Swap deadline approaching!

Please have your blocks posted by September 1, this coming Tuesday. I've had lots of people let me know that they've sent their blocks, but not many have said they've received blocks. I'm hoping this is just some slowness on the post office's part, and blocks aren't lost!

If you are anticipating a problem meeting the deadline, please email me and let me know (and let your teammates know, or I can) so no one thinks they are forgotten. Remember your Christmas spirit!

I've received a lot of charity blocks since my last post. Thanks to:
Melissa D.
Laurie Jean

I've given you some ideas for using your blocks, but how about thinking about setting them in a non-traditional way? Our original inspiration, Elizabeth's Scrappy Hedgerow Quilt, has a large white sashing around each block. I love this clean modern look, letting each block "shine."

You might think about no sashing at all, like this one by our own Katy (I promise I'm not stalking Katy, but she has done some really great projects!!):

Used with permission and seen here

*Or* keep using those scraps and add a square between sashings:

Used with permission of Dee and seen here

*Or* are you willing to cut some of your blocks? It might be tough, but you could make something really unexpected like this:

Used with permission of Woolly Interlude and seen here

Or this:

Used with permission of Because I'm Me and seen here

Or this! (I didn't get permission to post this one, but it is definitely worth a look! Go ahead, I'll wait.) Cut your blocks into fourths and then sew them back together with parts from other blocks!

And I really love this one, but it will mean you'll need to make more blocks: Wonky Stars and Log Cabins Wouldn't that make a fabulous Christmas quilt? In case you want to try: Wonky Star Tutorial

Have fun!


More Swap Inspiration

Today's inspiration is brought to you by participants in the swap, but first....

I almost wet my pants when I saw this on the coming soon page of Michael Miller Fabric's website:

Modern Home from Michael Miller

I. Must. Have. This. Fabric. Yards and yards and yards of it.

OK, I feel better now.

Over the past couple of days I have received charity blocks from:


Thanks so much, ladies! Also, on occasion someone includes a little giftie for me with their charity blocks. Completely not necessary, but very appreciated. I wanted to share one of those with you, because it is going to revolutionize my life.

Wait for it....

YES! I have often sat and pondered about the loose ends on my bobbins and how to keep them from unrolling (for reals). And then Lynda showed me the light. Thanks, Lynda. Brilliant!

And now to be inspired! Last week I showed you some more "traditional" ways to use your swap blocks -- runners and quilt. The following items were all made by some of the talented ladies participating in our swap, and the photos were all used with permission.

Of course, I have to once again show you AudreyPawdrey's (Audrey S.) Christmas tree skirt (check out the link to also see her beautiful table runner!!). What a great way to use your blocks!

Making these blocks is a little addictive, so if you find yourself with enough to make a quilt and still have some extras, why not make some pillows?

See it here, made by imagingermonkey (Katy).

Or if you have just one or two spare blocks, you might consider making hot pads/trivets, like this one made by our own One ShaBby ChiCk (Amber):

See it here

And this last bit of inspiration isn't exactly an alternative to a quilt or runner, but maybe a way you might think of piecing your blocks.

Also by Katy.

Can't you just see a whole quilt of Christmas cottages? Add a scrappy roof to your swap blocks, and you are ready to go!

I'm not quite sure of what I'll be making out of my blocks, but I hope whatever you make you'll be posting to our Flickr group! I just added my most recent blocks. I'm not sure they are "scrappy" enough, but I do love the color combo!


Seaside Swap

I participated in Rachel's Seaside Swap...and my partner finally received my parcel and I can share!

Here's what I received from Lesley (early to boot!):

A denim beach tote, journal, goldfish hand towel, sandcastle pouch (all handmade), postcard, and fat quarter

Thanks so much, Lesley! I not only *loved* it all, but I was able to take my awesome new tote and pouch with me to the beach!

And the parcel I sent to Lesley included:

A wool felt pin cushion (I wish I would have taken more pictures of this)...

...fabric-covered magnets...

...and a beach hut doll quilt...

