Work-in-Progress Girl


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Plume Quilt Progress

 

I film videos about what crafts I’m working on about once a month or so to share with friends in the Talk to Me Tuesday community.  Usually I’m on camera showing things, but this week I filmed a lot about my Plume quilt, with all the focus on the quilting.

In the video I talk about the quilting that isn’t finished and trying to figure out how to finish it. I’ve decided to do straight line quilting every half inch, so I’ve got the inside part of the borders done and tomorrow will get the outside part of the borders quilted. After that it’ll be trimming and binding.

I need to make new plans for the binding. It was supposed to be the same brown fabric as the flanges, but I hadn’t been able to find the binding fabric anywhere. I went looking today again after filming this video and I found some of it… and it’s only about 8.5-inches by width of fabric. Definitely not enough to bind the whole quilt. I was prepared to swear I had at least a half yard of that brown fabric, but I must have…. used it for something. I can’t think of what or why I would have done it, but it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Frustrating. I have very, very little Plume fabric in my stash, so I have to decide now if I want to just use a solid brown (if I can find a match!) or if I want to use some other Tula Pink fabric in my stash or…. I don’t know. Something else entirely? Brown feels like the right finish, like a frame around the project. Why on earth would I have used my binding fabric for something else?!

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Plume Quilt

So my January goal for both All People Quilt’s 2018 UFO resolution and One Monthly Goal hosted by Elm Street Quilts is a very old quilt top that’s been waiting for me to pull up my big girl pants and get it quilted.

I didn’t really have any half-way decent photos of it before (or even now.. most of my current shots have been taken at night in artificial light), but here’s one showing where I’m at this morning.

The Plume quilt I’ve been quilting as my January #apqresolution project.

It’s pretty hard to tell in the picture, but this is a rectangular throw quilt and that yellow square nearish the top is actually the centre point on the quilt. I’ve finished about half the quilting in the centre patchwork portion and am going to run out of thread – Aurifil 6723 – before I get there. After that, I still have both borders to complete. So…. there’s a good chance I won’t finish this before the end of January,… but who cares!? I’m closer to finished than I’ve been in 7 or 8 years! I can’t complain.

All the fabrics in this quilt as from Tula Pink’s Plume line, which was maybe her last line for Moda. I loved it so much that even though I had practically no money at the time, I bought a layer cake and the yardage for borders and backing. I had sold a part of the backing material online but was lucky enough to still have enough fabric to do the backing without dipping into other Tula Pink lines.

Quilting my #APQResolution quilt using an all-over feather-like fabric to suit the Plume line it's quilted on.

So this is what most of the back looks like. The light isn’t great in this photo and it’s making it a bit yellow (I mean, it probably doesn’t look yellow to you, I just know there’s a yellow cast over this photo, which I can’t figure out how to fix in Flickr’s photo editor). You can also in this photo really see the quilting motif that I’m using in the centre portion of the quilt. (I’m planning to do proper feathers in the large outer border and I’ve got two different ideas for the yellow border, which I haven’t made any firm decisions about yet. I need more thread before I can worry too hard about it.)

Quilting my #APQResolution quilt using an all-over feather-like fabric to suit the Plume line it's quilted on.

So I’m basically using an all-over feather-like pattern to quilt in the centre portion. I learned this from a Craftsy class – Ultimate Free-motion Feathers – by Patsy Thompson. I’m really enjoying working on it – it’s a lovely flowing pattern that can tuck into any space you need it to go into and it makes a really beautiful texture over the quilt. My quilting is still somewhere in the learning stage, sometimes things come out beautiful and smooth and nearly perfect and then sometimes they are a bit stiff and awkward and too small, like the feather in the pic below.

More quilting photos of my #apqresolution quilt

Anyway, that’s where I’m at with that. If I get around to it, this weekend, I should also post about my January finish! (Yes, I actually finished something this month! Started and finished!) And then also about the five thousand quilt blocks I made this month. Something to look forward to…


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APQ Quilty Resolutions 2018

Okay, so last year I only posted twice. Which is not great. I’d like to do more, but maybe I just need to only expect myself to do picture posts, and then it wouldn’t be so much work, which always seems to be the reason I don’t want to post. Hm.

