Wednesday 2 October 2013

Another note on size

Had a question from a potential player, whether it was ok if one dimension of the quilt was larger than 20", as long as the total perimeter fell within the allowed 80" - this is also ok. So if you want to make a long, really skinny quilt, go for it (or, more realistically, a quilt which was 15"x25" or 10x30").  I'll make a note in the instructions, but for those who have already read them and might not go back to them, thought I'd post it here separately. In fact, I think I will change the wording just to have a total perimeter requirement. The size restrictions are simply there to give a parity to the quilts, so that they aren't too completely different when it comes to choosing. However, as you all have free choice in the end, if a quilt isn't a size you like or if you feel a small quilt doesn't equal the amount of fabric or work or whatever you put into a larger quilt, you can simply elect not to put that quilt on your preference list. This rule was more important in the old days when partners were pre-assigned and you didn't see what you were getting in advance... (Sometimes, of course, we have a single size, just for fun!)

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Announcing ALQS8 - the new Round!

I've recently had a few enquiries as to the new round of the swap (and I know I said on the FB page that I'd try to open it in September). For various reasons, I didn't get around to it in September, but I came close!

Here are the official rules for ALQS8 - similar to previous rounds, but be sure to check size requirements and so on, even if you've played before and understand how it all works. Feel free to share the news and let all your quilting friends know we are open for business...

ALQS8 will be a miniquilt swap, for a small quilt within a range of sizes - with a total perimeter (i.e. the distance around the edges of the quilt) between 48" and 80 " (approx 120cm and 200cm). This means you could have a squall quilt as small as  12"x12" (30cm x 30cm) or as large as 20" x 20" (50cm x 50cm).  Or you could have a quilt which is not square (or even rectangular), so long as the total size fits. So you could have a quilt which was 10"x30" or  triangular with a base of 25" and sides of 15". It is also acceptable to make a pair or triptych of related quilts, if the total size falls within the acceptable limit, although if you make a pair of related quilts or a triptych, they will still only count as one quilt for the purpose of swapping. (Cm conversions are approximate, for convenience.)

You may choose to make a traditional style quilt or an art quilt, or something somewhere in between, as long as it fits the size requirements. You may make a quilt specifically for this swap or you may use a quilt that you have made previously, so long as it fits the size requirements.  As usual, you may make two unrelated quilts (which will count as two choices for swapping) if you like (or one quilt and one pair, and so on). No one player will be allowed to enter more than two swapping choices in this round of the swap.

If you are interested in taking part in this round of Another Little Quilt Swap, 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. If you have taken part in recent rounds of this swap, you will be familiar with the way it works, as I haven't changed it, other than the size, which varies from swap to swap, but do read the rules anyway to refresh your memory.

