Monday, 1 February 2016

Pay it Forward!

Do you remember the movie Pay it Forward with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment? It was based on a book of the same name about a kid who comes up with a social experiment to make the world a kinder place. He decides on the Pay if Forward principle - I had heard of this before the movie, paying the toll for the next person coming along behind, buying someone a cup of coffee unexpectedly. Giving without the expectation of receiving in return, only asking the next person to do the same at some future date, when they have an opportunity to make someone's day easier!

Charly and Wilbur paying it forward or multiplying uncontrollably?
The book/movie concept maximised this effort by having each person pay it forward to 3 people and have a ripple effect flow through the community, spreading kindness. Isn't that a really lovely concept? Kind of like a pyramid scheme in reverse but with nicer consequences! I must admit I cried at the movie as it was quite sad but noble at the same time. According to Wikipedia, pay it forward has been traced back to a Greek play in 315BC. In blog land I managed to find it as far back as 2006 so still have no idea who started it but it is still going!

Purple mini & swap items gratefully received brightening up my wall!

Serena @Sew Giving (isn't that a brilliant name for a blog!) and I have been very lucky to be the recipient of Pay it Forward gifts from Deborah @ Sunshine Through the Rain (another great blog name!) I received a quilt as you go mini in purples to decorate my sewing space and have it hanging over my computer desk where I work on my designs and blog posts! Thank you Deborah for your thoughtful gifts!

So now it's our turn to Pay it Forward! Both Serena and I are posting on our blogs today to offer to make for you if you would like, something handmade during 2016. We are changing it up a little bit and instead of 3 blog recipients we are going offline too and reaching as far as we can including our guilds/sewing groups as well as our blogs and instagram too.

One of the things the movie concept tried was to do something for a person they wouldn't be able to do themselves. I've been thinking about that and decided on my first gift for someone in my guild. A block book. Sarah Fielke gave as a free gift in her 2016 Block of the Month a video showing how to make a block book. The idea being that you have a book where you can store your blocks made every month until you are ready to assemble them into a quilt. This is very handy for Bee blocks too and much nicer than the plastic tub I have been using to hold my blocks.
Not everyone will have paid for Sarah's BOM and have access to her tutorial and I think every quilter could use one of these so I thought I'd make a few to pay forward to others the gift I received from Deborah. 
So this weekend I pulled out some orphan blocks (I made my very first pieced blocks by following the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month with Amy Gibson. I chose fabric I was not in love with and hence the blocks didn't scream finish me into a quilt and I left them to one side for over 4 yrs!)

The first book I made holds 12 1/2" blocks.  I ended up using purple to go with the strong pinks ( it was the only thing i could find in my stash that worked!) 
Pages of cotton wadding/batting hold the blocks in place and the design is really clever to allow the book to expand so when you add your blocks it's not bulging open all the time. 
I likes this so much I made a second smaller one for a friend who is working on small hand pieced blocks.  I think these would be really good for holding applique pieces on blocks in progress too!
So there you have it two block books!
If you would like a block book custom made for you in your colours of preference (not everyone likes purple - right Serena?)  or  a small handmade gift,  and are willing to make something for someone else within a year,  please leave a comment below.  If there is more than one willing to play along Random number generator will do its thing next Monday!  If there are no takers I will make up a block book and gift it forward to spread the acts of kindness as far as I can!

Don't forget to head over to Serena's blog where she is offering to make a gift today too!

Congratulations Shobs, Cut & Alter and Sunrise 4501 who were picked in the draw!  I'll be emailing you for postal details.


  1. I love the idea of a block book! Would love to receive one also but if that is not possible, can I either get or pay for the pattern?

  2. Oh a fellow craftsy classmate. I made the quilt though I did not like my fabric choices either! And I use it everyday! Love your idea. And the block book too! I will play along! A query though. Can the pay forward be to anyone we choose? I am guessing there are no strict rules to this just the spirit of giving!

  3. What a lovely thing to do, I would love to participate. The block book sounds great, I know a couple of people who I would love to make one for, one especially who has had a hard year.

  4. Great post Ruth! Would you believe I'm working with purple right now?! Lol :)

  5. What a fantastic idea Ruth. I hadn't come across pay it forward in blogland, though I sort of knew the general principle. A nice counterbalance to some of the discord that raised its head last month.

  6. Yes, not everyone likes purples. Although Serena says that the problem is purple's not hers; it doesn't like her.
    I was lucky enough to win an Instagram pay it forward today. I have never seen or cried over the movie, but I suppose I should join in.
    I made myself a block book a few years ago (great way to use up wadding scraps) but it has been full of a UFO ever since!

  7. I love Pay it Forward!!! So, yes I would love to be in with a chance of being one of your PIF'ers and would haipply PIF it forward on my blog aswell.


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