A few things I am working on.
The Temperature Quilt:
When my two best quilting buddies and I get together, usually for our annual retreat, the idea of a swap between us gets launched. This time we decided to make 5" scrap houses for each other. The original pattern I found was a 3" house, too tiny we decided. Other houses have two chimneys, too much effort we decided. So I found a simple house in Electric Quilt 8 that just needed a bit of tweaking to be perfect. Our 5" finished Quilter's Scrap House:
We will paper-piece 12 of these to give to each of the other two--if we make 12 for ourselves, we'll all have 36 5" houses when the swap is done. The only thing I had to remember when printing the pattern was to mirror-image it--when paper-piecing, what you see on the paper will be reversed when sewn.
I have been involved in many swaps over the years. Here are my tips:
1. Choose participants carefully. All must follow the "guidelines"--RULES--and agree to meet the deadline. Limit the number of people--the most I have had was 13 and that was plenty.
2. Set a firm deadline and be sure everyone agrees to meet it.
3. The best thing to swap are "units"--parts of blocks that can be trimmed down, like half-square triangles and four-patches. When you do a block like this you learn everyone has their own "personal" quarter-inch seam allowance. Refer to tip 1 above...
4. Hold a "teaching" class if the technique is new to most participants. Paper piecing is not for everyone. Be sure everyone understands to use a very small stitch, tiny thread and lightweight paper.
5. If you allow people to request specific colors/themes, be sure each person is clear in their request and that everyone agrees to follow the requests.
6. If you are located close together, it is fun to have a sew-day to work on the blocks. If apart, sharing photos online is fun OR you can keep the blocks a complete secret until done.
For this particular block and group the guidelines are simple: trim thread as you go, remove the paper when the block is finished, have them all done no later than Christmas. Only one house per maker can be in violation of the HOA rules--meaning ONE can be "not mirror imaged"--the door can be on the right, window on the left.
I made a test block before sending the information to the other two--oh my goodness, these are like Dorito blocks--hard to stop making them:
I had to stop making houses right now so I can do some Secret Sewing: