Monday, June 10, 2019

The Work in Progress Project: Chapter 1, Doing a Foundation Paper Piece Quilt Swap

I recently signed up for my first ever quilt swap. I've never done one before, so it was all a pretty new and exciting experience for me. The swap was run on Instagram by @shoppershaz_swaphost and was supposed to be a secret swap. I was assigned to a 'team' of swappers, and would secretly make a quilt, cushion or tote bag for one of the team, while someone else was making something for me. We were required to post photos of our progress on Instagram as we went, without revealing who we were making a quilt for.

Of course,

this was before I realised how many half-finished quilts I had. At the time of starting the Work in Progress Project, I had nearly finished this cushion/quilt and only had to finish off the hand stitching on the back of the binding.

I had chosen a pattern which was designed by UnicornHarts called "Oh Deer". I really enjoyed looking at the patterns available in UnicornHarts' store and was even more excited to find some of them were free such as her Candy Cats pattern and Mr. Squeak pattern (I couldn't resist downloading the Candy Cats pattern and will probably make some of these up in the future after the WIPProject).

Initially, I was unsure if I wanted to make this pattern and then make 3 different patterns to complement it, or make the pattern 4 times in different colours for the cushion cover. I decided to make the first block and then decide once I had completed the first block.

The first block was not good. The problem was that after making it, I believed it looked a bit like a demonic mouse (you can see that version on Instagram here). The colours I had initially picked out were based on my partner's preferences as she had stated them in her sign-up form. She had reported that she liked mint and grey. They did not suit the pattern, and even worse, she commented on my fabric choices and stated she didn't like the colours I had picked! Turned out that what she was actually after was not mint, but more of a teal green colour.

So I tried again. I had to modify the pattern very simply by adding more of a forehead, but this time I think I nailed it and based on the comments my partner left on Instagram - she agreed - so I was feeling much better about it.

After completing this block I decided to make different blocks to go with this lovely deer. I chose some Butterfly Charm Blocks which were designed by Lillyella. There are three patterns in this collection, and I decided to make one of each butterfly for my quilted cushion cover, using the same colours as I had used for 'Oh Deer'.

Each of the butterflies has a different name, there is Pepper, Gidget and Cricket. These patterns were cute, but very fiddly, especially because I had decided to fussy cut the background fabric in my deer and wanted to do the same in the Butterfly Charm blocks for consistency. Also, my sewing machine did not like the Gidget Butterfly and decided to eat it - twice. But I persisted and third time convinced her (Bernina) to let me make Gidget.

There was a bit of a hole in my quilt - so I designed a custom block with a Snowbell (its a pretty little white flower that as a kid I used to find in the orchard a lot), but I turned the flower pink. My subscribers will receive their own copy of this block in my monthly email in July - so make sure you are signed up!

Now I have finished it. I hope my partner likes what I made for in the end. It certainly wasn't without some very significant frustrations. But I did learn a lot during the process and it was a lot of fun.

Would I do a swap again? - Absolutely! And I would recommend every quilter do it at least once. I learned so much about myself, and improved my own skills. I also bought some fabric colours and patterns that I would not have looked twice at before, and now I think I will use them again because I discovered that I really like the colours both in combination with each other and on their own.

Work in Progress Project Status: 1 finished out of 10.

Happy Piecing!



  1. it looks fantastic ! I have no idea which one is mine but im pretty sure I know who is getting yours haha . hugs xo

  2. and I just read the shout out about your turtle pattern from Gnome angel