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Category: Sewing Buddy


Sewing Buddy Challenge WINNERS, plus Challenge #2!

July 5th, 2012 — 9:40pm

In 2012, there are over 100 pair of Sewing Buddies, and they have been going like gangbusters since the spring!  These folks are virtual pen pals, sharing their sewing skillz and inspiration with one another, sometimes learning and sometimes teaching, and seriously, making me so excited to see how just the simple act of sewing can take us beyond geographic boundaries and age and even style, bring people together who otherwise might never get to know one another, and make them fast friends.

In April, I set a challenge for our Sewing Buddies, and they totally stepped up to the plate with some really awesome sewn projects.  The challenge asked each pair of Buddies to create two final stitched pieces: one for a male and one for a female.  Those were the only guidelines–they could have been boy/girl gifts or he/she sets, anything so long as both Buddies did some of the sewing and the final projects were he/she themed.

I loved, loved, loved seeing the photos come through on Flickr, and was genuinely inspired by the ways that the challenge was interpreted–how cool to think that most of these Buddies have never met in person, and are using the World Wide Internet Web to communicate and plan and execute these projects!!  In the end, though, there can only be one.  Winner, that is.

Announcing: the Sewing Buddy Challenge #1 WINNERS!

This was such an incredibly hard decision–I loved something about every one of the entries, for real.  In the end, though, it was a question of which projects did the best job of embracing the challenge and making a real PAIR of projects, showcasing the skill and work-togetherness of the Buddies.  I did, however, decide to give prizes for first, second and third place, so I could brag on more of you Buddies out there!

THIRD PLACE WINNERS:  Nicole and Jennie with their Adventure Bags!

These are so, so cute and show not just how the ladies came up with projects that fit the theme, but also worked together to choose fabrics and style their sewing.  Great job!  Both of you will receive a fat quarter bundle of fabrics (pot luck, my choice) delivered right to your door!

SECOND PLACE WINNERS:  Elisabeth and Rebekah with their dolls!

The sewing on these is so lovely, the detailing so sweet, and the way these Buddies planned out the dolls to look as though they could be hanging out together is just awesome.  I adore these two!  Congrats, ladies!  You’ll both receive a half-yard bundle of fabrics (pot luck, my choice), delivered right to your door!

FIRST PLACE WINNERS:  Penny and Kristy with their Camping Outfits!

These two take the cake–they’re just so much fun!  These Buddies used great co-ordinating fabrics, chose complementary pattern styles, and really thought through what project they could sew that would embrace the whole theme.  Everyone who has seen them has ooohed and aaahed over them, and deservedly so.  I’m so pleased you’re both winners!  You’ll both receive a $30 gift certificate to the shop, to use as you please!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:  There were so many really fabulous projects that I can’t resist showcasing some honorable mentions:

These giraffe quilts are darling, and make great use of the theme–they’re the same pattern, but use their variation in fabric to make them boy/girl friendly.

These HST pillows also use the same design and mix things up with the colors and prints they’ve chosen–I love these!

I adore these outfits (and the acorn fabric that they’re made with!), and would totally be proud to send my children out of the house wearing these.  Aren’t they crazy detailed and super cute?  Love!

The car seat quilts here are delicious–I love that they’re made with the same fabric collection, but that they’re matching without being too matchy-matchy, and that these Buddies worked totally bi-coastally!

Spectacular work, all you Buddies.  I am having SO much fun seeing what you all have been up to, and LOVING the motivation that these challenges are providing.  I can’t get over how quickly so many of you have gotten to be friends over the Interwebs, and how cool the sewing is that’s springing from that!  And so…

Sewing Buddy Challenge #2

The next big announcement: the SECOND Sewing Buddy Challenge!  This time, we’re focusing on COLOR as our theme.  Sewing Buddies, your task–should you choose to accept it–is to create two projects that coordinate or reference one another through the use of color.  I’m leaving that pretty open for how you’d like to interpret it–you can make two projects using the same color palette; make two projects where one piece is in a color that complements the other piece (say, one of you makes a blouse that’s orange and the other makes a skirt that’s green, because those colors are opposite one another on the color wheel); make the same project using different colors on each one, but in a planned manner to accentuate the pattern or design; or create a color-based theme that runs between two sewn items.  I’m leaving the specifics up to your very creative Sewing Buddy minds, but the theme of the challenge is COLOR.

Get to it, Buddies!  Challenge #2 opens today, and the deadline to submit entries is September 20, 2012.  Winners will be announced on or around October 1, along with the final 2012 Sewing Buddy Challenge!  Best wishes to all of you!*

*Non-Sewing Buddies are always welcome to participate!  Just make your project using the theme and add it to the Sewing Buddy Flickr group–with a note saying “just for fun.”  We’ll all be inspired by what you’ve created, and will hope that you’ll dive in and get a Buddy next year!

6 comments » | Sewing Buddy, Sewing Contests & Competitions, Sewing Inspiration

Sewing Buddy Challenge #1

June 15th, 2012 — 4:03pm

Earlier this year, I matched up hundreds of happy folk with one another as Sewing Buddies, and then challenged them to complete a sewing project that would take BOTH of them to win!  Today was meant to be the deadline to submit photos to Flickr for the project, but I have EXTENDED the deadline through midnight on Monday, June 18, 2012.  Sewing Buddies, to enter, simply upload photos to the Sewing Buddy Flickr pool and label them Sewing Buddy Challenge #1.  I’ll be announcing winners next week!  This thing is still wide open, y’all, so if you and your Buddy thought you were out of time, you’re still in it!

In the meantime, check out some of the projects that have been submitted already:

Note:  Don’t have a Buddy?  You can still play along!  Upload your project photos according to the guidelines.  Please note, non-Buddies aren’t eligible for prizes, but I’d love to showcase your sewing!

6 comments » | Clothing for Kids, Sewing Buddy, Sewing Contests & Competitions, Sewing Inspiration

The Sewing Buddy Project 2012: Challenge 1!

April 2nd, 2012 — 11:34am

Hello, Sewing Buddies!  I have been typing my little fingers to the bone the past week or so matching up folks from near and far, playing yenta so that stitchers here and there (and sometimes way over there) can connect and share ideas and get inspired and maybe even find the encouragement to make those projects that have been languishing and begging to be sewn.  This is one of my favorite things that I do, and each year it has gotten to be more fun and exciting to see who finds a perfect match and what they do with it!  I’ve heard from dozens of Sewing Buddies from the past two years who are still going strong, and I am super excited to see where 2012 will take us.

This year, we’ll be doing a couple of things that I haven’t done in years past.  First and foremost, Sewing Buddies will be eligible to win fabulous prizes by taking part in three quarterly challenges over the course of the remaining months in 2012: one begins TODAY and runs through June; one begins July 1 and runs through September; and one begins October 1 and runs through December.  Each will be different, but each will rely on the shared efforts of Sewing Buddies to win!  (Note: non-Sewing Buddies are more than welcome to participate–that would be awesome!  But only Sewing Buddies are eligible to win prizes.)

Challenge #1

The first challenge begins today.  Hooray!  Sewing Buddies, your task is simple: work together to complete the challenge.  These challenges are all completely optional, and if you and your Buddy determine that you’d like to skip one, no worries!  But what a fun way to win prizes, yes?  By communicating through email or snail mail, coming up with a plan and sharing skills and techniques and ideas, you’re sure to stretch your sewing at the same time that you work toward world sewing domination.

The task: Create a boy/girl project using coordinating fabrics in any sewn format you choose. 

