Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?
Well I would go along with many and say that I definitely saw hexagons have a huge "comeback". Whether they were made with traditional English paper piecing, half pieced and machine sewn or appliqued, hexagons were literally everywhere. Swaps were created around them and it seemed all you had to do was add a hexagon to something for everyone to think it was genius. The difference in their use though is that people are really thinking outside the box with them. No longer are hexagons put together to form traditional flower motifs, but rather they have become abstract modern shapes taking on new life as the leaves of trees or the clouds in a sky.
photo courtesy of Theplaidscottie
I also saw a love of japanese fabrics, linen blends, and the new staple of all modern quilters, solid colored fabrics. More fabric stores are carrying these fabrics making them easier and easier to access. Just over a year ago, when I wanted a Japanese fabric my only option was to have it shipped from Japan. Now I can find that same fabric in dozens of stores (online at least) that distribute from the US. And each fabric company seems to be coming up with it's own line of solid fabrics in an effort to compete with the huge offering that Robert Kaufman has with the Kona Solids.
Along the same lines, fabric designers have been branching out in their offerings of fabric type. While home decor prints seemed adventurous for a designer a couple of years ago, they are old hat now. It's practically expected for a designer to put out a home decor option, but now we see voiles, gauze, velveteens, and other "exotic" fabrics.
I also have noticed a huge jump in the online community. There are more online sewing bees and swaps than ever and I have participated in more than my fair share. This raises issues of reliability of "new" people in both sewing experience and dependability. There are now more distinctions about qualifications for participation in online events or distinct efforts to make projects "beginner friendly". I personally am delighted in the number of people finding joy in this little corner of the world.
With the large number of inexperienced sewers, eager to try out new fabrics and hop on the quilting wagon, "liberated" quilting has become extremely popular. It requires little more than a sewing machine, fabric, and the desire to put them together. But as new sewers become more entrenched in the world of quilting, skill levels are increasing and slowly precision is starting to make a difference.
What were some of your favorite things? (Trends, fabric collections, patterns, blogs? Whatever you really loved.)
Oh my goodness, what a difficult question. I suppose one of my favorite things has been the online community on Flickr. I have friends literally all over the world and have received and sent packages to all the corners of the earth. It's been delightful to get to know so many talented sewers.
On the same note, I have joined my local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. We have a delightful time together, sewing, chatting and sharing a general love of all things fabric.
So I guess my favorite thing of the past year has been people!
What was your very favorite fabric collection or print? (If not listed above.)
Again, a difficult question. I feel like I have a new favorite every other day. But I have developed a particular affection for Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow...especially the graphic patterns.
What was the best thing you made in 2010? (Be sure to share a photo!)
Well I doubt I will get too many disagreements if I say that the best thing I made in 2010 was my doll quilt for the DQS9 on flickr. There was a lot of emotion that went into it, plus a great enjoyment of the fabrics I was able to use in it. I have blogged at length about this, so if you are interested in more, you can check here
What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?
Again, so many wonderful things. And truly I mean that. I've seem some simply amazing works of art this year. But one that I think is completely original and clever, yet very accessible is Lynne's Penguin Books Quilt.
photos courtesy of Lilys Quilts
What do you think 2011 has in store? (Again, trends, fabric, patterns, etc.)
Well I hope that we will continue to see new break out fabric designers getting a chance to show off their talent. There is definitely a play with fantasy right now in the fabric world and think that will only increase. There will continue to be lots of lovely purples and fabrics very saturated in color.
I think that the quilting world is ready to tackle new shapes and explore their challenges and options as so many have done with the hexagon. And I think that the hexagon will continue to be explored. Also circles will be more and more common in quilting as new techniques and cutting tools become more and more available.
Anything you’re ready for the sewing world to get over?
Well I think that everyone needs to be free to explore the techniques they haven't tried or the theme that they haven't used. But personally...I'm kind of over house blocks. I'll probably eat my words and make my own house quilt ;). Just watch. I'd also like to see some more original animal life take a hold in the fabric industry. Birds have been pretty well done at this point. But once again, next thing you know, I'll be buying a fabric with birds on it. I know I'll certainly be using them because I have a number in my stash!
What’s on your sewing agenda for 2011? What are you excited about? What would you like to learn more about?
My sewing agenda for 2011 includes finishing a number of quilts that were started in 2010 and finishing up a large number of quilting bees I am a part of. I'm also trying to redo my sewing room to be as useful and organized as possible so that I can maximize my creative energy. :) I want to learn more about creating my own patterns and graphic designs.
Phew! If you made it through all of that, congratulations! That was a mouthful. My disclaimer of course is that all of the above are completely my own opinions and thoughts. Blame me or praise me, but know that I am just one voice among many.