NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – MAY

And so the baton passes to Mr. May in the #NGAQB race.  Paul has been the one to watch from the very beginning of this bee.  His timing is meticulous and he always delivers ahead of time.  He seems to have at least half a dozen projects on the go too, so maybe he’s some kind of quilting wizard? Here’s a little about him in his own words.

“Paul Hallinger, born in New Jersey. I am the product of a very nuclear family – dad, mom, me, and my sister. I am the older brother. Just a rather mundane childhood of growing up watching Japanese cartoons and Dr. Who. Oh, and Monty Python. And I was one of those ‘studious’ types who would much rather take home a 100 book reading list for the summer. And if my aunt would lend me her books on UFOs, psychic phenomenon, and otherworldly things, I would fit them in alongside The Great Gatsby.

I took up some levels of sewing and crochet in my teens, mostly because I lived next to my grandmother and aunt, both of whom spent time doing these things. I took a sewing class at a local fabric store (yes, they existed back in the Stone Age) and made a really cool for the times patchwork denim vest. Someone in my family still has it!

I graduated from high school and went off to college. Well that was an interesting thing to do. I lived in a co-ed dorm, found more fun than I could possibly ever want to experience, and decided that if majoring in forestry meant I had to learn Latin, well, that was not going to happen. So after a fun-filled year at a small liberal arts college in northern New Jersey, I dropped out.

And then I just explored new and fun experiences. I worked at various jobs, hung out at clubs with friends, got into CBGBs, became enamored with punk, double pierced my ears, got a tattoo, and colored my hair a lovely shade of blue after spending months looking like Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner. I would not trade those life experiences for anything. And Doc Martens ruled.

I eventually went back to college (I think I was 26 or so), working full-time and going to school full-time. I majored in sociology with a minor in psychology and I am that person in the room who doesn’t say much but is intrigued by everything going on around him. And then off to grad school in the wonderful land of California. I spent two years getting my masters, buggered off the phD (eternal studentdom was not for me) and took a job with the Federal government in 1991. Been there as a day job ever since. I have lived in Jersey, California, Missouri and am now back in Pennsylvania.

What, too impersonal? Not a big sharer, but here you go.

I have been with my one true love for 26-ish years now – our first date involved a trip to the dump. A true romantic that one. We both remember the movie we went to see and the fact that I didn’t go home. And never left much after that either!

I took up quilting in 1992 or so – I had gone to Europe on a wonderful two-week adventure and upon returning to the states blew out a couple of lumbar discs when I grabbed a suitcase out of the trunk of a car. Cross country flight and pain, not a good mix. So I was out of work for a few months and was going absolutely bonkers counting the ceiling tiles when a friend showed me how to cross stitch and then how to do quilt stitching by hand. I then asked her to show me how to make a quilt. I was using a lovely White sewing machine that I had bought at a ‘school over-ordered’ sale. I took it in for service and was amazed at the Bernina sewing machines, so I bought one! and then another. And then another. I have three. Two embroider (another favorite of mine). And then I bought a Juki (I like it for the more industrial needs!).

My quilting is like my musical taste – punk funk other junk, classical jazz industrial pretty much anything I listen to and like. So I quilt things I like – I don’t confine myself to any particular style. I do tend to be a little ‘matchy’ with my fabric choices and tend to stick to one or two choices in a quilt – I personally feel that the fabric designer did what they did and I should let their expression stand relatively sound. When I look at some stuff produced by other quilters I just start hearing “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…”. My own personal aesthetic. I need some level of cohesion.”

I actually got these blocks done early on in the month because I was so excited to start them.  You see, there were no rules, only a size, eight and a half inches unfinished.  This month, we could really let loose, picking and choosing what we fancied.  Colour, style, fabric…it was all down to us.

I decided to piece some improv blocks as my love affair with that particular style of piecing seems to only get more steamy.  I chose bright, bold-coloured fabrics along side greys and pieced them into negative space with my new favourite, Robert Kauffman’s Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black.  I found it a little challenging sticking to the constraints of an 8″ block as there was so many things I wanted to do, but I’m happy with the outcome.  Hopefully Paul will be too!

You can find out more about Paul and his fantastic work over on his blog and on Instagram, where he posts as evildemondevildog.  While you’re there, check out the rest of the bee beauties using the hashtag #NGAQB.

