By the numbers – Part 2

Can you believe that January is almost over?

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Weeks and weeks ago, I shared the answers to some silly questions I asked of the Moda designers.  I wrote then that I’d be back “shortly” with more.  Apparently, “shortly” is a bit longer time period than I thought.

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?

Detailed answers to every question were not required.

First up – Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles.

  • Lynne makes at least one block or a part of every quilt that goes into a project booklet or pattern just to make sure it will work out the way she envisioned it.  (So even thought it “looks” like she made about 873 quilts… she just designed that many.)  She “says” she made twelve – from small to lap-sized.
  • Two small table toppers for gifts and nine flannel pillowcases for her grandkids were her “just for fun” projects for 2017.
  • UFOs?  Many of those have been given to folks who “have a better shot at completing them in this decade.”  But Lynne does have a couple of ongoing projects – a strippy, scrappy spiderweb block with a bit of every fabric in each collection with a strip of selvage too, and a Log Cabin quilt that she started with one of her first Christmas collections – she adds a few blocks to it with each new Christmas collection  (I hope she finishes both quilts soon because I can’t wait to see them!)
  • Lynne’s goal for 2017 is to make time for more handwork – wool blanketstitch, embroidery, etc.
  • Clean-up and clear-out?  Lynne gave away bags of her scraps on her blog this past December.
  • Her words for 2017 are Balance and Calm.

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This is Lynne’s Gooseberry Sampler.  It’s made with her upcoming Christmas collection, Gooseberry Lane.  (She really does need to hurry up with those Log Cabin blocks…)

Rachel Brenchley of BasicGrey had me laughing with her honesty and humor.

  • Nope, she didn’t make any quilts last year but she did design a bunch of them.  She wanted to know if that counted.  (I say “yes” – partly because it’s hard work and mostly because they were great quilts.)
  • “Just for fun”… Rachel designed a house she hopes to build some day soon.  And she developed some design customization software for manufacturing that she licensed to a big company.  In her spare time, she made these adorable Scandi Stars using Juniper Berry.

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  • UFOs… this is what Rachel wrote… “Yes! Once I made an advent calendar and I see it every year when I get Christmas out, and I despise it.  I will never finish it and I should just throw it away, but I spent a ton of time on the few parts that I did finish!”
  • New skills and techniques?  Absolutely!  Rachel learned how to use a sewing machine and she’s going to make a quilt in 2017! (She included a “smiley face” and an LOL with this answer.)
  • New skill for 2017?  How to make a quilt!
  • Rachel just finished cleaning out her studio and gave all sorts of things to charity.  There are a few computers sitting in her office that need to be cleared of data and donated but she’s avoiding the task for now.
  • Her word for the year – Dive In.

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This is Oh By Golly using BasicGrey’s “coming in May” Christmas collection, Berry Merry.

Kathy Schmitz does it all – paints, draws, stitches and makes quilts.

  • “Seven!  I think that’s a record for me!”  But none of them were “just for fun”.
  • UFOs?  Absolutely not.  Kathy only has WIPs – she plans on finishing every “currently not finished” project she has.
  • 2016 was not the year that Kathy mastered machine-stitched binding.  She tried it and teased “I doubt I will try it again.”
  • But she will learn needle-turn appliqué in 2017!  Of course, Kathy did confess that it’s been on her “to do” list for at least the past ten years.
  • If you want Kathy’s “un-needed supplies”, you need to become really good friends with Kathy’s sweet Mom.
  • Balance.

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This is Summer Wind – it’s made with Kathy’s beautiful Garden Notes collection.  (In stores now.)

Bonjour Kaari Meng!  2016 was a great year for Kaari but 2017 is already off to a big, celebratory start for French General.

  • TheFrench General Quilting Team made 14 quilts in 2016 – and Kaari sends a big “thank you” to Penny, Tammy and Heidi for their hard work.
  • Kaari’s “just for fun” projects are a big work-related in that she does quite a bit of embroidery and other hand-stitching.  She also made coin purses for holiday gifts… she wrote that she had “just 10 more to go.”
  • As for UFOs, there is just one, it’s a new weaving project on her loom that Kaari hopes to finish by this Fall.
  • If you’re obsessed with English Paper Piecing, you have company!  Kaari dove into it early last year and she’s hooked.  (I’m sure it’s partly because it looks so gorgeous in French General fabrics.)

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  • This year, we’re going to lock Kaari in a room with Kathy Schmitz and Laurie Simpson.  Kaari also wants to learn needle-turn appliqué and since Laurie is a master as it they can both cross that off their “to do” lists for 2017!
  • “Clean-up” is recycled and used for home-school teaching by Kaari’s sister, Lisa.
  • Kaari’s word is Celebrate!  (Happy 20th Anniversary, French General!)

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This is the quilt Petites Maisons de Noel – made with French General’s “coming in June” collection of the same name.  (It was made by FGQT member Tammy V.)

Vanessa Goertzen – Miss Lella Boutique – was a busy girl.

VERY busy.  Affidavits were not provided but I’ve seen the quilt proof, starting with this:

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Charm School.  The cover says it all – except that it’s coming March 1st.

