Thursday 29 July 2010

Don't forget to mail!

Please can everyone try to get their quilts in the post to their recipients by the end of July - which is Saturday. If you are going to be delayed a lot beyond that (Monday would be ok) please let me know. Thanks to everyone who is keeping me posted about mailing and receiving. I'm mailing my own quilts out tomorrow (as they are both going to addresses in the US it made sense to wait until I got here to mail!)... I received one of mine already, and am so excited - looking forward to the other one as well!

Thursday 22 July 2010

First arrival!

Well ladies and gents, we have our first arrival - yes, that was quick, but it was from one part of Australia to another, and the sender sent it by a quick method.

It's a nice coincidence that this one arrived first, because Penny's quilt was the very last to arrive home last time - by about 2 months - we thought it had been lost in the post on its travels from the UK to Australia (which luckily it hadn't). I'm not going to show which quilt it was, just yet, because that might spoil part of the surprise for others who had this quilt on their list, but I will do a full reveal once everyone (or nearly everyone, if we have some stragglers) has had their quilts.

Can't wait to see more of them rolling in!

Monday 19 July 2010


Ok, everyone, you should have email. I have emailed everyone with their partner details except two people (who I need to hear back from their partners first to confirm mailing addresses) - and even those two should have had a quick email from me explaining why they had no email. If you see what I mean!

The email is a little long, but should cover every eventuality - if there are any questions, though, just ask.

Can't wait to start seeing people get their quilts - I do hope everyone is pleased - how could you not be, really, with so many nice quilts? As I hear of them starting arriving, I will begin to do a big pairing up post so you can all see who got what - and more importantly, who made which quilt!

Sunday 18 July 2010


OK, I heard back from my missing person (hurrah! Luckily, she was just out of town, which is what I'd hoped.) and have gone over the lists again and have made sure every person has a quilt and every quilt has a person. So now, I will begin emailing people to tell them where to send their quilt. Even with a standard type email which I will cut and paste, this will take a while, but I hope to have it done today. Or maybe tomorrow. If you don't receive an email from me telling you where to send your quilt by midnight on Monday (my time - London Summer time) please get in touch and let me know.

There will be instructions in the email about not only WHERE to send your quilt but also HOW to send it, customs tag info (where applicable) and also WHAT info you need to give me about the quilt you send and the quilt you eventually receive. To make my life easier, please follow these instructions as closely as possible.

I will be away from 27 July to the end of August. Most of that time I will have good computer and internet access, but as I will be on holiday it's possible I won't be on the computer quite as much as normal (though I still anticipate being the only real night owl around so I'm sure I'll be on after everyone else goes to bed!), so if you don't hear back from me as quickly as normal if you email me, don't worry.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Almost there

Well, I've been playing with my spreadsheets and have assigned and re-assigned quilts three times now, with surprisingly similar results each time (a few changes here and there), which I think means I've pretty much got it right. I have unfortunately still not heard from the one remaining person from whom I've not had a list, so I am going to hold off sending out mailing information until tomorrow evening, just in case. If I still haven't heard from her, I'll just leave her quilt out of the swapping; if I do hear from her, I'll juggle my distribution a bit to make sure she and her quilt fit in.

I think everyone will be happy with the quilt they receive - most of the allotted choices are fairly high in the wishlists, and none of them are right down at the bottom. I was able to give some first choices, which is nice, and I'm looking forward to letting you all know to whom you'll be sending your quilts.

In this round, I had a good handful of people send me the numbers of the quilts they liked and say that they had no really strong preferences as to order - or they listed their top 3 and then ten more in no particular order. This was actually very useful in making my decisions, and I'm going to encourage it for the next round - if you have a strong preference, that's no problem, but if you really don't, except maybe one or two which are your all-time faves, it would be great to know it because I might be looking at my spreadsheet thinking you much prefer your no 6 over your no 13, when in fact, you like them both more or less equally. If that were the case, I could stress a little less about whether to assign someone their no 13 choice (I didn't assign any 13's in this round, in case you're wondering).

I won't publish any kind of Grand Reveal until all quilts have been received by their new owners, but if you want to know in advance what's coming your way, you can let me know when I send you the info about where to mail your quilt to and I'll look it up and tell you. Or you can choose to wait and be surprised.

Friday 16 July 2010

Last reminder

Hi all - I am still waiting for 2 preference lists - one, I know is on the way, the other, I have not heard from the person in response to my previous email a few days ago - I've sent another one today and left a message on her blog, but also thought I'd leave a note here just in case. If you haven't sent your preference list in - please, you need to do it TODAY or I may not be able to include you in the swap. I plan to swap out all the quilts this weekend, and if you haven't been in touch, I can't be sure you are still able to send a quilt, so I don't feel right about assigning your quilt to someone, just in case you are unable to follow through. If you need another day to compile your list, no problem, just LET ME KNOW!!

