A SCHNITZEL AND BOO MINI QUILT SWAP QUILT

DISCLAIMER – The author takes no responsibility for the emotional effect that giving away a quilt may induce, be it positive or negative!

Phew!  Glad that dirty bit of business is out of the way.  Don’t get me wrong, the whole experience of the mini quilt swap I’m currently knee-deep in has been amazingly awe-inspiring.  Enough inspirational creativity to make your eyes water has weighed down my Instagram feed for the last few weeks and it shows no sign of letting up just yet.  It’s just now, with the deadline looming, I have to part ways with this…

So, a few months ago I heard tell of a mini quilt swap that was due to take place, meticulously organised by Kristi of Schnitzel and Boo.  In fact, it was to be round two, with a hugely successful round one having taken place last year.  The whole thing sounded awesome and I wanted in, like a secret club, which, not coincidentally, the swap is like.  You see, you sign up, answering a questionnaire so that your partner, whoever they may be, can get to know you and your quilting loves a little better.  What’s your favourite colour?  Who are your favourite fabric designers?  What would you absolutely hate?  Things like that.  After the sign up closed it was a long and, for me, restless wait.  I was itching to get started, but couldn’t scratch the itch until I knew who my partner was.  Then, my excitement peaked when my phone notified me of an e-mail received.  It was from Kristi.  The intense task of partner assigning was complete and mission #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap was go-go-go!

In that e-mail was all the details I needed; my partner’s loves and loathes, their social media information, even things they liked to collect.  Armed with this knowledge, the task of planing patchwork could begin.  Despite my vast and weighty fabric stash, I was surprised to find that I didn’t actually have a lot of what my partner had quoted as her favourites.  There was one word that stood out to me though, and that was Echino.  My love for this fabric was well documented in this post last year.  What better time to finally cut into some of that Japanese goodness?

I wanted my mini to be graphically striking, and play on the improv piecing that I have been embracing lately.  I chose to fussy cut frames from a couple of colourways and coupled those with bright and bold prints and solids in my partner’s favourite colours.  I couldn’t have asked for a better match.  Her tastes were exactly like mine!  I set about creating four improv log cabin blocks, using the other fabrics to literally frame the frames.  As well as the colours mentioned in the e-mail, I used snippets of text print, including one of my favourites from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures collection.  I had some fun too with the ‘include the selvedge’ line from a Timeless Treasures print, ‘How to make a pillow case’.  Appropriate, seeing as that’s exactly what I intended to do in the binding.

Once the blocks were complete I wanted to surround them in negative space.  I used my go-to fabric, Essex Yarn Dyed in black, to add borders to two sides of three blocks and a solid black for the fourth, before joining the blocks into a square.  I knew I wanted to quilt the piece quite heavily so I left the squaring up until the quilting was done.

I’ve been inspired a lot by the matchstick quilting I’ve seen on Instagram recently so I used this mini as an excuse to try it out.  I didn’t want my lines to be straight or even evenly spaced.  Instead, I worked my way out from the center using various thread colours to stitch randomly spaced curving lines.  I absolutely love the feel it gives the quilt and it’ll be something I’ll try again soon.

And so there you have it, my first quilt made for somebody I’ve never met!  All that’s left for me to do is make a label for it, something I actually hate but, alas, them is the rules!  I loved making this quilt and can only hope that my partner feels the same way about it when she receives it as I do.  Somebody said that the hardest quilts to give away are the ones that resemble something you’d like to receive.  I can tell you that I’d die if this came through my letter box.  It sums me up perfectly a quilter in a 24″ square!

Along with the Schnitzel and Boo hashtag, participants have been tagged their posts throughout various social media sites with #makeaquiltmakeafriend.  The whole experience has opened my eyes to wealth of new talent that probably would have gone unnoticed to me.  I wholeheartedly recommend you go forth and stalk the hashtag to see all the amazing things that are being made for people who love quilts by people who love quilts.

I have to end with a huge thank you to Kristi and all the moderators who helped her with this mammoth task.  You guys did great!

STASHING #21

I’m having a Dorothy Gale moment.  I’m realising how she must have felt stepping into those ruby slippers given to her by Glinda the Good Witch.  I mean come on, those are some pretty sparkly shoes to fill, and with all those citizens of Oz watching too.  That’s a gig!  Well, move over darling, because today I get to wear the sparkliest shoes of all and attempt to walk tall and proud in them.  Not an easy feat when their previous occupant was the effervescent Molli Sparkles.  That’s right, Sunday Stash is with me today fabric lovers, and I’m so happy you’ve all popped over to say hello.  Thankfully there was no arduously long yellow brick road to follow, just a simple click of  a link.  Dorothy really didn’t have it easy did she?

So, this week has been so crazily busy, what with sewing and teaching and designing…oh my…that my only really fabric purchase was a 10cm strip of black solid to use for binding on a quilt that I’ll be sharing soon.

“How terribly unglamorous!” shouted the assembled crowd.

Yes, yes I know.  But fear not, as I have some pretties (these don’t fly or wear little tailored waistcoats) to share that were…ahem…gifted to me.  Isn’t that the best kind of fabric?  Stuff that just lands on your doormat with a ta dah and a puff of awesomeness.  I have Katy Jones of I’m a Ginger Monkey fame to thank for these and although I can’t actually share with you all what I’ll be making with them just yet, know that they’ll be put to good use.

Timeless Treasures Sketch in yellow, sun, gold, daffodil and charcoal

You know those types of fabric that you just want bolts and bolts of?  Those trusty, go-to in a crisis ones you’d be happy to visit the Wizard with?  Well, the Sketch fabrics by Timeless Treasures are the Lion to Robert Kauffman’s Kona Scarecrow and Essex Tin Man.  I can’t live without them and want need some in every colour way.  I was having a hard time finding these yellow colours in the UK so Katy and her awesomeness got them sent to me, directly from Timeless Treasure.  That was a very good mail day I kid you not!  These prints need to be seen in person.  Their subtlety really does pack a punch and they’re far from cowardly.  My plan is to stock up on these at every available opportunity.

Since Dorthy got to go home it’s only fitting that I share a gift with all of you lovely people.  So, who want’s some fabric money?  I’m offering one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate for an online fabric shop of their choice.  So, whether you want to go wild in the virtual aisles of  Fat Quarter Shop, Intrepid Thread, Pink Castles Fabrics or M is for Make, just leave a comment letting me know what you’d buy if you won.  I’d love to shop vicariously through you all!  Also, whilst you’re here, please consider follow the blog and calling back for another visit.  I’d love to see you again!

Now, show us what you got!

1. Link up a blog post welcoming any new sewing supplies to your stash.

2. If it is fabric from your existing stash that you’ve showcased before, please use new photos with as much natural light as possible, and provide as many manufacturing details about the fabric.

3. Try to leave a comment on at least two other links. We want this to be a safe space for sewing supply collectors, after all!

4. Grab the button, and proudly proclaim you endorse Sunday Stashing!

STASHING #3

I was lucky enough to have these fat quarters gifted to me by a friend.  She knows how crazy I am about fabric, which takes the guess work out of giving gifts!

Clockwise from left:

Timeless Treasures – School Handwriting in white, Timeless Treasures – Newspaper, Timeless Treasures – How to Make a Pillowcase, Timeless Treasures – Keep Calm in black

The people at Timeless Treasures really know how to make a great text fabric!  The Keep Calm print could be used for so many blocks, left whole for a great quilt back or used to cover a pressing table.

These have already been cut into and will be sewn into blocks for the Gossip Quilt soon.