Sewing Industry Reflections and Predictions

At the end of the year, Sew Mama Sew hosts a survey/questionnaire in which they ask a selection of folks from the sewing/quilting world to answer the questions in posts on their blog.  The rest of us can voice our opinions as well and link up to their blog post..  I always find everyone's viewpoint extremely interesting, but I've never taken part myself.  Somehow I've never felt qualified, which is silly since there's no rules, and I won't be fined if my predictions never come true, or if my interpretation of current trends is way off!

So just for the fun of it, here's my answers.  I decided to do this on the fly, without overthinking it, so as to avoid spending excessive time obsessing over whether my answers are 'right' and make sense!  (BTW, I'm coming at this from a quilter's standpoint)

Here goes!!

Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind?

*Grey as the neutral color!  I'll admit I'm not totally won over.  I still prefer whites and creams, over grey.  Unless it's a warm grey...
*Triangles!  In the form of flying geese, or chevron stripes and more.  And I'm embracing this one!
*Pencil sketchy grid prints!  (Like the Alexander Henry Heath in the above photo)  I'm happy with this trend too!
*Text fabrics!  and I'm all about that one too!

What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year?

How to sum this one up?  I feel like sewing in general has been a very positive piece of my life this past year.  It's one little part of my world that I can escape to and have happy stress free thoughts.

Blogging about my quilting has been so fun and I've had so many little boosts from people telling me they enjoy popping in here.  At a time in my life where I could be feeling just a bit stifled by my own four walls and mainly two and four year old conversation,  sewing and blogging about my sewing has made me all sorts of contented to be right where I am!

What did you make that you're most proud of?

My basket quilt is definitely my favorite thing I've made this year.  Although I can't technically say I'm proud of it, since I didn't master any new amazing skills to make it!  But I did enjoy every minute of making it, and it gets used every single day at our house, and that is just the best feeling!

What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love?

Ok,  I think this is the most fun question of the whole bunch, but rather hard to narrow down.  I could seriously mention hundreds of lovely things.  So here's a few...(hover over the words and you'll see the link to follow)

*I'm crazy about this interpretation of this Anthro quilt.
*More and more drawn to simple, old-fashioned patchwork, like this, and this, and this...oh, and this...
*Still love me some circles, and nine patches, and trip around the world,
* Dramatic, whimsical, unexpected, ok, ok, I'll stop now!  I'm just barely scratching the surface, but I must move on...

Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the last year to recommend?

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I will say again that I think every quilter should own Liberated Quiltmaking ll by Gwen Marston.  No matter what style of quilting you prefer, you will find inspiration in this book!

Are there any trends you're over and done with?

Here's where politeness and honesty begin to war within me!!  I'll just stick with one for now, since it's only attacking the big fabric companies and I imagine they have pretty thick skin!

It seems that there are so many new fabrics coming out (which is awesome, btw), but it seems that they are leaping out of stores so quickly, or online shops are clearing them out to make room for new lines.  I like to take my time deciding which fabrics I love, and slowly filling my shelves with pieces that I reach for over and over again because I love them and they're versatile.

I don't like the pressured feeling that if I want some of this fabric I'd better buy it right now or I might never see it again.  I definitely appreciate the lines that have been around for awhile.  I don't think it makes me buy less, I actually think it makes me buy more.  Because I've grown to love certain prints, so I'll go back and restock if they're still available.

What are your thoughts about social media?  How is it going for you?  What do you love or hate?

It's pretty simple for me.  I don't do Facebook or Twitter.  At all.  They just don't even interest me.  Reading blogs and browsing Flickr and Pinterest interest me because of their visual appeal.  Of course, I love interacting with other quilters via blogs and Flickr, but I'm not attracted to any social media simply for the 'social' aspect.

Did you have a favorite fabric collection or print in 2011?

I rarely fall in love with a full collection, but Nicey Jane and Hope Valley are two enduring favorites for me.  (and they were both collections that stuck around for a long time, although they're slowly disappearing)
I've found both of these collections to work well in my home, and that's essential for loving your finished projects.

What do you predict for 2012 in the sewing industry?

Ha!  This is the question that initially scared me off.  I seriously haven't a clue!  But I'm sure it will be exciting!

Can you tell us what to expect from you in 2012?  Any big projects or life changing goals?

I hope to stick around and keep on making quilts!  My mind is overflowing with ideas and inspirations, so I'm hoping for time to bring a few of them to fruition.

I'd like to make a list of some quilts I'd like to tackle in 2012, but I think I'll make another post about that soon.  I need to go make supper now and get my head out of the clouds!

My life changing goals don't relate to sewing, so I'll spare you those today!  (actually I haven't sat down to think up my New Year's Resolutions yet)

P.S.  Go fill out these questions on your blog and link to the post on Sew Mama Sew (I've got the link at the top of the page)  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I love this post. Your basket quilt makes me happy just looking at it. I am also a big fan of the anthro inspired quilt you directed me to. Mostly though it's your thoughts on Facebook, twitter and the feeling of being pressured to buy fabric before I've even had time to decide if I like it, that I can relate to. Hope you have a great 2012, no matter what.

  2. love and adore that pillowcase you made! will have to check out those fabric lines. found you via Sew Mama Sew linkup btw.

  3. I loved reading your answers, thanks for sharing. I really, really enjoy seeing all your wonderful quilts, your Baskets quilt is amazing. I read about Scrap Republic on your blog, got the book, and am now completely taken by all the projects in there, I already finished two of them. Thanks for all your fabulous inspiration.

  4. Thanks for thought provoking post and lovely fabric/quilt photos. It's good to really think about these things sometimes, helps you to focus more on your goals. And I never get fed up with looking at your beautiful basket quilt - one of my favs of the year too!

  5. Jolene, I do the same as you - buying MORE of the collections that stay around because I find out from using them that they ARE useful and then restock them for my stash. Good point!

  6. I feel the same way as you. I hate that I feel like I have to decide *right now* if I want some of any given line of fabric.

  7. Fun thoughts. I agree with what you said about the quick turnaround of fabric lines. I hate the feeling of dread that if I don't buy it now, I'll never be able to get it an affordable price. That kind of spontaneous and impulsive buying leaves me poor and unhappy in the end.

  8. This was a great post. I loved reading it because it was so very interesting, and I feel like I learned to know you a little bit better. Happy New Year, Jolene. Looking forward to much creating!

  9. Check out Amy Smart's Christmas version of the anthro quilt at "diary of a quilter". I think you will really like it--I did--love your blog-thank you and Happy New Year!!~Jude

  10. Just wanted to say I'm in love with your blog. Beautiful writing, photograpy-gorgeous, projects-inspiring. Glad I found you! And I wish the fabric cycle wasn't as quick too!!

  11. I am new to the idea of buying fabric online, I didn't even realize there was more fabric out there besides what was in the local fabric shops. I really dislike the fast turnover and understockng of fabric. What can we do about it?

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed that post..we share so many common views! I don't do facebook or twitter either and I miss half the new fabrics because they have come and gone before I get to them.

  13. actually say glad for it, Do My Homework Online since didn't dominate any new astounding abilities to make it! However, partake in each moment of making it, and it gets utilized each and every day at our home, and that is only the best inclination!