Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Under My Needle and a New Swap

A few things I am working on.

The Temperature Quilt:

Last December I learned about Temperature Quilts and Blankets--those were made from yarn. Each color represents a 10 degree temperature band and each vertical row is a week, beginning January 1, 2018. By March I was losing interest and knew I did not want to complete the year--half a year would be plenty and be a reasonable size--this is 26" wide x 30" before the borders. I used the official high temperature at Huntsville International Airport for each day. Here is my Key:

It did not get over 100, which is fairly typical here, but the 90's with our high humidity is plenty hot enough. Glad I did it, I'm over it now. The border fabric came from the closet after the top was completely done--it pays to have a deep stash.

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:

I am working on a big quilt I want to have ready to photograph for an upcoming blog. There was a lot of layout design time spent, now I am sewing, then I'll write the blog with all the information for this layout. Lots to do, yet but I like how it's coming along.

Let's Quilt!



  1. What a great block for a swap!!

  2. Your house blocks look fun and I'm curious about your secret sewing!

  3. Any quilt that requires me to do something daily is off the table. I am not that organized! :)
    Great swap idea. And good guidelines for planning a swap.

    1. I did the temp quilt once a week, that was plenty.

  4. I've seen different EPP weather/temp quilts; I like your layout very much! Your houses are fun! :)

  5. I’ve never heard of a temp quilt, very creative! I did enjoy knitting a temp cowl while living in NH. ��
    I keep meaning to tell you, I’d longarm quilt for you in exchange for your piecing a top for me. Chew on this. We should collaborate sometime on a project. Just a thought!

    1. I have done a very successful collaboration before, so, yes, we'll talk!

    2. Excellent! You’re quite the prolific blogger as well, interesting to follow! I tried my hand at blogging for a while but found it took so much of my creative time, this word crafting, perfect photos, coming up with things to blog about... perhaps I should’ve just kept it simple. Anyway, it is always fun to see what’s under your needle 😊

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