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How to JOIN quilting block swaps Australia

Hello and thank you for visiting. This is a community group for all Australian quilters to join or just follow. Membership is FREE and you are partnered each month and we make each other a 12 inch quilt block based on our preferences which we swap. (12.5 inches raw edge to raw edge) The emphasis of the group is on friendship and sharing. To find out more or register to join email me on This purpose of this blog is to chat and showcase blocks and quilts made by members, kind of like a show and tell . Yours in stitching, Sue

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First September swap on its way

As we had an influx of 10 new members participating with their first swap this month, I have assigned 2 swaps for the ladies that have volunteered and am doing a few extras myself.  I like to swap as soon as possible with new members as a welcome to the group, but cannot "hog" you all.

Here is the first swap for Linden who joined up with us in August.  Alex kindly did Lindens first swap and I have paired with her for September.  Linden is saving brights in purples and oranges.  I don't have any bright orange in my stash at the moment but did have this lovely pansy print (with yellow) that I think does the trick.  I hope Linden likes her block - it will be popped in the post tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Caramel Pie is baked

Caramel pie
There have been a couple of postings of this quilt along the way- and now I am pleased to show off the completed item (all but the label).  After completing stitching on the binding tonight.

I have named this quilt Caramel pie as it reminds me of that.  I have made it as a gift for my dad for Fathers Day -  I hope he likes it. 

Double click on the image to see the detail, I am very proud of the joins and how they matched up nicely .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

here come the swaps here come the swaps............

I am all done assigning partners - so without any more delays I am about to start sending the emails.  Please just touch base with your swap partner prior to starting their block in case their preferences have changed or to clairfy the choices. 
I have managed to get a head start on my Christmas swap block - and here it is ( I will email Cathy not to look until the post arrives), My first Christmas swap - Doves.  As well as a bonus 9 patch for her in some autumn tones

Almost spring and time for our next swap.

I am just in the final touches of gathering the lists for our September swap, its huge with 10 new members doing their first swap with us. 

As I dont want a new member to swap with a new member first time round I will be getting the ladies that have offered to do extra swaps to help out, and I will be pairing with some of you too.   So a big thank you to the ladies that have offered to do extra swaps.

Initially my intention was to do the first swap with all new members as a welcome swap to the group, but with the rate of growth in August and for September it would be impossible for me to keep up.  Already I have completed a swap quilt (well still putting it together)  and I have only had the group running since May which in amazing..  I will gradually get to all of you in time and look forward to getting to know you all. 

I am hoping to get the swap partners finalised and sent out over this coming weekend.  So stay tuned to your email.

Another member shows off their block

Linden emailed me the lovely baby bunting block she had made for Alex. 
Alex has requested this block in pastel "gelati" colours and I am to let the swap partner know what colour to make each block so Alex gets a lovely surprise every month.  
So keep posted on this or Alex's blog to see what flavours are on the menu.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Debbies Block to Cathy

Here is another stunner that Cathy wanted to share as she received it in the mail today from Debbie in Canada.  Cathy wants to apologize as the original post said this was from Larrain, but she got her blocks mixed up as the envelopes were wet in the letterboxes. So thankyou to Debbie :-)

Christmas Block swap members emailed tonight.

Hi girls
Shortly I will be sending out the swap members for the first Christmas swap.  I have just realised however that with 12 members we are going to be doing 11 swaps, so you will be one short on a 12 patch quilt.

I think we could make our own last block to tie them together, perhaps if you are missing something you were hoping for like a Christmas tree or star then you could put the finishing touch to it. 
I look forward to seeing all the lovely blocks on your blogs as you make and recieve them.  If you are not a blogger and want me to publish a pic, just email it to me- happy to display this for you.
So... here we go, put on the Christmas Carols and have FUN

Monday, August 23, 2010


I now have 12 members participating in the Christmas swap,  9 Aussies, 2 Americans and 1 Canadian.  I have decided to close off the numbers at 12 so with us each swapping once per month, the group will run for 12 months.  So the swap should end next August giving us plenty of time to put the quilts together in time for  Christmas 2011.

If you missed out on registering for the swap you can choose a Christmas theme as your standard swap.  If this swap proves popular and we get more interest for it next year I very likely will run it again. 
Members participating in this years swap are:
Me (Sue), Cathy, Crafty Pug, Cheryll, Leena, Rosemary, Maria, Linden, Teena, Pat, Mary from USA, and Mary from Canada.