...as well as some North Carolina seashells and beachy fat quarters!

Enjoy, Lesley, and thanks so much for swapping with me!


A tiny swap update

Charity blocks received today from:

Cecelia (and thanks for volunteering to bind!)
Courtney (and thanks for the extra scraps for charity project!)

Thank you all so much! I've added an asterisk next to the your names in the list of participants -- so if you want to make sure I've received your block you can check there.

We have two weeks and a day until the mailing deadline so no panicking (remember your Christmas spirit!!) but do check out the Flickr group as the pictures are really rolling in now!

Sophia -- I've emailed you multiple times with no response but I saw your comment on the blog. Are you receiving my emails? I will try one of my other email addresses and see if that works. Also, try emailing me at modernjax@gmail.com



Block Engorgement

So I thought my plan for constructing my swap blocks was so clever....then I started sewing blocks. My first block was 13.5" instead of 12.5". "Just cut down your 2" strips as you add them," I thought, and patted myself on the back for continual cleverness. My next block had an odd–sized center, so I added a ring of 2" strips and then squared it off. "I am a piecing master," I thought. Then I added my rings, but forgot to trim down my next 2" ring. Whoops. That one ended up being 13". HMMM...."Well, the next one should be perfect," thought the piecing master.

Then I proceeded to sew two more blocks while never once trimming down my 2" strips. I have 4 blocks that are all too big. What do you think? Should I trim them down to 12.5", or leave them as is in case my teammates would like larger blocks? This week's inspiration post might yield some "bigger block" projects. HMMMM....

Well, regardless, here are the first four. I separated my strips into three color families, and this is from my aqua and pink family. I guess anal retentive-ness and truly scrappy quilting isn't an easily marriage!

I received four charity blocks yesterday: one each from Dawn and Anna, and two from Kyra. Thanks! And if you haven't been by the Flickr group lately, there are some great blocks in the group pool!

I've heard from a handful of you that you've already shipped your blocks, but only one of you has received so far. Please let me know when you have both shipped and received so I can make sure everyone gets their blocks. And if you'd like to email your group to let them know blocks are coming, all your teammates' email addresses are in the team email (look in the "to" field).

And it looks like I need to put one more group together. There was a miscommunication between me and a participant, but it looks like she wants to take part and has even started her blocks! Anyone up for 6 blocks?


Swap Inspiration

I received our first charity block yesterday! And it's a beaut!

Thanks, Leisel!

I finally started cutting my fabric for my blocks. There has been a lot of talk over at Flickr about getting the blocks to 12.5". I decided to cut my strips to 1.5" and 2.0" (instead of 1.75"). This actually made cutting very easy. I cut strips to 3.5", cut my fussy cut centers from those strips. And then cut my strips into two pieces (2" and 1.5"). Easy peasy!

And that's as far as I've gotten!

But I keep looking for inspiration. How will you be using your blocks?

Maybe a quilt, like this:

Scrappy Cabin By Melly of Melly & Me (photo used with permission)

Or a table runner like these:

Log Cabin Askew by redcleo (photo used with permission)

Mother's Day Runner by gock's frocks (photo used with permission)

Christmas Runner by Sewing Geek (photo used with permission)

More inspiration coming!


Vacation Crafts

Before we left for vacation I finished a couple of projects, and got a little something in the mail I haven't shared with you yet.

The family flew to North Carolina and met my parents and sister's family at the beach. I made Jaxon a little carry-on pillow for the airplane.

Made with one of my favorite JoAnn flannels -- retro campers and cars -- and blue sky flannel for the pocket

He loved carrying it (kept calling it his purse) but he didn't lay on it. When he did sleep he used my lap as a pillow instead.

And I made this pleated purse for me. The photos don't do it justice, I just threw it on the table and snapped away. Not a good plan.

Made with gray faux suede and Wildwood by Erin McMorris...

...and includes two patch pockets, a small zipper pocket, and a large zipper section in the center.

