Tuesday Tales – Tranquility Nights

Tranquility Nights & Cheryl

Tonight’s blog post is one that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I want to take a moment to tell the story of this quilt, which is destined for a very special purpose, and I’m thrilled beyond belief to share it with you here.

The quilt is named Tranquility Nights, and it’s pictured with the longarm quilter who quilted it for me, Cheryl Szynkowski of of North Port, Fl. This is a project that was talked about over a dinner in Houston last fall, and to say that the final quilt exceeds my expectations is putting it mildly.

MD Anderson

This is our donation to the MD Anderson 2017 Online Quilt Auction, which is held every two years in Houston at Quilt Festival.  This year’s auctions funds will be used to fund the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer research program, which is dedicated to funding effective screening methods, and, ultimately a cure for Ovarian Cancer.  I first became aware of this effort on my first trip to Houston, and I will be making something for each auction going forward.

Tranquility Nights, which was designed by me (using Jaybird Quilts Boomerang pattern as an inspiration), and pulling a lot of the Ambassador box from Island Batik’s shipment last fall.  I drew the Surf and Sand collection from Fourth and Sixth designs, and I knew that the color palette would go beautifully with its’ mission, which has Teal as a signature color.

Now, I have to tell you that working on a quilt like this has yielded a few surprises along the way for both of us.  Cheryl really had the chance to get in touch with her ‘inner modern quilter’ while she worked on this – you’re welcome, by the way.  I think we were both surprised with the gusto with which we took to this project – and she pulled out everything for this one.

Tranquility Nights Details

Cheryl doesn’t blog (yet…hope springs eternal), but I asked her to give me her thoughts as to where she drew her inspiration – “…As I started to quilt I chose the diamonds in the beautiful colors and made them move further by making the design into an off set diamond half and not the same angle as the diamond itself. Then to further that I changed directions. Even though it was a triangle shape it started with a diamond in the smallest area of the design

I kept the triangle on the borders to make the eye travel back and forth between the diamonds and triangles. So that left the middle. I wanted a big circle to find everything the eye to really change direction. I started with it the the guy one side should have feathers. As I did other quilting I realized it would look better with feathers on both sides if the circle makeing it complete. I knew to push all my diamond sizes into the circle. As I put a few in more just needed to be there and I built on that…”

As someone who isn’t remotely in the same category, I am humbled that she put so much of her heart and soul into something that means so much to me.

And, hopefully, to you – or someone who will appreciate it. It’s going up for auction this fall, and it’s a full queen size, custom quilted item going for a wonderful cause.  As soon as MD Anderson puts the link on their site for the item to indicate that bidding is open,  I’ll put a button on my website – and Facebook – and Instagram linking to it.

This is a cause that is near and dear to me and to my family, and this is my small way to help raise funds to erradicate this killer. I’ve lost too many friends to this, and it has to stop.

I am blessed to work with some of the most talented people in the industry, and I am so happy that Cheryl and I crossed paths.  If you are looking for a quilter to work with on your special project, I can’t recommend Cheryl highly enough.

So…what are you working on this week?

Thursday Throwback – there’s always a way

I’m not sure why, but this blog post has taken almost as long to birth it as April the giraffe – without the video cam. I am as fascinated as the rest of the world, but I can’t help feel like we’re putting a little pressure on her collectively.

This is a thank you to the girlfriend squad over on my Facebook page who responded to a query last week about a favorite go to jelly roll strip pattern. I loved the ideas (some of them were new names to me – Lasagne quilt?) – and most of all I loved the responses to my plea for help.  Quilters have always been generous souls, and this was yet another example of that fact.

So, let’s start at the beginning – my March 1 draw for the #APQresolution was (just like everyone else’s) # 12 – tagged on my sheet as the Hoffman Jelly roll project.  This is THE jelly roll that I absolutely adore – so much so that I’ve bought it 3 different times (discovered in the Great Sewing Room Clean out of January ’13) when I actually put all my precuts in one place.  I actually destashed one of them to a quilty friend, and then I made a tote bag (left – it’s the Hadleigh bag when we have her) with some of the remainder. I have a lot of fabric left, and when I made up my list for the #APQresolution challenge, this was a natural addition to the 2017 list.

