I thought I would be brave this year and join an online quilt block swap, but every single one that I went to sign up for had already closed its registration. So, I posed the idea to my friends on Facebook–anyone wanna do a quilt block swap with me this year?
Happily, seven other women thought it sounded like fun, and so here we are in our first month of our swap. Our members range from not knowing how to thread their sewing machines to blue ribbon winners at the local Fair. It’s pretty awesome–we’re all sharing what we know, and we’re asking questions when we don’t know what we’re doing.
Seeing that we have such a range of experience, our swap is starting with the easiest types of skills and blocks and then taking it up a notch each month. By the end of the year we should be masters of half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles and corner piecing; but first we’re starting out with straight square patchwork.
This month’s “Queen Bee” chose the “Streak of Lightning” block from QuiltersCache.com, but with a twist: she wanted each colored block to be different, and to tell something about the creator of the block. I made my block, plus one extra for a friend who doesn’t have time this month because she’s moving, and settled back to bask in my awesome “I’m all done”-ness.
But then I went to square up my block to 12.5″ and found, to my horror, that my block didn’t even measure in at 12 inches! Sigh. I ripped out all the seams and tried again, taking extra care this time to get my seam allowances to be truly scant. My second attempt measured in at a near perfect 12.5″. Whew!
I won’t post a picture of the swap blocks just yet, so as to keep their appearance a bit of a surprise for the recipient, but I have decided that I’m going to make a Swap Sampler Quilt with some Michael Miller “Spring Couture” precuts that have been waiting patiently in the stash for such a thing. and I will show those blocks to you:
I was feeling rather springtime-ish when I started making these up, so I went with some fresh greens. Upon further consideration, I probably should have gone with some pinks and purples, seeing that this was February’s block, which would suggest Valentine’s Day. Oh well, I’ll try to remember that for next year.
I ran into some seam allowance problems with these as well, and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them. Turns out that my 2.5″ strips are actually 2. 625″ strips–a full 1/8″ larger than they’re supposed to be! Ugh. Oh well, now I know, and I’m just going to keep them as is as a “sweet” memory of all the seam allowance problems I had with this particular block. They’re still pretty.
I’ll post the Queen Bee’s block once I know that she’s received them. Happy Swapping!