Happy New Year!

I hope yall all had a wonderful New Years Eve! We have a tradition of always going to Tacoma’s zoo and seeing the zoolights, so that’s what we did! Do you have a favorite NYE tradition???

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I thought I’d welcome in 2014 with a look back at my favorite projects from 2013! I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs and it seems like I’m not the only one that gets into a mood thinking that I didn’t create too much… But once you sit and look at your whole blog from the past year, I’m reminded that I made A LOT! Yeah!

And my favorites are….

The crazy colorful outfit the kiddo and I made in January for the Project Run and Play Sew Along.

The I Love You Jacket I made for the kiddo in February.

The Super Hero Cape t-shirt tutorial (you’ll see a superhero theme throughout this year!) I made for the kiddo and Go To Sew in March!

One of my all time favorite projects was the Fox Skirt in April (for my friend April’s daughter!).

The wonky star quilt I made, with the help of my Nurture Circle, in May.

The low volume, ‘Lone Star’ pillowcase I made for a swap partner in June.

The little overalls I designed for a friend’s son adoption in July.

I really loved how this needle book turned out that I made for another swap in August.

The Flash costume in September! I didn’t blog about it until October, but technically I made it in September….

And the Hulk Costume in October!

The kiddo and I really loved our melted bead necklaces we made in November.

And last but not least, I loved our Jack and Jill pj’s I made in December!

What was your favorite project that you made last year??? Or do you have a favorite that I made? I’d love to hear about it!!

Fab LIttle Pincushion Swap

another swap… yep!

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This swap is called the Fab Little Pincushion where you make a pin cushion for your secret partner. Since I’m obsessed with hexi’s, I decided to do a hexi pincushion. With little hexi’s. (so addictive…)

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Then I put it all together and it got big. I had an idea in my head about how it was going ot look. It didn’t really turn out that way.  I do like the hexi top, though. I knew it was getting too big, but I couldn’t stop myself!

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Luckily, my partner wanted a larger cushion! whew!

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I had a few hexi’s left over, so I added them to the coordinating needle book I made. Whiel I wasn’t completely in love with the cushion, I am in love with the needle book!

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And on to what I got!! Thank you so much  for all the beautiful work you put into my package! Everything is beautiful!

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I love all the work that went inot this for me. And everything is tiny, just like I like it! The pinchion has a front and back (of course) done with the hand stitching! I love the embroidery work on all the pieces. I’ve reently fallen in love with needle books. And my son is trying to get the thread catcher for himself! No, no buddy!

 

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Modernista Homemade Swap- Again!

Another swap. I’m addicted. What can I say?? And after this one, even more so!

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This round of the Modernista Homemade Swap was for the bedroom. Each round has been for a different room in the house, the dining room, kitchen, sewing room, living room. My partner wanted pillowcases for her main item and a fabric storage box or bowl was her idea for the little item. Her colors were bright and she’s seems to be a bit like me with her love of bright greens and blues! Yea!

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So I made the pillowcases. Remember these? You can get the whole French seam pillowcase tutorial here.

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Then…. My lovely sponsor and blogging pal, Michele from Michele Made Me, made these exquisite fabric bowls on her blog with a wonderful tutorial (huge round of applause from me right here) to go along with it. As soon as I saw the bowl, I knew I had to make it for my partner!

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There’s some machine sewing and some hand sewing. I used to say I don’t hand sew anything. I now stand corrected. I LOVE hand sewing. Why switch after all these years??? I just realized I can take it with me! Hello! Looooove it! (If you watch Dragon Tales, I am sure you can here Weesie singing LOOOOVE it!)

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The bowl is super easy to make. You’ve got to try it. Can you tell I like it? I only took a hundred pictures of it! I think everyone is getting one from me for Christmas! :) shhhh…. Actually, both of these projects were easy and addictive!

And on to what I received!!

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This is one of my favorite pictures from my wedding. And it’s also the picture I gave to my secret partner as a color inspiration board.