My only issue with this  project (and it’s me, not them!), is that I didn’t put all my projects for 2017 into my list. I’ve not counted new designs, or class samples, or anything else.  As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t invent sewing time. When the lottery drew this number, I looked at what I already have committed to doing – and promptly freaked out.  I have 2 other quilty projects due by the end of this month and neither of them made the list.  So besides the overload, I didn’t have an idea in the world as to what to do – you probably heard my whining all the way from NH. One of those two quilts is another once in a lifetime quilt – for my soon to be here grandson – I won’t rush through that one!

Then I took a breath, and claimed the term rebel. If the goal of the list is to reduce the number of UFOs in the closet, then the number is a tool to accomplish that goal – but not the only tool.  I took another look at the list, and made an ‘executive decision’ to swap in my #4, my Take 4 placemats.

You may, dear reader, be wondering why placemats wound up on my UFO list…really, how hard can they be?

It’s an easy pattern, and I brought it, and the fabric to a guild retreat several years ago – one where I was juggling way too much on my plate, and packed too much to do in one weekend. I could do a whole blog post on how to pack realistically for a retreat, but I digress.  I decided to make the mats, and to use a piped binding technique to finish it off.  I pieced the 4 mats, then tried the technique on the first one.  I flubbed it, and spent an hour ripping it out.  Remember, they’re placemats.

Asked for help, tried again, more ripping.

Dinner (and the requisite before dinner cocktail hour)

I tried again after dinner, and I flubbed it again. Rather than simply make another one and give it up, I took my rotary cutter and applied it (with all my frustrations) to that poor placemat. I’m pretty sure I scared the onlookers – a crazed woman with a rotary cutter can be scary.

The next morning, I pulled out something else, and quietly pieced it until it was time to go. Truthfully, no one dared mention what had happened the night before, but the trash had been emptied. There was no evidence.

For the next several years, I picked up the remaining package of 3 mats (plus extra fabrics) and moved it several times. I even brought it with me to a few sewing nights – but somehow, they always seemed too tough for me to finish.

So this year, I pulled on my big girl pantaloons and put the project on the list. I toyed with the idea of making a set of 2, and doing something with the extra mat, but last Friday night, I put on some quiet music in the sewing room, and pulled the project out.

In 15 minutes, I had the 4th mat replicated; in a half hour, I had fused each of them to a Craf-Tex foundation.  By that point, I figured I could conquer the world, but I decided to invoke that age old addage “done is good” and made a plain vanilla bias binding.


My Placemats are done!

Done – and it’s a pattern I would make again, with much less drama – like maybe finish it in a weekend or something.

I’ve not yet tackled a piped binding (when they are shown at open sew, I do admire them)…maybe that’s something for another time.

If you’re wondering what I will do with #12 (which is still on my list!), I have decided to play with Jaybird’s Boomerang pattern once again – the fabrics are really this beautiful, and if I resize the directions one more time, I can do this – hopefully in a short month.

The fabric on the left is from the last time I played with Boomerang…and I’ll tell you that story in the next blog post. This is beginning to read like War and Peace.

Until next time…

Wednesday Words – Playing around with something new

In my quest this month to blast through my UFOs as fast as humanly possible, I’ve taken the time to use this exercise as a way to expand my horizons, creatively.  Usually, I’ve been completing projects in a deadline driven way – which leaves little or no time to experiment with new techniques or tools, but not so much this month.  I found myself staring at something in my sewing box, perplexed…exactly what is this and what is it used for?

Twin Needles

I came to love sewing (and quilting) through a convoluted path ‘back in the day’, we had Home Ec, where a long line of sewing machines greeted me every week in 7th grade. I struggled with the mechanics of the machine for a long time, and barely survived the class with my blue floral mini skirt basted together. I have very vivid memories of playing with the tension a lot – so lets just say that a lot of the advanced techniques were skipped.

Today, I am able to sew on a machine which is well suited to my needs – my Janome 8900 is a wonderful creation, and it’s truly a joy to sew on it, and it’s given me the confidence to tackle attachments and feet which test my boundaries.  Those needles in the picture above were something I tried for the first time when I was attaching the machine binding to the Hunter’s star runner this weekend.

Twin needles – size matters

I have several of the twin needles, and the first thing I determined was that there are various sizes which describe the distance between the needles. For the project that I was working on, I selected the red needle, inserted it into my machine, and then determined which thread to use.

I was working with a red, white and blue quilt, so I went with one thread blue and one red – both needles use the same bobbin (gray in my case), and I then needed to thread the machine. I had the blue thread in the regular thread holder in the machine, and installed the red thread (on a bobbin) on the smaller spool pin – the only thing that is recommended is to have the threads unspooling in opposite directions, so that you can avoid tangling, then thread as normal.  The needle threader doesn’t work with twin needles, so you do have to thread each side manually.  For this technique, I used the zig zag foot on my machine.

