2015: Year in Review

It's been a busy sewing year, here at the Three Cats Ranch. It seems a good time to check in and see if we accomplished anything. Counting them up, I discovered that I'd completed thirty quilts this year. To be fair, many of them are downright tiny, but we're going with Horton the Elephant's philosophy here: Like a person, a quilt's a quilt, no matter how small. Some of my oldest UFO's came to a close, and that's always a good feeling. Nevertheless, there is still much to do. I imagine I'll be sewing a binding on a quilt when I draw my last breath...it wouldn't be such a bad way to go.

My quilting journey didn't start until late in life, after so many other life goals. When I retired in 2004, it took me quite a while to figure out who I was going to be for the rest of my life. The deal was sealed when I took my first quilting class at our local community college.

My first teacher was a woman named Lorraine Gard. She did me a tremendous favor when she started the class teaching us to cut strips with a rotary cutter...a tool new to me, since my previous sewing life had taken place during the 14th Century. While my classmates and I cut strips for our first quilt, a nine patch and rail, she read aloud an essay that would change my sewing life...and it didn't hurt to follow the philosophy in the rest of my life either. You can read it right here if you're interested.

Here's a list of my imperfect quilts for 2015, and I sure have had a lot of fun making them. You'll find the quilt description below the image.

Sew Powerful
22 x 30 inches
"Never Underestimate" pattern by Bobbie G. Designs
 an embroidered wall-hanging
started 9/29/14 and finished 1/5/15

A Walk in the Woods
16 x 16 inches
a doll quilt for my partner in the doll quilt swap
swap theme was "A Good Book", and this one was 
made for Bill Bryson's book of the same name
Also used as my challenge quilt for the "Trees" theme of
Project Quilting, Season 6
started 1/4/15 and finished 1/7/15

This Little Piggy
9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches
a mug rug for a friend
pattern by 2strings
started and finished on 1/7/15

Sunrise, Sunset
17 x 19.5 inches
made for the "Sunrise, Sunset" theme
Project Quilting 6 Challenge #2
pattern adapted from Lise Merchant and Brenda Brayfield's original
quilt in their book "Stained Glass Applique"
started and finished Jan. 18-21, 2015

Shoot for the Moon
(if you miss you'll land among the stars)
started 4/16/13 and completed 1/27/15
an online block of the month, Hello Moon, by April Mae Designs.
38.5 x 30 inches

Fractured Flower Garden
21 x 44 inches
made for the "Orphan Blocks and UFO's" theme
Project Quilting 6 Challenge #3
my own design made from cut-up blocks made
in a curved-piecing class.

started and finished Feb. 1-4, 2015

Eyes on the Prize
5 x 8 inches
made for my daughter-in-law Valerie's birthday
mug rug designed by patchsmith
fusible applique and machine quilted
started and finished Feb. 7, 2015

Colorful Colorado
a wall hanging, 18 x 33 inches 
from the book "Portraits from Nature" by Jean Wells 
started 6/19/14 and finished 2/11/15 
a gift for a friend from high school 

started 10/27/12 and completed 3/20/15
"Folk Art Cats" pattern by John Simpkins
65 x 81 inches

Stitching for Spring
started 3/22/15 and completed 3/23/15
free motion embroidery
from the book Coloring with Thread by Ann Fahl
made for Another Little Quilt Swap 9 and Let's Book It Challenge
12.5 x 12.5 inches

Sew Helpful
pattern by Carol Armstrong from her book, Kitty Capers
fusible applique 
started 12/22/14 and finished 3/26/15
18 x 18 inches

Aged to Purrfection
pattern by Sher Hastings
fusible applique and machine quilted
given as a giveaway prize to celebrate Smitty's 3rd birthday
7 x 10 inches
started and finished 4/5/15

Rubber Duckies
started 3/1/15 and finished 4/17/15
a gift for some friends' first grandchild
from the "Turn Around Baby" pattern by Queen Bee Designs
41 x 50 inches

I Love Lulu
started and finished 4/18/15
a birthday present for a good friend
from the Vintage Sewing Machine mug rug pattern by Sher Hastings Designs
6.5 x 10 inches

Mae's Garden
started and finished 4/22/15
a birthday present for my daughter-in-law
adapted from the original design by Anita Peluso
8 x 10 inches

Bumblebee Playground
tablerunner designed by Patrick Lose
started 4/21/15 and completed 5/16/15
12 x 32 inches

Block Party
started 4/1/15 and finished 5/17/15
for a guild challenge Neutrals + 1 Color + a Zinger
from the Third Street Neighborhood pattern by Debbie Grifka
35 x 35 inches

Over the Moon
Tablerunner pattern by Dawn White
started 6/20/15 and finished 7/14/15
16 x 57 inches
first project using inset circles