Saturday 10 July 2010

A little update

Just in case you are all waiting as impatiently as I am to find out what's happening with the quilts, here's an update: I am waiting for lists from only 12 people, so I think it's likely that I might get all the info I need to start sorting a few days before the deadline - but even if not, it's not that far away...

The two quilts who have appeared on more lists than any others are, at the moment, no 29 and no 12. (If you made either of those, please don't say so on the blog as we are still trying to keep things a little bit secret.) That doesn't mean that you shouldn't put them on your lists if you haven't yet sent yours in, or if you have put them high on your lists you don't stand a chance of getting them, but I may end up having to draw lots for them!

I would also like to say that all the quilts submitted have appeared in at least one person's preference list, so no one will have to have his or her own quilt stay home. It doesn't mean that it will be wasy to do the sorting, but at least it will be easier than not being able to give a participant a choice of quilts!!

Monday 5 July 2010

OK, that's it -- now what?

So, that's it, ladies and gents - this round is officially closed for participants. We have 42 quilts, in a wide variety of colours, styles, themes and materials, and I think it's going to be hard to decide which ones we want to come live with us...

What do you do next, you may wonder. Well - here's how it will work.

  • First, take some time to admire all the lovely quilts. There are lots of great ones.
  • Next, begin to compile a list of quilts that you might like to receive. You should end up with a list of 10-15 quilts, in order of preference.
  • Send me this list, by Friday 16 July at the latest. That's next week, Friday. Please be sure to send me your complete name and postal address when sending the list so I can pass that on to the person who will be sending you your quilt!
  • I will compile and compare and juggle and fiddle and fudge and all those things until I get the best possible balance of what quilt is going where. I will then let you know privately who you should send your quilt to. Because last year some people wanted to know what quilt they were getting and some didn't, I decided this year that I wouldn't tell anyone straight off, but when I email you to say where you should send the quilt you made, you will have the option of finding out (through private email) which one is coming your way. Or not. As you like.
  • Sit back and wait for your lovely quilt to arrive in the post! Yee hah!
A few Q&A's

Q:Will I get my first choice?
A: Probably not. You might, but I certainly can't promise it. It depends largely on how popular your first choice quilt is. If you are the only one who put it first, you might well get it - but then again, you might not as it will depend on who picks which quilts in which places and how many times, and other complicated factors. Last year, approximately 3/4 of the participants got a quilt that was at least no 5 on their list. As I no longer have last year's spreadsheet, thanks to a dead computer, I can't give complete statistics, but I think the lowest placed quilt was around 8th place or so. But don't quote me on that. What I can promise is this: you will get a quilt you like. I can promise this because you will not get a quilt which is not on your list. And if you don't like a quilt, you won't have put it on your list in the first place! I also can promise that I will do my best to give the greatest number of people quilts which appear in high places on their preferences lists as I possibly can.

Q: What if no one likes my quilt?
A: I will not pretend this is not a possibility - it is. After all, people's tastes differ, so there's a chance that no one else will enjoy something you have made enough to put it in their top 10 (or 12 or 15). I haven't put any restrictions on joining this swap - you are allowed to take part even if you are a beginning quilter, or if your work is really avant-garde or odd, but there is always a chance that a quilt won't appear on any preference lists. This didn't happen last time, though there were a few which only appeared on one or two lists. If no one chooses your quilt, then what happens is simply, you keep it. But if that does happen, you will of course not get your choice of the other quilts. One of the reasons I've stressed that I need good clear photos and some detail shots is so that people can see how lovely your quilt truly is!

Q: What if I don't like 15 quilts? (or 12 or 10...)
A: In that case, just put as many as you do like. Though you should be warned that if you put too few, there is a chance I won't be able to arrange to have one sent to you - I would really like a 10 quilt minimum list. But if you only like 8 and any others would simply not make you happy, then you can let me know that and if necessary, you can keep your own quilt... Frankly, I don't see this as a problem - I think the hard thing will be narrowing the list down to as few as 15 in the first place.

Q: What if I have some questions about a piece before I put it on my list?
A: I will do my best to refer those questions to the artist and get you an answer. This is much more likely to happen if you ask these questions in the next few days than if you wait until Thursday the 15th to ask them, so I suggest you have at least a preliminary look through the quilts right now, if you've not already done so, and get your questions sorted straight away.

