Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reflections and Predictions for 2012

I have a WIP to share soon, but I am forcing myself to relax more this week. Suffice it to say that being 8 months pregnant has never been less fun :(

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to participate in the Sew Mama Sew "Reflections and Predictions" series:

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

The popularity of solids gained momentum this past year. Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solids have some serious competition now - finding the perfect shade of blue, for example, has never been so easy. The rise in cotton costs this year has resulted in solids being priced the same or almost the same as designer prints - a fact I find very annoying.

Speaking of the rising cost of cotton, I have also noticed that the popularity of different fabric substrates (voile, velveteen, sateen, etc.) are cropping up everywhere. I am amazed that some people are more than happy $20 per yard for special Japanese imports, organic fabrics, etc. A lot of these special designs have very clever, unique, and beautiful designs and I think people are willing to overlook the high cost because of this.

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

I have loved renting time on a long-arm quilting machine. I truly enjoy it! I also wore holes into the fingers of these machine quilting gloves on my home machine - couldn't do FMQ without them!

What did you make that your most proud of?

The king size quilt, "My African Heart," is quite an accomplishment for me. It was inspired by Sarah Fielke's design (seen on the cover of her first book) but I really feel a lot of ownership of the design and concept despite borrowing the idea. The quilt reminds me of a special/crazy time in my life and I am glad to have such a momento of my four months volunteering in Uganda.

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

The Hexy MF quilt from I'm a Ginger Monkey is simply breathtaking and may make me commit to a better plan for a large hexie quilt. There have been a lot of scrappy rainbow quilts that I love too. Finally, I am smitten with this WIP from Lucy and Norman: Maple Leaf.

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

I really like Quilting From Little Things and Modern Log Cabin Quilting.

Are there any trends your're over and done with?

Cheesy motifs for boy fabrics including pirates, robots, skulls, forest animals, etc. It's just a personal thing but I probably won't ever do a bee for exchanging blocks again. Again, it's a personal thing - but I am going to try to shy away from precuts and making quilts solely out of one collection - I prefer a more eclectic look.

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

I barely joined Pinterest and I am finding that I enjoy organizing my links that used to clog up my "favorites" bar. I will admit to spending more time on facebook this year and I guess I am more of a "lurker" than a "poster." I don't even know what Twitter is. Instead of spending lots of time on social media, I tend to use my computer time reading others blogs.

Do you have a favorite fabric collection or print from 2011?

Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi is awesome. I have yet to touch the pieces I own - but I already want more. The best print that I want to make curtains out of is this one. I don't own any, but the Loulouthi voiles and velveteens are gorgeous too.

I am also excited about these Japanese fabrics from Kayo Horaguchi. True Up has a post here
and I think my favorite print is this one.

Oh! I am also in love with Denyse Schmidt's Joann's collection Daisy Mae. I have a big stack that coordinates with some African fabric that I can't wait to dive into.

What do you predict for the sewing industry in 2012?

More owls - even though everyone is tired of them. More fabric designers being "discovered" via avenues like Spoonflower. More reprints of old favorites - I have heard rumors of Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner doing this eventually.

What are my goals for 2012? Any big or life changing projects?

I am trying to be realistic about what I can accomplish in 2012 with a new baby coming at the end of February. I would love to devote more time to smaller projects - specifically items to decorate/use in my home. I am also PSYCHED that the BMQG has been invited to display quilts in a gallery during the Lowell Quilt Festival- this is huge for our group!

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