Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tip Tuesday! - Challenge

"Tip Tuesday!" - Challenge
I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday (or most Tuesdays!) I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog.

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources. I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday!" tab above.

Read, enjoy, and be inspired!


It's Tuesday, and I have a Tip Tuesday! post. I know that I've been very lax with my Tip Tuesday! posts, but I've simply been making the decision to prioritize things and not stress out about making sure I have something to post every week. I will continue to have Tip Tuesday! posts, but it probably won't be done weekly.


I know that I've discussed challenging yourself in the past, but this time I want you to consider challenging yourself in a bit different way. Do some research and join a swap on line, with members of your sewing group, or with just a couple of friends. To make the swap easier, find a theme or cause and use that as your starting point.

For the past two years, I've participated in the Teal Mini Swap hosted by Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs. This swap is an annual event intended to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, raise funds for The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and give quilters a challenge to make something and send to another quilter. This swap costs $15 to join, but that's because it's a fundraiser. You can join or organize a swap that is free.

Each participant of the Teal Mini Swap received a small piece of a specially selected teal fabric. (This year it was this teal fabric from the Basic Mixology line from Moda.) This fabric must be used somewhere in the project.

When we registered at the end of August, we decided if we wanted to make a mini quilt  - 18" square maximum, or a mug rug - 10" square maximum. Beth received all of the registrations and paired up partners according to what they wanted to make and their fabric or quilt style preferences. We then had until October 2nd to make and send our quilts to our partners.  

This is what I made for my partner, Athena.


Athena really likes Tula Pink fabrics and she said that she's been a bit enamored with the color emerald lately. She also likes modern quilting, so I used an emerald background fabric and one complete charm pack to create her mini quilt.

There were duplicates in the charm pack, but that worked out well. After I decided which fabrics would be used in the quilt body, I chose two for the hanging pockets on the back and then pieced the rest of them for a scrappy binding.   

I usually diagonally piece my binding segments, but since these were only 5", I stitched them end to end, as you can see in the picture below. I like how this turned out! This was a bit challenging because I was working with 5" pieces, but I'm please that I decided to do this instead of pick a single fabric and just bind it with that. Challenge issued - challenge accepted - challenge completed!

Here's a picture that Athena took of everything I sent her. The emerald fabric shows up better in her picture than it does in mine. I included a few extras with her mini. I sent along a pack of 20 Tula Pink charm squares, a magnetic needle holder and pin (she does a lot of hand work), and a copy of the Quilt Sampler magazine that featured M & E Quilt Shoppe and the quilt I designed for them. I used a scrap of the Tula Pink fabric from the mini to make a card for her as well.

I had some yardage of the teal fabric in my stash so I decided to make a second mini quilt, in case someone's life got crazy and they weren't able to make one. I've told Beth that she is welcome to use this, if needed. This is very simple and to the point.

Here's the pieced backing. I used the teal fabric in the front, on the back, and in the bias binding. It kind of wraps around the quilt, like a barber poll.  :-)

If it ends up that Beth does not need this to be sent to someone, I think I'll just send it to her as a way to say, "Thanks for all you do!"

Here's the wonderful mini quilt AND mug rug that I received from Athena. She included a couple of extras as well - a coffee mug (with a lid!) and a journal that I have already been using.

I love the fabrics she used and the fun setting. When I signed up, I said that I really had no preference on the fabric choices or style of quilting. I really do like just about anything, and I wanted it to be easy for my partner. After some messaging back and forth, Athena asked if I liked modern and of course I said yes. She decided to go with that and I love what she did! The mug rug and coffee mug are in my sewing room and the mini is in the computer room.

So, back to the reason for this Tip Tuesday! post. Challenge yourself with a swap. Be honest with yourself and your partner about your skill level, and then do the best work you can. Don't stress over this, but take it seriously. When you are making something for someone else, you tend to be a little more careful about matching seams and pressing accurately.

Maybe start small and with a group of friends. Or, jump in head first and swap with complete strangers. Whatever you do, have fun! 


Sarah Craig said...

What a fun challenge! And you did so well with yours - both of your quilts are just wonderful!!

Suze said...

I adore each of your quilts. You are generous to give away your second quilt. I think most quilters are generous. I was enamored when I saw the first quilt. Then I saw the second quilt and I was over the moon. It is just more my style. I like the contrast of the white with the prints. Each has its place - it's just a personal preference. Also, I was a math major and the geometry of the second sings to me. Even being a math major, I've been studying it and thinking about how you designed it. It's one of those quilts that makes me think. I've got to leave shortly to go to tutoring and then when I get home, I'll probably have to get my graph paper out and try to solve the puzzle. It's driving me crazy. One of my good friends tried to me to tutor last year and I just could not commit. Now that I'm busier with my son and his three year old daughter living with me, I decided that it's time to do for others. It's one evening a week. A group brings inner city children from the projects to a church and we tutor/mentor children for 1.5 hours. They get a snack; we work on one memory verse per month; work one on one with homework then play a game with a child; have prayer; and send them back on the vans. My little girl is in second grade and has 9 or 10 siblings. She is beautiful and smart. She is starved for attention. I realized that my three year old granddaughter needed someone in her life when her mother went to jail and I'm trying to do what I can to be a female figure in her life and I can sow some seed in another child, also. My granddaughter goes to daycare while I tutor and her dad works and it gives her some much needed socialization with children. So, it's a win/win. Thanks for joining the swap and sharing your beautiful projects and making me want to quilt again.