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My New Year resolution for 2017 is year long, as I’m joining in with Kristin of Brooklyn Haberdashery‘s #our52weekproject on Instagram.
I took part in the 100 day project a couple of years ago and loved it. It can be a life changer, and was for me, but it is a huge commitment. I’m sorry to say I gave up after a month last year.
Committing to a weekly project over the year seemed more managable, and I think the steady commitment will help me grow creatively and establish good habits. The main lesson I took from my 100 day project was that if you keep doing something you will get better at it!
My project is #52weeksofblockprintandstitch. I’ve kept it quite broad so I can carve blocks, print with them, or stitch with the fabric I’ve printed – or do all three if I’m feeling inspired that week.
This week, I printed some hares onto gold and silver metallic linen, and I’ll be incorporating them into patchwork panels for pouches.
If you’d like to keep in touch with my project, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.
UPDATE! In February, I changed my project to #52weeksofquilt.
My Mum loves purple. I don’t – or didn’t. After making this quilt, I’m coming around to the idea!
It was truly a pleasure choosing the fabrics to make a lap quilt for her birthday, and I love the way they work together. I added in some pink from my stash, but everything else was bought for this project.
The pattern is adapted from the Day to Night Quilt from Quick and Easy Quilts by Lynne Goldsworthy. It’s a great book, because it combines some more tricky techniques with simpler ones, making the quilts relatively quick to make, but still being interesting to look at.
The triangle/pinwheel centre took some time, but the brick pattern around the outside was very quick.
I backed it with some daisy print cotton in grey/blue, made wider with a line of colourful bricks.
And finally, some scrappy binding!
Purple fabrics from Sew Hot
I’ve been making a few projects from Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida this month. A while ago, I volunteered as a pattern tester and Sanae very kindly sent me a copy when it was published.
As well as a book of projects, Sewing Happiness is part memoir, and account of how Sanae came to sewing. Like Sanae, I’m a huge fan of enjoying ‘the practice’ and doing something regularly to get better at it. Without pressure, but also wanting to improve.
Last year I took part in the 100 Day Project. Every day for 100 days I cooked a new (to me) recipe. And guess what – I got better at cooking. I’m more confident, more able to substitute ingredients, more willing to give a new technique a go. Some days were more successful than others, but it was always edible! Sanae’s experience of sewing sounds very similar.
I also like her take on using social media “There is an overarching sense of terror about creating something that didn’t exist befoe and putting it out into the world for judgment, but when you do it repeatedly, the confidence muscle strengthens”.
I’ve made four of the projects from the book so far.
The fabric origimi butterfly above is for a tooth fairy pillow. There is a little pocket formed by the wing folds. It took me a little while to get the folds right, but I’m delighted with the result. It is so pretty and delicate.
Then I made a fabric bucket to hold bottles in the bathroom.
The blue triangle bag was my tester pattern and is another project that uses origami folds. I especially like the strip of contrasting fabric used as the handle. The infinity scarf is made from double gauze – melissa makes made me one as a gift, and I’ve since made several for friends inspired by her use of contrasting fabrics.
It’s unusual for me to try so many ideas from one book. The projects are straightforward, but have some interesting and unusual techniques too, and they are perfect for showing off special fabric.
Is still want to make some aprons, a dopp kit and try some sashiko. And surely there is room for a floral crown in my life?!
If you want to make beautiful presents which don’t take forever, it is a wonderful book to have.
I told you last week about my 100 day project – which is to make a new recipe every day. I enjoy taking part in challenges, and I think this one must be the most inspiring so far. My challenge is creative, but mainly practical. Many of the other people taking part are artists, and the work being produced is just amazing. Especially when you know they are planning to produce something every day for 100 days!
Here are some of my favourites –
masillustra draws groups of animals – these cows especially appealed to me as we live beside a farm. The cows really do jump around like this when they are let out of the barns in the spring.
You can find out more about the project here, and the hashtag #the100dayproject
I wrote about how much I love listening to podcasts back in November, and since then I’ve found more and more to enjoy.
One or two are quite new, so I thought you might be interested to hear about them, if you haven’t already.
My top three at the moment –
Dear Sugar Radio – based on the Dear Sugar advice column, with Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) and Steve Almond. Thoughtful and complex advice.
The Weekly Creative – Derek Walker chats about creative principles and how they apply to everyday situations. I always feel like I’m catching up with an old friend when I’m listening.
Gretchen Rubin – the author of The Happiness Project discusses with her sister strategies for improving happiness.