It’s time for me to look back at what I’ve made this year. I’ve rounded up pictures of almost everything I completed, including pillows and small challenge quilts. I know one baby quilt is missing because I could never take a picture that registered its colors correctly. But, not to worry, as there are 26 pieces shown here to assess. One is a re-quilted old piece, but it’s here because I spent a fair amount of time on it.
As I look over my work I can discern some trends. First, I’ve been making much smaller pieces than I used to – about 36 inches square on average. This is partly because I’ve made pillows, baby quilts, and challenge pieces. It’s also because I’m trying out ideas and approaches and don’t want to experiment with something really large. Then, there’s my diminishing amount of storage space. Even though I’ve given away many of my older quilts, I still have a growing pile, and I have just so much space under my beds.
Second, I can see I worked in a variety of styles, though I made only one piece (Dandy Candy) directly from a pattern. For a few quilts I used paper piecing patterns developed by others for individual blocks, but I devised my own settings. Modern and improvisational quilts have influenced my work, yet some pieces hark back to traditional styles.
Third, I’ve tried out different color palettes, with a serious attempt to use lighter, more monochromatic color schemes. I still love my turquoise, though. I seem to have an evolving interest in luminosity and transparency effects.
Fourth, my efforts to improve my free motion quilting skills haven’t panned out. This may be due in part to sewing machine issues, but I just don’t seem to get it. One piece will go swimmingly while the next one shows absolutely no learning. I don’t enjoy it, but grit my teeth and hope for passable results.
Fifth, I spent a lot of time on at least three unfinished pieces not shown here, but I have to rework them or plunge into intense free motion quilting to finish them.
Sixth, I’ve learned a lot from the work of other quilters – techniques, color schemes, design, fabric choices. Have you been looking over what you made in 2014? Any thoughts on the direction(s) your work is taking?
See you in 2015!
6 responses to “(Almost) All My 2014 Finishes”
What about the thread sketching feather that you did?……or was that you?
I think you have someone else in mind as thread sketching is way outside my skill set, though I wish it were a skill I could show off.
I finished 6 quilts that were languishing on my spare bed, among other things. I just put up a quilt my daughter made me with a series of machine embroidered birds on it. Guess what I noticed? This piece has not been quilted at all. So now I am going over what I want to do to ‘improve’ it. I also decided to start a series of small blocks exploring different hand work techniques, with nature as a theme. I am using my own hand dyes. I brought a block with me and some beads to embellish. I tried out my needles and brought several that went through a bead just fine. So far, I have only found 2 other beads they will go through. So much for idle hands vs busy hands this trip.
Watching an early Sat. show in Indianapolis, I was reminded of birds’nests, so that will be next. I can’t wait. Of course, I have to locate a pesky needle when I get home… or beads with bigger holes. One last big project, and I know generally what I want to do with it, is my tree of life. It has been sitting on the design wall calling my name for several months now…
I know your “aging” process for quilts results in a product that’s rich in techniques and lovely touches. Sorry that the bead holes are foiling your good intentions for doing hand work.
What a great, productive year! I have my favorites (still love those leaves and the dancing stars) but I don’t remember seeing the one with the typewriters before–love it! I’m impressed with your range of styles and your willingness to experiment. I have to admit, seeing all this in one place, makes me feel like a bit of a slacker, though!
Well, I’m a quilt slut, as I’ve said before. Sometimes I feel like a block, sometimes I don’t. I realize that instead of doing sketches, I tend to just try out my ideas in cloth. This works OK as long as I keep the pieces small. And I really like the leaves quilt, too. The typewriter one was inspired by the fabric, which immediately called to mind the mechanical typewriters I learned on and the practice sentences.