Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 In Review . . .

If I had to sum up my quilting year in ten words or less, "Plenty of Starts with Few Finishes", "Big Ideas Resulting in Big Flops" or maybe just "High Expectations/Modest Outcomes" would be pretty good choices.

2010 was my 6th year of quilting, and up until 2010, I had pretty much finished every quilt I ever started. For some reason, I was really hard to please this year, I started 17 quilts and finished 11, one quilt short of my goal of 12, leaving 6 UFO's! Wow, that's quite a jump, to go from no UFO's to 6!!

It all started with this,

the pattern, Paprika, by Fons and Porter and the fabric 19th Century Reds. I saw this finished quilt at The Road to California Quilt Show in January, bought the kit, but didn't like it when I started piecing it at home. I didn't like the block size, so I shrunk it down, then I thought it looked too busy. Lesly at Pickle Dish made this quilt and I thought hers looked great. I'm not so sure why this quilt doesn't look good on my design wall, but I've still got the fabric and hope to do something with it sometime, but it won't be Paprika. So technically I guess this isn't a UFO.

I also started a jelly roll sew along,

made 4 blocks, lost interest, and quit. This technically isn't a UFO either, I have no intention of spending any more of my time on this project.

Remember that Stars and Coxcombs fabric I was all in love with,

I don't even remember the pattern name that I used when I made these geese, it was a sampler pattern, and for some reason, it just didn't appeal to me once I got going on it, the fabric I still love. I will use this fabric for something, but not the sampler pattern, so I guess technically, this isn't a UFO either, just some fabric looking for a pattern, a pattern that calls for some flying geese!

Remember my great idea about making a few hexagons to go with my Grandmother's blocks?

Getting my hexagon project organized was fun, actually making the hexagons and the flowers,

not much to report there. This is one project I'm going to finish, sometime, I would classify this as a work in progress.

This was the main reason I didn't meet my 12 projects in a year goal......2 months this summer spent on A la Mode and here is where it stands...

a great center, cute border, but a little problem with the size......I've still not decided what to do about this. The one thing I do know, I want this quilt on my bed this summer, so I better do something and get it quilted otherwise no summer baskets for my bed. Of all the projects I started and didn't finish, this one really breaks my heart, I love everything about it, except for the fact that the center doesn't perfectly fit the border, because I didn't think of the border until I had the center done!!

This was my last non finish,

to add more borders or leave it be, that is the question....... How perfect to end the year with one more project that I don't know how to finish.

Every now and then, as the year progressed, as I was struggling with my fabric choice for a pattern, or really making myself miserable by changing up a pattern mid stream then wondering how to finish it, I would tell myself, "Thelma, when are you going to learn to leave well enough alone, why try to continually improve on what a professional has already designed".

Then I think of this,

Madeline's Good Fortune, where I combined two of Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles patterns to make one wonderful king size quilt. I just love this quilt, and for once I got it all right, the fabric, the design, everything just came together. So I guess if having a fewbumps in the road is what it takes to make the quilt of your dreams, I'll take the bumps......I think!!

Out of the eleven quilts I did finish, (you can see them in detail from my Lifetime Quilt List, #54 was my first finish for 2010) I am over the top in love with 5 of them, truly happy and utterly satisfied with another 5 of them, which leaves one so so finish, Mocha Trail, and once it's quilted I may like it a little more, a pretty good year really.

I think A Mazing Abundance was my biggest surprise, I had low expectations,

but once it was finished, I fell head over heals in love with it!! This is a wonderful pattern, good for any style of fabric. I wish it looked as good in this picture as it does in person. If you saw this quilt, you would immediately add it to your To Do list!!

I had high expectations for Route 44, and was not disappointed, and so happy that I finally incorporated some dot fabric into a quilt!!

This is another pattern I think you would enjoy, I can hardly wait to get this one quilted.

I was fortunate enough to attend 3 major quilt shows in 2010, The Road to California, The Chicago Quilt Show, and AQS Show in Paducah.

Out of all the quilts I saw, this one was easily my favorite, Shakespeare in the Park, a Judy Martin pattern. I have no idea who made this version but my hat's off to them for the wonderful fabric selection and superior piecing. I would LOVE to make this pattern!

The border on this one was enough for me to start considering hand applique.....

I saw both of these amazing quilts in Paducah.

I also took some classes with Carrie Nelson

and met some blogging friends face to face. For someone who doesn't like to leave home, I sure got out and about in 2010!

So even with my starts and stops, and a few disappointments, I would say 2010 was my best quilting year ever, but I think 2011 will be ever better!

Next post, my 2011 goals!!


  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this year. I too had some projects get "abandoned" this year. Ironically enough...I also didn't finish that jelly roll block sampler one. I love my fabric...but just never got around to the blocks.

