No, I'm not going to list a bunch of things that died. I am going to list my accomplishments!
I had three goals going into last year:
1. Find a new job
2. Start a blog
3. Finish 1 quilt (no size requirement) per month - my 12 in '11 challenge - in order to push my boundaries and become better at FMQ (free motion quilting, for those of you not in the know)
How did I do?
1. I started my new job in mid-January. It has been really wonderful to go from a big corporate job where everyone is shoved into round holes whether they fit or not, to a small shop that is infinitely more flexible and works so much better. I went from feeling unappreciated to valued, from frustrated to excited, from discounted to included.
2. Self explanatory, I think! :-)
3. Do you really want to know?
Are you sure???
Drum roll, please...
That's right, friends, I finished 14 quilts. It really should be 15, but the last is 1/2 done and it's small - just a 20" pillow. I'm sorry, Pay it Forward friend! You'll get it soon, I promise.
Don't they all look lovely? Let me take you through them all. (If you'd like to see larger pictures, please feel free to click through.)
I made this quilt with the help of my It's So Easy Bee-ing Green VQB for my partner's ailing father. The name means forest in Japanese. Unfortunately, he passed away just before I finished it, so I gave it to his widow, instead. My mother-out-law loves it and put it in a prominent place in her cottage on the island of Nantucket. I'm sure she'll fit it into her new home on the mainland, too. I really wish I had been able to get better pictures of it as this one looks very washed out. In person, the oranges and greens are much more vibrant.
All the fabrics for this quilt were purchased in Hawaii, where the word makai means toward the sea. I knew exactly how I wanted the blocks to look but I wanted the placement and size of each block to be random. The use of a design wall helped pull this together. I really stepped up my FMQ game here by going FAR outside my comfort zone and absolutely love the result.
This screams surfing and hula to me and is one of my many two-sided quilts. I love how the outlined hibiscus are easily visible and the quilted waves flow through all open spaces.
This quilt was to be a commission for a friend who loved the quilt I made for their first born, a boy. She reached out to me, asking that I create one for their soon-to-arrive girl. Since we were communicating via email, things didn't go quite as smoothly as I had hoped. I asked questions and she, being a very busy, pregnant momma, didn't get back to me right away. I was inspired, though, and jumped in feet first. Unfortunately, it wasn't what she was looking for at all, which is just as well, because I fell in love with the quilt.
Roll 'Em Again, Sam
This is exactly the quilt she wanted. The name comes from the way I literally randomize the layout by rolling dice.
Happiness/Lucky Cat/Anna is Cherished
Meanwhile, my acupuncturist wanted to gift one of her teachers with a quilt for her new baby. She and her friends pooled their money to pay for part of this quilt and she tossed in an hour long shiatsu to round it out. Both my acupuncturist and her teacher were very happy with the result and I was happy with the massage! ;-)
Max's Koi Pond
And another of her teachers had had a baby boy. The fish came from a gorgeous piece I bought in Hawaii that I fussy cut for the focus blocks near the center. All the fabrics used in the strings corellated to colors in the focus fabric, though you can't really tell in the pics I have. I should have taken better detail shots. This quilt was my test to create a new string quilt method. Just WAIT until I tell you about that. You're going to love it!
Max's Koi Pond (back)
I had an extra fish and wanted to piece his name in as well. From this side, you can see the wavy lines I used to quilt this piece. They seemed fitting, like the slow, easy waves over the surface of a mostly calm koi pond. Reminds me of Byodo-In Temple on O'ahu.
You may remember me posting about this one before. A very special lady and long-time friend of the family (notice I did NOT say old, J???) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had signed up to get one of my Pay It Forward pieces, and I wanted to give her a totem and a hug rolled in one for her fight. Last I had heard, she was undergoing her final round of chemo and doing well.
I found Hyacinth's Garden Gate block online and HAD to make this quilt. I picked bright blues and citrus-y greens (my personal favorites). I chose a lovely coral dot for the binding, solidifying the Caribbean feel. Billy Ocean sang in my head the whole time I was quilting her, so she is my Caribbean Queen. This quilt is so beautiful to me and went so quickly that I might actually go back and make another one like it (in a different colorway, of course).
Caribbean Queen (back)
I fell in love with Amy Butler's Trumpet Flower when I saw it online and had a dickens of a time finding it to add to my stash. It only came in home dec weight, but I was willing to work with something heavier simply to have the lovely flowers on the bright green background. I paired it with a bright green Bali Gate print, also from Amy Butler, to mimic the shape of the block on the front. I had to get a little bit creative with the layout, though, as I didn't have quite enough of the Butler prints to make it a larger version. It took a long time with my graph paper and pencil to work out.
A lady I used to work with contacted me to commission a piece for a friend of hers that was about to have a baby. Her friend had fallen in love with the Amy Butler Sun Spot fabric (another home dec weight) and picked up a small piece without knowing what she would do with it. Enter my friend and her conspiratorial ways. She enlisted the daddy to sneak the fabric out of the house. She brought it over and we discussed what sort of design to do. She settled on this pattern seen online and I drew up a plan on graph paper.
Modern Baby (back)
Because the mommy-to-be loved it so much, I designed the back to use up the leftover Sun Spot. Very graphic. Very bold. Very simple. Love.
I'd wanted to do a plus-sign quilt since I first saw one online and finally got around to it. The name, of course, comes from Prince's lovesexy album.
Another music named quilt! Billy Idol, of course. GenQ called for volunteers to take place in a some fun - the Scrap Splat Challenge. This was my entry. To my amazement, my first contest entry ever won! (You should really see the other entries. I had a run for my money, let me tell you.) It is now framed and hangs on the wall as a Pay it Forward piece and wedding gift at my sister-out-law's house.
This is one of my Pay it Forward items and still needs to be delivered. I pulled from my scraps for the Dresden blades and my stash made up the background, zipper, and binding.
My sweetie has patiently awaited this quilt. It now lives on our bed, along with Caribbean Queen. He says we have the two best quilts in the house all for us.
My fourth Pay it Forward went to my dear, dear friend and all around goddess, M. She adores the traditional for her own home and appreciates my modern bent on things, so I think this is a Reese's-worthy happy combination.
Next up: my goals for 2012.