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – APRIL

It’s always the way!  You let yourself get comfortable, throw around a little swagger and cockiness, and before you know it April’s been and gone and your bee blocks aren’t done!  Time really did catch up with me last month.  What with work and all the little side projects I had going on it was inevitable that some plates wouldn’t get spun.  Fortunately, the situation has been rectified and I’m back on track, having posted out April and May bee blocks yesterday.  Phew for a little breathing space!

When the #NGAQB started to take shape many moons ago, I was excited about all the new male quilters I’d get to meet and interact with.  It was like being invited to an exclusive club, where Facebook was our smoking room and we talked fabric rather than finance.  I had that new-boy-in-the-class feeling as I wasn’t familiar with any of the group, except one, Mr. April and the Quilt Dad himself, John Adams.

When I began quilting, Quilt Dad was a shining beacon.  He held my hand and guided me through the construction of my first quilt, for which I used his awesome wonky log cabin tutorial.  That quilt was the first I saw through to the end and would never have been as good if it weren’t for John’s informative and easy-to-understand instructions.

I’m sure that John needs no introduction to many of you quilty folk out there but as per tradition, he took a few moments to share some of himself with the group.

I am a father of three, originally from Brooklyn NYC but now living in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I live with my 9 year-old twin girls, my 8 year-old son, and a crazy German Short-haired Pointer named Bristol. Though I often wish it could be, quilting and pattern-writing is not my full-time job; by day, I lead branding and brand marketing efforts for a global software company. I am a completely self-taught quilter (thanks, blogs and internet!) and have been sewing for about 7 years now. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina and, when I’m not sewing, enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels.

I was originally inspired by the blossoming worlds both of craft blogging and modern fabrics back in 2004. I was living in Charlotte NC at the time and began mixing and matching fabrics and buying fat quarters in my local quilt shop even before I knew how to sew a stitch. I was really drawn to the creative process of mixing and matching colors and prints. That was when Amy Butler’s Lotus line had just come out, and the options for bright modern fabrics was growing like crazy. Before long, I decided I was going to make a quilt and read free tutorials online until I felt comfortable with the basics.

I started my blog, QuiltDad.com, in 2008 on a whim, mainly to be eligible to join a swap at the time but ultimately to share my love of patchwork with others.  Since then, I’ve remained very active in online quilting communities through swaps, virtual quilting bees, and guilds. Today, I try to apply my own quilting aesthetic to designing original quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies and frequently contribute to creative blogs, books, and other collaborative endeavors. I’ve contributed to several collaborative quilt books, have two book titles of my own (Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and the soon to be released Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements) and was a co-founder of the popular e-magazine and book series for modern quilters, Fat Quarterly.

Having said all that, the NGAQB is one of the most unique, exciting projects I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to see the beautiful things that emerge from it.”

As he mentioned, John can be found blogging at Quilt dad and on Instagram as j_q_adams.

John requested feather blocks for his month, based on a pattern by Anna Maria Horner.  Print and colour were pretty much left up to us.  Aside from no novelty fabrics, we had a free reign.  I was guided by John’s love of pattern and chose floral and geometric prints in bright, saturated colours by Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Tula Pink and, of course, Anna herself.  I strayed from the instructions a little as I didn’t want all my feathers to be the same.  So, rather than sew long strips as per the instruction, I made smaller strip sets in different fabrics.  I really liked making one side of the feather in one piece to offset the balance.  I went for a warm grey for the feather quills and the background was Kona Snow, as per John’s request.

I went through an emotional roller coaster when I made these.  One minute I loved them, the next I wanted to fling them from the roof. !  Now that they’re done I can confidently say that I love them.  I think I’ve been bitten by the feather bed bug!  For anyone else attempted these my advice would be gentle, gentle!  The bias is prone to stretching so go carefully with your iron.  You may also want to over shoot the background, as I have done.  That way you’ll have some leeway to square up and ensure all your blocks are the same size.

I love this bee a little more with every new block I make.  The group is made up of such inspiring, dynamic men and I can’t wait to get some of their handiwork fall through my letterbox come October.  Remember to follow along using the hashtag #NGAQB and I’ll be back soon with Mr. May.