  1. Quilt type.  Round 8  will allow all quilt types - traditional, modern, contemporary, art and any other designation you can think of.   In terms of how arty an art quilt might be and still qualify for the swap, 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 only 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), though if can you successfully communicate through a friend or relative, that's fine - I've had that in previous rounds and it's worked out well.
  3. International posting. You must be able and willing to post internationally in order to play. This does not mean you will HAVE to do so, but you must be willing to, as partners will not be assigned in advance.
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 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. 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 (seemed to work fairly well the last few rounds). 
  • Quilty surprise?  I will not be announcing who gets what quilt until the quilts are received, but if you really want to know which one is coming to you once they have been assigned, I will send you that information prviately by email.
  • Sizes. All quilts should be between  12"x12" (30cm x 30cm) and 20" x 20" (50cm x 50cm). The quilt does not have to be square, but the finished size should be such that the the perimeter falls between 48" (120cm) and 80" (200cm).  If you wish, you may make a pair or trio of related quilts whose total size falls within these guidelines (for example, a pair of quilts which are both 12x18" or three quilts which are all 9" square). If you make a set of related quilts, these will be treated as a single piece.
  • Multiples. Because of the way I will swap these quilts, you may, if you like, submit TWO quilts (or quilt sets) to this swap. (But no more.) Both, of course, must meet the requirements, and I would prefer them to be substantially different to one another. This would then get you two choices of quilts later on.
  • Materials. If you are making a traditional quilt, this question may not come up, though I will say that because these quilts are aimed at decoration rather than use, you don't have to follow the standard rules about using only quilting cottons, etc. If you are making an art quilt, you can use whatever you like, 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! Please let me know if you use any plant materials in your quilt (like leaves or branches) as we often have Australian participants and they can't receive these items in the post, so would need to exclude those pieces from their choices.
  • Techniques. Again, unlimited, though you must include stitch in some form as this is a quilt swap. If you are making a traditional quilt you may piece by machine or hand, or a combination of both and likewise, you may quilt in either way - or both - or you can tie your quilt. 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 and 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!
  • Quality. I know I don't really have to say this, but the aim here is to make a nice quilt, which someone will want to own.  This swap is open to people of all levels of quilting abilitiy, but I ask that you do your best work and take some time over the product. Remember that people will be choosing your quilt (or not!) based on your photos, so if your quilt isn't well made, it might not get picked. This doesn't mean your quilt has to be complicated or elaborate, just make it something that you would like to own yourself!  In most rounds, all the quilts submitted were within the top 10 on at least one list and most were on a number of lists. In the last swap, we did end up with a few quilts which weren't on enough lists to allow me to successfully allocate them all to new homes; I hope that this won't happen on this occasion, but bear in mind that it is always possible. It doesn't mean that people don't like your quilt, but if we have 60 quilts, it is often the case that some of the simpler ones get overlooked in favour of the more showy ones. There's not much I can do about that except encourage people to include a broad variety of pieces in their preference lists.
  • Timeline. I like to give a nice long time to work on things, and I know we are heading into a busy time of year.  For me, and probably for others who work in schools or have children, the Christmas holidays are actually an excellent time to get some sewing done, so I'm putting the deadline for photos as Monday, 20th January 2014. This gives us all nearly 4 months to work on a piece or pieces, which I hope will mean that many people can play along.

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 ALQS8 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.  Sometimes in the past  I have had to chase a lot of people for their detail photos and I'm going to be mean this year. If you don't send me a full size photo of the quilt and at least one detail photo, I am not going to include your quilt.
  4. And a description. With your photos, you should send a brief description of your quilt , including the  name if it has one and perhaps some notes on what materials and techniques you have used. Please make sure to say what size it is. 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(s), you will be officially signed up, which means that you will be able to send me a list your preferences for which quilt(s) 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 may be given to the makers of the most popular quilts (so if your quilt is the number one choice for half the swappers, you will be more likely to 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.

Saturday 12 January 2013

Grand Reveal

Well, I know it's been a while since the swap finished, and I apologise for the delay in revealing the Grand Reveal - this is partly due to the higher than normal number of quilts which haven't made it home yet, but also partly due in part to just being really really busy and not having the time or energy to write the reveal post. No excuse really, but at least it's a reason.

This round is a little different from previous ones, in that a couple of people in the end chose to keep their own quilts - the swap logistics were quite complicated, as it happened.  But anyway, I think most of the players were fairly happy with how it came out, and hopefully those few who haven't had their quilts yet either will receive them soon or will get a replacement.

Here's how the swapping worked - it's always fun to me to see how it works (even though I already know, more or less - the thing is, I do most of the swapping in a spreadsheet, so although I know who got a quilt by who, I don't always connect them to what that quilt looked like...)  and I'm sure you will all enjoy it as well!

OK,  Quilt no 1 was made by Mary D, who kept it for herself in the end.

Quilt no 2 was made by Wil in the Netherlands, and has just today (or perhaps yesterday) finally arrived to Andrea in Australia. 

Andrea's quilt, no 17, went to Shawn,

And no 48, Shawn's quilt went off to Joanne in Canada. This is one of the ones still outsanding, but hopefully it will make it to her in the fullness of time. 

This is Joanne's quilt, no 37.  It went to live with Maria, also in Canada.

Maria's quilt, Hurricane Season (no 43), was sent to Debra, in the UK. 

And Debra sent her piece, no 36, to Hilde in Brazil. 