I am just finalising who will swap with who and will send the first months partners out later this week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friendship quilt in the making - part 2

sewing on the sashes

Tonight I have been busy sewing on the sashes and joining the blocks into rows.  I have added in a block that I made which gives me 16 blocks to work with so I will make a square quilt with 4 rows of 4.  Then with borders it would be like a Queen bed topper.

sashes 1/2 done

Lots of unpicking along the way

There was quite a bit of frustration and unpicking along the way due to not all of the blocks being the same size.  This give me the opportunity to mention to all ladies participating in the swap to try and get your finished blocks as close to 12.5 inches raw edge to raw edge as you possibly can.  I am new to swapping too and I am the first to admit that I have made and sent a block too small, until it was pointed out to me. 
uneven join
Generally in quilting when a pattern tells you a block size this is allowing for the 1/4 inch seam allowance but not always so you will have to add this on.  Before you cut your fabric do a quick mathematic caluclation of one edge of the block to check that it adds up to 12.5 inches,  In this quilt I had a couple of blocks about 1/2 inch short of this, and a couple about 1/2 inch too big.  When they are too big you can trim a little, or resew a seam a bit more, but when they are too small even with scant seams and stretching it makes it very hard (so better to be too big than too small). 

I didnt think to check the block sizes before I got to the step of sewing each row together and then found out the hard way that the vertical strips did not line up.  I unpicked and re-sewed several times to try and get them to match up and this was the best I could do. 

As it turns out the worst of the uneven seams is in the centre of the quilt so I have decided that I will put a label over this join with the name of all the contributors in the making of the quilt on that.  This will hide the join and not make it as obvious.

More postings soon as I add the borders.  I am not going to show a pic of the whole quilt until it is completed - so you will all have to wait for that one.

Churn dash Friendship quilt

Here are all of the lovely churn dash blocks I have received in the swap.  I have laid them out on my dining table in a random order and taken a picture from each end.  I am sure you will all spot your block in there.

Now I have to play with them to assemble them into a pleasing display.  I am not sure if I should put sashings between them or perhaps set them on point. 

I have purchased 3 lots of bulk fabric, one in a creamy brown colour and one in a rich navy and the third in a golden brown as these are the dominating colours and what I will use to bind it all together.  I may use one of these as backing, or do a pieced backing from all 3.  So here we go.  Stay tuned as I will post updates on this quilt coming together as it is made by all of us.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another UFO (almost) completed

Dont you just love it when Spotlight have a sale !!.  As a spot light member, I received a voucher in the mail last week for $40 off any purchase over $100.  I get these a couple of times a year and its a great time to stock up on Batting and fabric for backing.  I dont tend to purchase too much quilting fabric from them as such as the range is not great, but its good for the backing fabrics and the odd piece here and there.
Here is my lovely roll of wadding which now means I can finish a few quilts YAY.

Tonight I pinned the quilt I am making Dad for Fathers day,  this is the one from the Moda Scrap bag (featured in an earlier post).  I have named this Caramel Pie as the colours remind me of the yummy banana caramel pies with a cream top and chocolate drizzle.  I will be binding it in the lovely chocky print.
Pinning a quilt our is my least favourite part of the quilting process as its tedious.  I always have to get Hubby to help me straighten it out and smooth out the wrinkes.  So- bye for now, as I now off to the sewing room to start the quilting process.  Keep your eye out for a completed pic in the side bar any day now.

Cathys block to Crafty Pug

I love to see the blocks members make and recieve, so please post them on the blog or email me a pic and I will post them for you.

Here is the stunning block our very clever Cathy made for our very Crafty Pug.  Its so elegant.

And a big welcome to member #23 (another) Kathy from Vic.  Very happy to have you on board.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Free giveaway

One of our newest members is having a free giveaway.  So view this link to her blog to get a chance to win.

As they say, you have to be " IN IT TO WIN IT"

Good luck everyone xx


If you would like to pop this button onto your blog, simply view the posting in July - copy and paste into your side bar on your blog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More members, we are now at 21 (key to the door)

The flood gates have opened up, and I can barely keep up with all the enquiries for new members wishing to join.

A big warm quilted hugs welcome to new members Nolene from Shoal Bay in NSW,  Dallas from central Victoria and Leona from Florida.

Just when I have my excell spreadsheet all sorted with the swaps I have to do more juggling.  Not complaining though as its great to have such a great bunch of ladies all wanting to share and participate.