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – MARCH

As well as many birthdays, including the dog’s, March marks month three of the #NGAQB and the center-stage positioning of our second Andrew (with an Andres too even the bee members get confused; I’m not expecting you to keep up!)  Like the other one, this Andrew recently shared a bit about himself in our Facebook group.  I’ll go and make tea whilst you get to know him better…

“I’m the other Andrew, or Mr. March.  I went to art school and concentrated on photography.  I now work in healthcare, specifically as an aide in Intensive Care and Cardiac Services.  Quilting was introduced to me by my mother a couple of years ago when I asked her to teach me, knowing she wanted to get back into it.  I made one small table runner and one lap quilt then put my machine away, only to pick it up again 6 months or so ago.  Thanks to social media, specifically Instagram, I started noticing more and more male crafters and quilters.  I started to follow them and began a conversation about an all-male quilt bee…and here we are.”

Yes we are, with tea!  Andrew shares his awesomeness as Testostersewn on Instagram.  For his month, he chose an Inverted Star block.

“I chose the Inverted Star block because I haven’t yet worked with half-square triangles and wanted the challenge.”

We were asked to keep the star solid and the exterior pieces either solid black or a black tone-on-tone print.  As for colours, we were guided by a photograph Andrew shared with the bee.

“I asked for the color inspiration to come from a photograph I took on my last trip with my husband to Key West. We’ve been there twice in the last year and I love it.  Asking for your help to commemorate this new favorite place of mine seemed appropriate.”

I have to admit that I didn’t realise the photograph had a significance to Andrew until after I made his blocks.  I feel so privileged to have contributed to something that will stir great memories.  Whilst I enjoyed making these blocks I don’t mind saying I was a little anxious beforehand!  After reading through the pattern several times, I ultimately decided to ignore it!  Whenever I’ve made half square triangles in the past, my go-to method has always been to stitch either side of a line draw on a square and cut in half.  The pattern called for triangles cut first then stitched together.  Well, I guess cutting on the bias is my bronchitis, coz I ain’t got time for it!  Instead, I made over-sized units and cut them down in an attempt to improve the accuracy of my piecing and have the block come out the right size.  There were a lots of pieces in this block and I didn’t want to lose too much of it!  I fastidiously sewed each seam with a scant quarter-inch allowance and went softly, softly with my iron.  Distortion I did not need!  Thankfully when it came to measuring up, the blocks were the size they were suppose to be, give or take a few threads.

The photograph allowed for a great colour palette; lots of moody blues and greys with hints of whites and marine greens.  I had no shortage of fabric to choose from as these are the colours I love to work with.  I used a mixture of prints and solids and tried to varying their position over the two blocks.  I’m particularly proud of the fussy cutting I did on the Joel Dewberry print in the first block.  I really wanted the pattern in exactly the same place and I think I nailed it.   A small victory in a long-fought battle against steam and seam!

Yesterday Andrew confirmed receipt of the blocks so I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Apart from January, all the blocks I make are destined for air travel and I always fret that it’ll be my package that gets mislaid.  So far, so good.  Andrew seems pleased too.  He ended his mini biography with this…

“Thank you all for the stunning blocks I’ve already either received or seen online.  The work you each produce is amazing and I’m glad to be a growing amateur in such an elite group of fun and talented craftsman!”

Such sentiment!  Three months in and I’m loving every minute of this quilt bee experience.  Sharing my creativity with such a great bunch of guys is so rewarding, I wouldn’t even if I didn’t have a month of my own…actually, scrap that, roll on October, it’s ours and we wants it!

As always, follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #NGAQB.

 

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – FEBRUARY

As well as the torrential rain and icy winds that have assaulted much of the UK, February also brings with it the second month of the #NGAQB.  It seems like only yesterday that me and my fellow bee mates were in the planning stage; assigning months and getting to know each other in the virtual space of our Facebook group.  I guess then that time really does pass quickly when you’re having fun, and even quicker when you’re having bucket loads of it.

February sees the first of our group’s two Andrews take the quilting compass and direct us towards gaggles of flying geese amid negative space.  During their month, the bee members share a little of their history with the group.  As it happens, Andrew too has an affinity for all things Japanese.

