Tracee’s Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

logo 300px1 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 MonthsFREE Tracee’s Project Quilting Patterns – click here.

Tracee 125px Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 MonthsI’m not a huge fan of my birthday. It falls on a really strange day, New Year’s Day. Instead of pouting about it this year, I needed to think up a way to make this year different. At first, my idea was to put together 36 packages for 36 people that have made some sort of difference in my life. As I started to write down ideas, it became quite overwhelming – what really could I put in these packages that would be unforgettable. The wheels of thought, they started turning, and it dawned on me that I could make each person a quilt. So hence, 36 quilts in 12 months to celebrate my 36th year. McCall’s staff has been incredibly supportive of this venture, so I’m going to blog about it. I started January 1 and here is my progress so far.

Quilt Receiver #1 – Dorothy

I met Dorothy last summer. I hang out on my front porch a lot in the summer time. Well, they are more stairs then an actual porch. I spend too much time outside when the weather is nice, but jeez, I love getting freckles.

Dorothy is in her 80′s and lives across the street or well, parking lot. She has a small white dog, I have NO idea what his name is because she calls him by his nickname more than his real name. His nickname is Boo.

I’m either reading or stitching when I’m sitting outside. Dorothy is a huge fan of reading, that is where we found common ground. She asked me one day if I’d like to go through some of her old books that she was giving to Goodwill. Duh! Of course! Reading a book and talking about it with someone is a great conversation.

I go over to her house and she hands me a grocery bag full of paperbacks. I reach inside and grab one. FABIO Romance BOOKS!!!!  Whoa! What am I suppose to do now?

I understand lonely. Not only through experiences of my own, but through watching my Grandma get older and not having a lot of human contact. I saw loneliness in her and what sweet older woman should be lonely? I took all of the books and have read several of them so when I go over to visit her we have something to talk about.

Dorothy, I think, is my number 1 fan. I get her copies of McCall’s Quilting Magazines each time we put out a new issue. She thinks I’m some sort of famous person because my picture is in the magazine. “Oh Tracee, I’m so lucky to have a friend like you! Look at your beautiful picture in a magazine!”

I think Dorothy will be very excited to get a quilt and I can’t wait to give her one, with of course, a few dozen romance novels to read as she cuddles underneath it. Which, I’m going to guess, in turn will end up back in my hands for future reading pleasure.

fabric1 225x300 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Fabric has been chosen.

I’m really into purple this year. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. It really is such a great color! Each quilt will be different as is each person that will be receiving one.

pattern1 225x300 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Pattern that I chose.

How great is it that you can download this pattern for FREE! This really is a great quilt design and it goes together in no time.

I started with making the 60 snowball blocks.

Snowball.1 300x225 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

2″ black squares on 5″ background square.

Snowball.2 300x228 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

I usually mark my fabric, but I couldn’t find my white pen so I eyeballed it.

Snowball.3 300x240 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Snowball.4 300x229 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Cut a 1/4″ from the sewn line.

Snowball.5 300x229 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Snowball.+6 300x226 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Press open.

blocks 300x225 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

60 blocks. I’ll iron them as I put the rows together, that way my iron stays nice and hot.

rows 300x225 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

I sewed 4 rows, 4 rows, 3 rows, then sewed them together.

BeforetheBorder1 e1357247214237 225x300 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Before the borders. I was having a hard time deciding whether to use the dark purple or the light purple. I decided on the light purple – it was better contrast.

topdone Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Not the greatest picture, will post a better one after she’s quilted.

closeup 300x225 Tracees Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

Close up. Hoping to quilt it today after work! Sherri Driver is going to teach me how to use the Handi Quilter long arm here at work! I’m so excited!

Quilt #1 – I’m having so much fun already! Can’t wait to quilt this one and start on Quilt #2.

Twitter hashtag: #TraceeProject

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80 Responses to Tracee’s Project: 36 Quilts in 12 Months

  1. Kristen says:

    Wow that is a goal at almost a quilt a week, but I’ m sure you can do it! I did 366 blocks last year (1 a day) and blogging about it was a huge help. I can’ t wait to see them all!

  2. Hi there to all, as I am actually eager of reading this weblog

  3. cheryl johnson says:

    This is such a clever idea and what a way to “pay it forward” to let people know how much they have meant to you! I look forward to seeing the next design.

