2014 Goal Visualization Quilt

This quilt is a document of my list of measureable goals for 2014.

 

The wheels started turning for this quilt when my husband Nate asked me one day, "Has anyone ever used quilts as data visualization tools? Like infographic quilts?" I said I didn't know, but it sounded like an interesting idea. I thought about what data I'd like to document in a quilt, and settled on something very personal, my New Year's goals. I have always been a person who makes New Year's Resolutions, despite repeatedly reading that they don't work, no one every keeps them, etc. I didn't care, I made them anyway, always hopeful for the self improvement they might bring.

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A few years ago I noticed an Instagram friend talking about her measurable goals for the year. More specific than the hazy concept of New Year's Resolutions, measurable goals have a number attached to them. I decided to adapt her approach. For 2014, I had 14 measurable goals. I assigned a traditional quilt block to each goal. (I picked 14 different blocks that were made from half-square triangles, just blocks that I visually liked). The idea was to make a block for each of the times I was supposed to do each task. So if my goal was to host friends for dinner 4 times in the course of the year, I'd make 4 blocks. If I met my goal, those 4 blocks would go on the front of the quilt. For goals that I didn't meet, I'd break it down into a ratio. For instance, I only listened to 6 audiobooks, when my goal was 20 (too much tv). So 6 of those blocks went on the front of the quilt. The remaining 14 blocks were pieced into the back of the quilt. And if I exceeded my goal, I made the extra blocks in a different colorway (red/orange/yellow). There is a key on the label of the quilt, so viewers can understand it, and also so I can remember everything. 

 

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This quilt has a lot of tiny piecing and a lot of piecing in general. While I started it in 2014 when I was actively trying to accomplish all these measurable goals, it took until 2017 to finally finish it. Nikki Maroon quilted it for me, and Mitch Hopper helped me design the label, which I then printed on Spoonflower. Mitch Hopper also helped me take pictures of the final product. This quilt measures 53"x78". I was happy to have it accepted into the juried show at QuiltCon 2018.

The finished top

The finished top

Completed quilt

Completed quilt

Quilt label and key

Quilt label and key

Quilting detail

Quilting detail

Complete back

Complete back

Leftovers Ala Gwen

Last year I made a baby quilt for a friend consisting of half-square triangles in shades of grey, blue, and green.  I made a lot of HST's and then just used a portion of them to make the baby quilt.  I had quilt a few left over and decided to make a twin-size quilt with them. 

Front of quilt, measures 81"x65"

Front of quilt, measures 81"x65"

My favorite design element of this quilt is one that was inspired by a quilt Gwen Marston showed us when she visited our guild in February 2014.  Her quilt had an inner border that used the same type of blocks as the rest of the quilt, just in soft neutral shades instead of the brights in the rest of the quilt.  I decided to do the same with white and off-white HST's. I love how it turned out. 

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I named this quilt Leftovers Ala Gwen because most of the blocks were leftovers from another quilt, and the layout was inspired by a favorite Gwen Marston quilt.  I hesitated to use the word leftovers next to my quilt heroine's name, but I decided leftovers don't have to be just lukewarm meatloaf or some other blob.  Sometimes leftovers can be surprisingly delicious if they are well prepared and maybe paired with something fresh.  So that's how I'm choosing to think of leftovers in this instance.  The quilt measures about 81"x65", a generous twin.

Back of quilt.

Back of quilt.

On the back of this quilt I did some piecing of letters.  Once again I wanted to show what could be done with the Simple Shapes Alphabet (pattern coming soon).  Can't Stop Won't Stop came to mind as a fun phrase, a rap reference that has made its way into the lexicon.  I don't know why it needed to be on a quilt, except that I can't stop putting words on quilts.  Or quilting in general.  Can't stop, won't stop until I'm too old to physically cut and sew fabric.  Quilting is my life-long obsession, I feel certain.  If it turns out that I stop quilting for some reason other than just physical incapability (ie I lose interest) I will be truly shocked.  As things stand now, I always have ideas, I always want to make more.  I can't imagine life being any different.