Monday, January 1, 2018

Best of 2017


Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a nice link party, inviting us to share our five best posts of 2017. We get to define for ourselves what constitutes "best," so I decided to share five of my favorites.


Fiery Tree is my favorite baby quilt from 2017. It was the perfect match for the baby's room, which is decorated with paintings of trees in all the seasons. I quilted it free motion quite heavily, and love the drape and feel of it.



Twist N Scrap is my favorite serendipity quilt of 2017. What is a "serendipity quilt"? That's when you make a quilt for no particular reason and then it turns out to be just the right gift for someone! This quilt was given to my husband's cousin's wife's sister, whom I had only met a few times. She is struggling with her health, and this quilt gave her some comfort. She wrote me a thank you note that still brings tears to my eyes. Never underestimate the power of an unexpected quilty gift!


Bright Astrodelic is the quilt with my favorite quilting, a tightly spaced spiral made with my walking foot. The texture is delicious! I used several brightly colored threads to match the piecing, and love how they look against the black background. This one was a serendipity quilt, too!


Gulf Coast Churn Dash is my favorite scrappy quilt of the year. It's the first quilt I ever made using an "old fashioned" block combination: chunky churn dash plus hour glass. The dashes were made completely from my strip scraps and I had no idea what it would look like when finished. I was very happily surprised! The quilt was donated to Covered in Love, one of my favorite charities.


And finally, this is the quilt I am most proud of: O Star! The quilt was made as a gift for my mother, who needed to have surgery on fairly short notice. I had about 10 days to make this large lap size from scratch. I chose the Night Sky pattern, which Mom had given me as a gift, and the triangle piecing was a challenge. I did FMQ with lots of thread color changes, and tackled the angled edge binding. It wasn't an easy quilt, but the smile on Mom's face made it completely worthwhile. And more importantly, her surgery was a total success!

Thank you for stopping by to read about my five best quilts. I'm also going to share a summary of the whole year. I've done this in previous years with the Trunk Show link up, but that seems to be defunct this year. It's useful to me to have everything all in one post to refer back to in the future, so here goes:


In the first quarter, I worked on several charity projects. The two little quilts on the left were donated to Project Linus. The house quilt was sold by my niece's sorority at a charity auction to benefit CASA in Washington state. The pillowcases were for Camp Heartland which serves youth with HIV/AIDS. The bright diamond quilt was sent to a friend in Holland to help her heal from serious illness.


Second quarter, I finished up a number of small quilts that were pieced while we lived temporarily in a tiny RV during February and March. I couldn't spread out enough to quilt there, so I accumulated a bunch of tops that got finished in April and May. Four of those went to Project Linus. It was also the time of year when Sarah runs her Hands2Help Challenge, so I made one quilt each for Happy Chemo, Camp Hobe, the International Institute of St. Louis, and Covered in Love.


International Institute benefits recent immigrants to the US, and they requested quilts no smaller than twin size. This majestic mountains design I made for them was a real challenge to quilt in my small space. It cemented my resolve to stick with pieces no larger than about 60" on a side.


In mid-summer we docked the boat in Charleston, SC and stayed for over four months. I had lots and lots of time to sew and was inspired to make a bunch of 36"x48" wheelchair lap quilts for Quilted Embrace. 


It was also a quarter with several finishes for gifts to friends and family. I'm pretty sure I sent the pink bordered Kaffe hexagon quilt to Covered in Love, but was sorely tempted to keep it. DH says we'd need a bigger boat to keep all my favorites, so that ain't happening.


The fall and winter of 2017 included more quilts for family and friends, Covered in Love, Project Linus and the Charleston UU church's charity auction. 


It's fun to look back over an entire year's worth of quilting. 2017 seemed to be a year of trying new blocks and patterns, from hexagons to kaleidoscopes, strippy scraps to attic windows, houses and hourglasses and mariner's compasses. I used lots of novelty theme fabrics and panels: cats, horses, fish, coffee and vegetables, just to name a few. I can honestly say I enjoyed making every one of these quilts, and my fondness for the craft continues to grow.

OK, let's get sewing for 2018!

24 comments:

Val's Quilting Studio said...

