Randomly in November

  1. I saw the sign-ups for the Bee Hive Swap in time this year, and got in!  :::happy dance:::  So excited!
  2. My own swap group that I’m running liked it so much that a bunch want to do it again next year!  So, busy with setting that up at the moment.
  3. Yeah, two year-long swaps…talk to me at the end of next year.  🙂
  4. I wrote up an exhaustive inventory of the many works-in-progress taking up space in my craft room, and then hammered out a plan to plough through almost all of them in the next year.
  5. The first WIP that will reach completion as a result of my awesome new plan is probably a pair of socks that I started back in Australia.

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  6. A newly-finished pair of socks right now is kind of perfect, given that the snow has started.  I was actually thinking the socks would be a Christmas present for someone dear to me, but my feet are freakin’ freezing, so I’m going to keep them.  Mwa ha ha.
  7. The second WIP that will probably get finished is a baby boy quilt I started almost eight years ago.

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    The kid in this photo is Penguin, who is now nine years old.  She’s drinking from the mug I received after giving birth to Junebug, who is now seven-and-a-half years old…

  8. It’s funny how you can start a project with so much excitement, but with each passing year of not completing said project how much that excitement turns into resentment and shame.  So much so that I definitely don’t want to keep the quilt when I’m done, but fear the repercussions of giving a new life an item infused with so many negative feelings from myself.  The act of giving wipes off all the bad juju, right?  Right?

  9. I’ve also fleshed out a “Baby Gift Flowchart” to help me decide what to make for tiny humans on my radar.  In this age of social media, I find that I’m inundated with the awareness of many a pregnancy, and the baby-lovin’ crafter part of me really wants to make something for every one of them.  However, given the physical limitations of time, I can’t.  So I came up with a way to shrink the pool a bit and ease my conscience.  A line had to be drawn somewhere, or I’d never be done with making baby gifts.

    Baby Gift Flowchart

  10. I’m currently aware of nine pregnancies, and of three women trying to get pregnant.  That’s twelve impending births in the next year.  My flowchart narrows the gifts down to five recipients, which is still a lot, but gives me back a bunch of time.  I am raising four children of my own…
  11. My son broke the teeth off of the zipper of his winter parka the first day he wore it.  Of course.  Even better, he broke off enough teeth that the actual zipper pull fell off, too.  So, instead of working on WIPs, my time is needed to repair a zipper in a parka.
  12. Once again, making plans is a dumb idea.
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Uniquely Yours Quilt Block Swap 2015

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:

Springtime Streak of Lightning quilt blocks by That Crafty Cara

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.

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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!