Last Day for Sewing Buddies 2015!


Today at midnight registration will CLOSE for the 2015 Sewing Buddy Project!!  We’ve got a great, amazing group of folks who are looking for YOU to come play along with us.  We’ll be sharing videos, project ideas, downloadables, charity sewing, and community ALL YEAR LONG.  I can’t wait to see everything you’ll make and all the friendships that will be formed in our online group space.

Register to join the group, fill out the online form, and you’ll be on your way!  Registration closes at MIDNIGHT Eastern time tonight, and all matches will be mailed out no later than April 2, 2015.  Can’t wait to introduce you to your Buddy!!

The #2015SewingList & A Sewing Buddy Welcome!

Back in January, I put together a list:

sewing bucket list 2015

I called it the #2015SewingList and shared it on Instagram.  (For the record, I don’t really like the term “bucket list,” but for the purposes of easily communicating my goals for making a list of all these projects, it’s a good handle, so we’re gonna roll with it.)  My idea was that all of us–ALL of us–have a pile of projects we’re wanting and waiting to do, and just need a little encouragement to get them done.  Making a list of project categories seemed like an efficient way of organizing them, making a checklist to work against, and maybe getting myself a little motivated.

bucket list sewing march

Folks all over the web have been playing along, too!  The #2015SewingList hashtag on Instagram has a whole mess of projects other folks have accomplished–from mustache boxer shorts to Elsa dresses to sewing up something magical using sticky shelf liners.  I’ve already made a new pair of Overmosts (#5 on the list), the backdrop for the Cotton + Steel booth at QuiltCon (#14), an embroidered pair of Overmosts (also #14), a new corduroy Miette skirt from my PDF Tilly pattern & a double gauze Sailor Top using Fancy Tiger’s PDF pattern (#11), and a pair of boxers for my husband from Kwik Sew’s printed pattern (#9).  It’s funny, just making that list makes me realize HOW MUCH I’ve already sewn this year–I didn’t realize I’d been so productive!  Go, me!!

Since I want EVERYONE to have fun sewing, all the time, and since I truly, truly, truly believe sewing matters, I thought the list might be a great means of helping this year’s Sewing Buddies get off to a good start.  Buddies could work their way through the whole list together this year, giving one another encouragement along the way; or they could choose one or a few of the projects to do alongside one another; or they could choose one of the projects and each do a portion, like a micro-swap, just between the two of them.

sewing buddy button

If you’ve considered being a Sewing Buddy, but you’re just not sure, I hope the #2015SewingList will give you some ideas for how this pen pal program can work for you.  It’s SO, SO fun to find Your People and having a Buddy to call your own, whose emails you look forward to and whose encouragement can make or break a project when things are going wrong–well, that can turn your year around.  You can learn all about being a Sewing Buddy here.

If you’ve already signed up to be a Buddy for 2015, JUBILEE!!  I’ve got some details about next steps in this short video–which will also give some behind-the-scenes peeks into our private online Buddy space where we’ll be working on this list as the year goes on.

Sign-ups for the Sewing Buddy project end at midnight Eastern time, March 30–next week!  Join now, and come play with us!  Whether you’re a Buddy or not, though, the #2015SewingList hashtag is yours for the taking.  I hope you’ll challenge yourself to try some things you’ve never tried, to do some projects you’ve been putting off, and to have as much joy in your sewing as you possibly can this year.

Days for Girls: A Sewing Charity to Embrace

One of the things Sewing Buddies have done over the years of which I am most proud is sewing for charity.  There are some really amazing organizations around the world and right here in the US that do incredible work and make a lasting impact in people’s lives through simple sewing projects.  I recently learned of a new one that moved me far more deeply than I would have expected, and that I hope you’ll consider following and promoting, even if you never sew a stitch for them.

days for girls banner

This is Days for Girls.  They are an organization whose mission is to provide education, employment and dignity to girls all over the world in one simple way: allowing them to have a private period.

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Coming to a Screen Near You!

I’ve got a couple projects up and coming to share with you!  A great power session class covering details and finishes; and an episode on PBS with collars and collar techniques. Click through for more details and links to each, and come play with me!!

sewing button

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One Little Word 2015: STEWARDSHIP

Aaahhh!!  Only MARCH and I’m posting my first One Little Word video update for the year.  You can see my 2014 updates here, or on my YouTube channel.

