Thursday, December 29, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

I already know that 2017 is going to be a great year. It has to be (right?), since 2016 was a crazy, crazy year. It was a tough year for my family but we made it through (I haven't explained this fully in the interest of privacy). 2016 wasn't kind to the world either, at least from my perspective (though this Google video really cheered me up. Well done, Google!).

 16 quilts for 2016 - totally unplanned! Almost all are my own designs. Links to all of these projects (explaining process and featuring more pictures) are available in my Portfolio.

However, I want to focus on the positives! This was the first year I was officially published in a few magazines. It was thrilling to see my name in print. I'm still all about the personal quilt challenges though - stretching my creativity and trying new things. If I'm going to piece a simply-constructed quilt, you can bet I'm going to try some challenging quilting. Because I LOVE quilting!

 Also, 16 mini quilts for 2016. How did that happen?! Most of these were made for others.

I also traveled a lot this year for classes and lectures. Most memorably, I visited the Baltimore MQG and Country Quilters Guild in Pine Bush, NY for a couple of weekends, and I was the keynote speaker at the Colonial Quilters' quilt show in Easton, PA. It's such a thrill to be able to meet you all IN PERSON and connect with you. I'm a teacher at heart and I love to talk about quilts, so this segment of my life is a match made in heaven.

 Many, but not all, of my other 2016 makes

My quilts traveled further west than I (so far): "Home" to QuiltCon in Pasadena, and "Soar" and "Deconstructed Churn Dash" to the Ontario Museum of History and Art in CA (this exhibit of modern quilts based on traditional blocks is up until Jan. 22! I wish I could go). "Home" also won a modern theme ribbon at PNQE. It was a fun year for my quilts, to be sure.

Here's "Soar" hanging at the Ontario Museum of History & Art. Isn't that yellow wall just divine? Thanks to Georganna Hawley for the photo!

Here were my 2016 Goals:

1. Stay away from swaps. YES! I didn't fall into this trap. I only made for a few swaps and they were carefully chosen, for people I already know. I think I've set a manageable pace, and I really enjoyed having the time to make

2. Create and produce my first pattern. I did write several patterns for magazines but I haven't produced any on my own. I'd say 75% of this goal was met!

3. Pitch article ideas and create projects for more publications. Check.

4. Teach more classes/give more lectures locally and at guilds everywhere. This was my busiest year yet, and next year looks just as busy (some are still in the works and aren't official yet, but I can't wait!)

5. Develop the community segment of The Wonky Press newsletter. I worked on this and it paid off. Next year's focus is on color and I've been receiving a lot more submissions. My hope is to keep readers engaged and excited to share their quilt stories.

6. Keep my focus and continue to put myself out there. This summer I buckled down and sent out tons of proposals and applications. For every magazine project or article published, or quilt accepted to a show, there are at least 3 rejections (usually more). Rather than take it personally, I keep trying!

Regardless, I'm feverishly preparing for my first solo exhibition in March, there are several exciting things coming up this year, I'm teaching 2 classes at the Quilt and Sewing Fest of NJ, and I'll be submitting to International Quilt Festival and MQX at the very least. My goal is to stay involved and engaged with the quilting community in as many ways as possible.

7. Keep fabric buying to a minimum and REALLY "use what I have." I bought a lot of fabric this year, but I can say that going into 2017, with several large projects looming, I'm set for a while. I'm sure I'll still go shopping here and there though.

8. Try some more simple paper piecing. If the need arises. I don't think I did any paper piecing this year, and I'm okay with that. :P

9. Decide where to go next in my quilt teaching career. I have, and I can't wait to share more with you when the time comes.

So, in 2016, I finished a LOT of WIPs and UFOs. That's because I made it my mission. All of those projects really stretched me and I'm thrilled to be able to enjoy them now. I really wish our guild's former WIP contest was going on. :D Anyway, I'm really thrilled to have worked through lots of my projects... to make way for the new.

1. Finish my epic AMH medallion so we can actually use it this winter! DONE!!
2. Finish my Doe scrap quilt (pictured above). DONE!!
3. Finish my 2015 Sisterhood quilt (which should be arriving back at my house soon). Not done. The top is, though! This is something I'd like to work on next year. I'm in love with this quilt.
4. Finish my Mod Corsage quilt from Anna Maria Horner's class at QuiltCon 2015. DONE!!
5. Make another Disney mini quilt (start a series?) DONE!!