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I was a bit surprised to open the package! Actually a LOT surprised! Talk about secret! My partner, Graycefulily, didn’t post any progress pictures on the flickr group so I was not expecting this. It’s perfect!

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I said I wanted a pillow cover or something for my room. And for my little I needed a little glasses case! Love them both! And I love my little extra goodies too! And now I’m inspired to start working on my husband’s Christmas present quilt that I was supposed to have done by now!

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The quilting on my pillow cover is very cool! And I love that she threw in a little hand stitching.

Now you can probably tell why I’m addicted to these things!

 

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A Low Volume Modern She Made Swap

This swap, like the quilt block I told you about on Monday, was also a learning experience. My partner requested a low volume piece. A What???

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What in the world is low volume?? Can you say totally foreign to me with all my bright crazy colors? Um. Yes. So I had to do a little research on the subject. fast.

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Basically, in a few words, it’s quilting with fabric that lacks contrast. I’ve since learned it’s a pretty popular quilting trend right now. I’m pretty embarrassed to even say this, but something I didn’t even know was going on… But I’m in the ‘Know’ now! It’s inda like the definition of Modern Quilting, in that I can’t find a real definition. Here’s what I’ve put together. It’s a lot of white/light grey. Mostly white. Pastels. No/Low contrast. Whites with small prints. Don’t use bright/saturated colors.

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So, based on those definitions, I got closer to low volume than I usually do, but I didn’t quite hit it on the head or anything! The light grey should maybe have been white… And there is contrast, just not as much as I usually do.  You can download a PDF with a nicely written story on Low Volume quilting here at Quilting Daily.

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In my attempt at low volume, I made a ‘Lone Star’ pillowcase. I used this tutorial by Hopeful Homemaker for my star. Like so many quilt blocks, it can be addicting too! I was to make more!

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And for the goodies, I sent a bright (HA!) flexible ruler, a fun quilt shape template key ring and a little mug rug from the scraps.

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And then… Back to the bright and bold! I was a lucky duck in this swap, too! Look at the wonderful placemats I received from Beachgirl Sews!

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Each one is different! They are fantastic! I hate to use them. But I also hate not too! Even the husband and kiddo are excited for the new placemats at the dinner table.

 

 

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Fab Little Quilt Swap

Yes, another one! I kinda overloaded on swaps this spring! I think I might have to sit some out for the next rounds…

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But it’s hard when they are so much fun! And I included a little La Petite Pouch and one of my new favorite quilting tools, a Frixion pen.

 

This one was a little quilt that I thought was a shooting star. Then someone said it looked like a kite with it’s tails flowing behind. I actually like that description even better!

FLQS-TheStart-ImFeelinCraftyIt began looking like this… And it just needed something…

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So  I added something!

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I’m loving the hand stitching and the embroidery thread. Now I just need to learn a few ‘real’ stitches!

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And the back looked like this with my little tag.

 

And are you wondering what I got in this swap???

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This amazing bundle from She Can Quilt! And boy can she quilt! I saw this piece during the progress photos and loved it! LOVED it. Then I saw her quilting and was really in love.

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Check it out. It’s amazing! This quilting seems to be her style! Very cool!

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And this is what it looks like.

Have you joined a swap yet???

What I know about Swaps!

I’ve been doing swaps for about the last year maybe? Since last June. I’m going to tell you what I know about them. But I have to give a warning… They are addictive! So if you start, just beware…

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Pretty LIttle Pouch Swap

I’ve had a lot of questions about the swaps, so I thought I’d tell ya what I know! And if you know more, please add comments below for others to learn from!

All the swaps I do are flickr based. You basically have to use flickr. Let’s step back a minute… How did I learn about them to begin with? I would scan flickr now and then and I kept finding amazing things people had made for this swap or that swap. I had no clue what a swap was, but eventually I put two and two together and realized that a swap is literally a swap! Hello!

