Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recap for 2016

Projects Large and Small for 2016

(No payment or compensation of any kind has been received for books. patterns, fabric names, or companies mentioned in this post. All writing/opinions are my own.)

One of the things I most enjoy is making gifts from fabric. At the beginning of each year, I begin to think about the special events that will happen throughout the year. And then I have fun thinking about what I might create to celebrate a certain event. This past year brought two retirements. First, my husband retired at the end of June from United Way. He worked there for over 19 years. It was certainly a time to celebrate. Then, in December, my dear friend and former colleague, Debbie, retired from public education. Her retirement was exactly one year after my own retirement, and I wanted to commemorate her years in education in a special way.

For my husband's retirement, I wanted to make a quilt that would honor his service to United Way and the community. I decided to make a t-shirt quilt from United Way t-shirts. With the assistance of some of his colleagues, I acquired the t-shirts, and then my dear friend and fellow quilter, Judy, taught me how to stabilize the t-shirts before sewing them into the quilt. This would be my first t-shirt quilt. 

For Debbie's retirement, I decided to make four mini-quilts--one for each season. I had taken a course in paper piecing, a technique in quilting where the stitching is done on paper with the fabric underneath. The quilter can't really see the fabric or the resulting pattern until the block is completed. I know that sounds crazy--a little like Ginger Rogers doing the same dance as Fred Astaire but backwards and in high heels! However, paper piecing is very precise and lots of fun. I found several patterns for 12" quilts using the paper piecing technique in the book, Little Gems: 15 Paper-Pieced Miniature Quilts by Connie Kauffmann. I altered several of the patterns to "fit" the fabric I had chosen. Through making these mini-quilts, I learned that I really enjoy making small quilts and that I absolutely love paper piecing. Debbie and her handy husband designed and built a quilt hanger for these four mini-quilts. Visit Debbie's blog here to view their lovely display of these quilts.


Spring Tranquility

Summer Blooms

Autumn Days

Another large project for 2016 was a football quilt for my son-in-law. He is an avid LSU football fan, and when I saw a quilt pattern using football blocks in a quilt shop early in the year, I knew right away that a football quilt would be his Christmas gift from me. LSU colors are purple and yellow so after finding brown and white fabric for the footballs, I looked for a variety of yellow and purple fabrics for the rest of the quilt.

Quilt pattern: Touchdown by Cluck Cluck Sew patterns

It is so much fun to sew for my five year old grandson! A friend of mine, Mimi, who is a creative genius, suggested that I make a pillowcase for my grandson to commemorate each holiday for a year. I finished that project a couple of years ago, but when I visit my grandson and we end up in a fabric store (Of course, we end up in a fabric store; I love fabric!), he will find fabric he likes (usually with a superhero theme), and he'll say, "Grandma, would you make me something from this fabric?" Now, how can a grandma resist that request? My main fabric gift to him this year was an advent calendar that I made from a fabric panel. I sewed pockets to the panel where I could hide small treats for the month of December.

Dear Santa Advent Calendar fabric panel by Studio E fabrics

Then there were the smaller projects for my grandson: a tooth fairy pillow and a padded Spiderman tote bag to protect his tablet as he carries it around.

I made a fabric basket for one of my daughters. I filled it with small gifts for Christmas, and hopefully she will be able to use it to hold other things in her home throughout the year.

For my younger daughter, I made a couple of pillowcases from medallion fabrics since she seems to like this type of fabric shown below.

So these are some of my sewing and quilting projects for 2016. What will I make in 2017? Stay tuned to find out!

Do you like to give or receive handmade gifts? Please leave a comment and share your experiences.


  1. Thanks for the shout out of my blog, Sharon! I'm always impressed with your talents and everything you showcased today is so lovely. I really enjoyed reading about how you choose each project with a specific person in mind. Keep on creating!!

  2. Love your stories and of course the pictures of your quilting projects. I remember the trolls very fondly as I had a bunch of them with different colored hair and various shapes and sizes! I wish I still had them. I had seen most of your quilts already but it is great to see them in this blog. I truly enjoyed helping you make Ron's retirement gift of the T-shirt quilt with the United Way T-shirts incorporated into it. I hope we can go back to the quilt shops soon and find more projects and of course more fabric!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Judy. It's fun to visit those quilt shops for ideas and inspiration.

  3. The photo of the retirement quilt looks really good, but it looked even better in real life.

    1. I'm glad you liked your retirement quilt. I had such a good time thinking about it as I planned what I would make and an even better time making it.


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