Monday, August 31, 2015


Here's my latest swap finished, dropped in the mail this morning. This is for the #textmeminiquiltswap. The only requirement was that we use text fabrics in our mini. My partner said she likes all colours, but not rainbow designs or pinks and purples so much (which is so much of my stash), and bold geometric prints. The gears started turning.

Since I don't have a lot of geometric prints, I decided to get that through the mini design. I went with a Canoe Ridge Creations pattern again, this time A New Direction. Then I picked one fabric (the triangles on grey) and began grabbing others from all different designers that co-ordinated. I'm pretty happy with what I pulled together - bright and bold with a lot of variety.

It took a bit of planning to do this pattern with different background fabrics (each text print goes diagonally across the mini) to make complete chevrons and get the text going the right way on the HST. It was a relief when I had it all laid out and there were no mistakes! My partner also likes C+S fabric, so I used one of their geometric prints for the binding. I just realized I forgot to take a photo of the backing, but it's a yellow text print that looks like typewriter letters.

I really like the added dimension the text prints give the mini, and how it softens and ties together the bright colours. I kept it pretty simple with the quilting, just straight and diagonal lines echoing the design.

Oh, and all the team names had texting abbreviations in them. I'm on #textmeteamikr. I felt a bit old that I had to look up what that meant, along with some of the other team names. Sigh.

Not in the plan

I love joining mini quilt swaps, although I will admit sometimes it can feel a bit daunting with the endless deadlines. I even have a swap list to keep track of what I'm signed up for and when they're due. A few weeks ago I mailed my package for the dog mini swap (when, oh when will that arrive?!), but I began to worry that one person in the group I was looking after had a partner who flaked. This woman made the most lovely and thoughtful mini for her partner and I didn't want her to be disappointed, so I decided to make a mini for her as well.

My inspiration came in a flash when I saw this new dog block pattern. So cute! And I knew the style would go perfectly with the famous cat blocks. The person I was making for has one dog and five, at current count, cats. Right away I knew I'd make a dog and five kitties to go around it, then write below "surrounded by love." I am so happy with how this turned out! Especially considering I got it together in a weekend. The doggy block is a pretty good likeness of her dog too, a brindle with big floppy ears.

I will admit I enlisted my mom to help me with the letters. I've never done applique before and figured out how to use the sticky stuff to get the letters on the background (the only boo-boo being I made two Bs instead of two Ds when my dummy brain forgot about how they're reversed). But then I just did not have the skill to top stitch around those teeny, curvy letters. I might still be working on it if my mom didn't jump in to do it. And she stitched down the binding, to boot!

So now I've got two dog minis out in the mail, and me waiting anxiously for them to arrive. Oh and I just popped my text mini swap package in the mail this morning, so another to wait for!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Victory over zippers!

I cannot get over how much easier zippers are with my new sewing machine. No more fits and broken needles on those bulky seams! It's such a pleasure to not shudder each time my machine groans for fear of needle bits flying at my face. Plus I figured out it goes so much easier when I put the quilted panel on the top and the lining on the bottom when sewing the zipper sandwich. Better late than never, I guess.

I made this simple zippered pouch for my partner in the text mini swap, topped off with another cute sewing-themed button. I already have a few things to go in there and just need to pick up some candy.

Amazingly I'm not racing against the deadline with this swap. I just need to get the binding and label on the mini and it's ready to send.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mailing mini art

My latest swap is so simple and fun! I was a bit leery when I signed up for a fabric postcard swap because I wasn't even sure what that was. Turns out it's just a mini quilt that you stick a stamp on and put in the mail! This tutorial explained how they're constructed and I bought the supplies on etsy to make it easy. We're all making three and mailing them to people around the world. My first one arrived this past week from Ireland not too worse for wear from the long journey. I made four this weekend and would have kept going but I ran out of supplies.

They're so much fun to make! I tried personalize each one to suit the likes of my partners. (One liked Cotton + Steel, another mentioned squirrels, one likes pink and another pink and purple.) The quilt as you go one was my first postcard, and also my first time trying quilt as you go. Now I wanna do more! I made an extra one for someone I know would like one too. I think I'll hold off a bit on sending. The deadline is the end of September and I think it would be nice to stagger the mailing so people don't get them all at the start.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Two in the bag

Today two swap packages went in the mail. One is just taking a little jaunt a couple provinces over, while the other is U.K. bound. (They cost almost the same to ship, go figure.)

First up is my Thimble Blossoms swap mini. My partner likes the mini swoon pattern and navy, so that's just what I made.

Days before the deadline for both swaps, what did I decide to do but "whip up" two quilted zippered pouches. Silly me. When will I learn? This one started with the lovely navy fabric I actually used on the back of the mini. I even made my own paper pieced pattern! And, even more amazingly, it turned out pretty well. I call it my kite tails pouch. Quilting was done in random lines in pink and teal to echo the shape of the ties. I love this Alison Glass fabric, and the polka dots were just perfect for the lining.

I also wrapped up my dog mini quilt. Oh, I love this one! And it was truly a labour of love because those letters took forever to make (the S especially kicked my butt), and then several hours to rip out all the papers. I like the border I came up with too. My partner makes crazy awesome portraits of her dogs, so I knew I had to go a totally different way because that is totally out of my wheelhouse. I used her favourite fabrics, so I hope she really likes this.

And I made her a pouch too, starting with the cute paper pieced paw print. I'm happy to say my new sewing machine handles bulky seams like a champ. Not a single broken needle!

And look at this patriotic label! My dog mini partner actually completed the paperwork to move to Canada, so I also used this maple leaf fabric for the pouch lining.

Now comes the really tough part - waiting for them to arrive at their new home!