Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Best Of and Year-End Review

 As I have prepared for this post and reviewed the activities of the year I am filled with joy and gratitude... despite of the strangeness of the year with unrest and division of "camps" with the political, social, medical and financial ups and downs, twists and turns and unknowns.

I think I have mentioned previously that a friend told me years ago that I was an optimistic pessimist... all because I plan for the worst, but hope for the best.  Life is far too short to dwell on the hardships of life... when life gives you scraps, make QUILTS!  

I believe with all my heart that I am not the only quilter that lives by this quote!  So many of us dove into our stash to make masks earlier in the year... creating more scraps for even more quilts!  

As I recalled the various quilts I made this year (20 in total all in varying sizes from postcard to King-sized) by looking through my digital photo albums I thought of each recipient that was on the receiving end of them.  Words cannot express the joy I felt when I saw or heard of their reactions when they saw their memories recreated into a quilt for the first time.  Several of them were t-shirt memory quilts, one was a quilt that told the story of a family's legacy, and one that made me feel as though I was crawling up into the lap of my Grandma Schleich -  the Pieces From The Past Sew Along Quilt.

Top Five?  In order of popularity???  Aside from the obvious Pieces From the Past Posts, (and the 500th Post celebration with a give away) it is as follows:

5)    Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness featuring an improv pieced 5"x7" mini-quilt mug rug

4)    Live Love Laugh ~ another mini-quilt using half-hexies and free-motion to replicate the sound waves of laughter

3)    A Time For All Seasons ~  The finish of the Block of the month hosted by Sew Incredibly Crazy & Friends

2)    Masks from Fishes & Loaves ~ When I thought I had reached the end of my elastic supply there was more to be found... I also found some much needed inspiration and creativity.

1)    Feeling Ambitious ~ When I felt as though I was stuck in a rut, with the help of Roseanne and Sue over at Home Sewn By Us, and their linky party for weekly planning, I had overcame that rut, but then just bit off more than I could handle.  There is just something about "announcing" a plan for the coming week that can help to keep moving forward.  Though it is important to remember that sometimes life happens and the plan doesn't go as well as you thought, but you can pick up where you left off and move forward... and there are still friends that offer encouraging words and pats on the back to get you going again.

As part of the year-end review it is customary to review the goals that had been determined... What were they?  

1)  Host the Pieces From the Past Sew Along

2)  Finish Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt and 2019 BOMs

3)  Further experimentation with Eco-Printing

4)  Continue with my Camping Journal Quilt

Did I successfully accomplish them???

The Pieces From the Past Sew Along had its kick-off in January.  To date, I have published 17 of the 20 blocks.  There is still time to join the fun.  With permission from C&T Publishing, the patterns are free and released every three weeks.  The blocks vary in sizes and techniques as well as skill levels, from beginner friendly to more challenging.  No need to be afraid of the most difficult blocks because I have included alternative blocks that can used as an option.  Most of the blocks take about an hour to piece, some a little longer... but there is still lots of time before the wrap-up in March.

To date, I have had 322 participants download patterns from 19 different countries.  And I have loved seeing the variety of blocks that have been linked up on the blog for the fat-quarter give away with each post.  From the traditional 1930s fabrics to modern, bright & brilliant colors and prints.  Each one is so unique and I look forward to seeing the finished quilts.  

I did successfully complete the scrap dance minuet, the 2019 color challenge and the Time For All Seasons quilts...

I did not get to experiment with the Eco-Printing.  😥  This was something that I had wanted to continue with my friend Kayleen and the timing just never worked out.  I did, however, use some of the amazing fabric we dyed in The Legacy Quilt - the commissioned, king-sized quilt for my friend's God-son.  You can read the entire story, the meanings of blocks and the reason for selecting them, colors and more details by following the high-lighted link above.

The Camping Journal grew by 37 blocks this year!  I continued using some of the blocks from Fiona Sandwich, but designed a few of my own as well.  We camped 25 nights at 12 different locations between February and November.  We enjoyed hiking and biking, just the two of us and a few times with friends.  Memories made every. single. time!

The year end reviews from instagram are always fun to look at... here are my top 9 and annual color analysis...

I just love the bubbles of color!  So me! Mostly calm and mellow colors with small, bright colors that pop.  And the top 9 pics reveal my sense of humor and love for Mrs. Bobbins as well as my quiet moments of meditation and encouragement.

Now that I have reviewed my year I need to begin looking forward to a new start with a new calendar year.  Aside from 2013 when Dave made a career change from college professor to being self-employed,  and the loss of my Dad, 2020 has  been one of the harder years we have faced together... and we are excited to see what 2021 has to hold for us.  

One thing for certain... well, two, but one is we cannot contain our joy about welcoming an new grand-daughter in May!

Who knew 6 years ago when I made these little shirts for our first grand-daughter, Emma, that we would end up with three little ladies to love???

The other thing we know?  Whatever may come our way, God will good from it.

What are YOU looking forward to in 2021?

Leave a comment... you know I love to hear from all of you!

As I sign off I share the wisdom from a yogi tea tag... "Peace of mind comes piece by piece."

I'll be working on that piece by piece... Happy New Year!


Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Best of 2020 at Meadow Mist Designs
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts


  1. Hi Melva! What a wonderful retrospective on your 2020 quilting year. So many great projects - my favorite is of course, Pieces. I love that picture of the quilt finished with your grandparents on the side. I think both of them would love how you have run this QAL, sharing the POW letters and each individual block. The camping journal quilt is also a favorite of mine! How wonderful to capture those special memories into a quilt. Thanks so much for linking up. Happy New Year! ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. Your year end review was a wonderful read, Melva! I have really enjoyed participating in the Pieces of the Past sew along, and getting to know you through your blog. May 2021 be full of joy and quilting!

  3. What beautiful quilts, such a great read. Thanks for linking up and happy new year!

  4. Happy New Year, Melva. You had a great year, in spite of 2020's efforts. Look forward to following you next year.

  5. Great review of the year. It's been a different year for sure. But I think a lot of quilters got a lot of sewing done whether quilts or masks. Your review makes me want to look at what I dd this year.

  6. SEW many wonderful projects in 2020, Melva!!

  7. Such an amazing post with so many quilts to be inspired by. A lovely post overspilling with beautiful words and illustrated with glorious photos. I can only imagine what beauty you will stitch in 2021!

  8. You know, looking back on all of the joy and beauty you created over the past year, 2020 doesn't seem quite so bad, after all. Happy New Year, Melva!

  9. What a fun year end in review!! you have some amazing quilts!!

  10. You've had a great year! Thanks for sharing it on Wednesday Wait Loss.