And the purse fairy has been smiling on me! I won a giveaway at Michelle's blog and this found its way to me:

Again, threw it on the table and snapped away. Probably should have ironed out the mailing wrinkles, but I was too excited. On my to do list: work on photo styling!!

Thanks, Michelle, I really *love* it. The hobo silhouette is great! This is going into my fall rotation, it will be great for school days!

And finally, a quick shot of one of our vacation activities: riding the ferry to Fort Fisher. Jaxon loved the ferry, and the aquarium, but, wow, was it a hot day. I enjoyed the fort, they have a really knowledgeable group of docents, and we had an excellent meal at the Old Pier House Restaurant at Kure Beach.


Final Swap Update of the Day (I hope)

*SHEW* All of the emails have been sent (with one exception of the "new" group) and so far I have only heard from one group with an address mistake (actually two mistakes) so I'm feeling pretty good right now.

I've also heard from a participant that she has already mailed her blocks. Leisel wins a gold star! Also, this means if you *have* noticed a mistake in your group email (or haven't read it closely yet), please let me know! I would hate for your blocks to get sent to the wrong place!!

Take some time to look through the list of participants on the right sidebar and click through some blogs. There is some amazing work going on out there, and I have a bunch of new links in my blog reader!

Speaking of amazing, thanks for all the volunteers to fill the final group. It's full (we've got a couple of new participants!!) but I want to say what a great group of people we're swapping with. Thanks so much for your patience with me and your "Christmas" spirit.

I have a couple of "regular" blog post in the pipeline, but I think I will take a little blog break tonight and read a bit.

Thanks again!

Quick Swap Update take 3

Last swap update for the day (I hope)!

All groups have been sent *except*:

I need ONE MORE person to make 6 blocks (thats to Becca and Beth for volunteering -- I've sent you both emails). So if you've like to join, or you're already participating and want to make 6 more blocks let me know.

Please let me know if you haven't received an email with your teammates!


P.S. Saw this on The Fabric Shopper today and nearly squealed out loud (instead of in my head as I usually do).

Be Merry by My Minds Eye for Riley Blake

Quick Swap Update take 2

Thanks to the volunteers to participate. We have it under control, and emails are flying.

I have begun sending out the team emails with mailing addresses. I am just over halfway done -- that's a lot of emails! If you signed up for 12 blocks you will be assigned to two groups, so watch for two emails.

I will have all emails send by this afternoon. If you haven't received one by this evening please email me.


EDITED TO ADD: In my sent mail it seems that some of the emails I've sent out have been cut off at the bottom. I'm hoping this is just the way it is displaying for me, but if you have incomplete addresses, etc, please let me know! Each email should have 4 addresses at the bottom.


Quick Swap Update

I have everyone organized into groups, and you will be receiving an email from me tomorrow with your teammates' information. Those of you who signed up to make and receive 12 blocks will receive two emails, as you are in two groups!

I have given up hope of hearing from our last few participants. I've had a few volunteers since the call for participants closed, but I still need two more swappers. So if you thought you missed out, or you are already participating and want to make 6 more blocks, comment on this post. I will need these participants to be able to ship internationally, and I'll need you to respond to my email back to you with your information ASAP. I will take the first two to comment.



Perhaps I have a problem....and swap update

I shipped a swap package that was a bit belated earlier this week and finished a work project today that has been monopolizing my time, so I thought it was time to check out my Christmas fabric stash and see what I might need to pick up to complete my blocks.

I don't think I will need to pick anything up. And the fat quarters in the upper left corner I picked up while on vacation thinking I would need more holiday fabric. *ahem*

I've heard back from most of you swappers, thanks for getting me your info. There are still about 20 of you I haven't heard from. I'm guessing I ended up in your spam folder so I sent a reminder email this evening. Please have your info to me (full name, mailing address, international shipping preference -- yes or no, and blog address if applicable) by this weekend so I can get everyone sorted into groups. **If I am in your spam folder in Gmail you will have to move the email from spam to inbox in order to be able to send and receive to/from me.**

As I get email responses I sort your information and put you in my sidebar (right over there on the right). Please make sure you see your name (and that the link to your blog is correct if you have one) and the correct number of blocks you've signed up to make.

