Monday, January 1, 2024

My Best of 2023

My dad used to say that when he was a kid, the days would go so slowly from one weekend to the next, and it would take forever to get to his birthday or summer vacation. Now that he was retired, months passed like days, and a year was gone in a blink. I understand exactly what he meant! How is it three, no, coming up on four years since the world locked down for the pandemic? I feel my brain wanting to explode.

Regardless, another year has marched on by, and I am joining in with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for a look back at things to celebrate in 2023. I usually start by flipping through all the posts I wrote - 81 - to see which ones got the most views. 

1. The most-viewed post was The Art of Riding Thermals, a quilt I made for the Villa Rosa Designs January blog hop I was asked to be a part of.

This quilt lives with my niece, Sheila, in Edmonton, where it keeps her Postcard from Sweden quilt company.

I'd forgotten about that blog hop, but it reminded me that I was a part of two book launches in 2023: Kelly Young's Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs in June, and Cheryl Brickey's Just Two Charm Packs in August.

Diamond Hashtag from Just Two Charm Packs

2. Another highly-viewed post was my Slab Star Tutorial from May. This was one of three Rainbow Scrap Challenge Projects I worked on during the year.

Here is the finished quilt. It lives with one of my great-nephews in Alberta.

3. One of the amazing highlights of 2023 is that I stepped into the quilt talk/presentation world. A little hesitantly, yes, but wow, the support and encouragement I got from Cathy in Port Perry, who initiated the whole thing, was truly a gift. What we can do when we lift each other up is nothing short of amazing. In October, I spoke at three different guilds within 130 km of each other,  telling the stories of some of my most meaningful quilts. The Quilt Tales for the Heart and Mind post tells more about it. This was such an enriching experience! The Slab Star Tutorial is connected to the presentations: I had just finished the quilt, which was on my design wall being blocked, when I was on a Zoom call with Cathy and Yvonne, the tech person, and they spied it. Their guild's theme is scraps, and so one thing led to another and I made a PDF which they, and the other two guilds handed out to members at my talk.

at Kindred Hearts Quilt Guild, Whitby, ON

Cathy said they usually have a presenter's table where I was welcome to sell some of my patterns and wow, was that part a success as well! Neither of us would've believed just how successful. 

And it hasn't ended! In November I got an email from a London, Ontario, guild programme coordinator telling me she'd seen something on FaceBook about my presentation (I don't have FB, so she must have seen something one of the guilds posted) asking if I would consider presenting to their guild in London in April 2024! So I already have one solid booking and another tentative one for October!

4. One of my major finishes this year of which I am very very proud, is my 150 Canadian Women quilt. It was a QAL that began in 2016 and ended near the end of 2017, a way to commemorate Canada's sesquicentennial that year.

5. My own annual QAL this year, (the seventh!) was Rainbow Neighbourhood. I am so grateful to those who participated, many of them repeat participants. The pattern is now my best-selling quilt pattern, (wow! - a link to it is on my sidebar) and I was so very honoured to have it chosen as a North Carolina quilt group's year-long project where a group of 12 ladies chose their fabrics, put them in a box, and each month passed their box to another in the group. That lady would choose one of the house blocks that hadn't yet been made, use the person's fabric in the box, and bring it back the next month. I chatted to Betsy, the organizer of the 'quilt shuffle' this past week, and she is going to let me know how the quilts are progressing. Hers is done and won a ribbon at their local fair!

Each year I think, wow, I wonder what this year will bring? And at the end of the year when I look back, I am always wowed by my accomplishments, big and small. I look forward to another year of creativity and adding colour and goodness to the world in 2024. Thank you for reading and for sharing your time and thoughts with me this past year.


  1. I am proud of you and proud for you. :)

  2. Wow! What a fantastic year for you - it's been fun watching it all happen to / for you!

  3. So fun to see a wrap-up of your year, Sandra! I've just been thinking/planning for 2024 and, of course, put your next QAL on the list. Wishing you a happy and creative new year!

  4. I love that you received so much support as you stepped into presenting this year, and hooray for having a booking with a guild in London in April. I love staying connected with you and seeing what you make here, and I wish you all the best in 2024.

  5. Fun to review your best quilting projects this year, Sandra!!! I love your slab star as a RSC project. So neat, you're speaking engagements--congrats! Happy new year!!!

  6. The 150 Canadian Women quilt is truly an heirloom. I still wish I could have done the Rainbow House QAL, but the timing wasn't right last year. I'm determined to get back on track in 2024 and get some projects finished. Happy New Year (again).

  7. what a great post dear lady. you have been amazing and i am sure it will continue into 2024. thank you for sharing so much and letting us enjoy and be dazzled by you! cheers. (-:

  8. What a fun year you had! Villa Rosa and Neighborhood QAL were among my favorites. Love the slab star, too and that you started speaking to guilds! Happy New Year to you!

  9. Such a wonderful look at the year. Your highlights are so wonderful to look at and each of those listed brought back the posts you wrote along the way. Putting yourself out there as a presenter really was a natural progression for your quilting path. Can't wait to see where 2024 leads you. Congratulations on your London commitment.

  10. Time is such a crazy thing. For something that we can quite accurately measure, the perceptions of it's passage are never consistent. Congrats on a very successful year. It would be hard to pick a favorite project from this year, you've so many fun ones. Wishing you a very productive and fun 2024.

  11. Super year for you, Sandra! And soon to be presenting in London. UK! Not Ontario! Pardon all the !!s. But they are needed. I’m that excited for you, and can’t wait for the travelogue that will surely be part of your trip, too. Time is a strange thing, isn’t it? You are filling the days nicely.

  12. I'm late in catching up on your posts, but so fun to read about your year! It's been a good one! Here's to more fun in 2024!