  4. Tiffanie says:

    I think this is beautiful. My favorite color is purple since I came out of the womb. You make it look so easy I’m going to have to try. You’ve inspired me to try and quilt along with you. I won’t be able to keep up as I have to do it all by hand and now that I’m disabled things seem to take me twice as long. My goal will be 12 quilts for the year. Starting today I’ll pick out the fabric from my tons in the craft room. Thank you for being an inspiration.

  5. Donna Montibello says:

    What a great idea. Don’t think I could make that many quilts in one year.
    Happy Birthday. Hope you had a great day. My birthday is also January 1. I find it to be a strange day to have a birthday as well. I turned 50 this year. Maybe I will make it my goal to make 50 quilts for the NICU at the hospital this year. Smaller quilts may get finished!
    Good luck with your quilts. Have fun!
    Best wishes , Donna

  6. Nancy St Clair says:

    Love your story about Dorothy, and I love the quilt pattern. Think I will make one for someone like Dorothy.

  7. Beautiful indeed!!! Great idea for close friends. Good Luck!!!

  8. Judy K says:

    Such ambition!! I am trying to do one charity quilt a month for our guild’s charity. I am finding that to be a daunting task. Can’t wait to see how your project turns out.

  9. Terry says:

    You are a great person to take on this endevor. Good Luck, and happy birthday.

  10. Peggy Donahue says:

    Love this quilt. Your neighbor will be happy if she gets to enjoy it.

  11. Mary Ann says:

    Lovely idea, Dorothy will be so happy to have a handmade gift from her famous friend! I love snowball patterns. They go together quickly and have lots of impact. This is a beautiful version. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

  12. Deb Heath says:

    My Great Grandmother was born on Jan 1, 1885. She lived to be 99 3/4 yrs old. She would spend her birthday embroidering a new pillow case to use that year (I think to bring good sleep??? or luck for the year) . Then she would start making small gifts, one to give each member of her 100 plus members of the family for Christmas. She also made a handmade gift for each new baby and wedding!! We found enough gifts made up in advance for the next couple Christmas’s after her death. Gr. G’ma Cordie also sang in a choir at nursing homes, had her own veggie garden, sewed for the community and church and finished raising 8 children after her husbands death at age 35 and never remarried! She is my idol!! I miss her so….I was 3o years old when she died.

  13. Jerry Church says:

    I tried to complete 12 UFO’s last year, but only completed 7 due to having carpal surgery in the Spring. Completing one quilt per month was overwhelming, and I can’t imagine trying to complete 36 in a year. I’ll be here to cheer you on, but I won’t try to complete 66 projects to match my birthday this year. Having a goal, even if you don’t complete all of it really keeps you on task.

  14. Cathie Benedum says:

    What a thoughtful thing to do! I love the colors and pattern you chose, it looks so pretty.

  15. Linda Cartwright says:

    You go girl, 36 quilts in 12 months! I will be following your blog to see finished projects, and who they go to!

  16. Linda Weaver says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Tracee!
    I am so impressed with your gifting. Your Spirit will live in each quilt you make giving that person so much more than you might even imagine! I’m inspired and I believe that I will go for a ‘block-a-day’ project. I’ll look forward to following your blog. Namaste’, Linda

  17. Rita M Skraba says:

    Purple has always been my favorite color and I never realized the snowball blocks go together so quickly I think that my next quilt will be this one.

  18. Tracee says:

    Dorothy sounds like a gorgeous lady & thank goodness for people like you that realise a little kindness goes along way. She will be by the gift of the quilt & it looks fabulous. Good luck with the quilting. I would love to learn how to do that. Tracee xx

  19. Kristi says:

    Love this quilt….and what a great story to go with it.

  20. Leona Williams says:

    What a huge and wonderful undertaking, I was inspired by your story to try and get back on track and get the quilts finished that I have started for family and friends. Your friend, Dorothy is very lucky to have made such a wonderful friend, I can only imagine how thrilled she is going to be with your wonderful gift. I will keep following your progress — you rock girl!!!!

  21. mary pat says:

    How inspiring…………I would like to give this a try but maybe 24 in a year would be my limit. I will see how it goes……..thanks so much for sharing and spreading kindness around.

