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Sweet Valentine Exchange 2017

For posterity, I thought I’d add a little post here sharing another Instagram swap I participated in.  (You can follow us on Instagram here.)

The Sweet Valentine Exchange or SVE is a swap happening in February on Instagram.  Like all swaps, you are assigned a secret partner and someone is assigned to you.  You know a little of their likes and dislikes from a general form everyone fills out, but much you learn by “stalking” them on Instagram.

SVE17 swap

We were assigned to make something Valentine-y for @favouritepeopleapparel  and from studying her Instagram feed and her form, we decided this Sew Together Bag would be the perfect thing…stuffed with sewing goodies and some chocolate too!

From @runkarrycreate we received this darling denim pouch, stuffed with candy.  The kids gobbled the candy, and I’m still deciding what treasures to keep in the personalized denim pouch.

If you’d like to see more of what was given and received in the Sweet Valentine 2017 swap, check out this hashtag on Instagram, #sve17.

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Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

Love the quilt you see in this post?  Now you can custom order one for yourself or someone special in our Etsy Shop!

I did it again!  I participated in another mini quilt swap on Instagram, and I’m here to show you the results.  If you’ve not heard of them before, a mini quilt swap is where you are assigned a secret partner and you learn their likes/dislikes and make something special for them.  This one was called the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap, and I just had to participate because it was the original quilt swap on Instagram, and everyone participates in this one.  Seriously!  There were over 1000 participants.

The Curvy Clutch sewn by Skirt Fixation

I wanted to do something really special because I’ve seen some fantastic creations come our of the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap and I didn’t want to let anyone down.  Then came the partner assignments.  My assigned partner (@meanstitces on Instagram) had such a wide variety on interests, I didn’t know where to begin.  So while I was hemming and hawing around, I made another Curvy Clutch from the free pattern by Pink Door Fabrics because that’s pretty much my go to extra item to include in a swap package, right?

Curvy Clutch sewn by Skirt Fixation

I used fabric from Bari J’s Petal and Plume line of fabric because I love it.  The navy feathers fabric is actually some canvas leftover from Annie’s ruffle jacket.

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

Finally, I decided to make a bookshelf quilt for my secret partner because I felt that was to only way to incorporate many of her varied interests into a mini quilt.  Since she listed rainbow colors as one of her favorite things, I made the top bookshelf in rainbow order.

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

I made a cute little cat to sit on top of two of the books, and made it’s tail moveable by enclosing a wire pipe cleaner inside.  You can see in the photos the various positions you can put the cat’s tail in.

Binding

I appliquéd the cat onto the books.  Allegra embroidered the cat’s sweet face.  This is a link to the free paper piecing blocks I used for the books on the shelves.

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

The bottom shelf was also two free paper piecing blocks.  (I used leftover Cotton and Steel fabric for the teacup leftover from this skirt because she listed it as some of her favorite fabric.)

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

Dr. Who is another of my secret partner’s likes, so I found a free Tardis paper piecing pattern and shrunk it down very small and made it.  That was possibly the hardest thing on the whole quilt!

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

My secret partner lives in Germany, loves the sea, costume making, sewing, Denyse Schmidt fabric and quilts, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Elvis and Johnny Cash, so I tried to include all those things on book titles.


I used my favorite iron on paper and printed out the book titles.  Two of the book’s titles are real books, do you know which ones?

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

I stitched around the titles to give them extra security and around all the books.  Then I just did some crazy free motion quilting between and around all the books, and think it looks like all the stories and words and thoughts floating around the books!  I used some woodgrain fabric from my stash for the bookshelves themselves.

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

Beside the Curvy Clutch, I also sent my secret partner some Star Wars fabric and some willy Wonka candy.

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

I loved making this quilt so much, and my secret partner was so delighted to receive it.  I’ve decided to make a custom listing in the shop (opening any day now!) so others can request a custom quilt like this too.  It’ll be just one bookshelf as pictured below, except with the book titles customized to each order!

Bookshelf mini quilt sewn by Skirt Fixation. Custom order yours today!

I received a mini quilt from Germany too!

Mini quilt

I absolute adore this little mini quilt @froggeddesigns sent me.  Those Fancy Foxes have been on my wish list for a long time too.  She chose two of my favorite colors and combined them for an adorable mini quilt.

mini quilt

This is the back, and I absolutely adore the fabric, don’t you?

