January was a busy month for the Rip ’N’ Sew Club.
New classes included sewing placemats, a purse and a jewelry travel bag. Regular subgroups kept busy with quilt-making and sewing for children. New members took how-to lessons on the sewing machines while veteran members participated in refresher classes. Storage cabinets got new labels inside and out.
Recycle, reuse, repurpose and resale is the working principle behind Rip ’N’ Sew’s Donations and Back Room Sales Committee. Cindy Stedman heads the committee. The club is grateful for all sewing-related donations from club members and the greater community. Fabric, sewing machines, notions, buttons, patterns, scissors, rulers, templates, interfacing, thread, unfinished projects and more are always are put to good use. The donations committee sorts them and acts as a funnel to distribute to different subgroups within Rip N Sew.
Sewing From the Heart uses donated fabric, fleece, upholstery material, thread and more to make hats, clothing, back packs, book bags, blankets and other items for local elementary schools, Arizona Helping Hands, pregnancy centers, Days for Girls International and the Navajo Nation.
Quilts for a Cause uses donated fabric, thread and batting to create quilts of all sizes and designs to donate to local hospices, veterans organizations, sheriff and fire departments and more.
Donated items not distributed to these groups are sorted, measured and sold to club members at discounted prices through back room sales. Proceeds go to fund club needs and social events.
A popular contest is to see what creative things members make out of “ugly” fabrics. There are some items donated that the club cannot use. The donations committee takes these to the Art Resource Center in Tempe. The center is a nonprofit group that recycles art-worthy materials for teachers.
Call 623-546-4050 for more information on donations.
Debbie Dorn, co-president of Rip ’N’ Sew, displayed a lap robe at the club’s January show and tell. She started with two fabric panels she described as “ugly.”
“My choice of ugly fabric panels was an art panel (from a fabric store) and a panel from the (the club’s) back room sales that had a similar color palette,” Dorn said.
Then she set up a quilt chop shop. “I gave this a lot of thought before I started cutting,” she said. “Starting in the middle of both panels, I cut 3.5-inch strips. Then moving towards the outer edges, I cut two 2-inch strips. Then I cut two 2.5-inch strips. At the ends of the panel there were some smaller strips, which I sewed on the ends. I carefully numbered all the pieces and sewed them together. My reason for varying the strip width was it would be more pleasing to the eye.”
Dorn backed the lap robe with flannel and noted that the small quilt keeps her warm while watching television.
Jennifer Steele also participated in the monthly show and tell. She displayed fabric she decorated using an ice dyeing method. The procedure for ice-dyeing fabric is similar to that of tie-dyeing, but ice replaces the water used in tie-dying. Steele took a class to learn the technique. She showed off two large pieces of fabric and a blouse she made from a third piece of fabric. All the fabric had been ice-dyed.
Jackie Iverson’s class on weaving a fabric basket produced useful, colorful items that didn’t stick to the nursery rhyme’s “green and yellow basket” words. Students first crafted their fabric weaving strips, then began the finger-twisting process of weaving. The results were colorful, sturdy baskets.