  22. Jane Ritz says:

    Wow..Thanks a huge undertaking, but one that is so generous and has so much meaning attached to it. You’re pretty awesome!

  23. Suzanne Blair says:

    I decided to do something similar about a year and a half ago – except the recipients are my mother’s offspring and extended downline. I had knee surgery about two years ago, and while recuperating, came to the conclusion that I could not give my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and siblings anything that they could not buy for themselves – except something made by me. Since I have recently become obsessed with quilting, and my grandmother used to quilt when she was alive, that was the ticket. Then I made the LIST – 45 people!!! No wonder my mom won the medal for the largest family at the last family reunion!! I decided to start with the youngest ones, babies included, so that it could ‘ease’ into the task. I also intended to use up as much of my stash as I could, but of course that doesn’t always work. I have an arrangement with a local long arm quilter to quilt what I need quilted, and I bind her charity quilts for her. So far, 19 quilts have been completed, as well as a few that were special orders/sold. Several tops are waiting for me, and the rest are somewhere in my head. All this while working a full time and part time job! As the saying goes, I can sleep when I am dead… :) Every recipient has had their picture taken with me, with the hopes of putting a small book together, along with the notes, graphs, and work-in-progress pictures. Personally, I have noticed a significant improvement in my work, and I have been sewing for almost 50 years as it is! The fun part is coming up with appropriate patterns, colors and of course quilting designs to match the receiver. Good luck with your endeavor, and the blog is a nice record.

  24. Faith Morlan says:

    Wish I was one of the lucky 36. I am trying again this year block of the month. I also have so UFOS that I want to finish. I want to follow as your instructions on a snowball makes me think I can make them too. Cant wait to see you progress.

  25. Doris says:

    What a great idea. I’m 85 and don’t think I would be able to make 12 quilts in one year,however my goal for this year is 12 quilts for kids and 12 crocheted blankets for kids. I really like the January Quilt you are making. I would have a difficult time giving that one away. Looking forward to Feburary’s quilt pattern. Happy people make beautiful quilts…

  26. Sunshine says:

    Belated Happy Birthday! I just read your blog about making 36 quilt gifts in a year. I think it’s a great idea… I did about 36 quilts last year – from wallhanging to twin size – most for charity and wounded vets, but three lap/twin size were Christmas gifts.
    I received a ‘dare’ on Facebook this morning. A friend decided to Pay It Forward and said that she’d give a gift (book, homemade gift, something from her kitchen, etc)sometime this year to the first 5 people who liked her post. I was the first :) and thought it was such a great idea that I posted it on my ‘wall’, too. They probably won’t all get quilts, but there might be one or two — later in the year after I finish some of my WIPs that have deadlines.
    Can’t wait to see your upcoming quilts and to read the stories about the receipients as I really enjoyed reading about Dorothy.

  27. Judie Geil says:

    What a great undertaking. I thought I was pushing it last year with the quilts I was making, but not that much. Looking forward to your next posts. I haven’t tried a snowball, but think I will after seeing yours.

  28. great idea, I think I will start a blog about starting my quilt shop. It will add fun to the mix of business chores. Can’t wait to see the next quilt.

  29. Jan Little says:

    What a great idea and how thoughtful of you. I love your first quilt. It’ll be fun to follow you throughout the year !

  30. Linda Paul says:

    My birthday is also Jan.1 and I’ve never liked it. I do love your idea. Since I am 59 I am thinking about the quilts for premature babies. I can probably handle that.

  31. lela morton says:

    We ce,ebrated our 50th anniversay on Dec. 25,2012. last year I decided to make 50 quilts to give to family and friends. I didn’t make a list but did make and give away a lot.

  32. Donna says:

    I, too, have a Dorothy in my life and gave her a quilt for Christmas. She was so overwhelmed and grateful I almost cried. I have had people I gave quilts to who never even acknowledged the gift so this was so nice for me. Good luck and I will check in to see how you are doing.

  33. Linda Twitchell says:

    What an awesome idea. I love the idea of giving them to the people who have blessed your life. Looking forward to watching you meet your goal. Keep up your good work. You put a smile on my face today.

