Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Yes I know it's almost February and everyone else did their 2013 round-up blog weeks ago. Better late than never? It does feel good to look back on the year and realize how much has been accomplished. Sometimes it seems like I have a dozen projects going at once and none will ever be finished. Anyway, today the weatherman says we may get a tiny bit of snow here in Atlanta, so it seemed like a good day to stay inside (away from all the Southerners that never learned how to drive on snow and ice) and cozy up with the computer and a bunch of photos.
First off, I had a few projects that have been sitting around for a long time waiting to be finished. This was an insulated table runner I pieced for myself but never quilted or bound. I did finish it this year, though I have to admit I no longer love it and don't know how often it will be used.
Front of Table Runner
I also had planned to make this whole cloth baby quilt for a new addition to a friend's family a couple of years ago. Oh well. Now I'm thinking I might just donate it to a worthy cause
Zoo Animals Baby Quilt
Now for a few projects that were started and finished all in the same year. I know right?

I joined a the West Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild at the beginning of 2013 and I have to say that the gang inspired me to get quite a few projects finished. We had a few cute swaps including mug rugs, pin cushions, and holiday ornaments. I have to admit that we did the ornament swap in November and I just didn't have my act together for the holidays yet, so I swapped an ornament I made a couple of years ago. And, of course we made name tags to wear at meetings. I had a few too many ideas, so I ended up making four.

Mug rugs
Pin Cushions
2011 Ornament
name tags
Most of us also participated in the Blend Hip Holiday Challenge. What luscious colors for Christmas. I designed another table topper with lots of flying geese. I became a bit obsessed with flying geese this year, but more on that later.
Speaking of the holidays I made some cute "wonky hash tag" place mats (thank you Amy Gibson BOM 2012), and complimented them with a set of matching napkins. They made just the right touch for our holiday beer tasting dinner with friends.
Place mats
Table Setting
And I did finally get around to designing and making some Christmas ornaments
2013 ornament
And then there were "the niece quilts". Somewhere along the line last year I realized that I had made quilts for me, quilts for the babies of family and friends, but I had never made quilts for my nieces. All of them are grown and live far away from me, so I didn't have as good an idea of colors and tastes as I would have liked, but what the heck.
For Coleen I designed "Floating Frames", which is bold and geometric, but also improvisational. I didn't even make a pattern for this quilt - just started cutting strips and let it grow organically. That led to a few fits when bias edges wanted to stretch out of shape (all of those square frames are set on point), but in the end I liked it. And luckily she told me after she opened it that her bedroom is red. Win!
For Cindy, I wanted something a bit more orderly, but warm and making you think of home and family. I called this "Urban Map" because when I looked at it the colors made me think of city blocks with green parks interspersed. The big bold flowers on the back gave me pause, but it did make me think of the riot of color that was my grandmother's rose garden (carried on for years by our grandfather after she passed). That seems like a fitting tribute to family, home and hearth. The pattern for this quilt is available here.
Wendy, the youngest, was the biggest challenge. "Tetris Hex" speaks to me of a young woman with so many talents. The falling hexagons reflect both an orderly mind, but the ability to try and succeed at many things. I wasn't sure about the yellow. I mean it is YELLOW. But Wendy is a ray of sunshine AND a strong individual that others can and do lean on. Whether it matches her house or not, it did seem to suit her. The pattern for this quilt can be found here.

Of course there are plenty of projects still sitting around unfinished. There is the Craftsy BOM for 2013. I've been noodling on adding some borders and making it bigger.
Craftsy BOM 2013
The larkspur quilt which I've been working on since 2012. I had a good bit of this quilted before I realized I had a HUGE pucker in the back. So it all had to be picked out. I kind of lost heart after that, but I will start again soon.
Larkspur Queen Bed Quilt started 2012
I also had an idea to make a quilt with all blocks using flying geese. I am in no way drawn to the color purple, but I have another niece, Robin, who passed a few years ago from Cystic Fibrosis. She loved purple, so this seemed a fitting tribute to her. I'd like to finish this one up this year and perhaps give the quilt to her mom.
Gaggle of Geese Quilt Started Summer 2013
The hex quilt that I've been working on for a couple of years is finally all pieced too, and that needs to be quilted. The idea was to use up scraps from all of the different projects since I started quilting ten years ago. The rounds are organized with the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) and in the manner that my mom used to sort laundry (darks, brights, and lights) with a few blacks and browns at the center and whites around the outer edges. I'm really struggling with how to quilt it as I don't want to take away from the geometry of the hexagrams or the color gradient.
One Quarter of Quilt Top
A Rainbow of Brights and Lights
Finally, I had fun in 2013 with Amy Gibson's Sugar Block Club, so that one needs to be finished up. This picture doesn't show it, but in addition to the dozen twelve inch blocks from the club, I drafted and made half and quarter size blocks with the same designs. I just have to make a few more and I'll be ready to think about sashing.

What else is on the list for 2014? Well I have three gifts I need to make for birthdays in the next couple of weeks, a play mat for the new baby of a friend, my quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild / Riley Blake challenge which is due in February, and I want to make quilts for my two brothers. Plus I have three different bags cut out that need to be assembled.  Not enough? Wait until I tell you about the cat and dog blankets my friends and I are making for shelter animals...

Until next time.


  1. This is SO inspiring! I've seen a few of these in person where they are even more spectacular. Thanks, Kay.

  2. Thanks Alice. Check's in the mail :-)

  3. Wow ... so productive! I absolutely love the Urban Maps project, design, colors and all! Lucky niece! Keep stitchin'!