Ever since I was in High School, which was a long long time ago, I have gotten excited when I started thinking about fall and winter sewing and quilting. This year is no exception. In fact, having just reorganized my fabric, thread, paint, and notions stashes, and purchased a new Bernina 880 Plus, I am more excited than usual about the projects I have before me this year.
One of the things I always like about going through my studio to sort things out is finding pieces of fabric I had forgotten about or had at least pushed to the back of my to do list. This is for both clothes and quilts.
When I cleared up my studio this year, I also went through my clothing patterns, pruning out about 75 percent of my old patterns and keeping only those that seem right for me now. The remaining patterns and fabrics for clothes on hand are inspiring me to think about making some new clothes. My wardrobe really needs an update too.
When I bought my new machine, I got it at a time when they were providing a gift that includes new feet, some machine luggage, additional embroidery motifs for use in the hoop and a variety of other neat things. I was able to exchange some of the feet that duplicated those I already had for some new ones. So now I have a lot of feet that are inspiring ideas for using interesting techniques.
Remember when I talk about all the things I have found in my studio, I have been sewing since I was five years old and I am 72. I retired in 2012 to be a full time fabric artist. So some of the things have been hiding for a while from me in some of the closets, in boxes under my bed, and even in plain sight…LOL. I feel very blessed. Because of all the things I recently rediscovered stashed away I don’t have to buy anything new for most of the projects I want to make. I did restock some threads and paints that I anticipate needing. So I have resolved to myself that for the next year I will attempt to do m work without new stuff. Now I want to make:
- a new bag, in leather (I now have feet for use with leather and vinyl and some leather).
- a new suit, in black denim (I have a stash that includes a fair amount of denim) with embroidery
- a blue denim jacket
- a new dress suit in wool with a silk top to go with it
- a new jacket in raw silk, maybe 2 since I have 2 nice pieces
- several new tops and use some heirloom techniques (I have a nice collection of feet to use for this now) and embroider some of them.
- I also want to make several new show and utility quilts.
It is fairly certain that I won’t get all of this done this year, but it’s nice to have them on the list to pick from as I do have time.
Clearly I have an exciting and busy time ahead that will last well beyond fall and winter, and I have already started. I will have to plan my days in order to fit other important things into my life. I’m excited! I’m sure the nicely rearrangement of my studio, and my wonderful fleet of machines will help me accomplish a great deal of these projects though. So I won’t have to buy any new clothes for fall through spring either. I don’t have much in the way of summer fabrics, unless I use my quilting cottons. LOL
Oh, and last year I made a new dressy overcoat with a “fur” collar using some of the fabrics on hand. It’s warm and cosy. So I really do complete a lot of these dream projects.
Progress Report on My Mom’s Memory Quilt
I have made a good start on my Mom’s memory quilt, which is going to also be a show quilt, but I have a long ways to go on it. It has a large pentagon in the middle of it on which I am appliqueing her needle work. The pentagon fabric is a lovely medium blue dupioni that sets off the beauty of her crocheted lace. It’s a pentagon because I thought I only had five of the ten inch squares I found in her work basket, but during the reorganization I found a sixth square. It’s a slightly different shade of crochet thread, though, so I will find something neat to do with that one. The color difference is probably why it was in a separate place. There are some more crocheted items, but they don’t work with this quilt.
I had no idea how difficult it would be to make a perfect pentagon that has 21 inch sides. It was a challenge. A good friend of mine sent me a Corel Draw pattern for one to print in tiled sheets and taped together. I thought that it would then be easy to get it right, but putting the tiles together that way gave many opportunities for slight variations in the shape. I had to try it several times until I got it right, but finally succeeded when I started using a lot of rulers to help.
So yesterday I cut out the freezer paper pentagon, cut out the fabric, and then glue basted the edges down. I checked the edges for straightness and measurements. It’s very good. the sixteenth of an inch off I had on the paper pattern disappeared as I worked the fabric from it. I love how it looks. I placed the crocheted pieces around it in a way that forms a star in the middle, just laying them down to see how it looked for now. (No pictures until its debut show, whatever that will be).
It is in many ways a gift to my Mom. It would be so much fun if she were still here to show it to her, but I am having a lovely time making it while thinking about all the great things she taught me and the lovely things she made herself. She did not quilt, but she was a real expert seamstress. She has been gone now twenty years, but sometimes I think she is nearby.
Sew happy everyone! What are your planned projects for this fall and winter?