Happy New Year!
This year, my bucket list includes braving some new free-motion quilting patterns, like feathers and clamshells. I'm inspired by this project (which I had sent out to be quilted), because I typically stick to one, allover quilting design, but they look perfect combined in this way.
My New Year's ReSEWlution is to sew myself a moto jacket. I haven't decided if I want to do leather or a more nontraditional fabric for it like wool, but I want to try my hand at the fit and details - and do a sloooow sewing project for myself.
I have always wanted to recover a piece if furniture.....will I do it??? I don't know???? It depends if I can find someone to show me how...
Both Elizabeth and I are former school teachers and we both come from long lines of handicrafters. We know the joy that comes from handicrafting and the importance of life long learning. We also feel thankful to all those (mothers, grandmothers, teachers, friends, etc.) women who have shared with us and taught us along our journey. And it is from the gratitude for these things that our sewing bucket list project stems.
For a long time now Elizabeth and I have talked about sharing our love of sewing and homemaking with women and girls...not only on the internet but across the country...and the world...women and and girls who might not under normal circumstances have the opportunity to learn this wonderful skill.
We talk often about setting up safe rooms for inner city girls to come and learn homemaking skills... budgeting, cooking, and of course SEWING!!!! Then there are our plans for third world countries...imagine rooms stocked with supplies for women to come be taught and sew items they need...baby blankets and clothing!!!
This project is lofty...we know...but we've taken a first small step towards reaching it by starting our Skirting the Issue project just over three years ago. Skirting the Issue is a project we do every July where we spend the entire month sewing skirts with our readers to donate to girls in foster care that they will receive just in time for back to school.
It's a small step, but the response has been overwhelming. And from it we've learned that women who sew are some of the most wonderful women on the planet and that we would have support.
Having the ability to create things that are both lovely and useful is a gift that every woman should be able to have access to. We are so thankful for all the learning and love that has been shared with us and we truly believe that the best way to show your gratitude is to share, which is exactly what we hope to do.
My sewing resolution is to quilt at least half of the TEN quilt tops I have stacked in my sewing room!
My 2015 ReSEWlution is to recreate an antique, two color quilt. I just love the vibrancy and history found is some of these beautiful quilts, I can't wait to get started.
I've never made a full size quilt. Actually, I've never made any type of quilt, except those little baby tie quilts, which don't really count, do they? In high school my dad asked me if I would make my parents a quilt. A king size quilt. A tumbling block pattern, king size quilt. In my naivete I accepted the challenge. After all, how hard is it to sew a bunch of small, straight lines, right? If I could make wedding dresses, set sleeves, and make fully lined coats with welt pockets, I could certainly make a quilt, I said to myself.
Harder than I expected, I quit after cutting all those tiny little diamonds and piecing about a foot of the quilt. I think that's where my trepidation in another attempt stems: the fear of another failure as well as the fabric quantity commitment. You can't do much with a bunch of small pieces if there's a mess-up, like you can with a mis-cut bodice or skirt piece.
But failures are for us to learn. We recognize our weaknesses only to make them our strengths. Or at least our not-so-weaknesses. I've started with the pillow cases. I have a foot in this BabyLock reSEWlution. A figurative foot as well as a Sashiko presser foot. Granted there was no piecing done here, I am already feeling more confident about how this will turn out. And if I have a whole year, that's plenty of time for success. Here goes nothing.
I always have a bucket list each year and usually all my items are things I am doing for work so they usually all get done, however, I do have one thing on my sewing bucket list or ReSewlution for 2015. As a fashion designer I am not a very good quilter. I inherited my grandmothers sewing stash last year and I found 20 complete quilt blocks sewn by her sewing group ready to be made into a quilt. Not being a quilter I have put this off, but it would be such a lovely keepsake as each square has a hand sewn signature sewn by several of my past relatives. It is like my family sewing heritage. The squares were made in the late 50's. Sooooo my Resewlution is to make this quilt and have it done for my big sewing event in July. You will have to hold me to this!!
