Monday, 25 March 2013

Doll Quilt Swap

More catch up today!  My first swap of the year (and third one I've ever done) was the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.  Size limit on this was 20" square and I went for 16" square.  I knew my partner liked New York Beauty blocks and Denise Schmidt fabrics.  Brioni was kind enough to let me use her Fairview Chicopee with some others by Denise thrown in to give me some variety.  

Next I needed to find a pattern.  I trawled the 'net and there are tons of free patterns out there.  The problem is that I didn't like any of them!  Mostly I think they were just not complicated enough.  I like to make my life difficult.  My solution was to draw my own.  I started the old fashioned way...

I came up with something I liked and scanned it in to clean it up and do a few test renders.  I was also checking my Flickr stats.

After that it was cuttin' and stickin'!

I finally got to this point:

Next was quilting and binding, my favourite!  (not)

Here is the label I printed using my home laser printer.  I plan on getting some made by Spoonflower, but until then I use this tutorial.

Here is the finished mini quilt!

This quilt is not perfect.  It was a bit outside of my skill zone and it shows.  The curved piecing was a proper pain.  Some of the curves I had to unpick three times which left a few holes in the fabric.   The points don't line up as well as I'd like because I have an aversion to pins.  I learned a lot on this project though!  I like uber complicated things to challenge myself.  This is one design I'll never make again...

The last thing to do was package it up to post.

The end of this swap left me a bit disappointed.  The quilt I received was lovely and will be the subject of my next post.  That wasn't the problem.  

The first gripe is with the postal systems of the UK, the US, and Canada.  Both have recently raised their prices but service is appalling.  I had my pillow from the last swap take nearly 8 weeks to come from Canada and this quilt took almost 6 to get to it's home in the US.  This is shocking.  Post travels by air so there is no excuse for this at all.  With the rise in prices this could spell the end for international swapping which would be a shame.  

My second gripe is in some ways more serious.  The recipient of this quilt has had it for a week and a half before she contacted me.  What is worse is that she is a swap mama.  This sort of behaviour is reeeeally bad.  I'm a bit livid actually.  I had to find out she had it from the updated discussion boards. My swap mama forgot to tell me it was received as well.  I think the only reason she finally emailed me is because I asked my swap mama to have it shipped back to me if I hadn't heard anything in another week. How long would I have had to wait if I didn't say anything?  Who knows.  All in all not the best swap I've been in by a long shot.  The thing that made it worth while it the fantastic quilt I got in the post!  You can see that in my next post.


  1. Your quilt is beautiful, I would have sent you an ecstatic, gushing email the second I received it if you were my partner.

    Thanks for the honest comments about the swap. I'll be curious to see if there is any consequence to the recipient for not following the rules (which are very clear about sending a thank-you and posting a pic to the group when the quilt is received.)

    One comment about the post: The issue is almost certainly the customs office, not the postal system. Once it gets into customs a package can get stuck there for up to two months and the postal system has nothing to do with it (nor can they do anything about it.) I know that this happens with Canada customs fairly regularly. Sending items in a envelope instead of a box helps as envelopes often don't get stopped by customs but boxes almost always do (in Canada at least.)

  2. I saw this on Flickr again and had to stop by to tell you that I think it is so beautiful. Great job with the making of your own pattern and the fabrics you chose. Really wonderful.

  3. I've only just seen this and had to comment, it is gorgeous! Shame on your partner for not screaming from the rooftops with thanks. I hope it doesn't put you off future swaps. :)

  4. Fabulous quilt! Nicest New York Beauty I've seen! And I'm glad I found your blog, and hope you continue to post on it!

  5. Stunning quilt, Sandy, and amazing that you created your own foundation paper piecing pattern!!

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