Newsletter news

How do you guys find out about all the various swaps and quilt-alongs that are happening? I seem to catch word of these through Instagram (and, due to Instagram’s algorithm, very randomly at that). So very often I find I’m out of the loop, only discovering fun exchanges well after they’ve already started.

With this in mind I’ve added a new feature to the newsletter to try and gather this kind of information and act as a resource for those of you also on the lookout for your next project. Introducing …

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May is for Makers

Are you participating in May is for Makers? Lindsey over at LRStitched had the fantastic idea to commit to supporting indie pattern makers by purchasing a pattern each week in May. Though I don’t really need much of an excuse to buy patterns, I loved this idea, and since we’re half way through May I thought I’d report on my first two scores.

Note that I’m probably not going to stick strictly to quilting patterns for this pledge … if the maker is indie and there is thread involved, I’m counting it. And I’m focusing on makers whose work I get so much out of over the year – whether I’m an avid follower of their blog or, like our first maker, they are a great teacher on Periscope.

First up, I bought a couple of embroidery patterns I’ve had my eye on forever: the J is for Jellyfish and L is for Lion hand embroidery patterns by Alyssa Thomas at Penguin & Fish. Here’s the Jellyfish:

Jellyfish embroidery patternphoto : Penguin and Fish

Incredibly cute right?

Nautical Quilt pattern by Cluck Cluck Sewimage : Cluck Cluck Sew

Next up is the Nautical quilt pattern by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew. I’ve used a couple of Allison’s free patterns (for both a heart block and pinwheel baby quilt) and I’ve found them to be amazingly clear and reliable. Plus I have the perfect beginnings of a fabric pull for this in my stash!

Fabric Pull for Nautical Quilt

May Is For Makers | LRstitched.com

Keeping it simple

This is my favourite time of year. Lots of quiet downtime, lots of reading and planning and daydreaming. I made some mistakes in my non-quilting life last year that led to some major burnout and life imbalance, mistakes I don’t intend to repeat this year.

Purl Soho Zippered PouchWhen it comes to sewing and crafting, this translates into two basic rules I’m going to live by:

1. Keep the list of projects small and flexible.

I can always add things if I find myself suddenly flush with time (or even if I simply want to indulge a whim). And maybe it’s because I am in the throes of post-Christmas gifts-are-done freedom, but the list is mostly personal projects right now:

  • Modern HST Sampler QAL, by Blossom Heart Quilts
  • Farmer’s Wife quilt, all in orange
  • Road Trip Cases by Anna Graham (one for me and one for my niece)
  • Mini Swoon, all in Meadow (note that this was once going to be a full-sized Swoon … scaling back!)
  • A Fen Shirt, by Fancy Tiger Crafts
  • A complete blouse from Boundless Style, by Kristiann Boos
  • A quilt based on a block of my own design

2. No stash remorse.

I am not going to beat myself up for having and building a stash. Period. I mean I’m not a Rockefelller, so it can never really get too out of control, but I’ve come to realize that probably the single thing I love most about sewing is the ability to “just make something,” something that didn’t exist before, at the drop of a hat. And to do this you need supplies, and a stash. So when you decide to finally try out the zipper foot on your Bernina 350 PE (my husband got me this for a milestone birthday and it was one of the highlights of 2015), on New Years Eve, you can. Carolyn Friedlander layer cake that I had no plans for? Check. Random assortment of zippers? Got it. Make something, learn something, done. That’s contentment for me, and that’s what I’m going for this year, before anything else.

Zippered pouch pattern by Purl SohoZippered pouch pattern by Purl Soho. Botanics fabric by Carolyn Friedlander.