Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring on the resolutions and the stretch pants!


What are the resolutions most quilters make every year? Complete the UFO's, use up more of the stash, don't start so many new projects, don't buy so much new fabric, right? I am right there with you, but I think we should all accentuate the positive.

Most of us refer to our piles of fabric as our "stash." Jo Morton says that word has negative conotations and prefers calling her piles of fabric her "collection." Personally, I view mine as my big box of crayons. No one ever wants to use up one box of crayons and then close up shop. You need to get new crayons if you want to keep coloring. Sometimes, when you don't have a particular picture you are working on, you just want to admire how the crayons all look together.

Quilt shop owners have gotten really clever in their packaging of quilt kits and I commend them! My favorites are the kits that look like wrapped gifts. Let's be honest, many of us have significant others who just don't get this whole quilting thing. At least that's the case for me. So I never get gifts like those pictured below. And, they look so darn cute all wrapped up that I am loathe to open them. So, that's resolution number one. To use something from my stash I will open just one of my personal presents and make the darn quilt.


In 2011 my theme will be "more is better" when it comes to quilting. See the example below from an old quilt? Nothing fancy, just lines. They aren't evenly spaced, they aren't particularly straight, but they fill the space. Hasn't it been said, "the quilting makes the quilt." My problem is, instead of actually doing the quilting, I spend too much time agonizing over what is the Perfect quilting pattern when I should just quilt the bejeazus out of it and call it a day. This goes for both hand and machine quilting.


I will continue to learn about this splendid legacy we call patchwork, the techniques and stories of our quilting foremothers. The UFO pictured below is a class I taught years ago at our LQS. I used traditional blocks and some new variations and combined piecing instruction with stories about Maryland women during the civil war. 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of that conflict so what better time to delve more into that era - particularly the stories about women. Barbara Brackman is beginning a fabulous new civil war blog that combines history and quilting so be sure to check it out weekly. It promises to be a real treat.


The red and green quilt below is one of many UFO's that were conceived from the desire to have festive Christmas quilts. As you can see from my last post, I found a new solution. Collect red and green antique quilts. This one stalled when I realized that I didn't like the gold I was using for the stars (see the one in row 3) and I had to applique 42 of them to finish the top. In an effort to keep it simple, I am going to skip the stars, get the top machine quilted and use it as next year's tree skirt. Unless I cannot get the "kids" to give up the one I made when they were small. In that case, I will save it and make it a Christmas gift when one of my kids gives me a new son or daughter in law. That won't happen in 2011 but I am open minded and optimistic we might see some action in 2013 or 2014. My DD told me to keep those desires to myself so you did not hear it from me.



I will acknowledge that the box of crayons has gotten quite full and might be tearing a little around the edges so I need to remove a few. That's where my blog friends come in. Below are the pattern and kit from a wool applique block of the month program I joined at Temecula Quilt Co. in 2010. Well, it's months 1-11. Number 12 will arrive later this month. I am going to get real and admit that I am not going to make this quilt. I hope one of you will take on the project. Leave me a comment - nothing fancy, a simple "add my name to the basket" will do the trick. The kit includes the pattern from Lori Smith, black background fabric and wool for each block along with a photo of what it is supposed to look like when finished. It is really great.

I will pick the winner on Monday morning (January 3) when I drag my unwilling self back into work and am looking for a distraction. I am guessing that will be about 9:30 am EST. I will pop what I have in the mail next week and will send #12 along when it arrives.

wool quilt kit giveaway (front)

wool quilt kit giveaway (back)

76 comments:

  1. Had to laugh at the title of your post - stretch pants, indeed! I hear ya! Fantastic giveaway!

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  2. Wow, I'd love to win the kit! And thanks for the heads up on the new blog! Happy New Year!

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  3. This is awesome! Please add me to the drawing!

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  4. That giveaway looks wonderful - please add me to the list and thanks for the opportunity!

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  5. Pick me! Pick me! Just got into wool, and love the way it looks. The last 2 years I have made New Year resolutions the I could keep, finish the UFO's which I did do most of them. In the past I've done the lose weight, like most Americans as my resolution but never succeded, until last year I lost 50 pounds. Do you think its because I didn't put the pressure on myself as a new year resolution, whatever the reason I'm stil working on it and probably will be forever...
    Have a great New Year 2011

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  6. Wow! What a nice giveaway! Please enter me! Also, I SO agree with you on "stash" vs. "collection" and I LOVE "box of crayons"! Takes me FOREVER to decide how to quilt a quilt and then I'm so tired of worrying over it I don't even want to finish it. And, yes, fabric bundles look like gifts - I want to buy one to look at and one to cut and sew. Crazy isn't it? At least I'm not all crazy by myself. Have a Happy New Year & Happy Stitching!!

    gale
    galew417@comcast.net

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  7. Taryn I agree! Box of crayons! I figure a painter has a palette of paints...he doesn't try and use up all of his paint. He adds to it..he mixes them together...fabric is our paint! I would love to win the wool kit! And can't wait to see which present you unwrap and put together first. Happy New Year!

    p.s. Thanks for the info on Barbara Brackmans' new blog!

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  8. This an AWESOME giveaway!! Too generous!! and I love it!! :-) I have admired this BOM from TQC for quite some time! Thanks so much! Happy New Year!

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  9. I really love your descriptions here in this post!
    Box of crayons...I like that :)

    I prefer to call my fabric 'collection' also. I knew I loved Jo Morton! Mine looks beautiful all 'wrapped' up in my closet too! The pieces from the collection that are on my quilt table look lovely too :)

    Have a wonderful New Year!

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  10. Wow! I'd love you to add my name to the basket for winning this great wooly project. I can't believe you're willing to part with it, but that's what makes blogland such a wonderful place - people like YOU!

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  11. Hi, I've just recently found your blog since finding the Glorious Applique blog. (I have 10 Lollypop blocks made!) Thanks for the wonderful content, and your giveaway looks wonderful -- I'd love to win! Happy New Year! Carla

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  12. wow I love your resolutions! I am still thinking about what I want to try and change or learn more about... ok, I have to admit I would love to try and work with wool, so this might be a way for me to give it a chance! ARe you really sure you can't make the blocks up and take it along on your road trips????

    I do call my fabric collection as well.
    stash just seems cold! LOL

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  13. I like your take on resolutions! Lovely kit - wow!

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  14. I would love to be entered into the drawing. I haven't worked with wool yet and would love to try it.

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  15. Oh goodness!! I would love to be in the drawing...I have been eying this pattern for ages! Thank you for your generosity of heart!

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  16. Wow - what a great giveaway! I enjoyed reading your blog - my stash will now be a collection, also!

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  17. I have never worked with wool, so I would love to be the lucky winner in your generous geive away. Please add my name to the basket ;-).

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  18. what a lovely posting- and such a generous give away! I'd would love to be the lucky winner!

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  19. Happy New Year! I would love to do the wool kit! I have never quilted with wool, but I have admired so many beautiful wool quilts on the blogs latley. Thank you for the chance to try it out.

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  20. Love the box of crayons analogy and collection does sound much better than stash. I have already decided to follow along with Barbara's civil war block a week, great way to use up some of my collection. Count me in on the wool giveaway, sounds like fun.

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  21. Oh, yes please! Add me to your drawing! Lovely!

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  22. Can I just say "amen" to everything you said. I like the idea of 2011 being the year of "more is better," so please add me to the basket. I would love one more UFO, although this one looks so pretty that I would work on it!! Your post cracked me up!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  23. What a generous giveaway!! But mostly, I like your sampler quilt you taught!! The light background and dark border sure make the blocks stand out! Good luck with your goals! I won't put mine in writing, then I cannot be held to them. ;o)

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  24. Please count me in. Love working in wool and this is a perfect project.

    Terry in So. Calif.

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  25. Hi Taryn, Please add me to the drawing and wishing you a happy new year. ~~Lisa

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  26. Oh! what a generous way to make changes.
    Please add me to the basket.