Anyway, just like last year, All People Quilt is doing a UFO challenge designed to get people working on old and unfinished projects. And I’ve still got plenty of those. So many of those that I only actually finished 1 of last year (and I probably added another… 5 or so to the WIP/UFO list).

ufo2018

I’m actually just keeping the list from last year, but taking away the finished project and adding in one new one. Maybe this year I’ll knock two off the list? Haha.

ONE
All Solids Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash

This project was begun as part of the Simply Solids Bee in… 2013 (?) and then again in the Stash Bee in 2014. I can’t remember how many blocks I have, either 30 or 42 and they’ll be pieced together like this, staggered with partial blocks on certain columns. I’ve got all my blocks, but need to piece them into a top, which then needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TWO
Baby Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love

A baby quilt (or very large mini quilt?) using the Moda Love Charm Quilt pattern. It looks brown in this photo, but it’s actually a burgundy/maroon sort of background. I wanted to put a border on this – it’s only 32″ square – but wasn’t able to track down any of the prints that I thought would work best for a border (namely one of the burgundy/maroon-y ones), so it might just stay a small quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

THREE
Blue Nine Patch Quilt

First Project Ever

This was my first project ever and has been a UFO for over 10 years. The top is pieced (the blocks by hand, even!), just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

FOUR
Blue-Orange Big Block Quilt

[No existing photo?!]

My second oldest UFO, this was in progress when I moved to Calgary almost 10 years ago. I might be wrong, but I think it’s basted and just waiting to be quilted. For all I know, the pins are rusted into place. I think I won’t like this one much when I fish it out from the closet again, but it’d be good to knock such a long-standing project off the list!

FIVE
Carolyn Friedlander Random Patchwork Quilt

Botanics Random Patchwork

A truly dreadful photo – I should pull this one out of storage just to get a better shot of it. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

SIX
Scrappy Log Cabin Charity Quilt

Okay, I haven’t got a decent photo of this, but I’ll upload one when I’ve got some decent light to do it in. This is a small baby size quilt, which will be donated to a children’s charity.

SEVEN
Dad’s Quarter Section Quilt

Quarter section quilt

This one is further along than the picture implies – all the blocks are sewn, they just need to be pieced into rows and then a top and then to be basted and bound.

EIGHT
Doctor Who Quilt

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

I had big plans for the border on this quilt, so most of the quilt is pieced… just the side border needs to be finished. Maybe the answer will be to scale back the border idea,… but I like that border idea. I guess we’ll see what happens! Once the border is worked out, then it needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

NINE
Halloween Plus Quilt

Halloween Plus Quilt

I usually don’t go for holiday specific quilts, but this one is pretty subtle and in slightly unusual colours – rust, teal blue, deep purple. I don’t have a good photo of it, but the top is completed, it just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TEN
Midnight Mystery QAL Quilt

Midnight Mystery Quiltalong

I really don’t like to finish quilts, do I? This is another, yet another, that just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

ELEVEN
Mom’s Hexi Quilt (Confetti Go Lucky)

Q1 FAL projects

This one is getting to be a pretty long standing UFO of mine, and as it’s meant to be a gift, I’d really, really like to get it done! It’s partially quilted, but there’s still a long road to go (because I had the GENIUS idea of quilting it with quarter inch spacing around all the main units.. quarter inch!!). Quilting and binding is all that’s left.

TWELVE
Plume Quilt

Fabric Friday: Tailfeathers in Lime

I seem not to have a picture of this quilt top, which is about throw sized and has been laying around for several years. I wanted to try to quilt feathers on it, but was terrified of trying. I think I’m finally ready to just give the feathers a go, whether they turn out good or bad. So basting, quilting, and binding is all that’s left.

 

So that is where that is at! Twelve projects desperately in need of finishing! All People Quilt has already revealed their pick for January, so I suppose I can reveal that Number Twelve – the Plume quilt is my goal for January! This is one of my oldest quilt tops, something I put together in the first couple years after I moved to Calgary. (So.. it’s probably 8 or so years old. Well, I guess it would be whenever Tula Pink released the Plume line.)

