Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflections and Projections

I decided to participate in the Sew Mama Sew meme for my year-end wrap up post.

Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?

Well, I should preface my response by explaining that while I have been sewing since high school, I only became aware of the online (modern) sewing community within the last year. Thus, things that stand out to me may have been popular long before 2010....

That being said, I have to comment on the constant use of gray- particularly as it's use as a solid, combined with collections and various prints. I used 3.5 yds of it myself for my Tufted Tweets quilt. Gray has also been popular in modern fabric collections released this year.

It also seems like a lot of people have really embraced precut fabrics - charm squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and fat quarter stacks. For me, I avoid all but the last category - as long as I can get the fat quarters for an average of $1.50 per fq - or less. I feel that I really have to get the most bang for my buck and $40 (with shipping), for example, for thirty 2.5" strips is a rip-off.

I have also noticed a trend of people being willing to pay lots of money for out of print fabrics. Heather Ross Goldfish fabric soared over $90 per yard on ebay and Flea Market Fancy fat quarters sold for $45 a piece on Etsy. For me, I get much more excited about a bargain, but I have to admit that I take a second look at a an "out of print" fabric that is at a local quilt shop for normal price - when maybe it's hardly even my taste.

I also feel that baby boy fabrics have finally been given some attention by designers. Urban Circus, All Star, Urban Zoologie, 2D Zoo, Traffic Jam, Wheels by Riley Blake, Groovy Guitar, etc., are all decent collections that are appropriate for baby boys but don't scream "nursery."

Lastly, artists who started with Spoonflower have been discovered by major fabric companies and seem to be enjoying quite a bit of hype and success as their designs are being produced on a much wider scale. Laurie Wisbrun and Aneela Hooey are the two designers I can think of right now who fit into this category.

What were some of your favorite things? (Trends, fabric collections, patterns, blogs, etc.)

EASILY, my most favorite thing of this year was joining the New England Modern Quilt Guild! Last February (?) we all crowded into The Fabric Corner and nervously ate milk and cookies as we met people from all over the area who were as excited about sewing and fabric as I was! I had left my then, 4 month-old son, for the first time ever - there was NO way I was going to miss it! It wasn't long before the NEMQG has become a thriving and fun organization and treasured friendships have blossomed. We have done two charity quilts, a doll quilt swap, we are in the middle of a bee, and we have pretty consistently met twice a month for meetings and sew-in's.

I discovered a few new blogs I really loved this year: Gehring Road, Gone Aussie Quilting, Make It Modern, A Quilt is Nice, Green Bee Patterns, and Trillium Design. These blogs are what I like best about sewing blogs: they have great pictures, beautiful taste in fabrics and projects, and they aren't constantly trying to sell something and rattling off about their sponsers.

The fabric collection I liked the most from this year was Moda's City Weekend, with Anne Kelle's Remix coming in at a close second.

What was the best thing you made in 2010?

I have to say that I am pretty proud of my bird mobile that I made from the Spool Sewing tutorial. It was intimidating to do all of that hand sewing and then to put it together! But it is still a big hit with my one year old son and I know our family won't ever outgrow it!

I am also proud of the birthday presents I made my son. I made his whale quilt and four whale softies in about one week! It wore me out but the results were so cute!
What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?

I have over 100 favorites on flickr, but three that stick out to me are here, here, and here.

What do you think 2011 has in store?

Reprinting fabrics maybe? In 2010 we saw Moda reprint some Momo Wonderland, Westminster reprinted some Lotus favorites, and word is that Free Spirit is going to reprint some Joel Dewberry woodgrain fabrics in January 2011..... Maybe fabric manufacturers are finally listening to consumers who want some of their favorites available again? Can you tell I am uncertain about this?

I think that online fabric selling is going to keep getting bigger and bigger. Lots of local quilt shops around me have been closing, but there seems to be a lot of new online fabric merchants at the same time. Maybe brick and mortar stores will finally wake up to the competition they are facing online. This year my friends and I have had some negative experiences with local quilt shop owners (why are they always so grouchy and rude?!) and we have balked at the $11 per yd prices (plus tax), the terrible hours, and the slow turn-around - e.g. shops near me have some Anna Maria Horner Chocolate Lollipop and Garden Party but haven't even heard of Good Folks or Innocent Crush!