Since posting this I also would like to welcome Mary from Canada # 22

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

its raining members-

I cant believe how fast things are taking off- 

A big welcome to Debbie, our first Canadian to join, and also to Irene (an Aussie). 
I am still waiting to hear back from a few new members with their preferences but we should be all set with me allocating members partners for September.  I have decided that the cut off to join each month will be mid month as it gets to hard, so if anyone joins from 15th of the month on (or thereabouts), they will start their first swap the following month.

Lastly here is the Shabby chic Ohio start that I made for Ellen in the US. She wanted predominantly green with floral.  I think it fits the bill.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two more US members joined overnight

Please join me in extending a warm Aussie welcome to Mary from California and Pat from Oregon who will also be doing their first swaps with us in September.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome to Alicia from OKLAHOMA (member #14)

Just a quick note to welcome our first international member Alicia from Oklahoma in the USA.  Alicia will do her first swap in September. - which is only a couple of weeks away now. :-)


After some email discussions with some of you, I have decided to extend membership of the group globally.  It should make it more fun and challenging with friends being made far and wide. 

I know some of you have already joined the USA group that I am also a member of, and I have extended an invitation to them to join our group as well.  I have also emailed the co ordinator of that group Sandi to see if she would mind putting the button to the link of our group on their blog.  They dont have a button, but perhaps this may encourage them to get one to so we can link up. How cool would that be.

The postage to the US is not huge if you flatten the block and use a normal sized envelope.  I posted one today with a postcard and it was only $1.80 airmail.  If you do not wish to swap with the US ladies as they join up let me know, and if you are a member of their group and have swapped with some of them, when you make email contact please encourage them to visit and follow our blogs and join us too

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lucky member 13 and churn dash finished.

A big welcome to member number 13 Larain.  I am just waiting for confirmation of Larain's preferences for her to start swapping.  Interestingly she saw details of our group on the US one which I know a few of you ladies have joined, so this is great networking.  You may recall some time ago I made mention that I had resigned from the US swap, but that only lasted a week before I rejoined.  I just couldnt leave all my wonderful American friends.  I was contemplating inviting them to join our group too, but first wanted to check with you all if you would be ok with swapping with US.  Their group is run very similalry to ours as I based the idea on theirs after being a member for a few months, the only real difference is that your postage is about $1.50 to send an airmail quilt block to them in the US.  I also pop a post card of my home town in, and have received the same in return or info on where they live like town information pamphlets and the like.

The other exciting news is that I have now received all of my churn dash blocks so I can begin to play around with them to form a quilt - pics will be posted as this comes together.  A big thank you to Rosemary for your block, It came in the mail on Friday as did my Canadian swappers block from Debbie.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First eye spy quilt

planning the layout
I have been saving novelty children's eye spy prints for about 2 years now and finally have got around to using some of them.  I have so many that I have stored them into categories, boys, girls, and animals - which can be for either.  Its quite amazing when I look at them the array of fabrics I have  cows, racing cars,  dinosaurs, frogs, ballet dancers, mickey mouse and dogs flying planes and everything in between.
As I have 5 great niece's, 1 great nephew,  and 2 grandsons (with another due in September) and twins due in March 2011 - I will have plenty of demand for them.  Each of these littlies has received a nursery quilt from me (except the unborn ones of course). 

Giaan is  a very girly girl so her quilt has castles and ice scaters,  cupcakes, butterflies and magic wands - just to name a few. 
The final stages were to outline each jigsaw puzzle shape in bias binding.  I was very pleased to find this pink border fabric which has A is for apple, b B is for bird and C is for cupcake written on it.  Quite appropriate for the eye spy theme.
The quilt is a gift for Giaan who will be turning 3 very soon, I just need to get some batting and then I can quilt it. 

Inspiration for this quilt came from APQ magazine Vol 17 #4

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christmas block swap

Christmas stash
By now most of our members have registered to participate in the Christmas swap.  A couple are yet to send me their preferences so if you have not already done so please get these details to me.  It will work exactly as the general block swap only with a Christmas theme on the block and fabric.
The swap will start in September and I will send out (email) partners in the last week of August, and then I will send the regular swap partners out first week of September so it is staggered each month.

