2019 started off busy as I got ready for a trip to California to teach at a quilt guild and a couple quilt shops. I had to create multiple class samples and write patterns. I designed a new quilt-as-you-go pattern called Hugs or Kisses. For the first sample quilt, I used the last of my Sashiko prints and the “O” layout.

Taking photos for the pattern cover

For the second sample quilt, I used sea-glass colored batiks and the “X” layout.

The final quilt

I wrote three quilt-as-you-go patterns. It took so much longer than I thought it would. I used a combination of Electric Quilt 8, Paint.net, Serif DrawPlus, and Inkscape to create the diagrams. I used Microsoft Publisher to write the instructions and lay out the final products. I also designed a logo to give my patterns a brand and a cohesive look. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out.

Three new quilt-as-you-go patterns

After writing the Hugs or Kisses pattern, I tested it using a pile of pink fabrics I selected from the Washington State Quilters Spokane Charity Central stash. Hopefully, some young girl will enjoy this cheery pink and white quilt!

The Hugs or Kisses pattern uses the flip-and sew technique on the block corners. While I feel this creates a more accurate quilt block, it does waste a bit of fabric. Invariably, a student in my quilt class will complain about the waste, so I wanted to be ready with a solution. I sewed all the trimmed corners into half square triangles and made mini quilts!

I participated in a Valentine’s mini-quilt swap. I was having so much fun with mini quilts and half square triangles, that I decided to make my partner a heart from 1 1/2″ squares. I used EQ8 to design the quilt and then started cutting up my scraps of pinks, reds and black and whites. I liked it so much that I had to make one for my mini-quilt wall.

After almost a year, the embroidery module on my sewing machine was replaced and I was able to get back to my Bernina 125th anniversary quilt. I embroidered all the motifs and joined the blocks. During one of the more complicated stitch outs, our power went out, but when I turned on my machine the next day it just picked up where it left off. I still need to add the borders and quilt it, but I think I’ll save that for 2020.

I discovered quilting rulers for free-motion quilting. This may be a game changer for me as far as free-motion quilting goes. I bought a few rulers and a book and gave it a whirl. With practice, I hope to be able to quilt some of my larger quilts on my sewing machine.

Non-quilty projects included an Easter basket, a game holder for my grandson, mobile phone holders, Christmas stockings, chicken aprons, and a doll quilt for my granddaughter’s baby doll (well, I guess that’s quilty).

A few famous quilters passed through the Inland Northwest in 2019, and I was lucky enough to attend two events. Angela Walters gave a trunk show and lecture at a winery in Spokane. Pretty fancy for quilters, but Angela is know for drinking a glass of wine while quilting. Check out her Midnight Quilt Show series on YouTube. Jenny Doan, from Missouri Star, held an event in Coeur d’Alene. What a funny, talented and inspiring woman. Kaffe Fassett also came through Coeur d’Alene, but I was out of town for that. Hopefully, he’ll be back.

I started teaching quilt-as-you-go classes at Bear Paw Quilting in Coeur d’Alene. It’s a beautiful quilt shop with a great selection of fabrics and super friendly staff. The students were great too, and I’m looking forward to teaching more classes there in 2020.

I did a little paring down in 2019. The WSQ guild had a yard sale, so I rented a table and sold some of my quilting excess. I spent days pressing, cutting, and folding fabric to make my cast offs more attractive and it paid off. I sold lots of fabric, books, patterns, and even a sewing machine.

That wraps up 2019. In 2020, I hope to write a few more patterns. I got a call from a guild in Florida, so I’ll be teaching there in May. (I guess my new website paid off!) After 20 years of quilting, I’m finally going to make a quilt for our bed. Check back here next year to see if I finish…

Chuck Norris, my task master