Sunday 29 March 2009

ALQS3 - Now open for interest...

(top L: Kate North, 2009; top R: Annette Jeavons, ALQS2; bottom L: Kate North 2009; bottom R: Lynda Monk, ALQS1)

Hello all - and welcome to another round of the ALQS (Another Little Quilt Swap). After a lot of debate and back and forthing in my mind, I have decided how I will be running this round of the swap and it's a little different. I hope that this will help with some of the administrative issues that arose last time and also give some of you the chance to try something a little different. If you are interested in the ALQS3, please read the following details very carefully before you go any further. Details of how to register an interest follow the initial brief. Any questions or clarifications, I will do my best to respond to as quickly as possible and update the blog accordingly. All photos contained in this post come from the previous ALQS swaps or my own work and are here to give examples of the diversity of art quilts!

(L-R: Lynda Monk ALQS2, Debbie Lattuga ALQS2)

  1. ART quilt. The ALQS3 will be for contemporary & art quilts only, not purely traditional quilts. Obviously, it is a somewhat subjective point as to precisely what makes an art quilt, so there is quite a lot of leeway, but I have littered this post with photos of things from this swap and which I have made which I would consider to fall into the art quilt category. As you can see - lots of variety. The only things I insist on are: at least some fabric must be used in the construction of the piece, and it must follow the traditional front/filling/backing rule. Therefore, a quilt which used plastic and paper collage and then was batted, backed & quilted would be fine; a "quilt" which was made from layered paper would not.
  2. Electronic access. It is not vital to have a blog in order to play during this round (though it's nice if you do) but you absolutely MUST be able to communicate via email and to send me electronic photos of your quilt by some means. There can be no exceptions to this rule (explanation below in the description of how the swap will work).
  3. International posting. You must be willing to post internationally in order to play. This does not mean you will have to do so, but due to the changes in how the swap will work (see below) you must be willing to, as partners will not be assigned in advance.

(topL-R: Narelle Christensen ALQS2, Margaret Solomon Gunn ALQS2; bottom L-R: Kate North, Miniature Booty Swap, Paula Denee ALQS2)

How it will work:

  • No pre-assigned partners. Instead of being assigned a partner in advance, you may make any style, theme or colour of contemporary/art quilt that you like. You may also, if you wish, and if it fits the specs below, use a quilt which you have made in the past.
  • Virtually unlimited signups/no signup deadline. Because of the way the swapping will work, I can take as many people as want to make quilts. I think this will probably be self-limiting, but if it gets really really intense, I may cut it off - but I really don't think this will happen! Also, due to the way the swapping will work, you can join right up until the last minute, though on the whole, I hope most people will at least make an expression of interest (see below) relatively early in the swap.
  • No guilt/no droupout problems. I will maintain a list of those who are interested in playing along, but you will not officially be signed up to participate until I have photos of your quilt in my email box. This means that if you are unable for whatever reason to finish your quilt before the deadline, no one will be left without a quilt, it simply means you won't get the chance to choose a quilt for yourself. Admire lovely quilts. As the quilt photos arrive, I will post them in batches on the blog with the descriptions, though not the names of the makers. I am not trying to keep this a complete secret, though, so if you wish to talk about (and show photos of) your quilt on your own blog, that's fine.
  • Choose your own quilt! After the deadline, when I have received photos of all the finished quilts and posted them online, you will have the chance to send a list of the 10-12 quilts you would love to have, in preference order. This will be difficult, as if the previous rounds are anything to go by, you will want to have at least 90 per cent of the quilts made! I hope this will help solve any potential problems with people getting something not really to their taste (that didn't happen much).

(L-R: Margaret Jones, ALQS2, Lisa Rothenbeucher ALQS2)