“I grew up with an older sister and my parents and my family went back-and-forth between the Philadelphia, PA area and Tokyo, Japan.  Although more of my time was spent in the US, I always felt like Japan was a second home (maybe my “real” home?) to me.  I spent 4 years of high school at the American School in Japan and they were some of the best years of my life.  I am still extremely inspired by Japanese culture and art.”

One of the things I like best about the bee is hearing how the other members came upon their quilting journeys.

“I owe my life of quilting to my wonderful partner, Chad.  He has an addictive personality, so he’ll get stuck on something and will put all his energy into that one activity for a relatively short amount of time in an obsessive way.  He usually drops that activity and moves on to a new hobby pretty quickly.  But a number of years ago, Chad began knitting.  He found a great group of other knitters to hang out with and he became hooked!  It’s the first time I’ve seen him stick with something for so long!  He was making such beautiful knitwear and I became quite jealous.  I tried my hand at knitting, but I absolutely HATED it.  I mean, it made me so frustrated I just completely gave up.  This didn’t really surprise me because I’ve never considered myself much of an artist or “maker.”

“I didn’t want to give up on the making, though, so I started wondering whether there was something else that was more my speed.  I began with sewing, just making little things like zippered pouches, coffee cup sleeves, knitting needle “roll-ups” etc.  Although I enjoyed it a bit, I didn’t like the finicky work associated with this type of sewing.  I somehow got it in my head that I should try making a quilt.  When I found out that my sister was pregnant in early 2010, I thought that perhaps a baby quilt for my soon-to-be niece was a good place to start.  I taught myself using Alex Anderson’s “Start Quilting” and I got a lot of great help from my co-worker, who had already been quilting for a few years.”

“That first project was a challenge for me and I made some incredible mistakes and got extremely discouraged at numerous points in the process.  Normally this means that I’ll never do that activity again, but for some reason, I was so happy with the final result, that I kind of forgot all the pain and decided to push forward with more quilting.  My co-worker quickly convinced me to join a relatively new group called the “Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild.”  I met some amazing quilters and made many new friends through Philly MQG and within about 1 year, I became the president of the group!  I have been president now for a couple of years and it is still a ton of fun.  I’m presently spending quite a bit of my time organizing a modern quilting retreat in Lancaster, PA called “Mid-Atlantic MOD” with a couple other awesome quilters from the Central NJ MQG and the DC MQG.”

As well as his blog, you can check out Andrew’s work on his Flickr feed, and by following him on Instagram (andrewjoslyn) and Twitter (andrewjoslyn).

For this month we were asked to make blocks that incorporated flying geese of any size and colour into neutral negative space.  Recently, negative space has become my mot du jour and I love experimenting with it.  For Andrew’s first block, I wanted curved flying geese.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may remember and episode of intense panic when I made this block.  You see, my original plan was to have the geese set amongst the grey fabric without the black sketch border.  A miscalculation in size led to some improvised splicing and this was the end result…better than anything I had previously envisaged.  The whole incident inspired this post, where I learned to embrace mistakes and roll with the punches dealt to me by too-short fabric pieces and misaligned seams.

For the second block I was interested in addressing a theme that had risen it’s rather ugly head a few weeks ago.  Anyone who follows the #NGAQB may be familiar with an accusation of sexism that came about due to the naming of our bee.  I won’t dig up all the details again here but the incident inspired me to create a block that showed whilst we embrace our differences as male quilters, we will always have utmost respect and appreciation for the female quilters who came before us.  I wanted the block to be a fun and mischievous interpretation of breaking the mould and embracing change.

I’m so happy with both of these and had such great fun making, even if I did get a little stressed with the first!  They’ve already been posted and should arrive with Andrew soon!  I can’t wait to see the others.  Mr. January has almost received all his blocks and I can tell you know they look awesome together.  Make sure you keep up-to-date by following along with the hashtag #NGAQB on Instagram and Twitter, or click on the badge in the sidebar to link to the Flickr page.

 

 

ACCENTUATE THE NEGATIVE

As many a recording artist has told us, in life we have to “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive“.  Lately I’ve been doing the opposite and giving prominence to the negative, that is, negative space.  With my January blocks for the #NGAQB in the safe keeping of their recipient, it was time to get back to old WIPs abandoned in the name of Christmas and camaraderie.  Top of my list was the Gossip Quilt, which I desperately want to finish.  As I pulled out the blocks and put them back on the design wall, creativity, much like Frodo and the One Ring, took a path I did not expect.  I had negative space on the brain from the ideas formulating in my head for the February #NGAQB block and the more I looked at the Gossip Quilt blocks the more I liked the idea that was forming.

