Happy 2016 to all my lovely readers! And thanks so much for reading whilst I’ve been taking a break – it’s been very busy here despite me putting my blogging feet up – with lots of people looking at my zippy pouch pattern – there have obviously been some busy sewers out there! I’ve been doing a bit of sewing myself for magazine commissions – you can see some of my progress over on Instagram – but before I move with lots of enthusiasm into 2016, it’s time for a review of the year.
It’s been lovely to look over my folders of pics – 2015 was a hugely productive year for me (and I have the baggy eyes to prove it!) so I hope you will bear with me as I stretch my look back over two posts.
Here are some of the things I loved about 2015.
Swapping was brilliant this year – I received the most beautiful mini-quilt in the first round of the Instagram-based Rainbow swap from Sarah (bottom right). And then hit the jackpot again with another gorgeous mini from Amanda (top left) in the UK-only Instagram mini-quilt swap. Later on in the year, I signed up for the Schnitzel and Boo Swap (another IG-based swap), and received the wonderfully Anna Maria Horner-heavy (yay!) quilt pictured bottom left from another Amanda. These three minis brighten up my life every day! As always, it has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the Very Berry Artist Trading Card Swaps. Although it’s sometimes quite tricky to be Overall Swap Mistress, I have been lucky to receive some gorgeous ATCs (when I have taken part!) – the one picture here (top right) is utterly exquisite and was made by the fabulous Bea.
It has been a year of new experiences. I went to my first ever Bloggers Love Food & Drink event and got to try out about loads of lovely ingredients. That led to me revisiting old recipes and updating them with some of the new things I’d tried – my banana and apple loaf is even more nutritious than it used to be! Craft-wise I got to try arm knitting for the first time (love my scarf!) and also got to go to my first ever Sewing Bee at the wonderful Black Sheep Wools. And best of all, because looking at my gorgeous indoor succulent garden gives me pleasure every day, I hugely enjoyed making my first ever terrarium – inspired by Maria Colletti’s wonderful work.
After a year of feeling frustrated at the slow progress I was making with the landscaping of my veg plot, we paid some lovely people to come and do the work for us. We couldn’t have made a better decision – just adding the gravel and creating new paths has completely transformed it, and with renewed enthusiasm, I eased myself back into growing in a small way. I had a good season with courgettes, green beans, leafy greens and herbs, and some soft fruit – but the main thing was I was just happy to get out there again.
When it comes to the day job, this year I celebrated the milestone of 3,000 items sold through my Folksy Liberty Lawn shop, and my Etsy shop has done well too. And I had the great pleasure of finding myself on three magazine front covers this year too. You can just see my starry blue patchwork cushion on the front of Love Sewing, and then later on in the year I got into another Love Sewing cover with my pleated tote bag. I also wrote an entire booklet as the freebie for a front of Love Patchwork & Sewing – it was a highly nerve-racking experience, but I was terribly pleased with the results. There’s nothing like taking your kids to the supermarket and showing them that you are on the front cover of a magazine (they’d prefer it if I was on the front of the Beano, but, hey they can’t have everything…).
Thanks to all who gave me the opportunities that helped to make 2015 such a rich and rewarding year!