Test stitch front

I grabbed the closest quilt sandwich I had been working with, put the speed of the machine on low, and began sewing.  It may be hard in the photo to see the blue stitching, but it definitely works and gives a clean stitch. I then turned the piece over so that I could see what was going on on the backside of the piece…clean and neat!


Test stitch back

I am really happy with how this came out, and I can see all kinds of ways to incorporate this into my quilting arsenal.  Here’s a close up shot of the Hunter’s star runner.

Detail of Hunter Star binding

So inquiting minds want to know – what techniques/tools do you have in your room that you’re intimidated by?  Let’s explore together – leave a comment below and we’ll play!

Digging out from under…literally

This headline comes from the fact that we’re getting our first really significant weather here in New Hampshire today as I write this. My desk faces two front windows in the room, and it could be Alaska out there for the snow flying past me all day…although Fairbanks is partly sunny today, with a high of -7.  No thanks, I like February is New England.

Like many quilters at this time of year, I looked around my studio at the beginning of January – and pretty much wondered what happened.  Where did all these bags, boxes, bins, etc come from? More importantly, how am I ever going to get it back into the closet so I can shut the door and pretend they aren’t there.  The quick answer is…I’m not.

I became aware of the All People Quilt UFO Challenge on Facebook early in January (or maybe late in December…it’s all a blur), and I was intrigued. The premise of the challenge is that you select 12 UFOs from your stash (if you’re in this challenge, it’s a given), and then list them out in a linear fashion.  At the beginning of the month,  the people at APQ post which number UFO you’re going to be working on that month.

It’s a fun, encouraging group, and we’re clicking right along as of mid-February now.  Here’s a picture of my ‘List’…some are older, some need a gentle nudge – but all of these will get done. 


It’s humbling to list all the projects out there…and I know as I opened bins and bags, I did locate several projects that I forgot about originally.  I have enough for several lists (would you believe 3?), but for now, I’m concentrating on just the one pager.

When I filled out my sheet (which is, by the way, completely on the honor system!), I knew that January was going to be #6, and so I plugged Island Star into that. I had a deadline of mid-January, so I knew that I wasn’t going to be working on anything else anyway.

The second column of the sheet (which might be hard to read) is labeled Status Before…it’s hard to measure your progress if you don’t know where you begin. For me, it was hard to miss that a lot of this group starts out as Needs Quilting.  Wow – talk about  a lightbulb moment…I’m very tentative with my machine quilting skills.

I use January as goal setting time for the business, and for the creative side of things, I am designating 2017 as my year to improve my technical skills. I do have all the tools I need to become a better technician…I just need to overcome some roadblocks. Every path starts with a single step, right?

Ugly Fabric Challenge, Flimsy done Jan 2017

I actually finished the January piece in the middle of January for the blog hop, and I found I actually did get into a rhythm with the sewing. I was missing something to just piece – I randomly picked up my Ugly Fabric quilt, named because you use your ugliest fabric as a foundation to piece on.  By the end of January, I had pieced that one into a more contemporary flimsy than the original I had laid out, and it’s waiting to be scheduled with the longarm rental location. I have hours banked with them.  So I have finished two quilts, and I’m now working on my February.

Hunters Star Runner – February 2017

My February pull was #8 – on my list, it’s called the Hunters Star Table runner. It can also be called the project from hell, and I really was uninspired by what I had done with the blocks.  That’s totally fine – some of these are several years old, and my tastes have taken a more modern bent. The pitfall of letting a project sit dormant for so long is that you lose track of the pieces, you forget where you were, you lost the instructions for the tool.  Another reason to bust the UFOs.

I’ll be continuing this theme throughout the year, and if you follow my on instagram at @patchworkpearl, you’ll get to see more of the fun with this project.

Til next week…




Finally Friday – Questions on Island Star

Hello…and welcome to February!  I’m in New England, and if the rest of the winter is like what we’ve had so far (thank you, Mr. Groundhog!), this one won’t be all that bad. However, since I became engaged during the Blizzard of ’78, I know how unpredictable the February can be. Today is sunny out – but cold.

I’ve loved spending the weekend reading over the comments that were left on the blog last week for the New Beginnings blog hop for Island Batik.

