I didn’t know who Alison Glass was until I started seeing posts for the Alison Glass mini quilt swap. I quickly fell for her fabrics. I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Grove for my quilt and used the nine colorways to create a plus quilt layout. I was really happy with how this layout turned out and have considered making a version of it for myself. I didn’t get a good picture of the back with my phone, but I did find this one of Jackson laying on it while I was sewing on the binding. And here’s the finished project with the extras I sent. I got a lovely improv quilt with the Handcrafted fabric line and a really nice pincushion and lots of other lovely extras. My previous pincushion was something I threw together when I was in elementary school. I posted a picture on Instagram asking for a new one if my partner felt like it. Here’s a close-up of my new one. I got some pins I really like too. This was the first of three fabric designer themed mini quilt swaps that wrapped up this month so erring the mail has been quite exciting lately!
The rainbow mini swap wrapped up in April. I started off with nine colors of polka dots and an idea for a log cabin, but the colors weren’t working in the pattern. I did sew the warm colors together in the center before I decided that it wasn’t working out so I ended up using that part of the block as a zipper pouch. I was messing around with the layout in Adobe Illustrator and came up with this when I was trying out another idea. It got much more of a response from the swap group than I was thinking it would and my partner, who is a big fan of polka dots, was very pleased with it.
And here’s the back.
I made some colorful extras too, including a rainbow tote and a key fob. Those two items have become my go-to extras for swaps. And here’s the quilt I got from my partner. I’m still pretty amazed by it and will catch myself just staring at as it hangs on my craft room wall. I still have several more swaps to catch up with on the blog, and three shipping this month!
I’ve become a bit of a mini quilt swap addict. Here’s the info on my second one from early this year, the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap.
I picked out some blocks from a sampler book my mom has when I was visiting her at Thanksgiving. I started with Tula Pink arrowheads and picked out coordinating fabrics from my LQS.
And bear’s paw and dutchman’s puzzle.
It ended up being pretty big with four 12″ blocks and there were some tricky size issues with a block that I have since tried to forget about. Here’s how it all turned out.
And here’s some extras I made with the leftover scraps after cutting out all the pieces.
And the total package. (Photo from my partner)
And now what I got from my partner. This quilt was so perfect for me and I got a lot of great extras too!
I’ve signed up for many more swaps since!
Last year I did a Dr. Who swap that turned out to be my first mini quilt swap.
Making a quilt wasn’t required for this swap but I made one for my person since she said she never had a quilt before, and my partner (a different person) made one for me.
The design I chose was something way out of my comfort zone but learned a lot in the process. I’ve been taking graphic design class, so I started using Adobe Illustrator to lay out all my quilts before buying fabrics.
It was really useful for making patterns for my appliqués. (The designs don’t make a lot of sense if you don’t watch the show…) I just interfaced (yeah, learned that QUICK) and did a zigzag stitch around the edges.
And here it is all together with Tardis backing/binding. The borders and white squares are Kona Cotton.
Here’s the one I got.
I really like the pattern my partner used for mine and have downloaded the free pattern so I can make it sometime.
This project was my return to quilting and I’ve hit the ground running since with swaps and inspiration, so much more to come on this front!
My partner has received her tote and extra goodies, so I can blog about it now!
I started off buying some purple and blue fabrics for the outside of the bag. I had a different lining cut, but laid the fabrics down on top of a box full of fabric near the machine while working and realized the fabrics I’d bought matched a vintage piece from the Gerchow stash.
Quilted squares look so nice and orderly.
This lined tote tutorial from The Inspired Wren popped into my Pinterest feed and was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to make.
I used denim on the bottom and the quilted pieces for the sides. I eliminated the outer pocket, and changed around a lot of the proportions to make it work. I got a little thrown off when I was putting on the bottom (it gets sewn on top of the side panel, not at the bottom of the piece) but it all came together.
I added some pockets to the inside, but forgot to add a closure. Sorry partner!
I also made a quick key fob (thanks again Pinterest!) based on inspiration and the supplier link found here. The place on Etsy she recommended for hardware (bag lady of SC) was great and super fast! I see many more of these in my future.
And after reading about this sunglasses pattern on Pillows-a-la-Mode I had to make a couple of those too, one for the swap and another for a friend.
Skipped the word on the front, added a piece of ribbon to the zipper. And lined in satin for a bit of luxury…and a bit of a challenge in sewing.
I still wasn’t ready to wrap up the package and since my partner had mentioned having a Kindle I wanted to throw in a case for it. I’d made one out of a sweater for myself awhile back and couldn’t find the other sleeve so I decided to try something scrappy.
I’m pretty proud of how this case turned out. I didn’t QAYG because I didn’t completely understand the concept when I started, so I just quilted it afterwards and went in different directions on different pieces of fabrics. As a matchy-matchy person I had a hard time liking all the different fabrics together in one project, but after it was sewn up I came around.
I was glad I stepped out of my usual comfort zone for the case and enjoyed the result. I’d like to work on more projects like this.
In conclusion, I had a lot of fun working on this group of projects for my swap partner, and I hope she’s enjoying everything!
I knew shortly after I bought these four fabrics together at a yard sale almost exactly one year ago that they would become a quilt.
I calculated how many squares I could get from each piece and designed a layout, with the help of the boyfriend’s math skillz, and cut 5″ squares with my rotary cutter.
Flash forward several months and I finished cutting the squares and started laying them out as I had diagrammed. And didn’t like it at all. I had designed a layout with the individual squares making up nine-square blocks, but when that wasn’t working I decided to go with one big overall diamond design.
Jackson really took advantage of the fabric on the floor and rolled all over it.
Then there was a sunbeam and Harvey got into the action.
Thankfully, it took less than two days to go from layout to finished quilt top and they didn’t mess up the layout too much as it was in progress. I think it looks vaguely Navajo-inspired and am quite pleased with the end design.
Now I just need to buy some batting, black backing, and black quilting thread to finish it up!
I really like the bag I made for round two of the secret tote swap, and was almost tempted to keep it for myself! It was fun to bring the somewhat ambitious project (for me at least) out of my head and into the world.
I’d been wanting to do a pieced project with some of the fun vintage fabrics that I had from Kathy’s mom’s stash. My partner requested a lot of solid colors so I threw in some solid scraps of my own.
I bought the purple and orange to round out the rainbow, fitting the nature theme of the swap.
As I was sewing it up, I added some light blue and fuchsia scraps to give the rainbow more depth.
I used strips of the rainbow colors at the top of the inside pocket, on the straps, and as a feature for the front of the bag.
I added some diagonal quilting to the back of the bag and a few vertical lines to the front alongside the rainbow piece.
I like how the quilting shows up on the navy linen I got at JoAnn’s.
I added a pocket on the back of the bag and secured it with velcro.
And stuck a snap inside as per my partner’s request. I used a lighter blue fabric from my stash for the lining.
And that was it! My bag was complete and sent off to my partner.
My bag for the swap came to me from England. I always get excited when I see this stamp in the mail.
I got a couple of additional goodies along with my yellow and blue hexagon bag. I was pretty psyched that I had a partner who was willing to put that kind of time into hand-sewing the hexagons and I really like the fabrics she chose.
I also got a bag pattern, card and fat quarter of white hearts on a red background (not pictured).