I received a plaintive plea from a reader this week, following the dreaded question that appeared on the SS google group, namely ‘what projects are you bringing to work on between times, and what skills are you going to share?’.  Personally, I’m intending to try and teach Scottish and Irish colloquialisms and swear words to the assembled masses, but apparently there will be some that want to ‘make things’, so here goes.

Dear ASS Guru, 

Over on the google group they’ve just asked what projects I’m going to bring to work on, and what skills I’m going to be sharing.  The thing is I only know how to make king sized polar fleece backed quilts and I just don’t think that will be practical to share there, especially as there will be weight restrictions flying in from up here in North Pole, Alaska. 


Anguished in Alaska

As the woman with the habit of working on hundreds of different skills at once, I had to take this one.

Dear Anguished, 

The good news is that you have 6 1/2 weeks to master a few new skills that you can teach to people.  Now while most people will be leaping on the old ‘how to insert a zipper’ bandwagon, or ‘how to crochet a granny square’ settee, you need to investigate a few things that will make you stand out from the crowd (well, more than your bikini will, as you bask in the warmth of Utah). 

Firstly, what’s the local reindeer population like at this time of year?  Anyone need their horns trimmed?  Maybe you’ve got a few spare sets lying around?  I think you could really explore the whole carving horn buttons thing, you know, make some coat sized ones at the smaller end, and then at the larger end you could really go to town on feature ones for bags.  You could probably make a fortune from your fellow attendees which would enable you to pile your dog-sled high with new fabric on the journey home. 

Picture from Thomas Firth Ltd

If you don’t fancy the button idea, maybe you could learn to carve a few ‘rustic’ birds and animals (and by rustic I mean pretty much generic creatures with no distinguishing features because, well, you have only 6 1/2 weeks to learn, let’s not go overboard), and share that? 

Photo from Shane Wilson Sculpture

Of course if the reindeer won’t give up their horns you might be a bit stuck there, so perhaps you could work out how to make a fake bear skin rug – use that bear that wanders past your window each morning as a model, and use the leftover polar fleece from your quilts to create the effect.  The head’s a bit of a challenge, but papier mache on a balloon would sort that if your model isn’t patient enough to stand still and let you pattern drape on him, then cover on up with the fleece and stuff with plenty of toy stuffing.  I’m sure many attendees will want to make one for their kids. 

Photo from Fraser’s Fur

Speaking of that polar fleece, here’s a way you could appeal to all the southerners – make up a pattern for some fleece ponchos which you can share with the little ladies shivering in their Ugg boots. 

Photo from Sewing Innovation

Finally, maybe you can round up the huskies and give them all a good brush, then you could spin some yarn from the excess fur to help out all the knitters and crocheters. 

Photo from ClickPets

I promise you, with these skills, no-one will ever forget you. 


Ass Gurus 

Don’t forget, if you have any questions about Sewing Summit that you want a truly ridiculous answer to, we’re always here to help ;o)