2023….What will it bring?

Yesterday I posted about the “State of my Studio”, talking about the work I finished in 2022.

While that was fun, I thought you should see the photo of the actual “STATE OF THE STUDIO”…….

Normally it isn’t quite this bad, but this is just a reflection of the fun things that are going on here at the end of the year and, hopefully, an indication of what is to come in the new year!!

What are those new and fun things? (I am SURE that I heard you ask that question)!!

Well, let me tell you!!!

First of all, I am working on an online course that will be released soon…..

It is a series of videos designed to help you MASTER the use of a Straight Edge Quilting ruler. I think that you will be amazed at what you can do with such a simple tool!!

February is a crazy month, starting with the judging days for our local guild quilt show. I LOVE to be involved in this and especially enjoy hearing the judge’s comments as they work. It will be a tiring and exciting two days!!

Later in that same week, I will be attending QuiltCon!! I am looking forward to taking two classes while I am there. The first is a precision piecing class and the second is using different threads and doing matchstick quilting!!

BUT, the big attraction will be to see my quilt, “Star Explosion” hang at the show!! I spent an inordinate amount of time clipping and trimming stray threads and shipped it off…..

I do hope that the judges like it!!

The week following QuiltCon is my local guild show and I am the Show Chairman. I know that it will be hectic but the show setup day is one of my favorite times in our guild. Everyone comes together and works hard and we have SO much fun!!

Back in October, I signed up for the Modern Quilt Guild Mini Swap…..

I “met” by swap-mate…..Christine from Moruya, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA!!!” She doesn’t live very far from where Michael and I lived when we were there in the 1980’s.

Her quilt is supposed to be finished by February 15th, so I better get started. I have one weekend in January set aside for doing NOTHING but that quilt. If only I had an idea of what I was going to do!!

Other projects for 2023 include the Monarch Challenge from Cherrywood Fabrics, due on June 15th…..

Currently, the only thought that I have is to use some of the green fabrics to make a “Bargello” type background.

Then there is the carpet challenge that I have set for myself……

AND, as always, I am excited about attending my guild’s two retreats and finally the International Quilt Festival in November.

On the quilt guild speaking front…..I already have four guild presentations booked for 2023 and am hoping that those continue to multiply!!

Michael and I did not do a lot of traveling in 2022, but 2023 looks to change that.

Michael is working on another conservation book and we currently have trips booked to South Africa in June and Pakistan in October!! Among other things, we will get to work with Black and White Rhinos on the first trip and will be seeing some amazing sites in the mountains of Pakistan as well.


I can’t wait to get to next December 31st and be able to reminisce about everything that happened this year!!!

I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year’s day and a GREAT 2023……

It’s a new year!!

I love the start of a new year because there seem to be SO many possibilities, and I am super excited about the possibilities of 2022!! I have been thinking about this a lot over the last few weeks.

  • continue to improve and learn more about free-motion quilting
  • finish “Sadie” the Saddle-Billed Stork
  • design two quilts and write the patterns
  • continue making Quilts of Valor
  • finish the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs
  • participate in the 2022 Monthly color Challenge from Patterns by Jen
  • finish the International Block Swap from Make Modern magazine
  • continue to blog daily

So, bring it on!!!

What is on your “Let’s”……” list for 2022?

Please join me on my journey by subscribing to the blog…..

What now??

Congratulations….we survived 2020!!! Now bring on 2021…..


2021 has the potential to be an exciting year for Michael and I. He is starting to write a book about the rebuilding of various ecosystems in Africa and needs to have a fair amount of time with “boots on the ground”. COVID permitting, we will be in Africa three times in 2021 for approximately 8-9 weeks in total.

courtesy of history.com

My job on this trip is to be a second set of ears for information and to also document the trips in photographs. I am super excited about this part of my job but realize that I MUST find time in the next 4 months to practice with the new camera and lenses. The hardest part is finding a place to photograph objects that are moving!! I an happy with my ability to photograph things that are firmly planted in the ground, but am not as certain about moving animals!!! So, let’s put that at the top of my “MUST DO” list.

