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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections & Predictions

Embroidery 101: Close up of Washed BlockThis post is my contribution to the Sew, Mama, Sew Sewing Industry Reflections and Predictions post {and my favorite finishes of the year are sprinkled throughout too!}.  I have tried to write my opinions before reading other people's so I won't be too influenced.  I'm curious to hear what the rest of the opinions are too...  But for starters, here are mine:

Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind?

One of the biggest trends that stands out to me is the use of solids as the primary {or only} fabric in quilts instead of just as a compliment or neutral in addition to prints.  Much along the same lines is also the use of brighter or colored solids as the neutral fabric in a printed quilt instead of a white or neutral.

Gray is on a rampage, not only as the new neutral, but also in all kinds of prints.  I happen to be very fond of gray, so I'm glad to see it in quilting more and more.  It also seems to be bringing about a different color palette than the creamier neutrals of the past.  The colors seem a bit more crisp, and brighter {without verging on the neon}, perhaps because this contrasts with gray much better than it would with the creamier neutrals.

DQS10 - Close UpPaper piecing also seems to be everywhere.  I really like the way it bends the limits of piecing to create different shapes and pictures.  It seems like a neat alternative to applique {not that I have anything against applique...}.  The paper piecing pattern designers also seem to be people to watch because they have a different perspective on quilting and fabric.

Sewing clothes and trendier/modern clothing patterns are also something that has really taken off in the last year.  I have been eyeing all the amazing sewing patterns and use of cottons for clothes in the last year and am hoping to take part in clothes sewing this next year {now that I'm no longer pregnant!}.

And, of course, this list wouldn't be complete without my favorite new trend: Embroidery!  I am thrilled to see {and be a part of} embroidery in a more varied use.

What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year?

It is probably obvious to most everyone here that my favorite thing related to sewing this year {and one of the biggest trends, IMO} is embroidery.  I got bit by the embroidery bug during the Doll Quilt Swap 10, in which I made the embroidered dress mini quilt and have been embroidering like crazy ever since {with no intention of slowing down either!}.

What did you make that you’re most proud of?

I'm most proud of my Embroidery 101: Stitch & Quilt Along quilt.  When I started the Stitch & Quilt Along I had no idea how important embroidery would become to me, or how I would really love this quilt.

What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love?

Wow, this is hard because I love so many projects I've seen!  When trying to think of something off the top of my head, the Vignette quilt comes to mind {and was my encouragement to create and embroidery quilt!}.  I love the way it incorporates patchwork and embroidery and bright, modern, fun colors.

Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the past year to recommend?

Stash Project: Sweetness QuiltI sometimes buy sewing patterns and craft books, but the terrible thing is, I have yet to use one.  However, I have been impressed by the blocks I've seen from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, so much so that I requested the book for myself for Christmas. 

Are there any trends you’re over and done with?

I think I'm kind of over the wonky trend...I realize this is not a trendy thing to think, but to be honest...it just isn't really my thing.  I don't mind a bit of it, but I am just over seeing so many wonky projects everywhere...I think it just doesn't mesh with the patterned/organized way my mind works...

I am also so over the vintage sheets...I wish there were more fabrics designed to look like vintage sheets, but I think actually making things out of old sheets is a bit too much for me...especially considering you don't know who was sleeping on/doing what on those sheets...so, unless they've been in the family, the vintage sheet thing is not for me!

What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?

the Ruby market tote: Stitch & Quilt AlongWell, I love social media in moderation.  I feel a little frustrated because I cannot keep up with all of it.  Yet I keep joining different branches because I might love them.  But really, I only use my Google Reader for blogs, Pinterest, and Flickr {I hardly even Facebook with the people I know in real life, much less with the online quilt community}.  I wouldn't mind having infinite time to be on social media...but then I'd never get any sewing done.

Did you have a favorite fabric collection or print in 2011?

Well, I've really loved Ruby by Bonnie & Camille for Moda this year.  I love the colors, the mix of pink/green/gray in with the red and aqua, and the watercolor look of the flowers. Close runners up are Just Wing It by Momo for Moda and Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller.

What do you predict for 2012 in the sewing industry?

I think the prints will continue to get a little larger and more bold this year.  I'm hoping there will be a greater use of purple because I think it can add so much, but is largely ignored {when trying to add purple to my stash I'm having a hard time finding anything I like}.  I also think the large prints give more options for making more than just quilts out of quilting fabric {like clothes!}.

Can you tell us what to expect from you in 2012? Any big projects or life-changing goals?

Ruffle ClutchesI'm hoping that this year has me making a few whole quilts, sewing some clothes {for me and the kids!}, and doing lots of embroidery.  Mostly I'd just like to continue to expand my quilting and sewing skills.  There should also be a few new bag patterns coming out in the near future.

As far as the blog goes, I'm already planning the next Stitch & Quilt Along to be announced toward the end of January {or early February}.  The Stash Project series will continue, and I'm also working on developing another monthly feature to showcase readers' projects as well.

I'm really excited for 2012 and the evolution of the sewing and quilting world it will bring.


  1. Lovely! I agree with so many things you wrote. I am typing my reflection/prediction post too. This year flew by so fast! Have a happy new year! Enjoy that new baby of yours :)

  2. I really enjoyed this post. Lots to think about & I agree with you on so many. I am not much into the social media & sometimes feel behind the times. This from someone who was on the internet way back in the early 90s when it cost me long distance to be online! I guess I haven't kept up with the fast paced social media scene...LOL Glad I recently found your blog, I enjoy it. Wishing you & yours a very Happy New Year!

  3. Ha! I had to laugh about the vintage sheets. I bought a bunch of them earlier this year thinking that I would make a quilt with them, but even after washing them really well, I still feel a little hesitant to cut into them. If somebody designed a collection inspired by sheets from the 60's and 70's I would so buy it, but I don't think I will be heading back to the thrift store anytime soon for more of the real thing! lol

  4. Well said. I also started the Vignette in stitches quilt which has a little something for everyone and have had so many (okay too many!) inspirations from following blogs this year.

  5. So excited to see you tackle clothes! I will be living vicariously through you this year for sure ;) Do you have a dress form yet? Did you ever find a copy of Vogue Fitting? Bonus - Baby F can use all your "mistakes" when making clothes for Norah hehehehehe.

  6. Thanks for visiting me, it's wonderful to find your blog! I enjoyed this post so much and agree with so much that you say too...very well put. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and I look forward to your posts in 2012.
    Helen x

  7. I totally agree with your opinion of social media,I think you would have to be super woman to keep up with it and still have a life, lol! All the best for 2012!

  8. You have had a banner year. I love your blog.
    Happy New Year!

  9. I agree about the vintage sheets too. I worry that they won't hold up like new fabric and will intead tear like the Target sheets I got for my wedding 4 years ago that are already toast. Fabric just doesn't last forever!

    And I'm hoping for good purples too-I want to make curtains for my playroom out of purple but so far haven't seen anything good!


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