Island Star

I had questions from several of you concerning how I adapted the original pattern from Jaybird Quilts, Night Sky to make the Island Star Quilt. I want to take you through the  process that I used in this project – and share with you one thing that I wish I had done differently.

This pattern is constructed using a 3½” strip to make the basic star.  The pattern gives directions for baby, lap, twin, queen and king sized quilts, but the star in all of them is made with the same size strip.  The size variation is accounted for both in the number of stars made, and in the dimensions of the frame for each individual star.

The pattern is made using Jaybird’s SideKick ruler, which allows you to cut strips up to 4½” wide.  I upgraded the ruler to the Super SideKick, which gives you the extra flexibility of cutting strips up to 8½” wide.  We were originally asked to make a project at least 24″ in diameter, but with the bigger proportions, I wasn’t worried about that piece of it.

The quilt itself – after you add the framing strips to the star and add in the triangles (work with me)…actually finished to 40″ W x 46″ Long.  When I measured it, that perplexed me (I didn’t think it was that out of square). When I did some checking, I discovered something unique about the pattern.

The diameter of the star itself – using 8½” strips instead of 3½” strips throughout the pattern – is not a true hexagon. The 6 star blades toward the front measure 31″ from tip to tip; the 6 split stars from the back (the purple and turquoise ones) measure 36″ tip to tip.  In the original pattern outline, she assembles the stars in strips, and the difference isn’t noticeable.  When I Supersized the star, I also supersized the proportions.

The star block isolated

I had to look at what size to make the frame. I knew that the resulting star was going to float in the background, and I also knew that the largest dimension given in the pattern for the frame is  3″, and that’s for a king sized quilt. I kind of arbitrarily decided to use a 4½” strip for the frame size – and that is one decision I would change. You waste  a lot of fabric when you make the frame, and if the strips are cut with a 4½” strip, the excess can either be sub cut into (2) 2¼” strips or (1) 2½” strip and (1) 2″ strip.  I will make this measurement 5″ the next time I make this variation – the leftover fabric will go further.  Lesson learned – and note to self, order more of the background fabric.

Setting triangles

Once the frame is added to the star, I was left with the  question of taking a big octagon and turning it into a rectangle for hanging and display purposes. There’s probably a high tech method to show you where the setting triangles are in this quilt, but we’re going low tech here.  We have 4 different right triangles added to 4 of the six sides of the quilt. I measured the two straight pieces of the sides, and used those dimensions to create the triangles – and yes, I was generous in the measurements.

I have a longstanding UFO for this pattern which I am now looking forward to unearthing and restarting – I have a lifetime membership of the UFO of the month club…maybe it’ll make it in sooner!

Congrats to Maureen for winning the fat quarter giveway as part of the hop last week.

OK….you know it’s coming – Go Pats!

Sunday Special – Coastal Mist Blog Hop

Welcome to this Sunday Special entry on the blog – I’m thrilled to be participating in the Coastal Mist Blog Hop, hosted by Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis.

Coastal Mist Blog Hop

I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with Tammy on a number of projects, and I was thrilled to be invited to participate on this latest venture of hers.

Coastal Mist Catalog page

Many of you will know my fondness (ok, obsession) for all things turquoise, and the colors in this line are a lot of fun to play with. Coastal Mist is now available for your local quilt shop to purchase, so it’s a good time to shop!

I selected two of the bright colors and a light for the background, and I knew right away that this was the perfect opportunity to break out my new Quick Curve Ruler© by the ladies at Sew Kind of Wonderful…and play with the options.

This pattern is the free pattern which comes with the ruler, and they do recommend making several trial blocks.  This time I actually did follow the directions, and became more comfortable with the techniques before cutting into the fabric.  I can say that I am looking forward to having this runner on my screen porch table this summer…the colors just make me happy.


This close up gives you a peak at the luscious colors of the fabric – I like the way they balanced out with the design.

I hope that you are following along with the other designers in this hop; I’m included with some very talented designers, and I’ve learned something from every one who is working on this project with me.   Here’s the list so you can pull up a comfy chair, grab a cup of something hot (I’m writing this from NH, and in January, that’s the only way to roll…), and enjoy the eye candy.

