Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stitching for Literacy!

When the opportunity affords itself, the members of StitchMAP enjoy participating in philanthropic efforts that involve needlearts of one form or another.  Our group Mom recently received of an opportunity that allows us to join her in Stitching for literacy, which serves a worthwhile purpose and promotes needlework.

Each of our members who wishes to participate will stitch 1 or more bookmarks in the style or technique of their choice for the Literacy Program at Mountain View Elementary School in anchorage, Alaska. 

The school mascot is the Mustang and the school colors are blue and yellow if you want to make your book mark in their colors, but it is not necessary......any color combo in any technique will be appreciated.

We would like to invite our stitching friends to help the staff at Mountain View honor the students who completed their required hours of reading, by gifting them with a new bookmark. In years past they have had the help of a local EGA Chapter but their membership numbers have dwindled and they closed their chapter. The staff has depleted their available supply of bookmarks and are in desperate need. 

Do you have hand-stitched bookmarks looking for homes? Would you be willing to stitch one or more? The bookmark can be of any age-appropriate, non-religious pattern. It can be made with any embroidery technique: cross stitch, needlepoint, crewel, Hardanger, or something else. 

We need the finished book marks ASAP. The distribution ceremony take place in April. We need to mail them by the last day of March.
We would like as many people as possible to use this opportunity to share their stitching talents and reinforce to these young children how rewarding reading can be. As adults we realize it is vital to their future successin life! Yes, the timing is short but . . . you might possibly have a stitched bookmark laying around that is in good condition and not being used. The children would greatly appreciate the reward they have worked so hard to earn. If you have time to put together some bookmarks, anything done in some type of needlework, patchwork, crochet, knitting, etc. will work. Let's work together to help the kids at Mountain View Elementary.
Here are some links to simple bookmarks to help inspire you and get you started thinking: 

Recycled Markers  This is just a button and some scrap fabric...really easy. You could easily adapt it with some embroidery and/or embellishment on a solid fabric.
No Sew Fabric Bookmark  No sewing, just iron-on interfacing, also easily embellished with stitching, buttons or beads.

 Fun and Easy Bookmarks   For CQ fans, a link from a previous Fun Friday Tute

Or, do you enjoy crochet?  Crocheted Bookmark

Bookmarks need to be received by March 28 so they can be mailed to Alaska on March 30.  This will ensure they reach the school in time for their distribution ceremony. Are you up to the challenge?!!  If you can make a bookmark (or 2 or more) in time and you're NOT a StitchMAP member, please leave a comment with your e-mail address so mailing instructions can be sent to you.
If you have a literacy program near you that you would like us to support, let us know in the comments and we can do this again. In fact, if you have a personal favorite charity that could use some assistance from our group with needlework or the collection of something sewing/stitching related, please let us know that in the comments, as well. Projects like these are a great way to send a positive message to the communities we live in that women with needles and thread really care.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

One More Reason

Still not convinced that filling out the StitchMAP questionnaire is something you want to do? Let me clue you into one more enticing tidbit of information . . . 
Those who do take the time to return the questionnaire become eligible to win prizes and surprises!! Quite often fun, stitching-related prizes are offered up for those participating in the Fun Friday Tutes, the Teasers, and other activities on StitchMAP.  

Just this past week, several StitchMAP members, including myself, received a little something in the mail, for participating in the Weaving FFT:
We each received a vintage set of  alphabet transfers and a little something more personalized to our own needlework tastes.  I'm thoroughly pleased with the contents of the envelope I received - it was right up my stitching alley! How'd the "powers that be" know what would be perfect for me? The responses I gave on my questionnaire!  But guess what? No completed questionnaire, no prizes!  What'cha waiting for??!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Who's Asking?

Long time members of StitchMAP all have one thing in common besides their love of needlework . . . they have completed and returned the Membership Questionnaire sent out by the group's owner when they first applied to join the group.  Why is the questionnaire so important? I'm so glad you asked!

Up until January 2015, continued membership at StitchMAP was dependent upon completing and returning the questionnaire. It's not a test, nor is it terribly long or probing. The information asked for allows the group owner (Shari) to better understand the proficiencies and interests of each member.  There are a few technology-related questions about internet connection and blog/photo stream ownership, as well as a some questions that provide helpful insight  (like are you right or left handed) so that apprentices can be matched up with the best possible mentor.  All personal contact information is kept private, stored offline rather than on the group site.  It is never given out to anyone without your permission, not even your mentor!  
At the beginning of 2015, the decision was made to try dropping the requirement that each member of StitchMAP complete the questionnaire and return it within a certain time frame in order to remain a member. While lurking is not encouraged on this group, Shari hopes this new policy will allow more needleworkers a chance to participate in group discussions that will help them with various aspects of their stitching.  In turn this should encourage them to take the actual Courses.  She thinks that having additional time to enjoy the eye candy in the photo albums and having more chances to see the work that is done in the classes will help everyone realize that there is a lot to be learned by taking a mentored course at MAP.  Shari believes true learning comes from actually stitching and completing the projects done in Courses, LABS and Challenges. With one-on-one mentoring you can expect to receive honest assessments of your work while being offered constructive solutions if problems arise. However, in order to participate in Courses, Swaps, LABS and Challenges (as well as to be eligible for any of the fabulous prizes for FFT's and Trivia Teasers), you must have returned a questionnaire!!

And, for all current members . . . have you moved, changed your e-mail address or phone number? Remember that this is the time of the year that we need to double check and make sure our information is current!!  As any member who has taken a class at MAP knows, Shari does contact class members personally prior to making the final mentor/apprentice assignments for all classes.  Often, it is by phone. How many groups do you belong to where you actually get to talk directly with the group owner to get insight about the group?  It is a personal and private opportunity for members to learn more about the purpose of MAP, how classes are handled and to get any questions they might have answered by the lady who can best explain the StitchMAP philosophy.  She also encourages members to call her or email her whenever they have questions about a technique or project they are currently exploring or working on.  She welcomes input on the quality and content of the classes that are offered.   

So, what are you waiting for??  If you haven't already done so, return that questionnaire and receive *ALL* the benefits of membership!! The only excuse to not turning in your questionnaire is if you're having a . . .
Caroline H.'s Bad Hare Day bookmark - FFT project