Following on from last month’s blog post, I thought I’d talk about another of the UKQU Facebook page’s satellite pages for ‘swaps’. There is the postcard swap, a block swap, hexie flower swaps and the infamous mini quilt swap. This is my second year in the mini quilt swap.
The mini quilt swap is a bigger commitment than most. The idea is that you commit to make a quilt in a time-frame of around three months, no less than 15” and no more than 24” along one side. Swapees are placed in groups according to ability and you are allocated a person to make for – which you have to keep secret. You then spend a couple of weeks (or more) asking questions in your group and ‘stalking’ your partner: finding out their likes and dislikes to help you settle on a design for the quilt.
The biggest fears when you’re making a mini quilt for a swap are that your swapee won’t like it, or it won’t be ‘good enough’. But how often do we, as sewists get things made for and gifted to us? So rarely. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t delighted with the quilt they received last time around. It’s something made especially for you, but someone of a similar skill level, but with you in mind. How could you not love it? I treasure mine and I will treasure the one I receive in early June just as much.
This is the first year that there will be two mini quilt swaps, one is running now and there will be another announced in the late summer/ early autumn. The current swap group is closed as we are fast approaching the deadline for completing our quilts but do look out for the announcement for the next one at the end of the summer!
Obviously I can’t write about the mini quilt I am making at the moment, but I thought you might like to see the quilt I made last year and find out how I did it?
This is the mini quilt I made for the swap last year. It was a single piece of fabric that I dyed myself, quilted and then appliquéd, embellished and bound.
I dyed the fabric quite simply with Dylon cold water hand dyes.
I began by washing a FQ of white cotton and soaking it in salty water. The salt is needed to fix the dye. I laid the fabric out on a black bin bag and placed a bowl in the position I wanted my ‘moon’ in the sky.
I poured a tablespoon of the dry dye powder/granules into an old salt shaker and sprinkled it onto the fabric. I repeated this with each different colour dye I wanted to use.
I layered up the powdered colours until I had achieved the look I was after and then sprayed the whole piece with more salty water until it was drenched.
Once the dye was dry, I then rinsed the fabric to remove any residue, dried it again and the quilted it with a meander pattern using an toning variegated thread.
You can see that there is a speckled pattern on parts of the fabric – this is the effect you will get if you use powder/granules rather than dissolving the dye and spraying it on.
I then appliquéd the hare onto the quilt, using the raw edge technique.
The moon was cut from organza. It was appliquéd in a spiral, starting at the centre and working out towards the edge, using an iridescent thread.
I embellished the moon with iridescent sequins. I embellished the sky with turquoise and royal blue sequins to tone with the shading of the dye.
I then embroidered a dandelion seed head next to the hare as I felt the space was too empty. I used white embroidery floss and white seed beads with sequin ‘saucers’, leaving the middle section empty to give the impression of the centre of the flower.
I finished with a few flower sequins and beads by the hare’s feet to complete the decoration.
I then trimmed the quilt to a rectangle using a rotary cutter and finished by binding the quilt as normal.
Our current swap will be over at the end of this month and the quilts will start arriving in early June. I hope that the recipient likes what I’ve made this time. It is completely different to this mini quilt, so watch this space for pictures of the finished article!