Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year

A day late wishing you health and happiness for 2016, fun with your sewing and peace in your life and in the world: big and little wishes all rolled up together.  Thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit my blog this past year, I really appreciate it, and special thanks to anyone who has been kind enough to post a comment; it is lovely to be able to share what I have made and thrilling to know when at least one other person somewhere in the world likes it!

Ashamed to note it is nearly a month since I last blogged.  Usual excuses at this time of year, usual resolutions being made for the year ahead...   I hope you all had a good break over Christmas.  At our house there was lots of preparation, celebration, relaxation, and no sewing at all as I had to clear the dining room, my sewing space, for all the eating, drinking and conversation.

Still, I wouldn't have it any other way for these few weeks - so long as I can now clear the fridge and larder of tempting treats, get back to normal cooking, and bring my quilty stuff back to where I can access it easily. Everyone returns to work on Monday, the Christmas tree and decorations go away on Wednesday (Twelfth Night) and this weekend is transition time when we turn the page in the diary and look forward.

So, you may have noticed I have a new header to this blog: all credit goes to my daughter's friend Anna who is a whiz with computer design.  I thought that after two and a half years of fairly basic posting I should up my game and try and offer a bit more.  The idea is to make a few tutorials more readily accessible and post a gallery of quilts as a record of each year's finishes.  I'm not there yet as I have not added that content, but hopefully will do so over the next couple of weeks.

I know that blogs have been around for a while and there are more dynamic ways of sharing content, especially photos, but I am not yet ready to join all the social media stuff - always behind the curve, on the edge, where I can observe and consider before dipping my toe in the water, not just my age, always been that way.  So blogging it will be, for the foreseeable anyway.  Hope you will still join me?

Enough reflection, what little have I actually managed in December?  Well, I sold some quilts at a local craft fair in our adjoining village.  I no doubt underpriced them, but the aim was to cover the fabric cost and make sure they went to a good home.  I was fortunate in that I know almost all the purchasers.  I still find it hard to part with my 'babies' but I am starting to find that it is the challenge and process of making that is more fulfilling than having the finished quilt.  Almost.

I know there has been much debate on-line about getting a reasonable return for one's work and not underselling/devaluing the skill and hours of labour involved in making anything handmade.  And I totally understand and sympathise with the concerns expressed.  However, realistically it seems to me that people who don't know much about quilts, quilting or indeed making in any craft form, are just not going to pay a price which truly remunerates the maker for her or his time and effort.  I think that unless we are very lucky, most of us will still make quilts for the pleasure of making and giving, with maybe the occasional sale to clear the decks and make some room for more quilts!

And speaking of more quilts in the making, I returned my sewing machine to its usual place yesterday and caught up (nearly) with the blocks in Moda's Sampler Block Shuffle (see this post for my start date: I am downloading the patterns from the Fat Quarter Shop here).  I have deviated a little in that I have made multiples of some blocks, shuffling the colour and value placement, and I have decided to miss out the two applique blocks, one of which was released yesterday.  Although it is a nice block (by Jan Patek, whose naive style I like) I am not great at applique and I do prefer to piece. Chain piece, if possible...

Enjoy your weekend!

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