During January I decided to spend more of my free time away from a computer screen. So I returned to my neglected hobby of making quilts. (Prior to that, my photography and scrapbooking hobbies occupied a lot of my free time, but that meant more screen time, not less.)

It turns out that focusing on pattern instructions and feeling fabric in my hands helped me turn off the constant churn of bad things in the news. In fact, my chosen word for 2017—hope—came to life. Soon I remembered to celebrate good people and help hurting people by doing small things with great love.

I began blogging at Riceford Streams to share my thoughts as a mature woman with grown children. Maybe I could encourage other women as they entered the somewhat scary landscape of midlife. Lately I’m writing about my quilting life because this hobby helped calm me during the crazy times and bring back an element of creative fun that’s been part of me since childhood.

I didn’t blog about all my quilting projects this year but rather shared them on Instagram (@joyfully_tracie). So here are my top five finishes based on number of views; click on the links for details. But this isn’t about just me and my quilting. More than anything, I hope I inspire you to make creative, fun activities a priority in your daily life for healthier, more joyful living.

Lady of the Lake

I made this classic blue and white quilt as a gift for my daughter, who moved across the country to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Yes, this momma wanted to cover her little pumpkin with a warm blanket of love. And as a matter of fact, I did make her bed with quilts from me and her grandma when we moved her into a tiny apartment.

Lady of the Lake quiltCharming Mini Pillow Cover

During December I warmed up my husband’s reading chair with a cozy pillow made of velvet and cotton mini charm squares. Don’t you love Lindsay Mayland’s free pattern?!

Charming Mini Pillow CoverJolly Braid Tote Bag

I made this fun tote bag as my road trip sidekick. My husband and I spent a lot of quality time in the car together this fall, and it corralled my magazines, snacks, cell phone, and other travel essentials. Lately I’ve been toting family movies on VHS tapes to the library to convert them to DVDs … ah, home movies remind me of my soul sister, Beverly Goldberg.

Jolly Braid Tote BagMaple Charm Mini Pillow Cover

I used Cory Yoder’s Maple Charm Mini pattern and LuLu Lane fabric to make a fun fall pillow cover for my husband’s reading chair. The free-form quilting was popular on lots of projects I liked on Instagram. (Speaking of Instagram, this photo was one of my top nine for 2017.)

Maple Charm Mini Pillow CoverMini Swoon Quilt

When I decided to start quilting again, I thought a cheery mini quilt would bring back my mojo. It turns out that Thimbleblossom’s Mini Swoon Quilt made with Fig Tree and Company’s Chestnut Street fabric was just the ticket.

Mini Swoon QuiltFind More Inspiration

Today I’m linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, who is hosting the Best of 2017 Linky Party. Put on your comfy pants, pour up a refreshing beverage (in Minnesota, that would be a hot one), and have some fun reading through other creative bloggers’ Best of 2017.



My Best Quilts of 2017
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Tracie grew up with three sisters and a brother in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and relatives. She draws on that early foundation to write about her Christian faith, creative activities, and family life.

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16 thoughts on “My Best Quilts of 2017

  1. I loved seeing your beautiful quilting projects here. Thanks for sharing them with us! The classic blue and white is my favorite. It has that cozy look of home comfort, and what a wonderful gift for your daughter!

  2. Your resolution to be online less and quilt more turned out very well! The tote bag appeals to me. The little gems in the velveteen pillow really sparkle.

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