Thursday, 2 July 2015

Cotton + Steel Mini Quilt Swap: Pt 2: Outgoing

I had so much fun with the Cotton + Steel Mini Quilt Swap.  


It was the perfect excuse to sign up for the monthly Cotton + Steel Club over at Pink Castle Fabrics . This club is the best for building a stash of C+S without having to specifically choose what you want.  Which can be hard to do when you want everything!  After a few months, I had everything I needed and more to put together a mini quilt and extras for this swap.

My assigned partner said that she likes minimalist quilts made with paper piecing, loaded with amazing machine quilting.  Huh.  I can definitely rock the paper piecing, and I like minimalist quilts too, so that is no problem.  But I was very nervous about how I should quilt the thing.  My free motion skills are beginner at best.  I have dabbled in stipples and vines with leaves before, but nothing close to "amazing machine quilting."  But, inexperience has never stopped me before.  I am a first believer in just trying.  You never know how you might surprise yourself!

Completed quilt top
I chose a meandering geese pattern I spotted on Pinterest, some Essex linen, and a variety of C+S prints to make the top.  Then I spent the next couple weeks practicing graffiti doodling with pen and paper.  

My first attempt
This way I had some ideas of what kind of motifs worked well together, what filler designs I could use in between larger designs, and a general idea of placement within the quilt.  After making a quilt sandwich with a black backing to show off the quilting, I set to work.

First, I quilted triangle spirals inside the geese.  I decided to use the spool of Glow-in-the-Dark thread I have been hoarding.  Just in case the quilting was terrible, at least I had some special effects to fall back on!  Then I started the graffiti quilting.  My practice doodles definitely helped.  I ended up adding in other things as I went, and tried fancier designs as my confidence grew.  I wouldn't say the quilting is perfect, but I think I gave it a good try and am happy with the results!

Not too bad for my first time!
I designed a quilt label to look like a postcard, complete with a C+S stamp from one of the fabric prints, and bound it with a colourful print from the August line.  I prefer hand binding to machine binding, but up until this quilt, I have never been happy with my corners.  This quilt I really feel like I got those corners perfect!  It was a proud moment for me.

Look at those mitred corners in the binding!

All done and ready to send
After completing the quilt, I made a few extras to send along.  First, using another paper piecing pattern I found on Pinterest, I made a couple mix tape blocks, using C+S selvedge as the label to turn into a zippy pouch.  I think the little Hot Cross buns make the perfect wheels!  I stuffed the pouch with a notebook and pen, and some quilty washi tape.
Front and back of the pouch
I also made a needlebook (my fave quick project!) with mostly coral fabrics, and a pop of mustard inside.  And I finally got some wool felt from Modern Textiles when I was in Fargo last April, so I used some of the good stuff for the pages.  I also made a needleminder from the bunny fabric from the Mochi line.

I always love a needlebook
I rounded out the package with some lotion and lipgloss (always essential), some Canadian contraband treats (Coffee Crisp, Smarties, and the illegal-in-the-US Kinder Egg!), and a Berenstain Bears book called God Bless Our Home, as my partner just recently moved to a new house!

Rolled up for shipping
I had a great time putting together this package, and loved getting to know my partner through her photos.  It's always nice to make a new friend, and what better way than by sending a fun present?!

If you want to see what I received in this swap, see Cotton +Steel Mini Quilt Swap: Pt 1: Incoming