Post #1975: Five (six) favourite makes from 2014

dalahorsedetailThis might very well be my favourite make of 2014 – a Dala horse, hand sewn for my 3-year-old (horse-crazy) niece Grace. While she is much too young to appreciate such an endeavour – I will point out to you that the saddle is English-paper-pieced hand-piecing and took me about 8 hours to do… but that’s not my favourite part. What I fell in love with is the embellished “straps” crafted from felt, ribbon, buttons and red embroidery thread. Something about that piece makes this little treat all the more lovable to me.

The pattern for this came from Love Patchwork and Quilting out of the UK – same folks who publish Mollie Makes and a host of other great magazines for makers.

2014 was a pretty good year for making things all around – despite the fact that work and other things (like cabin-building) have kept me very busy. I haven’t always been good about posting the handmade things here, unfortunately, as it wasn’t a really great year for blogging and I often just threw photos up on Facebook instead of logging in here. (Part of that was related to a firewall issue at work that made it difficult to post photos to my wordpress posts – this seems to have been resolved recently).

A few of my other favourite makes from the year are posted below – these are the items that I fell in love with – but not an exhaustive list of them. As I winnow away at my disappointment at not being “perfect” in my hand work (because I am not, will never be, don’t need to be) I find a great deal of enjoyment in most of the articles I complete. Probably the area where I feel the least satisfied in the last year is on the clothing front. I just didn’t give myself enough space to make clothing which requires nitpicking with sizing and patterns – and thus aside from one sweater and a tank top, most of the garments were pretty forgettable.

So what were my top five makes from 2014 aside from the Dala horse?

This isn’t a fabric make – but something that came to me at the end of the year in a flurry of Christmas inspiration – why not make my own tonic syrup? And so I did, and it is lovely. One bottle got polished off the first day I mixed it up and I’ve got another couple awaiting me for new year’s eve! Cinchona bark is the active/main ingredient here, which I had to order a pound of from the wholesale supply. What that means is that I now have enough raw material for a hundred litres of syrup!
Every time I look at these curtains on either end of our large and bright bedroom, I am so pleased with them – the lightness, the fit with our space and the landscape outside, and the atypical nature of half-curtains in a bedroom (we can’t block the light from outside due to skylights anyway). These replaced some falling apart blinds and sheers on the other window and were exactly the right choice.
Of course the new quilt and pillow shams made early in the year have to go on my favourites list – we have slept with these items ever since they first went on the bed!
This quilt was a gift for our friends Sam and Caelie who got married in the summer. I love having friends who inspire me to make a quilt for them. It doesn’t happen very often – only very special people can encourage such an urge.
These owl totes have been in continuous use ever since I stitched them up in the summer. Denim and canvas – they are sturdy and large (plus I made the handles large enough to sling across my body). I carry one of these to work everyday, two on shopping day.


There are, of course, many things that took much time and did not make it up here today (like the lace table runner I spent four months crocheting) – and it’s not because they are lesser projects. Just that some things catch me with a particular appreciation – and they do tend to be the things I use everyday – the marriage of utility and aesthetics striking a deeper chord in me. I feel very lucky that I fell into this form of hobby almost ten years ago (spring of 2005 to be exact) – something I never could have envisioned that has brought me a more comforting home and a more aesthetic life.

Happy New Year to all of you! I encourage you to find beauty and new projects in 2015 – light in a sometimes dark world. xo


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