Welcome to Forty-Two Quilts

July 31, 2009
Throughout the coming year, I plan to make 42 quilts.

Now I realize this isn’t an original idea. All due respect goes to Julie Powell (Google her) who may have invented the concept of doing something ridiculously hard and complicated in the course one year, I don’t know. And there have been other quilting projects where brave souls have attempted to make “X” amount of quilts in a year or whatever. But just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea, right?

The genesis of this project actually goes back a few months to my 42nd birthday. In the throes of a serious ennui, I thought it would be fun to force myself to do something—you know to help me snap out of it. And for me, that usually involves quiltmaking. Well, because I was in the throes of a serious ennui, I quickly dismissed the stupid notion of making 42 quilts in a year. Who did I think I was anyhow? I’ve got kids! Who take music lessons! And play soccer for crying out loud! (For the uninitiated, that means you are in your car every night hauling kids and gear around, and sometimes neighbor kids and their gear—and none of the kids practice at the same location, so a simple trip is not so simple.)

So, there the idea went, floating up into the distant parts of the ceiling where I couldn’t reach it. Fast forward to now. Well, that darn idea just floated back down and for some reason, the ennui-riddled thought process of four months ago just sort of dried up and now seems the right time to begin making 42 quilts.

Forty-Two Quilts Rules
In order to make 42 quilts (projects?) in the coming year, I’ll need to make 3 to 4 a month. I realize that not all can be queen-size, hand appliquéd Baltimore albums, but I plan to make some bed quilts along with some smaller quilts, including art quilts.

A quilt is three layers—top, batting and backing—stitched or tied together. I will usually stick to that definition with the exception of art quilts and embroidery. With them, anything goes.

The Rules—subject to change at my whim…
· Unfinished projects (UFOs) started before today, but will be done in the coming year, count.
· Hand-dyed fabric projects count. (I’ll tell you more about this another time.)
· Small projects and gifts count (coasters, etc.)
· Embroidered projects, although not a quilt, count. (Tea towels may not count, I haven’t decided yet.)
· Quilts I make that aren’t of my own design count. (But I’ll always site my sources.)
· And, if it gets to the end and it looks like I’m not going to make it, projects I have designed, but not yet made count!

I also want to learn two new skills—hand appliqué and how to make a true art quilt, and since art is subjective, that means anything I deem as an art quilt.

Oh yeah, the project starts today…


  1. O.K. Jenifer, you are too much! I can't believe you have challenged yourself to that many quilts in one year. I belong to the Blue Valley Guild and the Olathe Guild and both have a UFO completion contest. I have completed about 18 quilts in the past year and thought I was doing good. I will follow your progress with interest. Mindy in Spring Hill, Kansas

  2. I can't wait to see your progress. Best wishes.


  3. Good luck Jenifer. It's a noble enterprise.

  4. Made me smile. A very public declaration and I am cheering you on. I hope your family is in on it too, because you will definitely need their support.


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