Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One World One Heart

Just want to let everyone know about the givaways at http://oneworldoneheart.typepad.com/
I'm not participating, I just found out about it but maybe I'll try it next year. Of course I'll have to update my blog a lot more often!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Quilt Block Swap Frenzy!!

I'm swapping like crazy!! Here are the Puss in the Corner swap blocks I did for QATW.

This is the color scheme that "Bookworm", the swap hostess asked us to use: earthy reds, warm browns, and golden creams and tans.
I haven't used this color scheme before. It's beautiful and I had all the colors in my stash already, so I guess they're colors I like. I just needed a little nudge to combine them. I love when I find a swap that teaches me something.

I'm also working on 2 more swaps. These swaps are on Blockswappers, a subgroup of the Stashbusters group that I've belonged to since 2002. The first is a mini nine patch swap. The blocks finish 3 inches. I don't know what I'm going to do with them but they're so cute I couldn't resist. Any suggestions?

I signed up for 4 sets of 10 and I have one set done and the other 3 sewn into strip sets. I'm hoping to get those finished today. If I do I think I'll sign up for a few more sets, like maybe 6......that would give me 100 swapped blocks and the 5 extra from each set that I make. I'm using up some of my fat quarters and if I cut 5 dark 1 1/2 inch strips and 4 light 1 1/2 inch strips I get 15 3 1/2 inch nine patches. Here's a picture of my progress so far:

I'v also signed up for 2 sets of 9 inch nine patch blocks. That will give me 20 swapped blocks and about 8 that I've made for myself. For some of the blocks I used the "leftovers" from the fat quarters I cut my mini 9 patches from so I have a lot of different blocks.

I found that 2 FQ'a will make six 9 inch 9 patches and 5 dark and 4 light 3 1/2 inch strips cut from the width of the fabric will make 12 blocks. Ten to swap and two to keep.

This swap isn't due until May but these blocks are so easy and I was in the mood for some simple piecing yesterday that both sets will be finished today. So far I'm the only one who's signed up for this swap. I hope as the due date gets closer more people will sign up. It would stink to have all my blocks made and have the swap canceled.

Any one else interested? in joining? Go to Blockswappers and sign up. Here's a picture of some of these blocks:

Now what other swaps can I join................

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Community Quilt Projects

I'm working on making quilts to donate to the Woman's Shelter in the town I work in. Each year at Christmas time my office "adopts" the people in the shelter. We take up a collection of money and gifts. This year there were 12 children between the ages 3 months and 16 years old in the shelter along with thier mothers. That's more people than ever. I felt awful.

Can you imagine having no home? I cannot imagine how stressful that must be for a Mom. I donated what I could but really felt it wasn't enough.

My quilting guild, the Bayside Quilters, has a community quilt program. I usually have a goal of donating 3 quilts a year to this program. I didn't meet my goal last year because I was busy selling, buying, moving and fixing up my new house. I'm thinking that this year instead of donating to the guild I will use my time and stash to donate quilts to the Woman's shelter.

There are a couple of problems with that. One is that I can't make a quilt for just a couple of the kids, it's all or nothing. The second is I won't know until just before Christmas how many kids or what thier ages are. The third problem is TIME. The fourth problem is MONEY for the batting.

I think the biggest problem is going to be the time. I could make and quilt 12 60" by 60" quilts in 12 months IF I had my quilting machine set up. But I don't and I don't think I will be getting it set up any time soon. I don't have space in the house, not unless I set it up in the dining room and that would be really ugly. The whole first floor is an open floor plan and quilting machines are just not attractive.

I bought this house with the intention of using the building out back as my sewing studio. It will be PERFECT! Isn't it beautiful?? Can't you picture me walking out there in the morning with my dog and my cat to spend the day listening to music, sewing and eating chocolate??

But, my son and his family have come to live with me and they need the studio to store thier household belongings. My son is in the construction business and he has no work. He's exploring other avenues of work but has not found anything yet. The storage unit they are currently using costs $240.00 a month,..... way to much money!!

I can quilt on my home machine, but it takes so long and it puts so much stress on my home machines and my body that I really don't like to.

So I'm setting myself a goal of making 2 quilt tops a month for now and I will worry later about finding the money for the batting and how I will get them all quilted.
Anyway, we'll see what I can do.

I've already made some progress. I have a couple of tops made so far. I have two done and three that need borders. I might just make the YBR a little bigger and not put a border on it. I'm having a hard time finding the right colors for borders and I don't want to go out and buy any fabric. I just can't afford it. I'm thinking of using simple patterns that will look good without borders. Any suggestions anyone?

Quilt Block Swap

I decided I have the time to start swapping again. I was very pleased to find that the caliber of swaps has been very much improved since the last time I've done any swapping. One of the reasons I stopped swapping quilt blocks is because the only block people seemed to be swapping was large nine patches with muslin. BORING!!!

I posted a message to stashbusters asking for help finding block swaps. Here are the sites that were suggested:
Quilting Around the World
About.com Quilting Forum
The Ohio star blocks in the picture are the blocks I made for a swap on QATW. I love the civil war fabrics and have a nice collection of them. I'll take a picture of the blocks I received and post them soon. They're all beautiful. I can't wait to make a quilt with them.
I have another swap from QATW ready to mail. Another picture I will have to take and post later. I forgot to take a photo before I packaged them.

I really love the challenge of block swapping. I always do my best work for swaps and it carries over to my personal projects. Sometimes I get a little sloppy and say about mismatched seams and missing points, "That's good enough". I don't do that for swaps so I get into a better habit of being precise in my piecing.

I find that having a due date makes me more productive. And I love using new color schemes, other people think of color combinations that I wouldn't and I learn a lot that way.
I highly recommend getting involved in quilt block swaps, you'll learn something and have fun doing it.