12/29/17

Best of 2017

Y'all seem to be having so much fun at the party, I thought I'd join in. Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting the party. It's open until Tuesday, January 2, 2018, and so there's still plenty of time to join in.

As for my "best of"...well, it's been quite a year, and lots of changes in our lives at the Three Cats Ranch. I'll start with a few of the quilts that I finished this year and then say a little more about the changes at a more personal level.

First, I'm most proud of the free motion quilting I did on this Stars and Stripes quilt.


The quilt was made as a part of an online bee, and so only two of the blocks are mine. The rest were made by five others who were a part of my hive. (Thanks, Ladies!) From there, I figured out the setting and then had to figure out how to quilt it. Free motion quilting doesn't come easy for me, mainly because I can't draw worth beans. Taking inspiration from a star I found online, I created the motif and then did my first and only edge-to-edge design. I loved how it turned out, which makes this my favorite free motion quilting finish of the year. You can read the post from the day it was finished right here.

Next up...my oldest UFO was finished this year, and so you might say it's the one I'm most glad to have in the finished column. It's this one, called Mumm's the Word.


It was started in 2012 and was a free pattern online to celebrate Debbie Mumm's 20th year in business. It took positively forever to finish the blocks, and then, in a moment of insanity, I decided to try big stitch hand quilting it. And that took forever too. I've never been so glad to have a quilt finished, but I love how it turned out. You can read my finishing post for Mumm's the Word right here.

The quilt I'm most proud of is this one made as a memorial to my brother, Richard. It was created from a photograph taken by my dad when my brother was five years old. Then, I took a class from Ann Shaw this past spring to learn to piece the quilt in the style of Ruth McDowell. This is my finished quilt, and I call it Snips and Snails. It was a first place winner at the Oregon State Fair.


You can read the post I wrote when I finished Snips and Snails right here.

On a more personal front, it was the year my husband retired from more than 40 years as an electronics engineer. We counted the days for about two years, and finally reached the big day on April 28, 2017.



You can read the post I wrote on his (our) first full day of retirement right here, and there you can see my penchant for photographing every blooming thing, and my fondness for sweet desserts. We had a celebratory lemon meringue pie for dessert that night.

Finally, as a part of retirement, we dreamed, literally for decades, of taking an RV trip around the perimeter of the USA. If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know we are on that trip right now. We left our home in Oregon in early September, and honestly, we've seen so much since then it feels as if we've been away for years. There were quite a few things, especially in the Northeast, that were can't-miss bucket list items. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. It was thrilling.


You can read the post written after our first day of sight-seeing in New York City right here; however, I should warn you that we also saw the 9/11 Memorial that day, and some of the photographs included in the post could be upsetting if you were personally touched on that day. (And, honestly, who wasn't?) You can skip over them by scrolling down through the post to where we boarded the Staten Island Ferry on a quest to get a really good luck at Lady Liberty.

So those are my five favorites from 2017. Head on back there to the linky party and see what others have been up to during the year.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Susan C said...

I absolutely love the quilt you made of your brother. This summer I went on a quilt tour to Oregon & Sisters and we visited Fiddlesticks quilt shop on our last full day. I immediately recognized Ann Shaw’s work from reading about your classes with her. She did a presentation for our tour group and recently I learned that she will be coming to our state guild in SC in 2019. I’m looking forward to it!
Happy New Year! I hope you’re enjoying warmer weather in Florida.

Quilting Babcia said...

It's been a banner year for you folks, and another one coming up. Happy travels and a happy new year to you both!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You folks had a super year and it is such a pleasure that you are sharing your phenom travels with us.

Christine M said...

You've had a great 2017. Happy New Year Barbara.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful finishes, I love the red and white striped sashing on the first quilt. Thanks for linking up and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

Dawn White said...

Happy New Year, Barbara, and happy travels! I love the quilt you made of your brother!

Lyndsey said...

I love all your quilts but the one of your brother is my favourite. I really want to learn this technique but can't find a class reasonable close enough to attend.

Kate said...

You have such fun projects, it has to be hard to choose just your favorite 5. I've really enjoyed following your trip this year. Have a very happy New Year. I'm looking forward to seeing where else you visit in the new year.

Angie in SoCal said...

You've had a wonderful year!
God's blessings in the coming one, too.

Brown Family said...

Those might have been your five favorites, but you did so much more!

quiltzyx said...

Always fun to see a quilt retrospective! I, however, refuse to pick a favorite of your quilts :)

Happy Trails in 2018!

SJSM said...

What a banner year for you! You have several memorable quilts. Then the change in the pace of life as a result of Mike’s retirement is a life changed. I’m glad you two are able to follow a life’s dream. Many people dream the dream but never implement the plan. Congrats on living the dream!