With Christmas over for another year and the festive fabric leftovers stored away I am very excited about the possibilities for a New Year of stitching. Determined to maintain my focus on making time to be creative this year, I am already considering too many projects, but that's half the fun!
My priority is going to be to try and keep going along to J's Rags to Bags classes for I still have so much to learn and the classes are a great way to keep adding to and refreshing skills, and J is so patient and encouraging that it makes approaching new challenges uplifting and fun. Santa brought a gift voucher for the first two classes of the new year, among other lovely things, and I couldn't be more thrilled! We'll be making a floor cushion and a weekend/project bag - check this link to see J's classes list - I can't wait!!!
My foray into a weekly sewing class just began in September and since then I can hardly bear to have to miss a week. It's like therapy just getting away for a few hours to indulge in something I love to do. It really has been a luxury to be able to give over this time out of a hectic home/work/parenting lifestyle and admittedly some weeks the effort is overwhelming - juggling school homework, swimming lessons, domestic responsibilities and hubby's work commitments just to be able to get there. But always, always it is worth it to be able to realign my sanity and spend a little time pleasurably.
The unexpected benefit of attending classes is the social community. Meeting others with a passion for patchwork and creating has been brilliant. Sometimes the other people in our lives don't get the excitement that a little scrap of fabric or an odd button induces, but attend a class and someone else will enthuse alongside you at the 4" piece of ribbon you rescued from an old pair of pjs and might just actually put to use some day! I have truly loved every minute of the classes I attended through the last four months and have met some really lovely, fabulously talented people. I enjoy the different perspectives that everybody brings to a project - different fabric choices, different motivation, different intention - and I am amazed how an initial project can look so varied when made up by ten people with individual tastes and interpretations. It's so inspirational and I think it's that community inspiration aspect of the class that I found so unexpected and refreshing. Here's to more of the same!
I am glad to report that my Christmas gifts were well received and mum has been raving about her quillow ever since she opened it on Christmas morning. I think if she could take out a full page ad in a local paper to proclaim its virtues she would - nice to know all the sweat and pushing of quilt layers through the machine was worth it! I have even had an offer of payment to make another one for another family member - I could be in business folks (in my dreams!).
So, today I am looking ahead to what should be tackled next. Like all crafters I have a reasonable list of UFOs (unfinished objects) and I really should try to do something with a few of them at least. I think my hexagon quilt, which became sadly neglected shortly after I started it in favour of spending time making quillows and keeping up with my class projects, should really be a priority. I also shelved some planning work I was doing on a Dear Jane quilt and I'd love to pick that up again - even in slow time. There are other UFOs that should really be tackled too, but I'm afraid if I started to list them I would be scared off even beginning to deal with them! It would be great if I could find some time to make that quillow that was asked for (though as a gift not a charged item) and I have an eye on a crochet basket I'd like to make to hold some of the many sewing/knitting/crochet notions that have no real home in the house yet. I would also love to teach myself applique, but as I am a complete novice it will take some effort and a heap of practice before it becomes a usable skill. I have no idea if any of these projects will make it to completion or even progress in 2011 but it's good to have plans and lots of fun to look forward to!