I’ll also be participating in One Monthly Goal, hosted by Elm Street Quilts and I’m making this my January goal. Because I don’t need to make life harder on myself by having two goals!

Elm Street Quilts


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Talk to Me Tuesday: 23 May 2017

Well, I haven’t updated in a while, but I’m well past due. I don’t get around to it all that often these days, but occasionally I make craft videos along with a group of friends who post weekly craft videos as a part of Talk to Me Tuesday. We started out on Livejournal here and now some of us are cross-posting our videos at a new WordPress location here.

 
In which I show an improv sewing machine cover-to-be and some quilt blocks.

The Antique Tile blocks are made using Trinket fabric (and some Basics) from Cotton + Steel. The red and white blocks are my three more of my Paper Piecing Vintage blocks – I’ll try to post about this one of these days! The pattern and quilt-along can be found at SewHooked.com


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APQResolutions 2017

So All People Quilt runs a yearly UFO challenge designed to get people working on old and unfinished projects. And I’ve got plenty of those.

apqresolution

I haven’t been updating in a while, so I’m hoping to get back to updating at least a few times a month and some of those posts will hopefully be about me working on (and finishing?!) some of my UFOs. This list contains just twelve (of many!) and each month APQ will choose a number and that number is the project I’ll attempt to finish in that month, so here’s my twelve…

ONE
All Solids Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash

This project was begun as part of the Simply Solids Bee in… 2013 (?) and then again in the Stash Bee in 2014. I can’t remember how many blocks I have, either 30 or 42 and they’ll be pieced together like this, staggered with partial blocks on certain columns. I’ve got all my blocks, but need to piece them into a top, which then needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TWO
Baby Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love

A baby quilt (or very large mini quilt?) using the Moda Love Charm Quilt pattern. It looks brown in this photo, but it’s actually a burgundy/maroon sort of background. I wanted to put a border on this – it’s only 32″ square – but wasn’t able to track down any of the prints that I thought would work best for a border (namely one of the burgundy/maroon-y ones), so it might just stay a small quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

THREE
Blue Nine Patch Quilt

First Project Ever

This was my first project ever and has been a UFO for over 10 years. The top is pieced (the blocks by hand, even!), just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

FOUR
Blue-Orange Big Block Quilt

[No existing photo?!]

My second oldest UFO, this was in progress when I moved to Calgary almost 10 years ago. I might be wrong, but I think it’s basted and just waiting to be quilted. For all I know, the pins are rusted into place. I think I won’t like this one much when I fish it out from the closet again, but it’d be good to knock such a long-standing project off the list!

FIVE
Carolyn Friedlander Rando Patchwork Quilt

Botanics Random Patchwork

A truly dreadful photo – I should pull this one out of storage just to get a better shot of it. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

SIX
Charity Quilt-as-you-Go Quilt

QAYG

This quilt doesn’t look like much in photos because I’ve got so little of it done – 1/6th of the rows – and couldn’t think of a good way to photograph a single column of a quilt. It will be donated to a charity that benefits my younger sister (who is disabled). It’s following a slightly modified Herringbone quilt pattern from Maureen Cracknell’s Craftsy class, Quick Quilt As You Go. I need to finish sewing up the columns of fabric, then piece them into a top, which then gets lightly quilting to hold it and the back together.

SEVEN
Dad’s Quarter Section Quilt

Quarter section quilt

This one is further along than the picture implies – all the blocks are sewn, they just need to be pieced into rows and then a top and then to be basted and bound.

EIGHT
Doctor Who Quilt

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

I had big plans for the border on this quilt, so most of the quilt is pieced… just the side border needs to be finished. Maybe the answer will be to scale back the border idea,… but I like that border idea. I guess we’ll see what happens! Once the border is worked out, then it needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

NINE
Halloween Plus Quilt

Halloween Plus Quilt

I usually don’t go for holiday specific quilts, but this one is pretty subtle and in slightly unusual colours – rust, teal blue, deep purple. I don’t have a good photo of it, but the top is completed, it just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TEN
Midnight Mystery QAL Quilt

Midnight Mystery Quiltalong

I really don’t like to finish quilts, do I? This is another, yet another, that just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

ELEVEN
Mom’s Hexi Quilt (Confetti Go Lucky)

Q1 FAL projects

This one is getting to be a pretty long standing UFO of mine, and as it’s meant to be a gift, I’d really, really like to get it done! It’s partially quilted, but there’s still a long road to go (because I had the GENIUS idea of quilting it with quarter inch spacing around all the main units.. quarter inch!!). Quilting and binding is all that’s left.

