Monday, January 29, 2018

The StripperStashSamplerSociety

Hey there! Remember me? It's been so long, but I'm back to clean off the cobwebs and start sharing stitchy things here again.

I won't make a lot of excuses, but I will say that I'm now a Mom of two (boys), and my desktop computer is in a not-kid-friendly zone in our home (aka: the finished basement that also houses the sewing space). Sharp, pointy things and my 2.5 year old don't really mix well. Today I finally broke down and got a new laptop, because there are a jillion things I need and want to do on the computer that get put off and put off due to my lack of time to sit down at my desktop in the no-kid zone. Sharing stuff here is one of those jillion things.

I'm going to jump back in with my most recent and beloved quilty finish. Here's a little background info:

A few years ago I joined the MadModQuiltGuild in Madison, Wisconsin. I met a fabulous group of women there, and I was even lucky enough to forge great friendships that extended beyond the guild meetings with some of them. One of these gals mentioned a "strip poker" game she'd heard of in which quilters would gamble with their fabric strips. I decided to invite some of these gals (as many as I could squeeze around my dining room table) over one evening to play "strip poker." Except we didn't actually play poker. I honestly can't even remember what game we played that first night, but whatever it was involved betting or swapping our fabric strips, having a few cocktails, snacks, and a lot of laughs.

That first gathering was such a load of fun that we decided to turn it into a monthly gig. From then on, we've taken turns hosting at our homes once a month. The host provides snacks and perhaps a beverage or two, and we all gather (strips or charm squares in hand) to eat, drink, gamble our scraps, and be merry.

We're a motley crew with a wide range of ages, backgrounds, political views, and family circumstances. However, we all share one common passion: quilting. We could also be called "a little sweary" (a phrase stolen from one of our own). So there's also that...

After we'd been meeting monthly for while to play "poker," I suggested that we might start our own quilting bee together. We chatted about how we wanted it to go and concluded that we'd each pick two 12" quilt blocks to make for each bee mate. The "queen" for the month would provide a piece of focus fabric for each of us to use in our blocks, and we would add our own stash fabric to go with it, according to her chosen color palette. Ten of us participated in the first round of the bee, and we coined ourselves the "StripperStashSamplerSociety."

Last week I finished my quilt from the first round.


When it came to my turn, I decided that I wanted to give each of the gals a piece of red and a piece of green from my stash (instead of the aforementioned single focus fabric), so that I would end up with a scrappy Christmas quilt made with the help of all my besties. This quilt means a lot to me, because of the wonderful women who all had a hand in its creation.

Next week I'll be giving a little talk with my friend and fellow "Stripper", Trish "Quilt Chicken" Frankland, at the MadModQuiltGuild meeting at Blue Bar Quilts about quilting bees and other ways to sew with friends and cultivate your own sewing clan. All of us have been working hard to finish our round one quilts, and they will be on display for the meeting. I can't wait to see them all together! It's been a blast to see everyone's photo updates on their assembly progress, and also to see how the same 20 blocks can make such different and unique quilts.

Quilting, man. It's a whole thing. ;)