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A member of the Sew Happy group created an elephant quilt. As shown in the photo, the design had been pieced together and needed borders and the actual quilting process. CONTRIBUTED

Sew Happy members discover, share ideas and designs

MADISON – Without meeting in person, one group in Madison has changed the drawback of COVID-19 isolation into a productive, enjoyable outlet for their skills in a venerable craft.

Members of Sew Happy ‘correspond’ online to revive and sustain the fundamental life skill of sewing. The group welcomes any questions, tips or techniques about ‘all things sewing related.’

Judith Babai organized the group in November 2020 with her posts on social media platforms, like Facebook and the NextDoor app. Sew Happy members can post sewing-related items for sale, ask about supplies or get price estimates on equipment. “Looking for a pdf pattern? Ask and the group can help you find that special pattern,” Babai said.

“No ugly mouths allowed,” Babai said. “Share and be ‘sew’ happy.”

One member decided to participate “to share the love of sewing with likeminded sewers.” Another participant wanted to learn about designs of “crafty people” and to share her projects. Another member “was hoping to meet people to help me learn to do more than hem pants.”

The choice in material or fabric is basically wide open for Sew Happy members. However, most prefer to work with knits or woven materials, along with cotton cloth.

“We all make different things,” Babai said. The seamstresses have created lap quilts, infant quilts, T-shirt quilts, pieces of apparel, purses, crafts items, car carriers to hang on headrests, tote bags, pajamas and porch cushions. Members also have shared techniques for sewing face masks for COVID-19 protection.

Some sewers are ‘re-purposing’ an item of clothing to wear as a different piece of apparel. Other members know how to knit, crochet and crosshatch. Crosshatch involves drawing two layers of hatching at right angles to create a mesh-like pattern; to create textures, the sewer can use multiple layers in different directions.

“We, as a group, have not met up for a meeting yet. If we do meet, we will certainly practice all COVID-19 precautions. Once COVID is under control, I do hope to get this group kicking and have ‘sew-offs’ and other fun,” Babai said.

Babai’s personal page on Facebook is Seams Sew Juju. For information about Sew Happy, visit Facebook/Sew Happy or their account on NextDoor.

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