The finished project will include TWO sewn pieces: one for a boy and one for a girl (or one for a man and one for a woman, if you prefer a grown-up version).  These can be stitched independently (one Buddy makes one while the other Buddy makes the other) or they can be stitched collaboratively (by shipping the pieces back and forth between you, with one person doing part of the project and the other doing the rest).  “Coordinating fabrics” can be a particular fabric collection, or colors that work together, or fabrics with a particular design theme.  Format can be clothing, quilting, home decor, bags, toys, wall art, embroidery, anything you can think of that involves needle and thread.

For example:

  • I am currently obsessed with brother/sister outfits, which would be great for this challenge–maybe one of you makes on and the other makes the other?
  • mini-quilts are spectacular for a challenge like this, and if you wanted, you could ship them between you with one Buddy doing the piecing and the other doing the quilting
  • a framed embroidery piece is lovely, and an unusual solution to making matching male/female pieces
  • what about baby toys?  that would work!

Remember, these do NOT have to be for children, though they can be, there is no required size, and this first challenge is specifically designed to be do-able regardless of geography–if you don’t want to ship anything to your Buddy, no worries!  The only requirement is that one sewn project is male-centric, and the other is female-centric.  Deadline for all prize-eligible entries is June 15, 2012.

I know you’ll do awesome things, and I can’t wait to see them.  Y’all should have all received your Sewing Buddy introductions by now, so use these next few days to cogitate and come up with a plan that suits you both!  In two weeks, I’ll set up a Flickr group for Sewing Buddies to which you can upload your photos as you get to know one another better.  In the meantime, be on the lookout for Sewing Buddy emails and periodic blog posts with tips and treats just for you!

I am REALLY excited about spending 2012 with all of you–nearly 175 Buddies this year!  Let’s get sewing, y’all.

8 comments » | Clothing for Kids, Sewing Buddy, Sewing Contests & Competitions

Last Call for a 2012 Sewing Buddy!

April 1st, 2012 — 2:28pm

We are spending a few days of our childrens’ spring break lounging at the lake right now, but I’m still sending out emails, because I’m too excited not to: I’m writing Sewing Buddy introductions to welcome new Sewing Buddies for 2012!  No April Fools, if you got an email from me today, you just met your new sewing pen pal.  Woot!

The first of our quarterly Sewing Buddy challenges begins TOMORROW here on the blog, but it’s not too late to snag a Buddy for yourself!  Leave a comment on THIS POST and I’ll match a final batch tonight to get you all paired up in time to take part in the first challenge and reap the benefits of sharing your Sewing Buddy love!

25 comments » | Sewing Buddy, Sewing Contests & Competitions, Sewing Inspiration

Sewing Buddy Project OPEN for 2012!

March 20th, 2012 — 3:18pm

At last!!  Back for a THIRD year–can you believe it??–the Sewing Buddy Project is OPEN for 2012!  Sewing Buddies began back in early 2010 from suggestions I got from readers who said they felt that the best motivation they could have to learn more and do more sewing would be to have a friend who would encourage them and support them and inspire them and keep them accountable for meeting their sewing goals.  I devised an intensely scientific matching system that utilizes here-to-fore unknown technology to pair up the perfect buddies, some of whom are still going strong.  It has been so much fun to watch these folks–who really are sewing pen pals, of a sort–get to know one another better and meet in person and participate in charity sewing and inspire one another and make me laugh.

This year, I’m looking to mix things up a bit.  Not because it hasn’t been awesome the past two years, but because I want to make the Sewing Buddies a bit more participatory than in years past.  It’s easy to enter into a group and either lose focus or steam, or simply not know what comes next after the initial getting-to-know-yous are past, including for me–and while I think a lot of our Buddies have had some amazing ideas and deep connections, this year I want to make sure ALL of us do!

