Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Looking back on 2015

At the end of 2014, I set myself five sewing goals for 2015 and so as this year draws to a close, I thought I would see how I had done:

1. Make a quilt for my husband
Done, but with only a few weeks to spare
2. Make a quilt for a new great nephew
Done, and made one for his step brother and one for his new cousin (my great niece) as well.
3. Start something from the Millefiori quilt book
Not done, and the second Millefiori book is now awaiting my attention too.
4. Try some free motion quilting
Done, only squiggly lines on my husband’s quilt but it’s a start.
5. Restart my fabric fast
Started, but stopped quite soon afterwards.

Looking back over the year, I’ve completed five quilts, entered a couple of items into a quilt show, finally put the free motion foot on my machine, stuck Liberty fabric on to a variety of objects, got back into dress making, stitched a pinny, a pin cushion and a picnic blanket, made a glasses case and a phone case, sewn a variety of bags using Liberty lawn, created two sewing caddies and a bed tidy, and crocheted three snowflakes! 

The last few days of 2015 have been time to try something other than sewing. I've been crocheting poppies for an Up For Arts project and I've even knitted myself a hat!

I'm not going to set any sewing goals for 2016 but my predictions for 2016 are that it could be the year of the free motion foot and the crochet hook for me.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Quilts in time for Christmas

Well, months go by without any quilts and then two come along at once – December had not one, but two quilt finishes!

The first has been a long time in the planning and sewing and is the long promised quilt for my husband. The pattern is a modified StarPlus from Machen & Tun for which I’ve been acquiring various shot and peppered cottons since last year. I replaced several of the smaller blocks with one large block so fewer fabrics were needed (otherwise the quilt would never have got started). The slow theme continued when it came to sewing the blocks as they were stitched over several meetings of Leeds MQG.

This quilt saw my first use of the free motion foot on my machine and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the machine behaved. I’m sure there will more FMQ done next year, though I will need to plan ahead better to reduce the number of thread ends that need burying. The quilt is backed with Liberty lawn and the wadding is black Hobbs Heirloom. 

As I was taking the photos for this post, I noticed that the quilt was not quite finished after all and the free motion foot was again needed for a final block!

In contrast, the second quilt was started and finished in just two weeks as it will be a Christmas present for my Dad. It uses mainly remnants from the StarPlus quilt and has no wadding but is just backed with microfleece making it very lightweight but still cosy. Quilting was quick and easy – simple stitch-in-the ditch straight lines across the quilt, so no thread ends to bury. Sorry for the poor photo, but it was the only chance of a daylight shot before I had to get it in the washing machine. (Speaking of which, isn’t it great when colours catchers do their job?)

The last of the pre-Christmas sewing was done yesterday evening  – a bed tidy, again for my Dad. Hopefully I’ve got the size right for when it is attached to the bed rail and hopefully it will give him somewhere to keep his glasses, phone, TV remote, etc to hand. 

I’m already planning sewing to do after Christmas and it might just involve one of the many bag frames brought over the years from Harrogate at the Knitting & Stitching show.