When I saw Deborah of Whip-stitch.com post about hosting another year of the Sewing Buddy Project I signed up immediately. How much fun would it be to get a sewing pen pal who I complete sewing challenges with and build a friendship?
I not so patiently waited in January for the buddies to be announced and I have to say I hit the jackpot with my sewing buddy, Jeni Mummery of Quilted on the Rock, she is amazing! And get this, she lives on Vancouver Island not far from my mother in law. Not only that but she is coming to Seattle in a few weeks for a knitting convention with some friends so I will actually get a chance to meet her. I am not sure I have been this excited to meet someone new in awhile.
We have been emailing back and forth over the last month getting to know each other and it has been so much fun. I know we are going to have even more fun getting to know each other as well as completing challenges together.
For our first challenge we had to make Artist Trading Cards. In our hosts words “these are tiny works of art, about the size of a business card, that give you a chance to play around with color and fabric and fiber and texture.” I was completely at a loss after finding out this was our challenge. I spend the month thinking about it off and on without an idea of what to do. As people started submitting the pictures of their ATC’s I got even more intimidated, there were some seriously amazing ones being completed. Jeni posted hers, which is the tiniest and cutest quilt I have ever seen, and I finally got an idea for mine.
So with approximately 4 hours until the deadline I came up with the idea of going through my scraps and pulling out the fabrics that represented a step in getting to where I am at now with my sewing and my business. The final product leaves a bit to be desired in finishing, do you see the wavy topstitch and the unturned corners? Hopefully if I don’t wait until the last minute this month I should be able to focus on the finishes a bit more.
Here is one side of my ATC. The fabric on the top is part of the very first piece of children’s clothing I ever made. It was the way that the pattern came together that I realized I really enjoyed making clothes and it might be a good direction for my business.
Shortly after deciding I wanted to start a business with a friend we got a very big job and the middle fabric was one of the fabrics I selected for a fabric bunting I was making. That job took a lot out of me and helped us both to see the things we would do differently in the future. It was an eye opener for me on how to run a small handmade business.
The blue fabric on the bottom was for a dress that I made Sophie which included my first ever machine sewn buttons and button holes. I remember finishing them both and thinking I was AMAZING! I look back now and realize that it was just a button hole but to me it was huge, if I can sew on buttons and button holes I could do anything.
The grey argyle on the top is actually a knit and was the first knit clothing item I had ever sewn. I didn’t have a serger at the time so I just did a tight zig zag stitch that I then cut the seam allowance down. It took a lifetime to sew, especially now when I see how fast something can come together with a serger. I remember grinning from ear to ear when I showed my husband the hoody tee I made Ben. That feeling of accomplishment was huge for me. Sewing with knits was no longer as scary as I once thought it was.
The middle fabric was used as an accent on the first clothing item I made as well as represents my first attempt at ruffles. And while I would never say I enjoy ruffling fabric I don’t dislike it as much as I did in that moment.
The last fabric was selected by my daughter for her ballerina birthday dress for her 3rd birthday back in September. It was the first time she selected the fabrics we were going to use for a piece of clothing I was making her. She was so excited that this ballerina looked like her, they both have blonde hair, and it just had to be on her dress. Now when I am making her something I try and remember to ask for her input she just gets so excited when she is involved that it makes me even more excited to create something for her.
The final piece to my artist trading card is the fabric labels that I designed. They represent my current business and the many ideas I constantly have shuffling around in my head. I have such a vision for this business and hope to have the time to devote to it as my kids get a little older. But for now it is nap times and bedtimes when I can focus on it.
I am so happy I was able to complete this challenge on time and I am really excited to see what our challenge is this month, Jeni and I are sure to rock it.