Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 in Review

Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
~Dr. Seuss

Not about the pandemic. We are all crying over our losses. But another quiet holiday at home with only video chats for company got me thinking. When our forebears moved, they left everyone and everything they knew behind. They didn't gather together again. At best they had letters. That's why album quilts became popular - a way to memorialize absent friends. Don't you know our foremothers took those quilts out on holidays and traced the names and verses on each block. How grateful they must have been to have that one tangible link to their former lives.

No plans for New Year's although there has been time to talk with all my family this week. A group of us watched Soul together online. There's an app for that but I didn't find it easy to use. Thank goodness several people are tech savvy. We got rolling about an hour late but enjoyed sending comments back and forth. Popcorn and a comfy seat for everyone - because we were all at home. Today I hope to call more friends. And I will smile as I see {or hear} every person. Then I will pick up some mementos from my parents and grandparents and sit for a while remembering all the good times we had.

Quilting


Despite or because of all the horrors, 2020 turned out to be the year to clean up and clear out. All it took was staying at home for months to get us to focus on overflowing storage - the drawers, the cabinets, the attic, the garage, and the shed. Sheesh! More UFOs found the light of day as DH and I cleared and cleaned the entire house. He sorted, tested, scrubbed, and sold or donated loads of computer and electronic equipment. I actually met my frequently listed but always unmet goal to whittle my stash in half. It's now three shallow boxes. {That's not counting the box of clothing fabric or the box of projects in progress. However, the remaining projects are all in that one box instead of being hidden - and forgotten - in various locations.} 

I had {and may still have} more fabric than I will use in my natural lifetime so it was actually a relief to work through so much of it. Sewing two dozen pillowcases for family, another two dozen tote bags for foster children and family, and a dozen quilts absorbed much of my excess fabric and leaves room for new purchases in the year ahead. The quilts fell into three {occasionally overlapping} categories:

Scrap, stash and strings quilts:

Stash, scrap, and string quilts in 2020
 
{Although the fabric is older, several of the designs are new or new-to me, including two with tulips. Loving them!}

Star quilts:
Star quilts in 2020

and quilts made from the Parts Department: One for a friend

Multicolor Ocean Waves scraps center around red print squares on point
Ocean Waves scrap quilt 3 


and another for me. 

Large Square Deal quilt block forms central medallion surrounded by Crossroads block border
The Square Deal quilt


Hooray for using fabric and blocks that have been "resting" on shelves for a while.

There was also a Christmas stocking for the newest grandchild and two aloha shirts. 

The Shadow Star top is almost complete. {Another pile of blocks that have been waiting on the shelf.} It should be finished in January and then will be off for long arm quilting. My arms can't move that much fabric around as easily as they used to and every stitch will show on the solid white. 

So, what's up for 2021? I'm not making many predictions and plans this time. We do have a new AHIQ prompt which we'll share next week. And I could make up some of the clothes... but right now, I'm relaxing, reading, and chatting with family. Just what the doctor ordered!

Monthly FUR (Fabric Use Rate) 

No quilts completed in this month either. But I finished one more kawandi, several tote bags and the Christmas stocking. That took11.5 yards. The 2020 year total is 165.5 yards. I hope to start the new year with some finishes of the two big quilts I've been working on: Wheel and Shadow Stars. We'll see how quickly that pans out.


Reading

Nann recommended The Address Book by Deirdre Mask and I just finished it.  The subtitle highlights the main points: What street addresses reveal about identity, race, wealth, and power. Without addresses, people can't vote, obtain bank accounts or jobs, get fire or ambulance services... or pay taxes. Without addresses, citizens have no identity. 

Deirdre began in Indian slums, moved to ancient Rome, then discussed the neuroscience of smell and mental mapping. Empress Maria Teresa numbered every house in her country to know who could be drafted for military service. 

Some of the first addresses numbered buildings by the year they were erected. Philadelphia led the way with odd numbers on one side of a street and evens on the others as well as assigning one hundred numbers to each block.  Europeans developed boulevards and parks while Americans used a grid with numbered and lettered streets. 

Stories of how countries name streets and number buildings ranged the globe but she ended the book with three new methods: what3words, Google Plus codes, and  Facebook Robocodes. 

Wishing everyone a healthier and happier year ahead. Peace, love, and true goodwill! 

Happy New Year, Ann

33 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE your Hatchet quilts and have that on my horizon inspired by yours!

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    1. Thanks. I will look forward to seeing your version.

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  2. All your finishes are so lovely! I really do love that Hatchett one and the Tulips, too..you really did so well this tough year...hugs stay safe Julierose

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    1. How kind of you, Julierose. It was fun to make new designs and whittle my stash down. We are staying safely at home.

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  3. As usual I love all your finishes and the thought you put into their design, though I'll admit those tulips are my favorites! Blessings in the New Year to you and yours.

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    1. I'm delighted you like the tulips, too. Thanks for sharing your work with us on AHIQ. Looking forward to a better year in 2021 for all of us.

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  4. look at all you've done!!! amazing to see it in one post

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    1. I used to dislike these posts but now find it interesting to look back at the year. We made it to 2021. Hooray. Here's to a better year ahead.

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  5. I love watching your process in making your quilts, piecing borders that I can't imagine will work and they are perfect. You are my hero spending as much time making time consuming borders as you have spent on the center. My favorite is the Square Deal quilt; love the color combination. It just says comfort and warmth to me.

