Good, Better, Best in the New Year

Most people have two times of the year when they stop and reflect on their lives; these are New Year’s and their birthday. Well, New Year’s Eve is also my birthday so I do a marathon of reflection this time of year. Looking back at the business side of my life,  Maryland Quilter grew over 10% in revenues this year. Expenses were a whopping 50% less than in 2013.

Now the fun part begins– planning the future growth for 2015! I am going to sort through the myriad of possibilities using the good, better, best method. I’ll take all the ideas for projects, expansion, marketing, etc., evaluate each one and label them good, better, best. The best ones will then be prioritized. Then the work begins 🙂

Here is a quilt in the shop called Seize the Day, appropriate for a New Year and a birthday:

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The quilt is available for sale in the shop here

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The Hunger Games Inspired Quilt — Gotta See It!

Katniss and Peeta have just triumphantly returned to District 12 from their first Hunger Games. Some grateful residents donate fabric from dresses and clothing to make a quilt for the victorious survivors. Primrose designs the mockingjays to cavort on the top of the quilt. Her mother finds a beautiful rose print to adorn the sides. The finished design represents the rustic beauty of the people of District 12.

I imagined this part of the story and it inspired the design for ‘Katniss’. This quilt is fun and not too hard to make. It is completed in stages that make it easy to quilt as you go, first assembling the center panel, then the borders. Each part is quilted before it is assembled so that there are few bulky parts. When the top is done, the quilt is finished except for the binding.

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The quilt and the pattern are for sale in my shop, Maryland Quilter.

Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree

One mile down the road from my house is a ford. It is a throwback from an earlier age and scares the city drivers. The stream crosses the road and if you want to continue forward, you have to be brave and drive through the water. Most days, I walk to the ford and back for a bit of exercise. Today the autumn weather was glorious and I took this picture of the creek from the ford:

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This week I also designed a new quilt. I like it so much, I want to keep it for myself.  But for now, it is available in the shop along with the pattern, so you can make your own version of  Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree:

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How to Grow a Mini Quilt

Last week I spent the entire time designing and sewing mini quilts. It was so much fun because I could explore new ideas without committing to a large project. It also felt very productive because I was able to finish so many quilts in a short time. It was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again this week. But now it feels kinda like that second piece of cake– still good but not as good as I wanted  it to be.

So I couldn’t resist growing my latest  mini quilt.  This one has flowers, because it’s spring and flowers are everywhere. They’ve invaded my subconscious and all my design ideas have flowers in  them. It also has a bee, because all the spring flowers have bees on them.

I’m not finished but here is the bee to tantalize you:

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This  is a detail from another mini quilt I made this week, called “Rebecca and Jake”. I named it after my teenage daughter, Rebecca, because she said it looked like her:

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And how do you grow a mini quilt? You add borders, which I did, and I’ll show you next post how it turned out. As usual, the quilts and patterns are available in my shop:)

 

A New Series to Watch This Week

My computer is in my sewing room. During the day when I’m sewing, I listen to music or NPR or the radio. At night, I’m usually still sewing, but there may be a crowd in the sewing room. There’s a couple of boxes of toys my 7 year old likes playing with and often a couple of the older kids will be watching a TV series from Netflix with me while I sew. It is so much better watching a series in its entirety.

Sometimes I take the series approach when designing quilts. Spending an entire week exploring one type of quilt or one design helps me to focus and go in all the directions I’m drawn to while everything is fresh and exciting.

Recently I went on a southwest binge making Mexican tied quilts for a week This week is mini quilt week at Maryland Quilter. My goal is 10 unique patterns and quilts for small spaces, 18×21 inches. Here are the first 3 quilts:

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These quilts are available in the shop and the patterns, too.