It is fun to see your whole year of quilting in one post. VERY inspiring! I love your variety and creativity of colors and patterns chosen. Happy happy new year friends! :)

Dar said...

Louise, Your line up of quilts for 2017 has me in awe. I love the format you used to showcase them. I need to take pointers of how you do it. Your quilts were so diverse and full of lots of bright colors, that I love too. It must be a fun experience living on a boat. Guess you don't have any problems with sea sickness, right? Your gifts to so many organizations is impressive. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to give quilts when they are not expected.

JANDA Bend Quilts said...

Wow you live on a boat! That is really cool! And what beautiful quilts you make. I particularly like the O Star! Quilt. I love the bright colors. Do you have trouble sewing when you are away from the dock? I belong to an RV Quilters group Facebook page, but we only sew when we are at a camp site.

Native Mainer said...

I love your quilting! Thanks for posting the quilt photos of the year in review. I don't sew but I do appreciate art in any form. Happy New Year!

Janie said...

Marvelous quilts all, Louise!
I like your churn dash and your stars. And your mother loved her quilt, sweet.
I also noticed your two pillow covers, Sunrise and Sunset, wow, nice work.

Janie said...

Oops, Twilight!

Fiona said...

You have done some beauties this year... it's fun looking back
Hugz

joanne W said...

Every one of them should win a prize. You are an inspiration. I hope to be half as productive in 2018!

Anonymous said...

when you see them all together, what a lot you have made and even better the love and care you have shared by passing them on. well done lass.

Heide said...

It is always fun to look back on what we accomplished during the year. Beautiful quilts this year, looking forward to see what 2018 brings. Happy New Year!

Cheryl said...

You had such a productive year, I love all of the finishes! Thanks for linking up and have a wonderful new year!

piecefulwendy said...

What fun to see your quilty year, Louise! I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite out of all those quilts, they are all so amazing. I'd love to see the favorites that you keep stashed on the boat for yourself. You do good work making so many quilts that bless others. Well done!

Vicki in MN said...

You did good this year, my friend, so many quilts for well deserving people. Give yourself a big ole pat on the back for me:)

PaulaB quilts said...

That's a mountain of Quilts you did this year. There's something to be said for cruising and not having endless distractions. I used to sail with my uncle and I loved the total peace and quiet with only the flap of the sail and the sound of the water. Best wishes for a fine cruising year.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Love your O Star! And all your colorful photos and quilt happening! Great job! You are an amazing quilter.

JanineMarie said...

I knew you were a prolific quilter when I first found your site, but seeing this whole year's worth of quilts in one place just puts me in awe!! You have done so much to warm the bodies and hearts of others. And now, as my granddaughter says, my eyes are dripping. Have a Happy, happy new year quilting in your floating studio!

Dawn White said...

What a productive year you had! Mighty impressive. I especially love your Twist N Scrap quilt. Can't wait to see what you do in 2018. Happy New Year!

Sandy said...

Very impressive! You must feel so good with all you've accomplished. I love the serendipity quilt idea. I may steal it......

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! What a productive year. I have said it before. I ❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ Your color choices and how you use panels and quilt patterns to their fullest. Cannot wait to see what you have planned for this year. Happy New Year and safe cruising. Claudia

Sandra Walker said...

Love this roundup and best of! I remember the Star quilt for your mom very well, amazing how quickly you did it and how gorgeous it is; had forgotten about that angled edge binding, wow. Wheelchair quilts! A couple of summers ago I somehow whipped up 10; they go quickly and are fun. You give so much away, for such good causes; I am in awe truly inspiring you are my friend. And inspiring also is your gorgeous FMQ, just WOW, lovely, I want to pet my computer screen. :-)

Preeti said...

What a wonderfully productive year!!! Love all your finishes, Louise. The Star Quilt is a star but the fact that you completed it in record time makes it a show-stopper. Love the circular quilting on the Bright Astrodelic Quilt. Being on a boat allows for spectacular photo shoots - for that I am jealous :-D
Wishing you lots of creativity and happiness in the new year.

June D said...

WOW!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful dose of colorful eye candy on this dreary winter day! Congrats to you.

Kate said...

You've got some gorgeous quilts from 2017. That you can do all of that on a boat is pretty amazing. Wishing you lots more happy stitching in 2018.