The Maya Angelou quote I mentioned is actually a Zora Neale Hurston quote (oops), and is from Their Eyes Were Watching God: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”  You can find more Zora Neale Hurston quotes here (and quotes that are actually from Maya Angelou here).

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2015 Sewing Buddy Project: Sign-Ups OPEN!


Short version: The Sewing Buddies are BACK!!  Sign up here for 2015.

Long(er) version:  I started the Sewing Buddy Project six (!!) years ago in response to a survey I conducted here on the blog that seemed to indicate that one of the biggest things that would help most of us get more of our sewing goals met was to have a friend who would sew alongside us (literally or figuratively) and keep us motivated and excited about our sewing projects.  Sewing Buddies were my answer: a system of pen pals who all love to sew and want to get to know other sewing folks.

I never imagined it would last so long or be such a big hit.

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Printable: Bias Tape Makers & Measurements

While I was at QuiltCon, I had the privilege of teaching a quick demonstration at the invitation of the ladies from Cotton + Steel.  Naturally, the first idea that popped into my head was to share my on-going passion for continuous bias tape.  Yes!  More CBT converts!  More bias tape projects!  BIAS TAPE FOR EVERYONE!!

continuous bias tape

I made little giveaways to share, lengths of bias tape wrapped around cardboard, as takeaways for the folks who came by to visit.  Doing a demonstration in a setting like this is always a little funky–it’s a little bit of a fishbowl, and it’s hard to tell if no one is paying any attention or if everyone is paying attention.  Turns out, having some goodies to give away is a great method for giving folks a heads-up that something fun is about to happen.  YOU get some bias tape!  And YOU get some bias tape!  EVERYONE gets some bias tape!!

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QuiltCon 2015: I Hate What I Made. And I Learned So Much.

QuiltCon, QuiltCon, QuiltCon!  WHEN will everyone STOP talking about QuiltCon?!?

Not today, I’m afraid.

I was there in Austin when 10,000 modern quilters gathered from all over the world–as far away as India, over 9500 miles–to learn and be inspired and meet up and hug a LOT.  It was, honestly, everything everyone has said it was and maybe even a little bit more.  Imagine: every time you turn a corner, you see another dear, dear friend whom you don’t see often enough, and you race toward each other for giant hugs and super fast chatter.  That’s what this was like.  Like a junior high dance, except everyone was really nice and in an incredibly good mood.  I’m totally in withdrawal.

quilt con cotton and steel make and take

Make-and-takes at the Cotton + Steel booth! Image via the MQG blog.

I volunteered while I was there, and it was such a great way to visit with friends and make new ones, to see the show and to feel like I was contributing to something that makes an enormous impact in a lot of people’s lives.  I helped set up booths and hang quilts on the show floor before quilters began arriving, I welcomed folks in as they entered the ballroom for the QuiltCon Awards Ceremony, and I even spent a day with Anna Maria Horner in her Mod Corsage workshop (along with Denyse Schmidt, pretty much guaranteeing that the entire day was both magical and hilarious, because those ladies are hysterically funny).

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt at Quilt Con 2015

I even took one whole day to enjoy a workshop for myself–I know, you can really pack some stuff into four days, right?  I was actually scheduled to do another half-day workshop during the weekend, but as I was packing my bags to leave on the plane, realized that it was just too much.  I dropped the half-day workshop so that someone else could pick it up from the wait list, and stuck with just the one full-day class: the Emphasis quilt with Carolyn Friedlander.

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Intimidation Factor

I really love a challenge.  I do.  Sometimes I like to see if I can do something JUST to see if I can do it, whether I’m especially interested in the final product or not.  But other times…man, I just get too intimidated.

I’ll be all super excited about making something I’ve never made before and become CONVINCED that I am able to climb any mountain, as the nuns sang.  I’ll get all the supplies and all the patterns and all the equipment.  And then I’ll freeze.

Deer in headlights.  It’s awful.  It looks like procrastination on the outside, but I’m learning to call it what it really is: intimidation.  Most projects I jump into face-first, and if it works, it works.  And if it doesn’t?  No harm, no foul.  There have been a few, however…  No matter how much I gear myself up and gird my own loins, I have simply struggled to complete these projects, even when they have gotten to well-past-the-50%-mark.

wool yarn for knitting cardigans

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Vintage Barbie Clothes Made by Someone Else’s Grandma

barbies hanging out by the closet

Two years ago, I went on a mission at Christmas: a vintage Barbie holiday for our 7-year-old.

barbie carrying cases whipstitch

I was especially focused on the carrying cases, honestly.

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