End-Of-2020: A Collection of a Few of This Year’s Bright Spots

Christams tree with lights and ornaments in front of a window with star reflected in top of large window

Tonight at Midnight we can finally turn the final page of our 2020 calendar and begin a new year.

I’m so over 2020.

It was not the best of times and may not yet be the worst of times however, and, thankfully, I don’t feel the year was a total wash out.

Like the bright lights on our Christmas tree, this year did manage to bring in a few “bright spots”. And as bright as some of those were, the gloom of 2020 made finding those bright spots quite a challenge. More often than not, it was only after time cleared the air of 2020 debris that those Bright Spots were made visible – usually in the form of 20/20 hindsight.

Here in the Sewing Room bright spots and sunshine were in abundance!

A LOT was learned and now is a good time to recap and share a few of those Bright Spots I discovered.

Red and gold glass Christmas ornament surrounded by Christmas lights hanging from Christmas tree

Get comfortable, stream some favorite tunes and joyfully scroll through the “Bright Spots” I found this past
year. Who knows? Maybe you will find just the inspiration you need to
get a jump start on 2021!

Bright Spot #1

Finishing my third “Real” Baby Quilt!

Up In the Air Baby Quilt made with jelly roll fabric from Hushabye Hollow fabric line

As much as ‘Rona tried to sabotage and prevent me from finishing this quilt, I paid no attention! I continued, jumping through every hoop (locating hard-to-find fabrics, making a substitution for the backing fabric and making the balloons pink vs gender neutral), this quilt was pieced, quilted, bound and labeled in record time!

You can read more about the process here!

Bright Spot #2

I learned how to get a “Handle” on sewing a small tote bag.

Fabric tote bag using Farmer's Daughter fabric line

This is the second bag I’ve made using one of my favorite patterns from Caroline at Sew Can She. I purchased the pattern way back when Craftsy was the original Craftsy – a marketplace for designers to sell and share patterns, fabric, notions, etc. I’m not able to locate the pattern I downloaded – it’s probably on my previous laptop from that same era…

A quick Google search helped to reconnect me with one of her previous posts that feature this pattern as well as her own inspiring and colorful tote bags. The trip to “her place” is worth it!

As an bonus, making this bag allowed me to revisit a product (also introduced to me from Caroline) called Quilter’s Grid. Go here to learn more about this “magical” product!

Bright Spot #3

Acquiring New Fabrics!!!

From Robert Kaufaman’s “Quilter’s Linen” :

Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen fat quarter bundle labeled in prep for summer quilt a long

To Lori Holt’s “Prim” fabric line:

Lori Holt's Prim fabric line layer cake and coordinating binding and backing fabric

And Dani Mogstag’s “Christmas Traditions”:Fat quarter sampling from Dani Mogstad's Christmas Traditions fabric line

These wonderful additions to my fabric stash provided the much-needed comfort and security the outside world could not provide.

To see what I did with the Quilter’s Linen as well as some insight into the Summer Sampler 2020 QAL (a Bright Spot in itself!) go here.

The Christmas Traditions fabric was used for these quick and easy mug rugs:

Mug Rugs made from Christmas TRaditions fabric by Dani Mogstad for Riley Blake

Bright Spot #4

My New Sewing Room!

Sewing room with sewing table, design wall

I can’t believe I don’t have this listed as #1. After all, it is because of this wonderful space that I was able to discover the many other bright spots this year!

Right now, I can say it is: 1) mine, 2) functional and 3) semi-organized. An oh, did I say it is ALL MINE!

It is also a work-in-progress. The carpet has to go, the walls and woodwork need painting and the opposite wall where my “office” is located needs shelving or bookcases or both.

Having my new sewing room has had such a calming effect on me and I feel so much more productive and creative. This space has become my refuge and has allowed me to actually tolerate 2020.

Bright Spot #5

This Bright Spot is not a tangible “thing”…at least not yet.

Rather, it is in the form of a BIG decision…the “take the plunge” step to make this purchase in 2021:

Janome Memory Craft 9450 Professional Sewing Machine

An upgrade from my current Janome New Home is l-o-n-g overdue and if I had a nickel for every search and a dime for every hour spent researching which machine I should purchase, that little puppy would be sitting on my sewing table right now!

To get a better idea as to why I’m still obsessed with this particular machine (almost 2 years later after taking it on a test drive for a couple of days during the 2019 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival) this is one good place to start.

If you need to know more and would like to see the Janome MC 9450 in action, take a trip to the Janome website here.

I must also admit it is heart-warming to realize after all this time and the close calls to make an alternate impulse purchase (Juki, Baby Loc, Bernina) that every search has led me back to this machine.

Others have their fancy bells and higher proced whistles but none can hold my attention time after time like the Janome MC 9450.

This must be “The One”!

Bright Spot #6

Since fabric has a way of becoming a “Bright Spot” no matter the situation or circumstance, the prospect of acquiring new fabrics always gives me a sense of hope…something to look forward to.

Making a Reservation –

Actually, I have made the following FOUR reservations from the Fat Quarter Shop:

1) Happy Days Fat Quarter Bundle Reservation | Sherri & Chelsi for Moda Fabric

Happy Days fabric line by Sherri & Chelsi

2) Pumpkins & Blossoms Fat Quarter Bundle Reservation | Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics

Pumpkins & Blossoms fabric line by Fig Tree Quilts

3) The Jolly Bar Book Vol. 3 Reservation | Fat Quarter Shop Exclusive

 

Jolly Bar Book Vol.3 by the Fat Quarter Shop

4) My Happy Place Sew Along Quilt Kit Reservation | Featuring Stitch by Lori Holt

My Happy Place Sew Along quilt kit by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet

I’m detecting a theme…Jolly…Happy….and pumpkins and blossoms always make me feel jolly and happy!

And while we are on the subject of happy and sew alongs, this brings to mind another Bright Spot this year:

Bright Spot #7

The Summer Sampler 2020 Quilt Along.

This was a bright spot for many reasons:

1) Gave me an opportunity to network with fellow quilters on Facebook,

2) Taught me MANY new techniques and tips

3) Gave me an oportunity to completely finish another “real” quilt

Summer Sampler quilt completed fall 2020 using fabrics from the Robert Kaufman Quilter's linen fabric line.

4) Kept me off the streets and

5) Proceeds from this QAL were donated to Black Lives Matter (BLM).

I’m hopeful there will be a Summer Sampler 2021 and so see our fees once again donated to help a worthy cause.

Bright Spot #8

Acquired many useful notions, books, etc.

Set of Applipop metal rings used for applique

Quilter's Select Free Fuse used as a basting tool when making a quilt sandwich

Gray table with white top - Eclipse Ultra Sewing Table by Studio Designs

A variety of magazines and loads of inspiration from Santa

Following are other noteworthy Bright Spots discovered outside the four walls of my sewing room:

A new (to me) walking / hiking trail just 5 miles north of my house:

Burr Woods Nature Trail

And I was able to find time to make my husband a batch of his favorite candy:

Dark chocolate, white chocolate and peppermint candy made from poured chocolaate into a silicone mold

From my Sewing Room, your Cliff’s Notes version of 2020!

Have a Safe and Wonderful New Year!

Allow yourself time to be inspired – Go create something unique and awesome today!

 

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