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.

Kid in a candy store

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.

 

sunday stash inspiration

fabric stash

Have you ever caught a glance of a random pile of fabric and suddenly have the puzzle pieces of several creative problems fall into place at once? This is exactly what happened to me this week when my Miss Matatabi order arrived. And yes, I realize the fact that I selected and ordered each piece of fabric makes it not exactly random. Or random at all. But somehow, the way these half-yards came together – some for specific projects, some ordered “just because” – caused a light bulb to go off in my brain. (Some credit is also surely due to the way these were packaged up with that beautiful fabric ‘ribbon’.)

What are you working on? Have you had any creative breakthroughs lately?

{ Linking up this week with Molli Sparkles. }