The end is near! Not “that” end – the end of the posts asking designers questions.
Given the timing of when I asked my little questions, I didn’t really expect to hear from so many designers. Mid-December… shortly before the holidays.
To re-cap one last time, these were the questions:
So let me get to it – this is what I asked everyone:
- How many quilts did you make in 2016? (And if it was more than 20, I expected affidavits verifying that their own fingers had stitched each and every one.)
- How many quilts did they make that were not work-related – that were just for fun?
- Do they have any unfinished projects – WIPs, UFOs, PIGs, PIBs, etc.? And do they think they’ll ever finish them?
- Did they learn a new sewing skill or technique in 2016?
- Is there a new skill or technique they’d like to learn in 2017?
- Do they do a year-end/new-year clean-up or clear-out? And if so, what do they do with what they’re clearing out?
- And do they ever have a “word” for the year? If so, what is their word for 2017?
Betsy Chutchian. The Diva. An 18th Century Patchwork Diva.
- Six for Spring Market. Eight for Fall Market. Ten little quilts for her quilt club. And at least three for publication. Mercy!? Twenty-seven? She wants to make sure you know she did not do all the quilting!
- There weren’t any “just for fun”projects for Betsy this year – but bear with me here, she co-authored a book and put together a spectacular exhibit in Houston for the Divas. She didn’t have time!
- UFOs? Betsy wrote, “I can’t stop laughing at this question! Bags of blocks from Diva exchanges may someday be finished. I’d like to finish them. Then I have a number – a big number – of other projects I started that will never be finished.”
- Tried and true – no new techniques for 2016.
- For 2017… “Hmm. Yes. Something fun, just for me. But what?? Maybe a new motorcycle… a Harley.”
- Year-end cleaning… “Again, you have me rolling on the floor laughing! I do a sewing room clean-up for Christmas. We have a big gathering every year. I hide and stash and camouflage so drastically that it takes all of January to find everything I’ve hidden. My sewing room is next to the kitchen and that’s where I set up for appetizers and desserts.”
- “I think my word for 2017 should be ‘focus’.”
You know I – me – made that part about the motorcycle up, right?
- Twenty-one. Not counting minis and pillows. (And probably all her stitching and embroidery.)
- An emphatic “Yes!” to just-for-fun projects. Corey says it was less than ten – and only two of those were quilts as fun projects are usually smaller.
- One of my favorite answers coming… “Oh my heavens! What kind of question is this?!? I’m a quilt maker! Yes, I definitely have more than one – and we’ll leave it at that. And no, I will not finish all of them.” (Woot! Woot! Corey for the win.)
- While making those twenty-one quilts, Corey mastered machine-stitched binding. She’s tried so many different times using many different methods, but she was never happy with the results. That was then.
- Corey wants to learn to read in 2017.*
- Clearing out? She moved her sewing room this past spring so it’s in very good shape right now – definitely the most organized it’s ever been.
*A crochet pattern. <insert laughing emoji here>
- While she didn’t make any quilts this year, Stacie did make a whole lot of patchwork pillows. That works for us – especially since we’ve seen some of the awesome quilts.
- Aprons! Stacie loves making aprons for herself and for gifts – especially when they are made with her own fabric collections.
- Another favorite answer – Stacie only has UFOs if you count the “unfinished” projects that are literally still in the drawing stage of the process. She has so many ideas and… so little time.
- If you want to clear-out your sewing room… teach your daughter how to sew. Stacie is going through all of the remnants that she’d saved for “rainy day sewing”, getting them ready for her daughter to sew with. Her sweet daughter likes to make pillows and since Stacie loves pillows, she’s excited about how much fun it will be to go through her stash this way. (Isn’t that a great idea?)
- Refine. Stacie wrote “I want to refine my processes, my products, my brand. I want to take what I already have and simply improve it. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, I just need to make it shine.
Jane Davidson – QuiltJane. Franny & Jane. (Franny is the wonderful Frances Newcombe.) Aussie Jane.
- Jane counted fifteen quilts made in 2016 – if it’s more than that, she doesn’t remember them right now.
