Friday, 6 January 2012

sew mama questions...

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

Not having been around the quilting scene for previous years, I cant say if these are specifically new to 2011, but it seemed to me that there was a big drive to rejuvenate quilting  - sampler quilts were everywhere, but in such bright and glorious colours they could not have looked any more different to the images in the books about them.  And of course there was the white, so much white background.  Not that I'm complaining, a white background looked so crisp and fresh - just the thing to epitomise modern! 

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

Definitely participating in sewing with others online.  I cant put into words just how glad I am to be in the virtual Bee that I'm in, with such wonderful ladies.  Not only do we constantly push each other to try new things and offer up endless encouragement to do so, we're fast becoming great friends, and I couldn't be happier about that.    Also this year I took part in a few swaps.  These have been so much fun, with loads of online Flickr Group banter too.  The whole interactive aspect has really allowed me to broaden my own ideas, as sewing for someone elses tastes makes you come up with things you may never have thought of doing otherwise; and it's without the pressure of commission.

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

That has got to be my single girl quilt.  So many firsts in that quilt, and at times it felt like a nightmare to make... but I love it.

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

Two projects that would answer this question for me are the mini quilt I received from Flying blind on a Rocket Cycle in my first swap, and Ruby Star Spring Quilt by Pings and Needles.

The Front
(design using only squares of a skull on side profile with a pink, teal, grey and yellow background)
Resurrection Tea Party by Flying blind on a rocket cycle

The mini, "resurrection tea party" is just love at first sight!  It was so completely different to all the other quilts in the swap, it stands out a mile.  The fabrics used are gorgeous, its been beautifully put together, but its the design I love most.  A mini quilt that ROCKS...  I love that it only uses squares too.  It was inspired by the quilts by Boo Davis, whom I wasn't familiar with at the time, but you can be sure I got her book pronto and it didn't disappoint.  

The other project I saw in 2011 that I absolutely love was Ruby Star Spring Quilt by Sarah @ Pings and needles

Ruby Star Spring Quilt - Finish!
Ruby Star Spring Quilt by Pings and Needles

I was initially drawn to the Melody Miller prints for their wonderful celebration of all things retro.  I don't suppose her Ruby Star Spring line came specifically into that category, but I do love it.  The same tactile linen mix, wonderful geometric pattern, luscious colours.
This quilt uses the "Ruby Star Spring" and a multitude of solids and linens.  It is an inspiring mix of different styles - small sections of nine patch blocks and traditional patchwork, "modern" random piecing, fussy cutting.  And so many colours!  This is one quilt that really made my jaw drop and my heart skip a beat...  

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

I try not to think about social media - I'd be so tempted to slam it for being some kind of time vampire...  So charming and tempting... but they'll suck up your hours in seconds and leave you quite bewildered.  But then I'd be a hypocrite!  My problem is that I don't have the energy or the awake time to accommodate it all.  I don't actually have anything against it, but I quite literally cannot keep up.  I don't do i-things or android things and am ashamed to say I'm already in "don't know what I'm talking about" territory...  I blog, I'm on facebook and flickr, and I "pin"...  That's more than enough for me!   (no really, it is now MORE than enough, I'm getting less and less done each week...)
I wouldn't want to be without it though!  I don't know if I could cope for long without it...  But I do feel its had a positive influence in my life.  I've learnt so much through the generosity of other sewing bloggers sharing their methods and techniques, flickr groups offering support and encouragement for groups to learn together.  It is a wonderful community and I'm so glad I found it!  

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

Selection of Metro Living Circles from Robert Kaufman and Silent Cinema from Jenean Morrison

Oh so many! I went a bit crazy for fabric in 2011.  I've always loved fabric, and I've always hoarded fabric...  but I think it is possible I went a bit too far this time.  I've got a funny feeling that I'm not the only one though!  Perhaps this really was a bumper year for outstandingly eye catching, heart tugging pretty prints....

What do you predict for 2012 in the sewing industry? 

You know, even if I thought I could answer that, I wouldn't want to to be honest!  I want 2012 to be fun and exciting, I want to be surprised.  I don't want to guess where it's going, I'm quite happy to just enjoy the ride!
I think we are all influenced by each other.  I can see how those who are trying to earn  a living quilting might feel this is not always the best thing, and that they cant / wont / shouldnt read too many blogs,  and at times I sort of agree.  It would be so good to come up with something myself and not realise I have seen it on someones elses blog at some point! 
I guess it all depends on what you want to get out of this.  I will never have the energy to make any kind of money from this, I'm in it for the love of it, and to keep me sane...  I would hate not to read the blogs I read, it really has become keeping up with friends.

