The #maythe4thMQS swap I hosted has gone pretty smoothly. For the most part, people have all shipped on time, checked in and the quilts they’ve made are nothing short of amazing.
I had one swapper contact me and let me know she had a family emergency and she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to ship on time. I told her not to worry, family always comes first. And I stepped in and made this little Droid-inspired mini quilt in her place.
I used the Quiet Play patterns for the droids and added the text with my embroidery machine. How cute are R2 and C3PO?
I had a little fun practicing with my free-motion quilting and in addition to swirls, I added stars, which was something new.
I sent two swap packages last week, and this is the second one. The theme for this swap is Cartoons of our Time, which included a few main modern cartoons: Adventure Time, Futurama, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb and Steven Universe. My partner preferred Adventure time so while it took me forever to decide what to make, I finally decided on a pixel quilt.
Unlike my last pixel quilt, this one was really trying to be a mini quilt, but it still didn’t work out quite mini. I used 1.5” squares to start, and increased the seam allowance to make the finished squares less than 1” each. All 6 characters started out the same size, but somehow got a little wonky so I improvised some sashing to even them out.
For the quilting I did a free-motion wave top to bottom which adds to the wonkyness. All in all I like how it ended up. I haven’t really ever watched Adventure time, so I had to consult with my husband about which characters I should include. I found peler bead patterns for 7-8 different ones and had him cull the selection. I suppose if I had scaled down to only 4 it could have ended up an actual mini quilt!
For extras I included another Hour basket, made from the same fabric I used for the backing. I also made a little key fob, plus picked up a couple Adventure time Funko POP minis and a Mad-Libs book.
This little quilt is number 12 in my 52 quilts project, made for a Pixar craft swap on Instagram. It is also one of my favorite things I have ever made. I am a huge fan of all things Pixar and Monsters Inc is one of my all-time favorites, so when my partner said Mike Wazowski was a favorite, I knew I would have fun. I didn’t anticipate I would have so much trouble giving this one up!
I started with the Mike paper-piecing pattern from Fandominstitches.com which is just about the coolest resources ever for nerdy quilt patterns. The pattern was only 10×10 though, so I knew I needed to add something. At first I thought about using the monster fabric I had for the backing and doing a border, but it seemed like it needed something else. I had a little pile of solid scraps when I was sorting fabric and they just seemed perfect for the doors at the opening sequence of the movie. I pieced them all and then quilted little door patterns onto each one.
The backing fabric I have had forever, one of those things I saw in a remnant bin or something and knew I had to have it at the time, but had no real plan for it. It was perfect for this project.
Around Mike I did a little free-motion stippling to give it a little texture. I am still no expert at free motion quilting but I think I am getting better.
This swap required not only one medium-sized craft, but also two smaller ones. I made this little fabric basket, based on the 1 Hour Basket from Kelby Sews. The bottle-cap and balloon fabric was inspired by the movie UP, which is another favorite of mine and my partner. I added some Pixar Postcards, lip balm and a key fob. I also had a little fun with pearler beads and made the house from UP into a little magnet.
I am so glad that Mike with one Eye found a home that will love him as much as I do. He was so much fun to see come together. I love the details of the doors and even more I love when an idea ends up better than I imagined.
Every time I think I won’t sign up for more craft swaps, something shows up in my feed that just sounds like too much fun. This is one of those swaps. A lot of the swaps I have done are nerdy fandom inspired, but this was a simple concept with a fun name: Skinny Mini Quilt Swap.
The rules were just as simple: Make a mini quilt no wider than 8” and no taller than 24” and that’s it. I decided to try out Flying Geese pattern, which I hadn’t made before. I admit it’s not perfect, but I love the colors. I used a very light and subtle text fabric for the white and more of my ROYGBIV charms for the geese.
It came in at about 5”x20” so it’s definitely skinny and mini.
There’s just something about a striped binding, I can’t get enough.
I used a tall, skinny, super colorful scrap I had for the back and even tried to make a little label. (Something I definitely need to work on!)
My recipient commented that she lives in a very small house so I tried to keep extras to a tiny, useful minimum. I included a mini-charm pack of fabric and Wonderclips (Affiliate Link)
This was a fun, quick project I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to see my Skinny Mini in the mailbox soon!
February brought another Birthday for one of the members in my 2016 Birthday Fun Swap. Like last month’s, I made a mini quilt for the recipient. This month’s birthday girl is a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so her package was entirely HP-inspired. She mentioned she’d really like a critter quilt from one of Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns. I used the Hazel Hedgehog pattern and Harry Potter-ized it a little.
This pattern is so cute and fun. I have seen hundreds of Hazels on instagram in every color scheme and they are just so cute. I just did one block and used Gryffindor stripes for the body part to make it look like Harry. I couldn’t find actual striped fabric, so I made my own. Yep, the stripes in the “scarf” and the binding are actually alternating 1” strips. It worked perfectly for the look but it’s kind of bulky due to all the seams.
I added the glasses and iconic scar from heat-transfer vinyl, which I don’t think would hold up to repeated washing, but worked fine for a mini quilt. For the back I used some Harry Potter fabric I picked up a Joann fabrics last summer, assuming that I would need it for something sometime.
