Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10 New Ideas for Sewing Groups

Sewing with friends can make for a great day, but how do we keep them interesting

Do you ever dread working on the same old project...yet again?

Would you like some fresh, new ideas?

It happens to us all. We love to be with our stitchy friends, but sometimes our sewing group needs a little bit of structure. Anything that pulls us all together helps bond us--gives us common ground. It starts conversations, and sparks creativity. If it's a skill builder, there are plenty of experts to help those just learning. Often times the newer sewists have seen an old technique done with a new twist. Let's light some fires, and build our groups up.

1. Show and Tell is always fun, but how about showing off your newest tool, gadget, or ruler? Add the quilt it was used for, and it makes it even better to see.

2. Do any members of your group have a sewing or crafting specialty? Would they be willing to give a short tutorial on something related to it? 10-15 minutes is a perfect amount to plan for, and answer questions. 

3. Make a Lending Library List. Instead of hauling a physical crate of books to each meet up, offer a virtual list of books owned by members which they are willing to loan out through the program. The book will be loaned from them, and returned to them. Set requests up through a group Facebook account or private email list each member has access to. Establish an amount of time each book can be loaned for, and have one group member act as your librarian to make sure books are returned on time. This prevents one member having to ask another for their book back. 

4. Does someone own the latest version of EQ7? I know many quilters never consider the possibilities of this software until they see it in action. It's perfect for a portable project since you need no wifi connection. It's loaded onto an individual device, and easy to demonstrate to fellow quilters.

5. Visit a local quilt store together instead of meeting. 

6. Work on a charity project as a group. Ask each member to contribute a block or more with fabric donated to the group or from each sewist's stash. This is an ideal time to have one member demonstrate basic skills related to the block. For instance, how to test for and insure a 1/4" seam, pressing, swirling seams, squaring up, etc.

7. Host your own block bee within your group.

8. Have an exchange for your next holiday: Mug rugs, mini quilts, hand made ornaments, etc. 

9. Celebrate birthdays by presenting a handmade charm pack. Ask each person to bring in 'their square share'--5" squares cut from their stash or scrap pieces, bundle them in packs of 40 squares each at one meeting together, and have them ready to gift out on birthdays. 

10. Host your own mini class. Right before the winter holidays is a perfect time. My own group has planned microwaveable bowl cozies to make as gifts. HERE is a link to many patterns and tutorials.

Does your group do something unique? Please share what your group does to keep things rolling along. I'll gather the ideas and post them in the top bar. 

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Sew Fresh Quilts


Sandra Walker said...

Great ideas here Julie! I particularly like the charm square packs for birthdays, and the show 'n tell of a new ruler, etc with its corresponding project idea. As long as the sewing group stays friendly and informal, that's the way to go for me! :-)

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I use to have a large scrapbooking group back in the day....we had so much fun with monthly classes and book clubs, along with holiday exchanges. Looks like you are having the same kind of fun! Enjoy!

Kaja said...

Some great ideas here - I just wish I had a group to try them out on!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

QuiltShopGal said...

Great ideas. One group I know of has a short sharing, where members can bring a book (old or new) and share what they like about that book. Another group always has 1-2 volunteers provide a short tutorial demo (e.g. how to use that ruler we all bought ages ago, but have never used, or things like mitred corners or piped binding). But I agree with you 100% it is always fun to sew with stitching friends, but it is more fun when some form of sharing and learning is part of the sew-cial.


Pedal Sew Lightly said...

Thanks for the new ideas. I took over programs a few months ago when the previous director had to step down due to illness and I have been on the hunt for some fresh ideas. You got the wheels turning!

Ioleen said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas.

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helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Sounds a bit sad but like Kaja I'd love to have a group to try these out on ! Some great ideas though

Margo Yang said...

Great ideas, Julie. I just joined a mini group from my local guild. We are making a table runner for the church whose room we are using every month. I'm going to try some of your ideas. Thanks.

Kate said...

Fun ideas. Like a couple of others, I have no group to stitch with.