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Top 5 of 2013: Next Year’s Goals

Top 5

Goals: My goals for 2014 are probably similar to many sewists and crafters out there but it never hurts to list them!

  1. Work from my stash! I have only been knitting and sewing since 2011 but the stash is TOO big. I would like to be able to enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed with clutter so this year I plan to get honest with myself. If I  truly don’t think the fabric or yarn will get used, then it is going to charity. Otherwise, there will be a concrete plan to use it up in 2014!
  2. Complete a quilt. I finished a Christmas tree skirt and loved the process. This may also be a good way to use my stash.
  3. Get my “startitis” under control. I have a bad habit of starting too many projects and never finishing them.
  4.  Learn how to knit cables. I love the fisherman style sweaters but have not ever attempted cables.
  5.  Learn how to line a garment correctly and learn some new sewing techniques. I have a couple of UFOs that need lining so it would be great to learn AND complete them!

Top 5 Reflections and Inspirations of 2013

Top 5

Continuing from yesterday’s post, today I have my reflections and inspirations.

Reflections: 2013 was a good year for expanding my skills. I not only completed my first quilted item, I took part in many sewing challenges. For me the challenges provided an outlet for learning how to correctly install an invisible zipper, sew a hem by hand, successfully draft a pattern, and even how to sew a swimsuit!

Inspirations: My biggest inspirations in 2013 were other bloggers! I learned so much from reading everyone’s blogs and seeing everyone’s finished garments often led me to try patterns I would have overlooked otherwise. My top five blogging inspirations:

  1. Roisin from Dolly Clackett. Her sheer number of dresses is inspiring and her sense of humor is wonderful. I think Roisin’s fabric choices pushed me to buy patterns that make me happy instead of always worrying whether the garment could be worn all the time. Sometimes wearing less often is a good thing because it becomes more special!
  2. Abbey from Sew Charleston. She is a relatively new blogger but her photos are charming and her fabric and pattern choices closely mirror mine. Perhaps it is because we are both from South Carolina but “great minds think alike”.
  3. Alicia from Posie Gets Cozy. I have been following Alicia for years and the glimpses inside her home and life are wonderful. She often shows knitting and embroidery projects and certainly provides lots of home decor inspiration.
  4. Lauren from Lladybird. Most sewists are familiar with Lauren and her mad skills. Her honest personality comes across in her blog and her feisty attitude is fun to read!
  5. Lizzy from Sew Busy Lizzy. Lizzy is both a knitter and sewist which makes her blog double inspiring to me. I especially loved her many versions of the Anna dress. It was her blog that pushed me to buy the pattern and discover the By Hand London company. Though my first Anna dress ended up as a miss, the inspiration is still there!

A Merry Christmas To All!

If your holiday season has been like mine, there has been absolutely NO time amid the hustle and bustle to simply sit and enjoy the season. That changed in the last 24 hours. All my traveling was complete and I had time to attend a Christmas Eve service with my husband and two of the kids. It is always nice to enjoy evening services and I especially love a candlelit church. Nothing like the beautiful music and Christmas story to remind us of the reason for the season!

Before last night however, I was rushing to complete all my handmade gifts and decor. I got them finished just under the wire and thought I would share.

First up is my Thanksgiving table runner. I got the idea via Lauren’s post and will definitely try this again for other holidays. For my runner I used some leftover burlap and cotton from my son Brett’s Halloween outfit. Nothing like using up scraps instead of letting them languish forever!

Thanksgiving Table Runner

Next up is my first completed quilting project…a Christmas tree skirt! I love decorating for Christmas and have enough ornaments for several trees but never had a tree skirt until now! I followed this tutorial from  Brown Paper Packages and am super happy with the end result. The total cost was around $30 bucks so my DIY version was much less expensive than many I have seen in catalogs. I also learned a lot and am already planning more quilting projects.

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I promise not all my recent projects were for me. I actually did complete a few gifts this season too. My next door neighbor, Shannon, loves to bake and can always be counted on for yummy apple pies. While working on my tree skirt, the middle circle got cut out so there is room for the tree trunk. Instead of throwing away the center, I finished it with bias tape and gave it to Shannon for Christmas. This “pot holder” is pie sized so she can sit pies on the counter to cool without ruining her counter tops.

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In addition to sewing, I also managed to complete a few knitted gifts. I finished a drop ribbon scarf for my Mom’s friend Janet and a silk and wool sweater for my Mom. Forgive the less than stellar photo below but this was after a few glasses of wine. I should get bonus points for matching the gift wrap ribbons and sweater color though!

Mom 2I hope your holiday season was full of family, friends, and handcrafted gifts!

 

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