Saturday, January 28, 2017

A look back at 2016

I promised a review of 2016 since I did virtually no blogging last year.  It was a good sewing year, though.  I worked solely at Jo-Ann Fabrics through the first half of the year, and from July through December worked a temp job at the University of Delaware while still doing a little bit at Jo-Ann on Saturdays.  Since that ended I'm back at Jo-Ann's until the next office job comes along!

I joined the Ladybugs Quilt Guild when I returned to Delaware, and took advantage of my retail work schedule to participate in a few workshops with speakers last winter/spring.  I made a top out of silks with Cheryl Lynch and her Curvalicious ruler.  I have a huge box of silks from a friend of my mother's which I've been thinking about using in quilting, but didn't know how, so the workshop was a great learning experience!
The silks shimmer so nicely with the light.  I have yet to quilt this one but hope to finish it this year.

The next workshop I took was with Debby Kratovil, learning her ModernVortex quilt.  Debby was a designer for a block in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 6 which I'd tested years ago and I'd been one who'd tested her block.  I brought my issue of the magazine to the workshop and she signed it for me!  :-)  #quiltingnerd

I did my vortex in lime green and navy (although this picture reads more of a dirty yellow).  It's another UFO on my to-quilt list.

In the spring I also worked on a quick wall hanging for my sewing room.  I'd decorated in mostly shades of blue and needed something to hang behind the denim sofa.  I made this from jelly rolls from one of Kim Brackett's books and had it quilted by Carole of Quilts by Carole.
It was a great test run to find a local long-armer I was happy with, and I can definitely recommend Carole to anyone looking for a pantograph long arm quilter in the area.

I also had Carole finish a top I'd made for my cousin Rhonda.  I gave it to her this past May.  Purple is her favorite color and it's a pattern from Pat Speth's Nickel Quilts which I made with a bunch of scraps.
In June, I finished a quilt in extra-long twin size quilt for my son, who turned 16 while living on campus at the University of Delaware, taking two college courses.  He chose the colors and design, and Carole did the quilting again.

I didn't get as much accomplished in the second half of the year, working two jobs, but I did manage to block test for Quiltmaker Magazine's 100 Blocks, Volume 14.  They sent me some gorgeous fabric as a thank you, and it went very nicely with other fabrics in my stash.
In the fall, I also came across the opportunity to buy a used mid-arm machine from a woman who was planning a cross-country move and just didn't want to take it with her.  It was still under warranty so I had it serviced before bringing it home and setting it up.  Meet my new addition to my line-up of machines, Tinsley the Babylock Tiara:
Tinsley joins my other two machines: Baron von Quilthausen, my Bernina 930, and Old Sally, my 1930 Singer.  Tinsley came with a stitch regulator and I've been watching a lot of videos to learn how to use her.  The first piece I did was a baby quilt for my store manager, who welcomed her daughter Sophia into the world earlier this month.  It was a bow tie pattern with charm packs of Bunny Hill Designs' Jubilee.
I used rulers to do most of the lines in the bow ties and free motioned the motifs in the white areas.

The mom-to-be loved the quilt and hopefully the baby will love it too as she grows up.

That's about all that I managed to accomplish in 2016.  I'm looking forward to quilting some of these small pieces on Tinsley this year as well as working more from stash and scraps!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Year, New Resolutions

Hello audience, this is your long-lost author.  Well, maybe not many of you are around anymore.  Those who still have me in your feed readers might be surprised to see this post pop up.  I've let my blogging fall by the wayside for a number of reasons ... 1) other social media, like Instagram, gets my posts out there more quickly and with fewer words (and less effort!), 2) a lot of my sewing lately has been block testing for Quiltmaker Magazine's 100 Blocks issues, which is confidential until the issue is published, and 3) just life!  Working one or two jobs while still jobhunting full time and dealing with family obligations takes enough time away from sewing, let alone blogging about sewing!

So my new year's resolutions for 2017:

Taming my scraps is first up on my list.  I've been quilting for 25 years now and in the beginning I saved every little bit of every little fabric.  In sorting through these bits and pieces I've found scraps from my very first projects.  I'm tossing anything I'm not sure is 100% quilting cotton and anything too small to use (and it's got to be pretty small to be too small!).  I'm trying to use much of the rest.  I'm also donating some older fabrics I'll just never use.  My husband thinks it's a sign of the end of the world, but the truth is I am running out of room to add to my stash!

I keep a running list of UFOs I'd like to finish and I really want some of these off my shelf.  There are a few I've just lost interest in and I should really donate.  There are a number of smaller tops I need to quilt as well.  So getting some of these from unfinished to finished is on my list this year.

Finally, the third resolution:
I've added my Instagram feed to the right; feel free to follow me there.  But I hope to post to both sites with quilting content much more regularly.  Encouragement helps here so please feel free to comment as moved!

I owe you a look back at the past year so I will do that in my next post; stay tuned.