  34. Diane says:

    Wow! 36 quilts in a year, what a challenge. Like the first one, though not a fan of purple. And you used fabric from our very own Leesa Chandler of Melbourne, Australia. She is one very talented lady when it comes to designing fabric. So good luck in your venture, you’re off to a flying start. It’s Saturday 5th here in Sydney & you’ve completed one. 35 to go! All the best.

  35. Lindsay says:

    This looks like “SEW” much fun Tracee…. and I am super proud of you for taking on such an amazing task…. Hopefully I will be able to follow you progress… Go Get ‘Em!

  36. Charlene S says:

    That sounds like a wonderful idea! Your first blanket looks fantastic! Good luck!

  37. Linda V says:

    Wow! What an ambitious & generous idea. I fell grateful to finish my 2-4 a year! Good luck & I’m looking forward to seeing the rest.

  38. Sara Record says:

    What a wonderful story! You have endeared Dorothy to ALL of us! We should all be so fortunate to have a Dorothy in our lives. #1 looks great! Can’t wait to see the rest.

  39. Lauren says:

    Happy bd Tracee! Love the quilt and really enjoyed reading about your special friendship with Dorothy. We could all use someone like Dorothy in our life. I am looking forward to reading your progress on your quilts. Thanks for the pattern. Dorothy is going to love her quilt.

  40. carol says:

    great idea….loved the story about Dorothy…bet she will love the quilt..

  41. Donna says:

    What a generous person you are to take on such a task. Believe me, I have found that what you give others always comes back to you in greater quantity.

  42. Ronda Gephart says:

    I ‘m so proud of YOU! I am not sure what Ryan did to deserve you, but so thankful he did it. This is so heartwarming. The quilt is beautiful too.

  43. Cindi C says:

    I love the colors that you choose for this quilt. Dorothy is one lucky lady. (So are you) nothing better than spending a bit of time with someone who shares the same interests. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about the next quilt & recipient on your list.

  44. Tracy says:

    I read your blog and find it inspirational. I think it’s great that you are giving such wonderful gifts to people who have inspired or helped you in life. Too often we forget to return the favors that people have given us when we are feeling down or lonely. I bet her face will be worth the effort you are putting into that quilt for Dorothy. Good luck with finishing all 36 quilts. I will be bookmarking your blog to find my daily inspiration to complete many quilts for my friends, family and local charities. :)

  45. Linda Neff says:

    My hat goes off to you. What a great idea. I made a goal of 9 quilts in and year for all of my sister and brothers kids and their kids. Finished all 9 with handquilting and arrived in time for their birthdays. I like your idea of providing a special gift to those who have touched your life. I want to follow in your footsteps only not 36 in a year. Anxious to follow your success and keep up as best as I can. What a great birthday gift you have given to yourself. For each stitch you put into your quilt is a memory of that special person that is forever stitched in your heart.

  46. Ramona Royse says:

    What a great idea…I may have to steal, I mean borrow it for my list! Good luck!

  47. Janet Hart says:

    I am inspired by all these wonderful comments and look forward to seeing your finished project. Purple happens to be my favorite color too!! Wish I had access to a long arm quilt machine as the number of my quilt tops are adding up quickly!

    Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  48. Margaret says:

    Oh, my!!!! I’d better get busy! I just read what doris wrote. I will be 85 Jan 21st. I used to crochet, knit, cross stitch, sew, etc., but can’t seem to get started any more. After reading all the posts and seeing your beautiful quilt, I am itching to get started sewing again. I doubt that I’ll make that many! Hopefully, I might finish one! I love reading about quilts, now if I can just get started. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  49. Debbie F. says:

    In November of 2010 my son passed away in his sleep the night before Thanksgiving. In order to keep myself busy, to give back, and to just hang on to me, I managed to make 40 quilts in the next year. Some of them were at least double size a lot of twin bed size. All of them went to grandchildren, nephews, nieces, neighborhood children, and some to charities. I think what you are doing is wonderful, it is a beautiful feeling to give back to those you care about, and to charities. Everyday that I worked on these quilts, I cried, I smiled, and when the year was up and I met my goal I felt better. Happy Birthday and God Bless You. What a wonderful goal you have set for yourself.

  50. Georgia says:

    I can’t imagine making 36 quilts in a year! You go girl. Maybe I can try to make 12.

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