And the 2017 goals:

1. Use my Quilter's Planner to actually plan. I used my 2016 planner for the first few months, and fell out of practice in the summer when I had more free time (thus, I didn't need to plan it out!). I'd like to start off in January right away.

2. Write more. This is already happening - I'll have a published article to share with you soon. Last year I wrote an article for Sew Mama Sew on round robin bees, and biweekly pieces for The Wonky Press, separate from this blog. I really do love writing.

3. Widen my teaching scope. This coming summer I will apply to more venues. I've also considered online teaching but I just don't have the time to devote to it yet (so, if you've asked me about it, I'm more than willing to travel and teach in person, but I don't have any classes in the works online). Next year includes trips to guilds in NJ, NY, PA, and DE, plus Savannah for QuiltCon (just hanging around the quilt show/vendor hall, sitting in on a few lectures, and meeting up with people), Quilt & Sewing Fest of NJ, and Lancaster for Mid Atlantic Mod.

4. Develop a quilt-a-long for summer. I've run one every summer for the past several years. The Quilty Habit Facebook group was (to my surprise) a great success, and the Star Light, Star Dark QAL was my favorite QAL yet. I'll be sending out some feelers soon.

5. Develop a quilt-a-long for 2018. I have the sketches down - I just need to make the time to do it. Hopefully later in the year. This would be my first time running a QAL for a whole year. I'm so excited to share this particular pattern with you; it's been sitting in my brain for far too long.

6. Blog at least 2x a week. This year I blogged a little less than 2015, and I expect that number will go down in 2017. I am not going anywhere, but I need more time to devote to my large secret project deadlines and to The Wonky Press. There are only so many hours in a day! So, if it's a little quiet around here, you'll know why.

 I'll be blogging about this very personal mini quilt in the New Year.

I do this to keep myself organized. Publishing it here on the blog keeps me accountable. :D

Immediate WIPs:
  • Brother's quilt - due early Feb. for his birthday - quilt and bind
  • Improv Fall Landscape quilt - quilt and bind to debut in my solo exhibit
  • "Today I Feel" wholecloth quilt - bind to debut in my solo exhibit
Long term WIPs:
  • Meadow quilt - needs to be quilted and bound. This one is a long time coming. I honestly don't know when it will happen, though.
  • Purple scrap quilt - needs to be pieced together 
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts from 2015 - make backing, baste, quilt, bind
Definite projects:
  • Sashiko stitching - so relaxing. Quite simply, I love it.
  • More hand quilting - yay! My current obsession.
  • Quilt for RJR What Shade Are You? blog hop
  • More orange peels. Always more orange peels. I'm still exploring!
Possible/hopeful projects:
  • Geeky awesome quilt with my husband (we have been meticulously planning this, and we have the fabric already!). This may not get started for a while, but it's fun to think about.
  • Linen/chambray/canvas picnic blanket - I've been gathering fabrics. 
  • Wedding quilt for October
Is it January 1st yet? Let's go, 2017!!

2017 Planning Party

Linking up to 2017 Planning Party at Quilting Jetgirl
Crazy Mom Quilts


    1. Looks like 2016 was a great year for you, quilting-wise at least :) It also looks like 2017 will be an ever better year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you create :)

    2. Jessica, you really accomplished a lot in 2016! I've admired everything you do for a long time and am anxious to see what happens for you (and us) in 2017! (Be sure to keep the purple on top of the pile!)

    3. Oh my gosh! You have had an action packed year! It is so nice to see all your quilts for the year and such an amazing accomplishment! I admire your work and you! And I know 2017 will be another amazing year for you! I did the same thing with my 2016 planner, this year my goal is to use it more too!

    4. You had a really productive year! I'm sure you'll do great in 2017! Have fun meeting all your goals!

    5. What a beautiful way to recap your year (I love those collages and wow - congratulations on so many finishes!) and plan for your 2017. Thanks for linking up and I look forward to watching you continue to grow and create. :)

    6. Sounds like you have lots to look forward too. Happy New Year.

    7. My goodness sounds like you had a great 2016 from a sewing perspective! How wonderful to go after a passion and accomplish so much! Much happiness in 2017!

    8. 2016 looks like a great year for you and 2017 looks like it will be a banner year also

    9. inspiring entry! lots of great stuff for the new year!


    Let's start a conversation! I love comments and I'd be happy to reply to all who have an email address accessible. Thanks for commenting!


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