TWELVE
Plume Quilt

Fabric Friday: Tailfeathers in Lime

I seem not to have a picture of this quilt top, which is about throw sized and has been laying around for several years. I wanted to try to quilt feathers on it, but was terrified of trying. I think I’m finally ready to just give the feathers a go, whether they turn out good or bad. So basting, quilting, and binding is all that’s left.

apqresolution

So that is where that is at! Twelve projects desperately in need of finishing! All People Quilt has already revealed their pick for January, so I suppose I can reveal that Number Six – the Quilt as You Go Project is my goal for January! Just as well because it has a due date early in the year, if I’m going to donate it to my charity of choice!

I’ll also be participating in One Monthly Goal, hosted by Elm Street Quilts, and so that same project will be my goal for that linky as well!

OMGjan


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OMG: One Monthly February Goal

It’s time for One Monthly Goal again…

RedLetterQuilts
Well, I haven’t talked about my January goal, but I did succeed in finishing it! I just need to take it outside and get some decent pictures. And then I need to baste and quilt it.

Choosing thread colours...

Here’s an Instagram shot of me comparing thread colours to the finished top!

But for now, a new goal:

A baby quilt for a friend whose baby is almost 6 months now! If I put it off too much longer, I’m going to have to make a toddler quilt instead and that’ll slow me down in a different way!

IMG_0059

The plan is to take these Lizzy House fabrics from her Constellations line and add to them some white Kona cotton to…. make a wonky cross quilt. Maybe. Or a wonky hashtag quilt. Or maybe… I don’t know. Something. A quilt, anyway! I really need to make a plan!

IMG_0058

I just want to get the top made this month and then maybe in March I’ll tackle actually quilting the thing. But just to get the top, that would be so much better than where I’m at right now! Let’s hope I can make a plan soon!


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Quarter One Finish-Along

So it’s been quite a while since I participated in the Finish-a-long and I’ve decided to try something different from the last go around. Last year, I listed a huge number of things on my list in hopes that it would give me lots of options to work on and therefore I’d be bound to get something done on some or even any of them. In reality, I think it just left things too open and let me do the parts that I’m already super comfortable with (ie. stitching things together), while ignoring the parts that challenge me the most or that would just get the project over and done with. This time I’m going to give myself a really limited group of projects – just four – in hopes that in stead of doing a small amount of a bunch of different things, I might actually do all of the things for at least a couple items on my list.

So here’s the goals:

1. Midnight Mystery Quilt-a-long Quilt

Q1 FAL projects

This quilt top is my goal for the January OMG – One Monthly Goal – group, but for OMG I just need to finish the top; for the finish-along, I have to get the entire quilt finished! This photo was taken long enough ago that I’ve got units made of all the different components and I only need to put the units together into blocks and then the blocks together into a top and then get it basted and quilted.

2. Confetti Go Lucky quilt

Q1 FAL projects

This is a quilt made using the Confetti pattern by V&Co. and the Happy Go Lucky line of fabric from Bonnie & Camille, hence the name. I’ve finished quilting about 1/4 of this one.

3. Black and White Cushions

Q1 FAL projects

This should be one of the easiest things on any list I might come up with – I just need to make 2-3 pillows (~ 16-in) for friend who just bought her own house. She’s going to want boring black and white, hence this pile, though this isn’t a complete pile of possible fabrics. It is a start though.

4. Constellations Baby Quilt

Q1 FAL projects

And finally, a baby quilt for a little boy who is going to be too big for a baby quilt, soon. I’ve got a pattern picked out that just uses layer cake squares, so I’m hoping to get to this one soon!

And that’s my list for the first quarter of the year. I really, really hope to get them all completed!