MATCH A PLAID: Even though plaid is one of my favorite fabrics to sew with, I have never matched one perfectly on a garment! It's one of those things I don't think I really have time for even though I know it doesn't even take that long. So for 2015, my resolution is to make a perfectly matched plaid garment. I'm not exactly sure what I will make, a blouse or dress maybe. I have a little research to do (including sourcing the perfect plaid fabric!) I'm so nervous and excited to tackle this project so hold me to it!
My ReSEWlution for 2015 is to become a master at digitizing and embroidery. I recently tried my hand at it for the first time. I designed a logo for my daughter's competitive dance team. Their dance coach quickly approved the logo, and she asked if we could embroider it onto their team jackets for next year's competitions. Having not ever done this before, I was quite nervous but I decided to go for it! I used Masterworks III to digitize the logo I had created, and I used my Baby Lock Unity to embroider a sample onto some black fabric I had sitting around in the studio. The logo came out fabulously!
Now that the logo and sample embroidery have both been approved, I get to embroider 17 jackets! This whole process has been so much fun, that I have decided I need to do a lot more of that! Next year, my reSEWlution is to begin to digitize a lot of my own existing artwork (designs I've previously used for fabric, scrapbooking or card-making) and offer these designs up for crafty folks out there who might want to add a cute flower or critter to their sewn pieces.
On My "Sewing Bucket List"
Do you see this? This is a Feathered Star. It's really hard.
I try not to think of quilt patterns or quilt blocks as necessarily "hard" or "easy" or "intermediate" or "beginner" because I think once you have the basics down (e.g., an accurate 1/4'' seam, a straight rotary cut strip, etc.) really, you can do anything.
But the Feathered Star is a little different. It's paper-pieced, which is no big deal, except that you've got regular pieces and then reversed pieces -- and in paper-piecing, you have to reverse those pieces. Then there's the little matter of how many pieces there actually are: more than I felt like counting as I was working on my first one. And then there are the set-in pieces if you're doing a one-off block, like I have crazily chosen to do, here.
So on my "sewing bucket list," I suppose "Finish a Feathered Star block that does not look like a dog got at it" is probably right up there. I love a challenge, so this one will feel extra good when I get it done. When I'm sixty.
My sewing room is in need of a serious makeover; it's out of control! I've been scheming for a month now, scouring Pinterest for ideas, on how I want to recreate this room. It's one of those projects that I know will happen (so, I think that makes it a great reSEWlution!) in January/February because I can't stop thinking about how it's going to look after I'm done! I actually really love organizing and Pinterest has genius (well, I consider them genius) organizational ideas...and they're cute...bonus!! I know I'll be making new curtains and such...I'm so excited! Be sure to check it out in Spring 2015 at Totally Stitchin'!
What is on my sewing bucket list? (Cue insane laughter...) TOO much stuff to count! I have a feeling that I'll never live long enough to get everything done I want to do. Sigh. Well, on the bright side, how cool is it that I'll never run out of stuff I want to do either, ha!
There is one thing though that I'm pretty determined will be a 2015 project - a Sashiko wedding dress. (No, I have no one with plans to wear it. Does that matter?) I haven't decided on the style, haven't even nailed down the fabric. Cotton voile, silk chiffon, silk organza, silk/cotton gauze or maybe lightweight wool crepe? I'm betwixt decisions on the color too. It would be neat to have a touch of some pale color - silver, pale aqua blue? I started a dream box (that's a bin with bits of pretty that are "speaking" to me about this project) a while ago and I'll share some of what's in there with you. You'll see I'm experimenting with the stitch and space length - look how sweet a tiny stitch and the longest space looks! I love how I can contour quilt soft fabrics and create structure without stiffness. That space gives grace! I'm crazy about the texture of flip-stitched and Sassy fill stitching with pretty yarns and fibers. You can see I had to experiment a little with Sashiko Trapunto. :) Oh my, so many choices. This might be my 2015 reSEWlution, get that dress out of my head and into reality!
Actually though, after thinking about my "I-really-want-to-sew-this" list and looking at my "must-be-done-today-in-the-office" list (which seems to grow two more items for every one I manage to chop off) I think I know exactly what my 2015 reSEWlution needs to be. I resolve to give myself permission to play!
Hark! What is that I hear? Why I think that's all my clever, amazing Baby Lock machines cheering me on!