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    1. Thank you, Wanda. I enjoy reading process blogs and learning about all the twists and turns we take making our work. You share similarly on your blog and I appreciate it.
      Borders are a special love of mine, probably because I make so many bed quilts and see the borders first. I felt a bit selfish about keeping the Square Deal but the colors and the design were such a delight to me. I'm glad you like it, too.

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  6. Your 2020 quilts are gorgeous, especially the scrap, stash and string quilts. Love them so much!:) Good job getting through your fabrics and whittling them down finally. I actually added to mine, but as long as it fits inside my current totes, then I'm good with that. Am looking forward to the new AHIQ prompt though I'm very behind on the last project. Haven't given up on it yet, just letting it simmer for awhile! lol

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. Scraps are a blessing but I'm thrilled to have whittled down my stash so much this year. I'm completely out of some colors so now I get to do some shopping. Of course, there are still three bins of fabric that need to be pushed along.
      I need to draft my tulips to send you. Actually, the paper templates should be around here somewhere. It's fun to mix several prompts together, isn't it? And mix them with other challenges. We end up with such original work. Thanks for playing along with AHIQ.

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  7. You have been very productive this year! It is nice to see all the quilts together. Congratulations on your housecleaning efforts and reducing your stash. Those are both big jobs! With spending so much time the last 35 days cutting my scraps and then straightening up my fabric storage room, I realize I do not need to buy any fabric for a good long time. Happy New Year!

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    1. That's what staying at home for a year can do for us, although I'm ready to purchase missing colors now. What a treat that some colors are completely missing from my stash. But the total needs to fit in my three boxes so I guess I need to finish a few more tops.
      It's great to have the house cleaned and sorted. I follow your adventures with awe. You are so handy and strong to get all that done. Just sad to think you may be selling your house soon.
      Happy New Year, Patty. Here's to a much better year ahead.

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  8. Such beautiful finishes! Hooray for winnowing down the stash (and getting some of that older computer/tech stuff out of the house). Looking forward to the new AHIQ prompt!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. We feel much better after this deep cleaning. I'm looking forward to the next prompt, too.

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  9. I found your first paragraph very moving Ann. John and I left our home and all the family in England when we came to New Zealand 40 years ago.John was able to fit in a few visits back when there on business, as the kids were older they all went back for different periods of time. but all came back to New Zealand and have families of their own. I have never been back to England, I was one of the folks who didn't gather again, when Mum was dying of cancer I was prevented from flying by two back injuries but I was at least able to speak with her in her last few days. My heart goes out to the folks who cannot be with their loved ones in this time of Covid.
    I shall move on now to quilting! Heartwarming to see the beautiful quilts you've created over the past year Ann, so full of colour and the beautiful tulips and strings, whilst the same design, they still have their own individual look. You must be so thrilled.

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    1. What a pioneering story, Maureen. I'm sorry you weren't able to visit your mother again but glad we had telephones. I remember calling my parents every Sunday at 6 pm. We scheduled the time because calls were so expensive. Now that they are included in our cell phone bills, we seem to forget. My mother was the last of her generation. Now I'm the matriarch but the kids are good about calling and I appreciate it more every year. How fortunate you are that your family is all so close.
      Your quilts are glorious symphonies of color. I love seeing them and am inspired to look for more colorful fabric. Personally, finally making a tulip quilt is wonderful. Now I should think of something larger.
      Happy New Year. Here's to a better, brighter year ahead.

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  10. Love the tulips and the lone star quilts. Ann, your creativity has been an inspiration throughout 2020. I am sure your blog will continue to bring joy and inspiration in 2021.

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    1. They have long been favorites and I'm thrilled to finally make some. Not nearly as difficult as I thought. It's great to meet so many wonderful quilters who blog! Like you. What a joy.
      Happy New Year!

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  11. If I had to use one word to describe your quilts it would be "elegant"! Looking forward to your quilts of 2021!

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    1. Wow. Thanks, Cathy. I made more than I remembered and certainly used up lots of fabric. It's almost time to start something else.

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  12. That's a pretty good year's worth of quilts. As always, you pull things together so that they look quite deliberate, even though made with scraps. And well done for all that clearing - I hope you are enjoying the extra space (physical and mental).

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    1. How kind of you, Kaja. I enjoy working with lots of different fabric. Like you, moving the pieces around until an idea clarifies satisfies my soul.
      And yes, my mind feels much freer with the house cleared and cleaned. It bothers me to have lots of stuff lying around unused and unwanted any more.
      Here's to a much better year ahead! Stay safe through this latest mutation.

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  13. Ann your quilts are such a joy to view! Congratulations on taming the house and your stash. That must feel wonderful. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Angie. It’s a weight off my mind to sort, use, and clear.

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  14. Glad you enjoyed the book, Ann. Your Year in Quilts is inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for all the great book recommendations, Nann.

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  15. I too thank you for all of your inspirations this year -- quotes, books, quilts, color ....

    Best wishes for the New Year --

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  16. You had a very productive year of quilting and absolutely stunning finishes!! I have enjoyed watching each progress and look forward to seeing what 2021 inspires!

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    1. Thanks, Mel. You are so creative and prolific that this is quite a compliment. It’s a joy to follow your adventures.

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