Most months you will have 2 different partners - so we can mix it up a bit, I will try hard to get this right. I have excell spreadsheets all set to go, and my stash of Christmas fabric is growing in readiness.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome member # 12

A big quilted hugs welcome to member 12 Linden from Canberra.  I approached Linden from seeing her profile on the American quilt swap site and invited her to participate in ours.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rosemarys quilts-

One of our members Rosemary (the cats mother) was kind enough to email me some gorgeous photos of quilts she has made, and so I wanted to share them with everyone.  The quilt on the left is made of scraps of other quilts some pieces as small as 1/4 inch.  The red sash strips are only one inch wide so its really  a mini quilt. 

The other was made for a friend cat lover that recently lost her beloved cat.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pyramid door stop and other stuff

I spotted a bright pyramid door stop on Marias blog a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to share the pattern with me.  I have a massive basket full of strips, mainly left over binding pieces and jelly rolls so I needed something useful to use them all up and this was a great solution.  I have to admit though I did get carried away sewing all the strips together and ended up with a pyramid somewhat larger than the pattern intended.  I may try again and make a smaller one or two as I have not even made a dent in my strip stash. 

scrap bag quilt in progress
I also purchased a Moda scrap bag on ebay a few weeks ago, in Awesome fabric.  Having absolutley no idea what to expect.  Its basically all the selvidge bits from jelly roll and layer cake productions, so you need to trim them.  There is not as many strips in a jelly roll, and I ended up with about 5 strips I could not use as the selvidge if trimmed would have only given me one inch to play with but most trimmed to 2.5 inches.  I may try to use these bits for the binding.

I googled jelly roll patterns and found this one.  So far I have only put the corners of each block together so I am yet to join these up.  I think I may put some sashings in between to break each of the four blocks up.  But for $15 (cost of the scrap bag) I think its a great bargain for a lap quilt.  To make it bigger simply add a few borders.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Alex's block has arrived and so has Beths

Thank you Alex for your stunning block and hand made card, received today.  I also would like to thank Beth for her block received yesterday also with a card with the block printed on it which is a lovely keepsake.  I posted a pic of Beths block in an earlier post.

Its amazing, only one week of August has passed and we have almost all done our swaps for the month.  From emails received from most of you the creative juices are flowing and we are all excited about the swaps which is FANTASTIC to hear.  Just as well most of us are doing 2 swaps from next month on with the Christmas swap taking place.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

quilting panel and rainbows

I have never purchased a quilting panel before, always thinking they are a cheaters way to make a quilt which in a way they are. 
But to my surprise I received one in a quilting packet that I recently purchased.  The items were farmyard fat quarter blocks as I am saving chickens etc to make a country quilt and this was added in as a gift.
 I had already made a quilt for my step daughters new baby due in September, but I thought this would make a nice tummy time floor quilt.   I actually enjoyed quilting around all of the animal shapes to outline them.  I double layered the quilting batting to make it puffier and softer for the floor.
 I am really pleased with how it turned out. 

I also want to share with you this beautiful rainbow that I spotted while driving along in some drizzle yesterday.  It does not show in the photo but the rainbow was a  whole arc and every colour was vivid and bright.  Quite splendid to see. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some more August blocks

I have been trying to catch up with you all on your blogs and its great to see the variety of blocks being made and received.  Such an array of patterns and colours.  I have completed my fourth block swap for the month with new member Rosemary.   Being a new quilter, Rosemary had not even heard of a churn dash block so had a little trouble finding a pattern, but I have to say she has done a remarkable job. 

I have made Rosemary a log cabin block in browns and greens as her choice is natural colours so to me I think  grass, trees and earth, and thats how I interpreted this block. 

A few members are asking where patterns can be found so I have put a reference in a side bar to a couple of quilting block pattern sites I utilise.  Best news is they are free to download.  Isnt it lovely how our fellow quilters have put together these sites for us to use.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More August swaps sent and received

Thank you Cheryll for your beautiful block that I received in todays mail.  I love the blue flowers its just so pretty and a great addition to my collection. 

Here is the Shabby Chic star I have made for Beth.  It was lovely to play with these pretty colours and made me think to ear mark this theme for a future swaps

A quilt made in this style would make a nice mothers day gift.   Maybe thats a theme for swaps after we have done the Christmas one. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beths block to me

Beth just emailed me this image of the block she has made for me- very exciting.  I purchased some fabric today to join all the blocks together, so one of my main projects for this month is the churn dash quilt top which I cant wait to begin, it will be very special as it has been made primarily by all of you.  I cant wait to play with all the blocks, still a couple to come.