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.

Wee Gallery Fabric for Dear Stella

Well after a prolonged summer hiatus from sewing (taken in order to concentrate on work, but now that I’ve come out the other side I’m not at all sure that I’m that much farther ahead) I am ready to get back into it. Happily for me, I didn’t curb my fabric buying as much as I should have in the interim, so the goods are piling up and I can’t wait tackle both old and new projects. I think my plan for the next two months is going to be to try and strike a balance between making Christmas presents and finishing some already-started quilts. I seem to have accumulated quite a few kid-centric, retro- and holiday-themed prints which, while not my first choice for quilts, are going to be great for presents.

In the meantime, here are some shots of the one thing I did manage to complete (somehow self-imposed deadlines seem easier to meet when they’re for a little person). It’s a play mat made using Wee Gallery fabric from Dear Stella (with inspiration from Modern Handcraft). I made it the size of a single fat quarter (metre) and created a little bag for all the pieces from some of the other prints in this collection as well. (And I used a medium-stiffness interfacing to back the pieces, just because that’s what I had on hand.)

Quilted kids dress up doll play mat with Wee Gallery fabric.

Quilted kids dress up doll play mat with Wee Gallery fabric.

Quilted kids dress up doll play mat with Wee Gallery fabric.

Quilted kids dress up doll play mat with Wee Gallery fabric.

Quilted kids dress up doll play mat with Wee Gallery fabric.