Friday, January 1, 2021

An Unexpected Year 2020

I waited till after the year was over to join the "Best of 2020" Linky Party hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. Gosh, who knows what might happen on the last day of the last hour of this unexpected and unprecedented year?

The quilts/posts chosen for this recap have one underlying theme - Unexpected. 

At Home with Scraps

1. Meanwhile -  I love this quilt because it was, for a long time, just a bag of flannel scraps languishing behind the bag of batting scraps. I had no expectations from this bag of soft, pre-washed and frayed strips. That is why this transformation from a bag of unwanted flannel bits to a darling quilt (chic and modern and minimalist) is one of my top picks for 2020.


Meanwhile - Backing

I did not have a recipient in mind when I made Meanwhile. Sometime thereafter I had a meeting with Vinny - our investment advisor. He mentioned that his wife was expecting a baby girl. This was thrilling news because they had been trying for a few years. Meanwhile made its way to Baby Saryna.  Last week when I chatted with Vinny over Webex, he was working from home, holding the baby who was happily sucking on her bottle. Vinny mentioned that they use the quilt all the time. I almost wept with joy.

2. Quarantina - I agreed to pattern test not because I love paper-piecing (I don't) but because I love Mell and wanted to support her foray into pattern writing. 

Quarantina - Flimsy + My toes

Quarantina - Detail

In the end, it wasn't so bad. Unexpectedly, I am now more open to trying paper piecing projects. The diagonally divided layout (white and black) elevates this quilt for a top 2020 pick.

3. Pandora's Box - In times of strife and unrest we seek the comfort of familiar and avoid difficult things. Trying to fit together blocks of various shapes and sizes into a cohesive whole was neither simple nor straightforward. With coping strips and filler blocks, the flimsy was completed.

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box - Detail

I knew it could be done but that it would also look good was a pleasant surprise. With several fun blocks, Pandora's Box has earned a place in notable quilty projects of 2020.

4. Playing with Fire - It was absolutely unexpected to receive an email from a total stranger - Barbara Cline but I happily agreed to particpate in the blog hop featuring her new book - Diamond Star Quilts. I had never attempted a Lone Star Quilt before and I learned that I need more practice (something to consider for RSC 2021). 

Playing with Fire - Diamond Star Quilt

I did not expect to make a mistake but when I discovered the faux-pas, I chose to leave it in. It seemed fitting to mark a topsy-turvy year.  

5. Our (Property) Values - I was just having fun with the houses and their inhabitants, inserting puppies, girls on scooters and children at play. Of course I also poured all my feelings into the post, as I sometimes do.  

Our (Property) Values

Homes for All

Gal on a Scooter, Gal on her toes

Kids at Play

I do love the quilt but the fact that 68 different readers left comments (an unusually high number for a post without a giveaway) makes this quilt the top pick of 2020.

Now Cheryl said five, but I am breaking some rules here. Expect the Unexpected!!!

6. Stars of Solace - With 3,475 views at the time of writing this post, this quilt deserves to be in the Top 2020 Picks. Sent to Bernie for Mercyful Quilts my only wish is that it provides solace to the family.

Stars of Solace for Mercyful Quilts

7. Picket Star Quilt Block Tutorial - The only post in 2020 that exceeds "Stars of Solace" in the number of views is the Picket Star Quilt Block tutorial with over 6,500 views at the time of writing this post.

Picket Star Quilt Block Tutorial

8. Hunting for the Hunter - Who knew that whining about a color could win you so much comment love!!! I was very pleasantly surprised by the response on this post and it was not even a quilt!!! 

Just a wee bit

Hunting for Hunter Green

If you haven't, I suggest that you read about my colorful griping about Hunter Green.

Do I have plans for 2021? May be. Do I have to-do lists? Kinda. But lists are not eye-catching.  Pictures are. So here are a few pictures showing projects in progress. 

Baby Quilt in the works

Chasing a Squirrel

More Picket Star Blocks

Many more Picket Star Blocks

More to come. So much more. Won't you rather discover one blogpost at a time? Me too :-D

If you like my quilts but don't care for my politics, you can stop reading now.

