I've sewn since I was 11, so about 60 years. In the past I've owned good machines but the last one that I had for about 20 years was not a good machine. It was a basic Singer. I wasn't sewing all that much. I had always made clothes and the main reason was to save money, but over the last 30 years that has become less and less possible. Clothes just don't cost as much as they used to in real dollars, and to some extent in actual dollars as well. I'd done some machine piecing and a bit of machine quilting, but I was working and wasn't all that well, and just did not have the energy for much of that. The sewing machine finally got put up into the attic. It gets hot in a California attic. I doubt it did the machine much good.
In April 2011 I bought myself a gently used machine for my birthday. It wasn't a top of the line model, but it wasn't a bad machine either. It was superior to the previous Singer even when that machine was new. It was also a modern computerized machine. I liked it a lot and began to try stuff out. I literally had to relearn how to sew, and for most of the rest of 2011, that is what I did.
Here is the Tempo sitting on an old folding table and doing some very basic four patches.
I knew how to hand piece and hand quilt. I'd started machine piecing on that old Singer. One of the last projects I made in California was the RIME Quilt, a friendship quilt based in one of the conferences of the old echoed nets, from before the Internet. It got stopped and restarted multiple times. I finally finished putting it together on the Tempo and hand quilted it. It is probably the last thing I will hand quilt. I no longer have decades available to finish projects.
I moved into projects that were just a bit harder to do. I fell in love with this kind of braid and made several things using the pattern. This color scheme was very unusual for me. These are mostly fabrics from several scrap bags my local quilt store sells. I love scrappy looks, but when you don't have a stash that isn't all that easy to come by.
I took some Craftsy classes and tried out a lot of different techniques.
I learned how to quilt in the ditch with a walking foot from two of the classes.
I did some blocks from a Civil War block class that were extremely traditional. The idea was precision machine piecing, and to some extent I succeeded, and to some extent I did not succeed.
I've got 4 or 5 blocks in this colorway. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, but it won't be a bed sized traditional sampler quilt.
I made art quilts using techniques from more than one of the classes. And started doing some free motion quilting and even more walking foot quilting.
I learned fusing from Art Quilt 101.
I took Stupendous Stitches and tried out couching and designs from my sewing machine and hand stitching all on one piece.
I made two of them and started a third, still unfinished. And I combined techniques from both classes and added in some ribbon embroidery on a project I designed myself.
I made a bed scarf using a ruler I'd bought at a Quilt Show and did the walking foot stitch in the ditch quilting and put it aside until I'd gotten more experience in free motion. I made pillows and used free motion to quilt those. I tried some improvisational piecing making one of the pillows and used my last strip of braid piecing on the other. I tried more improvisational piecing on my Cross Quilt. I finally felt ready to try the Class Project Quilt from Beyond Basic Machine Quilting.
Both of those are quilted, but they aren't bound. I needed to relearn how to bind a quilt.
Earlier this year I bought an upgraded computerized sewing machine. It was obvious that I was going to be sewing quite a bit, so it made sense to get a good machine. I'm really happy with it and it has the advantage of a much larger area to stuff a quilt into when you are machine quilting.
I'm so glad Leah Day suggested that we look over what we accomplished this year. I really did not recognize just how much I had done, and how much I'd learned.