2010 Reflections + 2011 Predictions

The questions from Sew Mama Sew's survey drew me in, so here we go:

1. Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?

That would be hexagons.  I never really got on the bandwagon, mostly cause hand-piecing just ain't my thing.  I made this one pillow, but these guys are cheaters, since they're pieced down the middle.  

Another trend was purple.  Ok, I'll admit to being sucked in by this one.  I now kinda like purple (in smallish doses)  and am slowly building a stash of this royal color.

2.What were some of your favorite things?  (Trends, fabric collections, patterns, blogs?  Whatever you really loved)

Trends - hand quilting and stripey bindings

Fabric collections - Nicey Jane is one of the only collections that I love the entire bunch together.  Oh, and Hope Valley too.

Patterns - the quilt-as-you-go method really sucked me in this year.  And I'm not done with it yet!

Blogs - If you look on my sidebar you'll see most of my favorite quilting blogs.  There's many more that I read and enjoy and I need to update my list a bit.  

3.What was your favorite fabric collection or print?

My favorite fabric collections are the stacks I've put together myself.  It's just a lot of fun.  I also love Park Slope by Erin McMorris,  

Individual prints that have seen lots of use and love this year would be:

-golden yellow crosshatch.  Early Bird by Cosmo Cricket (front fabric in top-left photo)
-pink trees.  Wildwood by Erin McMorris (middle fabric in top right photo)
-gold stripes and green stripes.  Wee Woodland by Keiki (the gold is second bottom on top right photo)

Ok, I'll stop there cause the list could get really long.

4.What was the best thing you made in 2010?

Well, I don't know about 'best', but this is my favorite.  Maybe cause I use it every day.

5.  What was one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?

Ok, this is just a small sampling of awesomeness.

6.  What do you think 2011 has in store?

I'm not very good at predicting.  All I know is there's gonna be lots and lots of great stuff.  

7.  Anything you're ready for the sewing world to get over?

Being snobby about certain types of quilts or quilters.  There's a place for everybody to quilt in the style they like!  (I'm not saying there's a problem, this just popped into my head)

8.  What's on your agenda for 2011?  What are you excited about?  What do you want to learn?

This is gonna be covered in a future post :)

My Sewing Room is a Magnet

Between loads of laungry and piles of accumulated {sTuFf} from the busy Christmas season... someones been fooling around in my sewing room.

And are they cleaning up the whirlwind that was left by last minute gift making? No, they're starting something new!

and it's not an item on the list for quilts that must get done in January

but it does involve aspects of a New Years Quilting Resolution which will be recorded here (in the new year, of course)

First Christmas Gift Reveal!

I'm not just the hugest fan of Christmas.  Somehow, the idea in my head of how the season should be, and how it really is, just gets me down a bit...   BUT, the one thing I love about Christmas is making gifts.  (which of course just adds to the sTreSs)

So, my mom had mentioned awhile back that she'd like a few placemats.  If anyone ever mentions something they'd like me to make, it immediately gets stored away in my brain, in a little file called "Things I Need/Want to Make for ______"  So if you secretly roll your eyes at homemade gifts and sewn stuff, just don't mention anything, and you'll probably get a gift card or some pretties from the store.  And if you've hinted about something you'd like me to make, and you haven't received it yet, don't worry, it's still on my list.  Unless I've forgotten, which happens verrrry rarely ;)

Getting back on topic here, my mom mentioned placemats:  and here they are.

All seven of them, which seems odd I know.  But that's where I ran out of time.  I think I might make a few more sometime, since these were rather fun to build.

I don't always know what my mom will like,  but I know that she LOVES dolls.  So I bought a fat quarter of Babushka doll fabric, and used it as color inspiration.  I also put a bit of this fabric into each placemat.

And since I hate getting bored, I decided to make each placemat different,  so here's where we get a bunch of photos.

And yes, our Christmas was a bit early, I gave them to her yesterday.  So I'm not spoiling any surprises.

I had so much fun making these.  The end.

Colors of the Sea {+Goldfish}

Quick popping in to show you my second quilt for my class samples.  I pulled it out of the dryer this morning, and now it's at the quilt shop, together with it's big sister.

It's amazing to me how the same block style can make two such different quilts, and the possibilities are still endless.

Adding in the apricot hued fabrics was a last minute decision after a few blocks were made already.  And of course that's my favorite thing about this quilt.  Piecing the blocks for this one was so. much. fun.  Deciding on each round of the block which color to go with next.  I guess I'm a bit crazy, but I just love it.

I used up the last scraps to make the binding, which wasn't my first choice on this one, design-wise.  But I wanted to show this as another personalization that folks can add to their quilt to make it unique.

So now between the two quilts I have all kinds of options besides colors and fabrics.  Block placement, types of quilting, types of binding, backings, and on and on.  It just makes me realize how many, many, quilts I have to make yet before I run out of ideas!

If you live anywhere near Linden, Alberta, pop in at the quilt shop and check it out.

Creamy and Crinkly

Well, this quilt is finished.  I spent part of the morning at the quilt shop finding fabrics for a second sample.  I want to use a different layout and colors just to show how they can totally change the quilt.

 That one printed strip on the top of the middle block is making me mad right now, but other than that I'm pretty happy with it.

