#TinyFloralsAnonymous

Recently I hosted a fabric swap on Instagram involving Tiny Floral fabrics. I’ve been involved in other fabric swaps hosted by @purplepoppyquilts where we all purchased three yards of fabric in a color scheme and sliced them up into 10″ squares. I became a huge fan of these swaps because it’s a terrific way to build up stash without having to buy large quantities of different fabrics. I also like scrappy looking projects, so it was a good fit for me. Briawna’s (aka @purplepoppy) Color Square Swaps focus on a color theme. I wanted lots of florals, so after contacting her for advice (and also not to step on her toes since the format was her brain child), I cautiously hosted the first swap, limiting it to just 40 participants. 

The spots filled up quickly and off we went! Everyone posted a photo of their selection, in hopes that we wouldn’t duplicate prints and it worked! Everyone checked in before purchasing for the go-ahead. I kept track of all the choices. 40 wasn’t bad! My choice was from Quilt Gate, which I discovered after seeing it on @sunnydaysupply’s Instagram feed. Her feed and her shop are irresistible!

All the packages started arriving (I wonder what my mailman thought?) and I was giddy with excitement! I sorted them and sighed a bunch of sighs. You fabric lovers know what I’m talking about! Here they are:


Others posted their own arrangements and I LOVE them all! I actually might have a hard time deciding what my favorite is between the fabric selections or the creative posts showing all those lovely prints off! 


I’ve decided to host another round. Sign ups are Friday, April 21 at noon EST (USA participants only). 

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Customized Burp Cloths

Our family is growing by one this spring, so it is baby shower time! And for us creative types, that means it is time to think outside the gift registry and come up with something that we can hand make that will still satisfy the mother-to-be. I started looking around online for inspiration and found several tutorials for cute burp cloths, so I thought I’d start there. The mom has particular tastes so I didn’t want to stray too far from her nursery theme. Turns out I didn’t have to stray at all!

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I went to my local Babies R Us and printed up her registry, went trolling up and down the ailes trying to decide what I’d pick up for the expectant couple, when I came upon their nursery bedding.

And then it hit me. I didn’t see crib sheets; I saw fabric! There it was, my inspiration. After I checked out, I went next door to Hancock’s (conveniently located!) and picked out three coordinating flannels and headed home. If you do this project yourself, don’t do what I did and go to the fabric shop fueled only by one cup of coffee, and only get 1/4 yard of fabric. It wasn’t a disaster, but a healthy sized burp cloth is about 10-18″ so mine wound up being 8″ since I only got 1/4. But hey, I have less to throw in my scrap pile now, so it wasn’t all bad. And I think they came out at a useful size regardless.  PLEASE NOTE: Disregard the batting you see in the photo below! You’ll read why below.

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The basic instructions are:

  • Cut off the elastic part of the crib sheet and iron it out (you’ll have about 2 yards)
  • cut out rectangles of 8″ x 18″ of the flannel and crib sheet (or 10×18 if you bought more flannel)
  • Sew wrongs sides together, leaving and opening on one side to turn it inside out.
  • Clip corners
  • Turn right side out and press
  • Top stitch the perimeter
  • Top stitch a couple of lines across the burp cloth, either straight across the width or length, or diagonally (which is what I did)

If you need a good tutorial for a burp cloth, see Dana made it

I saved the cute burlap Velcro band that came with the sheet and used it to package them up.

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A note about these: I used batting for some reason. I think they are a little too stiff. I hope they wash up nicely, but if I had to do it again I would definitely not use the batting. Mine seem like tiny rectangular quilts. But the good news is I have enough leftover sheet fabric to make washcloths to redeem myself once I find some nice, soft baby terry cloth.

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Another note: If your sheet and your backing are both cotton, use cotton thread and don’t worry about pre-washing anything because it will all shrink up about the same size. However, I have seen a lot of tutorials using polyester backing (Minky or chenille) and quilting cotton for the other side. Definitely pre-wash your cotton in that case because when they get washed for the first time the cotton will shrink up but the polyester won’t and it will look weird.

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Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Are You an IG Swap Virgin?

If you are new to swaps, and have questions, you are not alone! Today’s blog will cover the basic “how to’s” for the common swap on Instagram.

