Thursday, February 24, 2011

Call Out for "Pay It Forward Participants"

Mug rugs awaiting homes.... Each rug has a unique touch, all using the same fabrics with slight variances. The base fabric of green with gradations of blue dots is from a past Jane Sassaman line. I have to say I miss that line of fabric. It came in several colorways and I am lucky enough to have partial bolts of yellow, blue, green and the pink. You are likely to find a bit of one in many of the projects I have completed. The front of each rug (measuring approx 6" X 10 ") has two sections, one for the cuppa and the other for the treat.

The sides are separated by a small strip (like the one in the photo on the right). One side for your cuppa' and the other for a treat.....Machine sewn blanket stitching using variegated threads can be found accenting some of the strips. Quilting follows the tiny blocks or creates diagonal interest. Some of the quilting follows through onto the reverse side. Great way to experiment with your machines stitches, fabric combinations and as always new quilt patterns and techniques..
I am thinking that I may continue with some of the strip quilting, but use the base fabric in other quilt blocks...Any suggestions for patterns that would lend themselves to this style???
Please leave me a post.....

Oh, almost forgot. Some of these mug rugs have a bit of a surprise. Several sport pockets,  one has a diagonal pocket sewn into the binding and creating just a hint of a change in fabric gradation. One has a embellished pocket sporting a floral yo-yo with a double button center. Each mug rug having  a tiny bit o' its own personality.... Great fun to create....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Finish Line....Mug Rugs Complete...

One of my fabric scrap "clean ups" is to use the strip quilting technique. A basket full of scraps, my rotary cutter, a bit of muslin as a stabilizer and I am off to the sewing machine to create a piece of fabric. I joined a Pay It Forward Swap and decided to use up a bunch of scraps to create something unique to send to three individuals who dared to take a chance on my sewing skills...Alas, I think my blog had a few glitches and people were not able to join up... I think I have fixed the problem....Please sign up to receive one of this little pretties....MUG new found canvas!!! Check out the Pay It Forward post below and be one of the first three to post your own challenge on your blog, make sure I have your address and check out the mail for a "scrappy mug rug"( complete with a mystery package) from the coast of Maine.

The journey to the completed project:

The Scrap Bin
Cutting Strips 1/2", 1", 1 1/4"

Off to the Sewing Machine
Another Cut...Another Seam

Sneak peak.... Binding to go...Click for a great tutorial at VeryKerryBerry
The Infamous binding....
Mitre a Corner! How many pins?
The finished product????

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Suggestions from Deborah at Whipstitch

I strolled over to Whipstitch and checked out Deborah's suggestions. Loved the icon above and thought it added a nice touch to this post. I have simply copied and pasted them below. This may help to quide the challenge when bumpy days arrive.....