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One Monthly Goal – January

So A Lovely Year of Finishes has closed up shop after a few years of monthly goal-setting, but Heidi at Red Letter Quilts has started up a replacement, OMG, aka One Monthly Goal.

RedLetterQuilts

I’ve always liked the idea of these monthly challenges, though I’ve always been pretty bad on the follow-through, so I’m going to try to follow along with Heidi’s new version now!

Fabrics cut for Meadow Mist Designs 2015 Mystery Quilt

My goal is to get caught back up with the Meadow Mist Designs Midnight Mystery Quilt.

I’m a little further along than this picture show, but I have to catch up on the sewing from October, November, December, and now January! Yikes!


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Pushme Pullme Florence Baby Quilt

This newest finish is not one I’d really had on my horizon to get finished, but rather out of nowhere I got a bug up my ass about finishing it, and so I did.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

The last time I wrote about this quilt was in January of 2013. (Yikes! I need to finish more and start less if little, easy to finish quilts like this are sitting around for nearly 3 years!) You should go check out that post – in it I talk a lot more about the pattern, which is the Pushme Pullme block, designed by Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts. I was one of Michelle’s pattern testers for this block and I think the only one who didn’t actually finish what I’d created with it. I’m really glad to have it done now, though – it’s one more thing off my list and better: it’s going to be donated to a Linus blanket charity and is a part of the 100 Quilts for Kids campaign.

100 Quilts for Kids

I really don’t know why I took so long to finish this – with a very simple pattern (a loopy meander), it took just a couple hours to get the quilting completely finished. I think I spent more time trying to decide what binding to use than it took just to get it all finished. I was helped out by it being a fairly small quilt: just a teeny-tin itty-bitty 30.5 inches square.

Both the best and worst places to see the quilting on this is on those dark blue bits of fabric. I will quilt with white thread over pretty much anything and it pretty much always sinks into the background even when you use it on colour, but it sure does look awful on that deep blue! From a distance you could almost imagine that’s a print on the fabric, rather than free motion quilting!

I spent a lot of time contemplating a more complex straight-line quilting pattern that would emphasize the arrows in the blocks, but decided that after 3 years of inaction, I needed to do the fast thing instead of the intricate thing.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

Every print in this quilt is a Denyse Schmidt print, front, back, and binding. All of the prints (except the two binding prints) come from Schmidt’s Florence line – I’d bought a 12 print bundle of blues and greens, and all 12 prints made their way into this quilt. The solid fabrics are all Kona cottons and I pulled most of them out of a jelly roll, so I’m not actually sure what colours they are! The dark blue is Nightfall, which is a really beautiful deep colour (and I wish I had yards and yards of it instead of scraps after having used it in a couple quilts). Its hard to tell in most photos, but there are two different light blues and two different greens – since I only had jelly roll strips, I think there wasn’t enough to stretch out each colour over two blocks.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

The binding fabrics come from Chicopee and (I think) Shelburne Falls. Schmidt creates magnificent plaids (and I’m sort of having a plaid moment right now!) so there are four different plaids in just this one quilt. Too much?

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt
Obligatory windblown shot!

Anyway, I suppose that’s all there is to say about this little quilt! I really like it and am really pleased to see it finished and ready to find a home with a child in need.

Some quilt stats
Name: PushMe PullMe Florence Quilt
Pattern: Pushme Pulle by Michelle Wilkie
Size: 30.5″ x 30.5″
Fabric: 12 FQs from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line, plus assorted Kona cottons (featuring Nightfall on the back and in the corners of the front)
Batting: Some weird all cotton no name from Michaels
Thread: White Guttermann (piecing), White Aurifil (quilting)
Backing: Assorted Florence prints, plus Kona Nightfall
Binding: Plaids from Denyse Schmidt’s lines Chicopee and Shelburne Falls.


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Text Me Mini

So first up is my winner for my giveaway last week:

winner

And number 20 was Cindy Dahlgren to whom, some 30 minutes before hitting the button on Random.org, I’d just sent this message back:

cindyd-winner

Serendipity? Anyway, congrats to Cindy!

