Monday, July 28, 2008

My Craftster Group

I had been checking Craftster out for the past few months but never actively participated in any of the swaps. In particular, I enjoyed following the Lap Quilt Swap group. In this swap, participants select and purchase their own fabrics for a full-sized quilt and send cut pieces of it up to 11 other people in their group to make blocks out of. At the same time, you receive packets of fabrics from all of those people to make a block for them -- you get to choose whatever block pattern you want to make, based on any preferences that the swapper provides. It's kind of like those great virtual quilting bees (like this one and this one) that I love to follow.

I was lucky enough to see that the latest incarnation, Lap Quilt Swap III, was open a few weeks back. Without much hesitation I jumped right in. I wanted 2 of the 36 slots, putting me in 2 groups of 12 people each, and I think I got the last two spots (or close to it!).

So when all is said and done, I will be receiving 22 blocks made of the fabric I picked out (Amy Butler's Midwest Modern in greens and blues along with some of her new coordinating solids) ... and along with 2 I will make myself, I'll have enough to make a 24-block quilt. And at the same time, I'll be making 22 blocks for other people.

Our deadline for mailing out our own fabrics isn't even until August 1st, but my fellow swappers wasted no time in getting started! Almost immediately following the email containing the names and addresses of my fellow swappers, packages of fantastically selected fabrics started showing up at my door.

Here's some of what I've been up to ...

Block 1 for SewHelpMe:

You may recognize the pattern as the Designer Mystery Block pattern I blogged about a few posts back. I really like that pattern because of the way it can showcase several different fabrics.

Block 2 for SewHelpMe:

I got this pattern off of Quilter's Cache. It's called "Box Quilt".

The thing I really enjoy about this swap is being able to work with so many different fabrics. I've always admired the "City Girl" line of fabrics but never bit the bullet to buy some. That's why I loved making SewHelpMe's two blocks above.

Here's a block for glittergirl94:

I gave her a hard time about having to work with fabric that had bras all over it. I guess people are still getting used to having a guy around! ; )

Here's a block for BertaBerta:

I couldn't resist using a lantern pattern to highlight that great koi fabric.

And here are two blocks that I've already received back from the swap. Like I said, these girls are fast. And good. There's a lot of paper piecing going on in this group (which I don't do, but may be inspired to try). Check out how beautiful these blocks are:


  1. wow! you have been busy! the blocks are all so great!

  2. Amazing blocks! I always love your choice in fabrics!

  3. Oh my goodness! Those fabrics look yummy. Great choices. Swaps are a great way to learn and improve your techniques. I've been in several off-line swaps and loved making new friends and having fun. The reveals are so the most exciting. Well have fun and can't wait to see more.

  4. Great stuff, John! You've been busy!

  5. I love the blocks you chose to make. And you gotta try paper piecing! Once you get the hang of it, it opens up a whole new world of quilt block options!

  6. Your blocks all look great. Now I want to go and buy some of the first fabric in the pink blocks.

  7. way to work new block designs! You are so adventurous in your quilting and the quiltalong condensed style sounds like a lot of fun! I need to check out craftster more often : )

  8. The blocks all look great.

    I have tried paper piecing and would not even, have given it to the dog to sleep on. I need someone to show me how it is done. Maybe you can share your tips once you find out how. My seems where thick and bulky. I made a wrong turn somewhere?

  9. how fun! I am really enjoying the virtual quilting bee. I hope you have the same success!

  10. Definitely give paper piecing a try. I do suggest getting someone to show you how. It makes it lots easier. But it is actually pretty easy to do. It was my "gateway drug" into quilting. Yep, the first thing I did was a paper pieced block.

  11. Great job! I wish I had the stick-to-it-ness to get blocks done for swaps and round robins. I am ridiculously bad at that. You will really enjoy it.

  12. Love all of these! Great fabrics!

  13. Wow, what great blocks! You did a terrific job.

  14. Wow! I'm amazed at the beautiful blocks you've made and also the ones that have been made for you! The fabric you chose is gorgeous. I just noticed that you're doing the star quilt along too... shall go back and have a look at your blocks. I'm running SLIGHTLY behind (I've finished five!!).