The first thing to know about swaps is that they are F-U-N and not with just a capital “F” but with all three of those letters capped. Yes, I’m yelling. They are FUN! But you kinda know that already with all the posts you’ve been seeing about them on Instagram. You know, things like, “Oh, I really shouldn’t but I just can NOT help myself” or “Another one! I’m in SQUEEEE” or perhaps “Are you in @soandso”? (my apologies if that’s a real IG name) and other gleeful, hopeful and excited swapper comments.

There are all kinds of different swaps. There really is something for everyone.

I can’t cover them all in this post (see my last post. We are moving! What business do I have sitting down to write a post, anyway? I should be organizing to move.) I’ll touch on a few just so you get a taste.

Want to collect different fabrics without having to hunt them all down yourself? Then be on the lookout for a color swap. Or a favorite designer swap. Or a pre-cut (charm, layer cake, 10″ square, etc.) These are efficient swaps to get your stash built up.

I am currently involved in the Liberty Stamp Swap, where participants are making 28 blocks of 16 2.5″ squares with no repeating Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics. This one has been dreamy. Truly. I love Liberty of London, London, fabric, sewing, quilts….right up my alley. Anyway, come June I’ll be mailing off my completed blocks and then receiving 27 back…all sewn by different people.

Then there is the themed swap, which my IG friend @dizzylittlekingdom introduced me to with her Paris Swap and Bee Still My Heart Swap. Both themed swaps will involve one sewn item, a treat, a FQ of fabric, and in the case of the Bee, honey or honey-related item (since shipping honey across the ocean or from country to country is problematic), as well as a sewing notion and a treat. It’s a great combo.

How do you find a swap, you may be asking? Well, stalk Instagram. I joined IG not too long ago and started following other quilters by doing a search for #quilt #quilts #sewing and before you know it you will jump into the incredible IG world of making new friends world-wide who have the same love for sewing you do. Soon you will see posts that involve swaps. These posts either come from the swap host or by people reposting from the host. The best thing to do is to find the originator, which is easily done by reading through comments. Usually the host’s IG name is in there somewhere. Then go to the host’s profile and there may be information on the profile or you can check through their feed to see where the post first pops up. It’s easier than it sounds and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

There are a few ways hosts handle swaps. Sometimes you just have to leave your email in a comment. Other times you need to go to the host’s profile and click on a link for a Google form to complete. Take note that after you fill out the form you are brought to a screen that shows that you signed up. And the poof…it seems gone. You will not get an email confirmation or anything. So you might want to fill out the form again and the same thing happens. The worst that will happen is that you will have signed up twice but the host will catch it. Don’t worry.

Details for the swap are generally outlined in the beginning. What it will involve, if it’s secret or not and when the ship date is. If everything is vague, the host will be sending out more info soon or in an email after sign ups are complete. It all magically comes together.

If you’ve had enough info to get started, go on…hop on IG and see what you can find. If you want more info, another very basic post is coming.

I know there are no pretty pictures, quotes and so on that make a great blog post. But I can’t fiddle with that today. I’ve got to get my sewing stuff packed up safely so I know exactly what boxes to find in the new house. Thanks for reading and I hope it helped.

P.S. Swap experts-Please leave comments below to help out swappers!

The Art School Quilt

P.S. (consider this one a “pre” instead of “post” script). Some of the pictures are overexposed. I appreciate your forgiveness in advance.

And now on to the Art School Quilt:

artschoolquilt2When you get a high school graduation invitation in the mail for the daughter of a dear friend, what do you do? If you just bought a new sewing machine and you’ve fallen in love with fabric, you plan on sewing a quilt. If the said daughter will be attending art school it has to be colorful, right?!   

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I decided to look around my growing fabric stash and found beautiful fabrics from Amy Butler’s Belle line. I visited a terrific fabric shop (sadly-it has closed since but happily-I stocked my fabric stash with their clearance sale). Then I spotted the Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I just knew the backing would be coming off of one of those bolts of Fassett’s Millefiore.

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This was no inexpensive venture, but this dear girl is worth every penny and then some, so off to the cutting table I went!

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I used a double slice layer cake from Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial for the quilt top. I found a tutorial for a border on Pinterest and then also checked out binding info too.

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The very helpful (and experienced) man at the cutting table suggested I follow the circles on the backing for my quilting and that’s exactly what I did.

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Off to the PO it went, with wishes for her to cuddle with it, study with it, fall in love on it, read a book on it, eat a picnic on it and so on and on. On her thank you note she said she’d make a fort with it! I hadn’t thought of that one!