I Love My Design Wall!

No, this post is not about Valentine’s Day! It is about something I would not want to be without in my little world of quilting…my design wall.

This post really came about just today, as I was looking at my design wall. The design wall, it occurred to me, is my favorite thing! I get to PLAY here!

Some examples of the wall in use:

Every Which Way But Straight definitely needed to be laid out to see how the lines would work…

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This charity quilty for MQG 2017, Mountains of Hope, was a work in progress, as blocks came in all sizes from Mississippi and Oregon and then was quilted in Texas!

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This is looking at blocks from my Stash Bee, Hive 5, which I originally planned to cut up, but the wall helped me see them as wholes and now I have to decide again!

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And I could NEVER have finished this one, Ali’s Graduation Quilt, without the help of the wall!…

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Sometimes the wall is a complete hodge-podge…

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Today, the wall has the next charity quilt in progress…

20181003_114630~25387386205147338113..jpgThese are just half the blocks for the quilt, as my friend and sew mate, Jude, and I are working together on this. I believe we also have a quilter lined up, but until that is confirmed, I will keep that under wraps.

The “play” is that with a design wall, you can change the layout in any way, take a picture, and then try another! This is such an important part of the creative process! It is also a great way to audition fabric selections before you ever start cutting or making blocks. Here are the same blocks above, in a different arrangement, as an example…

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How cool and easy was that?!? Be sure to save pictures of you arrangements so you can get back to what you like. BTW, taking a picture REALLY helps more than just looking at the wall. I am not sure exactly why, but it is true!

If you don’t have a design wall, get creative and see what you can come up with. Depending on your space availability and budget, there are many ideas on the web…just search for “quilting design wall” and you will find everything from portable and small, full-wall to free-standing, and more!

Being a bit on the frugal side (and interested in having more $$$ for fabric) I found a blanket I would not want to sleep under (if I didn’t have to) at the thrift store. It was already finished around the edges and hemed, so I just put it on a curtain rod on my wall and used push pins to hold it close to the wall. Voila! It is bed-sized, so it works wonders for most projects.

The one thing I DON’T like about my design wall…photogrid_15386724263057062131341135938484.jpg …when it is bare!!!

Remember, that if all else fails, there is always the floor or a bed. If you can, you will find working upright very user-friendly though!

How do you lay out your quilting? Do you have a design wall? I would be interested in your thoughts!

Happy Quilting!

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A Finished Project and Lessons Learned

As part of the “process pledge,” I have been sharing pictures along the way on my IG account, @facetfully. To complete the pledge, I am blogging today about the steps taken and the lessons learned in completing this table runner.

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As noted in an earlier post, I took a class at the Quilters Affair in Sisters, Oregon with Natalie Barnes, Beyond the Reef Patterns. We had to do some prep work before the class, so I had already chosen this layout for the background for the handwork we would do.

Well, to make a long story short, DH (dear hubby) really liked the background, but he was not so impressed with the pot of flowers that were appliqued onto it when I returned home. Even though I can’t quite figure out what he does like, I was pretty sure he would not like the applique! He just isn’t a “folksy” kind of guy! Here is what would have been appliqued on the runner…

20180715_084213-11595952722737691344.jpg   So, as you can see from the first photo above, I removed the applique and left it as a simple runner. (Keeping all the pieces for a future project!!!)

I decided, as I have many times in this journey, to use this piece to learn/practice some things that I want to get better at doing.

  1. I wanted to use some of the Essex linen I have had in my stash for some time now. I felt unsure how to combine it with different quilting cottons, so I jumped in here. The large pieces of solid fabric are linen, along with the light blue stripes. I am very happy with how it turned out and I am ready to do more with linen!
  2. For the quilting, I decided to use straight-line quilting, both parallel and radiating lines, from Jacquei Gering’s book, WalkI had used my walking foot quite a bit for quilting, but learned about changing the presser foot pressure and that made a big difference. Jacquie was a dream to help me along the way, by commenting on IG. I didn’t expect that at all, but tagged her and her book so others could know what I was doing and have a refernce point for her work. It was quite a pleasant surprise to have her help from afar. I had met her before and loved her right away…no wonder I am so excited to be going to her workshop in Kansas City this fall!Here are a few progress shots…you can see where it got better as I went along and learned more!