Things to Do with Your Sewing Buddy

  • Make a list of your own sewing priorities. Trade lists with your Buddy and put each others list in order based on which should be done first.  This allows each of you to detail what you’d like to accomplish, but allows someone with a little more objectivity to help you order your work.
  • Set deadlines for one another and check each others “homework” when the deadline arrives.  Keeps you on task and accountable!
  • Start your own Flickr pool just for the two of you to post images of your works in progress as you go.  This gives you some instant gratification as you work so you won’t get bogged down by the feeling that you “haven’t done anything yet.”
  • Email one another a weekly pep talk, but don’t send them to one another on the same day–maybe one of you peps on Monday, and the other on Thursday.  Seems like most of the time the compliments we pass on to others are for things we’d like to have said about ourselves, so giving each other a little positive encouragement works for them and for us!
  • Make a joint list of goals that both of you would like to achieve, and work through it one goal at a time, together.  This way, any snags you hit you’ll have someone in the same boat right there to support you.
  • Decide on prizes to give one another when you each complete a particular task or project, or when you master a new skill.  Can be something small, like sending a gift of fabric, or something larger, like sewing your Buddy something they wouldn’t sew for themselves.
  • Split a complicated project into stages and mail it back and forth, so that you each take turns on different phases of the construction.  Maybe one of you is really great at cutting out, but hates the stitching, and the other feels the opposite.  Or maybe one of you loves to embroider and hand quilt, and the other loves to do patchwork–why not make TWO embroidered quilts, with each of you contributing the skills you have to the project?
  • Choose a skill that each of you really wants to master and work on the same project at the same time to perfect that skill.  You can share research and tips and discoveries as you go!
  • Make a list of skills you’ve mastered and skills you want to master, and trade lists.  Odds are, at least one skill you want to master appears on your Buddy’s list, and vice versa.  Agree to a “skills exchange” and teach one another!
  • Start a two-author blog a la Mason-Dixon Knitting and keep one another updated on your progress.  This keeps you from falling into the trap of believing you only have something to share when a project is completed, instead of recognizing that it’s the journey that helps us to grow.
  • Use a universal Wish List function to “shop” together virtually for fabric & supplies.
  • Choose a sewing charity and complete a project together for those in need.
  • Sew for your Buddy’s family to give her the time to work on projects for herself, then let her return the favor down the road.  Like paying it forward with your needle!

Friday, February 18, 2011

...And A Response to our Challenge...

I love this idea!  Later this week, I'm planning a post to welcome the new Sewing Buddies and offer them some ideas for ways to connect and activities to do together.  I would really like to include this there.  Will you and Shari give me some ideas of how the two of you are working on this together, and I'll brainstorm some ways we can open it to the other Buddies?

Thanks so much for thinking to open this to the rest of the group!

Morning Deborah, Thanks so much for organizing the Sewing Buddies. I have made several contacts with Shari and we have a project in the works. We will be starting our journey by making slippers for the Pink Slipper Project. (You can find a link from my blog Might we find a way to connect and open the challenge to other Sewing Buddies? I am new at blogging, new at sewing buddies and am looking to you for a bit of directions. Shari and I thought a project to bring smiles to faces of persons in need would be a great start for us!! Let me know what you think...Thanks... Pat

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Information about our Pink Slipper Challenge.... Join us!!!!!!

An email of inquiry from Shari and I ............
On 2/13/11 12:45 PM, Pat Block wrote:

Afternoon Joyce....I am working with Shari to accept a year long challenge as Sewing Buddies.  The Sewing Buddies was started by a great lady at Shari and I are both new at this blogland challenge world and thought it might be great to do something to support others as our first project. Blog searching found your group. I have referenced your group with a link and set up a tentative challenge on my blog:
                                From the Walpole Woods 
We do have a couple of quick questions.
First, we are checking to make sure you are fine with our setting up a support challenge for you all.
Second, do any of the shelters in Louisiana or Maine have a connection with the Pink Slipper Project. I live in coastal Maine near Christmas Cove and Shari is from a rural area in Louisiana. It would be wonderful if we could start that support network, or provide our finished slippers to a shelter  in one of our hometown areas.
Third, has anyone already adapted the One Seam Rag Slipper for other sizes. I am a bit uncomfortable modifying the pattern to fit a child or young adult. My hopes are that that has been done and we can connect with someone to get a jpeg pattern.

This is just a quick email to inquire...Let us know your thoughts...Thanks a bunch..
And an incredible response from Joyce......
Hi Pat!
Thanks so much for your interest in working with the Pink Slipper Project. We're thrilled to have you on board.

We are thrilled that you are setting up a support challenge for the PSP. What a wonderful think!

We don't currently have shelters in Maine and Louisiana that have requested our services...but I think it would be a great idea to donate your slippers to your local area shelters. We're doing this with another group. If you'd like to send me info on the shelters that you choose to sponsor, and as much info about your group and the challenge at hand, we'll post on our website. Please take lots of pics that we can share on the Pink Slipper website too. We'll want to keep your group in the news. As a matter of fact, once I have all the info, I'll create a page for your group and your challenge so that we can update progress.

