‘Tis the season for year end retrospectives. I enjoy looking back over the past calendar year at what was accomplished. It’s interesting to see to see it all in the perspective of the big picture. Sometimes I’m really surprised by all that I got done! The cumulative effect gives a sense of accomplishment. But this year I had a totally different surprise – I did so much LESS sewing than normal! And with good reason. We did a lot MORE real life. It was a particularly busy year for our family. Here are the quilting results – the highlight reel, if you will. And then a little more about the reality of what was going on behind the scenes as well.
Would you believe I only made 6 quilts from start to finish this year?! I also finished a very old UFO and got a good start on a Christmas Quilt. I am both surprised and a oddly proud of that number. The number is definitely lower than years past. (I realize my typical quilting output is abnormal. Because I do it for my job, I usually make a lot *cough* too many *cough* quilts each year.) But this year was significantly different.
First off here’s what was finished in 2022:
(If you’re interested in more details on any of them, just tap the link below the picture.)
This Patchwork US Flag quilt + tutorial was one of my post popular posts this year. It’s a quick finish, perfect for using red, white & blue scraps or leftover charm squares – especially if you like a scrappy look. Free printable pattern is available in horizontal or vertical layouts.
An updated version of my Lattice Baby Quilt tutorial using Notting Hill precuts for a new baby niece. I’d forgot how fun this one is to make.
Speaking of flag quilts: one of my favorite quilts I made it 2022 is this Liberty/Jane Austen collection Union Jack quilt. These Union Jack quilt blocks are so fun for playing with color, texture and value when choosing fabric combinations. And it was extra fun using these very British fabric prints. Hindsight, I’m extra glad I made this one in 2022 in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and passing.
Another flag quilt I worked on this summer is an updated low volume edition of my Land That I Love pattern. I’ve also been working on writing an updated pattern version and I’ll be sharing the finished quilt + new pattern release next week!
This Fat Quarter Shop sampler quilt was a long-time UFO (UnFinished Object) that had been patiently waiting for a few years to just add borders and get it quilted. 2022 was the year it finally happened. I’d even been hoarding the perfect backing fabric. And it love it. The pieced blocks are little – only 5″ x 5″ and it turned out so pretty.
Another finish this year was a red and black patchwork plaid quilt for a special teacher last spring. (I think this is the 4th or 5th version I’ve made of this quilt.) Special shoutout to my past self for cutting out a big stack of plaid squares a few years back as it made this one come together quick on a tight end-of-school-year deadline.
My last finish of this year was a scrappy low-volume heart + patchwork quilt that I made for a friend this fall. It was a quick one and a fun way to bust through some of my stash.
In December I started my Liberty Woodland Christmas quilt – and I just finished adding the borders last week. This week it’s off to the quilters. It was the first quilt I made from a pattern in months and I really enjoyed it. Here’s hoping there will be more of that this coming year.
Mini Quilts Galore!
While I didn’t sew a lot of big quilt projects this year, I still got my creative sewing fix by making mini quilts. Seriously, I so recommend this. When time or energy is short, a mini quilt can get your creative juices flowing, let you play with a new pattern or palette, and be a quick win. Many of these projects were a way to try out and practice a new technique. Here’s where you can find out more about the each of these projects if you’re interested:
2022 Popular Posts and Tutorials
Some of my most popular posts this year were tutorials. Here are some of the updates and new posts:
Star Bright Modern Mini Quilt Tutorial + free printable pattern
Popular Guest Post Tutorials
There were also some stellar guest posts this year including:
Prairie Points Baby Quilt Tutorial, Quilted Body Pillow Scrap Buster, HST Modern Star Quilt pattern, Tips for Planning and Finishing your Quilts, Ticker Tape Heart, as well as HST shortcuts, Fabric Organization Ideas, How to plan your machine quilting, Tips for adding Retro Quilty Vibes to your décor, and three tips for Overcoming Perfectionist Tendencies.
That’s a lot to wrap up!
Other highlights this year:
Going to Paris and Normandy, France. Been trying to go for the past 3 years and it was SO FUN and inspiring. So glad we were able to finally make that happen. And I found some amazing sewing inspiration there too!
Celebrating my parent’s 50th anniversary with family in Lake Tahoe ❤ and immediately after moving a daughter to Washington DC.
The REAL reality of 2022:
Also going on behind the scenes: The main reason there was less sewing was there was A LOT of real life happening. Happy Milestones to celebrate, but a lot of time and places and people we needed to be present for.
These munchkins have changed quilt a bit since I first started this site in 2008! 😳 They’ve even changed a lot since the picture below was taken in 2018. (I guess I have too!)
Launching children into adulthood is exciting but also busy! whew. I’m grateful I have the flexibility to be there for them and I have no regrets taking time away from sewing and my business this year.
Here’s a few of the milestones (and moves) we hit this year:
First child: daughter – graduated from college in April. Moved across the country (see above.)