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Modernista Homemade Swap

So I started seeing a theme between some of these pieces I like and which swaps these artists were participating in. Most swaps require a good history of swapping. But you have to start somewhere, huh? So I wrote to the group administrators and told them I was interested in playing along, but I had no history…. They took a look at my flickr page and let me in.

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Doll Quilt Swap

Most of the ones I do, you have to be approved to join. And others you have to be invited. Of course, each swap has their own requirements.

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How they work. All the ones I do are blind swaps. Meaning who you are making something for is not the same person who is making something for you. AND… The person you are making something for doesn’t know you are making something for them! So you can’t ask them directly what they like and what they don’t like!

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If you can’t talk to them, how do you make them something that they are going to like?? You stalk them. Yep. No restraining orders here. The more stalking the better! When you get your partner’s info, it includes their likes and dislikes and all their social media outlets. Like their blog, their pinterest page, their flickr page, and anything else you want to share!

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Modernista Homemade

Now you have your partner. You can start stalking. But there’s another component to the whole swap thing… And that’s the fact that you really need to stay up to date on all the progress pictures being added to the flickr group for the swap. You are asked to comment on as many progress photos as you can. Why would you want to comment on so many pictures? Because you don’t know who your partner is. And your partner, more than likely, is going to post progress pictures with questions. And the more you comment, the more likely your end product is going to be perfect for you! You are answering questions and helping guide your fellow artists in making the perfect gift for you. And you are also letting your partner learn more about your likes and dislikes based on the comments you share!

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Modern She Made Swap

Then you make something cool, mail it off and get a wonderful package in the mail just for you!

Most swaps also send little goodies with the main package. So be sure to know the swaps guidelines on that too! I didn’t realize that at first and almost sent mine out without the extra goodies!

So what swaps do I do? The two main ones that I have loved are the Modernista Homemade Swap and the Modern She Made Swap. I recently joined the Pretty Little Pouch Swap, that was a lot of fun! And I’ve also just started the Doll Quilt Swap and the Fab Little Quilt Swap.

And a few that I like, but haven’t participated in yet are the Fab Little Pincushion Swap and the For the Love of Solids Swap.

If you swap, let us know your favorite swaps, too!
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Modernista Homemade Swap #3

Yep, I did it again… I signed up for three swaps this spring. Why?? I don’t know. I can’t seem to say NO. Luckily there is only one due a month…

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The Modernista Homemade Swap was last month. I almost missed the deadline too…. I even wrote to the Swap Mama this long email about how I couldn’t get it done on time, blah blah blah… I never heard back from here and then saw that the deadline had been changed from Saturday the 30th to today, the 1st!!! Yea!!! So luckily I’m going not to be kicked out of the swap next round…..

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My partner originally had one color scheme, but then moved and changed her color scheme. With the swaps you are supposed to ‘stalk’ your partner, since you can’t talk directly to them. So I checked out her new pinterest page and it was full of pictures of grey, white and teal. And there were also images of art that said things like, ‘Love builds a happy home’ and ‘Love is spoken Here.’

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As soon as I saw the colors and the art picks, I knew exactly what I wanted to do….

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I had been wanting to make this heart since I had seen it around the web time and time again. Now I had the perfect opportunity!

I used the same technique that I used to make my Where I Live postage stamp quilt. I love watching it shrink! Except for those quick moments of fear when you turn it over and the corners don’t line up because you haven’t finished sewing a section. It happens a couple of times. Then I remember that’s the 1/4inch allowance that I haven’t sewn yet… Oh, yeah, and then I’m back on!

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I tried my hand at a little embroidery work. Inspired by the art prints I had seen. It’s not the best, but I think it turned out cute. I was going to make more of one of the saying, but then got nervous that my partner might not like my lack of embroidery skills, so I left it sweet and short!

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For the small second item, I made a pinking shears pouch. It’s a quilted pouch with bound edges.