The Coastal Mist Blog Hop Schedule

1/24/17    Jessica Stewart     Izzy & Ivy Designs

1/25/17    Susan Emory    Swirly Girls Design

1/26/17    Connie Campbell    Freemotion by the River

1/27/17    Katie Laughridge    Live Originally

1/28/17    Julie Stocker    Pink Doxies

1/29/17    Linda Pearl    One Quilting Circle

1/30/17    Laura Conowitch    LC’s Cottage

1/31/17    Cheryl Schenck    Unspooled

2/1/17    Marian Pena    Seams to Be Sew

2/2/17    Vanessa Fromm    Fabric Confetti

2/3/17    Ebony Love    Love Bug Studio

2/4/17    Erin Sampson    Aurifil

To enter the giveaway, click on the link in Rafflecopter for your chance to enter for some of the prizes that we’re giving away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you for stopping by, and if this is your first time visiting, please bookmark the page so that you can come back and visit again soon!

Until next time,


Wednesday Words – New Beginnings Blog Hop!

Happy Hump Day, and welcome to my blog as part of the Island Batik blog hop for January…celebrating New Beginnings!

New Beginnings Blog Hop

I love the clean slate/celebration of new starts aspects of January (I’m not a winter girl!), and this gave me an opportunity to stretch my creative muscles a bit. I’ve known for a while that my quilter vibe was going to the more modern/contemporary side of things, and I found a great way to energize my 2017 with a new twist on an iconic design (if I do say so myself!).

The fabrics collection that I am using is called Surf and Sand, and it’s by Fourth and SixthDesigns. It’s a very rich, watery feeling palette which I had so much fun working with, I had a hard time choosing what to do.

In January, like a lot of quilters, I go through a periodic cycle of sifting through the piles of unfinished projects – and I do that just like anybody. I found my inspiration in an unfinished version of Jaybird Quilt’s Night Sky pattern. I took it out and looked carefully at the pattern, which as written, uses a 3½” strip of fabric.  What would happen if I tweaked that? I played with smaller strips – and then I went in the completely opposite direction.

Island Star, 40″ x 46″

This is my interpretation of the pattern, called Island Star, using the biggest strip that I could (instead of the Sidekick ruler, I used the Super Sidekick) The center diamonds are made using 8½” strips. My only modification to this was in the setting of the star – I used  a 4½” strip to go around the hexagon created by the star, and then used setting triangles to make the pattern float in a rectangle.  As luck would have it, it’s 40″ wide…and I have a 42″ wide quilt rack over my cutting station – so this one has a home.  I should note that the white background is made of the Sprinkles Neutral that Island has. One of the nicest things about working with Island Batik is their selection of wonderful lights!

I absolutely DID NOT quilt this – I am blessed to have a wonderful working relationship with a friend, and longarm quilting artist, in the absolutely fabulous Terry Burris of Merrimack – she’s about a 10 minute drive from my house, and she’s done several of my quilts.  Her website can be found at https://terryburrisquilting.wordpress.com/.

I hope that you have had fun following along with our merry band of Ambassadors as we’ve worked through this blog hop. I’m always amazed at the talents that we possess…we always seem to complement each other…and the behind the scenes emails can be  a sure source of inspiration and creative zing.  The entire grouping of blog posts related to this hop can be found on this Island Batik blog post here.

Like many of the Ambassadors, I am Giving away Fabric as part of this event.  This time, I’m using the Rafflecopter widget below…just follow the instructions – it’s easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Island Batik is also sponsoring a giveaway as part of the blog hop…you’ll want to take a look at each of the options below to maximize your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Playing with the Coastal Mist Blog Hop

Last fall, before Quilt Market, you may remember my putting an icon on my Facebook page indicating it was a Secret Sewing Day…well, now I can let you in on the secret.

I had been invited to participate in Tamarinis latest blog blog hop, the Coastal Mist Blog Hop…and my piece was walked to Market to be in the Island Batik booth to support the line.  This blog hop highlight’s Tammy’s first major line – and the line evokes thoughts of Seashores, summertime (and everything else I want to see about summer).  It was a fun line to work with, and Tammy gave me a blank slate to work with creatively. I can’t wait to show you my piece this Sunday, January 29th; it’ll be a very special blog post!

Tamarini’s post yesterday leads off with some of her projects, and gives you the chance to enter to win for prizes and giveaways too, so make sure you enter to win.  Hint: I’m over on instagram as patchworkpearl.