You see, my original plan was to have each 12.5″ block  be a full log cabin, joining them all together to make a 5 x 6 block quilt top.  I took some solid black and began revising the arrangement, adding areas of negative space to and around the log cabins.  I loved it!  Such a simple thing, similar to what I did with the Dinosaur Quilt.  So now, as well as the full size blocks, I’ve started to make smaller log cabin block and sash them in varying widths of black.  I might even have some full 12.5″ square negative space too.  That’s the joy of the design wall; nothing’s place is permanent on it.  Now that the some of the blocks have been reduced in size they’re coming much quicker, and I hope to have the top pieced by next weekend.

Today, I took a break from the Gossip Quilt to work on my February #NGAQB blocks.  All was going well until I came to square up one side…

Yep, I was that much short.  You know those days when nothing seems to go right?  When fabric doesn’t want to play ball and you drop your pins all over the floor, well today was one of those days in the attic.  The negative, the real negative, was well and truly being accentuated.  Apart from some paltry scraps, I had no more of the background grey and didn’t have the patient to order more and wait for it to arrive.  I panicked and got stressed.  I called out to my bee mates for suggestions, taking myself away from the machine whilst I waited for their responses.  A calm descended after a dog walk and a cup of tea.  On my return I looked at the block differently.  They say things happen for  reason and I think they really do.  A quick slice and dice of the block allowed my to add some wonky sashing that has totally transformed it to something I never envisaged.  A happy case of measure once, cut twice!  Don’t you just love it when things like that happen.  My quilting  is far from perfect but sometimes, in the mistakes I make, I see the potential for something closer to it!

Have you ever turned a problem into a positive?

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – JANUARY

You hear that?   That’s the sound of a quilt bee swarming through the blogsphere.  But this isn’t just any old quilting bee.  This is a beer and brawn, all signing, all dancing, all male quilting bee.  You may remember me mentioning the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee in my last post of 2013.  Well, January has arrived and the Boys are buzzing!

For those new here, a recap.  Last year, as I admired the quilts of The Blogger’s Quilt Festival, a particular entry caught my eye.  Despite being colourful and modern and very much me, it wasn’t the quilt I was so intrigued by but it’s maker, who was a man; the “Gone with the Wind fabulous” Molli sparkles.  I was overjoyed to have found another like me!  Of course, I knew there were other male quilters out there;  I’d been an avid reader of Quilt Dad’s blog when I first found quilting, and my first completed quilt was made using one of his quilt block tutorials.  In the spirit of the festival I commented on Molli’s entry, congratulating his efforts.  Little did I know how much of an impact this seemingly simple interaction would have on my quilting life.

Fast forward two month and we’re here, in January, for the first month of the #NGAQB.  That’s right, we’ve got a hashtag!  The thing has gone global.  Shortly after our interaction Molli posted an image to his Instagram feed and the idea grew wings.  People commented, the buzz got louder and before we knew it we had 13 guys ready to quilt, including Mr. Quilt Dad himself, John Adams.   A…ma…zing!  I give you the #NGAQB class of 2013

Whip Holder: Andres Rosales

January’s gentleman is Mr. Sandy Greenberg; UK Chicagoan, husband of Brioni Greenberg of Flossy Bossy fame and all round great guy who likes reading and watching Science Fiction, motor sports, travelling and having fun with his 4-year-old boy.  The members of the bee have been so forthcoming with tidbits and tales of their lives it feels like we’ve been friends for years.  Sandy has a great attitude towards quilting.

“I approach quilting as a technical challenge.  I am less bothered by the outcome and am more interested in the process.  I LOVE paper foundation piecing! I have no interest or love of fabric however. I pay no attention to lines or designers, just pretty colours and patterns. I’m a fearless skilled amateur. My second ever project was a pattern of curved flying geese of my own design and everyone thought I was brave and crazy. I just did it because no one told me that I couldn’t.”