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Even though the pouch is probably not going to be used in the same room as the pillow, I still made them match. And I used all my teal scraps…. STay tuned for a tutorial on how I did the pouch.

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And I decided to add a little something to the back. As I was cutting the pieces for the front, I had a few extra, so I threw it on the back. And it turns out the back actually holds it own as a design, I think!

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I love how the stitching on the sides makes it look really clean and fresh.

And I received my package! The colors are perfect for our living room. Love the orange, brown and yellows. My swap gift was a lap quilt and some quilted coasters from a.quilter.2. Too cute!

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And now I’m on to my next swap and think I’ve already figured it out! This is going to be a month of quilting for sure. Hopefully I can get a little something else in….

 

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A Doll Quilt!

And another swap!

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I recently joined in on the Doll Quilt Swap and had a blast! Look what wonderful goodness came from the swap. I got my gift (the one on the right with the orange) the same day I was shipping mine (the pink and blue one on the left), so they got to say hello to each other! In planning it I came up with w few designs that even though they didn’t get made for the swap, they are going to be made into something soon! I’m really excited about them!!

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I knew my partner liked the red, pink, white and teal color scheme, so these are the designs I came up with! DUring this swap, I kept waiting for my partner to comment nad she didn’t comment much.

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Then when I posted my sketches, she commented on one, ‘Are you talking to me ;)? I think I’d pick this one, but it’s really hard to choose! They are all great. Which one would you enjoy making the most?’ I freaked! This being a secret swap she wasn’t supposed to know who her partner was. Part of me knew she was just being funny, but there was a part of me that was freakin’ out! ‘HOW DOES SHE KNOW IT”S ME???’ I almost made a different quilt to post on flickr as my progress, just to throw her off!

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But I finally calmed down and knew she didn’t know I was her partner and went on with the design she liked!

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The middle kinda gave me a curve ball. It didn’t end up as ’round’ as I wanted it to be. I ended up taking out two triangle pieces and redoing them to help the ‘circle’ out a bit!

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Of course, every little swap gets a little somethin’ extra to go along with it. So I reused those two triangles that I took out of the quilt to make a pin cushion. I also found this cool old embroidery hoop that I thought I only had one piece too. Then I realized it was actually two pieces, so Ta Da! I had me an embroidery hoop to use to make my favorite new pin cushion style out of!  And a little charm pack of Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker for Moda Fabrics.

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And…. When you swap, you always get something in return, right? Looky what I got!! My partner was Emily and she did a beautiful job on my little quilt! It’s really cool how it seems to pop! And see here’s the beauty of swaps. I remember when she posted it and asked which color to bind it in… I said orange! And look! She listened. I had no idea it was for me.

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One requirement of the Doll Quilt Swap is that the quilt has to have a label. So I made one. Once I got it quilted, it’s a little hard to read, but I think it worked. Next time maybe I’ll embroider it…

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Pretty Little Pouch Swap

Yep, I’ve caught the bug! Not just the horrible cold going around the country, but also the swap bug!

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I was explaining the swap process to some friends the other day and they just had this look of, why??? You are given a partner that you can’t talk to, but you have to ‘stalk’. You follow along and comment on tons of pictures, giving your partner an idea of what you like and if also, just in case it’s something for you, you want the person to know how to make it just right for you. It can actually be a lot of time. But in the end, you get this package with a wonderful hand made piece inside! And usually a couple of extra goodies to go along with it! So I’m addicted!

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This swap is called the Pretty Little Pouch Swap. My main pouch didn’t end up being very little… But I think it worked.

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My partner didn’t comment on photos too much, but she did comment on one other person’s photo of a red, teal and blue process photo. And I jumped on it! I knew right then the color scheme! With a little white, grey and some hand stitching.

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Then it was decided on the pattern and the pouch. I had just done a Herringbone Quilt Block from Stitched in Color and it’s just really cool. But it’s also really big! So I made everything 1/2 the size and ended up with two herringbone blocks, one for the front and one for the back.

