Covid-19 Times · Happy Old Year Ending (Wrap-up)

Happy Old Year Ending • 2020

I just had to lead off this Happy Old Year Ending Post with one of my favorite memes from this year. So it is with fervor and conviction that I say: Happy Old Year Ending. Good-bye. Go away. Good riddance.

Here are my finished quilts for this year:

Not as many as last year, but then I wasn’t immersed in a nation-wide experience of dealing with a pandemic, either. Somehow time passed in interesting ways:

Yes, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

These two quilts were on my 2020 quilt top finishes list, and they are still lost in space somewhere, as each will take herculean thinking to get them to where I want them to be. Here are some of the tops I finished:

I finished all my red, white and blue blocks before Christmas. The top is on its way to being complete. Stay tuned.

The Bee Happy top was finished before Christmas as well, with the addition of the hexie and blue borders. I’m now starting to quilt it.

When I first wrote this post, it was all about the emotional landscape of how we felt these past nine months, rather doom-and-gloom, Sturm und Drang.

Zoom teaching in 2020

But after letting it sit for a couple of days, I decided I didn’t want to end my year of describing the realities of the year that we’ve all just lived through. Instead I’ll leave you with a few quotes and links I like, something to bring in this new, but not necessarily different, year.

  • The New York Times published a column on finding hope when things feel gloomy.
  • I’ve been enjoying all the news articles I see that contain references to quilting or knitting or all those other crafts that normally go under the radar.
  • Austin Kleon wrote a great post about how quantity can lead to quality.
  • Brilliant tip for holding up quilts for photography that uses only a clamp and duct tape–nothing fancy.
  • Finally, a Zen Habits post I read once in a while, when I just feel emptied out in frustration or disappointment that I just can’t get my projects to work themselves into being, and I’m sure that I am the problem.

“We must surrender our hopes and expectations, as well as our fears, and march directly into disappointment, work with disappointment, go into it and make it our way of life.”

Chogyam Trungpa

“To create, take your time, block out the noise…It’s difficult to find the time, especially when other demands seem to press much closer to the skin of daily life. Most days it feels less like locating a stretch of time that’s available for the claiming, and more like forcibly insisting on the clearing of space. Since I don’t have the inclination to quilt in small bursts, I need to be intentional about setting aside at least a few hours or half a day. The aim is to treat quilting like any other work, which it is. This means if I mark off time to create, I can’t go off to run small errands, agree to coffee with friends or acquaintances, sit in front of my phone answering text messages and e-mails, or distract myself by chipping away at random tasks.”

Jenny Xie

Remedy for when you are stuck: take a break. I think that if you bang your head against the wall trying to create, you’re going to resent the process of creation. Usually when you reach an impasse it’s a signal to move on to another thing. Maybe you haven’t slept in a while. Maybe you need some time to ponder, to just stare at the wall. Maybe you need to live, truly be alive for a little and not near a computer. Maybe you need to read, see, watch—to refill your well.

Fatimah Asghar

Don’t partition off your daily life from your creative life.

Emily Skillings

I like that last quote quite well, as so often we use our quilting to escape away, and while I welcome that, I also think that who we are, what we are dealing with, our sorrows, our joys need to inform our creating. Maybe you are working hard on a quilt because someone close to you has just died and piecing a large quilt is the only thing that will help us mark those first awful days. Maybe you are working in red, white and blue because you worry about your nation, expressing your patriotism in your country’s colors. Maybe it’s a year of handwork, grabbed in snatches of time in between spending time in Zoom meetings (or maybe you are doing handwork during those same Zoom meetings!). Whatever your life is like, bring a little of it into your quilts, letting it hold these days for you.

So farewell, 2020, a year of disaster, of disease, of sorrow, of death, of forced calm and glints of silver linings. A year for the history books.

And welcome 2021. We look forward with hope.

Happy Old Year Ending (Wrap-up)

Happy Old Year Ending 2019

I am a firm believer in making lists.  There are Best Seller Lists, To-Do Lists, Grocery Lists, Honey-Do Lists, in short, lists for everything.  A grand event in my world is making a list of tasks, then whipping out my yellow marker to cross them off when completed.  I even have lists of lists, and many of them are in my calendar

Quilts 2019 Conglomerate.jpg

2019 ListQuilts.jpg
This is my list of what I accomplished in 2020, quilt-wise.  We won’t talk about the other stuff (like shoulder surgery–yikes!).

You haven’t seen number 18 Azulejos yet.  And in a little more housekeeping, Field Flowers, number 7 in the listing above, is listed as 188 in my Quilt Index, since I posted about the top back then, and like to keep them together.

Five Merrion Square Quilts.jpg

Can’t believe I made five Merrion Square quilts.  But here they are.

