2015 ~ A Year in Review

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s the last day of 2015! The last two weeks have gone by in a blur. My parents came to visit for Christmas, then we went out of town with more family for a post-Christmas trip to Michigan. For those who were curious, my kids loved their Maker’s Totes. I love the holidays, but I am always ready for the calm that January brings.

I thought it would be fun to do a little 2015 wrap up, and then look forward to 2016. I made 11 quilts in 2015.

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Five were gifts: Hanna Hearts, Spidey, Scrappy Kaleidoscope, Home Run, and Nautical.

Two were quilt alongs: Scrap Plus and Snowflake.

Two were for new patterns in my shop: Poinsettia and Four Square.

I also sewed quite a few bags in 2015. All but one of these comes from a pattern by Noodlehead…I guess you can say I’m a fan!

2015 Year in Review : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides the Scrap Plus and Snowflake quilt alongs, I also created a few additional tutorials for all of you: Star Bunting, Posy Strip Pillow, and the Fresh Spool Series.

Fresh Spool Series : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My kids started their very first quilting bee ~ Not Your Mama’s Bee. It’s been a fun experience creating with them every month!

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I continued to enjoy the honor of being a BERNINA Ambassador, and contributing a bit on the We All Sew blog. A vintage friend also joined my family – my “new-to-me” Singer Featherweight.

Singer Featherweight: Fresh Lemons Quilts

Of course, as always, I had much bigger plans in my head for the year. But I am happy with what I accomplished. For next year, I hope to share more quilts, more patterns, more quilt alongs, more tutorials…simply put, more bright, fresh inspiration! I hope you will continue to follow along. You can always sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss a post.

I want to thank all of you for visiting this year. This blog of mine had over 2.6 million pages loaded in 2015! I am continually humbled by your support and kind words as I share my quilting journey. Here’s to a great 2016!

Straight Line Quilting into Fall

Fall Patchwork : Fresh Lemons Quilts

After a busy weekend, I spent most of yesterday stitching this little fall mini together. I’m quilting now using my BERNINA walking foot to sew straight lines that are 1/4″ apart. I’m debating going in the opposite direction as well, making a tiny grid. What do you think?

Completely unrelated to quilting…did anyone else stay up Sunday evening and watch the lunar eclipse? Or wake up in the middle of the night, depending on where you live? My daughter is studying space in school, and my son learned about the moon in class last Friday. So of course, we had to stay up. I set up my tripod and took pictures during the 2 hours we were outside.

Lunar Eclipse : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I feel like it is always cloudy when something cool like this happens here. And it was looking like that would be the same story this time, but we lucked out with a 2 hour break in the clouds at just the right time. I am always blown away by our world. So, can I make this into quilt inspiration? I’m not sure, maybe! 😉

Weekend in Wisconsin

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I drove up to New Glarus, Wisconsin for a little relaxation and creative recharging with some of my favorite Iowa, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula Michigan quilty friends (and a couple of Houston and Nashville ladies thrown in for good measure). Somehow, I have no pictures with any of them! I suppose we were having too much fun. We rented the house you see above, about 5 miles outside the downtown New Glarus area. I had no clue that New Glarus was like a mini Switzerland, so you can imagine my surprise when I rolled into town. Lucky for me, this meant cheese fondue was on the menu and yes, I indulged.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The weekend was just perfect. I love Wisconsin with the rolling hills and beautiful farms. On the way up from my home in the Chicago suburbs, I saw lots of corn, lots of black and white cows, a huge sunflower field, and at least 15 quilt barns.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our house even had sheep! I’m pretty convinced I need to move somewhere with sheep now.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent quite a bit of my two days there sewing, and managed to finished all the blocks for my current quilt. Jeni came up with the perfect name too – Picnic Point. I’m so thankful that I trimmed up all the HSTs before leaving. Everything went together easily.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I threw the blocks up on the design wall for a quick photo before packing up to leave. I’m hoping to sew the blocks together this week and start basting!

Sewtopia Chicago

Sewtopia Chicago

Last weekend I spent my time in downtown Chicago at the Sewtopia retreat. It was super fun / exhausting! Organizers Amy Newbold and Jemellia Hilfiger and class assistants Rossie Hutchinson and Jen Carlton Bailly did an awesome job putting together a smooth running and really enjoyable weekend. The getaway was located at The Drake which is right at Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. It was really the perfect spot and I just loved the historic hotel. I feel like I’ve driven by it a thousand times but never gone inside.

I arrived Thursday around lunch time. Most people were out on the shop hop so I did a bit of relaxing, walking around Michigan Avenue to pick up a couple surprises for my kids, and (of course) eating! Thursday evening was the Welcome Reception and open sew time. I stayed with two of my favorite sewing friends, Lee and Angela. They both live less than 2 hours from me but we don’t get together nearly enough! It was so good to see them. :)

Sewtopia Chicago

Friday and Saturday were filled with class time and open sew. Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts taught her Kansas Dugout block (HELLO y-seams!) Yep, I am going to brag for a moment. I-GOT-TO-TAKE-A-CLASS-FROM-RITA-OF-RED-PEPPER-QUILTS. I never thought I would even get to meet her, let alone take a class from her. Oh, and see her quality work in person. Just as amazing as it looks on her blog. She was just the kindest person as well. What a great experience!

Latifah of Latifah Saafir Studios (you may also know her as The Quilt Engineer) taught her Molehill pattern – lots of curves which she made non-scary and achievable! Latifah is not only crazy talented, but a born teacher. She just has this way of explaining techniques and the reasoning behind them that makes it look so easy.

Sewtopia Chicago

Between sewing time, we were able to go out and take in the (mostly) crazy beautiful weather for Chicago this time of year. I ate great good, had a lot of goofy laughs with friends, and just really recharged. I’m completely exhausted now…but it was totally worth it!

Sewtopia is a traveling retreat. The next event is in Portland and sold out, but they just announced the following city on their Facebook page. I definitely recommended attending!