  2. I love your year in review! Such gorgeous quilts. And I have seen Shakespeare in the Park before and it IS a beautiful quilt. It just draws you in. Amazing work. Thanks for sharing, I love seeing how quilts turn out.

  3. You had a really great year Thelma...I've loved following your journey...Looking forward to 2011! I think it's going to be a very good year!

  4. Great post, as always, Thelma! I think we all know what it's like to find that something we had high hopes for doesn't live up to expectations. Never mind, the quilts you have finished in 2010 are just stunning! I do hope you find something to do with the 19th Century Reds from Paprika (you have reminded me that I NEED to quilt it!) because they are just so gorgeous! I am also in love with Shakespeare in the Park - that is an amazing quilt! I would love to make it, too! Looking forward to reading your blog in 2011! Happy New Year!

  5. Wow! You learned a LOT this year!

    It is heartbreaking to work on a quilt and then hit such a big stumbling block as the border not fitting, but I'll bet you'll figure it out!

    Welcome to the world of having UFOs, lol.

  6. Great trip down memory lane, Thelma! I too love some of those quilts!

  7. Thelma, I have also really enjoyed following your blog and your quilting. I love your Madelines Good Fortune, I have my Madeline and an almost finished Elizabeth and since I love making stars and still have more Rouennieres I'm very tempted to start one too.
    Your Basket quilt is also gorgeous and my first thought when I saw it was that you could add a simple eye resting border between the blocks and final border...just a thought.

  8. Thelma, what a wonderful year in review. I enjoyed reading this post and seeing your pictures again. You accomplished quite a bit in 2010, and I can't wait to see what goals you list for 2011...I am sure you will meet them all. Happy New Year!!!!

  9. It was fun to follow along with each and every project. Here's to another fun year in quilting.

  10. Thelma - you are way too hard on yourself. You are a VERY accomplished piecer. Perhaps what you are seeing in the increased number of UFO's is perhaps a sign that you have grown and are more discerning and have higher expectations? What might have passed as OK in your earlier quilting days doesn't quite due at your new level? You have a wonderful sense of pattern, color and style. Can't wait to see your 2011 quilts!

  11. I actually think that you should commend yourself for being brave enough to break out and try some things - and it takes an element of courage to admit that you don't like where something is going and deciding to explore other options or just choose to be done with it. It seems like you ventured outside of your 'comfort zone' and grew a lot as a quilter and artist. That's progress to be celebrated as much as the beautiful finishes you reached!

  12. Great year in review post Thelma! I like all of your quilts and think you did an amazing job finishing what you did. I love that you break out of the box and "do your own thing" sometimes...something that's very hard for me to do and I've been making quilts for almost 24 years!

    Your Madeline's Good Fortune quilt is one of the prettiest quilts I have ever seen and I want one...

  13. Very interesting post to read Thelma! I think that you are being more creative and putting more of yourself into each quilt. And that sometimes results in a learning curve to create what you visualize. All of these quilts are fabulous and I just know you will figure out what you need to do to finish them! Thanks for bringing us along for the journey!

  14. All your projects are wonderful. Thank you for sharing. It looks to me that all the Al a Mode quilt needs is another inner border. Just finish making your outer border then measure the gap you have and make that the size of your inner border. Perhaps using a light blue or brown since those colors are not used in your tiny squares in your sashing. Enjoy 2011, can't wait to see what you come up with for this year.

  15. Fabulous quilts! I love, love, love the a la mode. What if you put a soft red border between the inside and the border, to fill in that gap? By the way, if the gap isn't even on all sides, it's okay to have fatter side or top and bottom borders.

  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the border of A La Mode. Do tell what you did to achieve that. I think it's a great complement to the center. Alas and alack, I have no other suggestions. Thank you for your encouragement throughout the year on starting and finishing (most) quilt. That is my goal this year is to flat out finish the tops I completed years ago. Besides, I get to make 2 baby quilts this year. I'm excited about that.

  17. Great post--I love that you wrote "lost interest" and moved on. Where is it written that we have to finish every quilt? Read any book we start to the end? Complete every task we begin? I think sometimes we need to cut our losses and move on. That's why I loved this post--thanks for writing it!

    Elizabeth E.

  18. There are no rules when it comes to our choice of whether or not to see a project through to the end. It is ok to abandon ship at any time. Except when it comes to A La Mode. That is one heck of a quilt, and you must finish it!
    I am loving working with Simple Abundance. I really like the piano key border on that one--it brings all those fun fabrics together so well.

  19. This was a fabulous post! Don't beat yourself up for not finishing projects, you still have time! Also, sometimes projects need to stew for awhile before we find motivation to finish them. I'm sure you'll find just the right quilt to put those flying geese in. Sounds like you had a fantastic year, full of fun and productivity! Yay for you! I would love to see you design a quilt and then maybe do a quilt along on your blog. You really do have fabulous taste in patterns and fabrics.

