Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap fun!

So another Doll Quilt Swap is done and dusted with only a few people left to receive their quilts.

It was an interesting swap this time with lots of new rules and regulations. One has to be a bit chattier apparently or your partner might think you have disappeared and won't know enough about you to make you a quilt. My partner was missing for most of the swap but for me it was about making her something special from her original preferences email and not worrying about what she was thinking every day.

The swap participant numbers have now reached around the 200 mark so I suppose it's important to make sure everyone is keeping up and communicating. Part of the fun is, after all, getting to know all of the swappers. And of course there is nothing worse than joining in on a swap and not receiving anything in the end because your secret partner has done a runner! Mind you I think most people join swaps with the best of intentions.

One of the ongoing games during the swap was to try and guess who was making you a quilt - or 'sparting'! I really found it hard to pick which one might have been mine this time. There were lots that I really liked and one that particularly jumped out at me but I wouldn't have guessed for a second that it was actually for me.

When I opened the parcel I was really quite overwhelmed. Such gorgeousness!!!

DQS9 received detail

It never ceases to amaze me that someone would go to such trouble to design and make something so lovely for me!

DQS9 received detail

Jill is so clever - she pleated linen for me!! How good is that! This quilt has so many stunning elements that I love completely.

DQS9 Received

The quilting - fabulous, the colours - perfect, the crochet doily - brilliant, the pleating - stupendous, and to top it off, beautiful grey binding! And then there's the back - wow!! It really is completely fabulous!!

DQS9 Received

To add to my joy I also found some extra special goodies included.

DQS9 Goodies Received!

I just have to make a cushion with the crochet table mat - it's just perfect for my bed!

So thank you, thank you Jill for your cleverness, style and generosity - I LOVE it!!

To make it an even better swap for me I got the best partner to make a quilt for. Here's a little of what she wrote in her preferences to give you an idea of how completely fabulous she is.

so many things that i like… linen, wool felt, gingham, children's drawings, hand embroidery, lots of little handstitching, freshly washed+dried all-puckered up quilts, fairy tales, forests, trees, birds, sweet, but not cutesy with a touch of darkness (think neko case's, fox confessor brings the flood) gatherings at the tea party table, gees bend-ish quilts, making do with what one already has (even though i adore all of the new fabrics out there) with a bit of vintage thrown in for good measure, improvisational quilts, hexagons, dresden plates done in a cool modern way, plus (cross) designs in red + white, heather ross, the unexpected, odd little creatures (anything “the black apple”-ish), aqua+paleyellow+gray, pink+green (always and forever) and colorcolorcolor (just not too fond of purples...but you never know...you may have some awesome purplish fabric that you have been dying to use!)

To say I was inspired and raring to go is an understatement. And anyone who knows my work will know that I love a picture quilt so the thought of a fairy tale was too irresistible. Out came the pencil and sketch pad and I spent ages googling images and pulling out my old children's books. Weirdly some of the images I came up with belong to Jill who sent me my quilt!

Finally I decided and it was mostly because of this guy!

DQS9 sent detail

When I posted a progress photo on the swap group it seemed most people thought he was cute! I was a little worried as I thought maybe he was not scary enough but apparently he looked hungry too so I kept going.

This bit was next.

DQS9 sent detail

Then this bit.

DQS9 sent detail

And this bit.

DQS9 sent detail

It got bigger and bigger and I stitched and stitched. And then my wrist decided to give out! So I had to put it down for a few days. But in the end I got there and this is what I sent.

Fairytale finish

It is now living with the lovely Cathy and her sweet family. Apparently I am 'made of awesome'. I can't tell you how brilliant that makes me feel!

And even better - her littlest sweetie is playing with it and talks to the wolf!! Aaaagh so adorable!!!

You can see all her lovely photos here.

So thanks to the organisers of the Doll Quilt Swap. I know it's a huge undertaking and I really appreciate how hard all the swap parents work. I think to know that you have helped create all sorts of wonderful quilty magic amongst us all must be a reward in itself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Good things come to those who wait!!

About a million years ago - well more like nearly three - I started a quilt for my Mum as a gift for her 70th Birthday.

Remember this?

Mum's quilt

I finally gave it back to Mum in January after taking an incredibly long time to quilt it and it has been happily living on her bed since.

Mum and Me

But... I didn't take any photos and finally I found the time last week.

Mum's Quilt

It took me quite a while to quilt because I kept changing my mind. So after much unpicking I finally settled on the leaf pattern for the sashing and really like it now.

Mum's Quilt

This lovely quilt design is a slight variation of the Vintage Comfort pattern designed by my lovely colleague Judy Newman. Judy has finally started up a blog called a very fine house. She makes all sorts of wonderful quilts and things so go and visit and say hi!

Mum's Quilt

I really like having a close look at this quilt as it's one of the first quilts I ever made and finished (finally). I can really see how much my machine piecing has improved and how much my quilt making in general has improved and evolved.

Now, on to the next one!!