December 28, 2019

Best of 2019 at Busy Hands Quilts

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This year was entirely different for me than any previous year as a quilter, so rather than featuring only the best of 2019, this is a brief history of all of 2019.

This year I made less quilts than last year and instead wrote a ton of quilt patterns.  So many, in fact, that I lost count and had to look it up myself, and when I saw the number I got so tired that I had to go take a nap.  No wonder I dropped off the blogging bandwagon this year - there was simply no time to do it.  In fact, to write this blog post, I had to make a chart listing all quilts made, patterns written, and custom quilting projects finished because I haven't blogged all of them.

This year almost all of my pattern covers were updated.  There are a few to go, and that's on my to-do list for this next year.

New Quilt Patterns

So the number of quilt patterns I wrote this year?  19  There are now 40 designs in the Busy Hands Quilts line of patterns.  Five of them haven't been released yet, and four of them have been released, but I haven't made cover quilts yet, so the covers include mockups rather than an actual image of a quilt.  I do prefer to have an actual quilt on the cover, but sometimes the time crunch gets in the way.

I've long wanted to make mini quilts of my existing patterns, and the first one was released this year - Mini Picket Fence features four sizes - Small and Large Table Runners and Small and Large Table Toppers.  All sizes use charm squares.  :)

Here are the 14 that were released in 2019.  All of them are available in my pattern shop except Calliope and Winter Solstice; they are only available at Connecting Threads at the current time.  I will get the rights back to them eventually and will be able to sell them myself.

Here are three of the five quilt patterns that haven't been released.  You'll have to wait to see the remaining two quilt patterns.  :)

Family Ties, 6 sizes Baby to King, jelly roll friendly.  I don't know what fabric the cover quilt will be made from yet.  Perhaps a rainbow jelly roll!  :)

Hampton Court, 100% strip pieced (but also includes traditional piecing instructions) and includes 4 sizes - Throw, Twin, Queen, and King.  This design is inspired by the exterior of King Henry VIII's castle, Hampton Court, built in the 1500s.  The bricks are made with varying sizes.  I am making the throw size with Nova by Basic Grey for Moda.

Mandalynn includes 6 sizes Baby to King and is layer cake friendly.  I am making this with a fat quarter bundle of rainbow batiks by Connecting Threads.  This pattern is Accuquilt friendly.

Quilts Made in 2019

In 2019 I made 39 quilts, less than the 70 quilts I made last year and definitely more in line with the usual number of quilts I make each year.  I have 11 quilts that haven't been documented in the history books here on the blog, so you'll be seeing those in the next month or so.  I will be featuring the 39 quilts over on Instagram shortly.  I'm behind on doing my annual review of quilts over there too, but I will get them up.  View my Instagram here.

Custom Quilts

In 2019 I made 6 custom quilts, intentionally decreasing the number of custom orders I accept.  I'm just too busy to make quilts for others now, but I don't mind quilting for others because that is much quicker.

Custom Quilting

This year I custom quilted 7 quilts but only blogged about 5 of them.

Quilt Kits Available in My Patterns

You can see all of my quilt patterns that have been kitted by fabric companies in one place right here.  You will be seeing approximately 14 more quilt kits in my patterns over the next nine months.  Hopefully this will be a perpetual thing.

Fabric Destash

After Thanksgiving I mercilessly cut my stash down by 50% and still have another 25% to go.  My aim was to clear out all fabric, leftover quilt blocks, quilt kits, and quilts in progress in my master bedroom closet (two walls with floor to 9' ceiling shelves) and from under all beds; leaving only fabric on two tall bookshelves in my sewing room.  I have thought about doing this for several years, and it finally felt right to do it.  I could never use all of that fabric in a lifetime.  I set it free to be appreciated, used, and enjoyed by someone else.  I want my stash to be fabrics that read as a solid color, or close to a solid, so it's usable in a rainbow.  Rainbow quilts sell the best in my quilt shop, so almost all quilts I make for sale, except pattern covers, from here on out will be mostly rainbow-ish.  

