Saturday, October 16, 2010

Buttons and Ribbons and More!

Hello dear quilting friends.

I am May Britt from Norway, or perhaps more know as Abyquilt. Perhaps you have visited my blog Abyquilt some time.

Last weekend I got a mail from Madame Samm telling me I was the 1000th follower. How fun was that:) And now some wonderful Aurifil thread is in the mail for me. A quilter always need thread so this is a great prize.

At the same time Madame Samm asked me if I could be a guest blogger. OMG....what do I write about. A lot of thoughts running through my head. At that moment I had no idea what to write about, but I said; Yes I Will do it, I am sure I will come up with something. And so I did :) Hope you will like to read about:

Challenging your friends and stash.

I have a lot of very good quilting friends. And about exactly one year ago I got the idea to challenge two of them. We were going to have a "Quilters Christmas Party" and this was the perfect time to introduce them to a creative challenge.

I looked through my stash and found some buttons and laces. I packed one button and 12 inches of lace in an envelope (similar to everyone of us). And the challenge was: Use these items and make a mini-quilt measuring 8x8 inches. And in every challenge we had to add stuff from our own stash. Not to buy anything new to get it finished.

When they got the envelopes they was very surprised and I could see the ideas was tumbling around in their heads. A little bit scary, a little bit "what on earth do I do with this" and a lot of fun. I knew the girls were going to be very creative. And we agreed that the mini-quilts had to be finished the next time we met some months later. So we had a lot of time to finish it.

But guess who was sewing the challenge only a few days before we met? LOL

And here are the results of our first challenge.

I made a scrappy mini-quilt using the button in the middle of the flower and the lace as part of the ground. Notice I have made use of selvages. I love using selvages in small quilts.

Hanne made a christmasquilt using the button to hang adventcalendar packages on. And the lace as a decorating border.

Bente (no blogger) made a cute Christmas angel using the button as the head of the angel and the laces as angel wings.

We had all the same button and the same laces to use, and look how different they all came out. And we all agreed this was so fun that we had to continue this challenge.

And Hanne had already made ready the second challenge for us.

She gave us a piece of light fabric, a zipper and some silk ribbons. And this time the title of the challenge was: "On the road."

This was really a challenge for me because I have tried to do embroidery with silk ribbons earlier with no great results. I think this time we had similar thoughts about "On the road". Giving a zipper it has to be a purse. The zipper was okay, but what about the silk ribbon?

Both Bente and I used the same pattern to make our purses. This have a very easy way to sew the zipper and I love this pattern. Mine is the one to the right and Bentes the one to the left. Do you see what I did with the silk ribbons. I tried and tried to make some beautiful flowers, but with no good results LOL So I just did a simple border on my stitchery. Bente managed to make some flowers.

But where have Hanne used her silk ribbons on her purse LOL. She thought the ribbons was too bright to go with the checked fabric, so she gave it a coffee bath. But where is it???? She attached it to the zipper to pull it.

So you see everything is allowed. We can use as much or as little we want of the items we are given in the challenge. And we can as Hanne change the colour of it by dye it. Using our imagination is so fun.

Are you bored reading about our challenges? :) If not over to the third challenge we had.

We have all taken a turn to give the challenges and now it was Bentes turn to do it. And this was really a tricky one she had put together.

Each challenge has a "text" telling us what to do and it is up to ourselves to interpret it. Bente gave us a small button, a red felted heart and some lovely rose fabric. The text was: For joy and pleasure , to be useful, alone or together in a small group. And how to you interpret this one????

It gave me a headache LOL But finally I made a little needle holder. It can be used when I sew (joy and pleasure), and I can use it alone or together with my sewing friends.

I guess the other girls also had to break down the text and then start making their things. Hanne mad a lovely cover for her coffee jug. And Bente made four items; a bookmark, a little makeup purse, a tissue keeper and a another little purse.

And I had already the fourth challenge ready for my friends. When we show our finishes from the challenge, we are also given the next challenge at once.

This time I had chosen to give them some skin fabric, 3 red buttons and some laces. And the text was: Sov dukkelise (translated to english; Sleep little doll) This is from a Norwegian children song. I guess this was an easy challenge, perhaps not so many ways to interpret it.

I had never made dolls before and it was so much fun. Of course I should have read the pattern better, because my doll had very stiff arms and legs. It said, stuff the arms and legs up to the line (which was in the middle of the arms and legs LOL). Do you read the pattern exactly every time???? But I am very happy with how it turned out. It was so fun and I know I will make more dolls.

Hanne mad a cute little Tilda "Good Night"-doll. Look at the tiny little teddy bear the doll is holding.
Bente made covered clothes hanger with a little doll on. She even reduced the size of the doll a lot. How difficult it was to stuff these tiny arms and legs.

And behind the cute little doll she have sewn a secret pocket for her jewelery.