This year, Sewing Buddies will all be eligible for participation in quarterly sewing challenges, centered around a theme.  Every three months for the rest of the year, all you Sewing Buddies will have the chance to win prizes, showcase your sewing here on the blog, and grow your own sewing skills by working together to create something awesome!  All the challenges are designed to take TWO people to complete–but also to account for the fact that you’re pen pals and not next door neighbors.  They’re optional, but why not take advantage of a chance to do some new sewing, get to know another stitcher better, and win fantastic prizes at the same time??  There are THREE challenges in 2012, and each of them has some really delicious prizes–I’ll be rolling those out over the coming weeks to get you motivated to step up to the plate, as it were.

Additionally, the Sewing Inspiration e-mails I’ve been sending are becoming the Sewing Buddy Inspiration e-mails!  That’s right: all my 2012 Sewing Buddies will be added to the list of folks who helped me launch my Sewing Inspiration emails, and will receive a monthly message of stitchy motivation, right in their inbox, complete with ideas and techniques to help you really bring your A-game to the current quarter’s sewing challenge.

Sweet!!

As in the past, it all begins with you throwing your name in the hat, so let’s get started!

Guidelines for 2012 Sewing Buddy Project participation:

  • Agree that you will leave no email from your Sewing Buddy un-answered.  Simply replying to each message as they go back and forth will build your commitment and resolve.  If your Sewing Buddy-ness goes no further than encouraging emails once a week, that’s awesome!  It will keep you on-track to meet some goals or to challenge yourself in a way you might not have otherwise.  If you both decide to start your own Flickr group or joint blog or do some mail exchanges, even better.  At a minimum, though, resolve to always answer your Buddy’s emails–any other participation in challenges or contests is completely voluntary.
  • Branch out and get a new Sewing Buddy, even if you’ve already been rocking it with your 2010 or 2011 Buddy.  You can never have too many friends who sew!  You can keep your other Buddies and learn great stuff from a new one.  Isn’t friendship awesome?
  • Sewing Buddies can be from anywhere in the world, as long as you’re willing to communicate in English.  We’ve had folks from Britain, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, Austria and a host of other nations participate, and you can, too!  I can’t promise you’ll get a Buddy who is geographically near to you, but isn’t that part of the fun, that discovery?  Hooray for international diplomacy!
  • Be on the lookout for contests, challenges, secret passwords, and even (gasp!) meet-ups designed just for Sewing Buddies!  We’ll have our quarterly sewing challenge, but there is plenty more that we can do–and I’ve taken suggestions and comments from past Sewing Buddies very seriously as I work to make this the coolest pen pal experience you’ve ever had!

That’s it!  I’ll begin matching names in the magic whirly-bin of Sewing Buddy Science on March 25, 2012.  Sign-ups will close April 1, 2012 at midnight.  Pairs will be notified no later than April 2, 2012 and the first challenge will be announced the same day!

To participate in the 2012 Sewing Buddy Project:

  • To add your name to the list to be matched with a Buddy, simply leave a comment below–that’s it!  Include a working email address that you check (this will be captured when you leave your name, so it isn’t necessary to leave it in the body of your comment).
  • You’ll receive an email from me asking you to (1) confirm your participation and (2) name a favorite color and a number between 1 and 10.  These emails will go out in batches beginning March 23; Buddies will be matched from within each batch.
  • I’ll use the responses to the emails I receive along with a super-scientific system here at the Whipstitch Labs to match you to the PERFECT Sewing Buddy based on a four-fold formula that’s much too complicated to write about here but that is really awesome and space-y.
  • I’ll send an email to the both of you giving introductions in proper Victorian style (a lady never spends time with someone to whom she has not been properly introduced), and then like a mother whose chicks are leaving the nest, I’ll step back and watch as the friendship flourishes.
  • You and your buddy will make the initial contact and see where it leads you!  Contests?  Maybe.  Inspiration?  Certainly.  Life-long friendship?  Golly, I hope so.

That’s it!  I’m really looking forward to hearing more from all of you this year, can am so pleased so many of you are looking to continue the Sewing Buddy love.  Hooray!

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155 comments » | Sewing Buddy

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