quilting the new year-2015 gifting challenge
January 4, 2015
odds and ends
January 20, 2015
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One man’s trash…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Last night we had our annual auction at our quilt guild meeting. Throughout the year member’s earn “quilt bucks” by getting involved in our guild’s activities. Basically it is monopoly money, but it has been a successful motivator for many of our members. For example, one might earn 5 bucks for making a block for our charity committee, or 10 bucks for sewing the binding onto a charity quilt. We have a few guidelines for amounts to be awarded, but each chairperson has some leeway as well. Bucks are then saved by the members throughout the year to be used to buy items at our annual January auction. Items for the auction are donated by members. It’s a good chance to clean out our sewing rooms of excess fabric, kits, patterns, UFO’s etc. This auction is certainly an example of the cliche that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Bidding was very spirited on some items, reaching  $300 on one. (Keep in mind–monopoly money!). This year we had a new wrinkle (pun intended) added. The board members added some mystery items. Wrapped securely in brown paper, only one member knew what was in each of the mystery packages. Some were gag gifts–scraps, pennies, selvages. Some were great–brand new good scissors, best press spray, a gift certificate to a local shop. Fun was had by all, I would say. I successfully sat on my hands and did not come home with any new fabric to add to my stash!! I did bid on one lot of purse supplies-handles, stabilizer, magnetic clasp, and a few good patterns. Paid $100 for it (again–monopoly money!). I also was given a treasure by a fellow member. She found a bag of selvages in the lot she won. To her they’re trash, to me it’s a treasure!! If you are not a member of our guild but think this would be a fun idea for your quilty group, I’d be glad to give you more details. We found out about this concept at a meeting of the NYS Quilters’ Consortium and have adapted it to suit our guild. Always glad to share good ideas! Just reply in the comment section and I’ll get back to you.

How is your gifting challenge coming along? (described a few blog entries back). I’ll admit I’ve not made much progress on my original idea for January (to make a Christmas quilt from a Jenny Doan tutorial). I have chosen the fabrics from my stash and have begun to cut them up. I think this is going to be my next leaders and enders project (Bonnie Hunter gets credit for that great concept). I have completed 2 runners though, that will be Christmas gifts. I needed samples for a class I will be teaching so chose the fabrics with gifting in mind. I think I’ll call that a success for this month’s challenge. I’m hoping to get all the fabric cutting for my original idea done this weekend, and to organize it for sewing. Next I’ll be choosing the February gift project for myself.

Does any one of you have a report for us on your progress on this challenge? Who is playing along with us?


  1. JoAnn Castiglia says:

    Arrived in Florida on Tuesday, and just this morning I unpacked my embroidery to continue working on red work Christmas quilt that hung in Patchwork Gardens a few years ago.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      Stitching is very relaxing, particularly on our cold days up here in Buffalo. Although I don’t think of myself as a hand stitcher or piecer, I do enjoy redwork. The problem for me is that I do all of the stitching and then don’t make those pieces into completed projects!

  2. Paula says:

    I made one small gift that I plan to give to a friend. It’s a candle mat with 4 foundation pieced blocks. Just need to buy a candle and I have one gift made. Will have to come up with an idea for February.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      Nice Idea. That would be a good way to use orphan blocks, or stitcheries. Hmm…Idea brewing for my February project.

  3. Marija says:

    well, I did pull out that old UFO that will be a gift to my son and assessed the situation on what to do. Then along came a prep for a new beginners class I am teaching and some needed baby girl sewing, but tonight I am getting back to this gift project for January!!! I will finish, I will finish…I will finish… (but its getting so close, yeiks!)
    Now for February, I would love to start something completely NEW! I have been catching up so much and feeling like I can’t start anything new because of it, that I really really want to do it. I hope if I really finish January goal, this will be my “reward”. Wish me luck!! ha ha!

  4. Marie says:

    Decided to get a head start on Christmas as well this year so during the lonnnnggggg winter I managed to make six new quilts, finished my seminar Bonnie Hunter quilt, her mystery quilt and a sampler quilt. God it was a long winter

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