We asked a group of sewing industry leaders to fill us in on their reflections for 2016 and their predictions for the year ahead. Looking back helps us celebrate the beauty, the surprises, the fun and the big sewing moments. 2017 predictions get us all excited about what’s to come!

First up is Nydia Kehnle of Nydia Kehnle Design + Photography, designer of several gorgeous and colorful quilt and embroidery patterns!  She tells us what she noticed and what she’s excited about…

Want to join the fun?! Answer any or all of our questions on your site. Tag us or add the URL in the comments of any Reflections/Predictions post and we’ll check it out! #sewingpredictions

Sew Mama Sew: Looking back on the sewing scene in 2016, what trends stand out?
Nydia: I think that the trend that stands out for me the most in the quilting world was improv quilting.  I noticed more and more people breaking traditional quilting rules and just creating beautiful things without rulers or patterns.

Animals have seemed to take the quilt world by storm.  Designers like Violet Craft and Elizabeth Hartman have created so many great animal quilt patterns and I am always excited to see what animal is up next!  Dan Rouse finished up a stag and a bear quilt using reverse appliqué that are just incredible works of art.

SMS: Who knocked your socks off and why?

  • Kim Soper – (@lelandavestudios) – This year Kim shared all of her progress on her amazing quilt “Lincoln”.  She desired to create an entirely improv-pieced, recognizable image without the use of template, paper piecing or appliqué and WOW it is just an incredible work of art!  I hope you guys check out not only the finished project, but go back and look at her progress shots.  Read about how she was feeling through out the entire process.  Her process reminds me to push past frustrations, all of the re-dos and self doubt, and trust in the process.
  • Hillary Goodwin – (@entropyalwayswins) – Hillary is crazy talented.  I think I would consider her a textile arts explorer.  She seems to be always trying something new and pushing her work to new levels.  One thing that really makes her shine is her kindness and encouragement of others in the quilting community.   She is a true artist and inspires me to continue trying all the things and grow.

SMS: Favorite things? (Fabric collections, patterns, books, thread, tools, podcasts, classes, websites, events, etc.)

SMS: Who do you think are rising stars in the industry?

SMS: What did you do this year that you’re most proud of?
Nydia: I think I am most proud that this year was full of growth for me.  I created 2 patterns this year Dimension and Perception.  I experimented with embroidery and quilting… using french knots and tried wrapping the binding with embroidery floss  in my improv quilt “the leftovers”.    I had an incredible experience teaching for the first time at Glamp-Stitchalot  I am really happy I didn’t allow my fears of failure prevent me from trying and experiencing new things.

SMS: What can we expect from you in 2017? Any big projects, life changes or goals you can share?
Nydia: I will be teaching at Quiltcon 2017 in Savannah and I  look forward to hopefully teaching at more events.  I have some new designs in the works that I hope to pattern.