Anyway, I guess it’s time to show off that finished mini, isn’t it? Unfortunately I didn’t get any particularly good shots of it – the sun had set too far by the time I finished stitching down the binding and I had to get it to the post office and mailed off, so I wasn’t able to wait an extra day to get better photos at a better time of day.

Text Me Mini Quilt Swap - sent

I so wish I had better pictures because I really liked this mini and it may be the only rainbow order quilt I ever make! (I like rainbows and I like rainbow coloured quilts, but generally I like it better when all the colours are all over the place, rather than in strict ROYGBIV order.)

The brief for this swap was to use at least 2 text prints in our mini and all the participants posted mosaics to offer some inspiration. I had a bit of a tough time with my partner’s inspiration mosaic and couldn’t seem to settle into any particular pattern – I rotated through a lot of different ones in my head before I decided on this pattern, which is Glam Garlands by Elizabeth Hartman. My partner is in A LOT of swaps on Instagram and that meant she had a lot of mosaics posted, so I snapped pictures of all of them and looking at them side by side, I decided that rainbows and bright colours were her favourite thing and then to tie it in with the original mosaic a little, I went for the only pattern I knew of with a little bit of party atmosphere.

Text Me Mini Quilt Swap - sent

This shot doesn’t really show the quilting as well as I’d hoped it would, but I wound up using a yellow variegated thread to make something like crepe paper ribbons in my quilting – long wavy lines that criss-cross down the length of the garlands. I kept these quilting lines fairly dense, since I think mini quilts in particular benefit from dense quilting (it helps add some stiffness that lets them hang nice and flat without looking too billowy on the wall). After that I added about 5 or 6 lines in red that are just kind of wavy with a few added loops. Some of my loops came out a little flat (I couldn’t find my quilting gloves and was having some unpleasantness getting a smooth line), but generally I like that addition.

Text Me Mini Quilt Swap - sent

For the back, I used this large piece of measuring tape fabric that I had. The binding was this perfect print with all the rainbow colours and interspersed with bits of text.

I didn’t have time to make anything extra to go along with the mini, but I sent my partner a pile of texty scraps in all sort of colours and some local fabric license plates from the Row Along quilt shop hop thing – she’d been collecting them from her area, so I thought it’d be fun to send some from mine. I didn’t photograph any of those things, though, so no more pictures!

Except there are more pictures, because I recently received my mini from this swap!

Text Mini Mini Swap received

My partner (@jastravers on Instagram) made and sent me this really incredible “Create” mini! When she’d been posting progress shots of it, I’d kind of wished it were for me, but I didn’t really think it would be, but then it was!

Text Mini Mini Swap received

Without counting to be certain, I’d guess that Jasmine used about a dozen different text prints in this mini. She backed it in this fun bird print and if you scroll up and look at the full-on shot again, you’ll see that she used a few bird prints in the background as well. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but I kind of like it anyway! That green bird in the centre at the top is one of my favourite recent prints that I didn’t buy despite liking it so much, so it’s nice to have a little piece of it in something that’s going to live on my wall for a very long time!

Text Mini Mini Swap received

She also sent me this awesome pincushion and some gorgeous Tula Pink fabric…

Text Mini Mini Swap received

and this giant pile of fabric scraps!

I LOVE getting fabric scraps in swaps – it’s always amazing that no matter how much fabric I’ve got, there are always so many other prints I’ve never seen or picked up. I have a very (very!) long-running goal of someday making myself a scrappy log cabin and all these fabrics get horded up for when that idea finally comes to fruition. (I’ve talked about this many times before, I’m sure, but my favourite quilt ever was a log cabin my mom made in the 70s when she was in university. It was mostly made of clothing scraps and a lot of those fabrics rotted right out of the quilt, but I took it with me to university anyway. Every time I washed it, it came out just a little more ragged with that much more exposed batting. My mom finally made me throw it away, but I still miss it because it was hers and then it was mine and it was warm and cozy as anything.)

Anyway, that was my experience with the Text Me Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram! I’m pretty happy with how it all played out. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can get around to showing you the other minis I made and received this summer. Time to catch up on all the things I skipped over while I was away!