2017 Quilting

I’ve had this post in my head for a long time and I hope I can finally do justice to the thoughts I have.

2016 seems that it was the year of the Quilt Factory for many of us, at least to me. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not judging any of you for what you do or do not do with your quilting life. I truly do not mind how many quilts you’ve made, be it 1 or 50. I just know that I have a hard time slowing down and I will not publicly admit to how many quilts I’ve made, but let’s just say it’s over 20. Some of those were for family members, some were for blog posts, but most were just because I wanted to make “that” certain quilt that either I had been dreaming of, or everyone else was making and I didn’t want to be left out. As I’ve been evaluating my 2016 these past few months, it’s made me TIRED. I don’t think I’ve slowed down willingly except for vacations when I was literally out of my house. It’s been so fun to learn so many new techniques and make new friends who love to quilt as well, but I am wanting 2017 to be less frantic, especially after this season of holiday sewing madness.

I’ve been asking myself how I want to change my habits to get quilting back to a hobby, not what it has been for me in 2016. Here’s what I’ve decided to do. It will be a total experiment and it may fail miserably, but I at least want to try.

1- I’ve decided to limit myself to 12 quilts for me and my house next year. Yes, 12 is still A LOT of quilts, but it is one per month and that’s something I feel good about. This does not include any shop sewing I may do and I haven’t exactly figured out how blog-related sewing fits in, but it’s a starting point. I have a list all ready to go and here are my “must makes” for now. I’m sure it’ll change a billion times before 2017 even starts.

  • Gingiber Christmas kit
  • Snail quilt (or flamingo quilt)
  • Tinker toy
  • Cherry Tree Lane
  • C+S diamond in a triangle quilt

2- I want to branch out and make more bags. I’d love a poolside tote, a necessary clutch wallet, a sewing machine cover (not a bag, but still). There’s no need to keep putting off learning new techniques.

3- I want to embroider more. I loved making my Daisy Chain Sampler and I’d love to find something to do next to keep my hands busy. Embroidery is a bazillion times cheaper than quilting, so that makes it a major win in my book.

4- I want to finish up my last of my monthly mini quilts that I’ve been putting off for literally a year. I have March, April, and Easter to make.

5- To make it easier to not buy as much fabric, I’ve unsubscribed from some email lists. I know, it’s a little nuts, but it has helped ease the pressure so much.

6- I sold off some of my stash so it’s not sitting staring at me, begging to be made into beautiful things.

I’m really excited to see how it goes. It could be a complete flop, or it could be amazing. I find that by stopping to try and make a few goals and evaluate things as they are right now, it helps me a lot when things get craaaaazy, as they certainly will.

Why I Choose to Donate Quilts to Shriner’s


My father had a bone infection when he was a child and ended up with his left leg being shorter than his right. Very, very long story short, he ended up receiving care from Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City over the space of a few years, all for free. His family was not in a position to pay for such extensive care. He had 3 rather radical surgeries and spent 363 days combined in the hospital during his 3 stays. Almost an entire year! I just can’t wrap my head around that. During the course of these surgeries, they lengthened his left leg and stopped the growth in his right leg so it didn’t end up 6-7″ longer than his left leg. To think about life for my dad if he hadn’t had the help from Shriner’s, it would have been completely different. I get emotional and teary eyed just thinking about it. He was able to serve an LDS mission. Because he was surrounded by so many doctors and smart nurses, he decided to become a doctor instead of a music teacher. My life would be completely different were it not for the angel Shriner’s.

I really, really enjoy donating quilts to charity. For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you probably roll your eyes when you see me post about yet another set of blocks I’ve made for something or yet another quilt. I really feel like this is why I am so blessed to quilt, to be able to bless the lives of others. The fabric for this cute quilt was sent to me from a dear friend and I knew when I saw it that I would make it into my first quilt to donate to Shriner’s. I am sad to say it has literally taken me almost a complete year to get this done.

Yesterday I dragged my 2 boys up to Shriner’s in SLC to donate this quilt in person (this photo was taken by my 5 year old… he’s ready to graduate from quilt photo school, I tell you!) I was a sobbing mess, explaining to the volunteers at the front desk why I had chosen to donate this quilt to them and thanked them for the care their organization gave to my father. While we were there, almost everyone who came in through the front door was a child in a wheelchair, most certainly donated by the Shriner’s. If you have any quilts you are wanting to donate, please consider the Shriner’s. Especially here in Utah, they are so very often overlooked for a different children’s hospital. Both hospitals do wonderful work, but my donations will always go to Shriner’s, for obvious reasons.

If you’re interested in donating, you can find information on locations by following this link. I know they will gladly accept quilts via the mail.

Binding Tool Essentials


I get lots of questions about quilt binding and I wanted to make a post highlighting some of my favorite tools that make the job SO much faster and easier. Just like with any home improvement job, the right tools really do make the job easier. If you need some stocking stuffers for yourself, here are some suggestions. wink wink.

  1. Clover Leather Thimble – I discovered this after I literally sewed a hole in two of my fingers from binding so many quilts. I tried poke a dots and a few other things, but they just didn’t feel natural to me. This literally starts to form to your finger after you use it and it has changed my life. I can bind SO much faster now and save my fingers. I wear it on my middle finger. I bought a size medium, but it definitely has expanded and I’ll buy a size small when it needs to be replaced. I’ve bound probably 20 quilts with my current one and it’s still going strong.
  2. Clover Clips – in case you don’t already have these, I highly recommend them. I bought mine when my now 18 month old was born and I didn’t want pins poking out of my binding poking him. I only use 4-5 at a time, so a pack of 10 is plenty for binding.
  3. Fons and Porter Binding Needles – These are relatively inexpensive, but I love them. Their length is perfect for binding. The right needle does make a difference.
  4. Machinger’s Gloves – I use these as I’m initially attaching my binding to my quilt by machine (in preparation for hand binding). I just use one on my left hand, Michael Jackson style, and it really helps me get the grip I need to control my quilt. I also use these when I free motion quilt, but even if I never were to FMQ, I would still want these for attaching binding.
  5. Gutermann thread – I prefer using polyester thread for binding. I know some say it “cuts” through the fabric, but cotton thread breaks down more easily. There are pros and cons to everything. I mainly prefer polyester because it does not knot up as easily. It makes for smooth sailing and much less frustration.

I’ll update this post if I think of anything else, or find something new I like using. Happy binding and may we all finish our Holiday to-do’s before Christmas eve, though not likely. 🙂