  20. I'm stashbusting this year and PIG busting...determined that the 6 quilt tops I have ready will be quilted in 2011!!!!!!

    I check your blog first in google reader when I have time to login. I've completely enjoyed reading all the things you've done.

    Here's what I'd do to those few you have left....these are only my opinions...take what you want from them and ditch the rest...ok?

    I'm not touching the paprika quilt...I'm of the same opinion as you on that one...

    Jelly Roll quilt along...sash, border, bind, you'll have the PERFECT baby gift for someone...or donate it.

    Flying Geese, file them for future use.

    Hexagons, good luck. I hope you find the time to finish this one; it's going to be beautiful.

    The one you want on your bed this summer? Pick your favorite color out of all the ones used and make a narrow border to make that wonderful outer border FIT! Kinda case the center in.

    Now to my favorite...this green just SPEAKS to me. Put a 2 inch RED (like the center stars) border and then a REALLY wide (6 in or so) outer border and quilt that thing...let me know if you need my address for mailing should you decide not to keep it... :)

    Again...only my opinions...if any help decisions use them, if not, throw them out.

    Thanks for blogging your successes.

  21. You've accomplished some stunning quilts in 2010 you should be proud of yourself! As for the flying geese perhaps they could become there own mini quilt or doll quilt add a border fabric between strips maybe(does that make sense???) But above all just have fun!

  22. I am a long time quilter and have over 50 UFO's and love your attitude and posts. Over the years I have abandoned or repurposed quite a few of them and felt great about it. I love A la Mode and my first thought was adding a spacer border and I see others agree!

  23. I really enjoy reading your blog. I think you've had a great year. Shakespeare in the Park is also on my to-do-someday list, so if you ever want to get a group together to encourage one another along, please let me know. It looks like a fairly long-term project, but a fun one.

    For your jelly roll quilt along, how about adding a border and finishing it and sending it to Quilts for Kids? I made a couple quilts for them last year - they don't have stringent size guidelines, and the quilts go to kids in pediatric hospitals. They do ask that you zig-zag the binding down, but that is about the only thing I had to do differently on the quilts I made. (They don't want the bindings to catch on the IV tubing.) They have a website - I think it's

    Ala Mode is beautiful - you have to finish it and also tell us how you made the border! I would just add an inner border of one of the fabrics to make the middle fit the borders. I think it would look great that way and probably no one would know you didn't mean to do it that way from the start!

  24. You must be back from CA! I think you should make Shakespeare In The Park - you can do it! It might take some organization and planning (and time) but would be worth it. And I agree with you on the applique border. Fantastic finish for a simple pieced design.

  25. OMG you are such an amazing quilter. I am in awe of your ablities and talents. I have enjoyed your blog this year and look forward to seeing your goals for 2011. One day I would love to be able to go to some quilt US big quilt shows.

  26. Oh I just love your basket quilt! Your post cracked me up. You sure are brave to show all your start ups...and non finishes! Kudos to you girlie!
    Beautiful quilts.

  27. Hi!

    I popped in from Nicole's blog and am blown away by your glorious quilts! Well done!!!!!

    For A La Mode, there is a solution called a "coping strip" that makes quilt centers fit borders. Google it! It's like magic.

    On your last unfinished quilt, I vote for another border.

    You've accomplished so much so should pat yourself on the back and plan to take yourself out for lunch!


  28. Love your year in review! You were a great inspiration to me...and I learned lots from your blog! Thanks so much!

  29. Thelma,
    I read your blog regularly but don't comment very often. I think what you have accomplished in the quilting world, in 6 years time, is fabulous!!! You are way too hard on yourself. Let me guess, you are probably a perfectionist? I can tell you have learned a lot through all your work, and I am very impressed. How else do you learn what you like and don't like without trying first? You have nothing to hang your head about in the UFO category. I learn from your blog and I thank you for taking the time to tell us in detail what works for you and what doesn't. It is all helpful. I look forward to this year and watching your quilts come to life--I believe your work is amazing. Keep your chin up high and have the time of your life. : ) I could see you making patterns of your own one day.
    Beverly in WA state

  30. Thelma, sometimes I start a project and put it away thinking it just didn't work for me. When I pull it out a year or so later, I forgot what the problem was and fall in love with it all over again. Maybe you will do the same. I love all your quilts, and I didn't see one on this post that I wouldn't finish. You have a great eye for fabric even though this post sounds like you are kicking yourself :D

    I'm looking forward to seeing what your goals are and also to another year of beautiful quilts from you.

  31. I think you had a fantastic quilty 2010- some A-MAZ-ING quilts you produced!!


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