Happy New Year!

The days between Christmas and the New Year are mine - all mine!

As such, I've had a chance to finish my "Within and Without" challenge for my secret art quilt group. We met in the summer and have decided to keep things private, so I can say no more about the group. I can, however, show you my finish!

Windows to the Soul, by Carole Gold
12 x 12 inches
Here is the accompanying statement:

"Expression and perception. Eyes often express our inner world while simultaneously allowing us to see out. It is my hope that the subject's gaze gives viewers a sense of being "seen" from within the quilt as intimately as she is being observed from without."

Just before Christmas I spent an afternoon helping Laina, my granddaughter, finish a baby quilt for her new baby brother. She and Riley (her other brother) had the quilt all planned and prepped ahead of time. Riley opted out at that point, leaving Laina and me to carry on.

We were in a hurry, so why not piece it on the longarm?

Strip piecing on the longarm

We loaded backing and batting, and then we pieced the strips in a "stitch and flip" manner. The horizontal channel lock on my machine made it easier to stitch straight seams. The strips finished at 2" wide, so Laina decided they didn't need additional quilting.

The panel with the baby's name was added in the same way. It did need to be quilted, and Laina had a clear vision of what she wanted to do. She drew her idea on a little scrap paper to see if she could manage it on her own.

Testing her idea on paper

And then she jumped in and quilted away! (Did I mention she is eleven? And fearless?)
Laina loves the longarm!

Laina's quilting!

Here she is (below) with the trimmed quilt - pleased as punch!

At that point I offered to do the binding, and get it wrapped and tucked under the tree in time for Christmas. (Machine binding to the rescue!)

Ready to bind!

It absolutely made my day to see Laina all excited when her momma opened the quilt on Christmas morning!
Love in action. :)

Sneaking one last client quilt through before Christmas was another happy finish - for the client as well as for me!

Ripples panto on a client quilt

I love how the watery feel of the quilting design supports the quilt's theme.

And So, on to the New Year...

Tomorrow will be my day to look back in review, and then to look forward with focus and intent. Writing and reflection will help me define how to spend my time in the upcoming year.

I neglected this ritual a year ago and felt the difference.
  • definitely wasn't as motivated as usual - didn't have a "big picture" view in my head, so it was easy to sit on the couch instead of hitting the studio or the gym after work
  • without written reminders of my priorities I let some things slide by that I would have benefited from pursuing
  • felt like I was jumping from fire to fire - everything seemed much more "last minute" without that overview
I much prefer to have a guiding vision for myself so I don't wind up wandering a path I didn't choose. Once time is spent, there's no getting it back, so I intend to choose wisely this year!

All the best as you set your path into 2017, as well.  
Happy New Year!

Try, Learn, & Grow!


  1. Brilliant quick finish for a new baby brother, what a talented young lady you have there! Best Wishes for the new year!

  2. Oh I love Laina's quilt and her smile says it all...and the gift I'm sure was so heartwarming to her mom! I agree goals helps us create our vision....will find myself doing the same tomorrow.

  3. Happy New Year, Carole! I'm so glad you get some days to "play" to yourself. :)

  4. Loved your quilt and seeing your young friend's quilting!

  5. First....your new quilt really struck a chord with me. Secondly......piecing on a long arm!! Smart move and a great finish. I think it's safe to say that you may have hooked Laina on quilting...or at least following her creative heart.

  6. What a precious gift from Laina and Riley for their brother!


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