I also made a cross-body bag using Chambray and another Harry Potter fabric I picked last summer. I rounded out the package with a Magical Creatures coloring book, a fleece Gryffindor scarf and a couple other small items, not pictured.
The bag is Dog Under My Desk’s Two Zip Hipster pattern. I love this pattern. I think I have made it 5-6 times at least and it’s one of my favorite, most versatile bags.
I am really bad at posting about the stuff I have sent for craft swaps, so I am going to try to be more on top of it. This is a package I sent at the beginning of February for the Disney Dudes craft swap, dedicated to all the men of Disney. My partner professed her love of Aladdin so I ran with it. I found this paper-piece pattern from Misha29 and apparently I got lucky to find the Aladdin-esque fabric on Etsy. (I later learned that it’s out of print and super hard to find.) It’s Lizzy House 1001 Peeps, which is delightful. I pulled the background color from the accent in the fabric.
Essentially I made this like a mini quilt but sewed it together with an envelope back and added a pillow form.
Not bad for a street rat, right? His eyes were SO MANY tiny pieces. But totally worth it.
One thing I really enjoy about swaps is finding little extras to include in the package. I recently got a Silhouette Cameo and decided to use that for small extras when I can. My partner included her favorite Aladdin quotes in her questionnaire so I put one on a mug with a little silhouette of the lamp. It turned out so cute.
My most absurdly large extra ever was this Animator’s Collection doll, which is adorable but not exactly tiny. He was on sale when I was doing Christmas shopping at the Disney Store so I just could not resist him to go in the package too. My partner says she loved everything.
The third swap I shipped out last week was for an awesome Birthday Swap I am in all year. Each month has a birthday girl and all the people in the group send a package to that person. January’s recipient is a big Studio Ghibli fan so I made this little JiJi the cat mini quilt and some other fun Ghibli-inspired goodies.
Jiji is the cat in Kiki’s Delivery Service, which is such a cute movie. I am a big Ghibli fan too, so I had a great time with this one.
The pink background fabric reminded me of Japanese fans and the flowers on the back of Cherry Blossoms. They’re like hints of Japan without being overly Japanese I guess. I also really like the bright color contrasting with the black cat.
As an additional project I used the Silhouette machine to cut vinyl and make this mug to look like the one in the movie. I think it is a pretty good homage to the movie. I added the outline of Kiki and Jiji on the broom to the back and couldn’t resist a little Soot Sprite on the bottom. (I made a couple extra Soot Sprites and now they’re on my sewing machine.)
And finally, I made a Tortoro zip pouch. The fabric is from Spoonflower. I had some left from a Ghibli Swap last year, and I used the Noodlehead Wide Open Pouch tutorial, which makes a great little travel pouch. The bottom portion is navy linen and it is even lined.
I rounded out the extras with a Totoro Polaroid block, since the birthday girl was also in the Polaroid swap I did a couple months ago, a Kiki’s Delivery service Key Fob and some birthday cake gum.
Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what I am going to do with a project but for the Video Game Craft Swap, I read my partner’s info and knew right away what I was going to do: Princess Peach Pixel Quilt. I found a pattern on Pinterest for a Perler bead pattern and used that to plan the quilt.
The design has 700 squares, which I cut 2”x2” from mostly tonal fabrics I had in my stash. I did debate whether to make a mini quilt or a lap quilt, but I think the design would have lost something if I cut down the number or squares and if I just made them each 1” I might have gone insane.
I used a shortcut method for the design. Once the squares were cut, I divided the pattern up into 20×20 pieces and arranged them onto fusible interfacing. After they were fused, I was able to fold each of the columns and stitch. It kept everything aligned and made stitching together 700 pieces much more manageable.
I used this awesome Mario fabric for the back, which I made slightly wider with some fun polkadots on the edge and bound it with pink hearts.
When I am starting a project, I usually have an idea of what the end product will be, but it’s not terribly often that the outcome is even better than I imagined. This one was really hard to send off, though I am confident it will be loved in its new home.
I usually try to include a few extras with swap packages. Some of the swaps require them, others are optional. I think it is fun to find or create small things on the theme that the recipient will enjoy.
I found the Mushroom and Question Block candies last month, and I did the Princess Peach decal with my new Silhouette Cameo machine. I made Pacman magnets with Perler beads and even made a little Pacman Keyfob.
I actually finished this the first week in January but since I made this spectacularly rainbow-y mini quilt for a mini quilt swap I waited to share. Last year I signed up for my first (of many) craft swaps and I got crazy addicted to swaps. I have enjoyed swapping so much, I have made lots of virtual friends in this awesome swapping community on Instagram and had a lot of fun. I even hosted my own little swap, the ROYGBIV charm swap, where each participant sent in 56 five-inch squares of an assigned color and everyone got back a rainbow assortment. This little quilt is mostly made from those fabrics, they were perfect.
The Winning Love Mini Swap is inspired by last year’s Marriage Equality ruling and it shipped during No Name Calling Week. It’s honestly a little intimidating making something for someone who is talented and creative. I enjoy the opportunity to try out things I might not make otherwise and I hope that my work is appreciated by the recipients.
I love the colors and I hope my swap partner enjoys the mini quilt. I found this super colorful, rainbow swirly fabric last year and I knew it would be a perfect back for a rainbow quilt. I had a tiny bit of the rainbow stripes that I was thrilled was enough to bind it.