The best of 2016 and what I learnt from the not so best of the year!


Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs   is having a link up of the best of 2016 and it’s a great chance to look backwards at what you’ve made in 2016. Cheryl very much leaves it up to you as to how you determine what to pick as your best. However I’ve gone one step further along the line, I hope I will be forgiven, but following the example of another blogger,  Kate from Fabrikated who did a very interesting ‘hits and misses’ blog post, I’m reviewing and highlighting my makes of 2016 with a more critical eye and including some ‘not so best’ of 2016

Why am I highlighting failures? Well I’m a great believer in looking at what you’ve done with a degree of introspection, not to beat yourself  up about mistakes (I can’t emphasise that enough) or to get false reassurance but to recognise what went well and what didn’t and crucially why. It’s routine to do that in a work context and I’ve always found constructive criticism leads to a better outcome so why not apply that to what you do for pleasure so you learn and move on. So here goes…

The post with the most views and the most comments (600 and 16 respectively)


This quilt derived from blocks from the lovely members of the Siblings Together Bee 2 and made a stunning quilt which will now be in the hands of a child in care, used and treasured I hope. If it’s anything like my children’s quilts it will be a crumpled heap on the floor or draped across the bed or child!!

My favourite mini quilt of the year 


This wallhanging was made for a newly decorated room and perfectly pulls the room together. I love the design and it was a quick and satisfying make.


My favourite bed quilt  of the year

A difficult one this one because there are quite a few I like for different reasons but  in terms of functionality and coziness my favourite has to be my bed quilt. A perfect example of selfish sewing! 



However this quilt also led to….

The quilting event that caused the most drama!

You will note there is a lot of dark red in this quilt and I knew washing would need care….unfortunately despite some precautionary measures the colour from the dark red flannel backing  (yes I know that amount of red fabric was bound to cause issues!!) ran. I will do a blog post on this as I learnt loads and need to capture it before it slips from my sieve like brain. But at its worst it looked like this. The story does have a happy ending….




My best quilt help discovered in the year

At the beginning of 2016 I decided, after 18 months of quilting, my WIPS were getting out of control. Now firstly I’m not a quilter who is a one project at a time girl, who starts and finishes that project before moving on.  I positively like having WIPS so I can work on what I fancy not what I feel compelled to. However they were beginning to pile up and taking up too much room so action was needed. I signed up for One Monthly Goal with the lovely and generous Heidi of Red Letter Quilts where you post your month’s  action and then aim to follow through and also the quarterly finish along which has been helpful  but the best tool is one recommended by ChrissieD of the app Trello. (I have tried to put a link in here but every time I do it it freezes the page!)

Chrissie’s post explains Trello better than me but it’s basically a visual list, and that’s the critical thing for me, of what projects I’ve got.  So in one glance I can see all my current WIPS.


More importantly you can track their current progress from  embryonic idea to final photos and labelling.  I get pleasure from moving the project card along the various processes. But  you can tailor your Trello pages exactly as you want. So I’ve got Trello pages for completed projects in 2016 by quarter (the second picture) and a whole host more.  I also use Trello for other aspects of my life such as the recent house refurb.


The quilt I least like and why


Looking through the Window was a useful quilt in that it fulfilled a number of purposes, I loved the fabric (C&S’s Bluebird line) and I linked up to an online quilt along with Rachel of Stiched in Color. It proved the perfect practice piece for a FMQ course I was doing. But I don’t like it….the reverse facing appliqué looks ok from a distance but is lumpy close to.  The shapes have too many acute angles for the facing to lie flat. The light blue corner stone blocks in the border make it look too traditional not helped by the quilting design in the border  which again is too trad for my taste. It’s also an awkward size and it’s too small for a single bed but too stiff thanks to the dense quilting for a cosy quilt for a toddler/baby. But I do have plans for it. I’m going to back it with that gridded design wall fabric you can get and have a reversible wallhanging and design wall. Ok I’d love a full size real design wall but I sadly have no empty walls but this will be good to put up smaller block projects.

With Christmas over and that funny period of time before New Year the next task is to think about 2017…

post script

As this blog is a craft journal I’m including here a couple of composites of makes in 2016, full size quilts and minis. And also from my IG feed my make light report which is a clever programme which analyses the colours of your feed over the last year.


3 thoughts on “The best of 2016 and what I learnt from the not so best of the year!

  1. I like the way you did this post! A great way to really see what you can learn from past mistakes.
    Your least favorite.. I can understand why, but I must say, it is beautiful. The dense quilting may not lend well to cofyness but it looks stunning. The quilting seems to move with your birds. Though it does seem like the border quilting is a little too…plain(?) to “go with” the rest of it. Regardless, they are all great!


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