Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Year Review

mosaicef481063bf6d463f0213d3402732481945c7384a Here we are once again at the end of year review. This year seems to have gone quite quickly. I feel that I have achieved a lot but not in a visible way. I intensively worked on my Farmer's Wife quilt for a large part of the year and am amazed that I finished the whole top. By the end I can honestly say that I have a thorough understanding of foundation piecing so I learnt a new skill. I had to put it away for a while after completing the top as I was exhausted by it. It's so big, it's even hard to photograph. I need to take it back to mums and pin in on her wonky washing line or work out some tasteful wall I can hang it on like internet folk seem to do. So watch this space. I have the backing for it, even the wadding for it, I just, as always, need space to lay it out and a floor which doesn't look perpetually dirty. It's the basting, machine sewing and binding which I don't really have the space for. Usually I would only post finished projects but this year I am including some nearly finished things as I want to mentally file them under 2016 so next year is free.

Other things up there are:
1. Farmer's Wife – This took until August to complete
2. Project Bag – I love this pattern
3. Mug Rug – A free easy pattern
4. Mouse quilt – A scrap buster
5. EPP kit bag – I have used this loads
6. EPP pin cushion – I just love this
7. Janet Clare sewing kit – I have lost my photos of this!
8. Half Square Triangle quilt – This is finished, I just need to photograph it
9. Smitten – I need to post more progress
10. Batik log cabin – Only 6 more blocks to go!

This year is going to be a year of change though hopefully. After treading water for the past 4 years, I am finally hoping we might be in a better position to do some much needed work on the house which will in turn hopefully make it easier to baste my backlog of quilts. It's either that or I think seriously about having them professionally quilted. Currently I have my Donut, Jitterbug and Farmer's Wife to quilt. But let's look at last year...


Resolutions from 2016
To finish all the quilt tops in the queue – Errr.... Utter FAIL
To do more hand piecing – Success! The Smitten quilt has definitely answered that one.
To make a useful bag – Errr.... Utter FAIL
To keep projects manageable. i.e. small – Well I am trying
To start my Posie quilt finally! – Errr.... Utter FAIL

So 3 out of 6. Not so great. I think finishing the Farmer's Wife just took up all my time. Hopefully nothing quite so intensive this year. Time to relax and do small things.

Resolutions for 2017
To tidy up my piles of half finished projects and make sewing area clean
To baste some of the growing pile of quilt tops
To do another quilt a long of some sort
To do something in tasteful solids

Unfinished Projects for 2017
Donut quilt – Just need to baste it
Jitterbug – Just need to baste it
Farmer's wife – Just need to baste it
Liberty postage stamp – I neglected this entirely this last year. It just needs a border quilting
My sew together bag – Still waiting in a project bag somewhere in the pile.
Medallion quilt – All the fabric has been selected. It's in the pile somewhere
Posie improv quilt – Just need to sketch out a design and start cutting up my favourite fabrics

New Projects for 2017
I feel the major thing brewing inside me is the need to do some projects using solids. Above is my favourite FW block using solids. I think my colour sense improved slightly with The Farmer's Wife but on the whole, still needs a lot of work. I need to stop doing so many bright, rainbow things and think more about subtle colours. Working with solids might allow me just to think about colour. I love playing with all the swatches. I don't own a lot of solids though so there is some outlay involved.

I did however, buy these from Birmingham from The Shuttle. I think it was 5 for £6. I really like the greens. This might be my new colour way. I have been looking around and seeing what other people do. Here are some examples of things I have seen and liked on the web.

1. Amy's Sugar club block - I might make this first. I think the green and red/pinks are great.
2. Jayne's sampler quilt is amazing
3. 1981 by Nancy Purvis via Christine's blog
4. StitchedInColor's doodle doodle improv quilt backing
5. From Flickr
6. Heather Jones' quilt pattern available here. It reminds me of this
7. Jackie's great colours in her log cabin/geese quilt
8. Purl Soho's tasteful Modular Block quilt
9. Siobhan Rogers' quilt for Better Homes. Download it here
10. Rose + Twill's Botanical Print Quilt
11. I love Nydia's colour choices. I love the greens and blues with the pinks
12. I would love to make this exact quilt. I just like the greens. Maybe it would look better in this pattern
13. I love these colours and the white stitching
14. Ellen's Lopsided Squares are very tasteful from her book: 1, 2, 3 Quilt
15. I like Becca's warm colours
16. From Shannon's instagram
17. From Shannon's instagram
18. From Jenny's instagram. This one is also good
19. From Jenny's instagram
20. From Shannon's instagram

It's all very exciting. I love the greens and the pinks and purples. I love all green projects or flashes of green. So many combinations to try, so many projects. I thought it might call for another sampler type quilt where I treat each block as a different colour journey without thinking about the whole. I really enjoyed taking part in a group project though and would be interested in maybe a smaller one this year. I was thinking about what to spend my Christmas money on and thought this book might be nice.

The Quilt Block Cookbook: 50 Block Recipes, 7 Sample Quilts, Endless Possibilities

Amy, the author, is running a relaxed quilt a long on her blog starting in January which I am quite tempted by as you can do as little or as much as you like. I also might try my hand at making a January block or two as they are so pretty. Mary's one is ace. 

But my quilting area is a mess. It's piles of bits. Half started projects, fabric pulls... misc stuff. I can no longer find anything. I've been looking for my Kona colour card for ages but it must be at the bottom of the pile. I need to pare it down, find the card, finish bits and file the rest away in the cellar. That's job number one. I can't buy any new solids without the card. I am sure there are lots of forgotten treats in there.
Just one examples: I'd like to find my Moda Building Blocks quilt pattern somewhere in all my piles. I'd like to think about some solid combinations for this. Maybe I could buy fabric at Birmingham. It's a slow burner. I also have a new quilt to start which I got for Christmas but I'll post up my Christmas presents when we finally finish our Christmas road trip.

And all these need planning and making. There is a lot lying around in the pile. They might all go on the backburner until the pile has been cleaned up. So step one is tidy up and finish off things. Oh and get my machine serviced. Happy new year!

No comments: