This has been such a surreal year – I bought, decorated, and moved into my first house at the beginning of the year – and I’m sure it’ll always be an outlier in that regard.
Every time someone asks what I’m working on, from a sewing/quilting perspective, I’d said, “My house is my hobby right now.” And that’s been true – a lot of this list is going to include house projects which I’m VERY proud of completing. But I also wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the many things that were sewn this year, even if they were often in batches, and sometimes frantically to a deadline.
1. Somewhat over-ambitiously, I thought I’d dip my toe into upholstery. This only involved buying a DIY upholstery book and attempting to re-seat a cute chair I found on a sidewalk years ago. It was more effort than I expected, though I’m still proud of the outcome. (No pictures of the finished product though – just this process shot…)
2. This tabletop was built a few years ago with the help of a friend’s husband. He had the tools and the attention to detail to ensure my vague vision was well-executed, and I actually placed the tabletop on a smaller table in our house for a while. But once I closed on the house, I knew I could finally complete my vision of building a pipe base. It was really fun to sketch and plan the measurements, and VERY frustrating to twist it all together.
3. This was a quick re-upholstery job, covering a dingy fabric stool with some heavyweight fabric that I (tragically) tried making into a dress many years ago. I love having a fabric stash, especially one filled with mistakes that I haven’t yet tossed, so I can dig through for materials in the middle of the night.
6. Once I was all moved in, with a SEWING ROOM (which was admittedly the last thing to be set up in the house), I felt some pressure to take advantage. This quilt was partially pieced before the move, and had a client eager for delivery, so it was the first finished and photographed at this new house.
9. I was clearly getting some sewing mojo back along with that project, because I decided to tackle a queen-sized linen whole cloth quilt for the guest bed. It took a lot of hours, particulary the hand-quilted portions, but I love it (and have already started dreaming of making a throw blanket of a similar style).
12. I asked to participate in the New City Artist Exchange this year, partially to motivate myself to make some new things, but also so that I could collect more art for my walls. Overall, I made 15 (or 16?) small quilted works, which probably add up to the work of a whole quilt.
13. One of my wardrobe goals over the past few years is to sew as many basics as possible. So I was thrilled to realize that the Plantain and Nettie tees I’ve sewn in the past have been my most-worn. I made a batch of new ones, and would apologize for the lack of creativity in color selection except for the fact that these are the colors I grab first in my closet Every Single Time. (Except for the pink. That was to coordinate with a burgundy pencil skirt.)
14. Weirdly, I’m the most proud of this next one. Perhaps because it’s one of the most recent? The story is that I wanted to build some more shelving, and realized that I was trying to determine when my parents were next in town so my dad could help. But then I thought, “Maggie, you are bad-ass enough to build furniture without any help!” And so I did some research, bought some lumber, assembled it…unassembled it, bought some crucial new tools (wood glue, clamps), assembled it again, and now I feel like I could make anything!
17. And here’s my final report of 2017 (unless something else is made in the next few weeks): 4 of 6 throw pillows I’ve re-covered to better fit into this new space. All of them made with fabric from my stash (small scraps and leftovers, or larger pieces I knew I’d likely never sew garments with) and all assembled somewhat frantically the night before houseguests arrived.
So my 2017 tally is 3 full-sized quilts (plus the quilted art pieces, plus a baby quilt commission that I didn’t put in here), 3 dresses, 4 shirts, 6 pillows, and a beautiful collection of things built for the house. I feel pretty good about this level of creative productivity! And I’m excited to see what I manage to make in 2018 – maybe I’ll find excuses to use the sewing room more frequently.