  3. When it came time to bind I decided to try fully machine binding it. I do enjoy hand sewing the binding on my quilts and I feel it adds a level of love to them. However, several people I follow use the machine and love it. It seemed like a table runner would be a good place to really focus in on this and try it (I had done some before because of time factors). I tried the method of sewing the binding on the back side and then turning to the front. I felt that, by using this method, I could do a better job of neat top-stitching on the front. 20180720_1210153807751392315505458.jpg                                    This is an example of the NOT-SO-GOOD top-stitching! This did get pulled out and redone, for sure.                                                                                                                            There were some places that looked pretty darn good to me though…

    And if you follow the “3-foot rule,” it looks great!                                                                  So, you ask, what did the back look like after top-stitching?

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    The good…
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                                         The not-so-good                                                                                                                          

    Overall, I came away from this project knowing that it is important to take my time, use good fabrics and habits, press…press…press, mark…mark…mark (yes, that chalk all came out!), and focus!

    Will I continue to machine bind? Not on very special projects, for sure…but maybe for small or high-use items.

I feel my skills are improving, I am learning what I like and don’t like, and that I still have a long way to go! I love this journey!

What is your process for binding? How do you feel about hand-sewing that binding on?

Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting!

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Phew!

Last week was a busy rush of fun, sharing, learning, and excitement! New faces, new experiences, new techniques…just wow and Phew! Not sure I can really recap, but here we go…

My dear friend and sew mate, Jude (@judemadeit), arrived on Sunday. We had been looking forward to the Quilter’s Affair and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show for a while. Monday was planned to get pictures of our QuiltCon 2018 Charity Quilt. This quilt was a collaborative effort (as required by MQG) by four independent MQG members from across the country. Jude and I came up with the idea and set out to find two more people who would like to work together. We found Lorrie, from Mississippi (@langdon813), and Adrean, from Texas (@quiltfabulous). Three of us made blocks and then sent the top, batting, and backing off to Texas to be quilted. The result…

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Ours was the first quilt hanging with the charity quilts as we began walking into the convention! Just look at that!

20180710_154819462669107111992629.jpg(Here she is in Sisters with the mountains in the background)

We had a few “meetings” online during the creative process and decided to call the quilt Mountains of Hope and to donate it to a new homeowner through Habitat for Humanity in Bend, Oregon. After all, every home needs a quilt and every quilt needs a home! This week included the culmination of that plan, as we presented the quilt to Toni.

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To make a long story short, Toni was the perfect person to receive this quilt! Her story and the title and theme of the quilt are so similar…it was meant to be!

Our first class of the week was on Tuesday, Sew All the Curves, with Jen Carlton Bailey. SEW much fun! Not only did we want to take the class and learned a lot, but Jen is a hoot! Check out her bettycrockerass blog!

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We made several curvy pieces and had a lot of fun!

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And we even got to use this beautiful quilt made by Jen (@bettycrockerass) with fabric by Valori Wells for our picnic lunch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our scheduled class for Friday, Arts and Crafts, was with Natalie Barnes (@beyondthereefpatterns) and included some prep. That meant some shopping, of course, along with cutting and sewing for me. Natalie’s class involved some folksy ways of doing applique…pretty simple and freeing, in that anything works…whatever you like. Natalie could be a stand-up comedian! She is also very inspirational. I suggest you check out her blog…beyond the reef.

 

It was fun to see everyone’s take on the pattern we used. Unfortunately, I was too busy to get many pictures! Below is a picture of several things from the Quilter’s Affair that includes the pot of flowers that we worked on.

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The ‘Main Event” of the Quilter’s Affair was Friday night and included a dinner where we met more fun women. These are the gals from across the table. They went to Oregon State and demonstrated the Beaver Chant for us.

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Saturday was the big day – Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show! It goes without saying that this is a well-known natonal, even international, event. I will just post some pictures of some of the quilts that grabbed me…I didn’t get around to everything!