Check out Sandy’s work over on his blog and Flickr feed, and by following him on Instagram (Curly_Boy1) and Twitter (@Curly_boy1).

For his month, Sandy asked for Lone Starburst blocks, one with a light background and one with a dark.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram you would have already seen the blocks I’ve made.  I really enjoyed picking the fabric for these.  Sandy told us he was interested in colour theory so I really wanted to make something zingy.  You know that anything Tula Pink is gonna work!

These are ready to go into the post today.  I’m so excited!  It’s been awesome to see all the blocks the other members have made and I can’t wait to see how sandy puts them together.  This whole experience is promising to be something really special and I hope you’ll follow along to see what happens when a bunch of guys are let loose with a rotary cutter and a fat quarter!  Who knows what we’ll have to share at the end of it all.  You can follow along with the hashtag #NGAQB on Instagram and Twitter or click on the badge in the sidebar to link to the Flickr page.

LOOKING FORWARD

And in the blink of an eye the year has gone!  I’ve never really been a fan of New Year’s Eve and I’m not the type to go out and drink the night away.  There are always too many people in too little space and the taxi fare you pay to get there is astronomical; you really might as well be going to the moon!  I tend to spend the last hours of the year in loose pants, cup of tea in one hand and the other, claw-like, lowering itself into a tin of Cadbury’s Miniature Heros.  In those moments, my mind drifts and contemplates what has been and what is yet to come.

The last few months of this year have been wonderful in so many ways, particularly my quilting life.  What first started as a very personal, solo adventure has fast become a bawdy, rambling troupe.  I’ve met so many amazing and inspiring people on the journey and it feel like there’s a lot more to come.  Two years ago, before the words ‘fat quarter’ and ‘half square triangle’ entered my vocabulary, I could never have imagined myself as part of such a vibrant, creative community; having a blog of my own, with followers, and comments, and likes oh my!  I was very much a one-man-band, but through this blog, Facebook and Instagram I’ve encountered so many other wonderful artist who I feel privileged to play along side in this great quilty arena we’ve created.

So, to 2014.  The year is already shaping up to be an awesome one.  Firstly, I’ll be participating in my first Quilt Bee.  A few months ago, whilst enjoying the entries of the Quilt Bloggers Festival, I happened across an entry by a male quilter.  I was so excited to have found somebody else like me I commented at once, congratulating him not only on his amazing quilt but also his gender!  That comment planted a seed, which quickly took on a life of its own, becoming the “No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee”, or the #NGAQB for the cool kids.  13 guys, yes, guys, 12 months and a whole load of testosterone-fueled quilting.  You’ll be hearing a lot more about the bee over the coming year but I don’t think I have to tell you how excited I am.  The group has a really special feeling and I know that each and every one of the members will have something to teach me.  I’ve nearly completed January’s blocks and will be sending them off to their recipient soon!  Want a sneak peek?  Oh, go on then!

2014 will also see me turning my hand to designing a quilt, something that excites and unnerves me in equal measure.  The wonderful people at Fat Quarterly were kind enough to let me lose with a fabric bundle with the task of creating something for their upcoming pre-cuts issue.  I’ve had great fun messing about with paper and colouring pencils over the last few days and am itching to get started.

Aside from hangovers and Hogmanay, the end of the year is traditional reserved for resolutions; things we commit to to make a difference in our or others lives over the coming year.  I usually shy away from such things, preferring to allow the year to play out in its own unpredictable way.  That said, there are a few things I aim to do.  The first is to use more of my stash.  As pretty as it looks, its primary function is to be used.  I’ll never (no matter how hard I try) be able to stop the shopper in me from buying fabric, but if I can use what I buy, rather than just look and smile at it, then I’ll consider that a win.  Secondly, the past year has seen me step up my free motion quilting and that is something I want to continue.  I’ve moved away from stippling towards more adventurous designs and hope to utilise the quilting books I received for Christmas to progress.  I’ll be a free motion feather freak before you know it!

So that’s it for this year.  Thank you to each and every one of you who follows, reads, comments and likes.  You, as much as anybody, have welcomed me into this quiltsphere and I can’t wait to share 2014 with you all.  Happy New Year!

Linking up with Lily’s Quilts for the Small Blog Meet, a great way to meet other like-minded bloggers.