I knew  I wanted to do vertical quilting.  And added two rows of hand quilting just for fun.

The back...

And the binding.

Too Many Pots...

...simmering over my little fire.  Actually it's too many projects piling up in the sewing room.   A couple must be moved back to keep warm over the coals, while a new one must be quickly seared, oh, and that one's bubbling, it needs to be stirred...

There's really no complaining to be done, cause it all comes from an inability to say no.  And from the fact that there's just so much fun stuff to do and new things to try.

Yesterday as I was browsing in the local quilt shop a bit, the owner approached me about teaching a class.  She wanted me to teach one of 'my' type of quilts.  This is quite a traditional shop, actually it's the one where I used to work, and where I learned to quilt.  Anyways,  I didn't say no.  So, having never taught a quilting class in my life, and being completely open to make it whatever I want... Hmmmm.    I just jumped right in!   I  have actually thought of doing something like this before,  but I find it hard to quantify what I'd like to teach.  Really I like to show a whole different concept of quilting.  You know, not using a premade pattern, but just coming up with your own design.  Learning that simple patterns look great.  Really, just the 'modern' quilting idea.  But, I realize that I'm totally NOT qualified to talk about this since I have no education in art or any real experience, not to mention no experience in teaching a quilting class.

So I thought right away of Squares in Squares blocks, or Drunk Love, or whatever-you-call-them.  There are so many possibilities with this style, both in the actual block, and in layout of your quilt.  By teaching this, I  can bring a bit of the freedom from 'rules', and each person can kind of design their own quilt, but there will still be some structure.

The only catch?  I need to come up with a sample in pretty short order since class flyers will soon be going out.  I also need to make my sample quilt completely from fabrics in the quilt shop.

So,  I spent about an hour there, trying to wrap my head around colors, fabrics, how much do I need, how many colors do I want, and there's not solids here, what am I gonna do?  meanwhile also keeping two kids happy who understandably have sorta lost interest in the whole thing.

The stack above is what I came up with.  The cream on the bottom is gonna be my solid.  It has subtle polka dots, which I think will be really cute in the final quilt.

Here's what I've got going so far...

My only problem is that I think I need to make another sample quilt, just to show how different colors, layouts, etc. can totally change the look of the quilt.  And then we hope we can fool someone into actually taking this course! I mean, what does this little pipsqueak know about quilting???!!

Oh, and here's another one that I was working on 'just because'.  I know, BAD girl, when you have such a long list.  But it's definitely gonna sit there for a while now.  I need to work on getting a respectable pile of WIP's.  That way I have something to work on in January.  Hee Hee!

The Last of the Stack

Ok, I wanted to quick show you the last thing on the bottom of this stack, or else they'll be forgotten.  Somehow again I find myself on the steam train rushing full tilt towards December 25th.  Well, let's make that December 18th!   That's right!  We have a large extended family, and each family has a get-together, so this isn't just one a one day deal folks.   And that means I'd better get busy with my gift list.

This set will likely go to someone I know this Christmas,  although I don't know who it will be.  When making pot holders, I think I favor making them this way, as opposed to binding.  Sometimes a binding seems a bit heavy...

I had a few little charm squares of Wee Play (American Jane)  left over from another project.  Nothing feels better than cleaning up one of those little stacks of messiness hanging around, and making it into something cute!

Finishes and Frost

Yes, my entry is piled with coats and boots and mittens,  but look at my backyard!

Another little pincushion...

And a gathered clutch.   Ok, I love the finished look of this clutch, but this was my second try.  Thankfully I tried it first on some less yummy fabric.  I think I ripped each seam at least once...

Getting the zipper right, (well, I still don't have it quite right) is just slightly tricky, for me anyways.  I think making a third one would be a good idea.

Pin Cushions and More

Every Christmas I have these moments where a small gift is suddenly needed, and I have nothing on hand.  Sometimes I have a bit of time to come up with something, and sometimes I don't.  So for the times I don't I've been doing something very unusual - working ahead.  I've been having so much fun, and there's so many great tutorials out there for little useful(ish) projects.

First up:  this little pincusion.  Super easy and fun.  Having never made a pincushion I was a bit stumped on what to stuff it with.  I snooped around a bit online and read a few discussions on it.

A lot of people were singing the praises of crushed walnut shells (allergy allert), but using that would negate the reasons I'm sewing this stuff to begin with.

The reasons being:
1.  I get tired just thinking of going out shopping with my little kiddos anytime, let alone when it's uber-cold.  (remember, I live out on the prairies and am a good 45 minutes from any shopping mall.)

2.  I have so much crafting stuff floating around, I need to put it to use, rather than going searching for something exotic.

3.  I love making stuff.

So, back to stuffing.  I found out that any ideas about filling that would "sharpen" your pins is outdated, since our modern pins don't need sharpening.  Somewhere I read that you could cut your leftover bits of batting into tiny pieces and use that.  So I did, only I used the fluffy polyester batting and it worked really well.

But one more thing I hadn't thought of, was that your pincushion needs a bit of weight to it, so that when you go to pull out a pin, the pin cushion stays put.  Well, who'd a thunk it?

So I added some rice, which sinks to the bottom and adds the perfect weight.

There are more of these in my future.  Hopefully someone needs a new one.