On Reviewing 2019

It’s been a year of changes and indulgences. In keeping with the latter, I am ending my blogging year with two posts on one day. This second post comes with a warning to readers — I intend to boast and repost photographs of the quilts I made this year.

It’s a well known fact that in order to be a quilter one has to be a bit obsessive. Because of this I keep lists of the pieces I have made (title of quilt, its measurements, and selling price). While musing on whether to write this post (thanks, Chela for the encouragement) I tallied up the list of quilts made during 2019 and found there are 19! Here they are, three by three and in chronological order of their completion.

(The photograph of 19th quilt appears in today’s earlier post https://marissthequilter.wordpress.com/2019/12/19/on-noticing-the-details/). I have written about the making of the works in the above photographs during the year. Thank you to my faithful readers and commenters. (I have just made up that word. I don’t have my trusted Oxford English Dictionary to hand to check if it is a real word. Commentators doesn’t feel right.)

Two of the quilts were made for specific challenges. Honky-Tonk Blues (photograph #4) was exhibited at the FynArts Festival in Hermanus, and Turkish Delight (photograph #13) was selected as a finalist in the South African section of the Brother Competition, My Favourite Things.

It was a satisfying exercise to review my stitching year in photographs. That said, many of them are small and the only large work was the tree Autumn Shade which I had been working on (on and off) for years. If I have a wish for the year to come, it is not to make 20 quilts during 2020, but rather to tackle a large work.

Part of the reason for stitching up a record number of quilts this year is that at the end of March I retired (early) from my full-time job as an archivist in a literary museum. So I have had more time to indulge my urge to play with fabric and thread and to stitch away. (It has been a boon to come to the end of the year with energy to spare for Christmas preparations and the “great trek” up the Hogsback mountain for a month of reading and thinking and, of course, stitching.)

Stopping working has not been my only indulgence. I have attended a slew of workshops which I thoroughly enjoyed and where I learnt new things and was inspired by good teachers. Again, I wrote posts about these during the year. To recap the classes were given by Rosalie Dace (Here and Now); Doortjie Gersbach (Japanese folding and hand stitching); Dorothy Tucker (Kantha stitching); Sue Cameron (making a fabric book); Marlene Turner (hand applique); Chiquita Vosloo (introduction to embroidery) and Angie Weisswange (making fabric beads).

This was also the year when I worked at a range of textile goods to sell at markets and when, along with The Woodworker, set up a stall on the stoep (verandah) of our house during the National Arts Festival, held in Grahamstown-Makhanda.

Perhaps I should also tell you of my physical activities during the year. I clocked up my 137th parkrun this past Saturday and, earlier in the year, The Woodworker and I walked a 300 km stretch of countryside, which included the magnificent Baviaans reserve.

One last indulgence. Part of the reason for writing two posts in one day is to use up the gigabyte of data that I purchased for the day. Getting my cellphone to act as a hotspot for my computer was quite a challenge and so I am making the most of that accomplishment and the bundle of tansient data. It is also one of our last quiet days before the family arrives.

If you are still reading, I send wishes for a peaceful and pleasant holiday season. Until 2020…

20 thoughts on “On Reviewing 2019

  1. Lovely following your stitching journey this year Mariss. You’ve produced a beautiful collection of fabric art-pieces. Well done on all fronts. Wishing you a lovely family Christmas. Looking forward to reading you next year XXX 🌺


  2. What a wonderfully creative year you’ve had, Mariss. I’ve loved following every stitch – and every poetry word. And I now own a beautiful honey ‘twirler?’ made by The Woodworker. It was a birthday gift.


  3. How nice to see all your remarkable work assembled together in this post. You have had a creatively fruitful and rewarding year since retiring from your job. I should think you are wondering how you ever had time to go to work 🙂
    Best to you too and a happy time with the family over the Christmas season.


  4. You need to do a lot of boasting – what an impressive collection of work! I find your pieces with a lot of hand stitching so incredibly satisfying to look at (and they must have been satisfying to make!). Congratulations on your retirement! I look forward to the day I can attend a lot of workshops like you are doing but for now I will live vicariously by reading about them on your lovely blog! 🙂
    Oh yes and always listen to advice from Chela, she is awesome!


  5. Boast and repost – whyever not? What a busy year you’ve had, and it was nice to revisit all of your 2019 creations! It’s certainly an impressive body of work. I can’t wait to see what 2020 turns up, especially since you’ll have so much more free time! Enjoy 😊


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