One of my goals for 2012 was to finally do some handwork. I have always loved Sashiko, a Japanese style of stitching. I finally took the plunge and ordered a pre-printed panel from Purl Soho. You don't need a pre-printed panel, but you would then have to transfer the pattern onto your fabric with a white marking pencil. There are a lot of different traditional patterns out there. The one I used is called shippo-tsunagi or "Linked Seven Treasures"--I think. I don't know for sure.
Once I started, it was very easy and meditative. It was so nice to have something to do that didn't require pulling out my machine, especially because my sewing room is through baby's room.
And it turned out great, if I do say so myself. Now I'm going to turn it into a pillow. This definitely won't be the last. I really enjoyed it!