  • 39.  Thirty-nine.  A lot.  She wrote… “Can you even believe that?  Yes, I would dearly love a nap.  Eighteen were fror her upcoming book and though some of the tops were actually pieced in November and December of 2015, they weren’t bound until January and February.  That’s how it works, right?”(Vanessa also teased that she’s leaning toward “balance” as her word of the year for 2017.)

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This was one of her finishes – an Aviator quilt for her son, Bubba.

  • UFOs – just two.  And she’ll probably finish them because the thought of having unfinished projects nags her greatly.  (Which sort of explains the 39 finished quilts, doesn’t it?)
  • Curved piecing entered the Lella skill-set this year, courtesy of a class taught by Sherri McConnell.
  • Balance.  (Seriously.)

Sherri McConnell – A Quilting Life.

  • If you know anything about Sherri, you know that she is a very prolific quilter – her 2016 total is twenty-five quilts.  But she wants to make sure you know that some were minis and wall-hanging size.
  • Five of the quilts were “just for fun”, as were 10 bags she made for gifts and herself.
  • There aren’t any UFOs, they’re all WIPs as Sherri plans to finish all of them.  Most are projects that she likes stretching out a bit as they’re enjoyable to make – scrappy log cabin and pineapple blocks that she’d like to make last another year or so.  And she will finish her Splendid Sampler quilt this month.
  • Curved piecing!  After machine-appliquéing two Mahalo quilts, Sherri realized the blocks could also be made with a circle template-ruler so she set out to learn the technique. (According to Vanessa, she mastered it!)
  • For 2017, Sherri will be joining Kathy, Kaari and Laurie for lessons in needleturn appliqué.
  • Done.  Five big bags of fabric that she’ll never use was cleared out in December with Chelsi’s help, and donated to local groups.  With a studio re-organization coming this month, it was a great way to get started.
  • Sherri wrote that “choose joy” is her word or phrase for the year.  “It’s a phrase on a t-shirt I bought this past fall and I feel happy whenever I wear it so I want to make a conscious effort to choose joy whenever I can.”

And finally, Chelsi Stratton – Sherri’s daughter and design partner with A Quilting Life – Sherri & Chelsi.

  • Quilts?  Chelsi made a dozen quilts last year.  (I’m sure she would have made a few more than that but the girl was busy having a beautiful baby boy – Finn.)
  • Just for fun?  All of them!
  • Like her Mom, Chelsi doesn’t have any UFOs, only WIPs.  And she has three of them, all fall-inspired projects that she plans to finish in time for her two little girls and husband to enjoy.
  • New techniques?  As she wrote, “I always say that I learn something new every day and it’s true! I am definitely a novice quilter so I get very excited about new tips and tricks.  I guess you could say that I’m just learning basic skills all the time!”
  • Curved piecing.  From her Mom.
  • While she’d just cleaned out a closet when I asked… she confessed that there was more fabric and quilting-sewing supplies stored than clothes or shoes.  As a new quilter, she’s still building her “stash”.
  • Blessed.  “Words are so powerful so we have a lot of them in our home.  This year, I really loved “blessed” as there are so many reasons that I am blessed.”

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This is Chelsi’s last finish of 2016 – completed one year after she finished her first “big quilt” and started her quilting journey.  It was a Christmas quilt made using the red and green prints from Fig Tree & Co.’s Farmhouse collection.  So it was only fitting that she should use more Fig Tree fabrics for All Wrapped Up to end the year.

And that’s a perfect place to wrap this up for today.

(I know… it got a bit long.)

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10 comments on “By the numbers – Part 2

  1. David says:

    I loved reading both instalments of us post. I can thoroughly recommend the Portage Lake BOM to those wanting to learn needleturn! I started off the quilt using a mix of prepared edge techniques and I’m now half way through and on my way to becoming moderately skilled at needleturn. A little practice each month is the way to go.

  2. Pat H. says:

    No, not too long at all! I love these little “peeks” into the lives of our favorite designers! It’s like we’re voyeurs in a way!

  3. Stephanie Woodward says:

    It’s good to know that even the best of us don’t get to finish all they plan. Makes me not feel so bad.

  4. Julie Saemisch says:

    I can’t believe it, Carrie! Your post has me excited about Holiday 2017…whetting our appetite with the preview pictures was fun and inspiring. I’m one of those people who has both UFOs and WIPs. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just crazy….don’t answer that!
    It was a great post, and I could read forever about these amazing designers . Thank you!

  5. A sense of humor is vital in this group! Such a fun bunch. I assumed that they were all over achievers who can do everything well, glad to find out they are just like the rest of us… still learning and creating ufos. Thanks for the inspiration. My word for this year: resilience.

  6. I so enjoy learning about Moda designers. Thank you for all who participated.

  7. Kristi says:

    Thanks for another great post (it wasn’t too long). I “need” a new Christmas quilt and I saw some wonderful choices today.

  8. Mary Ann Scanlon says:

    Oh my goodness! So much creativity and so many beautiful things all these disgners share with us! The new holiday collections coming are already on my 2017 buy list. Thanks for another great post Carrie.

  9. Sandra D in Joliet says:

    I love the Aviator quilt and have it on my list to buy this year. Can’t wait to see the Charm School preview when it’s available.

  10. Kay Hunzinger says:

    Hi Carrie, Definitely enjoyed reading this blog about other people’s projects. Wish I could be as prolific. I also loved the airplane quilt.

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