We are just a few weeks into the year 2022 and it already feels a bit more chaotic and bustling than I would like. As I think about my goals for this year, one thing I want to do more of is taking the time to slow down and reflect upon and fully appreciate my accomplishments. So, I'm taking a minute to recap on last year's quilting adventures and challenges...it was definitely a year of tremendous growth and learning for me.
Mastering Half Square Triangles
The first thing I'm super proud of is I finally learned to properly sew and trim half square triangles...I say properly because I had tried them before but honestly had no clue what I was doing, especially when it came to trimming them. In April, I joined the Better Together quilt along, hosted by Quilter's Candy, and made my first quilt consisting entirely of half square triangles. Even though I was super intimidated, I knew that the only way to conquer my fear of HSTs was to actually make them, and 400+ HSTs later, I can say with confidence that I mastered the half square triangle! And I actually had fun in the process; well, after trimming the 50th HST, it was maybe a little more monotonous than fun, but I still stuck with it, and the quilt I made remains one of my favorites!
Sewing Machine UpgradeI also took a big leap in the Spring of 2021, and upgraded my sewing machine! Previously, I had been sewing on a Baby Lock Sofia, which was my very first sewing machine...it's about 9 years old. It was a great starter machine, but it's on the smaller size and I found that as I started making larger quilts (larger than baby size) it was difficult to quilt them on my small machine. I decided to go with another Baby Lock, the Crescendo...and haven't looked back since. It's been a dream machine for piecing and quilting and I'm so glad I made the purchase. A laser light (for all those HSTs), a large throat space, and a dual feed walking foot are some of my favorite features of the Crescendo.
This "I Heart You" quilt was the first quilt I quilted on the new machine...the wider throat space and dual feed foot made it so easy and enjoyable.
Exploring Hand SewingAnother big area of growth for me was learning to sew by hand, including hand embroidery and hand binding. I had never done any kind of handwork before, but I was inspired to give it a try when I made my daughter a quilt over the summer featuring an applique cat...the cat needed a face, so I watched lots of YouTube videos to figure out how to do a simple backstitch and satin stitch. It was way easier than I envisioned in my head.
Southern Charm Quilts. She made this method look so easy and approachable. When I started stitching, I instantly fell in love with this slow binding method as well as the large visible stitches it produces, which in my opinion adds an extra bit of handmade charm to a quilt...I've used this binding method on every quilt I've made since, and I've also amassed quite the collection of DMC Perle Cotton thread.