Unprecedented and Unexpected are just two terms that will be used to describe the year that was 2020.  The year of the unexpected pandemic was also the year of rapid unprecedented vaccine development. 

The year of racial strife was also the year when our eyes were opened to the racial injustice in our country.

The year of intense political drama was also the year of unprecedented public engagement

This year was so many things - unexpected and unprecedented. But it has reaffirmed my belief that the existence of good and bad side by side cannot be denied. The human body produces antibodies only in the presence of the antigen. Our world is no different. 

It occurred to me that America is like a crime scene and the pandemic year was like a beam of ultraviolet light. It highlighted our failings in stark terms. Although Covid-19 does not care whether you are black or white or brown, rich or poor, the death rates among the Black and Hispanic/Latinos people are much higher than whites in all age groups

The rich got richer, the poor got poorer. The well-to-do significantly increased their savings while many families used up all their savings. Those who kept their jobs and could work remotely chose to buy bigger homes away from the city while the service industry workers are on the brink of foreclosure and evictions.

What does it say about us as a society?  That we cannot take care of each other? That we do not believe in "Live and Let Live" but rather live and let die? We will be searching for answers and solutions for a while. The work has only just begun.

If you have come this far, I thank you for your support. I feel loved. I will be sharing with Angela's Linky Party and all other linky parties; see full list on the sidebar.


  1. Happy new year! Wonderful quilts and picket stars is on my bucket list...still... As for your politics/views, I appreciate them. They are well thought out and well voiced with useful information linked and thereby helpful and useful if I choose to learn more and better myself. Thank you for that, in a time of screaming and pointing fingers and making up "truths." Here's to a happier, quiltier and generally better 2021!

  2. happy new year Preeti to you and your husband, I enjoy reading your blog so much and always find that we agree on at home issues and world issues a lot - but you state it all so well and I try to not get into it I guess because the whole thing just stresses me out and gives me a headache! I so hope our new year will be so much better than the last. I feel so bad for all that have lost loved ones, income, home, the worry and stress they have is so much more than I have. I love your quilts and some reason the House quilt is my favorite although I have never made one.

  3. All just wonderful quilts -- my favorite is the houses and trees one--just perfect for us self-solators...
    I wish you joy in the coming year and a Happy Scrappy New Year
    hugs, Julierose

  4. Happy new year! I look forward to and enjoy reading all of your posts. Thank you!

  5. Happy New Year to you and Paul!!! Stay healthy and keep the quilts coming!!!

  6. Dear Preeti, Love your quilts, love your insight on the year. Your comment about the UV ray on our society is spot on and brilliant. I love following your blog. Stay safe and happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year! Your finishes this year are just amazing, well done!!

  8. So many gorgeous projects this year - Preeti I love them all. Somehow I totally missed the Lone Star quilt? It is stunning. The village quilt might be my favorite and the flannel strip quilt inspires me to use the drawer (yes a whole drawer) of flannel scraps up - maybe this year?

    Well done Preeti and as always, I appreciate your thoughts on 2020. A year not soon forgotten for so many reasons.

  9. Unexpected is the perfect word to describe 2020, in so many ways! I loved seeing your gallery of beautiful quilts and reading your beautiful words, too. May 2021 bring healing and change to our world, and lots of amazing quilty ideas to your sewing room!

  10. It was so lovely to see the recap off your quilts! I enjoy your posts and your quilts a great deal! Here’s to a better new year!

  11. Oh my gosh - I just love all of these that you chose - and I truly love how recipients come to the quilt... its just too cool ( kizmet?). I too find it interesting how things come to light in different situations. I hope we all find ways to be nicer and more loving towards others... and also realize... its okay to ask for help. Hugs my friend - Keep stitching love into peoples lives

  12. Happy New Year to you both. You always write such interesting blog posts, and your quilts are exceptional. Love reading the stories behind each one.