- She did make three quilts that were non-work-related. An entry for the Modern Quilt Show in Australia, a Sisters’ quilt and a Teacher’s quilt.
- UFOs? Nope. Not a one. But she does have five PIPICs – projects in pieces in containers. Since she didn’t say anything about whether she’s working on them, they don’t technically qualify as UFOs in my book. Yet.
- New skill – improved skill! Needle-turn appliqué. Jane has done it for years and it is her favorite method, but she took several classes last year and she picked up new ways to master the art.
- As for new skills – she’d love to learn to make complex garments, master buttonholes and zippers, and sew with an overlocker. (That’s what Aussies call a serger.)
- Cleaning out – de-stashing – the excess is a regular and on-going process with most fabrics and notions going to St. Vincent de Paul to distribute to refugee women for their sewing.
- Jane’s word for 2017 – Live.
- Twenty-eight. That came straight from their quilter, Sharon. (They offered verification!) Out of those quilts, Mary made eighteen and Barb made ten. (Slacker.) (Being the older sister does have it’s benefits.)
- Of the twenty-eight, four were non-work-related.
- UFOs? Nope. But PTBWs… yes. “Two or three stacks of fabric waiting to be projects.” Barb wrote that “a few years ago, I purged all of those old UFOs because there was too much pressure. It was a great feeling to get rid of them and start over!”
- This is genius: if you want to learn a new technique or skill, get your sister to design a template-ruler that forces you to learn! So with the Double-Wide Dresden ruler, Barb went from never having made a Dresden Plate quilt to making a couple of them.
- Next up – paper piecing. Since she didn’t specify whether that was EPP or foundation… maybe she’s planning on learning both. (Upate in about 12 months.)
- Cleaning up is a regular process – Barb cleans out as she goes. (That’s what the experts say you’re supposed to do!) She gives things to friends… though she admits to having thrown a few things in the trash over the years.
- Word? Now! No procrastinating – do things as they pop up rather than wait.
Lisa Bongean. Primitive Gatherings. Maker of quilts with many, many tiny pieces and wool-stitcher extraordinaire. You know she made 117 quilts in 2016, right? Or maybe it was 2016 quilts.
- Lisa’s words – “I only made 17 quilts, in various sizes, of course. And a bunch of wool projects. So I’m under the limit.”
- Just for fun? “No, I haven’t learned how to fit this in yet.” The crazy part is that Lisa loves to stitch and sew, and since everything she’s making is something she designed, I think it is as enjoyable as making something someone else designed.
- Lisa has just a few unfinished projects but not many. (That doesn’t surprise me at all – she’s a “finisher”.) She also knows she’ll never finish them so she’ll donate them or give them to someone who will love them and finish them.
- New skill – crochet! With an adorable new grandson, I’m betting she’s made more than a few baby blankets.
- Lisa always likes to learn or teach herself something new every year so yes… she just doesn’t know what it will be yet.
- Since Lisa recently moved and she did a big clean-up/clear-out then, it’s not a “need to” this year.
- Lisa wrote… “My world is usually on full-blast but this year, I’m starting to slow down and enjoy what I have, and what I’ve accomplished.
And I’m so very happy that she is.
Of all the people I’ve met in almost sixteen years in this business, Lisa is one of my favorite people. She’s direct, down-to-earth and wicked smart. She exudes a sense of confidence and self-assurance, and she truly believes that everybody can succeed, that another person’s success does not come at her expense.
And finally, another Aussie. Jen Kingwell.
- Four finished and two in progress.
- Zero. Zip. No “just for fun” for Jen. Well… except for that Adele concert.
- Jen has “heaps” of UFOs and she knows that some will never be finished. But she also gave several to a group of ladies last year who will finish the quilts and sell/raffle them to raise money for the flying doctor service. Betsy wrote “It was a really good feeling.”
- No new techniques for 2016 but she’s determined to improve her machine-quilting this year!
- Year-end clean-up? Nope. “But I probably should.”
- Word? “No I don’t but you know me! I can’t use just one fabric so how could I possibly have just one word for a whole year?!”
The quilt at the top is Jen’s Long Time Gone. Lots and lots of different, wonderful fabrics.
And that’s a wrap. For this year.
Next year… one question.