2016 Was a busy year.

I started out working feverishly on the Farmers Wife Quilt. I was pumping out about two blocks a week. I was printing the blocks onto card stock, cutting my own paper pieces, thread basting, and doing the entire quilt with the English Paper Piecing technique. I used a two color theme of violet and green Kona solids. The Farmer’s Wife project is pictured in part below. It was not long, however, before I found a new obsession.

A month into the new year I discovered a group on Facebook for the Glorious Hexagons project. I tentatively dipped my feet in the water with a couple of blocks using a piece of fabric I had hanging around from the Embracing Horses Collection by Laurel Burch. Before long I was all in. Little did I know that the Embracing Horses collection would become as much of an obsession as the Glorious Hexagons project. I have spent a lot of money searching for this out-of-print collection online.

The previous year, 2015, I had gained a lot of positive feedback by being a part of a group that posted their weekly English Paper Piecing progress on the website of the author of a book about EPP. Her weekly sharing was called the “Monday Morning Star Count”. I had found it highly motivating to participate in the star count. However, for personal reasons the star count was discontinued by its creator, and I needed to find a new way to interact positively with others in the quilt world. For awhile the Farmer’s Wife Facebook group served that purpose.

My new found obsession with Glorious Hexagons provided me with a new means of interacting with others and of gaining positive feedback. It is a smaller group and more welcoming to individual blog posts. I started to create content for my blog that I thought would be of interest to the group and posted links to my posts. They were well received. I found myself posting each and every individual hexagon I created to the Glorious Hexagons Facebook group, and I found myself commenting on many hexagons that others had created. It was, and still is, a very rewarding place to hang out.

Eventually I started to join my hexagons, I found myself posting each and every combination of seven hexagons to the Facebook group. I call these combinations my large hexagons. It is a method of construction that some of the other group members are also using.

My addiction to the Facebook group has served me well in terms of positive reinforcement. It’s been great, but one thing that has suffered just a little bit as a result is my posting here to my own blog. There’s more effort involved in writing blog posts, and there is less feedback. Now I know why people like Instagram. It is quick and easy. Yet, blogging is a more permanent record of my achievements, and for that reason I must continue to publish. I have tried to keep up with it, but it is not easy. One of my goals for 2017 is to blog more often.

My mother died in March. I managed to visit with her shortly before she passed, and I took this picture during our last visit.

During the election cycle I changed my profile image on Facebook to the image above. This image is based on one of my favorite large hexagons, and I thought it was a good way to show my support of Hillary Clinton.

Post election my blog posting fell off dramatically. I haven’t been here very often. One of the reasons that my posting came to a fairly abrupt halt was my sense of despair at the results of the United States presidential election. I’ve never felt this kind of despair about a political outcome. I can’t make sense of it. I had loved Bernie, but after he lost the primary I campaigned for Hillary.

I thought for sure she would win, and I can’t imagine a world in which Donald Trump is the leader of the free world. I imagine that some of my readers might be Trump supporters, and I respect your right to have made the decision to vote for him. I can respect it without understanding it. Here, in the world of quilting, we can agree to disagree and move on with our needlework. It’s what keeps me sane these days.

What does the future hold for me this year?

I’m hoping to quilt two quilt tops that are completely pieced. I have my Diamond Quilt top finished and also my Batik Flower Garden quilt top finished. I’m planning to send out the Diamond quilt top to be professionally quilted, and I am planning to hand quilt the Batik Flower Garden.

I am attending QuiltCon for the first time ever this year. That will be in February. Amazingly, 17 members of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild will be in attendance. Two other members of the Lambertville Ladies with be at QuiltCon, and at least one other member of the Glorious Hexagons group will be there as well.

I’ve signed up for Mid Atlantic Mod in April, and I have just committed to attending a gathering of Slow Stitching Movement people who attended the first ever Slow Stitching Movement Workshop with me in 2014. It will be great to see some of these women again. We are planning to meet in April.

As for Glorious Hexagons? Here are the stats for 2016. 328 hexagons pieced. 217 of them joined into large hexagons to form 31 large hexagons. 110 hexagons remaining to be worked with and much more fabric to cut into.  My plans for Glorious Hexagons for 2017 include piecing a queen sized bed quilt joining 21 large hexagons with brown triangular pieces as shown below. Notice the cool brown stars that emerge.

I plan to keep making more large hexagons and to join them into another queen sized quilt but without the triangular joining pieces as shown below.

I’ll think about how to make use of the remaining hexagons after I’m done with the two quilts. perhaps I will simply join them side by side without any joining triangles as shown below.

I hope your 2016 was good, and I hope your 2017 is even better.