Thursday, 5 January 2012

Reflections and Trends going into 2012

This time last year I kept seeing all the reflections and trends blog posts popping up on my blog roll and really wanted to join in. Only I read a whole bunch first and it felt like much of what I had to say was already being said. So this year I've decided to join in with the Sew Mama Sew industry reflections before going and reading what everyone else thinks. It feels a bit like I've been interviewing myself. But these are my thoughts on the given questions:

Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind?
Embroidery became much more popular. People were including embroidery in blocks, using perle much more for quilting and doing more projects that included some embroidered elements. The Hexie trend that seemed all the rage in 2010 continued; Only the hexies got bigger and pieced. The Famers Wife Blocks seemed to capture everyones imagination and everyone put their own stamp on the traditional by adding their favourite modern fabrics. Also everyone (but me who's still not tried it) seemed to be getting into paper piecing.

What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year?
I enjoyed taking part in lots of different swaps in 2011. I really feel motivated and encouraged by having this whole online presence of people that totally get the need to make and create. In the UK this has largely been influenced by Brit Quilt started by Lynne of Lily's Quilts. I also think with the likes of the Sewing Summit and the FQ Retreat in London this online community is becoming more and more real world and I think this trend will continue, as we all want to meet the people we consider our 'virtual' friends.

What did you make that you’re most proud of? 
I loved making and my 'Somewhere Under the Sea' Quilt because is used my favourite Heather Ross Mendocino fabric. I loved the colours and the satisfaction finishing a quilt gave me. (Because I'm not very good at finishing big projects.)

Mendocino - first finish of 2011 

I'm also really proud of the first 2-4-1 tote I made because it completely inspired me to have a go at other patterns and not just make up my own bags as I went along. Nothing wrong with that, but having patterns to follow took a lot of the stress away.

241 tote

Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the past year to recommend?
I would totally recommend the 241 tote pattern by Anna over at Noodlehead. If you've never made a bag before, but want a bit of a challenge (Not too much to be scary - enough to make you feel you've achieved something) then this is the pattern for you. Along with many others I enjoyed the Farmers Wife quilt book too.

Are there any trends you’re over and done with?
Hexies...I will finish my giant hexies (although the quilt I'll end up making will be considerably smaller than I'd first envisioned!) and then I never want to do another hexie quilt in my life. Ever. It feels so last year and the year before. Now I want something new. Something I won't need to hand stitch ...forever. I'm also completely over this whole fabric hoarding thing. It has to stop. I can't afford to go on buying fabric just because I love it and really really want it. I'm sure it's the same for many people. I'm looking forward to shopping my stash a bit more often.  USPS are putting their prices up and customs VAT charges mean those of us in the UK are facing charges on just £15 worth of goods. Fabric is looking a lot more expensive to get over seas and it's not cheap in the UK either.

Did you have a favorite fabric collection or print in 2011?
I loved the boldness of Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket and the colour scheme. I also loved anything LakeHouse Drygoods produced. Amy Butler's Lark collection was another favourite. But I also loved anything from Joel Dewbury (Aviary and Heirloom people?) and anything with text/maps on it.

What do you predict for 2012 in the sewing industry?
As we went into 2011 the yellow/gold/grey combo seemed to be everywhere. This year I think orange will be huge. Mixed in with lots of grey and maybe surprisingly, teal. I think teal will be used almost as a neutral and maybe mixed in with berry reds. I think there will be a lot more dark colours about. Not as in sludge dark. Just stronger tones and less white.  I think embroidery, especially with perle will continue to be popular.  I think some of the most popular prints will be abstract and slightly masculine.  I also think we'll be more drawn to fabrics that blend and play well with others, meaning we don't have to buy whole collections to get a cohesive look.  I think more people will be influenced by solids and the solid substrates and this will create some modern and interesting quilts where colours and textures tell the story - maybe mixed in with the occasional print.

Can you tell us what to expect from you in 2012? Any big projects or life-changing goals?
I want to make more cushions and items to add interest around my home. There is hopefully something very life changing for me on the horizon this year. But it's not sewing related and I'm not ready to go public on that one yet!


  1. Great post - very thoughtful and full of things for me to ponder on...thank you!

  2. What a great post Jan and finishing on a teaser, hmm?

  3. Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
    Yours, Ulla

  4. Great review! As I only leapt in in June, I didn't feel I could really comment on the year lol

  5. Interesting review and predictions - love the idea of orange taking centre stage! Maybe I could help with that in my own small way!

  6. Nicely done! I wish I could put my thoughts together in such a coherent way!
    I think your predictions for 2012 are spot on. I'm so slow though,so I will never be trendy..... Still working on my hexies and have a yellow and grey quilt in the works.

  7. Like & agreeing with what you're saying (although I've not tired of the hexies totally yet) x

  8. Lovely post - you are so eloquent...

    I got your wonderful parcel yesterday, thank you so so very much. How thoughtfully put together, and I simply loved all the things you gave me, especially the giraffes, they are going to be my pencil case and cheer me up each day at work.

    I have just blogged about you parcel, so you can read more about my excitement there!

    Come on - give us a clue about your possible life changing event..... :)


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