Q: How will you pick who gets what?
A: Honestly, this is a matter of balance. And it's impossible to predict until I see the lists, who will end up with what. There are a few factors that might influence my choice - for instance, if you rate quilt 6 (just for example) highly, but I know you had a quilt from that person in one of my previous swaps, I might not allocate that one to you. Or, if you made a quilt that 20 people put in their top 3 choices, I might give you a slight preference in your preferences to someone else, in recognition of you making a quilt so universally enjoyed. Last year, I was lucky in being able to allocate all the quilts in a way which was fair and balanced and many people did get one of their top choices, but who knows.

Q:What form should our preference list take?
A: Very simple, really - just an email saying "here are my choices, in order of preference: 1. quilt no 102; 2 quilt no 56; 3 quilt no 72" - and so on is fine. If you want to put the title or a brief description next to the number, that's great - just in case you have mistyped the number, I will be able to tell from the title or description which quilt you mean. (e.g. no 1, quilt no 102 - blue with circles; no 2, quilt no 56 - Spring Flowers - and so on)

Q: When will you finish allocating quilts?
A: Frankly, it depends on how the preferences fall. If lots of people want the same quilts, it gets harder. And there are 42 quilts this time, which is quite a few more than last time. Still, I don't see it taking more than a few days to work out - but I will keep you posted. I am leaving to go on holiday on the 27th of July and I hope to have everything completely done well before then, including all the emails telling people where to send their quilts...

I think that covers most of it, but as always, please just ask questions if you have them - either by commenting here or by emailing me directly.

Enjoy! Lots of great quilts to see - and covet! And remember, preference lists in to me by Friday 16 July at the latest, otherwise I just give you whatever makes my life easier. :)

Quilt no 42

Spring Flowers

Quilt no 41

Chile Tsunami
The subject of this quilt is the Tsunami in Chile in February 2010. I have embroidered tear shapes as well as waves to represent the water.

Quilt no 40

The Amish go to Bali
I use the disappearing nine patch block. these are batik fabric and kona black nine patches I made for a online exchange. the colors are a lot more vibrant in person. simple stitch in the ditch for the quilting part.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Quilt no 39

Will Sing for Pinwheels
Approx 25x25"
artist's statement: Made entirely out of 100% cotton fabrics, thread, and batting. Embroidery is done with DMC floss. Two strands. Pieced and quilted and bound (machine stitched to front and hand sewn to the back) entirely by me. :)

detail of embroidery

back of quilt

Quilt no 38

My quilt is 12.5" x 20.5" and is made with Lil Plain Jane by Michael Miller and Darlene Zimmerman for the birds. It is all hand stitched with DMC threads and hand quilted with Perle 8 thread. The birds are appliquéd onto 100% linen. I will add a label when I know the recipient.

Quilt no 37

Seminole Quilt
It consists of 6 Seminole patterns.I admit I cheated when I did the Snails trail pattern as I didn't use the Seminole method - I stitched onto gridded vilene to ensure accuracy. It is assembled using the Seminole method of stitching the pattern strips to the wadding/backing. This is a "Quilt as you go" process. There is not any additional ( surface) quilting on it. There is a hanging sleeve on the back.

Quilt no 36

size tbc
This has been inspired by Hundertwasser. I have used gesso, markals and acrylic paint to create the background. Elements have been appliqued on. Button and bed embellishments. 3 layers machine quilted together.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Quilt no 35

Summer Magnolia
The background is ecru muslin with a blue sky made out of 1.5" square scraps. The tree is English paper-pieced hexagons which were hand-appliquéd to the background. The trunk of the tree is also needleturned appliqué. The tree is embellished with white flower buttons. It's machine quilted in an all over meander, and the sky has some free motion clouds quilted into it. It comes with a hanging pocket on it, and I'll add a label once I know who it's going to.

Quilt no 34

This is all cotton fabric and wadding. Machine applique and mainly hand quilted - a little machine quilting in the border.

Thursday 1 July 2010

Quilt no 33

Inspired by William Morris
All cotton fabric. Stitchery backstitched with Variegated Thread on cotton. Quilted in the ditch around the borders and free motion quilting in the outer border.

Quilt no 32

Shiva Paintsticks were used on the background fabric, and a really fun new (to me) technique of piecing and insetting the leaves was used. The backing and border was hand dyed.

Quilt no 31

The quilt measures about 18"x18" and consists of one background quilt and four small "quilts" that can change positions on the background. The green background fabric and the back of the quilt are hand dyed fabric. The background quilt has cotton batting and the small "quilts" have fast2fuse as batting. They are made from scraps and small pieces of ribbons and also some beads and buttons.

background quilt

closeup of one small interchangeable quilt square

another square

alternative layout for quilt squares