The next Mini Swap on my to-do list is the Aussie Tula Pink Swap (the instagram site itself now links hashtags, woo!).
My original plan for this swap was to make a mini of clams for the Clamebake Quilt Along. Once I figured out how to press the curved seam over to stop it from foofing up (starch!) I started attaching them to my wadding, quilt as you go style. My clams are 4″ and so I drew lines 2″ apart to line up each row.
Part of the way through I started noticing problems.
First, each end of the clam (I guess the “crotch” part if you think of the bottom of the clam as a pair of undies lol) is supposed to be sitting on the line… mine are creeping up away from the line which means the length of the mini won’t be what I calculated when putting together a layout!
Second, some of my top stitching of the upper clam wasn’t catching the clam bits hidden underneath so I had a few unprotected seams sticking up. I do not want to unpick this because that would be painful and I can’t unpick a little bit because each set of clams is done per row. So if I unpick something in the middle, I’m going to have to unpick everything below that. Yikes!
I decided that this kind of quality isn’t what I want to send out in a swap. Sure from the front in the top picture it looks fine, but who wants a quilt that has exposed raw edges for the reason that it wasn’t stitched down properly?! I’m not about to send out poor workmanship and claim it’s the best I can do. So, sadly I’m going to have to keep this for myself hehe. Personally, I’m not bothered about making it look a little dodgy to get the seams down for myself. I’m thinking of turning it into a cushion cover.
So, with my planned mini idea down the drain, I had to come up with another idea. Flailing time! I don’t actually have much Tula Pink fabric and I had to use some since this is a Tula Pink swap. I had the Birds and the Bees line which I’ve been using in a quilt and all the scraps were turned into the clams! The rest of my Tula stash is made up of a few random Fat Quarters and random bits and pieces, so I needed something completely scrappy that used minimal pieces. I started scouring pinterest for ideas, inlucing my partner’s own board, but couldn’t find anything do-able so I flicked through some of my books. Pillow Pop had the answer!
This pattern in the book is called “Don’t Be Square” and only required 2.5″ squares for the coloured print pieces. At first I was a little unsure if it was an okay pattern to use — using so little Tula fabric in it actually makes me feel like I’m cheating… however by my count I’ve managed to cover 6 different Tula lines here (Birds and the Bees, Saltwater, Acacia, Parisville, Prince Charming, and Foxfield). Sooo… that counts for something?!
I did try to fussy cut where I could, which resulted in the bunny and seagull, but most of it I had to just make-do with the small pieces I had! I do think it would look more fun and Tula-obvious if I were able to add more fussy cuts of Tula designs.
The quilting for the pattern in the book was large straight angles. I tried to make large boxes, but one thing I struggle in free motion quilting is making designs large and spaced out properly and I usually end up with small squished in designs instead and that’s exactly how my FMQ went with this, so I’ve got loopy boxes.
All up, I put together this mini over one afternoon-evening and then finished up the binding the next morning. I was surprised at how quickly it came together, after having come out of panic mode for the previous attempt, which had taken me a number of days to just get as far as I did. Huge relief to go from “the end is nowhere in sight” to “completely done”!
A printed binding just didn’t feel right, and even a colour in general didn’t feel right so I opted to use the same white as the background. I want to say it’s a Bella Solid but I’m not sure. Hopefully my partner isn’t scared of lots of white! I used a Rainbow Textured Basics print for the back as I thought it had a spinning look like a wheel to match with the colour wheel on the front. For some reason it reminds me of a mullet: business in the front and a party in the back…
My partner in this swap has been pretty quiet in regards to swap participation, though I have seen her around on other non-swap instagram photos so I can only cross my fingers that I’ve made something she likes. I received a lot of positive responses I for this mini on IG, and hopefully they all speak for her as well. I figure too that the colour wheel is probably better than the clams on the off chance that the busy-ness of the prints isn’t her thing and no one can hate a colour wheel, right?!
I’m pretty sure this mini is due at the end of April/early May so this one is done with a few weeks to spare. Only two more swaps to go…