My destash account on Instagram is BusyHandsDestash.  You can follow this account to see when I start it up again.  Click here.

Plans for 2020

I have made the following commitments for 2020.

To purchase fabric only when the fabric is REQUIRED for a current project.  I will not buy fabric because I like it, it would make a good backing, or it's cheap.  One exception is I can buy fabrics that are in a rainbow.  PERIOD.  Yes this might mean I have to pay full price for fabric when I need it in a pinch.  It is cheaper to buy fabric at full price than to buy lots of discounted fabric that is never used.  My destash gave me a new perspective about fabric buying.

No over-committing in pattern writing.  Working all day every day is not healthy.

Making cover quilts for all quilt patterns that need one.

Adding one or two more Mini quilts to my pattern line.  Do you want to see a particular pattern in mini?  My minis will be table runners and square table toppers, and the patterns will include four sizes.

Making a few quilts for myself - Patriotic Picnic by Podunk Pretties in particular.  It's a fun queen size quilt that will look great on my living room wall.  You can see it right here.

Getting my website up and running - it's nearly done!

Finish updating pattern covers.

Visiting my friends more often.  I've sorely neglected them.

Quilting Sales

All quilts are on clearance in my quilt shop right here.  Clear 'em out!

You will save up to 70% off at Bluprint's end-of-year clearance sale right here.  

Save up to 60% off fabric at Connecting Threads' year-end clearance sale right here. 

One of my favorite things to buy is gift certificates when they go on sale.  Missouri Star Gift Certificates are currently $40 for $50.  :)  You can buy two per day during the sale.  Check them out right here.

Happy New Year!

Check out the Best of 2019 Linky Party hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs!

Follow Busy Hands Quilts!


Vicki in MN said...

Wow Myra you have been one busy girl this year! I love that first pattern you haven't released yet, great scrap buster.

Shannon said...

What an awesome year you've had! Congratulations on writing and selling all those patterns and everything else you have accomplished this year. And most of all the destash. I bet it feels very good to clean things out and simplify. I hope 2020 is an even better year for you and your business!!!

Linda said...

Like you, I got tired when I saw the number of quilt patterns you've done! I like your goal for fabric purchases and plan to remember that when I'm looking at fabric on Etsy. Can't wait to see those new patterns!
Happy New Year Myra!

amy said...

Love these new patterns!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Awesome new patterns this year, Myra! Best of luck finding some balance in 2020.

Susan said...

What an amazing year you've had! I can hardly wait for Mandalynn. I know I will love making that one, and I think I can make it as leader-enders in parts - so it will take me a couple of years, but who cares? It only took 2 weeks to make Looking Glass, but now I'm stalled on the quilting because I have no place to lay it out to spray baste it. I'm taking it to my QOV friend on Tuesday to get it machine basted so I can do it on my baby machine. It kills me not to be able to just grab her machine and meander it and be done for the recipient! LOL I think you are doing a great thing, simplifying so many things and concentrating on the important things for YOU. I love your stash changes, and I think I might consider that, too. Rather than selling, I'll probably donate it somewhere, though. I don't have collections of things very much. Thanks for a great post!

Allison said...

Wow! Myra that is a substantial output! So many patterns and quilts (I struggled to write 3 patterns all year and make more than one quilt a month!).You deserve every success with your ventures. I'm glad you are looking to spend more time with friends in 2020. And what a good idea to clear out your stash and excess quilts - they can weigh heavy on us after a while and stifle creativity.
Hoping you reap many benefits in 2020 from all the hard work you have put into your pattern writing over the past few years.

Cheryl said...

You had a fantastically productive 2019, I love all of the patterns. I also agree that full price fabric for a project is better than on sale fabric that sits in a stash. Thanks for linking up!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

That's a great collection of patterns. Well done!!

Danice G said...

What a productive year it was. Mandalynn is a pattern that I will definitely have to purchase. Great goals, wishing you the best in 2020.