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

I don't have any life-changing goals in mind so far...  I quit smoking last year, I don't know if I could top that for life-changing goals.  I don't have any big projects in mind either, in fact, I would much rather keep things small and quiet this year - I might get more done!  However having said that I am going to attempt a QAL starting in February... and goodness knows how that'll go!
I've had a look through the list of goals I started 2011 with, and I still have a few things to cover, so I'll keep that list and try again this year.  I was going to make some additions, like NOT BUYING ANY MORE FABRIC.  But I don't know that I could really cope with that, I AM addicted.  Already this year I have finally seen a range of colours I've been thinking of for  a while.  Clearly others have been thinking of them too as they are all together in a new line from Michael Miller...  

Selection of Michael Miller Couture solids, images from Fat Quarter Shop

Having last year used lots of white, lots of black, some coal, some ash, some charcoal, having bought some tan and taupe and stone and not used them as they didn't turn out to be quite what I wanted really - already, 6 days into a new year, I want to buy a stack of solids.  I cant help it, these really are what I've been daydreaming of for positively donkeys... Honest!    What is a girl to do???


  1. what well-answered questions! I might even try and answer them myself!(though several would echo things you've expressed!)

    I'm the same with the social media aspect, and it feels so odd to say so since I was writing web pages right back when the internet was first becoming 'popular', if I want a program to do something I think nothing of knocking up a quick and dirty bit of code to do what I want ... and yet now I hardly do anything beyond keeping up with blogs and all the friends I've made through them! ... I chat on Twitter but find Facebook almost totally inaccessible, and the same can be said of almost all other main social places ... so i just tend to avoid them! and like you, if I did much more than I already do I'd never get any sewing done!!

    As for your goals, I think attending the quilt show in London is a pretty huge one, and I am very envious of you doing that! As Magpie Mimi reminded me just today, we should all try to do one thing that terrifies us every day, and I sure don't, and going places like that is certainly one example that I'd do well to do!

    Happy 2012, it's been a pleasure getting to know you and Elie cat in 2011, and long may the quilting conversations continue! :)

  2. I too am trying to not shop too much and cut stuff up more often. It's hard.

  3. Brilliant post (and thank you xxx).

  4. Great post, Miss Sarah, and not at all too long. I'm with you on the love/hate relationship with social media (the time thief) and also the fact that if you search hard enough online you're bound to find someone who's already done your latest project! However, the bloggy friendships and encouragement, and idea generation, is SO worth it... Have fun in 2012 ...with those solids...that you've probably already bought :) x

  5. Lovely post Sarah! And a v.sensible approach to this online vortex that is a blessing but can also be a curse (rather like Spiderman!). Jxo

  6. Great post - I'm with you on the whole social networking thing.... It gives me so much on the one hand, but then takes my time away on the other!

  7. I agree this is a great post and I feel the same way about everything!! And really?!... I think you should buy it ;) xx

  8. I can't slam social media because it is how I met you. If 2012 delivers as many good things to my life as 2011 did then it will be a good one.

  9. Just a wee fabric addiction there missus ;o) It's been interesting reading all of these, as I only leapt in in June, so I have no idea what the trends were meant to be, and what came about last year or earlier!

  10. As a non-quilter I frequently don't really understand what you and your friends are on about ("What is fussy cutting? Is a 'Dresden' named so because it is round like a dresden porcelain cup...or the famous Dresden cathedral dome...or because it has a hole in the middle reminiscent of allied bomb damage in said city?) and yet your blog is totally compelling. So if you don't do anything else in 2012, keep blogging! (and not smoking :))

  11. Would just like to make clear that the above comment was not meant to suggest that any of your work looks like bomb damage! Oh no...really shouldn't post comments while drinking fizzy wine leftover from Xmas! Know how Diane Abbott feels now!

  12. Very thoughtful post Sarah. Nice! And well done for stopping smoking. Very pleased for you on that front.

  13. Lovely post Sarah ... wise and pithy ...

    ooh and you chose my quilt?? honestly bowled over, thank you.

    I agree about the popping in to see friends nature of the blogs I visit.

    And the terrible time suck that social media can be. I once went to a great plenary on social media in 30 mins a day .. Wish I'd paid more attention! LOL !!

    thank you again ... and yay for 2012 and those couture solids ...

  14. Great post Sarah! It's going to be a colourful year! Here's to productivity :) x (and Ellie snacks!)

  15. Really enjoyed this post Sarah :)
    And well done for sticking with the stopping smoking x

  16. Wonderful post, I loved every word! Now if 2012 happens to be the year someone works out a way to read blogs and stitch at the same I'll be thrilled skinny! Just imagine how much more stitching I'd be able to do!

  17. I like that you find it exciting to just wait and see what happens ! I have high hopes for June!

  18. This is a brilliant post, no idea how I missed it! London will be completely terrifying, but utterly fantastic at the same time!