Cheers to The Year I Started Quilting

Today marks not only the end of 2013, but exactly 373 days since I bought my first sewing machine. (Which I know is slightly longer than a year…)  I can easily say that this past year has changed my life.  Over the years I have tried many crafts: drawing, painting, pottery, knitting, crocheting, stained glassed windows (yes, really), scrapbooking (one and done, friends), etc.  My soul longs to be creative, but it wasn’t until I put the binding on my first finished quilt that I knew I had found the craft that truly fulfilled those creative urges.  By the way, that first quilt finish was May 22, 2013.  Exactly 5 months after I bought my sewing machine.  You might remember those first five months of paralyzing quilting fear in which I made plenty of quilt tops and no real progress.  Thankfully, I’m over that nonsense.

From my very first post, full of small icon pictures, to my first tutorial, and all the other musings I’ve posted in between, this blog has opened my life to the most creative people I have ever known.  Here’s to you, my friends around the world.  Here’s to your encouragement and inspiration.  Not a day goes by where I’m not thinking, dreaming, or actually quilting.  Here’s to the ladies who sold me my first machine, and patiently helped me pick out fabric.  Here’s to my favorite teacher Melanie who got this girl quilting and became a sweet friend.  Here’s to my favorite quilt shop in NJ where I have formed a circle of friends in a place I never thought I would call home.  Here’s to the ladies in ScrapBeeLicious that bring joy and creativity to each month, and made me one of the most beautiful quilts I will ever own.  Here’s to the NJMQG, full of wonderful wisdom, creativity, and the love that only quilters can understand. Here’s to the babies whose pictures on quilts I’ve made bring me a sense of pride I never knew before.  Here’s to my quilting friends who make it into conversations at dinner with my husband, even though we’ve never met: “What’s Molli making these days?” “Do you think we’ll be able to meet up with Laura this year?” “Michelle invited us over when we’re in NC?” (Which is happening in 2014!)  “That quilt you liked on instagram by Cath is insane.”  Here’s to Renee, a quilting goddess, and the world’s best pen pal (where I fail).

You are all loved, friends.

When I think back on this year, I am in awe of all that was accomplished in my little sewing room, but I am mostly blown away by the friends I have made.  I didn’t realize when I started my little corner of the blog world that I would make friends.  I honestly didn’t think anyone would read this except for my mom, grandmothers, and occasionally my husband.  Before I look ahead to 2014, here’s a recap of 2013.  My first year quilting.

The first finish:

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The baby quilts:

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Quilts I made for family members who needed some love in 2013:

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The Best Friend Quilts that I made for me and my sweet friend Maggie with “matching” backs:

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My first charity quilt and the first quilt I will list in my Etsy shop:

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Fourteen finished quilts, a few stockings, some pillows here and there, a few more WiPs, and 6 more quilt tops. 2013 has been a wonderfully productive year.  Here’s to the year ahead, with new goals, a new machine (this news coming soon!), an opening Etsy shop, and a growing list of 17 “planned” quilts.  If this year is even half as much fun as 2013, I say, “Bring it on!”

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23 thoughts on “Cheers to The Year I Started Quilting

  1. I stand in awe, Ashley. I admire you so much. My mother was a quilter, and I cherish the ones I have of hers.

    You are creating sweet treasures for your family. Keep it up. Blessings. Swansie.

  2. Every time I see your quilts, I fall in love with them again! Your enthusiasm is contagious. I’m so proud of you, you’ve come a long way since I started following you!

  3. Wow 16?! In basically 6 months. That’s incredible. (And with a new machine, I bet you do 30 next year, easy.) You were obviously born a quilter, my friend! So glad to have “met” you this year. Let’s make 2014 happen!!

  4. As one of your family members who needed some love and received the beautiful magenta quilt, I am so grateful that you have chosen this art form to express your amazing creativity. I love your passion and your skill, and I love you more. Hope 2014 continues to bring joy to you as you dream and create.

  5. I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this a year, mostly because of the quality of your work but also the quantity.

  6. Wow, you’re amazing. I’ve been at this for many years and don’t think I’ve got to 14 quilts yet. I look forward to seeing what you get up to in the year ahead.

  7. wow – you have done all that in a year! What an inspiration! I love all your makes – your use of colour especially. Hope 2014 is a great year for you.

  8. THAT is exactly my life, crafty speaking, up until I met quilting AND exactly how I have felt ever since quilting. I could never never find the right creative outlet (amd tried ever so many) and now, I feel so lucky to say this, I do. Yay! Happy New Year.

  9. Your quilts are amazing! I just started quilting/sewing for the first time in the middle of September and I love it! I still have a long way to go to get anywhere near your quilting perfection, but I’m loving every minute of it. It’s like you said, I want to leave a little something of me behind and be proud in the making! You go girl!

  10. Oh I can so relate to your post. Especially the first paragraph. But really I don’t know how you made all those quilts on top of your teaching and trying out all those crafts. I learnt to hand sew and machine sew only months ago and it’s been a very important year for me to. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

    Have a happy new year filled with lots of pretty fabric and quilting and hopefully a bit of blogging so we know what you are up to.
    Jodie

  11. You are so sweet!!! You and Laura have made my year of quilting so much fun. I talk with my husband about you two all the time and its so funny he now knows when I mention Ashley who I cam talking about 🙂

    You did great. What an amazing first year. Congratulations!! Looking forward to 2014 as soon as I have this flu gone and I am up and about again 🙂

  12. How have you only been quilting for [a little over] a year?! I’m with you on the Try ALL the things before settling on quilting (I did lampworking instead of stained glass, though) and you’re right, there’s just something about it that sticks with you. 🙂 I think quite a bit of it is the amazing community, at least for me. 🙂 I’m so glad I “met” you this year, and I’m so excited to see where 2014 takes you on your creative journey!

  13. Chicopee Stripes makes me drool every time I see it. I have GOT to make a quilt like that soon. Such a simple design, but such impact. I hope to fall in love with a fabric collection as much as you did with Chicopee so that I have a quilt that I love, love, love.

    Happy New Year!

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