For me, 2012 has been a year in which my sewing skills have developed substantially through new techniques gleaned from the vast online community of very talented sewists, and more latterly, from using my very shiny new Janome Horizon 7700 sewing machine. My focus has very much been on smaller quilting and sewing projects which have allowed me to test out ideas and skills, with quick results. Techniques I have attempted include curved piecing, hand quilting, quilt-as-you-go, zippers, snap frame purses, english paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, portholes, appliqué and improv piecing.
It has also been a year of acquiring vast amounts of fabric which I now need to put to good use. I literally have no space left. To counteract this excess, I have enthusiastically signed myself up for a series of classes and BOMs for the coming year, as well as creating a list of personal projects I hope to complete in the coming months.
The BOMs I will be joining in with are:
The Sugar Block Club by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock is a follow-on of sorts from her 2012 BOM series for Craftsy. If you haven’t used Craftsy before and I would really recommend signing up and following this free series as Amy shows you how make 20 different quilt blocks. I have found the last two months lessons on quilting and finishing up particularly useful – I am constantly referring to Amy’s demonstration on joining up and finishing your quilt binding.
The Skill Builder block of the month is another one which has grabbed me because of the variety of piecing methods included. The Pile O’Fabric blog already has some brilliant tutorials for different quilt blocks and techniques and the BOM series promises some impressive looking modern blocks, although I am proposing a slightly more muted colour scheme for my own quilt.
The final BOM series looks likely to be my favourite as I really love foundation paper piecing as a technique. The creation of each block seems a bit like magic as scraps of fabric sewn to paper turn into the most wonderfully neat geometric blocks. I also particularly love any blocks involving stars so I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and I already have my tester block to get started on.
Aside from the BOMs, I also planning a series of utility projects to create objects that I will use in everyday life. I have learnt the hard way this year that it is best to focus on making things for yourself and those that you love. The projects I have on my 2013 list so far include:
- The Weekender Bag by Amy Butler – I feel like I need to conquer this pattern to be a true sewist and have identified my ideal fabric in the form of Ellen Luckett Baker’s Stamped collection for Kokka. I intend to follow the QAYG first shared on the Oh Fransson blog.
- Carrying on with the bag theme, I have already started making my husband the Office Organiser Bag from the Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam. He has complained for sometime about the squeaky nature of his current laptop bag and I have promised a super durable but quiet replacement. I am also incorporating some scraps of a much loved jumper which he finally decided to ‘recycle’ after my many years of encouragement.
- A sleeve for my new laptop for which I have now found the perfect fabric in the form of ‘Type’ by Julia Rothman.
- A bird themed Bucket Bag for a soon to be one-year old using the free Bag-Making Basics class on Craftsy.
Finally, I have signed myself up for a couple of classes – one online and one in person. The online course is by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color. She has two courses available – one on curved piecing and the other handstitching. I really want to improve my handquilting having experimented on two projects in 2012, so I have signed myself up for the latter. The projects included in the class look amazing so I am really looking forward to getting started. The second class is a half day workshop at Raystitch in Islington, London on pattern drafting from an item of your existing clothing. I have felt frustrated many a time when a much loved pair of trousers reaches the end of its days, or when I would really love them another colour, so I can’t wait to to learn the basics of pattern drawing.
I am really looking forward to the next few months as I get going on my BOMs, bag making projects and classes, and I can’t wait to share progress with you along the way. Happy 2013.