Happy New Year! New Year’s around here is never much of a loud celebration, just a soft transition. I love this quiet, dark, chilly time for reflection and planning. For my making life, I’ve had my “year of” idea brewing for quite a bit. It honestly started with the satisfaction of my Thanksgiving outfit that came purely from stash. It made me think of all the beautiful materials in my craft room and how much joy it would bring to use them. You guessed it, 2023 will be a year of stash!
That’s right friends, we’re going to knit, crochet, sew, and quilt from stash this year. In addition to just the pure joy of using the beautiful materials around me, I also want to focus a bit on curating my collection. Like most of us, I don’t have infinite storage and it’s bursting at the seams a bit right now. My plan is to use what I love and destash what’s not in my wheelhouse anymore.
I am actively not setting any quantity goals – this is intended to be a joy and not a slog. I do have a few rules, of course, because you know I love rules. I have already cancelled all my subscriptions and block-of-the-month clubs. I do plan on another vacation with my mom and if there’s a vacation cast-on, that’s an a-ok purchase. No other incoming fabric or yarn is to be had. I’ll purchase necessary notions: thread, zippers, interfacing, etc. I’m only planning to purchase binding fabric if I really can’t find anything in stash to work at all. Other than that, I might purchase fabric or yarn for gifts but there I want to be really careful about picking up only what I need. I’ve got too many random fat quarters or spare 1/2 yards lying around because I over-purchased.
I’m really excited for this year in my making journey. I’ve learned a lot over the years about my style, color palette, and what kinds of things I want to make. It feels like the right time to put that knowledge and all the great shopping past Cortney has done to good use. Cosi and are ready to dive in!
Well, I’ve finally come out of the fog that has been the start of 2021. This is no coincidence, of course, I wrapped up a big conference at work Saturday before last. I honestly spent most of the next day napping and then sleeping. I had decided to take off the following Monday and Tuesday and that turned out to be fantastic idea for the ole creativity.
I woke up early to get the kids going for school and decided to have a good look at the afghan progress. Kevin thought I was getting close so I laid it out on our bed and to see:
I was actually amazed at how much I had done! I measured and figured that another 14″ inches or so would do the trick. After that, I spent my two days off devouring an audio book and hooking away. I’ve mostly worked on the afghan ever since, though once I finished the stripes, I stalled a bit on weaving in all the ends. Hot tip: dont’ wait till the end to weave in ends on 70ish stripes. It takes forever. While I was trying to muster myself to the task, I had a look around the sewing room.
It’s kind of been a mess in there all year. I had started a few secret projects and finally just decided to finish them and get them mailed out. First up is a bag I made for my sister-in-law, Madelyn. She’s been knitting a (gorgeous) blanket for a while and I heard through the grapevine that she’d outgrown her project bag. I decided to make up the Take Along Tote for her, in some lovely Rifle Paper Co. canvas.
It’s a sweet, fully lined bucket tote bag with a roomy pocket inside. This is the large size and is pretty roomy. I’ve made one before for my friend Hannah. I cut another one out for myself, but I’ve run out of the interfacing for the lining so now it’s on hold. I also finished up a super secret quit that I can’t share yet, but I’ve got a few sneaky peaks for you. The quilt is destined for my oldest, so the fabrics are quite a bit out of my personal comfort zone. We went with a cool, moody palate of neutral and blue batiks with a solid grey background.
I’ve finished the top and sent it off to be quilted, I can’t wait to see the finished quilt and share it with you when the pattern releases. In case you hadn’t guessed, this is part of a sewalong with my fave pals, Fat Quarter Shop. Once I had those two all wrapped up and mailed out, I still was in a sewing mood.
A few years ago, I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is #tinydresdenparty on instagram and wound up making a few itty bitty dresden projects. One was a wee little bunny dresden that wound up growing up to be a mug rug. Ever since that project, I’ve had the idea to make a little mini quilt up with dresden plates and that super sweet bunny fabric. Well, I finally decided that my year of minis would be the perfect time to make that idea a reality. Last weekend, I had a little fabric pull and got to work.
I just love the sweet and soft pastel pallete. I did a bit of brainstorming and settled on a simple design that would mix dresden plates and nine patch blocks. I used the template in this pinnie tutorial on Quilty Obession’s blog, the finished dresden comes out at about 4.5″ and oh so cute. The little chain of blades is even sweet.
I went pretty simple on these just mixing up the colors on the blades. Once I had the blades all sewn together, I just used straight pins to baste them to the background and hand appliqued them down. When I have multiple different colors like this and am not over concerned, I usually use a soft pink thread – I think it blends a bit better with different colors than a beige.
Next came the centers and then we were done with the dresdens. I made up the nine patch blocks pretty quickly and sewed the whole thing up into a fnished quilt top! I’m planning to hand quilt the whole thing and can’t wait to get started.
In the midst of all this sewing, I did manage to finish up weaving in the ends of the afghan. I’m on the fourth of five border rows now, so the end is actually in sight. Hard to believe this mammoth is coming to a close. Honestly, I’m already looking forward to another crochet project, it’s taken forever but I’ve enjoyed this one so much.
Well, I’ve got plenty to keep my hands busy but I am thrilled to be on the cusp of finishing not only another mini but one of my big 3 projects for the year! It feels awfully good. Soon I’ll get to decide which big 3 project gets love next, if the hand quilting goes well on the mini, I’m thinking about diving into the Norah quilt.
It’s been such a welcome reprieve to come out of the stress haze and get back to making. I’ve got a lot of joy and rest wrapped in these makes over the last week and a half and it feels glorious.