One day in November I was scrolling through instagram when I stumbled upon the #RainbowMiniSwapR2 signup. No I hadn’t seen the previews. I just saw the signup post and the restriction to “only” 500 participants. That number sounds huge in terms of coordination and organization for the swap mama, but in terms of signup time I guessed it would be full in seconds. So I just quickly clicked to read the rules and signed up. No time for hesitation and overthinking, I was too afraid it would be closed by then. Yeah, I was signed up for my first swap, ever!
But I found it quite hard to make something for my swap partner. I wasn’t sure about her style. I didn’t have a lot of her favorite fabrics and the color choices in her feed appeared more saturated then what I had in my stash and saw on the old rainbowswap feed. What was I expected to do? I had posted a mosaic… she hadn’t. So I asked my swap mama if she could remind all participants to post a mosaic if they hadn’t. I was told it was not required for this swap. What?
I was really happy when I saw a question-picture on Instagram from a fellow swapper and decided to do it that way as well. I posted two pictures to help define the quilt design. The first one concerning the fabrics and the second the pattern… And I got no answer from my partner! I was frustrated and decided to count out which of each versions was most liked… Luckily for me that was, what I would have picked, too. I started the planning and posted a third picture with a “last chance” call (to my partner). Still no response. Unencouraged I started to work and after quite some brain washing from my friend Allison @ Campell Soup Diary, I made myself believe that this was going to be ok.
The pattern I chose, is “Geese in the Forrest” by Twiddletails which I shrunk down to 67% to get a 4″ block size. The pattern contains six different blocks; though one block is available in two options (mirrored horizontally). The grid is 6×6 blocks. The idea is that in every row and column is one of the designs – like a Sudoku puzzle only with 6 numbers.
The first blocks are done – the paper templates are on the design wall as well. A good chance to jot down your fabric choices – but be careful, left and right will change because of the technique. Learned that the hard way!
The sixth block with its two versions was supposed to be alternated. Version A in the rows 1-3-5 and version B in the rows 2-4-6. Well, that concept was busted since I really had a hard time to remember that. But if I do count correctly, at least they are both in there three times :)
Now, all blocks done! #YEAH
And here is the top with the paper still in.
Started to pull the paper out. I was really glad that I had reduced my stitch length considerably. I used 1.0 on my Janome. That is really small, but it made tearing the paper out easy. When connecting the blocks I used a more normal stich length 1.5 or 1.8. That length is easier to unsew when you are unhappy with the points. The stiches in 1.0 you do not want to rip out! But the difference was really enormous when pulling out the paper. The inner block pieces almost fell off, the other were sometimes tricky.
Pictures of the pressed top – just had to put all in here :)
Quilting! For the first lines I used a chalk pencil, unsure about the Frixion pen on the colorful fabrics. Never really tried that. Memo to myself, have to do that :)
I planned to use a quilting guide for the next lines but decided on drawing them because of the points. After I tried to rub out the chalk and was really unhappy with that, I switched to a Frixion pen. Mostly marked on the white parts. In the end the Frixion came out easy and the chalk wouldn’t go out. Washed it, manualy soaked the devious chalk lines and washed it again! I am now really worried about how to get those chalk lines out of my aviatrix, but that’s another story for another time.
For the first time used Clover Clips for the binding. Love them!
I had some more decision problems with the swap extras. The little something for the kids was easy. In the end I went with locally made sweets (bonbons) all with some reference to my city Hamburg, some extra fabric and a crafting tool. And I found a rainbow themed postcard, yes!
The quilt was finished two days before the first shipping day and a week before the last shipping day. So in plenty of time, right? Some good influence shining through here :)
The swap was really well organized. I loved that it had quite some rules (although I missed the one about the mosaic). The swap mama @katebasti and my subgroup mama @greengrovesdid a great job!
I may have a problem with making a decision. On that note: Found this lovely Instagram hashtag #decisionsdecisions :)
I found it hard to sew for someone else without talking stuff through. If I take the time to make something, I want to be sure it will be loved.
I was worried about what I would receive. There were amazing quilts on the Instagram feed but also quite some crazy ones. But I am really happy with what I got. You want to see it? Here are the Instagram links Quilt and Quilt & Extras.
Over all it was a nice, if sometimes challenging, experience. Right now, I wouldn’t join a new swap. Probably rather make something for someone I can talk to or make myself something I have coveted for a while.
size: approx. 24*24 inch
block: 4” finished
fabrics: (approx.) 55
Have you participated in a swap (swaps) yet? What is your experience?