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Well, here we are in 2016! The fairy lights have been packed away, the few baubles that we dared to display (given the cats’ destructive tendencies) have been wrapped up again and I’ve taken down my lovely Christmas wreathe. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Christmas brought a whole host of new sewing goodies and with the new year comes the firm resolution that this year will be the year of quilts…

Before I get into my plans, I thought that I’d just share some of the projects that I completed in the last few months of the year:

Log-cabin hexie cushion

This was the quilt-as-you-go log-cabin hexie cushion that was a gift for my brother’s girlfriend. As she is a musician and a fellow crafter, I thought that she would like the combination of musical notes and craft-related fabric! I found the pattern in a copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting (can’t quite remember which issue!) You’ll notice that this cushion has piping! Should you wish to read about the joys of trying to make piping (ahem!), then you can read about it in this post!

I also had a ‘commission’ from a particularly talented colleague at work who makes her own jewellery. This bunting adorned her stall at a Christmas Fair:

darshe bunting

Darshe jewellery

I was also quite excited to discover a new sewing shop in Leicester. Crafty Sew and So can be found in St Martin’s Square and is home to all sorts of fabric treasures. They also sell rather lovely little kits with ready-to-sew templates and are ideal for a fast sewing fix. I couldn’t resist this sweet little makeup bag:

Makeup bag - from Crafty Sew and Sew

At the end of November, I attended another workshop at Artworks in which the lovely Hillary taught us how to make a lined tote bag. By tote bag, I thought simple, lined shopping bag. How wrong I was! This was a ‘proper’ bag with zips!! I bought some bright fabric from the Clarke and Clarke range and I made this:

Bag - 1

Bag - 3

I managed to complete it in one day! I was pretty proud of myself!

So, some new sewing skills have clearly been acquired in 2015. But no quilts have been created. Since I intended to learn the art of quilting, I feel that this needs to be remedied in 2016. I wondered about setting myself a few goals re the number and type of quilts but then I thought that might be putting myself under a bit of pressure and this is meant to be my way of relaxing…

So instead, in the interest of acquiring skills, I will list just a few techniques that I would like to try in my quilting quest:

  • Creating blocks with triangles. I’ve read a lot of books but I don’t quite understand triangles. I must be missing something.
  • Make ‘orange-peel’ blocks.
  • Make more blocks using the free-form piecing method. It is extremely liberating. If all goes well, this might make a good quilt-top.
  • Develop my skills in applique.
  • Learn how to properly bind a quilt and make mitred corners.
  • Make blocks using the foundation paper-piecing technique.
  • Do more English paper piecing using different shapes.

That sounds achievable doesn’t it?!!! And there are a few special occasions taking place this year so, if all goes well, there may be a few special quilts!*.

Well, it’s getting late and it’s a ‘school night’ so I shall say Bonne Nuit for now.

Till next time!

April x

*If not, there’s always John Lewis…