The word quilts are by some of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild members…

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Not sure the maker on this one…

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Following quitls are from the teacher’s tent…

Rob Appell…

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Not sure who…

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Possibly Deborah Boschert…

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Jen Carlton Bailey…

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My friend and my sweetheart…

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And the iconic picture of the wall of the Stitchin’ Post…

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There it is…my week in review. A great one, at that! Thanks to all the coordinators, collaborators, instructors, friends, etal who made this week what it was!

Now I will take another nap…or better yet…I will SEW!

Facetfully Icon Happy Quilting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where does the time go? It is JULY!!!

4th-of-july-fireworks-clipartYes, I do have plans for the 4th, but first, I’d better comment on my goals for June. It was a pretty short list. 20180605_092217358716420.jpgI did my Stash Bee block and I did work on some WIPs. Generally, It was an easy month and I am not complaining!

The June Stash Bee, Hive 5 block was for Tammy, @jenlukpip. She had us make a fun block called Geese Migration.

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To continue a bit of recap of June, unrelated to quilting, we went to Seattle for a few days and explored with friends who live in Capitol Hill. What a beautiful area and we got the city with mostly beautiful days too! We used to travel there for work, but those trips are never the same as visiting! Just a few snaps below. If you have not visited, I recommend it!

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On to July…

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The goal page looks pretty blank again, but this will be a fun month! Besides the 4th of July, it is Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show month and the Quilter’s Affair. My friend and sew mate, @judemadeit, will be visiting for both. We are booked for several events at the Quilter’s Affair and will certainly be found wandering around the quilt show! More on all that after the events! My goal will be to post shortly after these things happen, but if it goes like summer usually does, there may be one post to recap July and start August…like this one!

So, here’s to the month of July…celebrations, food, fun…and quilting!!!

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Maybe I will see you in Sisters, Oregon!?!? ( Oh, and don’t look for me dressed like the picture above! 😉 )

Happy Quilting,

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June is Here

What to do in June???

I did finish my big secret sewing project on time…just two or three days before deadline! It was a great challenge and a great finish.

However, that leaves me in June with a little less than strong intention and focus! Is that always a reaction to finishing a big project for you? Do you need a little down time to recuperate? Here I am trying to figure out what to do next. Yes, I do have at least one specific project in mind, but not quite ready to start it…no deadline.

So, here is my reasonably blank sheet for June goals…20180605_092217358716420.jpg

Looks like the plan is to finish up some WIPs!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to try to decide what those…or even one…might be, I spread things out on my work table, chairs, and design wall.

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Oh my!  I have so many and all the stars don’t even show! ( I can say here that if another wonky star swap comes up this month, I WILL join 🧡💛💙 I love them!)

Speaking of Stash Bee, I didn’t post about my blocks for May, but I did complete them.

20180523_092251775921263.jpg Julia requested blue and gold stars. I was excited, as I love stars (repeating myself here), but these felt just OK. She was sweet about them though and said she liked them. I always find that blocks added to a bigger group look better than alone!

The June Stash Bee project looks fun, as usual. I will get to that too!

Back to all those WIPs. DH (Dear Hubby) want me to finish the giant Sienna Sunburst, as a wall hanging. I am less than excited about that, as noted in the linked blog. BUT…it would be a fairly easy finish!

People like different parts of quilting. I get that! Some like to just make blocks, some like to make flimsies, some like to hand quilt, some just long-arm, I have not decided what part I like best, but I don’t like cutting! I would say that might be why I like improv so much!

One thing I have heard said…

Jenny Doan - a finished quilt So, I had better finish something!

Oh, and then there is this part of quilting…which takes LOTS of time…and is a favorite!

Life is short - buy fabric

I guess future posts will tell how it goes in my room this month. I don’t want to rush through beautiful June, but there are some things on the calendar for July that involve quilting and I am looking forward to them!

I am trying to be a better blogger, but you can follow me on InstaGram, @facetfully, for more frequent posts.

See you around…and be sure to be IN-joy!

Happy Quilting!

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Oh, and one more PS…I don’t really like my new Bitmoji, but I cut my hair, so I changed it. They don’t offer a short hairstyle with bangs!!! 🤷‍♀️ I know, who cares!

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April Sort Of Kicked My Butt!!!