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  27. Thank you for the giveaway. Please add my name to the hat!

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  28. What a fantastic giveaway. I love working with wool but have to felt and dye myself or buy online. Just can't get the wool here so I would love to be the wiinner.

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  29. Please enter me in your giveaway. I love working with love.
    I find choosing how to quilt a top to be the hardest part of quilting! It takes me forever and I'm never completely satisfied with my choice.

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  30. Happy New Year Taryn!
    I love your new year resolutions. There are some gems there that I can apply to my quilting life.
    I have never worked with wool, so I would love to win the wool applique BOM.
    Thank you for your generosity!

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  31. You are beyond generous, Taryn!! And I like your philosophy! :-D You are absolutely right about agonizing over the details; quilt it densely and let the oohs and awes come in -- it's inevitable!! :-)
    Can't wait to see it!
    Blessings,
    Mary Lou

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  32. Well between Santa (my Dh) and myself December was buy fabric month. So I will not be trimming my stash any time soon. My New Year resolution for quilting is to label the 13 quilts that do not have labels. Other than that I am having fun. Thank you for the wool giveaway. Choosing hand quilting patterns still holds me up. I start thinking, then pulling out photos of old quilts. Then thinking some more. I hope to get a lot of hand quilting done this year. I am excited to see what you work on this year.

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  33. I just love Lori Smith's patterns. Thanks for the opportunity and Happy New Year!

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  34. Wow, what a generous giveaway!!! I have to admit, fabric collection sounds much nicer and shall do for me. Thanks a bunch for posting about Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog....I am so looking forward to following it every day and it is now in my favorites.
    I learned to do wool applique and it is very relaxing and the threads flow through the wool like butter.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

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  35. Oh, I love to win this from you! I've just started playing with wool - this project would be so much fun. Please, please pick me. :-)

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  36. I love your quilty resolutions! My family appreciates the quilts I make and give them but I do not get quilty things for Christmas.
    I adore the wool project and would love to win.
    Happy New Year!!!

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  37. In the interest of giving you more room--I'll take th kit! Happy new year!

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  38. What a great post - so much to think about. I wonder if it would help if I wrapped up my projects like presents? I would love to win the wool quilt patterns! Thanks for the opportunity and Happy New Year!

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  39. Please add me to the basket for the giveaway. I would love to win. Thanks for the generous giveaway....

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  40. Ditto on the resolutions! I will continue to try to finish some of my WIPS, but I know I will continue to add to my collection. Please add me to the giveaway, it looks wonderful!

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  41. Hear Hear! I am trying to complete UFOs, having completed 3 late last year with another couple close to finishing. It's a real sense of achievement but it's heaps of fun starting new projects too!

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  42. What a very generous giveaway. I guess you just have to let some things go. As quilters we all have UFOs, some more than others. But it seems to put unlimited stress on us to finish them all. I think for 2011, we should just relax and get done what we can. It's not a race.

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  43. Yay. This looks fun! I've never worked much with wool before:)

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  44. I love your "more is better" theme for this year and will follow you!! And your giveaway will be the perfect thing for my "more" stuff :))) Happy quilting for 2011!

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  45. Add My name to the basket Please.I love working with wool.

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  46. Hi Taryn,
    please add me to the drawing, I've just finished some project so there's some time left over...

    Jeanneke
    http://www.jeanneke.com/

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  47. i would love to win,please add me to the basket,susi

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  48. I love quilts that have a ton of quilting too or they seem unfinished to me and really, with cotton batting it all goes lovely and crinkly.
    Don't include me in your draw, I just wanted to pop in and say how much I like your new mantra, more is better.

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  49. Love your resolutions!! Would love to win your giveaway...yes, do include me in your drawing. Happy quilting.

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  50. Add me to the basket for the drawing! I love wool projects and have been thinking of starting another one.