Hilde's Dahlia quilt, no 18, went to live with Barbara in Northern Ireland. 

Barbara has been playing in ALQS since round 4, and she's always been really accomodating about taking any quilt at all (sometimes just saying "send me whatever you pick") - this time, she did put her list in order, so I tried to give her something quite near the top of the list.  I do try, when I can!

Here is no 10 - Barbara's quilt Cinnamon Star, which went to Vero in Chile. 

Vero's Quilt, no 52, went to Bev in Brazil. This is one of the quilts which hasn't quite made it to its new owner yet - hopefully it will do so before too much longer.

Bev's quilt, inspired by a drawing her daughter did, went to live with Francine, and the quilt that Francine made

went to live with Mary Jane. Mary Jane made this sweet piece: 

which ended up with Penny in Australia. Penny's quilt

ended up with Sharon Z in Canada, while Sharon sent this piece

to Mary J.  The quilt that Mary J made, no 41, went to Diana,

while Diana's piece, no 14 came to live with Sarah.

Sarah's quilt travelled to Hungary to live with Ildiko,

and Ildi's quilt went to a new home with Denise.

Denise made a quilt for Cobi in the Netherlands

and Cobi's lovely French Knot work went to Misha, in the USA.  Aren't we international?

Misha's quilt, no 45, went to Cathy in Texas,

while Cathy's quilt (one of two made for the swap) went to Sandra in Australia.

Sandra made this piece, which ended up going to Lynda. 

Lynda has played in all of my swaps - in fact, she's one of the four people (including myself) who have taken part in all seven rounds (the others being Wil and Ramona).  Her quilts are often in high demand, and these days, receiving one of hers usually involves a wait while the quilt travels to a show or is photographed for Lynda's latest book.  This one is no exception, but I know that Diane didn't mind the wait.

Diane's own piece, one of the most popular in the swap,  went to Virginia, 

and the piece that Virginia made, equally popular, went to Margaret. 

Margaret's piece, no 29, travelled to Norway to Kjersti

While Kjersti's quilt went to Claudia, in Brazil. This is one of the other pieces which has not yet reached it's new home. Again, we are hoping for the best!

Claudia's quilt went to live with Miriam, 

whose own piece, no 21, went to Scarlett.

Scarlett's quilt ended up going to live with Lyndsay, 

while the piece that Lyndsay made travelled to New Zealand to live with Jan.

Jan made two pieces for the swap, and this one of hers went to Kelly in Minnesota.

Kelly's quilt went to live with Ann B

and Ann's lovely Coffee with Vincent came to England to live in my own upstairs hallway.

My piece, Three Mother Goddesses, went over to New Zealand to Jan as well

and Jan's second pieces for the swap ended up living with Sheila

Sheila's quilt, no 42 went to Germany to live with Sabine,

and Sabine's piece hopped across Europe to make a new home with Wil in the Netherlands.  Sabine's quilt was the most requested piece in the swap - it appeared on 37 preference lists.

And that's the end of this very large swap section.   Just a few more to go!

OK. So, This lovely quilt, no 4, made by Margeeth in the Netherlands, went to Natalie in Alaska,

and Natalie's piece went to live with Mary S.

Mary S's quilt, no 11, went to Sue in the UK

and Sue's piece hopped over to Australia to live with Lisa R.

Lisa's piece went to Marie, 

whose quilt went to Julie W in California.

Julie's quilt came over here to live with Maggi

and Maggie's piece went to Lise S. in Norway.

Lise's piece went to Glenys in New Zealand

and Glenys's no 34 went to Margeeth, which closes that circle.

And finally, quilt no 6 was made by Ramona (another of my faithful swappers, who has been in all rounds!) and went to live with Pam  in the UK

Pam's quilt was sent to Marinez

who sent her piece to Cathy in Texas.

Cathy's second quilt in the swap went to Vreni in Singapore

and Vreni's piece went to Jenn.

Jenn's quilt went to Ramona, and unfortunately, hasn't yet arrived, so we are working on tracking it.

And Melody made a quilt which, in the end, she elected to keep for herself.

And that's Round 7 - perhaps see you in Round 8, some time in 2013.