Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sent and Received

When I first started blogging, I took part in a few swaps. They were fun to do and were a good way to fill the day while small children napped.

Then my children dropped their day sleeps and I started designing patterns.
Swaps went into the too hard basket. 
I just didn't have the time to stress about getting things made on time and I grew away from the part of the blogging world that was preoccupied with swaps.

But recently the world of swaps has invaded my instagram feed. I kept seeing beautiful mini quilts being made for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap and grew tempted to join in. When the #igminiswap was announced, with a 3 month time period for making the quilt, I knew that I had to take part!

It was so much fun stalking my partner and working out what her tastes were. I was pleased to see that the mosaic that she provided for me had paper pieced designs and designs that could easily be translated into paper pieced designs. 

There were two images that stood out in her mosaic. One was a bright spring flower, the other was the Eiffel Tower. 

I started by designing a snowdrop and a daffodil, but I just didn't feel the love for them. 
I couldn't decide how to put them together in a quilt. 
I wasn't inspired. 
I scrapped the idea.

The other dominant image in her mosaic was a mini quilt with the Eiffel Tower on it. In the comments below, my partner raved about Paris. It was pretty quick and easy to design an Eiffel Tower block, but I knew that my design needed more. I wanted something whimsical without being too sweet. I had a few ideas, but none of them could be turned into good concise patterns. Finally I thought of singing in the rain, and it all came together from there.

I stressed a bit that the mini would be too graphic and not colourful enough for my partner, so it was a huge relief when she commented on an instagram picture of singing in the rain girl. I knew that if she liked her, she'd love the Eiffel Tower.

The best thing about taking part in this swap was that it forced me to design patterns that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of. I had to take a step out of my comfort zone and design a non-animal or bird pattern. I really enjoyed it and have a few more ideas up my sleeve.

My mini quilt has reached its destination in Australia and to say that it is loved would be an understatement. It was such a pleasure to design a quilt specifically for Janine and to see that it was so well received.

But swaps aren't all about sending, they are also about receiving goodies. Today a package arrived for me all the way from the States. Inside was the most beautiful mini quilt. To me, part of the fun of taking part in a swap is receiving something that you wouldn't sew for yourself. I love a wide variety of quilts, but have ended up making a fairly small selection of them. For the time being I seem to be stuck in a paper piecing rutt, but I don't think any of you are complaining about it!?

Tracey sent me a beautiful churn dash quilt. I love it. I love the design, I love the colours, I love everything about it!

I consider myself a very lucky girl and am excited to see what will come out of round 4 of the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap (which I am participating in now!)

I have a feeling that I could become addicted to mini quilt swaps- I wonder if we should run our own NZ based one with sign ups after the madness of the Summer holidays is over- would anyone be keen? We've got a pretty talented bunch of quilters over here! Or I might try to arrange a few private swaps... hmmm decisions decisions!

Do you enjoy taking part in swaps, or do they stress you out?


  1. I'd be very keen on a New Zealand one - especially as I'd love to get to know other kiwi patchworkers/crafters. Love both the minis here - how big were they? I'm imagining the piecing was tiny! :-)

  2. What beautiful quilts. Both you and your partner have stiched stunning pieces. I really love the idea of singing in the rain in Paris. I used to be an avid swapper and enjoyed taking part no end but I have found these new super swaps to be much too large and much too stressful. I think this is mainly because I have been unlucky enough to be teemed with partners who are completely inactive online when it comes to their sewing so it is impossible to stalk them or get any insight into their likes and dislikes beyond what little information they send. In the future I think I will be sticking to the smaller tried and trusted groups I know or private swaps as there is much better communication there and many oppertunities to make new friendships, something that I think is sadly missing in these enormous super swaps.

  3. Such a lovely quilt!
    I'm loving being part of the Schnitzel and Boo swap. I've made new IG friends and that's how I found your blog and lovely patterns! I'm a little overwhelmed with the time of year it is, but I've learned some new techniques with the mini I'm giving ~ it's really boosted my confidence in what I can do! Who knew that would happen?
    Looking forward to many more swaps in the future!

  4. I love your Eiffel Tower design! I bet your swap buddy was super-thrilled to find that in her parcel - great work!

  5. Ooooh YES! I would love a NZ based mini swap. It would be great to connect with a few more NZers! And to create mini's that will give a voice (even just a little one) to quilting in NZ. I'd love to see mini's with an NZ 'flavour'. Your mini's are both gorgeous - you clever women!

  6. It's gorgeous - your designs and the one you received! Definitely a swap win! Love how you tried different ideas and how you found the perfect out of comfort zone solution. Would be keen for a local on but not for a month or two :)

  7. Heck yes run a NZ one! The only reason I don't participate often in swaps is I can't always afford exorbitant postage rates

  8. What about a "Down Under" swap? Match a Kiwi with an Aussie???? We could have some Trans Tasman fun & think of all the caramello koalas & chocolate fush we could swap!!!!!

  9. Thinking more about your swap idea, what about an "Antipodian Swap Across The Ditch" - see if we can match an Aussie with a Kiwi and we can limit the inclusions to a maximum dollar figure & the Kiwis include Kiwiana extras & the Aussies include Australiana extras. If we can keep it a capped number eg 50 per country or less then I can help you from this end. As a thought we could always use ANZAC Day as our shipment deadline since that's a public holiday we both observe (& it's a Aus/NZ thing). Anyway, just thoughts...

  10. I adore your Singing in Pari mini. Love your NZ/Aussie swp idea - perhaps start it med February, also can it be Flickr based , so those of us not on IG can participate please.

  11. I love your Eifel tower design and it looks just perfect with the spiral quilting. I love swaps as it makes me actuall finish something!


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