Then I decided to use Noodlehead’s Open Wide Zipper Pouch, the large version! She has a lot of great pouch tutorials on her blog. very easy!

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And of course, swaps always seem to have a little goodie to go with the main thing. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do! I’d been eyeballing this teeny tiny little pouch from Me Sew Crazy. It’s actually a Mini Moo Card holder, but I made it a little lotion holder. I love it, but I think I want to make it just a little bit bigger next time!

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I also added a few fabric scraps from the fabrics used and a couple of tasty treats! I love how it looks like a swimming pool on the inside!

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And of course, then I got mine!!! My secret partner was the wonderfully talented Suvarna. I was so excited! I’d been in love with this pleated pouch as I saw it popping up in the flickr pool.

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And I got an open wide zipper pouch too! With a little pin cushion attached. And a needle book! I’ve always said I was going to make myself one and never have. I’ve already used them to cart my things back and forth to work at the quilt shop!

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Soooo…. What do you think? Is the swap thing for you? Do you love them or hate them?

 

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To Do List- 2nd Swap Project Done!

It’s true. I’m admitting it to you. I’m addicted to Swaps…. This was the second round of Modern She Made Swap and the little trick was to incorporate triangles into the piece.

And yes, it’s another sewing machine cover! I keep getting paired with others that want sewing machine covers. I’m so glad that I made the tutorial for the first swap that I did. It’s come in handy, for sure!

This one fits a little funny on my machine, but should look better on the machine it’s going too! I’m not sure how I ended up so on the rainbow theme this round. I know I saw my partner commenting on all the bright colors, so that’s one thing that led me there… I hope she likes it!

I wish I had taken a picture of the quilt before I made it into the cover. I actually really liked it! I mean I still like it, but it held its own as a mini quilt as well… One this one, you can decided if the fronts the back of if the back is the front or if you want the inside to be the outside. As I’m writing this I just realized I took the picture of the ‘lining’ with the buntings on backwards… So they are upside down in this picture. Oops!

And then there are the extras! We’re only supposed to make one extra, but I got a little carried away… My partner wanted a pin cushion, so I decided to make one of those. Then I kept seeing embroidery hoop art similar to this one. And since I kept seeing it, I took it as a sign to make one!

I’m soooo in love with this pin cushion!!!! I stumbled upon Yellow Spool’s blog and this pin cushion tutorial and loved it! So I decided to try it. I wasn’t sure if it would work with the quilted piece and the batting, but it did. Like my quilted magnets, this little project is addictive. I keep thinking about who else I could make one for!!!

I mean look at it! It’s adorable! hehehe… It’s about a 3″ hoop. I am loving tiny things right now!

And the embroidery hoop art ‘clothesline’!

I randomly picked up this Keep Calm fabric by Timeless Treasures, but had no idea what to do with it. Then decided not to use it, because it didn’t coordinate as well as I wanted it to. Also, I keep seeing these hoops around and they are so cute. I thought why not. The buntings coordinate with the inside of the sewing machine cover and they are triangles…. Then I saw this one hoop on Maureen Cracknell’s blog and it all just came together in my head! Rainbow, buntings, triangles, and a way to incorporate the Keep Calm fabric!

And it’s the tiny things again!! I love love love these tiny clothespins!!

ok, so the first fun part of swaps is seeing what everyone else is making and making fun things that you might not have before. The second part is that you get things for yourself that you LOVE, but would have never taken the time to make for yourself!

Like this bag! I LOVE this adorable purse I received from my partner, Karen from Laughter in Quilts. I’ve done a little stalking since I got my bag and Karen is an amazing quilting artist! I’m so in love with the cathedral Windows that people are doing. Yet spooked to try it myself! I love the fabrics and design and everything about it. She told me the little triangle pouch could be for my son, but, um, no. It’s for me!

Another project marked off the To Do List!

Do you swap??? I just joined a couple more on Flickr! Which ones do you love?

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