This is all so exciting!

As far as the slipper pattern goes, use your printing software and reduce the pattern by 25% for child. Yo really can't mess up when reducing or enlarging. We have so many different size feet to stitch for. Wide feet, narrow feet, short feet, long feet. I have a size chart I can send you. It will give you some guidance.

I look forward to hearing much more about your blogland challenge! Please let me know how I can help you promote it. Do you need a blog button?

I look forward to working with you. Joyce

Where do we start? Where we always start..... With a stack of wonderful fabric...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Maybe, A Monthly Bag Challenge....

Another possible challenge for our sewing buddy project over at jemjam...If you enjoy making handbags then ...What do you think about joining up?
The Handbag Challenge focuses on one bag each month.  The bag pattern comes  from Amy Butler's new book, "Style Stitches".....
Click on  the book cover and you will be taken to Amy Butler's Blog with references to the book or click here for a full color review on flicker delicious samples using her fabrics:

Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge 2011- February's Bag
from Chapter 2. 
Time to check out the Home Dec section of your local fabric shop or search through the pages at .

You will need to have 2 prints for this project, mid-weight 54" wide Home Dec fabrics are suggested. 
Exterior print:  3/4 yard
Coordinating print: 1 5/8 yard

Reversible tote, knitting bag, Project tote, diaper bag, school tote! What other uses can we suggest for this simple bag...the possibilities are endless. It would be great to post photos of our finished projects in use.....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sewing Buddy Challenge

Wow! Two posts in a month, I may have moved off the couch for real. My need for  a creative challenge and motivation came with the Sewing Buddy post I found at the Whipstitch Blog.

Last night I checked my email and found a wonderful message from my sewing partner "Shari". Shari and I will venture to support and encourage each other as we sew through 2011. If you missed the sign up and need a creative boost..... join us..... Post your information below and I will get back to you with a challenge to join us in a monthly project..

I am in the process of checking the postings. I think you need to have a URL or a google account in order to post on my blog...Please have patience I am trying to fix this!!!

My suggestion is that we start with the PINK SLIPPER Project.
What  are your thoughts? Check it out...add some feedback in the comment section (please remember to add an email or contact information in your post) Thanks bunches.....
Jump over to the Pink Slipper Project page for a free pattern download..

PSSS: I am in need of a new camera if I am to jazz these posts up a bit...Any suggestions????

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Bit of Inspiration and a Challenge is what I needed.......

In my blog search for a bit of inspiration to rid me of this lull I am in  I found Clover and Violet. They presented an interesting challenge, a challenge to  join a Pay it Forward group. This  sparked my interest and moved those creative thoughts off the couch and into my stash. I have been wanting to "try out" new quilting patterns, design techniques and embellishment strategies. What better way then the cute little mug rugs or the doll quilts. Jennie offered me the canvas and the purpose. Hopefully I will be among her first three and will receive, what I am sure will be an amazing gift when I need it the most  and least expect it...

Kelly from ,A Plain Path, was the hook Jennie must have needed to accept the challenge. Thanks Kelly and Jennie for getting me off the couch and back to the studio.

Here are the details(These details are taken straight from Jennnie's blog!!):
  1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and it will arrive when you least expect it.
  2. I will have 365 days to do it in. What's the catch? To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something for 3 readers of your blog. It doesn't have to be quilty - just handmade.
  3. You must have a blog.
  4. Once you comment here, you must post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going - with the Pay It Forward badge.  Also, feel free to join the Flickr group to see what else is being sent!
I will be making something with a bit of whimsy for each of the first three people to comment on this post and agree to play along {but I must get your e-mail address so I can reach you}. So, join in and help to keep "me" off the couch and creating....

PS: Please make sure you add you email address to your post so that I can contact you!! Thanks!!!