  13. I'm in such agreement with your well said comments. I enjoyed being introduced to your blog thru this "Best Of" . I'm a new follower, Bobbie. Thank you

  14. I love all your quilts but what I most enjoy is your comments, humor and stories. You have a way of coming up with the perfect title for a quilt and a lovely tale to go along with each one. What a gift you have and how lucky we are to be readers of your blog. May this year bring you and your family good health and much more creativity and giving of love.

  15. Wonderful to see your top quilts Preeti, well for me to see any quilts you make is wonderful to be honest and to enjoy the stories that go with them. This las year certainly has been a time of difference for us all, Here's to a happy and healthy 2021.

  16. Happy New Year Preeti & Paul! I love your “Best of 2020” choices (& still owe you my own pics of the jelly roll version of Picket Star blocks). Although I don’t know how you could narrow it down to just these... they’re all so lovely! I couldn’t agree more about your “political” observations. That crazy election you lived through affected me greatly, and I’m in Canada (we’re like the tugboat attached to the Titanic up here, and could only watch on horror). I’m sure it also spread the coronavirus all over the nation — that, and all the nuts who still insisted on travelling & gathering for all the holidays, virus be damned! 2021 had better be better. I couldn’t cope with a repeat of 2020! Thanks for all your posts and ALL your many, many pictures of your quilts — the more, the merrier! ~Diana K.

  17. Hi Preeti! Thank you for the retrospective on 2020 in quilts, all magnificent and deserving to be highlighted. Thank you, also, for reminding your audience that the work is not over but that it has barely begun. One small change builds momentum like a snowball - we'll get there slowly but surely. Happy New Year! I look forward to where 2021 takes you. I know we'll find it inspiring. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  18. I appreciate the insights you share along with your quilts. I enjoy all of it. Thank you and may our new year bring the best out of all of us.

  19. Second MESSAGE. You are a real inspiration, I've just remembered that I have a bunch of flannel strips too, so if you dont mind, I'll make a similar quilt like your Meanwhile. Just trying to work out, did you stitch the strips into rectangle blocks then sew together, or just make long rows?

  20. Beautiful quilts, like the beautiful person you are. Here's hoping 2021 is a better year for all of us. Happy new year!

  21. Hello. Is there an available pattern for your sweet house/neighborhood quilt?
    Thank you, Cindy

  22. So many beautiful and thoughtful quilts, Preeti. I was especially moved by the houses when so many people are becoming homeless. I loved the different people you gave a home to.
    You write so well. We need to focus on helping our neighbors more than piling up money in our bank accounts. We are all in this world together. Thanks.
    Here's to a better year and decade ahead.

  23. You've had a colorful, creative, giving year, Preeti. So fun to see those quilts once again! Happy New Year!

  24. Great recap of your 2020 quilts, that spiral on the huge quilt is fabulous! Thanks for linking up and happy new year!

  25. It was certainly a different year for us all. Hoping that 2021 is better in many years.

  26. Thank you for speaking up. I love your quilts. I love your stories, I love your conversations with Paul, but most of all I love that you stand tall and proud in your beliefs

  27. Happy New Year! Thanks so much for including me and my pattern in your top 5 list. I really appreciate that you took the time to pattern test (and that for a technique you do not like). And what a beautiful result you had. Always the creative - amazing idea to do a two sided version. I love following your blog, reading your often very emotional & open hearted posts. You are such a generous person! All the best for 2021 Many squishy hugs xo Mell

  28. So many wonderful quilts! I so enjoy reading the stories you and Paul have.Happy New Year!

  29. Such fun, colorful quilts, Preeti! I chuckled that you fit in 8! I love that picket star block! Happy new year!

  30. It’s always a joy to look at your beautiful quilts. As for your politics, they are my politics as well. I am in agreement with your analysis. Here’s hoping that in 2021, we can do better.


  31. Happy New Year Preeti! I always look forward to seeing what you make. I think you are as beautiful as the stunning quilts you make.

