We don’t normally do a “what we did this year” holiday letter, nor am I apt to do an end of the year summary in letter or diary form, but as of last night I’m kinda feeling the urge.
Normally our years are defined by TS&WGH’s job — is he home, or in other parts of Germany, or Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq; what’s he doing? command, school, counting beans, creating Power Point masterpieces, etc. Kids usually come next — how old are they now, how’s school, what activities are exciting them, etc.
Ha, this year actually was a banner one for me! I started off the year by finally finishing the Travel Europe quilt which had taken me four years from first concept to completion. I thought it had potential as a block of the month pattern for begining and intermediate quilters, especially those who are in the military “family” — the type of people I interact with all the time. So, with the support of TS&WGH, I hauled off and had the patterns professionally printed. (Then, of course, I immediately moved on and virtually abandoned that direction in my quilting.) I also began teaching the block of the month as a class at the Arts & Crafts Center on post, as well as other begining quilting classes. The best part has been that I can teach most anything I want, as often or little as I want. I had been teaching at our previous post as well, but it took the previous four years for me to figure out what it is that I have to offer, and how/what I enjoy teaching. This was the year I feel it all came together nicely.
I decided this year to take myself seriously as a quiltist (my friend Page coined this term and I like it); and I made a definite paradigm change from traditional quilts to quilts that are, for me, more experimental, and definitely more in tune with my art school training and few years as a graphic designer.
In springtime, I finished “Abby” for my SIL. I love it, she LOVES it, she entered it in the Marin Needle Arts & Quilt show and they loved it (3rd place)! What a great feeling! It also hung at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley in October.
I have been quilting like a mad woman and have churned out over a half dozen quilts or wall hangings this year. I’ve been trying embellishment, different piecing and fusing techniques, and working on my machine quilting. My work is all over the place, but maybe next year will be the year of focus. I attribute my productivity to the fact that my kids were both in school this year, for the first time! My family also upgraded me from my 40 year old sewing machine to a fancy schmancy new one last birthday/Xmas.
TS&WGH (Tech Support & World’s Greatest Husband, for the majority of you who have probably not been reading this since it’s naïsance) insisted that I needed a website if I was going to be serious about anything, and also urged me to blog. I’m quite pleased with the website (though we’ll be changing programs soon due to purchase of cool new iMac and now I am supposed to be the one to create the site — yikes!). And blogging, well that’s opened myriad new doors for me. I have met so many other wonderful quilters/fiber artists and don’t feel nearly so isolated as an artist myself. And I’m absolutely loving the insight into people’s creative processes — thank you all so much for sharing! I had no idea blogging would be so inspirational. I must send a special shout-out to Melody Johnson for drawing me into this fabu world!
I went to Art Quilt Tahoe this year. Wow! I learned so much, and had so much fun. I never expected to meet so many talented people (and must admit, though I’m in awe of the teachers, I was completely humbled by the student work as well), and I cherish the friendships I made. To top it off, I won their scholarship to next year’s conference!!!!!!! I never expected I could actually go back and experience it again.
This year, I actually had the nerve to ask a moonlighting co-worker, who’s a budding curator in her real life, if she’d be willing to help me put together a show. I am now willing to share that it looks like I will be having a show next autumn at the German American Institute in Heidelberg. Now I just need to keep making quilts for it, as I have no theme or series in my work. That’s what I’m working on now.
This week, I have the opportunity to learn how to quilt on a long arm machine. I spent some time this morning practicing and I have to admit, it’s a bit addictive. I hope to trade time working on orders for the shop for time working on my own projects. We’ll see how this all turns out. Any way it goes though, I now have another tool to add to my toolbelt.
Way back in the begining of this blog I mentioned that last night was significant. When I came home from long arming, there were two envelopes from Road to California quilt show waiting for me. I had written the show off as notification of accepted quilts was to be at the end of November, and since I completed Katja’s Owlz, all quilts made before it have paled. However, Road to California seems to think that Abby and Seaweed? are worth showing to the world! Rene from my AQT class said that if you like your quilt then enter it. Don’t second guess what judges will think. Yeah Rene, thanks for the great advice!
I turn 40 next week and I couldn’t be happier 🙂