We already have progress photos posted at Flickr, as well as some lively discussions about block sizes, colors, etc, in our Flickr forum! Please join us!

Some questions have come up in my emails with you. Many people have asked about color. No, you don't need to stick only to "traditional" Christmas colors. As you can see in the above picture I have quite a bit of holiday fabric in aquas and pinks, and I plan to use it! Think scrappy!

Also, the question of pre-washing has come up over at Flickr. I know we all have our own preferences when it comes to pre-washing fabric -- personally I like to do it, mostly because I have sensitive skin so I like to make sure all the chemicals from manufacturing and dirt from handling are washed out. I know many people prefer to work with unwashed fabric, and that is fine! I plan on sashing my quilt in white, so I will wash it with a color catcher to make sure reds don't bleed...but otherwise I am not too concerned.

Just remember that we are doing this to spread a little holiday spirit (and to get some awesome blocks!!), so don't stress over your blocks -- enjoy the process of giving and receiving!



Sewing Room Update

I'm still waiting on a few more emails from participants (a little less than 20) and then I will have mailing addresses to everyone! If you did not specify about international shipping, I am assuming you don't mind. Please let me know if that is not the case. From here on out I will be keeping posts about the swap and "regular" posts separate so you only have to read what's interesting to you!

This one is *not* about the swap! And some vacation posts are coming!

You might remember several months ago I mentioned the start of the sewing room reno. *AHEM*...over 7 months ago....

Well, I have made progress. The walls are painted, and Charlie installed the new bigger window. I've started pulling up the edges of the carpet and removing the staples. In the meantime, I've been dreaming of the items that might decorate my sewing room. And for some reason my dreams lead me to PBTeen. Is that weird?

Whether it is or not, I've been pretending to spend imaginary money on things like this:

Brighton Stripe Rug

And these cushions:

Cushy Lounge Semicircle Set

And this, this, and these.

*sigh* Maybe a trip to the outlet is in order?

Scrappy Christmas Block Swap Details

I've sent this to all the participants, but in case you haven't received it, here it is again. I still don't have email addresses for:

Lee Ann
Humming Cat

Also, emails to Huskerbabe keep being returned to me. I might have your email wrong, although it matches your blogger profile address....

Please check your spam folders -- I sent this email to over 100 people so your email client might think it's junk!

Thank you so much for joining the Scrappy Christmas Block Swap! We have 102 participants, so it’s been a bit overwhelming but I think this is going to be a great swap.

You’ll need to construct your blocks using the tutorial at Oh, Fransson! (http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2009/06/how-to-make-scrappy-hedgerow-blocks.html) The blocks do not have to be completely constructed of Christmas fabric, but should focus on Christmas. For instance, the center square and one layer of logs might be Christmas fabrics, but the rest might be your favorite dots, stripes, and patterns. After all, the goal is to make a scrappy Christmas quilt! Please make sure your blocks are 12.5” square before you mail so that everyone’s blocks finish to 12” square.

I need each of you to send me your full name, mailing address, and let me know if you absolutely cannot send internationally. Everyone will be put into a group with three other participants, and you will send 2 blocks to each of the members of your group. Those of you who requested to make and receive 12 blocks will be assigned two groups.

As I receive your information I will add you to my sidebar with the number of blocks you’ve requested. Please let me know if you’d like me to link to your blog or website by including the URL in your email back to me.

modernjax [at] gmail [dot] com

The deadline for mailing is September 1. I will continue to post inspirational projects that you might use your blocks to create. Also, feel free to use the swap badge I’ve posted here or from Flickr, and post your progress in our Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1190183@N21/

Thanks for all the offers of charity blocks. It seems we might be able to make quite a few quilts (and tree skirts, etc). Molly has volunteered to quilt one of the quilts, and my mom has volunteered to help me assemble. If you’d be willing to quilt or bind, let me know!

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