Here’s a list of who else is participating in the hop…

The Coastal Mist Blog Hop Schedule

1/24/17    Jessica Stewart     Izzy & Ivy Designs

1/25/17    Susan Emory    Swirly Girl Designs

1/26/17    Connie Campbell    Freemotion by the River

1/27/17    Katie Laughridge    Live Originally

1/28/17    Julie Stocker    Pink Doxies

1/29/17    Linda Pearl    One Quilting Circle

1/30/17    Laura Conowitch    LC’s Cottage

1/31/17    Cheryl Schenck    Unspooled

2/1/17    Marian Pena    Seams to Be Sew

2/2/17    Vanessa Fromm    Fabric Confetti

2/3/17    Ebony Love    Love Bug Studio

2/4/17    Erin Sampson    Aurifil

Have fun, and I’ll see you soon!



Monday Musings – New Beginnings Blog Hop

Edit – great day to have internet access issues!

What better way to start of 2017 than with a blog Hop?  There is nothing, if you’re one of the Island Batik Ambassadors.  We have a new year, a new theme, and new designs with which to entice you.

New Beginnings

We’re ringing in the New Year with New Beginnings – our ways to use what we received in our Ambassador boxes last fall…these fabrics are available in your quilt shops now!

This is the last organized event for the class of 2016 Island Batik Ambassadors – and we’re a large group.  We’ve got several posts planned on most days – we’re grouped by collection.  I can’t wait to show you what I have planned (literally, show you…stay tuned!), but my post isn’t scheduled to go live until Wednesday, January 25th, when I get to talk about working with the Surf and San collection.

Monday, January 9 – Coastal Mist
Stone Cottage Quilts

Tuesday, January 10 – Dotalicious
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Inchworm Fabrics

Wednesday, January 11 – Drizzle
Webster Quilt

Thursday, January 12 – Fifi and Fido + Happy Hounds
Mary Mack Made Mine
Quilting Affection

Friday, January 13 – Fresh Catch
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Monday, January 16 – Glowing Embers
Purrfect Spots Designs

Tuesday, January 17 – Lake Life
Freemotion by the River

Wednesday, January 18 – River’s Edge
Ark Angel Creations
Jennifer Sewing

Friday, January 20 – Blushing Blooms
Desert Bloom Quilting

Monday, January 23 – Gone Fishin’
Maria Michaels Designs

Wednesday, January 25 – Surf and Sand
The Patchwork Pearl

Thursday, January 26 – Twilight Blush
KISSed Quilts

Friday, January 27 – Happy Harvest
For Quilts Sake

Monday, January 30 – Jolly Holly
Kauffman Designs

Tuesday, January 31 – Frost
MooseStash Quilting

Wednesday, February 1 – Merry and Bright
Patchwork Breeze
Sally’s Quilting Corner

Island Batik wants our readers to share in the fun of the blog hop – they’re sponsoring a giveaway as part of the blog hop.  Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter box below, and you’ll be entered to win one of two fabric bundles that are being given away as part of the blog hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Musings – Welcome to 2017!

Happy First Monday of January! My wish for you is that this year brings you health, happiness and peace. I don’t know that we really can ask more from life than that anyway.

I am not in the habit of looking backwards (I’m not going that way), but I thought I’d start the year off by sharing with you an exercise I go through at the end of each year as part of my goal setting exercises…I empty my jar.


My I did It Jar – a gift from an old friend.

This jar was given to me by a good friend, and when you have a notable success in the year, you write it down and  deposit it into the jar.  At the end of the year, you take out the notes and review your accomplishments.

I have a bulletin board here in my space which I use to keep track of projects, prospects, generally anything I need to keep track of. When something is completed,  I put it – the good and the bad into the jar – so this keeps me on track with both the highs and the lows of the year. It’s also a good tool to have when you’re looking ahead to next year’s business plans.

I will look back at 2016 at a year of innovation – some things worked quite well, and some things did not pan out. I don’t feel that I was spending the year standing still – and certainly not in the last half year.  I’ve already put some changes into place for next year that I’m quite excited about – and I’ll be happy to talk about that next week.

Stars over snow covered fields

Just when I thought that I had all the information I needed from 2016…I received a very nice email from the folks at the Vermont Quilt Festival, indicating that my quilt entry into the show was featured in the newest issue of Simply Moderne magazine from Quiltmania…I do believe that I hit the eggnog early when that email came in.  A very nice unexpected high note to end the year on.

The pages from 2016 will be put into a time capsule so that I can empty the jar out and pave the way for 2017 successes.  I would love to know how you keep track of things?


Follow up to the last giveaway – congratulations to Lori Morton, Susan Stanton and Beth Burnett for winning the prizes. Lori’s prize is already in the mail to her, and I am hoping that Susan and Beth will contact me soon…I’d love to get their gifts over to them.

All for now – sewing is happening in 3..2..1…