I did manage to finish hand-sewing the binding on to my Doll Quilt Swap 6 mini quilt while I was away! I'm head over heels in love with that little thing ... and my wife loves it even more than that! It is going to be tough to send it away, but I know it's headed to a good home. Pictures of that little quilt soon.
Oh, and before I move on to the pics for this post, I wanted to answer some F.A.Q's (frequently asked questions) that keep popping up in my comments. I would usually answer each one individually, but SO MANY of you have your profiles set to "no-reply". I figured it was just easier to answer them publicly.
Of all of the comments I receive, the questions I most frequently get asked are "how do you find the time?", and "how can I get involved in some of these swaps?"
The time question always amuses me because, as much as you readers tell me that I get a lot done, I always feel like I'm behind. I don't feel like my output level is nearly as high as y'all think it is, so it's nice to get such a positive reaction.
To answer the time question, 99% of my sewing and quilting gets done between the time the kids are asleep (usually between 8 & 8:30 PM) and the time I go to bed (usually between 11 & 11:30 ... sometimes earlier, but often later), typically 4-5 evenings per week. I just try to be as productive as possible during those hours, sometimes working straight through on a single project, sometimes just trying to get a lot of stuff done for multiple projects. For example, I might spend a whole evening doing the cutting for multiple projects, or the ironing.
I have, for the most part, forgone television (save a few choice shows), opting to catch up via my DVR on the nights I just don't feel like sewing. Right now, I have every episode of the current season of "Lost", my favorite show, but haven't been able to start watching it yet.
As for the swaps question, many of you know that I am a devoted follower of Flickr. My first ever quilt block swap was on about.com (and it was great) and I've done some Craftster swaps since, but I quickly converted over to the Flickr swaps.
A great place to start is to check out the ongoing swaps like the 6-12" Mini Quilt Swap, Swap 'Til You Drop, or the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap. These swaps all welcome new members and regularly (e.g. monthly, in the case of the first two) start up new swaps. From there, it is easy to keep your eyes and ears open for other swaps, quilting bees, and the like being announced.
OK, and now on to the quilts ...
Several months ago, I proposed a "triptych" theme in the 6-12" Mini Quilt Swap. A triptych is defined as "art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together)", and the idea was to create a set of mini quilts for your partner that all "fit" together. This could mean they follow a theme, or a color palette, or otherwise complement one another in any number of ways.
I was partnered with Katy from the UK, who blogs at I'm a Ginger Monkey. I found a quilt block that I loved in Quilt Sampler magazine that featured Tula Pink's "Nest" fabric and decided to make 4 of them for Katy. Why 4? Because there were four distinct colorways in the Nest line, and I had the idea to make one for each of the four members of Katy's family. I had a charm pack and a layer cake, and I was ready to go!
Katy and I were on the same wavelength, because she also made me quilts with my family in mind. Take a look at the amazing quilty portraits that she made of my three kids!
Here are the backs of my new quilts. Katy has amazing taste in fabrics -- even the ones she uses for her quilt backs!
These will be hung prominently in our home and will be treasured!! Thanks so much, Katy. I hope you like your little quilts as much as I like mine.