Welcome to 2021. What is it that changed when the calendar page was turned over at midnight last night? Truly nothing but the dawning of a new day – but yet, so much more! The marking of time, the expectation of a new beginning, the hope for a brighter future. What changed? Our perspective, our attitude, and dare I say, our hope.
Like many of you I have spent the last few days in retrospect – what did I accomplish in 2020, what do I want to forget about 2020 (grin), what do I want to accomplish in 2021….yep…it’s the dawning of a new year and we all have goals, some have resolutions – to sum it up in one word, hope.
Old Quilt/New Quilt
I thought I’d share my thoughts for my new year by sharing an “old” quilt story.
It began in 2007, or perhaps truly 2004…for in 2004 I started my tradition of making a quilt each year for my birthday. As a longarm quilter for hire during that time, it was my way of taking a little time for myself each summer, usually at a quilting retreat or two.
And Sew It Began
I found a pattern that I liked, I can’t find the name of it, but it was by Debbie Caffery. I modified it a bit, in whatever version I had of EQ at the time, by making the layout larger. A friend suggested that I make the star blocks by paper piecing – which was new to me – don’t judge, Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design’s V Block hadn’t been invented yet! Always eager to learn something new, I agreed.
I carefully planned the various number of purple fabrics to represent the number of years I’d turned over the calendar pages. I then found enough lime green fabrics to carry out the design and I was off to the races! I called my reworking of the pattern “Lime Jubilee” which was a misinterpretation of the representation of the word which can mean 50 (for the record, I wasn’t yet at that milestone). Okay, Okay…I had 47 purple fabrics to represent THAT birthday (grin).
What I Learned
I learned that I did not like paper-piecing! I had such issues with trying to line things up to make sure the area was covered by fabric when it was flipped and sewn. I think I’m dyslexic or something. I can remember muttering to myself “give me a good ruler, I can do this better and faster with a ruler!” (no wonder my future adventures lead me to Studio 180 Design!)
This Is Taking FOR-EVER!
Fast forward to a summary of this quilting adventure… Seems I was incredibly slow in finishing this quilt, probably from having to redo so many of the star blocks because I didn’t do the paper piecing properly. So much for my 2007 birthday quilt!
Records show that I continued to piece the quilt in 2009 by finishing up the blocks at yet another quilt retreat, then adding the braided border in 2010 (now it was a true Jubilee!) Who knows how long it took to pull off all that paper mess? Paper piecing and I had a parting of ways after this quilt!
Turning the Calendar Page Yet Again
You’d think after 3 years in the making that I’d be eager to quilt my quilt and use it! I honestly don’t remember the delay, but I’m sure it was due to my business growing, taking away my personal sewing time, as well as the need to start other projects….you know how it is, that’s why there are so many quilts waiting to be quilted or so many projects waiting to be completed….it’s the lure of a new design, new fabric, new beginnings…SQUIRREL!
A Decade Later
Yep…you guessed it. The quilt that took me three birthdays to piece waited a decade from beginning to finally gracing my longarm …. I promised myself that for my 2017 birthday that it would be quilted ~ and it was!
It’s Not Finished Until the Binding!
We interrupt this quilting adventure for a hurricane….my quilt was quilted in July 2017 and Harvey visited us in Aug 2017…All I had left to do was the binding…sigh.
Lime Jubilee went home with quilt angels to be washed, unbound, to prevent potential moisture damage caused by several days in a flooded studio.
What’s Old is New Again
Guess what I did between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2020! Yep! Trimmed off those frayed edges to attach the binding! Then promptly popped it into the washing machine again to freshen up my long-awaited birthday quilt!
My “old” quilt now has new life and is being used as intended, gracing my bed. The sad thing, what I thought would be my bedspread is now falling a tad short – seems there’s a new bed in the house and it’s got a taller mattress…. sigh…no matter, it’s not for show, it’s for comfort and celebration – a celebration that hope was not lost!
I’ve decided that this is my word of the year. I have a Bible app and this morning I looked up the keyword Hope – too many verses to share but such comfort in knowing that my hope truly is placed in the right place. My hope is eternal. This hope is what I will cling to in days to come, based on the faithfulness of holding on to hope in the past…the turning of a calendar page didn’t make hope any more or any less, but perhaps brings hope to the forefront of my thoughts.
My hope for my future, some might call goals, has many facets from improvements to my health, my home, and my quilting (grin)… for the sake of brevity I’m going to be traditional and list my 2021 quilting hopes…
- Write and publish 3 quilt patterns from the Fall 2020 Island Batik Vincent’s Garden Signature Collection by the time the fabrics ship early spring. Be on the lookout for Lights Shine Bright, Never Alone, and Split My Gaggle!
- Design and piece three (or four) new quilts for the Fall 2021 Island Batik (secret name) Signature Collection, deadline to be determined (fabric should be shipping soon with deadlines potentially early spring).
- Write and publish 3 quilt patterns from the Spring 2021 Island Batik (secret name) Signature Collection before fabric release in the fall.
- Plan and implement my first “hotel setting” Land Locked Quilting Cruise™ event this May…with the hope of a second one in the fall.
- Continue to travel to speak/teach at guilds and shops. I have high hopes that an event scheduled/rescheduled in 2020 will actually take place on the 2021 rescheduled date. Time will tell!
- Try my hand at a Quilt-A-Long with a simple fat quarter lap-size quilt supported by blog posts and my YouTube series “Ramble ‘N Sew” for visual instruction. My hope is for a spring event to coincide with a blog hop for Vincent’s Garden – which should be listed separately – you are going to love this! I have 8 friends who are currently working on secret projects for this event as well as my pattern testers who will be showcasing their quilts too. It’s going to be epic!
- Develop a Block of the Month – unsure of the timing of this, perhaps tied into one of the Island Batik Signature Collections, or perhaps not – but it will most definitely be tied into Island Batik fabrics and of course my favorite Deb Tucker tools!
- Blog regularly – more often and shorter stories!
- More mental health days – this is both personal and quilt-related (grin). In reviewing the past year, I found that when I took time off to go for one of those “three-hour tours” (drive around Texas or a day at the beach) that I came home renewed and inspired (the better to create new quilt designs!). In other words, permit myself to take a day off every now and then.
Short and Sweet
Okay, so I failed on that point – I do plan on being “short and sweet” with future blog posts…. but goodness…I have so much hope for this new year that I just had to ramble on and on and on!
But Wait, There’s More!
Personally, I want to go back and make a single block from each of my published patterns, using the same fabrics, and join them together into a scrappy sampler quilt. Wouldn’t that be a great memory quilt?
Sew! Here’s my challenge to you…for every quilt you make in this new year (or are finishing up from previous years – there are no rules as I fired the quilt police years ago)….for every quilt made why not make an extra block and set it aside until you have enough for your own memory sampler quilt!
How’s that for a do-able challenge! Are ya with me on this? Kinda full circle if you think about it, what’s old is new again!
Here’s to our collective HOPE for the future, however that looks to you, may God bless you in this upcoming “marking the time of our trip around the sun” that we call 2021.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thought of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.