April was a month where I operated on overload most days! Why, you ask? I simply had more on  my plate than I could do…and I hate that!

This is how my goal sheet wraps up for April:

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Stash Bee Square was one I was not sure I would like. It was a Union Jack flag in bright colors. Our queen bee, Lauren, @laurenmlir5 on IG, shared a tutorial from Granny Maud on WordPress.  She requested a rainbow of colors for this FPP block that measures 15″ x 7.5″ when finished. I ended up really enjoying it and appreciate that it was easy paper piecing…not all of them are! Here is my block…

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The Riley Blake Challenge for the MQG was due this month and it was a fail for me. I liked my idea and did get started, but it is still sitting in the WIP pile! Here it is…in no glory!

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I am sure the concept does not come through on this picture…it was to be Spring Breeze. Well, maybe for next spring????

The Wonky Star Swap is always fun…I do adore them. And I did finish that one even if I shipped a day late on May 1!

20180501_110703912183670.jpgWonky stars are always so unique, but they play well together! Thanks to all my swap mates and Rachel, @bylancer on IG, for this one!

That brings me to the SHHHH….Secret Sewing! Believe it or not, this has been my main focus for months and it is actually almost finished. It must be done in a few days and IT WILL BE!!! YAY! This makes me so happy and I can’t wait to post about it pretty soon!

The other carry-over project that is moving on into May is a semi-secret. Our grand-daughter turns 8 and has asked for another quilt. This one is to be about her creativity…it runs in the family! It won’t be done in time for the birthday, but it will be getting my focus once the secret is revealed. Can’t tell a sweet grand-daughter no!!!

So, I can’t say I got nothing done in April. On top of the sewing there was a nice trip to California to see family…always a blessing! beautiful places, good food and wine, boys baseball, laughs and love!

So, here’s to May…you notice my goal sheet is pretty simple!

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I hope this new month brings you much joy and some finished projects along the way!

Happy Quilting!

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Experience IS a good teacher!

“Practice makes perfect” is a pretty common concept…and it is true. That said, I am thinking about what we learn from experience. Experience IS  a good teacher! Since this blog is focused on quilting, I want to talk about some of my experience over the 3 years, or so, that I have been at this craft. More specifically, I want to talk about prepping your fabric….

I hope some experienced quilters will join in on this topic with comments about what they do. Sharing can only help each other, and especially help those starting out. That is, unless they tend to be like me and have to learn for themselves! It is not my most proud revelation, but true. Today’s topic is an example.

I am following along with Meghan and the Sienna Burst QAL. “This week is all about getting ourselves set up for success to start tackling the blocks. Starch, iron, cut; mix and match fabrics and learn all about HRT.” What I want to drill down on even more in this post is about the STARCH.

Side note: I previously posted on “Quilter’s Moonshine”. Meghan offers up her own version, that I have heard works very well too! You need starch…lots of it!!!!

Preparation…Meghan says to Starch, Iron, Cut. I decided I was going to do every step this time, as directed. In my EXPERIENCE, I have seen how fabric can shrink up when being pressed with either water or starch. You might think this only happens with lower-end fabrics. I hope the pictures I am including below will help you see that it happens…and not only with cheaper fabrics!

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This is my first piece of fabric. It is Kona cotton, an acceptable quilting fabric from Robert Kaufman. You will note that I have folded it flat and removed the selvedge. (Another post for selvedges, one day…I love them!) On the cutting mat, you can see where the edges fall. Right side at the 1″ mark, left side at 22″.

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Zoomed in a little to show the 22″ marking. The other side is at the 1″ marking.

Now I will press with starch. (Yes, the following pictures are the same fabric…just different lighting.)

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Now I have pressed one time with starch. Do you notice those bumps? Those are created from the fabric shrinking in some places and not others. Probably not enough saturation with the starch!

Second…and third…pressing with starch has been done…

20180316_1124561699311820.jpg Now that looks good! 

I attempted to get videos of the process…

You can see the bumps almost disappear when the starch is sprayed on them! This process took THREE times starching and pressing. Prepping about 1.25 yards of fabric used about 12 ounces of starch. Yep! that is why “Frugal Frieda” here likes the homemade version!