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  51. Happy New Year Taryn. I love Lori Smith Patterns. Your Draw is so generous. I am going to have a completing Year. More is Better :-)
    Cheers
    Lynne

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  52. Please add me to your basket! I love both woollens and handapplique
    and just finished a Lori Smith project.... But this one I really, really
    like so much! Have a happy New Year! Love, Ageeth Dorsman

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  53. Please enter me. It would be the first time I work with wool, hard to find here in Belgium. Best wishes for a healthy 2011 and a growing beautiful collection of " crayons”. Martine (using my son's account)

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  54. I would love to add this BOM to my collection. It would have a good home with lots of friends!

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  55. I am itching to get my hands on the wool project!

    Those wrapped packages make good decorations for the sewing room. Maybe displayed in small baskets.

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  56. I would love to try a wool project, I live in northern Ontario, Canada and these are very difficult to locate - please add my name to the basket. Thanks for your generosity!!

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  57. I love this post! i couldn't agree with you more about the darling little packages of fabric. I keep some unopened for years because they are so pretty and I can use my stash, er collection. I am excited about BB's new blog as well. How does she do it? What a legacy she has created!
    Happy new year Taryn!

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  58. Be still my heart! Please enter my name for the giveaway! How generous you are!

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  59. Oh my! I would love to win this giveaway! It looks amazing!

    I'm with you on the quilting....it's where I always stall....just want to make it 'perfect' and hem and haw over what to do! I'm taking your advice, and I'm going to just quilt the bejeazus out of it! (Love that word....I use it all the time!

    I think the single star on the xmas quilt looks fun and quirky! But that's just me!

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  60. I love your "lone star" Christmas quilt!
    I don't like the word stash either. It does sound kind of negative? Nobody raises an eyebrow when an artist buys paint..so why does my DH do it when a fabric parcel arrives? ;)

    I'd love to be included in your drawing. I can't believe you're willing to let the wool project go!
    Happy New Year

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  61. I really do need a new project. Please add my name to the basket.

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  62. Oh, I would love a wool kit. I've never worked with it before. Thank you for the chance.

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  63. I'm with Ann Champion, I can't believe you're willing to give up that heavenly wool!

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  64. This is fun! Thanks for the drawing!
    Happy New Year!!

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  65. It would be a sign that I should do that fabulous wool quilt. I guess the sign would be from you! What a generous way to start the new year. I, too, like collection and I, too, love those quilt kits all wrapped like a present. I hate taking them apart, but love, love, love the quilt that results!

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  66. Taryn, I'm a bit behind, but glad I read this before Monday morning at 9:30 EST!! I would love to win the wool. I love working with wool more than anything, and you have to love Lori Smith. And your reference to the crayon box tearing around the edges made me smile.

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  67. I have not worked with wool (yet) but would love to give it a try. I'm a newbie quilter, so I don't know any better of what not to like about working with wool. My hope for you is that your generosity comes back to you 20 fold like a boomerang in 2011 :)

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  68. I would be sooo happy to win your wool kit give-away. Greetings from Beglium!

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  69. oh MY!!

    such a lovely, generous give-away to celebrate 2011

    please add me to the draw

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  70. Wow! this is a wonderfull give away, it is so difficult to buy wools here, and if they are there, they are so expensive.

    warm greetings, Jeannet

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  71. Best whises to you. I love woolquilts so please put my name in your basket. Marjan

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  72. Hihi dear Taryn, all of the above solutions will be mine for this year! Finished the top of my AQ on the last day of 2010 and made myself promise not to start anything new! So, I was soooo relieved to notice that the pattern you are giving away is one I already made!!!!! Not with wool but cotton, ok, bit different. Or can I participate for the wool hihihi, there will be a UFO needing wool somewhere in the big pile hihi!! Have a prosperous New Year with lots of lovely sewing! XXXD

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  73. happy new year.

    I'd love my name in the basket...

    thanks,
    Dustin

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  74. oh, oh, pick me! pick me! I am getting more and more into wool, and its even my birthday today!

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  75. I have kits like that, that I don't want to open because they are so pretty wrapped up!

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