What a year, aye? I don’t normally do an end-of-year wrap-up, but this year was a doozie and needed one. I have accomplished more in this year than ever, so let’s take a look:
Remember when there were classes and hugs? It really wasn’t that long ago! I kicked off the year with a wonderful Start With a Square class at Craft Napa. I LOVE Craft Napa and I’m excited to be teaching again for the 6th year. This was just a wonderful class full of creativity, synergy and fun!
We were so innocent then, lambs to the slaughter. Little did we know what was coming. My husband had both knees replaced this year, this one was his first, at the tail end of January. Within 2 weeks his best friend had died of COVID, one of the first to die. I am happy to report that his surgeries were a success and it is a blessing to be able to walk, hike and just do normal life with him now.
I was thrilled to go to the Santa Barbara Quilting Retreat in mid-Feb, just under the wire of COVID shutdown. It was an absolutely inspiring and delightful week spent with Betty Busby. Betty is the best of teachers and it propelled me in an entirely new direction. Now I can pick up a paint brush, Intense pencil, a stencil, acrylics, markers or paint sticks and feel confident in using them. We kinda heard about this new virus going around.
Right before things shut down I taught for the American Quilters Society for the first time at Daytona Beach. It was downright bucolic – fabulous facilities, I LOVED the AQS people, met new-to-me teachers from across the US and had the most wonderful students possible. It filled. my. soul.
Ah, but my bubble was about to burst (how punny!). On the way home, just as I boarded the airplane, Hubby texted that there was this massive leak under the house… we needed a re-pipe If you don’t know what that means, you are lucky. It is horrible, invasive, extremely expensive and adds nothing to the value of your home.
This was the hall bath during the repipe. No photo can convey how difficult this was. There were men in, under and outside the house, shouting at each other. The floor vibrated from what was happening underneath. It was so loud that sitting next to each other we had to shout. It. Was. Awful. And this was during the shut down. We had no choice. It had to be done. Ugh.
I did my share of masks, probably 50 or so. I was no Mask Savior but I did my bit.
Somewhere in there I came up with some ideas for my Doodle Quilting class and this is one of the samples. It’s such a fun class!
Really, this was not made with COVID in mind. I painted the fabric at the Betty Busby retreat and there were these little circle guys all over. It was really just a doodle that ended up looking like COVID. But really, it’s not! I had fun playing with sheers that I printed and screen material.
I don’t know why this quilt photographs like there is a filter over it. Much In Common used a vintage tablecloth as its center and this quilt was really the focus of much of my quarantine sewing. I wrote about the process here, here, here, here. here and here. It was quite the challenge to source materials during the shut down.
This one was actually a fail. It turned out great, but when I wet it to take out the markings it just wrinkled up and ended up a ball ‘o mess. Wrote about that here.
I did a little bit of fun sewing just for me. I love this little pop-up container! If I ever teach in person again it will be handy.
Oh it wasn’t all good! I had two garment fails in a row. That was no fun.
I love a good panel to work from. I had just plain old fun making two similar pieces. Sometimes you need to play!
I took a fabulous tea bag class from Libby Williamson at Craft Napa a few years ago and I’ve been hoarding the fun little tea bags. They finally found a home in this piece that I wrote about it here and here
After two knee surgeries, a death and the loss of all of my gigs, we desperately needed a trip away. We drove to the California mid-Coast and hung around where we could. The shoreline was shut down as were most restaurants, but still, it was a delightful trip with some amazing scenery.
At that time masks were required even outdoors. Some bits of the trip were actually a bit miserable.
It became clear that if I wanted to teach, I was going to need to embrace online teaching. Embrace I did – with my time and my money. It was a risk. It turned out well. I do love to teach online, it’s a different challenge. Given my choice though, I would be teaching in person.
Sept brought an opportunity to put my 3-minute video out to the world through the Global Quilting Connection. What an amazing brainchild that website it. It is an important contribution to the quilting world.
And who could forget the California fires this year? It created this apocalyptic scene all over northern California and that persisted for weeks. It was awful, but we were blessed to not have been directly affected by the fire. Many lost homes, businesses and lives.
The Event of the Year for the Lyon’s was the impending birth of our first grandson! Quilts must be made! More here.
I know this in itself is not an impressive photo, but to me it represents the point at which I declared myself confident in online teaching. The ladies of the Ocean Waves Quilters were part of the most wonderful online class and marked my turning point. After all my whining, I truly embraced and began to enjoy the online platform. Who knew how comfortable we would all get zooming?
Random inclusion here. This is a selfie. The only decent selfie I have ever taken. It deserves its place here!
The entire year of 2019 I worked on this trapunto quilt that ended up having a fabric fading issue and it was a fail. What did I have to lose? Expert dyer and friend Linda Waddle kindly offered to overdye the quilt and that was a success. There are still some huge issues with this quilt, which I love. It may be more difficult to resurrect than to do all over again. Sigh.
Among the random projects I finished this year were these modifications to my patio chairs. The metal arm rests got hot, so I made these kind of hot pad thingys to help with that. It was a success!
Improvements were made to my cutwork table topper sample, putting more air in there. I love the result and class registration numbers showed their appreciation.
Little did I know it was a brief window in November, but I got to see a celebration of the 100th birthday of esteemed local but world famous painter Wayne Thiebaud. Did you catch that? I saw amazing art, in person, in 2020!!
Ah, Thanksgiving! Let’s hope that it doesn’t look like this next year! We successfully social distanced, ate a separate tables and did not share serving spoons, etc. It was just so weird but wonderful to see my boys. Oldest son in health care has now already been vaccinated – whew!
This was the Big Event of the year for me and it may have escaped your notice – I was the keynote speaker, opening day for the Virtual Houston Quilt Festival. I worked months on that speech, well over 100 hours. I requested that it not be recorded as it was made to be an of-the-moment speech just for this occasion.
Almost 1800 attended and now poof, it’s gone, not to be found. That’s just another weird layer of 2020. I also was one of the 5 presenters for 2 Machine Quilting Forums which were a huge success. Although I loved the virtual format, I sure look forward to an (hopefully) in person show next year!
I took a marvelous Inktense class from Telene Jeffreys, an excellent instructor and accomplished long armer from South Africa. This is my class sample, I just played and did not try to make a masterpiece in class. It’s another layer of surface design that I got very comfortable with in 2020. All these surface design techniques I learned this year surely will come to roost in a fabulous piece in 2021 (she wrote hopefully!).
And for the record, I took online classes this year from the UK (Phillipa Naylor), Germany (Claudia Pfeil) and South Africa (Telene Jeffrey). Isn’t that just so cool? There are parts of online teaching that are just fabulous.
This silk table topper got done after Christmas but hey, it got done! I love the design, which can be used for other seasons. I’m pondering some additional work on this pattern.
It’s been a wild ride. I never would have thought I’d accomplish so much, learn so many new skills and create so much art in one year. There were some pluses for the year, I will dwell on that. The deaths, the despair many of us feel and felt, the loss of income I and many others endured, I choose to put in the past. I sometimes have to forcefully remind myself of the many blessings I have, just being alive with the life I’ve built. And a new Lyon will enter the world this year or early in the next!
I am grateful that you follow me on my journey. I love the conversation that takes place here, I treasure it. And, as always, my motto is and will be, onward! And to you and yours, wishing you a great New Year.
If they are posting this week, I’ll be linking up to: