It’s that special time of year where we slow down, take a breath, and look back on the year before we dive into a new one!
2021 was another doozy of a year (at least it was for me!) with more lessons on being patient, rolling with what life throws your way, and learning to pivot 😉
Despite some challenges, I still managed to make some progress on my quilty projects which always feels good!
My favourite part is always looking back on the blog posts that resonate the most with you!
That is my goal, after all, to create and share posts that will inspire you, teach you and get you fired up to make!
Curious to see which blog post made your top 10 list? Read on to find out!
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
10. REFLECTIONS QUILTED WALL HANGING FEATURING UPCYCLED MATERIALS
Being a nature lover, I am constantly worried about our planet and being mindful of the impact I’m having in all areas of my life, quilting included. This is why I’m so excited that the Reflections Quilted Wall Hanging I made using upcycled materials was such a hit with you. It’s exciting to see the fun projects you can create just by picking up second-hand fabric or using up fabric scraps from your stash. Finding clever ways to use up these materials rather than having them end up in a landfill is not only beneficial for mother earth, but it gives you the opportunity to think outside the box, get creative and come up with ingenious ways to feature those pretty fibers.
The other thing I love about focusing on upcycled fabrics for a quilt project is that you typically already have them on hand, which means you can get quilting right away! Even better is finding a pattern that is super quick to stitch up like the Reflections quilt by Suzy Quilts!
9. CHRISTMAS ANGEL IS HERE FOR THE QUILTMAS SPECTACULAR
The holidays are always a special time of year made even more special when you bring your handmade touch to the season 😊
A fun way to go about doing just that is by participating in the Quiltmas Spectacular. This annual quilty tradition always means quilty good times and lots of fun Christmas quilting inspiration. This year I designed the extra special Christmas Angel quilt block that reminded me of my childhood Christmas tree decorating traditions. Getting to place the angel on top of the tree was always a coveted task and made me feel extra special when it was my turn 😉
I know the holidays are over, but one of the ways I like to keep holiday stress at bay is by being prepared well in advance. How do I go about doing that? I start planning in January – ha! I know, that’s probably a little early for you, but I find that by making my lists now and adding to them as the year goes on means that by the time December rolls around all I’m focusing on is enjoying time with family and friends.
Check out these past Quiltmas Spectacular projects to get your Christmas quilting ideas a-brewin’:
- Ultimate Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial featuring Guiding Lights
- Guiding Lights Quilted Wall Hanging
- Jolly Jelly
- Jolly Jelly Quilted Table Runner
8. NEEDLE TURN APPLIQUÉ WALL HANGING AND WHY THREAD BASTING WAS A GAME CHANGER
Are you a needle turn appliqué lover?
I’ve been trying to become one – ha!
For some reason I’ve always found this quilting technique to be super fiddly and, well, I don’t really like fiddly 😉
When I first tried needle turn applique I used the traditional pinning method, which I found to be the pits for a few reasons.
First, I pricked myself on the regular. Blergh. This got old real quick while I was working on my Blue Dresden quilt blocks. I had 25 Dresdens to tack down to their backing square and then 25 circles to attach and there was A LOT of pinpricks along the way. This was mainly due to the fact that I had probably over pinned to prevent things from shifting on me and try and keep everything laying flat. I really don’t like pricking myself with pins, so this approach got old real quick.
I don’t seem to have any pictures of the Blue Dresden blocks pin-basted, but I do have some of my Hexed Table Runner!
Pin basting is also less travel-friendly. Yup you know I ended up stabbing myself with pins while rummaging through my quilting bag or even just pulling them out to work on the stitching. Did I mention how much I dislike pricking myself with pins?! Lol.
The other thing that’s super annoying about pin basting is that your thread often gets caught around the pinheads so you end up spending a ridiculous amount of time untangling your thread.
See what I mean…fiddly!
Skip forward a few years and I discovered *Carolyn Friedlander’s needle turn appliqué class on Creativebug. I have no idea what prompted me to revisit needle turn appliqué, but I’m so happy I did as she introduced me to the game-changing approach of thread basting.
Now, this is definitely an added step that takes some time and if you’re not a hand sewing lover then this step might deter you. But here’s what I found: once you get into the groove of marking your seam allowance line and then thread basting you realize just how pleasurable it is to have this prep work done. It sets you up for:
- A prick free stitching session!
- A beyond soothing and relaxing sewing session.
- A travel friendly project where you don’t have to worry about things shifting on you.
- A more accurate and consistent seam allowance.
I’ve been working on a project that features some needle turn appliqué and I think I’ve started to find my needle turn appliqué groove – yippee!
The reason why I’ve been so focused on trying to love this quilting technique is that I love the creative opportunities this opens up for your quilty practice. I’ll share more on that soon, but hop over to this post to read more about my journey with needle turn appliqué to see if any of it resonates with you too!
7. 30 DAYS OF IMPROV QUILT ALONG
Improv is my quilty love language and where I find so much creative joy and freedom.
Which is why I am so excited to see the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along make your top 10 list! I actually owe you some updates on my finished improv quilted wall hanging. I had everything ready to go live for you a couple of months ago but ran into some technical difficulty with releasing Improv Behinds the Scenes. I’m still working on figuring out the technical issues, but for now, here’s a photo of mine 😊
If you’ve been wanting to dive into improv but would like some guidance on how to get started, come join me for the Modern Improv Mini Workshop where I walk you through the fun to be had with improv quilting. In this virtual workshop, I show you how to get started with both fat quarters and fabric scraps – sew fun!
6. QUILT BINDING TUTORIAL PART 4 – BIAS BINDING
Isn’t it amazing how as soon as you add your binding to your quilt she takes on a whole new look?
Sometimes as I’m working on quilting my quilts I’m questioning how much I love the design and how things are coming together, but I’ve learned over the years to resist the urge to change tracks as everything looks different once the binding is on!
Quilt binding really does add that beautiful finishing touch – akin to adding the right pair of shoes to your outfit. Shoes really do make or break an outfit and for me quilt binding is the same.
Which explains why I’ve spent so much time exploring and sharing quilt binding techniques with you!
The latest addition to the Quilt Binding Tutorial series is Bias Binding and this is a genius quilt technique to have in your quilty repertoire.
Explore the full Quilt Binding Tutorial Series here:
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Binding Part 1 – How to make binding
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Binding Part 2 – Blind Stitch Hand Binding
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Binding Part 3 – Big Stitch Hand Binding
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Binding Part 4 – Bias Binding
5. TOP 3 NOTIONS TO MAKE HST TRIMMING A BREEZE
Half square triangles are where my quilt journey started and I have a true love for this cute little block!
Over the past 6+ years that I’ve been quilting, I’ve made 1000s of HSTs and I’ve learned a trick or two to help make trimming them up a breeze (tutorial on how to trim HSTs here)!
You know that I’m not a big notions person, when I bring a notion into the sewing studio it needs to be a tool that I’ll use regularly. These are the 3 notions that I can’t get through a half square triangle block trimming session without!
In case you’re on the hunt for notions for your own sewing kit, here are some that I can’t live without:
4. ULTIMATE THREAD STORAGE
Who knew thread could be so fun and inspiring? I certainly didn’t when I first started sewing. I thought thread was thread and aside from trying to match colours, the actual thread wasn’t a big focus of mine.
That all changed when I heard thread described as the glue that holds your project together. Mind blown.
That prompted me to go on a deep dive of all things stringy and discovered the creative possibilities thread offered.
Which then immediately led to me stocking alllll the pretty thread – ha!
With so many spools on hand, I needed to find a way to store the various sized spools and thread weights.
A key focus of my thread storage solution? It needed to be easy to maintain and access!
There’s nothing worse than having to take out a bunch of stuff to get to the notion in question.
I share all my top tips with you on how to store your spools in the Ultimate Thread Storage blog post.
For more inspiration on thread, check out:
- Why I love Aurifil
- Ultimate Shopping Guide for Aurifil Thread
- Aurifil Artisan Collection: 2019, 2020 and 2021
- Favourite Thread Weight
3. 9 SEW EASY LAST-MINUTE DIY HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS
Holiday sewing is the best, especially when you’re stitching up a storm for your loved ones!
I’m so thrilled the 9 Sew Easy Last-Minute DIY Holiday Gift Ideas was such a hit with you!
Continuing on my point above about preparing for the holidays early, be sure to Pin and bookmark the blog post so you can start working on your handmade holiday gifts for 2022 now 😉
The holidays aren’t the only time to give the gift of handmade, here are some handmade gift ideas to turn to throughout the year:
- 7 Handmade Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day
- 7 Reasons Quilted Table Runners are the Unsung Heroes of Gift Giving
- Raw Edge Appliqué on an Easy to Stitch Zip Pouch
2. DIVE INTO ME-MADE FASION WITH THE ETCHED DIAMOND QUILT X HOVEA COAT PATTERN EXTENSION
Bring on the quilty garments!
I see I’m not the only one who’s curious about diving into me-made fashion. My collaboration with Megan Nielsen had me doing a deep dive into making a quilted coat featuring her Hovea Coat pattern and I had the best time!
We ended up loving the Etched Diamond motif I featured on mine that we decided to offer the patchwork design as a pattern extension to Megan’s Hovea and Hovea Curves Coat Patterns.
We were blown away by the response!
I’m going to be making another one this year and I’m taking some of you along for the ride!
Join the 2-day Virtual Quilt Coat Workshop and allow me to guide you through making your own quilt coat 😊
1. TOP 10 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUILTING ON YOUR DOMESTIC SEWING MACHINE
Have you ever felt like you were ruining your quilts when you got to the quilting stage?
I’ve totally been there too!
Such a discouraging feeling, right? You’ve spent all this time pressing, cutting and piecing your quilt top only to feel like your hard work was being negated by your wonky inconsistent quilting.
Clearly, I’m not alone as you loved the Top 10 Tips to Improve Your Quilting on Your Domestic Sewing Machine!
Those are some of my best tips that I’ve noticed had a huge impact on my machine quilting game on my domestic sewing machine. If you want to be able to tackle the entire quilt journey on your own at home, then these game-changing tips will rock your quilty world!!
And that’s a wrap on your Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021!
For more Best of, check out:
I’d love to know, what was your favourite blog post of 2021?
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