This could be me…..but with shorter and darker hair!!!

As a second thought, maybe I will just send Michael out into the backyard and tell him to jog around for a couple of hours as I photograph him!!!

I am also excited about my FrancesQuilts side-hustle!! I am planning to bring out at least two new patterns in 2021, develop two new guild programs that can be presented online and continue writing a daily blog. Having said this, I also recognize that the daily blog may be hard to keep up when we are traveling WITHOUT decent internet so I will just have to see how that goes!! And, as another thought, it may be hard to keep up with during income tax season!! We will just play that one by ear!!

As for creative goals, there are a bunch……

I want to continue with the Morewood Mystery that will end next summer.

I am going to be a blogger participating in the Color Challenge 2021 by “Patterns By Jen” ….

You can check out her blog here and learn all about the challenge. Jen has encouraged us to be creative when we are presenting our particular monthly block and to think about the “flat lay” photo. I had never heard that term, but have since watched a Craftsy class about it and am excited to figure out how I can “up my game” with my block photo. My first month is February so stand by for more about that!!

I was so encouraged about the portrait collage quilt from last year and would love to try another one. I just have to find a photo that inspires me. Hopefully there will be at least one on the Africa trips!!

I want to get the “Parasol Dancers of Green Lake” underway. If I can get it organized and layered, it would be a good thing to keep under the needle for when I have a few minutes of time during tax season.

I have recently watched a class about curved piecing so who knows what might come of that.

I want to continue to increase my proficiency in machine quilting, both with rulers and without. To this end, I plan to quilt a lot of charity quilts and MAKE myself try new patterns and not just stick with the old faithfuls!!

I could go on for days and days about the things that I want to do this next year but now I need to prioritize them and just get started!!

I recently listened to a podcast about having a “Don’t Do” list!! It suggested taking all of those items that you have moved from list to list over the last months, years or decades, realizing that you aren’t motivated to do that task and to take it OFF of your ToDo list. That takes away the guilt of not having accomplished it yet and lets you focus on the things that you ARE motivated to do!! Maybe I need to look thru my FIVE page “brain-dump” and do just that!!!

So now I am feeling overwhelmed and behind…..time to say Happy New Year….. and get upstairs to the studio!!!

State of the Studio – 2020

Every year on December 31st, I stop and look back over the work that has happened (or not happened) in my studio during the year.

Although 2020 was tough in many respects and we suffered disappointments with trips and other events being cancelled, it was an amazing year for the Studio!!

First of all, it gained about 75% more space. The before and after photos say it all…..

Now I find it really hard to believe that I was able to create anything at all in the space that I had previously!!

And then came the addition of Julio……

He has really spiced up my quilting!!

I have had a bunch of finishes this year…..

I made two tops for charity quilts…..

Three tops for Quilts of Valor…..

….and lots of hours practicing quilting on various charity quilts..

I moved one quilt from the UFO bin to the trash can and haven’t thought twice about doing it!!!!

I have spent a LOT of time working with Ruler Quilting and am super happy with the advancements that I have made in my skill level…..

I shared my studio with several people during the year and had fun teaching Kaitlyn to quilt…..

I have designed two new quilts and almost have a pattern ready for one of those…..

Probably the biggest change in 2020 has been the establishment of my brand…..FrancesQuilts, complete with new logo….

I have published 248 Blog Posts, including daily posts since July 21st and have produced 28 instructional videos.

When I look back over the year, part of me feels that I should have completed more projects, but I am honestly proudest of the “FrancesQuilts” portion of the year. From comments that I have heard, I believe that I have been able to provide information, inspiration, assistance and encouragement to quilters around the world, and that is about as exciting as it gets!!

…..And there are lots more exciting things in the works for 2021. Come back tomorrow for those!!

So as we HAPPILY say goodbye to 2020, here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve…..

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