2012 was a year with great ups and downs. I retired from teaching at the end of 2011. I said goodbye to my dear father at the end of January. I miss him every day. In May, my 14 year old westie, Oscar also left us for a better place. In June, my elder son James married Natalie. It was a wonderful day and a blessing to see them so happy. The rest of 2012 was relatively quiet. I had a great time exhibiting at Hugglets in February and September. I launched a new teddy design in September that I love. I also really enjoyed the Teddies Tea Party, Friends of Teddy and Christmas Treasures online shows I participated in. I completed a Patchwork course for beginners in September. I loved every minute of it and discovered that quilters are lovely, kind people.
Crafty Goals for 2013
I am hoping that the process of writing down my goals for 2013 will help me to stay focussed in 2013. I have some unfinished projects I need to finish and lots of new challenges ahead.
1.Develop my oldie teddy bear design further.
2.Develop my realistic bear design further.
3. To Finish in January -Finish my bed quilt. I learned how to sew 12 different blocks in the beginners patchwork course I completed last month. I actually had 18, 12 inch blocks as I made some in two different colourways. I used mostly Fabric Freedom's Pure Velvet fabrics plus some Fossil Fern for the lime green sashing. The fabrics are gorgeous, but when cut up small for patchwork, I felt that some of their beauty was lost. I wanted a large 90 inch by 90 inch bed quilt for our bed, so decided to add another 18 blocks showcasing some of the fabrics. Over Christmas, I sewed the blocks and sashing together and basted the batting and backing to the quilt top. I also attempted hand quilting for the first time - applying it to three plain blocks. I am in the process of adding further quilting to the top and then will need to add the binding.
My very first effort at hand quilting. I really enjoyed it, but there is A LOT of room for improvement. I have free motion quilted on some of the unpieced patterned blocks, but some will need unpicking and redoing, as they are not up to scratch!
3. January - May: Learn to free-motion quilt. I have seen some amazing quilts that have been quilted using free-motion quilting I have dipped my toe in the water but am pretty awful. I am starting a course in FMQ in two weeks, so am hoping to improve. I realise it takes a lot of practice to become proficient, so I will definitely need to put lots of hours in!
4. February - Finish my New York Beauty wallhanging. This needs more quilting and then binding, but will need to wait until my bed quilt is finished. I discovered the joy of paper piecing recently. I adore it!
I originally intended to make a couple of cushion covers but was having so much fun I kept going. The fabrics are some batiks that I picked up at a local quilting show. The stand had a special offer going and I just picked the fabrics randomly - without a project in mind. I am very lucky that the lighter and darker values seem to work together in this scrappy design.
5. January - March: Complete six teddies for online show in March.
6. January - May: Complete the Be Colourful quilt. I may have mentioned that I adore paper piecing. In early December I started to make the Be Colourful quilt using a pattern by Jacqueline de Jonge. I just love colour and the complete freedom of the design. I have not been able to source many of the original fabrics, but will try to remain reasonably faithful to the original colours. This is on hold until I finish my bed quilt and wall hanging. It may have to wait until I have created th eteddies for my March show. I am still a beginner in patchwork, so this is a big challenge for me. It has been great fun so far.
7. June: Learn to applique.
8. July:Design and make a small art quilt.
9. June - July onward: Improve hand quilting. Complete hand quilted cushion cover.
10. July - August: Create teddies for September Hugglets.
11. September - October: Create teddies for Christmas online show.
12.November - December: Slippage time - Finish any unfinished projects.