The Year of Learning

The New Year’s Resolution is often made and rarely kept around these parts. 2012 was a good year though. My resolution was to learn something new (or perfect a skill) in the sewing department each month. It made me try new things and I really enjoyed it! Here’s a trip down memory lane!
JANUARY: Cathedral Windows
I learned how to machine “piece” cathedral windows. I took the class from Sarah of Bluprint Textiles. It was great fun! This is a skill I hope to revisit in 2013:) In retrospect, I don’t think I’d choose such a contrasting thread for my first shot at this, but it is what it is.

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FEBRUARY: Paper Piecing
I’d noticed that there are A LOT of quilt block patterns that I really love that are paper pieced/foundation pieced. So I learned how by watching a million YouTube videos and calling the guru a lot! I’m in love! It’s precise! It’s pretty!! You can make stars:) I love it!! This is my first paper pieced star! A lovely block by Anna at Six White Horses that I made into a wall hanging.

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MARCH: Triangles
Piecing triangles has never been my favorite thing. I don’t like sewing bias and I don’t like messy intersections. BUT I love the finished product!! So I signed up for a class and learned lots:) Andrea taught a nifty way to align all the points and strongly encouraged pinning while sewing the bias. I also used an equilateral ruler that had a notch cut out of the top so that I always knew which side of the triangle was straight of grain. This quilt now belongs to Mack the Chihuahua! And I’m much more of a fan of triangles!!

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APRIL: Baskets
Another month and another fun class with Andrea:) I learned how to make this cute basket! Easy and fun!!

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MAY: Hand Appliqué
The guru is a very talented appliquér! I was jealous, so I told her that I wanted to learn. She gifted me a private lesson with her teacher, the amazing Kathleen Baden! Kathleen is a wonderful appliquér and one of the best teachers I know. I would take any class she is teaching just because she’s teaching it!! She taught me the basics: vines, leaves and perfect circles. I made this little needlecase. I am still not that much of a handwork person, but I’ve had an appliqué project going ever since! I do find it relaxing.

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JUNE: FMQ Loops
I dream of being an awesome free motion quilter. This is definitely in the “improving skills” department. I worked on loops a lot. I got better, but still have a LONG way to go!

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JULY: Hexies
I learned English paper piecing! This is not going to be my favorite activity ever, but I made a cute pinnie with it!! Thanks to Becky & Lisa for their lessons.

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AUGUST: FMQ Pebbles
I was back to improving my free motion skills!! I made myself a sewing machine cover and I did some pebble quilting on it. I REALLY need to work on this, but it was fun:) I’m not great at tracing over previous stitches…still working on that!

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SEPTEMBER: Voile Quilting
I am voile obsessed and decided to learn more about quilting with voile. It was a voile filled month!! These are foundation pieced on paper. And I quilted them both myself. Pinning a voile quilt proved difficult, but the finished product made it worth it!

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OCTOBER: Granny Blocks
I think granny blocks are quite vintage looking! And I love all the ways you can play with the colors. I joined a swap and made quite a few of these. Now I just need to have enough time to sew them together!

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NOVEMBER: Machine Appliqué
I’ve always loved machine appliqué, but this project helped me step up my game! I appliquéd the United Kingdom for Clare in a swap. I had to really figure out how to draw shapes that were large enough for appliqué, but still resembled the UK. It was tough, but she loved it:)

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DECEMBER: Top Stitching
I made a tote with the guru! And as usual, I learned a new application for an old skill. She took a trick she learned from a tailor and helped me perfect my top-stitching for this tote!

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I think Im up for another YEAR OF LEARNING! I’ve already planned a few projects…
HAND QUILTING: I took another class from Kathleen to make her new pattern, Rainbow Rocks. And I’m going to hand quilt it with the utilitarian/big stitch. This is my finished quilt top! (Pardon the crappy photo…)

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FREE MOTION QUILTING: I’m going to try to do this every month! I’ve improved a lot over the last few months, but 2013 will be even better! This is my FMQ from my brother’s Christmas present; my last quilt of 2012. It’s Pave the Way by Karen Gray!

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PIECING DIAMONDS: I just really want to be better at this:) The edge of this pillow is made of diamonds. I ripped out just as many seams as I sewed!

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VOILE: The adventures in voile continue! This is pieced with a foundation of quilters’ cotton.

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BINDING: My quest to perfect my binding continues:)

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HAND EMBROIDERY: I got this cute little doggie in a swap! And I thought the same thing I always think…I need to be able to do this!! It’s adorable! I will at least start to learn in 2013.

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PATTERNS: 2012 saw the launch of my first pattern! I already have quite a few nearly ready:) Stay tuned!

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GARMENT SEWING: I am a garment sewer in the sense that I made a blouse in 2012. A blouse…as in one. But this year, I’m going to really work on it! (I also apparently need to work on taking pictures of said garments…this is the only pic of my shirt I could find and you can barely see it! And I’m making a weird face…)

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What are your resolutions? Anyone else want to join in the year of learning part two?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
xo LC

4 thoughts on “The Year of Learning

  1. You had a great year! Many projects that are on my list also– would love to make a triangle quilt, improve my FMQ, and I absolutely love your Tula applique- would love to learn!

  2. You had a very productive year. I am impressed. So far, my resolution for 2013 is “Sew More & Cook Less” Looking forward to the voile quilt class with you!!

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