I also made a couple more Tiny Quilts which aren’t listed; they are free patterns available in the tab “Tiny Quilts” at the top of the blog.Crossroads SModerne.jpg

This was a highlight of 2019, as I am quite a fangirl of this magazine.

HomeWhereHeartIs_1.jpg

Here’s one you haven’t seen on this blog yet.  It’s Home Is Where the Heart is, a re-do of my Home, Sweet Home pattern.  Lots of people would rather piece in the doors and windows (the smaller version has you fuse them on), so I am in the process of refreshing the pattern; it will be available Febrary 1st in PayHip.

HomeWhereHeartIs_2.jpg

The backing shows scenes of New York City, and reminds me of my daughter, who is in totally besotted with that place.  She was born there, but we moved when she was still tiny.  The city is in her DNA, I’m convinced.2019 completed Quilt Tops.jpg

But I still have some work to do.  Tannenbaum was on my Christmas Day post, and it needs a few more tons more squares for the borders so it can live on my bed in December.  Small World is pin-baseted, ready for quilting, as is the City Streets variation.  And that Temperature Quilt will soon be finished (like tonight).

Output number Sign 2019

So, even though I started the  year with that surgery which sidelined me for a few months, I think my output has been decent.  I also visited seven different guilds, taught seven workshops, and wrote/refreshed many of my patterns.  I’m not listing the number of doctor visits, trips to the grocery store, visits to the car dealership, nor the trips to see my children/grandchildren/parents/family.  In this blog, all revolves around the quilt, and my Quilt Index (or Indices, if you want to get technical).

And why is a quilt index important for you?  I was sitting next to Judy R. in December’s Guild meeting, and the question came up “Who has made the most quilts?”  Several women raised their hands, but Judy popped her hand up and said “Elizabeth has! And has a Quilt List to prove it!” (She’s very sweet.) It made me, yet again, happy that I’d made a quilt index and kept it up to date.  In this new upcoming  year, I’d like to encourage you to start one, if you haven’t already.

BTC and ESE Matching Outfits
That daughter and I, long long ago.

If you are new to this blog, last year I wrote an introduction of who I am.  In this space, I generally talk about my quilts, places I go that are textile/quilty related, as well as discuss quilt/work/create topics once in a while.  I keep this quote of Thomas Merton’s handy, perhaps to help me keep perspective:

“We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.”

For now, for today, it’s time to unwind from that tension, take a break and close out this year, looking forward to the next.  In all ways, quilting can help.

German Happy New Year

Prosit Neujahr 2020!

Happy Old Year Ending (Wrap-up)

Happy Old Year Ending • 2017

This year’s main quilting events: Shoulder surgery in January, which pretty much sidelined me for a long time.  That’s at the top of the list, because whatever I did after that was like icing on the cake.  My  achievements — or lack of, depending on your view — can be found under the tab “200 Quilts,” a handy way to navigate the morass of blogland.

But here’s some eye-candy, quilt-style.

2017 Makes_1

2017 Makes_2

and a few more…

2017 Makes_3

So, in spite of a lame start, I did manage to get a few things made.  That’s why I do these posts–they are more for me, to say…hey, you didn’t do so bad.  So often we only notice what we don’t do, what we can’t make or achieve, as you’ll notice by my language in the intro, where I denigrate my accomplishments.

European Patchwork Meeting Banner

I did some some traveling, which expanded my horizons a bit, to the European Patchwork Meeting…

Tokyo_Yuzawaya

…as well as Seoul and Tokyo (accompanying my husband to his meetings).  Next travel is to Ontario, California for Road to California, and to Pasadena for QuiltCon 2018. Luckily both are within an hour of my home.

I’m joining up with Cheryl’s Linky Party, because I’ve found it so fun to browse what everyone else has been doing this year.  My top five posts for 2017 are:

  1.  Mini Sew-Together Bag.  I recently moved the pattern up to Craftsy and am happy that it has helped find a wider audience of bag enthusiasts. The rest of my patterns are on PayHip (link to the right).

Mini Sew Together Bag_5b stuffed

2. Christmas Tree Skirt.  Although there is no pattern, there is enough information on this post so you can make your own.  I’m still surprised by how much traffic this post gets.

christmas-tree-skirt-2014

 

3. Shine–the Circle Quilt Post is a busy place, as I make available many EPP patterns for free, so you can make a circle block either for a quilt, or pillows or wall-hangings.  And this year, the quilt will hang in Road to California.

4shinecirclesquiltl

4. Two posts are virtually tied for the same place: the post on how to convert a Chuck Nohara block illustration to a pattern, and the posts showing the tutorial on my Piggies quilt.

Chuck Nohara_2
Chuck Nohara quilt top

Piggies_front
Piggies!

5.  Christmas Tree Block Swap tutorial.

xmastreeswap

I hope you do your own tallying up, and sail into 2018 with the wind at your back.
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year18.png