To the Rescue
a baby quilt for the first grandchild of a friend
pattern from The Virginia Quilter
started 6/29/15 and finished 8/12/15
45 x 54 inches

Four Fabric Forest
from a class taught by Lisa Crnich
based on the technique of Ruth McDowell
started 8/1/15 and completed 9/2/15
wall hanging 13.5 x 23 inches


Vintage Tin
started 7/15/13 and finished 9/29/15
pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios
 for my son Erik's 36th birthday
64 x 70 inches

a portrait quilt of my kitty
started 10/1/15 and finished 10/5/15
using the techniques learned from June Jaeger
fusible applique, free motion embroidery, and free motion quilting
8 x 11 inches

Dream Machines 
made for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge 
started 1/3/14 and finished 10/18/15 
pattern by Barbara Weiland Talbert 
62 x 72 inches

Farmily Jewels
a thank you gift for my CSA farmers
fusible applique and free motion quilted on my domestic machine
adapted from a tutorial by Purl Soho
started and completed 10/17-22/15
32 x 21 inches


Blushing Aspens
pattern by Frieda Anderson
started 8/20/15 and finished 10/31/15
a tablerunner with inset leaves
18 x 55 inches


a portrait quilt of my kitty
started 10/30/15 and finished 11/1/15
using the techniques learned from June Jaeger
fusible applique, free motion embroidery, and free motion quilting
8 x 11 inches


Feed the Cat
pattern by Waltzing with Bears
 started 8/14/15 and finished 11/28/15 
a wallhanging 20 x 30 inches 
hand embroidery, fusible machine applique, and free motion quilting

The Doors of Ireland
started July 20, 2012 and finished December 7, 2015
each block a representation of a door I saw in Ireland
an original design
fusible applique and free motion quilted 76 x 76 inches

Whose Woods are These?
started 12/16/15 and finished 12/25/15
traditional piecing and free motion quilted
25.5 inches square
free pattern from Patchalot Patterns

Icy Blues
a free pattern from All People Quilt
a winter table runner
started 12/8/15 and finished 12/31/15

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lana Ku said...

You have been a busy woman! Such beautiful and inspiring quilting and embroidery. Love all your cat quilts, especially your portraits of Smitty and Gracie. You'll now need to make one of the beautiful Maggie. I need to go get busy sewing!

works4me said...

You have certainly accomplished a lot in 2015. A nice variety of colours and techniques as well. I think my favourites have to be the kitty portraits. Colorful Colorado is great, too. And the thread painting on Stitching for Spring turned out so well. All of them look wonderful and the recipients of those you gave away are very lucky.

Sarah said...

How fun to see your quilt year in review!

Quilting Babcia said...

Heehee, if a quilt is a quilt is a quilt, I can double my total finishes for the year with those four placemats made as a Christmas gift! Now I've been following your blog pretty faithfully and there are at least three finishes I can't remember ever seeing! Fading aging memory I guess! Very impressive, you are one lean mean quilting machine! Well, probably not mean but you know what I mean!

Lyndsey said...

It's lovely to see all your finishes together. Great work. I'm not going to pick favourites but I love all the cat ones and the......

Kate said...

You had a very productive 2015. I couldn't pick a favorite from that group. Though I really like the portraits of Gracie and Smitty, and your Four Fabric Forest. Hope you 2016 is just a productive.

Janet said...

What a wonderful collection! And I love your philosophy of quilting being for the rest of your life. Mine too, I think, if I ever get time to actually work at it consistently. I was excited to see your Sunrise Sunset theme quilt was adapted from a book co-written by Lise Merchant. She is a Yukoner and it would surely be exciting for her to see her book mentioned in your blog.

ES said...

I have been following your blog since you were working on the fire trucks quilt, which I just love! I like your blog g, just a touch of humor, lots of honesty, quilting tips, product recommendations, and most importantly you just see, see, sew! I like that you update often, you've always got something interesting going on :) happy new year to you, Emily x

ES said...

Wah!! Lots of autocorrect mistakes in my above message :/ it's supposed to say 'sew, sew, sew' .

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Fantastic year for you. Gracie and Smitty outshine the group! Although I still absolutely love those 4 fabric trees.

Nancy in IN said...

Wow. You did really well. Lots of variety.

SJSM said...

What a productive year! Some of your quilts surprised me with how long ago you started them. I enjoyed reading about the quilts as each block was made and decisions you made to make the quilts come together. They became a constant thread to your blog. Kinda like watching the birth of a child (idea) to see it "all growed up" into its prime.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The little ones count as much as the big ones do. Lots of nice finishes.

Dar said...

Such a nice quilt review of the year. I loved seeing them again and remembered little tid bits when you were working on them at the time. It does look like you are having lots of fun and I enjoyed the story from Teri about the Perfect Quilt. Very true sentiments indeed.