to spend our first Christmas in our new house.  Here is a little quilty Christmas tour just for fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quilt Repair 101

My mom and I finally got around to fixing my dad's cabin quilts.  (And I finally got around to blogging about it.)  I took a bunch of pictures along the way to show how we did it.  It ended up being easier than we expected.

A year and a half ago, I mentioned in this post and this post that mice got into my dad's cabin and damaged some quilts.  He has waited patiently (and not so patiently) for them to be fixed.  I was all for adding an applique of a leaf or something to cover the holes, but my mom wanted them to look like they had never been damaged in the first place.  When my dad would get frustrated he would just say, "just add a mouse trap and call it good."  (Thanks to Sandra for that piece of advice.)

Luckily, my mom kept the scraps and we were able to fix them so that they are almost as good as new.

First, we trimmed around the hole and added more batting.  (This is Hobbs Wool.) The batting was secured with a large whip stitch.

Second, we used a circle and some Glow Line Tape to try and mark points on the fabric.

Third, we used that template to cut out a circle from the scraps.

Fourth, we used a card board template and a running stitch to turn the edges under.

Fifth, we appliqued it by hand over the hole.

Sixth, we added a similar applique on the back over the hole.

Seventh, we quilted over the patches.

Eighth, we admired the fix.

It is really hard to see when looking at the whole quilt.

(Hint:  Look by the second bear from the right bottom corner.)

This same process also works for rectangular patches.

It feels so good to have these fixed and ready to be used.  My dad loves having them back at the cabin.  The beds seemed so empty without them.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for more quilty inspiration.