Mini quilt swap

It was so fun to recieve the treats from Germany too, and the little handmade tissue holder.

Once again, this mini quilt swap turned out to be a successful endeavor.  Now off to list that custom order in the shop…

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Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap (Part 2)

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

Let’s talk about the Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap.  Again, you say?  Yes, we already posted about the mini quilt we made for our secret partner for this swap on Instagram.  But then the call came for swap angels.  A swap angel is someone who steps in and makes a mini quilt for someone whose original partner was unable to complete the swap for whatever reason.  Swap angels receive nothing in return for creating this second gift.  It’s just a goodness of the heart kind of thing!  So we answered the call to be a swap angel.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

The mini quilt we made this time used a block called snail’s trail.  We started with a four patch square and then started adding triangles on each side.  There is probably a better, more scientific, more correct way to do this than the way we did, but in the end, we ended up with a snails trail mini quilt.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

We didn’t have very much time to figure out the likes and dislikes and quilt personality of our new recipient, but we did find a photo of several mini quilts she had made in her Instagram profile page, and saw that she used a black border in several of her mini quilts.  They are all beauties!

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

So we adopted that idea and used a black border to separate the snail’s trail blocks from the border.  We also used black for the back and brought it around to the front for a binding.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

Aria suggested the parallel lines following the original snail’s trail path, and it looks so amazing quilted!

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

The back is even more fun; the little kids called it a maze and kept trying to trace the path along the snail’s trail with their fingers.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

Now any good swap has extras, so we decided to send along the 2 handmade goodies for the Selfish Swap.  (Guess that didn’t end so selfishly after all!)

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

This is the other Curvy Clutch we made using orange suede fabric for the accent trim.  It’s a free pattern, so we’ll be able to make ourselves another one.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

Also the other little turtle pincushion went in this package.  We also sent our partner (@thesistyuglers on Instagram or Marthe in real life!) a fat quarter of Cotton and Steel cat fabric, and a tiny wooden box filled with vintage thread spools.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

Even though this Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt was made in a very short time frame, we tried to make it very special for Marthe.  After all, it wasn’t her fault her original partner backed out.  And you know what?  This mini quilt was even harder to send off than the first one we made!  But when Marthe received it, she was very grateful and loved everything, so we are glad we sent it to her.

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt by Skirt Fixation

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Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap

Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap

We participated in another Instagram swap called the Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap.  For this swap, everyone was required to make a mini quilt, defined as a quilt with the sides measuring between 18 and 24 inches.  We’ve made quilts before, and have several in progress, but this was a first on making a mini quilt.  (You can see the cowboy quilt, Allegra’s 1st quilt, and the Project Linus quilt, & Allegra’s embroidered quilt to name a few.)  Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapFrom our assigned partner’s Pinterest board, we picked out a quilt block pattern.  It’s called interlocking squares.  It really looks more complicated than it is, because we made it with mostly half square triangles or HST as they are known in the quilting world.  Also, the star in the middle is made from HST.   For the quilting outside the interlocking squares, we followed the lines of the squares so the quilting is interlocking squares too!  Inside the squares, we just did stitch in the ditch to allow that butterfly to fly freely!Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapBut the butterfly in the middle is special because Allegra worked her embroidery magic on it!  She embroidered most of the little sections on the butterfly in shades of pink, but also around the tiny edge pieces in gold thread. Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapHer hand embroidery is so amazing!  Just search the blog for embroidery to see more of her amazing work!Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapOn the back of the mini quilt, we made a specialized label just for the occasion.  This labeling is another difference between a mini quilt and a full size quilt.  Curvy Clutch made by Skirt FixationUsually there are extras included in an Instagram swap.  So we made a curvy clutch.  The pattern can be found for free from Pink Door FabricsThe Curvy Clutch made by Skirt FixationActually we made two of these curvy clutches.  That’s because we were actually participating in another swap called The Selfish Swap. Selfish SwapNow maybe you’ve figured out that we like to keep it light and have some fun every once in a while, and that’s exactly what The Selfish Swap was.  This swap was the brainchild of Abby from Things for Boys and everyone on Instagram had such fun making things for their “partner” and complaining about their partner and so on! The Curvy ClutchSo the eyelet Curvy Clutch is for our selfish swap partner. The Curvy Clutch made by Skirt FixationWe used little metal zippers for the top, orange suede for the contrast top, and of course, Cotton and Steel fabric! The Curvy Clutch made by Skirt FixationFor the inside of the Curvy Clutch, we used some more bee/bug fabric, first seen here on a top for Annie.  Turtle Pincushion made by Skirt FixationThe last hand made extra item is a little turtle pin cushion.  We started with a free template, but made the turtle shell bigger so it would be more like a pincushion. Turtle pin cushion made by Skirt FixationAnd instead of just a circle, we first sewed together 4 scraps of Cotton and Steel fabric and put the center of the circle at the middle of the 4 fabric pieces. Turtle pin cushion made by Skirt FixationAnd once again, we made two of them, the other being for our “selfish swap” partner!  Allegra did the hand sewing on the turtles and gave them little french knot eyes!  Cuties.Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapWe added some store bought extras for our partner, Chai tea, dark chocolate, Cotton & Steel fabric, and some new quilting pins.  Then we tied up the mini quilt with a piece of selvedge and packaged it up and sent it off!  Our partner posted on Instagram when she received it, and loves it!Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapNow for what we received for the Cotton and Steel mini quilt swap.  The Fiber Chick had us for her secret partner, and we really loved everything she sent us. Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapWhen we opened the package, the first thing we saw was this little cat pouch.  It is simply darling and has a scissors charm for a zipper pull.  We opened the cat pouch to find some treasures inside! Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapThere was this beautiful mini quilt.  We know she used English Paper Piecing, a method we want to try, to fussy cut those beautiful lions. Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapShe also made us a pincushion using the Fancy Fox quilting pattern, another thing we really want to try! Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapAnd then there were two adorable fabric boxes. Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapWe’re already using them to store extra sewing supplies just laying around.  And the last thing The Fiber Chick sent us was more quilting pins.  Always a necessary item around the Skirt Fixation sewing room! Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt SwapAll in all, we’re really happy with this swap.  We felt quite a bit more relaxed than our first swap, the Liberty of London swap, and actually were more pleased with the end result overall.

If you want to see these and other sewing events in real time, follow us on Instagram!

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Handmade Scarf Swap

Handmade Scarf Swap

When we discovered Instagram, we discovered a new phenomenon.  Swaps!  So far we’ve signed up for three swaps, and today we’re going to tell you about our first completed swap, the handmade scarf swap.  This swap was hosted by Sewbon and Sew Caroline. 

Handmade Scarf Swap

First we’ll tell you about the scarf we made.  We have been seeing the trend of mixing floral and stripes for a while, and since we wanted to make a fashion forward scarf for our partner, we opted for this trend.  We used a stretch lace with stripes (leftover from this project) and some floral knit we got from Girl Charlee in a bargain lot.  We used this tutorial from Flamingo Toes to create our handmade scarf.  These two fabrics togeher, sewn into an infinity scarf, are so dreamy that we had a hard time mailing it off to our partner.

Handmade Scarf Swap

We received a beautiful silky floral scarf from our secret partner.  The yellow pom pom trim is so cheery!

Handmade Scarf Swap

There are so many ways to wear this scarf, and it will be fun styling it in the future.  This scarf is well made, and we are just delighted with our first completed swap.

Handmade Scarf Swap

Along with the scarf, our partner included some sweet extras.  She sent us some hand knit washcloths and a scrubber!  We’re not sure how she knew, but we love these type of washcloths.  In fact, we have been known to hide these when our denim mini packing Grandma comes to visit because she has discovered how nice they are too!  What a sweet partner, very thoughtful and giving.   If you want some really nice washcloths, please visit our swap partner’s Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/nancyleeneedlelove

Handmade Scarf Swap

If we could do this handmade scarf swap over, we’d only do one thing different; include some sweet little extras for our partner!  All we sent her was a card and the scarf…and we hope she forgives us for the oversight.  As first time swappers, we didn’t know the proper protocol.  On all swaps, the extras are optional, but sort of expected…and a really nice gesture. We’ll definitely do better for our next swap…coming up soon!

Handmade Scarf Swap