Now, I hope the pictures below will tell you, in plain sight, why this preparation is important! Remember above, the fabric was laid out on the mat starting at the 1″ mark and it measured to the 22″ mark. The following pictures are after the starching process.

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We have lost 1/2″ in width.
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Notice the difference in the bottom that WAS straight.
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Notice the variation in width and length across the piece of fabric that WAS straight before starching and pressing.
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These are the trimmings left after cutting the fabric to be straight, squared up, and ready to cut.

So why is this important? What EXPERIENCE has proven to me is that if this process is not done first, your blocks will likely be really out of shape and proportion when you starch and press them AFTER you have made them! This results in seams and blocks that don’t match up and much frustration. Also, if your fabric is preshrunk and crisp before you sew, you will have a much better chance at perfect points!

If you want to learn by doing, go for it! That will work too, but once you have progressed to the point of buying quality fabrics, working more challenging patterns, and expecting a well-finished piece, you will understand..JUST DO IT! Prep your fabics!

From one who learned by doing, had some good outcomes, and some very frustrating finishes!

Happy Quilting!

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Sunday Sharing

It seems like Sunday is a good day for sharing! My main focus right now is Foundation Paper Piecing, and I just read a post from Amy, @duringquiettime, who is a huge FPPer! She shared some great tips for the process on her blog here.

Number 3 is my biggest pitfall…trying to use up such little scraps! And, if you missed it, I posted on Friday about a DIY lightbox. Amy also shared a discount for purchasing a lightbox on her blog, linked above.

Thanks, Amy, for all your inspiration, patterns, and beautiful work!

Happy Quilting!

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Light Box for Foundation Paper Piecing

Well, maybe it isn’t THAT good, but I got a great idea today!

I have gone back to doing some FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, lately. You have heard the phrase, “use it or lose it!”, well, it feels like I lost it! I am sticking with it, though, because I really like some of the designs and they will be perfect for some of my upcoming projects.

All that said, I decided I needed a light box for this process. You read about it being helpful and so I thought I would give that a go. Now, if you read between the lines in these blog posts, you can learn a little more about me. (Read between the lines here.) This morning, as I was planning to go searching for said light box, I had a message from my creative spirit guide, Shambala. (Did you catch the clue about me?) Anyway, standing in the shower…inspiration comes in the strangest places, but who cares?…I thought I could make my own light box very easily and it would be always handy, not take any extra space, and cost nothing! How can it get better than that?

First thing I did was to go online and see what Google could tell me about DIY light boxes. I saw some ideas, but I did not see the idea I had! Happy dance!

I know you can’t wait to see this!

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Here it is…my tablet, turned light box!

Here is what I did:

  1. In Photoshop, I created a square measuring 14″ x 14″ and filled it with white. It could be any size, actually. It could also be done in other programs OR just take a picture of a piece of white paper. Save it as a .jpeg and call is something you will remember. Mine is called Light Box…creative, eh?
  2. The catch to make this work is to turn the display brightness all the way up! You can use your computer screen, your phone (if small works!), or your tablet, which seemed best to me, since it is flat and bigger.
  3. Open your Light Box jpeg and fill your screen with it. Voila!     20180309_1101571119674714.jpg
  4. Now you have a light box! You can use it for tracing…20180309_110352680924791.jpg
  5. Lining up your FPP fabrics. (oops…this picture is a bit darker than reality)20180309_110532_hdr1983714747.jpg
  6. Note that the darker your fabric, the more difficult to see, but on this medium blue you can still see that the fabric fits. Again, this image is darker than reality.20180309_110512793778164.jpg
  7. No, it does not work for dark fabrics. I don’t think most anything would work for this.

So, dare I say that I feel greatful to Shambala? And, if you don’t believe in spirit guides, you can just give me credit for this one!

It took all of about 5 minutes, max…and I think it works pretty well…if I do say so myself!

Oh, and don’t forget to turn your brightness back down to the level you like after using your new light box. That will save on your battery use…and your eyes!

I plan to post more on FPP soon, so keep an eye out for that, if you are interested.

Happy Quilting and FPPing!

