i mentioned the other day that i was working on a project in a very non-amy dame colour scheme, and i thought i'd interrupt the halloween love that i've been posting (and will continue to post) to show you.
other canadians are probably familiar with the United Way, though i'm not sure if they exist in the states as well. basically they're a big charity. they raise money, and then distribute it to community projects and programs. personally, i'm not a huge fan of them, because i've worked non-profits, and know what a freaking hassle it is to jump through the rings that the United Way creates for even small amounts of funding, but they do provide easy ways for people to donate who wouldn't otherwise, and there's definitely value in that (i just think it's better to donate directly), and they do provide funding for really vital community programs. (though your definitions of vital may be different than theirs)
every fall they have a huge campaign in workplaces across the country that involves signing people up to donate through their payroll system and a whole bunch of fundraising within the workplace. my office does a giant book sale, bake sales, random activities, a silent auction, etc, but the big thing that everyone loves is the basket raffle. a group of people or a section of the workplace gets together and picks a theme and gathers up fun things to put in a basket, then everyone buys tickets and puts their tickets in the baskets that they really want to win. people do sports themes, scratch&win trees, christmas themes, etc. the alcohol baskets used to be hugely popular, but the provincial fundraising rules have changed around that, so we can't have booze or booze gift certificates anymore. sometimes people just pool their money and rather than buying a bunch of stuff to fill a basket, they buy one big ticket item, like an xbox or a wii.
this year my work area decided to do two baskets, one tea/coffee themed, and the other breast cancer awareness themed, since it's october.
i wanted to contribute, but i know that a lot of the "pink" products out there don't actually raise much, if any, money for cancer research. and besides that, i also wanted to do something that wasn't just a generic item with a pink ribbon slapped onto it.
so i made a pillow. and i really like how it turned out, even if it's not my usual style!
i remembered seeing quilting fabric with pink ribbons on it, so i went searching for that. i tried a few local quilting shops with no luck, and ended up at fabricland, where i found 3 prints, ranging in price from $5 to $18 a metre. i totally lucked out in that the $5 print was the one i liked best! i carried it around with me, gathering up other pinks. it was harder than i'd expected, actually, peachy pink shades aren't super popular right now, but i managed to find enough to have some variety in my pillow.
i started with this breast cancer awareness embroidery design that was a freebie from embroidery library last october (they have a different freebie this year).
after i'd stitched that (on preshrunk twill that was in my stash - i prefer not to preshrink when i'm quilting, but you have to if you're embroidering), i laid the fabrics out next to it to decide on their order, then cut strips of varying widths and sewed them around the embroidery log cabin courthouse steps style.
i sandwiched together the pillow top, some cotton batting, and a backing fabric and quilted twice on each strip, a bit in from the seam on each side. i ended up with an extra strip that didn't fit once i started sewing, so i used it for a piping style trim around the pillow. the back was just a standard envelope style pillow backing, made out of the ribbon print fabric.
in addition to the pillow, i decided to do some free standing lace (fsl) designs for the basket as well.
i found this ribbon design from embroidery library, and stitched up a few in pink to use as ornaments.
i also found this design, which is actually intended to be a bracelet (child size, given my hoop limitations), but i decided to make it into a bookmark instead.
after i'd stitched it all out, i found matching embroidery floss in my stash and made tassels for each end of it. once again, not my style at all, but i really like how it turned out.
(you might have noticed that i'm a bit obsessed with fsl at the moment!)
so that's what i did for the basket. my coworkers were all super impressed with everything, especially the pillow, though of course, when it came to decide on a value for it to include in the basket listing, they had no concept of the actual value of an item that isn't factory sweatshop made. not unexpected, unfortunately!
i also made something fun for the coffee/tea basket, and i'll post that soon as well.