12.19.2014

My Name is Rebecca...

And I am a Swap Addict!!! I started with my first online mini quilt swap a couple months ago and now I'm planning my fourth swap quilt!!! They've been so much fun and I wanted to share with you what I've been up to:
The first swap I joined was the Little Quilts Swap featuring the book Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsinger. It was simple, you just had to make one of the quilts from the book! The quilt above is what I made for my partner and below is what my partner made for me:
This was a secret swap so you couldn't divulge your partners info until they got their package and the person you're sending a quilt to may not be the same person sending something to you! 

My next swap was the Quiltcast Mini Swap and this is what I made:
We had guidelines of what size quilt to make and it had to feature stars (or a star). My partner for this swap loved Kaffe Fasset fabrics so I got a piece for the backing and pulled the other colors for the quilt top from that. This quilt pattern was my adaptation of one of the patterns from the Little Quilts book and it got my feet wet for paper piecing again (it's been awhile and I was a bit rusty). 
And in return I got this amazing package from my partner!!! I still have to hang my minis on my wall, but I have a bit of cleaning and rearranging to do before I decide on a spot for them. 

Currently I'm working on my mini for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap and I just got my partner info this week for the Rainbow Mini Swap. As I said, I'm addicted!!! I will share my progress as I get them completed!

So would you like to join a swap? Have questions on how they work? Well, I found all of the swaps I've joined on Instagram... There are swaps on Flickr and random blogs as well, but Instagram has worked well for me. 

For each swap, there's usually an online form to fill out with your information and a questionnaire to give your partner information about your likes and dislikes. There are swap moderators that usually email you and track your progress as well as answer any questions you may have along the way. 

Then it's basically stalking your partner at that point to get a better idea of their likes and styles, then planning and sewing before you send it off. Granted, I've kinda skimmed through the details, but it's more of a learn as you go and just have fun kinda experience. 

Most swaps come with guidelines of what size quilt to make and deadlines to send out your packages and whatnot. The reason I think I've joined so many so quickly and why they're fun is that I get to meet a ton of new people from all over the world. Most of my swap partners like fabrics that I've never played with before so I'm discovering new things as well and it pushes my creativity with a little nudge. I have to think about what my partner would like and I have to make something that I may not normally make. So far I've loved everything new I've played with. Plus these quilts are small so they're not daunting and they go quickly so you can dabble in a new technique or fabric without feeling burdened if you don't like it. But you can try it out to see if you like that fabrics or piecing technique and if you like it you can always make your own larger quilt. 

Now, I do not consider myself an expert by any means, but I have been having so much fun and I urge you all to find a swap and give it a try. Or maybe even arrange a swap in your own quilt guild rather than doing a challenge... Trying to stalk your friends and make them a project in secret could be challenging enough!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below or send me an email at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com. I cannot guarantee I have an answer, but I will try my best!

Do you have a swap you've joined and would recommend for the future? Are you interested in swapping? Let me know! 

12.16.2014

Woodland Sunset Part Two

In eager anticipation of Seems Like Scrappy coming out next May... I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the quilts from my first book, Seamingly Scrappy. This summer (or fall, I honestly can't remember) I quilted up a new version of Woodland Sunset.
 When I was picking out the fabric for the original quilt, I picked out Fat Quarters knowing that I only needed Fat Eighths... This way I could have two quilts! Score! I didn't get around to making this quilt as soon as I had expected (obviously) so the border fabrics weren't available for a duplicate quilt. No problem, I improvised and played in an alternate color story...
 I quilted this shortly after I finally tried ruler work on the long arm... I was hooked, I think it looks awesome!
 I continued the lines into the side setting pieces and then quilted the border to mimic the fabric.
 I really love how the quilting looks in the smaller blocks in the border.
 Hard to believe the same fabrics were used for both quilts, here's the original quilt below:
And just to prove it, I did this to show how much changing the border fabric can alter the look of a quilt. Pretty cool, huh? 
Once again, these quilts are from the pattern Woodland Sunset out of my first book, Seamingly Scrappy. Who knows, this quilt is so fun and simple to make, I may make another some day. Right now I keep thinking about Christmas quilts to make... This would be a fun winter quilt... In all of my spare time, right?

12.15.2014

Holiday Giggles

Sooooo... I shared with you guys my yoga class hiccups from before. Well, my bestie and I were taking the classes together and then life got busy so we both just did our own thing.

Well, if you didn't hear the yoga class story, you can read about it here. Katti just joined a new club that offers yoga classes and she wants me to sign up... Just thinking about it I started giggling and then my brother showed me this video:


I don't think I can ever take a yoga class again... Hope this brought a chuckle to your day!!!

12.14.2014

Clarence the Christmas Goose (free printable)

Now, some of may know, many may not, but I used to draw... A LOT. I took every art class offered at my school (which wasn't much, it's a small school) and I went to college for graphic design. Well, i still dabble from time to time with some sketches and a few years ago it dawned on me as we were pulling out Christmas decorations, that I didn't have a stocking... My hubby had 5...

Now, I have stockings at other houses where we do get togethers at the holidays, but I didn't have one at home and it was about time I changed that, so I came up with Clarence the Christmas Goose!

He's pretty darn cute if I do say so myself and I decided to put him on a stocking for myself... Well, there was one slight issue... Now that he's done and finished, that stocking is the smallest one by a long shot! Oh well, it's one of those things when you're in the heat of the design and it looks great on the computer...Then in real life it's dwarfed from the idea you had in mind...