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MQG Mini Swap…Honestly!

I must tell a true story!

The MQG Mini Swap…tagged #makeaminimakeafriend…became quite the challenge for me! The idea, of course, is to trade minis with a new friend that you will make. Some are able to actually go to QuiltCon and some swap by mail. I was so very excited to be going to my first QC, that I, obviously, chose to meet my new friend in person.

Along the way, you are supposed to communicate with the partner via Instagram, post a mosaic of ideas that you would like, share snippets along the way, etc. I was excited to get my partner assignment via email. Lauana, @mysewingspace, seemed to be new to modern quilting and wanting to bridge the gap from more traditional work to modern by attending the convention. Sounds good!

We did comminicate via private message on IG. That was interesting and she was very friendly, but I was frustrated that I could never get any direction about what she wanted. She had stated in her signup form that her favorite quilting style was Patriotic. Well, that is not a favorite of mine, but I decided to move ahead…I had to make something, so I thought of making a more modern red-white-blue mini.

Most of us can relate to wanting to make something that we like when making a gift…something we would be happy to give. Often times, we make something we like so much we would like to keep it, but that is not how it goes! Well, I was just not happy! Here is the first mini I made…

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The back side
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The front side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not happy…next try involved a wonky star…a new favorite block of mine, having been in a swap this year…better, but still no cigar….

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try two…wonky star

This is the part of the story where I have to make a confession. With all my anxiety, I don’t know how in the world I missed it, but my partner had, indeed, posted a mosaic!

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Lauana’s mosiac!

Just look at this mosaic. There are so many minis that I would clearly love to make! This was posted in November!!! How did I miss it??? (Please tag your partner when posting a mosaic.) At any rate, it was one week before I was to leave for the Bahamas, with only two more days at home between the Bahamas and QuiltCon! I opted for the HOME mini…quick and easy, right? Well, I would love to do the house Dresden, have done the feathers, but I L-O-V-E-D the clothesline mini! Gulp! That would be like making many mini-minis on top of the 24ish-inch mini. I tried the HOME idea, but my heart was already wrapped around the clothesline. Alas…my fate was set!

At least I had a plan that I liked now!

Without mentoining that I finished the binding on this at 6:00 AM the morning I was leaving for QC…oh wait, I just said that! Well, I did get finished, had fun making it, and yes, I would happily have kept it! Here are pictures of the mini I called “Quilts on a Clothesline”.

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Hand Embroidered Mini Mini
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A feather
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Log Cabin
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Modern Improv
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Simple Squares
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Hexies
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More Improv with Hand Embroidery
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The Mini-Mini HOME block…with birds
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A Tiny Wonky Star noting QuiltCon
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Quilts on a Clotheslilne…Mini Swap MQG 2018

I was a happy…and relieved…camper, or traveler in this case! On my way to the first QuiltCon for me, with a swap mini that I was pleased to say I had made.

At QuiltCon there is a lot of excitement and confusion, at times. Let’s just say the mini swap was another place of confusion…and excitement. There was no plan or organization for the event. You just showed up in a room full of quilters and hoped to find you partner. Let’s say that could be a topic for another blog! All that said, I FOUND HER!!!

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We found our new quilty friends…Lauana and Valorie at the MQG swap, 2018.

Look at that very cool mini that Lauana made for me! She references the idea of color coming from words, which is depicted perfectly. You may not be able to see that the background fabric is all text. I am so happy with this mini! Thank you, Lauana! It was fun to meet you, and find you running around the convention, with your darling daughter. I think you have made the jump into modern quilting well! Have fun with it!

Here is a peek at a few others that I snapped at the swap. The lighting was bad, but there was a lot of happiness too! Sorry, I can’t name everyone!

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@runandsew on the right with her swap partner
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@quilts2sew on the left with her swap partner
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@judemadeit on the left and @slusclay
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@quiltydoings on the right, my swap mama and a swap fairy who came all the way from Scotland!

That is my story of the MQG Mini Swap 2018. Would I do it again? You bethca!

And finally, here is a bit of my room with the newest mini in all her glory!

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Some of my mini swaps…including the newest from MQG Mini Swap and Lauana!

Happy Quilting!

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