Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 In Review

2016 was a very uneven year for me, creatively. It started strong, faltered in the middle, then picked back up again right at the end. Here's what I accomplished this year. 

Quilts 


This year, I really focused on finishing existing WIPs over starting new ones. I managed to complete my Unvalentine quilt, a Cross-Cut Mini quilt, a baby quilt, and a lap sized Glam Clam quilt. The Glam Clam quilt was far and away my favorite quilt that I finished this year. I also completed two quilt tops that I hope to turn into completed quilts in 2017. 

Garments 


In 2016, I finished nineteen garments: seventeen for myself and two for my daughter. While I had a few spectacular failures (my Firefly Aberdeen TunicMidnight Gust Akita Blouse and Basic Black Akita Blouse in particular), I also had some really great successes. I'm happiest with my Easter outfit (Chasing Butterflies Myrtle Dress and White Wembley Cardigan), while my Gleeful Akita Blouse probably got the most wear. I received a serger for Christmas, so I'm really looking forward to upping my garment sewing game in 2017. 

Four Akita Blouses 
Four Hemlock Tees 
Two Aberdeen Tunics 
Two City Gym Shorts (kids) 
One Hayden Tee 
One Myrtle Dress 
One Penny Raglan Tee 

Crochet/Knit


I started out 2016 crocheting and ended it almost exclusively knitting. I'm really happy I learned to knit this year. I will admit, that a lot of my quilting time was stolen by my knitting. Knitting is much easier to pick up and put down at a moment's notice. It's also very soothing. All in all, I finished four crocheted items and five knit items in 2016. My favorite is my Baltic Boneyard Shawl. 

Gift Bags


I didn't make very many gift bags the first ten months of 2016, but boy, did I make up for it in the last two months! The Origami Bento Bag tutorial from So Very Shannon reignited my gift bag making fire. By the end of the year, I made twenty-two gift bags, twelve of which are bento bags. I already have a few more cut out. 

2016 may not have been my best year, creatively, but I learned a lot and made a few things that I really love. Here’s to being more productive in 2017! Happy New Year! 

Here are past year's review posts: 

Monday, December 26, 2016

November 2016 in Review


For most of 2016, I have felt creatively blocked. My unfinished projects weighed on me. As the year went on, I steadily worked away at them, until finally I had finished enough of them and inspiration returned. The creative floodgates opened and I finished sixteen things in November. It was by far my most productive month this year. 

Finished 


Cuzco Baby Quilt: Back in 2013, I received a bunch of Kate Spain's Cuzco fabric as a gift. I was really excited about it at the time, but never found the right pattern. I settled on a pattern called Sunny Days that I found in a Creative Quilting: Special Issue magazine. I intended for it to be a lap quilt and picked away at it until I ran out of solid fabric. It sat neglected for a long while. After using some of the blocks in a mini quilt, I decided to use the rest to make a baby quilt. My mom taught me to spray baste and I basted and quilted this baby quilt in a day. As soon as I finished the binding, my husband sent this quilt to one of his coworkers who recently had a baby. It felt so good to finish it and give it to someone. 

Penny Raglan Tee: This past August, I tried my hand at Grainline Studio's new Penny Raglan Tee pattern. I was deeply disappointed by the fit. I wasn't inspired to break out my twin needle to complete it, so it hung unfinished for months. Then I read a post on Lucy Lucille about how she finishes her knits with a zigzag stitch. That was the push I needed to finish this. Once it was done, my garment sewing sewjo returned.  

Hemlock Tees: I needed more long sleeve shirts, so I grabbed my Hemlock Tee pattern (also by Grainline Studio). I sewed four Hemlock Tees in less than a week, and they are in constant rotation. 

Dice Bag: My husband requested a new dice bag. I whipped up a basic drawstring bag for him, using his design suggestions and fabric choices. 

Scrappy Christmas Gift Bag: Using part of a charm pack, I made a quick drawstring bag to use as Christmas wrapping. 