Well, Clarence is actual sized in the printout below to the stocking I made. Feel free to increase or reduce his size to fit your needs. I also included the design for the berry branch on the cuff of the stocking.

For the design I only used black and red threads, black for the main areas (I did a backstitch, it's my go-to stitch) and where you see a little "o" I made a french knot with the red thread for the berries. Oh, I lied, there's a bit of green for the holly leaves! If you don't like french knots you can do whatever you'd like instead like add buttons or use another stitch.

I did not include the stocking in the printable as I said, it's just too small and to get it to a decent size, I'd have to break it up into four pages or so, so instead I'd recommend tracing a stocking you already own or free handing your own to get the size you prefer.

Alrighty, to get to the printable design, click here. Now, I've had some questions with the other printouts I've had in the past... When you click on the link. You can either click the printer at the top center of the page to print the design, or click the arrow to download it. It's that easy.

Well, I hope you like Clarence as much as I do and I'd love to see what you plan on making with his little sweet self on it! I have another pillow I made with a saying on it, but I have no clue where it is and it's still not stuffed... So if I find it, I'll show it some day.

Maybe some of you with the fast fingers will have your own Clarence in time for Christmas... I'll be lucky to get all of my presents wrapped in an orderly fashion at this point! Have a great weekend (or what's left of it) and I'll be back with more posts soon!

Candy Sweets Quilt (A Free Tutorial)

I had the amazing opportunity to work with the folks at Timeless Treasures Fabrics and they asked me to come up with a fun Christmas-y quilt... Well, this is what I came up with:
 The great thing about this quilt, well there's a few:

1. It's fast, fun and simple.
2. It uses 5" squares and minimal yardage (so you probably have all of the fabrics at home already)
3. It can be used for Christmas or any get together for a little quilty decor. I had in mind that it would look great at the dessert table or at a cookie exchange!
4. It's small enough to be used as a wall hanging, but big enough to make an impact!!!
I had so much fun making this quilt and I hope you do too. You can head on over to Timeless Treasures blog here to get the tutorial! It actually posted Friday and I was stuck in the whirlwind of quilting deadlines that I actually forgot it was posting that day... Ooooppppssss. We set this tutorial up a few weeks ago and I lost track of time!

That's actually the reason the blog has been so quiet. Between the unexpected trips to the dentist and trying to meet the quilting deadlines for Christmas and Farmpark, I have been a quilting fool. Seriously, my goal today is to wash AND DRY my hair for the first time in forever. It takes so much time I usually towel dry it as best I can and then throw it up in a messy bun and run out the door. It's the little things, isn't it?

Well, I hope you enjoy the tutorial, I'd love to see pictures if you make your own version of it! Last night I took a quick break to finish up Christmas shopping, so far this morning I've pulled out a few decorations, and it reminded me that I have one to share with you here. To make up for my lack of blogging, I'll post again later today with a little embroidery piece (I'll share the design as a free printable too!) that I whipped up. Until then, have a great weekend!!! I've got a little bit more quilting this week to finish up, so I'll be out there a bit later today, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! It's a good thing because Christmas isn't that far away!!!

12.08.2014

Two words

Root canal...
I had a little setback last week with a tooth ache that turned into an unexpected root canal on Friday. Needless to say I got little quilting done this weekend, but I'm feeling much better now that the meds have kicked in and I plan to take on some super extra long days to keep up with the quilts I need to finish for my customers. 

Please understand that I'd rather heal and be in my best condition to work on your quilt rather than try to work on it in a drug induced stupor...

All I have to say is I'm just glad this didn't happen over vacation... Well, hope you all have enjoyed the quilt pictures I've been posting, I should have more to come soon!!!

12.06.2014

Machine Quilting: Blue Churndashes

Well, that wonderful Amy brought me the quilt of a lifetime. I seriously want to play in her stash. She makes me want to play in my stash. It's a never ending battle I'm losing... But it was soooo worth it to work on this quilt.
 When I opened this quilt to come up with a plan... I was too mesmerized by all of the fabrics and combinations in the blocks that I would forget to plan and would just stare... This quilt actually scared me a bit. I was putting so much pressure on myself to come up with something awesome to match the workmanship that went into it and finally I just had to break it down piece by piece and go from there.
 Now Amy is a hand quilter at heart so I tackle her quilts a little differently keeping that traditional styling in mind. I had to consult her on a few of these details because they felt a bit too modern, but I'm soooo glad we used them in this quilt.
 And in true fashion, the borders got their feathers, like a traditional quilt, there's a nice mix of hard lines and soft curves that work well together.
 And then before you knew it, the quilt was done. And I was sad... I didn't want it to leave. I didn't know how to get going and then I didn't want to stop...
 But can you blame me when you have this amazingness to look at?! I miss it already...
But it doesn't stop there... Here's a view of the back. It's a very light detailed white on white that reads like a solid and shows off the quilting beautifully!!! Don't you agree???

Amy... Now I know this quilt has a home... But if she ever doesn't want it anymore, you know where to find me, okay? Seriously...

Thanks again for letting me play on your quilts and thanks for playing along and virtually loving on these quilts with me! It's so fun to look at some of these quilts a week or a month or so later and reminisce.
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