  • Sizes. All quilts should be between 16"x16" and 24"x24". They do not have to be square, but the total area should be approximately the same. So for instance, if you had a quilt which was 14"x24" that would be ok, even though one side is shorter than the 16" square. Basically, what I'm aiming for is for the quilts to be roughly the same size - nothing too small or too large. But if your quilt is 25x25, that's ok, don't panic, you won't be excluded, but please aim for the size guidelines given.
  • Multiples. Because of the way I will swap these quilts, you may, if you like, submit TWO quilts to this swap. (But no more.) Both, of course, must meet the requirements, and I would prefer them to be substaintially different to one another. This would then get you two choices of quilts later on.
  • Materials. Unlimited, though you must include fabric, and must follow a basic 3-layer quilt structure as stated above. If you want to include non-cotton fabrics, paper, metal, plastic, whatever - go for it. Any any embellishments you care to add are ok, too. You will be required to send a brief description of materials and techniques with the photos of your finished piece, so that the other players are aware in advance and can avoid anything they don't want!
  • Techniques. Again, unlimited, though you must include stitch in some form as this is a quilt swap. You may use piecing and applique in any of their forms (including fused applique); you may use glue, rivets, burning, melting, painting, dyeing, stamping, embossing, embellishments in any form you can think of and really, whatever you like. As stated above, you will be required to send a brief description of materials na techniques with the photos of your finished piece, so anyone who wants to avoid certain techniques or materials can simply not put your piece on her (or his) list. Please bear in mind that although these pieces certainly don't need to be washed, they should be sturdy enough to last for years on that wall where they will be on show!
  • Timeline. I went back and forth on this a lot, due to summer holidays, but I think we can work around most potential problems! Photos of your finished quilt (see below for precise details) will be due to me by Monday, 20 July 2009 at the absolute latest. That gives you 3.5 months to work on your quilt. You will then have until Monday, 3 August to send me your list of preferences (I will be on holiday the last week in July, so this works well for me). I will then have to work out who gets what, which I will do as soon as possible, though I anticipate it may take me up to a week, so mailing to your partner will happen sometime around 10-15 August. If anyone anticipates being away for all of August, we can work around that, as long as I know in advance.

(top L-R: Emma How ALQS2, Julie Waldman ALQS2; bottom L-R: Margeeth Swart ALQS2, Kate North, ALQS2)

How to play:

  1. Email me. (to katelnorth at yahoo dot com). This email is not a committment, it's an "expression of interest". This will give me a rough idea who might be playing and how many people I might expect to see quilts from. It will also mean I can send some reminders when the deadline begins to get near so that you don't miss out if you wanted to be in. Send me your name and your blog or flickr account if you have one. Put ALQS3 in the subject line if possible - this just makes it easier for me. If you've swapped before, you can let me know where, but it's not vital, it's mostly because I'm nosy and like to see people's work. I am going to maintain a list at the side of the blog called an "artist pool" which is a list of people who may be making quilts for this swap. It's not a guarantee, though, as some may have to drop out before the deadline.
  2. Make a quilt! Work on your quilt. Follow the guidelines above. Finish your quilt by the deadline.
  3. Send me photos. When you are finished, send me at least two photographs of your quilt. One must show the whole quilt. One must show some detail. You can send more than one detail photo if you like. These must be decent photos, where you can see the quilt properly and get a good idea of what it really looks like. Remember, these photos are what people will be using to decide if they want to receive your quilt or not, so while it should be honest, it should also be flattering, so try to make sure it's not out of focus or taken in really bad light.
  4. And a description. With your photos, you should send a brief description of your quilting including the size (required!) and some notes on what materials and techniques you have used. Also, if you quilt has a name, include that too. When I post the photos on the blog (which I will do in batches, not in one great lump at the end) I will include that info with them, so people can see what they would be getting.
  5. Sign up officially. Once I have received the photos of your FINISHED quilt, you will be officially signed up, which means that you will be able to send me a list your preferences for which quilt you'd like to receive yourself. This also means that even if you have been late in a swap before you are still allowed to play because you have to show your finished work before you are officially on the list of people who can choose a quilt...
  6. Get a quilt. After all the quilts have been made and photos posted and everyone who has made a quilt has sent me their lists, I will collate the lists and work out who gets what. I have stolen this method unashamedly from the yahoo group quiltswap, who I have swapped with before, and it's been my experience there that you do get a quilt on your list (which is why the list is 10-12) though obviously, not everyone gets their first pick. Some priority will be give to the makers of the most popular quilts (so if your quilt is the number one choice for half the swappers, you will probably get your own first pick), but on the whole, I will simply move things around until they are as balanced as possible. This will take some time, I imagine! You will then have to mail your quilt to whoever is going to receive it. Which is why you have to be willing to post internationally.

(L-R: Kate North ALQS1, Margaret Solomon Gunn ALQS1)