When I dreamed up the Murder Mystery Quilt, I never imagined even for an instant all the places it would take me. Around the world, it turns out.
The short origin story of the Murder Mystery Quilt, when I tell it at cocktail parties to people who don’t sew and who think quilts are something they dig out of Gramma’s closet or see in a museum display, goes more or less like this: there’s a product in the world of quilting where portions of the quilt are sewn without ever seeing the finished design, like making a puzzle without the box top lid, but the word “mystery” always made me think, “If I’m going to make a quilt and not know how it’ll turn out, I should at least be solving a MURDER mystery!” And thus I developed the idea of sewing a quilt to solve a crime.
The League of Adventurous Dressmakers
It’s only February, and I’m deeply immersed in the League of Adventurous Dressmakers. I feel so inspired and motivated and excited about the garments I have in my queue. Part of what slows me down, looking back on past years and the to-sew lists that never get completed, is that I love the planning stages of a sewing project, but don’t always feel accountable–everyone who reads and comments on my blog is super encouraging (loving you guys!), but you’re so supportive and understanding that when a project stalls, there’s no real pressure to pick it back up. With the League, knowing that there are folks who are excited and asking questions and posting photos and watching to see what comes next really gets me sitting down at my needle.
Now open for registration! Both the Murder Mystery Quilt AND the League of Adventurous Dressmakers are now ready for you to join!
The League of Adventurous Dressmakers is a monthly subscription club that focuses on in-depth technique lessons for better garment sewing. As more and more of us seek to sew our own clothes, we want to be sure that we make clothes that are beautiful and well-constructed. With the League of Adventurous Dressmakers by your side, you’ll do it in superhero style! In this warm, communal environment, explore key garment-making techniques to making your hand-sewn clothing the best it can be, and get inspired by other dressmakers while you do! Learn more about the League here!
The Murder Mystery Quilt is a monthly subscription club that reads along together and stitches up a quilt to find clues and solve the murder mystery contained in the story. This is a mystery quilt in the traditional sense–you sew a block each month and the overall design of the quilt isn’t revealed until all the blocks are sewn–but it’s also a MYSTERY quilt: each month, along with the block pattern and design, you receive a chapter of a mystery story. Each chapter reveals clues as the plot unfolds, and it’s your job to seek out whodunit! Read background on this project here.
I can’t wait to share this year with all of you, and be part of two big projects I’ve been dreaming up for a very long time. Use the links above to register, or visit my shop. You’ll receive a welcome letter automatically when registration is complete, and your first month’s pattern within a week!
Let’s Get Sewing, everyone!!
In the first grade, when I was six years old, my class did a unit on Ancient Egypt. I was, as most children are, completely mesmerized. The story of Howard Carter and his tenacious pursuit of discovery was–and remains, nearly 100 years later–absolutely captivating. I adored hearing my teacher read, quietly and with appropriate pauses, of those moments when Carter at last, decades after beginning his search, approached the entrance to what he believed to be the greatest tomb in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. I held my breath as Carter and his workmen punched a small hole in the plaster to open up a tomb that had been sealed for millennia. And I gasped when Carter’s financial sponsor for his quest asked if he could see anything by the light of the candle he thrust through that opening, and Carter replied, “Yes, wonderful things!”
Hooray, hooray!! A whole bunch of you have already registered for the 2016 Sewing Buddy Project. I am beyond delighted to welcome back some familiar faces and to greet some new ones–yippee for Sewing Buddies!! The Sewing Buddy Project is a year-long pen pal program, and for just $10 you get a personalized pen pal match, monthly emails, sewing prompts and project ideas, plus access to a private Facebook group and lots of support from the community! I think this year is going to be the best one yet, and at such a small price point and low level of commitment (nothing to send, no deadlines to meet, just a promise to communicate with one another), it’s an excellent way to connect with others and give your sewing a boost. We can all use a new friend!
In addition to the Sewing Buddies, I am both elated and a little terrified to unveil the other TWO clubs I’ve been busily building for 2016. These are my babies, and a lot of the courage I found to launch them came when you all confirmed through your survey responses that I’m not crazy for thinking these are really fun, needed ideas. They combine all my most favorite parts about what I do at Whipstitch: designing curriculum, shooting video, writing, creating patterns, and building community. These groups, along with the Sewing Buddies, are my primary focus for 2016–if I do nothing else this year than these clubs, I will rest easy and feel fulfilled. I’ve invested hours and hours, and am nervous and giddy headed into the Big Reveal. Do you want to hear more about them??