    I wish you and your husband a joyous 2021!

  32. Preeti thank you for being a bright spot on the web this year. Seeing your beautiful quilts always lifted my spirit, but reading your thoughtful posts helped me through the year by making me think and opening me up to new ideas.

  33. Your art is a reflection of you - beautiful on the outside and inside, with so many layers and nuances to discover! I love that we’re friends!! You are going to have another exciting and perhaps unexpected year in 2021 and I look forward to accompanying you on your journey!

  34. Your quilts and words are bold and thoughtful. I get a lot out of reading your methods and mindfulness. I’m not like you at all but we share a common passion through needle and thread. Cheering you on from SoCal!

  35. Ah, Preeti, I love your quilts, your politics, and your sassy conversations with Paul. I appreciate that you articulate your views rationally and without name-calling or attacking anyone. As for the quilts, I think my favorite is Playing with Fire (even with the little quirk) followed closely by Property Values. Here's to a brighter, healthier, calmer 2021.

  36. Unexpected and Unprecedented! Perfect ways of describing the year, and the wonderful quilts you made and shared. They are all so gorgeous and I can’t wait to see what you do in the new year.

  37. As one reads posts like this one decides to make ones own list... instead of FINISH I wrote Make Progress (0f some kind) On: and listed 10 UFO's that have been languishing for far too long! None of mine are as quirky as d fun as yours, but reading your blog is helping loosen me up a little.

  38. I loved reading your post and gazing at all your lovely quilts and jilts-in-progress. Pandora’s Box and Homes for all particularly call out to me. I look forward to seeing more of your work,

  39. So many beautiful quilts to enjoy. It was one to remember for sure. Having blog posts to look back on will remind us of all that has happened this year.

  40. My favorite recap post so far! I love seeing all of your bright and cheerful quilts coming back for their "curtain call" at the end of the year. I think Pandora's Box and Homes for All are my favorites, because of the fussy cutting you did to feature people and animals peeking out in each block. Happy New Year!

  41. i always enjoy seeing your quilts and reading your words from your heart. please do a tutorial for the stars of solace quilt, i would love to do this quilt. thanks, preeti

    1. The star block is made of the following
      1. One 16-patch block. Make a 16-patch block using 16 squares of 2.5" side.
      2. 8 HSTs. Make 8 half square triangles measuring 4.5".
      3. Four background squares 4.5"

      For sashing I used a four-patch block 4.5 side and rectangles 4.5" by 16.5"

  42. 2020 was a year of fabulous finishes and SEW many more wonderful projects, Preeti! I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with chasing a squirrel. What will your RSC21 projects be?

  43. Happy New Year, Preeti -- I loved your post -- thanks for sharing not only photos of the finished quilts but the details of how you planned them. Such inspiration!

  44. Wonderful finishes for the year! I need to go back and read more of your posts. There seems to be so much inspiration there! Have a great 2021!

  45. I love ALL your quilts, Preeti, but I cannot find an oopsie in the Diamond Star quilt and I can't believe I forgot about your Picket Star blocks for an RSC project this year. May have to figure out a way to add it to my list! Thank you for your quilts, your tutorials, and your personal observations on life. Whether or not I agree with everything you say is not the question for me. I find it thought-provoking to hear ALL views, take it in, and reflect on other people's insights. I find that this makes me a better person, at least to my way of thinking. Happy 2021!

  46. What a wonderful collection of quilts. I really like your flowers and your fabric stash pictures. So, does your stash always look so neat and orderly? Or was it spiffed up for the picture. After the assault on democracy yesterday your comments ring true to me even more. I can only hope we can go forward with more honesty and integrity. Less posturing and thinking of only oneself needs to be a priority for every elected official. Looking forward to your next post.

  47. I love your quilt gallery, and I'm still in love with Our (Property) Values ;D
    Yes, an unexpected year indeed...

  48. It's obvious that your beautiful soul is the source of so many beautiful quilts. Hoping that change for the better comes to many in 2021 and wishing you a very creative and happy new year.