Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Not so Fresh Start

Happy New Year!

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. 
 The quilt is too big to photograph indoors and the ground is too wet outside to photograph it out there.

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.
Progress so far
Full size pattern

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.


  1. Happy new year, and good luck with your list :o)

  2. Hello Sue,
    i wish you a happy new year, good health at every time and a lot of creativity for many other things offside your list.
    I'm curious what we get to see;-)
    Good luck...
    Very Bearly Hugs from
    Ulf and the Felsi-Bears

  3. Happy New Year to you Sue! I am looking forward to see your projects finished!

  4. Hello Sue,
    Nice to meet you here! I saw you're starting one of my designs :)How great is that, and it's looking great already! May I invite you to share pictures of the quilting process on my Facebook page? I really like that! It will be so inspiring for other quilters.
    I hope to see you there!
    Kind regards,
    Jacqueline de Jonge - Becolourful

    1. Hi Jacqueline
      Great to hear from you. I will definitely take photos as I go along and would be really happy to put them on your Facebook page.
      Very best wishes