This week we have more reflections on 2015 and predictions for 2016 with sewing industry leaders. We’d love to hear what you think too! Just answer any or all of our questions on your site and add the URL to the comments. We’ve heard from Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness, Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts, Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette, Sandi Sawa Hazlewood of Crafty Planner, Alex Veronelli of Aurifil, Heather Jones of Heather Jones Studio and Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime.

Next up is Melissa Averinos, quilter, author, fabric designer and oh so much more!

Sew Mama Sew: Favorite things? (Fabric collections, patterns, books, thread, tools, podcasts, classes, websites, events, etc.)
Melissa: Instagram continues to be my favorite social media platform. I love the visual nature of it and the supportive community. I use it the way I used to use my blog, as a visual journal of what I’m working on. Since I always improvise rather than following a pattern, I never know how something is going to look until I arrive at the end, and I love sharing the progression of a quilt in real time.

I am also in love with the B580 BERNINA sewing machine I have been using! I have never had a fancypants machine before and now I see what all of the fuss is about!

SMS: What do you think 2016 has in store?
Melissa: I see quilters getting more confident in their own design sense and relying less on pre-chosen collections of fabric. I see the solids trend continuing to grow, as well as small prints, tonals and low volume– where the focus can be more the color and design of the quilt and the quilt-maker’s voice.

I see more quilters gravitating toward repurposing found fabrics, in addition to using commercially available quilting cottons.

Melissa’s “face #1” Quilt, QuiltCon 2015 Judge’s Choice Award Winner

SMS: What did you do this year that you’re most proud of?
Melissa: There were a lot of highlights for me in 2015 and I don’t think I could choose just one!

  • I showed my “face #1” quilt at QuiltCon 2015 and it won a Judge’s Choice Award.
  • I decided to finally start teaching and was accepted to teach my raw edge appliqué faces at QuiltCon 2016. I will also be teaching at guilds and shops around the country.
  • I became a BERNINA Brand Ambassador.
  • A quilt I made called “My Brother’s Jeans” (that I documented the making of on Instagram #mybrothersjeansquilt) was accepted into QuiltCon 2016, which I’m super excited about.

Melissa’s “My Brother’s Jeans” Quilt, heading to QuiltCon 2016

SMS: What can we expect from you in 2016? Any big projects, life changes or goals you can share?
Melissa: I’m quilting more than I had been when I released my previous fabric lines, so my approach to designing fabric has totally changed. I’m excited to explore that and hopefully put some new collections out. On Instagram I’ve been sharing some hand-drawn/painted small scale print experiments that I’ve been working on; I think they’d make great fabrics so we’ll see what happens!