Second child: daughter – helped her move home at the end of April from where she was attending college 3 hours away. In September she started and new job and moved into new apartment 30 minutes away.
Third child: son – all the hoopla and stress that goes along with finishing a senior year of high school. Graduation. Helping him prepare to leave home for 2 years at the end of last summer to serve an LDS Mission.
Fourth child: son – continuing to find answers to a complex autoimmune diagnosis but also making so much progress. 2022 he returned to school full time for the first time since the end of 2019. Hallelujah! Happy news for all of us and so grateful for progress. We’re still figuring things out, but feeling much more optimistic.
Figuring out my own autoimmune ups and downs.
Visiting my husband’s parents and special needs brothers across the country for the first time since 2019 as well as having them stay here with us for a few weeks.
Helping my own parents as my mom went through a rough year of multiple surgeries and medical procedures including a knee replacement.
Supporting a husband who is also self-employed + spends many hours each week as the lay-leader (unpaid) of our Church congregation.
Yikes – just writing all of that down again feels overwhelming. Many good things, but boy, it was A LOT.
Looking back at my goals for 2022 to see how I did:
Here are the goals and intentions I wrote at the end of last year. I’m kind of proud of myself on how I did with some of them. Maybe not as much or often as I had originally hoped, but I do feel like I was intentional about all of it!
“Declutter, simplify, slow down, be purposeful etc.” Yes. I’m not perfect at this, but it’s become an intentional practice. I did a lot of decluttering and getting rid of stuff this year. I still have a ways to go, (especially in my fabric/sewing room – so that goal definitely stays on the list), but I can already see results.
“Continue making time to get outside and walk and breathe.” Yes. Again not as much as I’d like, but I was intentional about it. And plan to keep that goal this year.
“Practice gratitude + writing in a gratitude journal” Yes! Once again not perfect or daily, but I did it somewhat regularly, so it was more of a habit than it’s been before. Keep.
“Update this site where you can hopefully find past tutorials and free projects and patterns more easily.” ✔ This was a big undertaking this year. It took longer than I’d hoped, but I’m SO pleased with the progress. Still lots of clean up to do, but I’m proud of how far it’s come.
“Make more scrappy quilts inspired by quilts from decades past.” Not as much as I would have liked, but I do feel like finishing the Sampler UFO and the Christmas quilt this past month fit some of that description.
“Less using just one fabric collection, more using colors and prints that I’ve been holding onto forever and putting them to good use.” Yes-ish. I do feel like many of the projects I made were from stash. And cutting into my Christmas fabric stash is another good step in that direction.
“Making more challenging ‘heirloom’ pieces – slow sewing, bucket-list challenging quilts like a Pickle Dish or other applique.” Well, I’m going to count finally finishing appliqueing 300+ orange peel blocks after 10+ years. I have some EPP blocks that I really need to do something with this year. I think that will be my heirloom goal for 2023.
“Making more scrappy projects.” Keep this one to the list for 2023. And every year after, I guess. lol
“Continue learning about and using my Embroidery Machine.” ✔ Yes! This one I did! I learned so much and used the embroidery function of my machine as well as applique, foundation and piecing, and quilting in the hoop and did all so much more often – especially thanks to the ME. Time Embroidery Projects. I’m really excited to keep learning and doing more!
“More giving quilts away.” Yep – keep this on the list.
Looking ahead at 2023
In February I’m releasing my first fabric collection in 2 years: Portsmouth with Riley Blake Designs. This was another big project behind the scenes in 2022.
The fabric should be hitting stores in a month! And I’ll be releasing new coordinating patterns this month too! And I’m so excited to see what all of YOU will do with it!
Playing with the possibility of working on another collection for 2024 and that’s up next on my “to-do” list. It’s kind of a weird thing to be working intensely on something that I have to wait so long to share.
All in all…
Right now I’m looking forward to this year! (Which is always easy to say at the beginning of a new year, but after so many surprises and unknown variables the past 3 years, I’m a little wary – I guess it’s a little PTSD.) But I’m cautiously optimistic. One thing I’ve learned through the past 3 chaotic years is to roll with ups and downs and unexpected events. Also to take pride in what does get done and let go of frustration about what doesn’t. Especially if it’s not essential.
I feel better equipped to put things in perspective of the big picture, and that feels good – helps life feel less overwhelming for sure.
What about you? What are your goals for 2023?
What would you like to learn more about this year? Or see more of in this space? I’d love to hear what you think.
Thank you again for stopping by to visit. I’m glad we’re all in this journey of life (and loving quilts at the same time) together. Happy New Year! If you want the best access to the latest happenings, subscribe to my email newsletter! (You’ll also get a free pattern for this quilt!) My newsletter is new every Saturday evening and has special content just for subscribers. ❤
Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement. Best wishes to all of you for 2023!