Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Quilting in Review

2012 was a great year for quilting!  It was filled with amazing classes, "sewcials," fun projects and lots of beautiful fabrics!  Here are just a few highlights from 2012:

*  I was involved in 3 different quilt associations, and met so many amazing and truly talented quilters.  They provided me with inspiration and companionship.

*  Taking classes with some amazing quilting instructors:  Jennie Rayment for more textured and twiddling fun, Anelie Beldon for Dresden Plates, Christine Barnes for Color Camp and Magic Fabrics, Esterita Austin for pet portraits, tackling curves with Cara Gulati and Sonya Lee Barrington and meeting Alex Anderson!!  I made sure I purchased one of their books to get signed to add to my collection!

*  My quilting skills were stretched and put to the test as I completed 6 guild hosted challenges:  BAMQG Echo challenge to make something for myself out of the Echo line of fabrics, CQFA's Under the Sea challenge using sea inspired scraps provided by fellow members, BAM scrap pillow swap, SCQVA Crazy Elegance using 21+ different fabrics in one cohesive quilt, BAM Modern Block design and BAM's Wholecloth Quilt challenge (and my SCVQA "Oh My Stars" challenge is in progress but unlikely to be completed until the new year!).
    Top Left clockwise:  Echo bag, Crazy Elegance, Echo quilt caddy, Wholecloth, Scrap Pillow Swap, Echo Cathedral, Modern Block design, Echo bag reverse and Under the Sea. 

Collection of Magic Fabrics

*  I attended my first two quilting retreats ever and had an absolute blast learning new techniques, staying up late working on a variety of projects and meeting some wonderful quilters.

*  At the second retreat, I was introduced to Magic Fabrics, and ever since, have been on the prowl for new magical fabrics to add some sparkle and magic into my various projects.  There's even a drawer dedicated to housing this growing collection of Magic Fabrics!

*  I participated in McCall's Mystery Challenge Quilt--working on each step as they were published.  It is 80% quilted!

*  I was seduced into two 5" rainbow charm swaps.  I will admit it was fun working with fellow swappers to select fun fabrics within our color assignment, and waiting with anticipation for the full set of colorful charms.  Now I just gotta figure out what to do with them all, other than admire and caress them!   

Bennie has been befriended...alleluiah!!
And how did I do on my 2012 New Year's Resolutions?
#1.  Befriend Bennie:  Well, after completing 2 workshops focused on Bernina 8 series and several emergency visits to my LQS, I am happy to share our relationship is better than ever!  We've enjoyed countless hours of piecing and quilting (and very little muttering of 4-letter words on my end!).  We've come a long way and have lots more adventure and excitement ahead...

#2.  Master Machine Quilting:  Having Bennie has made such a difference in maneuvering large quilts during the quilting phase.  No more muttering nasty 4-letter words during the quilting phase, and since I don't have to fight the fabric as much, my back/shoulders don't ache, I am able to quilt for longer periods of time, and as a result able to do more dense quilting which give the quilts a wonderful look and feel!  

#3.  Document my projects:  Well, this is my 65th blog post documenting my quilting adventures.  The Quilt Label's class was invaluable, and I am proud to announce all the quilts that have left the house are complete with a personalized label including the quilt title, recipient, my information and the date!  I am even starting to include Quilt Care instructions on the back!

#4.  Add some glitz and pizzazz:  While I missed the mark on trying a new embellishment technique each month, I certainly added lots of glitz and pizzazz to my quilts this year.  I did try my hand at a few fabric embellishment techniques, and I've started adding magic fabrics that provide movement, glow and sparkle, along with some cool textured effects, spinning borders and even fabric weaving into my projects.  

#5.  Get Scrappy:  I completed several scrap projects using the remnants of previous quilts:  the Pink and Green Diamond Quilt, the Scrap Pillow Swap, BAM Improv blocks and Artist Trading Cards.  More intention and planning went into the management of my fabric scraps.  Whenever possible, I would cut fabric remnants into 2.5" strips, 5" or 2.5" squares.  Then last week, Doug and I tackled the overflowing scrap bucket and bin---he presssed each scrap while I chopped them up and organized them by color.  My fabric management efforts paid off while working on several Twister quilts and Mondo bags, which are my favorite scrap busting projects!  

Panda showing off a now empty scrap bucket!
I like my dogs like my fabric:  scrappy!
Pre-cut squares salvaged from my scrap bucket/bin and awaiting a scrappy project!  
While reflecting on this year...I've given lots of thought to what I hope to accomplish next year...stay tuned.  Until then, Happy New Year!!

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