So you see how these challenges really have made us think and create. We all get the same items in the envelope and the same text. When we are doing these challenges we keep it very very secret and do not tell or show on our blogs anything until we meet and have our show and tell. And it is always so fun to see how the others have interpret the challenge. And how different the results are.

This is the fifth challenge that Hanne gave us some weeks ago:

Some stripes of yellow fabric, and the text is: A lot of light and warmth (also from a Norwegian song). She also gave us a beautiful box filled with candy. I guess we need some brain-food to figure out what to do with this challenge. I have NO idea yet.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about our challenges and how fun we have doing it. We are going to continue with this for a long time.

Now I have one challenge for you.
Challenge some of your friends.

Pick two or more friends to participate, look through your stash and find something to use (remember it has to be similar to all), and make up a text. Then invite your friends to coffee and give the challenge to them. Agree how many days/weeks you have until the next meeting when you have a show and tell. It will be so fun.

I always end my posts over at Abyquilt with a saying, and so I will do here:

Saying for today:

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have,
and one of the best things you can be.
~Douglas Pagels

Big quilt hugs from May Britt.


  1. My dear sweet May....I love this, and to think you had no idea what you were going to write about. This is one delightful, thought about POST. I think this is a very creative idea on how to use up scraps but also to keep those creative juices flowing. Your dear friends are amazing sewers too. My fav is your that...
    I know English is not your 1st language, you are to be congratulated for such a well written 1st post. wink..( you will have to return again)
    piece be with you my dear madame samm

  2. Thank you very much for this very nice blogging May.

  3. You have just started something here, I think! Great post!

  4. I love your idea! I schedule a sewing session with my daughter and some of her friends twice a year - for Mother's Day gifts and a Christmas one. They don't have fabric stashes, but they are so welcome to raid mine. And we have a sew-fest.

  5. I'm reading May Britt's blog all the time, and have heard about this friend challenge before. I think it is lovely and exciting! She is so talented, and so are her friends. What will be the next? Congratulations, May Britt!

  6. What a lovely post, thanks for sharing your challenges, they are all wonderful. Something I've already participated in, such fun!

  7. You have done a really great job putting this all together for us to enjoy. You and your friends have some wonderful talents.

    BTW, if you make more dolls, be sure to get yourself a little "stuffer" tool to help out with the arms and legs. It makes a big difference. *S*

  8. I absolutely lovely this post and the idea of a mini challenge among good friends. I must admit that you all made some wonderful items given the supplies provided. :-) Enjoyed and glad you were the guest today.

  9. What fun!It is so nice to have friends who share the creative passion you have. Karmen

  10. This was so much fun!!!! A very creative way of sharing. Congratulations!

  11. What a fun fun challenge. I need to recruit a couple or three friends to do this. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a neat challenge!!
    I wish I had some sewing friends to do such a thing. Perhaps after the holidays and I can get some together through blog land!

  13. What a great idea! I'm so glad that you shared all the past results with us, so we could see your differently everyone interpreted the challenge. Happy Sewing!

  14. Thanks to Madam Samm and thanks to my dear sewing friend May Britt, for a lovely post :-)

    It is great to do challenges together!

  15. What a lovely idea- it's a shame all my quilting friends live a LONG way away! Thanks May fro sharing your quilty thoughts!

  16. Great post, May! Your group is talented, fun and very creative. Thanks for sharing the challenges.

  17. I love this post!! Your friends challenge is such a great idea!!! I love seeing what you created. I might just have to get a few friends together to do this. Thanks for sharing!!

  18. May Britt, what you and your friends have created is WONDERFUL!! After seeing those lovely cloth dolls, I'm thinking about digging out my doll patterns and having a bash again....As for reading the instructions....I read them once, then refer back to them again when things go wrong!!! lol

  19. May Britt, it was so much fun to see all your hallenges laid out end to end. Such creativity you all have. I love visiting your blog and am always impressed by how much you get done. Sew On! (Its like Fight On, a cheer for a football team in the

  20. How fun! What great ideas you come up with. I loved looking at all the pictures of your final projects. You ladies are very creative.

  21. What a delightful post to read, full of fun and friendship! Hope you return as a guest blogger again in the future :D.

  22. Great ideas for challenges, May Britt. Congratulations on being lucky follower #1000, also!
    Happy Quilting,

  23. What a great post, May Britt! Not hard to imagine these challenges are fun :o)
    Congrats on being nr.1000 too!
    Guess a lot of quilters around will adopt your idea, and have tons of fun during a challenge or three ;o)
    Happy sewing,

  24. Love your needle case and the small zippered purses! Thank you so much for this blog entry, I've just discovered Stash Manicure and am reading through the older posts--this was a great one!

  25. I just read this post, I happened on it by accident while searching for something else, but what an inspiration! I thing challenges are scary but seeing what you and your friends did, well...I think it is wonderful. I am going to try it, too!


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...