Bento Bags: I was super inspired by the Origami Bento Bag tutorial by So Very Shannon and made six in November: two non-Christmas ones and four for Christmas gift wrapping. 

Snack Sacks: The scraps from a couple of my Bento bags turned into two Snack Sacks. The pattern is from the book Ruby Star Wrapping by Melody Miller and Allison Tannery. I made mine larger based on the sizes of the leftovers I was working with and they both came in handy while I was wrapping Christmas presents. 

Started 


Scrappy Christmas Gift Bag: With Christmas looming, I started another drawstring gift bag from charm squares. 

Existing WIPs 


Building Blocks Shawl: After working non-stop on my Building Blocks shawl in October, I stalled in November. Due to the fact that I didn't know the whole pattern when I chose my color order, Section 6 ended up being knitted in Graphic, which is a basic black with no speckles. It was a long, boring slog, but I managed to finish the section in November. About 25% of the last section is knitted, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one! 

Rae Scarf: When I grew bored with my Building Blocks shawl, I pulled out my Rae Scarf and worked on it for a while. In November, I finished all the increases and got started on the decreases.


Monday, November 28, 2016

October 2016 in Review


Finished


Lizzy House Glam Clam Quilt: My big finish for October was the Glam Clam quilt that I started in April. I really loved how it turned out. You can read more about it here. 

Jam-Packed Gift Bag: I needed a gift bag for my dad's birthday present, so I tried out the Jam-Packed bag from the book For Keeps: Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living by Amy Gibson. I add a couple inches to the length, and it was just the right size for the gift. The pattern was originally intended as a lunch bag, and so called for Insul-Brite. I used regular batting instead and quilted the outer fabric. It was fun to make, and I'd like to try enlarging it for Christmas gift bags. 

Christmas Gift Bag: It's never too early to start making gift bags for Christmas. I used 5" square scraps to whip up a quick drawstring bag. 

Started


Building Blocks Shawl: Aside from my Glam Clam quilt, the project that absorbed most of my creative energy in October was this year's Westknits Mystery Knitalong, the Building Blocks Shawl. I decided to join last minute and was obsessed with it until the final clue was realized, and then lost some steam. 

Existing WIP


Rae Scarf: Even though my Building Blocks Shawl took most of my knitting attention, it was a bit awkward to tote around. I kept my Rae Scarf in my purse for on-the-go knitting and made good progress. I'm almost halfway done! 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Lizzy House Glam Clam Quilt

Earlier this year, I had the good fortune of taking a class from Latifah Saafir on her Glam Clam quilt. Yes, I already made a Glam Clam quilt for my daughter back in 2014, but I wanted to make one for myself. I also wanted to take a class from Latifah, as I had long been an admirer of her work. I backed her Kickstarter campaign, and was itching to try out my new Clammy ruler. The class did not disappoint. I learned how to use the new ruler, was introduced to using "registration points" instead of the tabs from the old templates, and got to hear a few stories behind the motifs in Latifah's new fabric line, Grafic. It was a really fun day.
  

For this quilt, I broke into my beloved Lizzy House stash, which I had been saving for a special quilt. There were several different designs covered in the class, but since I wanted to make the classic version again, I cut all my fabric beforehand. Cutting the clams with the ruler was so much easier than cutting them out by hand with the old templates. (On my first Glam Clam quilt, it felt like I spent more time cutting than sewing, and I had to take breaks because it made my hand hurt.) Since I arrived at class ready to go, I was able to sew a little more than half of my lap sized quilt during the class. I finished the piecing the next month at my mom's house during one of our sewing days.


It took me a few months to get up the courage to quilt this, as the last lap sized quilt I quilted wasn't very fun. Since I knew this would be a couch quilt, meant for cuddling, I keep the quilting light and simple: vertical lines two inches apart. I had fun with it and used a light blue thread. This quilt is currently being used and loved and is one of my favorites. 

The Glam Clam pattern is fast and fun, and I already want to make another. Latifah just updated the pattern in her shop, if you interested. (This post is not sponsored. I just love these quilts.)