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  • Writer's pictureKatie Done

2018 Keepsake Highlights

2018 has been an amazing year for me here at Crafts by Katie. I completed a total of 69 keepsakes which is one every 5 or so days. In the middle of 2018 we got married and I handmade as much as I could. You can read more about our handmade tipi wedding on The Fabric Squirrel. We also squeezed in a weeks holiday, so to say it has been a busy year is an understatement. I wanted to take time to reflect on the year and all the new creations I have added to the website and tell you a bit more about some of my favourites.

People have quilts for all sorts of reasons. The obvious one, the one that inspired me to create my first one, is the baby clothes quilt. All those first baby clothes your little one wore for their first cuddles with all the friends and family but grew out of before you knew it. They make a perfect quilt because they have usually had hardly any wear and are as good as new. You will probably have a cute picture of them in every one of the outfits and have a memory of who bought it or what occasion it was worn for.

I have done quilts in memory of loved ones before, which wasn't something I had thought about before I started, but is a real honour every time. At the start of the year I had the privilege of creating two quilts for a lady and one for her two little girls, in memory of their Daddy. The quilt combined a mixture of Daddy's clothes and the two little ones. Having the mixture of clothes meant that these were two of the most bright and happy looking family quilts I have made. Now having George, I can't even try to put myself in this situation but to know that I have been able to create something so special that they can give a little hug and receive some comfort from is what makes me love what I do even more.

2018 has been a big year for friends and family. Although my friends and family have always been really supportive, they are meant to be! In most situations it is hard to quantify that encouragement but to physically hand me their best clothes to chop up and sew together, to me, is the best confirmation I could receive. I started creating Albert's blanket with my bestest craft friend Lucinda but was given free range to create his sister Mary's. They have permanent residence, displayed on the arm of the sofa when they are not being used. I love my regular pictures of them sat together in their special blankets. I can also confirm that after daily use the blankets are both looking as good as new.

Barney is George's bestie and has great style, his quilt was a beautiful navy and grey combination of his clothes on one side and a mixture of his and his older brother Bailie's on the other side. Double sided quilts are a great way to get as much out of the clothes as possible and squeeze in even more memories.

To all my friends and family that have supported and trusted me with your clothes, thank you!

Some of my stand outs have been the more unusual ones. I was posted a box full of t-shirts from a ladies university days which turned out fab.

I had another which consisted of t-shirts from competitions, gyms and races. I was in awe throughout the whole process and felt like I should be in the garage lifting weights or out on a run instead of sat at my sewing machine! Having a husband who was into cross fit and has tried most martial art forms over the years, I know how many of these t-shirts accumulate so I hope I get the chance to make a few more this year.

Usually I receive the clothes, cut them all out to make the most of the design or pattern and then send a picture of the layout for feedback. I spend a lot time thinking about the lay out. I lay the fabric out with important items centrally and prominent colours spread evenly. If there are characters I try and spread them out so they face into the quilt and you find your eyes bouncing around (if you think that a Textile GCSE is pointless, I can confirm that this is one piece of knowledge I learnt in a lesson and has stuck with me all these years). I can spend ages sometimes playing around and then taking pictures. I can then see, through the pictures, that more changes need to be made.

Sometimes I am given little notes on the items which were really special or parts of it that are most important, which is always helpful. One quilt I made this year stands out for being specially organised. Each patch was sewn in the order in which it was worn and you can see the calendar emerging as you look at it from holidays to Christmas, Easter and the Olympics. I love a quilt that tells a story and this one really does.

It has also been a year of firsts. I am constantly thinking of new ways to use the clothes I am sent. I have a great portfolio of quits, blankets and cushions in all sorts of designs and sizes. This year I have expanded that to include pillowcases, Christmas stockings and bunting. If there is anything you have in mind that I don't have an example of yet, please get in touch and I will be happy to help. I have a geometric design on my cutting table at the moment that I am very excited about, so watch this space!

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