Four Years of Quilting

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I took my first quilting class in October 2014, and I had no idea what a life-changer that class would be for me. Quilting has become my main de-stressor, and it has been so satisfying to make hand-crafted projects for my family and friends (and me too!) In May 2015 I decided that I wanted to blog about my quilting adventures, so I joined a New Quilt Blogger’s Facebook group and wrote my first post entitled The Beginning.

In September 2015 I wrote a Quilty Bucket List post about quilts that I wanted to make. Three years later there are some quilts on that list that I may make, but my quilting preferences and tastes have definitely changed in the last three years. One quilt that is on that list from three years ago is the Alison Glass Feathers quilt top which I finished last month and am waiting to get it back from my local quilt store, ThreadBear (see my Sept ‘18 OMG Finishes post for more info about this quilt top). But what has changed is that I actually bought a Feathers quilt kit from ThreadBear a couple years ago that had a variety of prints in it, and by the time I was ready to start making this quilt this summer, I wanted to use solids, not prints. I debated for awhile if I wanted to use Kona solids which are my go-to solids but decided on the Alison Glass Kaleidoscope fabrics which are absolutely beautiful though they definitely fray more than Kona solids.

The photo at the top of this post shows a project that is definitely reflective of my current quilting tastes and preference for solids. I am in the process of making two Teal/Turquoise Whirl pillow shams to go with the Wedding Whirl quilt that I made for my stepdaughter and her new wife.

Retrospective

Since this is my four year anniversary of quilting, I thought I’d recap some of my favorite quilts I’ve made in the last four years. Tap or hover (depending on your device) on the photos to see the name of the quilt. Posts about these quilts can be viewed through the search box or tags on the right side of my blog posts.

Squares & Rectangles

Like most quilters, I was most comfortable sewing squares and rectangles when I first started quilting, and I still like the look of simple patchwork especially with bright colors. Below is a mosaic of quilts that feature squares and rectangles.

Triangles

About a year into my quilting adventure, I felt ready to tackle triangles, and there’s been no looking back! I’ve definitely made over 1,000 half-square triangles (HSTs) and a fair amount of corner triangles. Below are some of my favorite quilts that have triangles as an integral part of the design:

Animals—Elizabeth Hartman Patterns

Not long after I had a little experience making triangles , I discovered Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns. She is a quilt designing genius. Three of the projects below are from her Fancy Forest pattern, and then there is the Dogs in Sweaters quilt that I named Slinky’s Friends that I made for my niece, Mary Frances, and it is one of my all-time favorites especially because of the awesome custom long-arm quilting that Michael at ThreadBear did on this quilt.

Here’s a pic of my niece’s dog, Slinky, just waking up snuggled under her (and his) Slinky’s Friends quilt.

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Paper Piecing

Who woulda guessed? I have become SUCH a fan of paper piecing. I first tried paper piecing in 2016, and initially it was frustrating to me at because of the mirror image nature of paper piecing. I started to really like paper piecing when I participated in a guild activity where we were challenged to make a project out of a quilted word. I found the free LOVE pattern below by Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages in February 2017, and something clicked when working on that project which I turned into the pillow below. My confidence in paper piecing has increased so much that I wrote the Five Tips to Decrease Paper-Piecing Stress post in June 2018.

Color Gradient Projects

My latest focus in quilting has been on quilting projects that have a color gradient element which is explained in detail in my 2018 Mid Year Review post where I wrote about my evolution with color design.

And One Very Special Quilt

Coming full circle from the start of my quilting journey is the quilt below that is a collaboration between my mother, my sister, and me (over a period of 20 plus years) which I blogged about in my Bow Tie Quilt Finished post. I love the pic on the right that has my sister’s dog, Zoey, and her grand-dog, Slinky on it.

What’s Next

Definitely more color gradient projects—the Dimension in Dusk Quilt is absolutely calling my name. The paper-pieced Prism Quilt is also on my 2019 to-do list. I hope to make the Harlequin quilt by Robin Pickens next year which is a half-rectangle quilt. My favorite version of this quilt is by Saija Kiiskinen. I would like to make one JUST LIKE HERS, but I think I will make it with the same fabric that I used to make my great-niece Rachel’s Mazes Quilt (the Imprint fabric collection by Katarina Roccella). I would also like to make a Temperature Quilt similar to this one by Needled Mom. I don’t know what else I will make next year, but I am sure it will be fun!!!

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5 Responses to Four Years of Quilting

  1. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Mary! That seems like a natural progression to me, and I just LOVE the collaboration quilt. Of course, the models Zoey and Slinky do provide the best finishing touch! I look forward to seeing where 2019 take you in your quilting journey. I am going to give another look at paper piecing myself. It’s been a good 20 years since I tried it the first time, and I think it is past time to master and hopefully this time, enjoy it. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  2. It’s amazing how much we can learn and grow in a few years, isn’t it? It has been a pleasure getting to know you through your blog – I’m so glad you decided to share online – and I look forward to seeing what you create and learn in the next year!

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  3. Cocoa Quilts says:

    Mary you have come so far in your first four years. I’ve been quilting about the same amount of time and you have far surpassed me. Looking forward to seeing where you go next.

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  4. Lisa says:

    I am so impressed with the work you have done over such a short time. Everything is so beautiful.

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  5. Hi Mary – Thanks for sharing your quilting journey. I enjoyed this “quilt show & tell”. Quilting has been a journey for me, and sometimes on the way, we change direction. Your artistry is evolving, and you are finding your “niche” along the journey.

    Like

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