Rip ’N’ Sew crafting day grows

Posted 8/22/22

It began as a gesture of friendship.

Rip ’N’ Sew friends of Robyn Reynolds received a message from her, said Joan Hardy, one of the recipients.

“It said meet at the club at 9 …

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Rip ’N’ Sew crafting day grows


It began as a gesture of friendship.

Rip ’N’ Sew friends of Robyn Reynolds received a message from her, said Joan Hardy, one of the recipients.

“It said meet at the club at 9 a.m. I’ve got a great project for you,” Hardy said.

Reynolds has a different recollection.

“It started as a joke because nine times out of 10, it didn’t work,” Reynolds said of the craft days she started for friends. At the friends’ urging, she has hosted monthly craft days for nearly a year and opened them to any Rip ’N’ Sew Club member who signs up in time.

“My friends thought it would be funny if I taught a class,” she said. But she learned from her mistakes. “Now I try it [a project] two or three times before we do it in class.”

So why does she keep hosting a monthly craft day on Saturdays?

“I do it for the fun. It’s turned out to be a lot of fun,” Reynolds said.

“They give back to me more than I give to them,” Reynolds said of her friends and students. “That’s why I love this club.”

She once had the group make Christmas stockings that doubled as wine dispensers. That project was a total failure, Reynolds said, and part of her learning experience.

Sometimes students aren’t keen on a project until it’s completed.

“They love them once they do them,” she said.

Hardy helped Reynolds with Robyn’s Crafters for several months before the two rechristened Robyn’s Crafters as R & J’s Crafting Day, Hardy said.

Recently, the two women hosted a full house of 15 participants. Not everyone on the waiting list could get in. Participants had choices: sew a bucket hat, a steering wheel cover or both.

“If you sewed fast, you could do both,” Reynolds said.

The six people who tried to make both projects needed a second day to finish, Hardy said.

Dianne Sievers, another Rip ’N’ Sew member, was a guest instructor for the hats.

“Dianne and Robyn put two patterns together for a hat that we felt the gals on Saturday could handle,” Hardy said.

Sievers had a lot of experience with making bucket hats, Hardy said. Sievers used two different patterns to craft enough hats to supply all her family members who accompanied her on a recent cruise in the Caribbean. 

The craft day project generally is a secret until craft class begins. Participants in the hat and steering wheel cover class were told to bring heavier thread and a heavier sewing machine needle in addition to their basic sewing supplies. The club provided interfacing and topstitching thread.

“Joan and I supply everything for the project and cut it and get it ready so you can just start sewing,” Reynolds told craft day participants. “I buy all my fabric at Goodwill or from what is donated” to the Sun City West club. She also raids her own fabric stash and that of Hardy. This keeps cost low, Reynolds said.

“We can do this because we both have too much fabric and because members give us fabric that they think we might be able to use,” she said. “We thank you and hope to continue because it’s really a lot of fun for us and hopefully you also enjoy it. We try to come up with a project you would never think of making, but after making it, you like it.”

Previous projects have included an accordion-fold pouch with snaps, a pin cushion that also holds sewing clips, scissors holders, a star-shaped fabric ornament, snap-together travel baskets, wall hangings and more.

Sun City West, craft, club