As 2017 rapidly approaches, I'd like to take a few moments to reflect on my quilting adventures this past year: successes, failures and lessons learned. Once again, the fabulous Cheryl Brickey, of Meadow Mist Designs (who also hosts the Meadow Mystery Quilt Along), is hosting a "Best of 2016" Linky Party as a way for bloggers to celebrate and share their top 5 blog posts.
Believe it or not, but I posted 106 times in 2016 (and I still have a few more up my sleeve). So how to choose my top 5?!? Cheryl provides a few example criteria to help us choose our top 5 posts:
- Post with the most views
- Post with the most comments
- Posts that provoked the best discussions
- Posts showing your favorite 2016 finishes
- Posts that are simply your favorite!
Drum roll please...and let the countdown begin...
5. Project Quilting "It's All About that Thread": Mystical Mandala (February 7th)
This was the 3rd finished quilt in my Project Quilting series and proof that you can start and finish a beautiful quilt in just 1 week!! I had so much fun using Aurifil threads to free motion quilt this wholecloth beauty and was thrilled to learn that Aurifil featured it on their facebook page (helping me to get a whopping 540 views!!)
This little quilt also kick-started my series focused on mandala quilts. Over the next few months I created 3 more wholecloth mandalas, an appliqued mandala, two modern pieced mandalas and some hand dyed mandalas. I just love the repetitive and meditative properties of a mandala design and I hope to continue this series in 2017.
While this blog post yielded nearly 300 viewings and several lovely comments, I am sorry to say that this quilt did not get juried into the traveling exhibit.
Yes, I was initially crushed by the rejection, but rather than sulk, I found solace in this Nelson Mandala quote:
"I never lose. I either win, or learn."
I certainly learned a great deal by participating in this challenge!
3. Free Motion Mastery in a Month: Quilted Borders & Finish (October 2)
Up until this point, I had relied on using the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) to achieve consistent stitches. I chose to challenge myself by completing all the exercises without using the BSR and was pleasantly surprised by the ease of this transition! Moreover, I had a lot of fun discovering new motifs and combinations to create beautiful textures to my quilt.
2. Viva Las Vegas! (October 17)
I had so much fun visiting with the Las Vegas Quilters and sharing my love of Quilt Challenges. I was ecstatic to learn that they were so inspired by my presentation that they have since unveiled plans introduce quilt challenges in the new year!!
I too left feeling inspired by all the wonderful art to be found throughout Sin City!!
1. Peace of Mind (December 3)
The Presidential election process gave way to so much conflict and showed a very ugly side of America. Like so many Americans, I experienced enormous grief after learning the election results. I turned to quilting to help me work through my feelings and seek renewed hope, peace and compassion.
A week later, "Peace of Mind" emerged. It was improv pieced using 5" charms swapped with quilters from across the United States back in 2012. I was honored to see so many of my family & friends share messages of hope and love, many of which were lovingly stitched into the background, along with Peace translated into different languages. I love the end result--both the finished quilt, as well as a renewed sense of hope for humanity.
Many thanks for visiting and celebrating a fun year in quilting! Special thanks to Cheryl for hosting this fun Best of 2016 Party!!
Later this week, I will reflect on my progress with my 2016 Quilting New Year's Resolutions, as well reveal my plans for more quilt adventures in 2017!