Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: Crazy Year!

"Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt" in January & February
It was a crazy year, and that's putting it mildly. Our family is small, just three of us. I live in Oregon, Mom lives in Maine and my sister Libby lives in Massachusetts. Christmas is usually the only time the three of us are together.

we often include a couple friends and/or neighbors in Christmas dinner
Last year, as we hurried through the Holiday routine, none of us realized how much our lives would soon change. In January, my sister’s close friend was killed in a car accident. Soon after, Mom fell and injured her eye, losing the vision in that eye. In February, I landed in the hospital with a heart attack. 

heart attack the day before QuiltCon kept me away from Pasadena - I look mad
All three of us are doing better now, and quilts may have something to do with it. Mom and I commissioned my friend Gail Weiss to make a quilt for Libby, and soon after, I was asking Gail to make one for Mom. 

three family comfort quilts on display at the "Airing of the Quilts" show
Meanwhile, Facebook friend Penny Barnes, who lost her husband to a heart event the year before, made a quilt for me. She used flannels she brought back from Ireland, and the quilt was on my doorstep a week after I got home from the hospital. Amazing!

Heart Quilt by Penny Barnes
Each of us had a new comfort quilt, but before they settled in to their new homes, all three were displayed in the 22nd Annual Airing of the Quilts at the Milwaukie Center in March. 

"Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt"
January & February at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon
Before any of these things happened, I debuted an exhibition, "Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt" at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon. The exhibition revealed a previously undocumented tradition of scrap quilts made in Hawaii through the mid-century. 

my second book
My second book came out in April. "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration, 12 Projects Inspired by Patchwork from 1840-1970" was my first title with C&T Publishing / Stash Books, but it will not be my last. Before we were halfway through 2016, I'd agreed to write another book with them. 

Sarah & Kevin's Wedding, San Francisco
I went to San Francisco in June for the wedding of my friends, Sarah and Kevin. My job was to walk the bride down the aisle. 

4th of July appendectomy in Maine, what a drag! I look sad
In July, I went to visit Mom in Maine and landed in the hospital again, this time with an appen-dectomy. I spent a whole week including July 4th in the hospital, and the rest of the visit recovering.

Travels with Mom in September
I went to see Mom again in September, and we did a few of the things we didn't get to do in July. We drove to Rangeley for her birthday, and also traveled to New Jersey. In October and November, I traveled to see two exhibitions of "New York Beauty" quilts from my collection, one at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, and the other at the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange. 

New York Beauties at the Texas Quilt Museum
The year was challenging in some ways, but truly wonderful in many other ways. Things may or may not slow down in 2017, but first I’ve got a book to write. After that, maybe I'll take a vacation.


  1. Wow, Bill, 2016 had so many ups and downs for you and your family. It's inspiring how quilts were a comforting thread throughout. I love that your friend made you a flannel heart quilt—it's gorgeous and even more beautiful for the backstory.

    I hope 2017 brings you health, happiness and much quilting inspiration!

  2. Life changing year and you have risen to the changes needed. So 2017 will be a GO. Wonderful post.

  3. I hope 2017 will be at least as successful, and more peaceful! Happy New Year!