The old and the new…

Happy New Year!

Hengistbury Head Dec 2019 by Allison Reid

There wasn’t a lot of sunshine during our New Year’s Eve walk across Hengistbury Head but it was lovely to be at the seaside 🙂

The Old Year, New Year Stuff:

Over the past few years I’ve gotten into the habit of choosing a word of the year for a focus rather than going for New Year Resolutions that only set me up to fail. I do fit some goals around my chosen word but my core intention is to use it as a consistent reference point rather than a way of assessing progress or achievement.

My word for 2019 was ‘COMMUNITY’. My word for 2020 is ‘GROW’. I toyed with words on the theme of expanding/moving forwards, such as ‘develop’ (sounded a bit clinical) or ‘nurture’ (maybe a bit too airy for my practical nature?). So this year GROW is the word (I just heard ‘Grease is the word, is the word’ run between my ears as I wrote that! :-D) but I won’t be letting go of ‘community’.

What is the legacy of community and how does Grow fit with my patchwork quilting hopes and dreams for 2020? Well…

Being part of the Worldwide Quilty Community both on online and in person has been a key motivator for me. Last year I focused on this with the intention of contributing and sharing more both through social media and through teaching.

Social Media: Regular Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts on this blog gave me a useful platform to show progress with my own projects and, more importantly, to share links to helpful and interesting posts published by other quilty bloggers. I definitely intend to continue with regular SQB&S posts. My Facebook page NewEveryMorningPQ and my Instagram feed @allisonreid.neweverymorning are other ways I seek to keep in touch with patchwork quilters. Bringing GROW to social media fits easily as a continuation of last year’s community theme.

Log Cabin with borders by Allison Reid
I just had time to add the borders to my sample for the Log Cabin class before packing away my sewing equipment for the Christmas break.

Teaching: Through 2019 I taught four Beginners Classes at Purple Stitches. I also organised a workshop from scratch – booking the hall, taking bookings on line and teaching from my own design 🙂 I enjoy the challenge of leading workshops and gain great satisfaction seeing participants confidence GROW as their projects take shape. I’ll be GROWing the number of workshops I have available to teach through 2020. For the first quarter of the year I have scheduled two Beginners classes (both start on 11th January – there are a couple of places available in the afternoon class) and a new class, ‘Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin’, being held at Purple Stitches on Friday 6th March.

I’ll also be applying GROW to pattern writing. I aim to publish eight patterns this year. One will be the pattern that was printed in Quilt Now magazine at the end of 2019 and another will be a pattern accepted for magazine publication in July this year 🙂 So there’ll be quite a lot of behind the scenes/secret sewing going-on to GROW in this area! I do have plenty of pattern ideas swimming around in my mind, I need to work on creating a properly organised computer filing system so I can use my written instructions and diagrams more efficiently… Of course, patterns need to be tested so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to make patchwork quilts 🙂

I’m planning to GROW my own skills and practice the art(s) of patchwork quilting. To this end I’m excited to be booked onto a free motion quilting class in February with Jo Westfoot aka The Crafty Nomad. And I’m intending to purchase another sewing machine (jumps up and down in excitement): a Juki 2200 Mini which I’m convinced will GROW my free motion quilting skills 😉

It’s all very well making these plans for 2020 but I am reminding myself that ambitions built on my own strength are actually built on sinking sands – I have no idea what will happen to me hour by hour let alone through a whole year! To trust and act on the rock of Jesus’ words (Matthew 7:24-27), knowing the solid truth that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8) is, I’ve found, the best way to look to the future. Whatever happens to enhance or thwart my plans my wisest choice will be to GROW my trust in Him. 🙂

Allison

Hengistbury Head Dec 2019 the Priory by Allison Reid
Christchurch Priory from Hengistbury Head

 

 

Final quilt of 2019: Finished, gifted and well received

Belated ‘Happy Christmas!’ to you! We have had a good time celebrating with family over the past few days and still have visits and family times to look forward to as we approach the new year. I hope you too have been able to form happy memories of Christmas 2019 and have plenty more good things coming your way over the rest of the holiday.

Secret Sewing revealed: Since Christmas Day is past and the quilt has been gifted and unwrapped I can now reveal the secret sewing I was working on through the earlier part of December: a quilt for our youngest son who likes the colour blue.

Read moreFinal quilt of 2019: Finished, gifted and well received

A bit of paper craft with some links to patchwork and quilting news and tutorials

I have tucked away my sewing machine and cleared my sewing room ready to receive our guests over the Christmas and New Year holidays. I often feel a bit lost when the sewing equipment is packed away. I think the ‘lost/detached’ feeling I get when the sewing room is converted to a guest room is more about letting go of the possibility of sewing rather than any real loss of sewing time. After all there’s more than enough to do what with extra meetings with friends and family (not to mention more shopping trips into town in one fortnight than for the whole of the rest of the year!) so the chances of disappearing into my sewing room for any length of time are pretty limited.

But taking a break from sewing opens other opportunities to be creative and crafty. At the craft group I help run we were shown how to make a star shaped table centre/wall hanging. This was fun and do-able in

Read moreA bit of paper craft with some links to patchwork and quilting news and tutorials

Moravian Star finish, sewing on a rainy day…

Conditions outside have steadily deteriorated through the day… It started grey now it’s very windy, very wet and very, very grey! 🙁

Rainy Day by Allison Reid
The view from my sewing room window at 2.30pm!

I have had to admit defeat re. publishing a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. Reality check! This is a busy time of year for everyone. Lots of extra socialising to enjoy as well as preparations for Christmas to be completed. So rather than stress about missing blog post deadlines I will rest SQBS posts for the next few weeks and resume in the New Year. In the meantime I shall write when I can and continue to read other quilter’s blogs as a form of respite from all the busyness 🙂

I can share a finish! Deciding to gift the Moravian Star decoration was the right incentive to keep me working on the project. Finished and wrapped on Sunday, gifted on Monday!

Moravian Star finished by Allison Reid

Today I’ve been testing a set of Drunkards Path rulers. These make a 6″ finished block. I used a 25mm rotary cutter to negotiate the curves. The rulers don’t have non-slip pads but actually I found both of them easy to hold in place whilst I was cutting.

Drunkards Path test blocks by Allison Reid

The blocks went together without any fuss and measure the expected 6½” unfinished (whew!). I wasn’t brave enough to try the ‘no pin’ technique Rachel Hauser uses when stitching curves together but I did go with minimalist pinning – just five pins evenly spaced along the seam.

Drunkards Path test block pinning by Allison Reid

This block size gives a fairly gentle curve which meant I didn’t have to raise the presser foot to adjust the seam position as I stitched. All in all a useful test that gives me confidence to embark on another project I have in mind 😉

As for Christmas preparations… Well! I’ve just about written all the cards… And I’ve hung one decoration 😀

Christmas Tree Quilt by Allison Reid

This is my small version of the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Christmas tree quilt. I made it this time last year mainly from stash fabrics. I wonder if you are enjoying rediscovering handmade decorations as you prepare your home for Christmas?

Allison