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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Reflecting on 2014

It’s that time of year when we look back and see our achievements over the last 12 months.  Oh dear – I won’t be winning the contest for the most quilts completed, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?  I’ve still been  busy sewing away, and enjoying what I’ve been doing.  The sum total of two rather old UFOs were finally completed.  I had a bit of a mental block with my Maple Leaf quilt as I was working on it some years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, and couldn’t bear to look at it for quite some time.  My treatment was successful, I’m pleased to say, and I finally found I could work on it again, after the memories of that worrying time had receded.

P3310019Maple Leaf quilt

There were no bad memories associated with my second quilt finish.  Wonderful memories really, as I purchased this pattern way back in 1999 when we were staying with my pen-friend Diane in Juneau, Alaska.  Diane took me to the local quilt shop, where I looked for something with a local flavour to remind me of our trip. The Eagle Spirit pattern was just what I was looking for.  Sadly, the eagle wall-hanging pattern lay forgotten for quite some time. I finally traced the pattern pieces out last year, and after working on it spasmodically, it was eventually completed in early 2014. The trees and the black eagle were machine appliquéd in place, then I machine quilted the whole piece. The eagle heads were constructed from ultra suede, and hand stitched in place.

P2030005Memories of Juneau, finally finished

What else – you may well be asking?  I made two cushions with stitchery panels on the front.  Give Thanks was completed in time to send to my pen friend Carol in South Dakota in time for Christmas, and was only recently blogged about.  And I made May our House be Filled with Love, a  Bronwyn Hayes design, for my sister Kathleen’s 70th birthday, earlier in the year.

P6290001 For my sister’s 70th birthday

It’s just as well that I enjoy doing stitchery projects, as I’ve done a fair few these last twelve months.  I stitched nine of these Stitcher’s Alphabet letters, put them in little frames and sent them off to my quilty pen friends overseas.  These lovely  designs are by the very talented Michelle Ridgeway of Rag Tag Stitching.  Then later in the year I used more of Michelle’s designs and made a length of bunting for my Sew Wot friend Rae for our Secret Santa gift exchange.

P7160019 For Natalie and Gail

PC080019 Bunting for Rae

Both my grand-daughter Megan and our friend Dot welcomed new kittens into their lives during the year.  So of course I just had to make them a I Love my Cat bag each to contain all those bits and pieces that a kitty collects, such as a brush or comb, a catnip mouse, and whatever else is deemed important.  After doing the little stitchery for the front of the bag, I looked through my stash and  found I had quite a selection of cat inspired fabric to choose from to make the body of the bag.

P8100004Made for grand-daughter Megan’s kitten, Chicken

Selvedges also featured in sewing over the year.  I made two sets (of two) breakfast placemats using selvedges, and also stitched up a double handed selvedge oven cloth.  Then I discovered a knitting  pattern using selvedges.  I got the idea from the very talented Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.  Read all about it here to make a knitted rag rug.   Just love all the different colours coming through, offset by the various neutrals.  I used up long lengths, and shorter selvedges too, whatever came to hand, but kept the short lengths less than 12 inches for other projects.  Here is the finished rug, it fits in nicely in front of my laundry tub, adding a nice splash of muted colour.  I’m really pleased with it.  Robin did wonder what on earth I was doing in the evenings, wrestling with large needles and a big ball of fabric strips,  which was regularly replenished.

P3120007Knitted selvedge laundry rug

Clack, clack, clack went the knitting needles in the evenings. Twelve dusters were knitted up using knitting cotton in various shades.   I made three little jerseys for my baby box using up some spare wool I had tucked away for ages. I’ve told my grand-daughters these are for the next generation, and I’m sure they think I’m crazy  But they are sure to come in handy one day.  The little bunny is so cute, and is one of those “flat” toys.  When I find someone to gift my little baby cardy too, the bunny can go along too.  They look so nice together, I think. 

P1280008Baby cardigan and toy

What else?  Oh yes, a little sewing for myself.  One apron, one summer skirt, and one nightgown.  Then I got the preserving pan out and cooked up some marmalade, kiwifruit jam, lemon honey and capsicum chutney.

I really enjoy my quilt club and if we are not off and away in the caravan I attended the monthly quilt club nights and UFO nights.  Then there are the Sew Wot ladies who meet fortnightly, and who all make the most delicious morning teas!  And while travelling around I attended quilt shows in Wellington, Wanganui, Marton, Hamilton and Feilding.  And visited a few out of town quilt shops too - Quilted Gumboot in Taihape, Angels in Gumboots in Ashhurst, Wright’s Fabrics in Morrinsville, and Grandmother’s Garden in Gordonton.

So even though my quilt tally of finished quilts is low, I’m happy with what I have achieved over the year.  Wonder what my first finish will be for 2015?


Nancy J said...

All good things take time, and the finished quilts are full of stories. Love those alphabet letters, perfect for when you are away. Take care, Jean.

Kate said...

You had a good year, Jenny, thanks for sharing it with us.

Maria said...

What a lovely group of finishes. Such a cite little cardi and cuddley...
Enjoy working on more finishes for this year.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

Jenny, you have been a marvelous producer...I love your projects. Of course, the maple leaf quilt is near and dear to me, being Canadian, and I will definitely be checking out the rag rug follow-up; what a great idea for left overs. I think you had a great year.

Gemini Jen NZ said...

I love all the little stitcheries you've done, they are really cute! I might try to do a few more stitcheries myself this year.