Have a Grateful New Year

As we ring out 2016 (I’m not sorry to see it end!), and begin a new and hopefully better 2017, I’m looking back at progress towards my goals, and taking a moment to be grateful for my many blessings.

My 2016 goal of twelve UFO finishes? Well, I came pretty close; much closer than I would have, had I not set it down firmly in my mind and in writing! I have fewer UFOs on the shelf, and a satisfying sense of accomplishment. I am grateful to have had the time, energy, good health, and skill to complete all these projects.

Finish number 10 was this late entry, made from an orphan block. It was supposed to be part of a English paper-pieced hexagon sew-along. Should have been right up my alley, right? Wrong. The pieces were HUGE compared to what I have been doing, making the fussy-cutting I love impractical. I made this one block, and part of another, then moved on.

It made a really nice pillow for my best friend’s new apartment. She has been my BFF for almost 50 years, and I am forever grateful for her continued presence in my life.

Not a UFO finish per se, but a promise kept, was this gift for my 7-month-old great-nephew. I just love sock monkeys, and make them for all the wee ones in our family. I’m not counting him toward my goal, but I had to share anyway. :^)

I am beyond grateful to be part of a loving, growing family. The world lost so many special people in 2016, but we gained so many too – who knows what kind of people the babies of 2016 will become, what greatness they may achieve?

And my final UFO for 2016, finish number 11, actually ran over into 2017 by just one day. How nice to begin the new year with a real feel-good project!

I came across a kit given to me some time ago by my friend Doris, the wonderful woman who runs “The Quilt Cupboard.” That’s the charitable arm of the Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild of Pepperell, MA. Doris stores and organizes donated materials in her cozy basement workroom, distributes them to guild members for making tops, and passes the tops along to others to quilt and bind. Finally, and best of all, she makes sure that the completed quilts are given out to those in need in the community. Dozens and dozens of quilts every year, to families and individuals dealing with illness, injury, or loss.

The kit contained a handful of blocks in shades of purple (someone else’s UFO, I suspect) and some chunks of fabric. I made a bunch more nine-patches and friendship stars with bits from my stash, and added a couple borders. Notice that unusual corner treatment? Courtesy of a math error flash of creative inspiration, LOL. I’ll send this off to “the cupboard” soon, so Doris can get it quilted and donated.

This past year may have been bleak and difficult on the surface, but you really don’t have to look very far to see that there is still a LOT of good in the world. I’m grateful for the ability to contribute to it in my own small way, and for people like Doris, and for all the quilters in all the guilds who believe that small acts of kindness can make a difference, one warm quilt at a time, to each grateful recipient.

Have a Grateful and Happy New Year.