Looking back. Looking forward.

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IMG_5288How it is already 2016?

No, seriously, where has 2015 gone?

The news today said that fitness centres experienced their largest spike in traffic on Monday, with attendance showing signs of dropping already today! I think it is valuable to look at what we achieved with our sewing year-to-year to help us plan and set personal goals for the new year; goals that we maybe put in writing to help us stick with them and continue to get excited about our creative possibilities. Please join me in a 2015/16 review and maybe share some of your thoughts in the comments below.

It has been a busy year for me, both professional and personally. On the sewing front, 2015 has been a fun year of trying new styles, projects of all kinds, and challenging myself to try different techniques. I love a challenge – and quilting and sewing allow me the opportunity to continuously learn.


Just a few of the different projects I worked on in 2015


Just a few short years ago

I’m one of those type-A personalities. Give me instructions, step-by-step, photos and tutorials, anything and everything to guide me along… and I’ll make it happen! But when I started to quilt a few years ago, I felt like it took forever for me to make my first quilt because I always felt like some of the instructions and patterns I considered were too vague (especially the ‘quilt as desired’ part at the end!). Fast forward to today — here I am altering and creating my own patterns. Crazy!


The progression of my free motion quilting endeavours in 2015.

One of the areas where I really pushed myself  was with free motion quilting. Back in June, I wrote this blog post with my thoughts on the technique. I continued to work on this throughout 2015. I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable with my technique.

A few months back I signed up for an online class with Cindy Needham. One of the biggest lessons I took away from Cindy’s class was about finding your rhythm when you are free motion quilting – listing for the hum of the machine to be just right (which can be different for every person) and how when you find that rhythm it will sync with how fast or slow you move whatever project you are working on. Being patient and  finding this rhythm has helped my free motion quilting become a lot more smooth and consistent.

2015 was also about learning when enough free motion quilting was enough. For a while I wanted to “quilt all the things.” Now I’m learning to plan out my free motion quilting more carefully. More free motion quilting isn’t always better. Finding balance was part of the learning curve.


This nautical themed baby boy quilt helped me find balance with my free motion quilting. Embellishments were added to create movement to the sailboats but the rest of the quilt was quilted with simple waves so that the final product was soft and flowy.



 Trying New Techniques

All of the above quilts were made with ‘new-to-me’ techniques. The hexagon quilt challenged me with its y-seams. I also enjoyed playing with jelly rolls, disappearing nine-patches, and half-square triangle samplers.

These challenges have allowed me to move closer to defining my own personal quilting style. I can’t tell you what it is yet because I haven’t figured it out exactly… but I know I’m getting closer to it! I know I love working with bright modern colours and using clean simple lines with lots of white space (or space in general) to let the eye gravitate to the main focal point. But it’s all a work in progress and I look forward to working on this more as I try new techniques and challenges in 2016.

Looking Ahead: Quilting Trends for 2016

These are fairly subjective but the following are just a few of the areas where I think quilters, bloggers, and sewing in general might focus on more in 2016.

MORE Free Motion Quilting

  • I think 2016 will see even more free motion quilting with the emphasis being on machine quilting. Ruler work started to become more popular in 2015, and I think in 2016 we’ll continue to see this along with getting into more interesting thread choices (different weights) for free motion quilting.

Landscape Quilts

  • Maybe it’s just me but I think making landscape quilts and mini quilts will become more popular 2016. I love the technique and fabric possibilities of landscape quilts. They just seem so creative! I’ve picked up a few new books on this style of quilting as it’s certainly on my to-do list for the coming year.

Blogging: Up Close & Personal

  • Are you on Periscope yet? If you’re not, maybe you should give it a try. I discovered Periscope this past summer and I’m hooked. A lot of sewing and quilting bloggers have jumped on board. Basically Periscope allows you to share a live video feed. Users tune in and watch your live video (it is also available for 24 hours after the broadcast as well). Those watching can “heart” your video if they like it or share comments or ask questions video the chat feature at the bottom. I love how up close and personal the app is; when I’m watching my favourite quilting bloggers on Periscope, I feel like I’ve been invited into their sewing rooms and have a front row seat to connect with them.

Double Gauze

  • Have you played with double gauze fabric yet? It is quite literally two layers of gauzy fabric sandwiched together. More and more fabric lines are starting to include a piece or two in their collections and I think there will be a lot more of this through 2016. I have used it to make a few infinity scarves. I have a few metres stashed away with the hopes of making a baby blanket with it for a friend in 2016. I think it’s the perfect combination of softness and drape.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to look forward to in the quilting and sewing world in 2016. What were your favourite quilty accomplishments of 2015? What do you hope to create in 2016? Do you have any sewing goals for the New Year?


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2 Responses to Looking back. Looking forward.

  1. Marilynn says:

    I’m in the market for a new sewing Machine and am considering the Ulna 540, I’ve also read about the Janome and wonder how they compare. Where can I go to try a Janome machine? I live in north San Diego County.


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