Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021: My most productive year of quilting

This Christmas, I received complaints from my children about turning my love of quilting into a business.  In their opinion, that just took a whole bunch of gift-giving options off the table because they didn't want to get me anything for "work".  It's OK.  They aren't quilters.  They don't get it!

So, apparently there are downsides to the business angle, but weighing heavily on the positive side is that I can spend a lot of time designing and sewing guilt-free, because "it's my job".  That made the past year my most productive year yet, quilting-wise.

Here's a quick look at my quilt-related accomplishments for 2021. I finished 13 projects from start to finish.

1. Flipped  2. Fresh Wrapped  3. Breadcrumbs 
 4. Small Change  5. Polarized  6. Positivity Squared  7. Stellar Stacks
8. Glacial  9. Ripples Cubed  10. Modern Lace  11. I Spy Lanterns
12. Fresh Wrapped  13. Breadcrumbs

I moved three projects from the UFO stack to the finished pile.

1. Cascade
2. Focus Squared   3. Soak Up the Sun

Of these 16 finishes, all except Soak Up the Sun are my own designs.  Soak Up the Sun is adapted from the pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful in their book Mini Wonderful Curves. 

All of these except the placemats, Small Change, Ripples Cubed and Soak Up the Sun were quilted by Liz Meimann and her daughter Stephanie.  I'd really like to quilt a few more myself this year.  I ran out of time to quilt more this year while still meeting completion deadlines, but I'm trying very hard to plan and manage my time better in 2022.  We'll see how that goes!  I'm off to a shaky start with a lot of commitments I made late last fall.

2021 was also a banner year for pattern writing, as you can see above.  I released 16 new patterns last year. Partnering with fabric companies to cross-promote their fabrics and my designs was a big factor.  If I submit a lot of proposals, I take the chance of having to move ahead on several designs, on the fabric company's schedule.  There's always the chance they won't take any, but this year more designs were accepted than rejected, so I was busy.

I also have this stack of flimsies, all made in 2021,  most of which I can't share in detail quite yet.  There are 7 quilt tops and a placemat/runner set in that stack, along with their backings.  

I'll be sharing a few of these soon, but some are from previously released patterns, remade in new Island Batik fabrics which I've been asked not to show until the fabric starts shipping to stores.  I'm learning to be patient! Wait until you see the recolored Blaze. I think it will be worth the wait.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with what I have to show for 2021.  With several new patterns due sometime this year, I'm looking forward to "working" my way through 2022, though I really need to make a plan to make sure I keep my commitments and meet my deadlines.  I'll just let the plan ideas simmer a bit while I go introduce my newest almost-quilt-top to the seam ripper. I almost didn't catch that upside down row...

I wish you all a productive and joyful year.  Are you making plans for your quilting or just taking things as they come?



  1. Congratulations on your wonderful year! Have you seen the new graded Island Batik bundles...they are sooo yummy. I took off some time designing for them, but I will try again in the next call. I miss the fabrics.

  2. Congrats on the productivity. They really don't get it. My boss gives me a gift certificate to my LQS for both my birthday and Christmas, but she's always concerned that I'll get tired of it. Oh no! A gift certificate is many gifts. And if there's a sale, I can stretch it. LOL

  3. Wow Joanne, did you ever have a banner year! 16 patterns is totally amazing. I got just four done so I know how much work goes into them. I saw the new colouring of Blaze and it is absolutely beautiful, so very different from the original which of course you know I made as one of my Island Batik challenges! All the best for 2022 :-)

  4. What a wonderful year for you! I haven't reviewed my year yet - not sure I want to! This year will be more of the same, go where the wind blows me sort of year. But that's okay. You've got a business plan and I don't. To each their own and I'm just honored to be able to walk into a quilt shop and go "oh yeah, Canuck Quilter, I've known her for ages" even if no one seems to believe me! (I don't even bother mentioning we both had purple neons because really, even the people who knew mine thought I was screwy in the head for buying, on purpose, a purple car.) I hope 2022 is equally productive, if not better and I look forward to all the new patterns you'll reveal to us. I'm over here, cheering you on, and not just because the extra activity helps keep me warm in this drafty old farmhouse!

  5. You have been SO productive! I don't know how you do it all, but you do it all very well.
    I don't set goals, other than my resolve to stay away from SALs. That resolve waxes and wanes from year to year. Last year was a bad year, so I am stiffening my backbone this year. LOL

  6. A great designing year! I wish you a productive year ahead!

  7. Your kids comments had me laughing!!! When you started your comment my mind figured the complaint was going to be that your productivity did not see quilts created specifically for each of them in mind. Then, my second thought was their complaint was that your business and productivity showed that you did not miss them from being away from home. Guess you will just have to give them your non-business "Wish List" in the future! Happy New Year, Joanne!! Here's to an even more productive and satisfying year for you!

  8. You've had a very productive year, and every project is beautiful! My year produced very little, but I am beginning a baby quilt for my great-granddaughter, the first female to be born in my family in 83 years; I was the last girl born that long ago! I hope I can do a good job on her quilt. ---"Love"

  9. I'm very happy for you! I have a few plans for this year and have pieced a top together for donation. I need to put a border on it and then get backing and quilt it. I'm also starting to make things to sell as I had quite a successful year with quilt shows and still plan to continue this year. I'm always thinking about ideas for things to sell. Happy New Year!

  10. Wow, you did a ton last year!

    I have a backlog of projects - some vague, others thought out. We'll see how far I get!


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