Anything you're ready for the sewing world to get over?

I am kind of getting sick of seeing the ubiquitous combination of red and aqua EVERYWHERE! But I have to admit that I am planning on doing a red and aqua quilt once and that is it.

I am getting a bit tired of popular blogs that have stopped making things and constantly post advertisements for their sponsors. Most of these blogs have been removed from my Google Reader, so it doesn't bother me that much anymore but I just hope that the other blogs I love don't go down that path. It's great to be recognized and receive some support but when I take the time to scan blogs - I really don't want to read an ad.

What's on your sewing agenda for 2011? What are you excited about? What would you like to learn more about?

I am definitely taking a local long-arm quilting class and I am going to start finishing my large unquilted quilt tops! I also really want to make a significant dent in my stash and work on what aren't even WIP's (Work in Progress) - just stacks of fabric that I already have the pattern/plan for. I want to attempt curved piecing. I don't want to impose pressure on myself to make handmade gifts for everyone and every occasion.

I am excited about events with the NEMQG - we have a trunk show in January with SewFresh Fabrics and a retreat in May.
Here's a year end tally of what I have completed this year (it pays to keep up a blog to track one's progress!):

Finished Quilts: 7 (baby size or bigger); 5 Mini quilts
Quilt Tops that still need to be quilted: 9 (YIKES!)
Softies: 9
Purse/Bag: 7
Quilt Blocks (for bees, etc.): 21
Pin Cushions: 5
Bibs and Burp Rags: 28
Brainy Ball: 6
Articles of clothing: 7
Pillowcases: 5
Heaxagonal Flowers: 43

Wow- it feels good to know that I was able to accomplish so much while also taking care of my baby. I remember right after he was born I thought I would have to destash all of my fabric on Etsy because I would never sew again!

Happy New Year!


Amy Badskirt said...

I completely agree about blogs with ads. I also dropped many from my reader this year. Grey! Just grey is everywhere, but its so perfect that I hadn't even noticed.

I'm so happy you joined in. I enjoyed your persepective, particularly since you're a veteran sewist who is relatively new online.

MadeByMeaghan said...

Laurie, I love this post. Thanks for your thoughts - you are so spot on! :)

nettie said...

oh, i'm so relieved that my blog doesn't fall into "that" category. I loved reading this and totally agree about the ads and pushing stuff, i just want to see projects and crafty stuff.

i'm tired of red and aqua too, but i find myself using it together a lot. oh well.

happy new year.

Jamie @Terrabyte Farm said...

Funny how worlds collide! I just bought a few yards of KJR from you on Etsy and then I saw your comment in the discussion on Flickr. I really liked your post, I thought it was very well written. I was also just wondering today if there is a local modern quilt guild, and it looks like there is (I am in southern NE)! I can't wait to join up and meet some other local sewists!

Angela Nash said...

Another second to the - sick of blog ads/sponsors - thing. It really is getting to feel like a horrible jr high popular clique competition. Goes along with the whole book thing.

Jeannette Bruce said...

Nice post and thanks for your lovely compliment to my blog. I'm now inspired to write a post too. So many things I agree with you on and I love your projects! I know what you mean about thinking you might never sew again with the baby!! I nearly had a big destash myself, but I'm glad I didn't now...

Alexia said...

thanks for reading laurie! I really enjoyed your post, happy new year!

Joanna said...

You got more done this year than I did, and I didn't have a new baby to look after! Really great insight in this post - lots to think about! Thanks also for your comment on my post - now go change your settings to include your email so I can reply directly to you lol! It's set as no reply!! I hope I can be as prolific in my quilting this year as you were!

Unknown said...

OMG, I am so right there with you about the things you want to be *over*. And I hear ya on the LQS peeps being rude and grouchy. I used to work at a LQS, and I swear I was the only bit of sunshine in that place some days. :P LOL

jenny said...

Well Said! and thanks for the favorite love =) xo