Friday, July 25, 2014

Purple Square Swap

UPDATE: Sign up Extended until Aug. 18. 

Welcome to The Great Fabric Swap, Round 2! 

After our successful yellow swap, we're moving on to a new color. I'm trying out a new format this round in hopes of making the process a little easier for everyone.

First, you must fill out the registration form, join the flickr group, and pay your $6.00 via paypal to briteacher@hotmail.com in order to be accepted into the group. The first 39 people to do so will be in the group. I'll send you an email confirmation with some specifics about the swap, along with my shipping address. 

For the swap, you will purchase 3 yards of quality quilting fabric to cut into 40 10" squares. That's 100% cotton fabric from a recognized fabric manufacturer. If you purchase from a big box store, you MUST purchase from the "quilting cotton" section only (it usually runs $10-$12/yd.). Otherwise, I'm fine with your purchasing from any quilting shop, etsy, or online fabric company. Fabric purchased from the "calico" section or similar lesser quality will not be accepted. ***More details will be included in the confirmation email.  

Remember, you will not be accepted into the swap unless you join the flickr group, pay your shipping fee, and agree to ship by the date designated in the confirmation email (You'll have a month to purchase, cut and ship your fabric). 

Please be patient with the process. I"m doing this as a side project and, while I enjoy coordinating this, it still requires time and effort on my part. I'm not a professional blogger or quilter. If you'll uphold your end of the bargain, I'll do my best to get your squares to you in a timely manner. I have a smoke-free, pet-free home. However, I do have four children and my first priority is to make sure their needs are met. 

I can't wait to see all the beautiful fabric you choose! 

Don't forget the registration form. 

Registration will close Aug. 9  Aug. 18, 
so register now before we're full



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sewvivor-purple poppy quilts

I've quilted for so many reasons in the last 10 years. I've made quilts for babies, mine and others. I've made bed quilts for my children. I've made wedding quilts, graduation quilts, t-shirt quilts, and every other quilt imaginable. A few years ago, I made the smallest quilt ever for my sweet baby niece's casket. Quilts have been such a pivotal part of my growth as a person in the last ten years that I can't imagine my life without this hobby/craft. 

A few months ago, I started noticing this "Sewvivor" icon pop up on instagram and quilty friends' blogs. I was curious but felt completely overwhelmed by the task of getting 4 children through summer (who am I kidding, I was worried I would survive summer) that the thought of entering a quilting competition seemed daunting, intimidating, and downright scary. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to challenge myself to try new things, improve my craft, and be more intentional with my quilting skills. 

So, here we are at the very last day to enter the competition and I'm still sitting here, second-guessing myself, my skills, and even my sanity for taking on a four weekly project amidst vacations, soccer camps, beach trips, and general summer craziness. But I'm in, regardless of the outcome. I mean, I did pay my entry fee, so how hard could it be to write a blog post and upload a few quilt pics? Here goes nothing. 

This is my farmer's wife quilt top. It's not a completed quilt, but I felt it showcased my quilting ability thus far in my quilting journey.  There are so many things I love about this quilt. I love that it's bright when so much of living in Seattle is grey, dreary, or dark. I started this quilt almost 18 months ago when we first moved to Seattle. It was overwhelming, as I'd never done a sampler quilt before. But I kept at it and I finally finished the top a few months ago. 

 One of the primary reasons for choosing this top for this competition is because of what it symbolizes to me. First, the perseverance & tenacity of farmers' wives has always inspired me. Second, though my blocks are not even close to perfect, they reflect me perfectly. There are a few blocks that went wonky with pressing, a few that just didn't want to square up to 6.5", and even a few with chopped off points (gasp!). Why would I pick an imperfect quilt for a quilting competition? Because I believe the art of quilting is not in the perfection of the craft, but in being real and true to ourselves in pursuit of something that fils us with joy. 
 I learned so many new skills with this quilt and I'm immensely proud of achieving at least some level of competency in some of those skills. I'd never used templates, hand pieced a block, sewn Y-seams, set a quilt on point, used posts with my sashing, or made a sampler quilt. This quilt tested my patience, as well as my quilting skills. Some of the blocks aren't set correctly, but that's ok. Some of my fabric choices aren't ideal, but I learned so much about choosing fabric and what works for my eye, that I don't care. What I see as the goal of this competition, and quilting in general, is to expand our view of what can be achieved in the industry and in our own quilting experience. Whether I progress to the next stage or not, I'll follow along and test my quilting proficiency. I love this incredible art form that creates memories and tangible evidence of my love for friends, families, and perfect strangers.