Sunday, August 16, 2015

Broadway Mini Quilt Swap

I participated in another mini quilt swap (I'm doing it a lot lately) and the theme was Broadway. Our partners (still a blind swap so we don,t know who is making for us) used our sign up forms and our IG feed for inspiration on what Broadway shows we liked and our personal tastes.

My partner liked the King and I so I set to planning...  I used one of the Playbills of the dancing couple for inspiration.
First I thought to do a foundation pieced mini but I wasn't happy with my fabric options even though I thought my partner would like the unique look.
Then I found an ombre' FQ and I knew it would be perfect for an appliqued piece.
Since I wanted it to look similar to the playbill, the design needed to have the "set" to look like a stage so I used fabric painting and stenciled on a design.

I set about creating patterns, cutting fabric and getting ready to applique the couple. I had a scrap of fabric perfect for the King and a yellow perfect for the dress.

Finally, I thought it best to give a little dimension to the couple so they stood out a little more and maybe had a little more movement-like quality.  I added the ruffle to the dress.  Then I sewed the dress and suit detail with a piece of batting on the back. This raises the couple off the background fabric some, especially since I added another layer of batting to quilt the remainder of the mini.

I'm really pleased with how it came together except that now it's been posted, it seems some are thinking it's from the Beauty and the Beast. I didn't notice that but I can see it now. My partner is happy with it, though so that's all I care about. :-)

I also sent along a few Art Gallery FQs, a couple silly items and a foundation pieced mug rug (referencing another playbill for the King and I) with an elephant on it.

And she liked it, yay!
Now, want to see what I got from my partner, Ahlia (@ahliajade on Instagram)?  Look!

I love Mary Poppins & blues & pretty quilting so this is just a winner all the way around. My biggest concern is finding a proper place on my wall for it. :)


Sunday, August 2, 2015

What is #sweatnsew? (Another Instagram related post)

If you follow me on Instagram (I am sarcasticquilter there, too), you've seen me use the hashtag #sweatnsew and encourage others to do so as well. I do it to help motivate myself and to help support other sewists/quilters to stay motivated to remember their own health in their daily lives.

What do I mean? Well, I've been up and down in weight like many people. I've been motivated to make healthy choices and be active then there are many times I don't care, lack motivation, don't make the effort.  I needed to change that. Seeing others do something to be healthier helps ME stay on track and likewise, I want to give that back to someone else.  It's always a little better when we don't feel all alone in our efforts, I think.

To that end, #sweatnsew was created.
So what is it?  

#sweatnsew is a place where we can all celebrate & encourage one another to be healthier & fitter. Whether it is by making better food choices (weed out soda or processed foods, for example) &/or getting up & moving again (a daily walk, taking stairs instead of elevators, an exercise program).

It's about taking those steps, sharing them so you can be proud & accountable, and FEELING healthier & stronger. Feeling better! (And hey, if the clothes start to fit better and we start looking better, that's just a bonus.)

To help us stay motivated, there is a sewing-related prize up for grabs each month. I track who's participating and then use the Random Number Generator to draw the winner.

How do you know I've seen your entry? Well, I will like your photo so you know it's entered. Sometimes I catch the posts the same day and sometimes I catch up on weekends.  A note, if you have a private IG account, I need to be following you or I cannot see your posts. So let me know you want to post and I'll click the follow button.

There will be 1 entry per day unless a bonus entries are announced.  Aside from this post, all communications regarding challenges will be made through my Instagram account.

As for what you should post to get an entry, you can post any photo (it doesn't have to be an exercise one). Just tag #sweatnsew (n, not and) & tell me what you did that day.   Some examples... you don't have to post sweaty pics, though, I just like to keep it real for me. I love seeing comparison pics. It helps me see progress when the mirror doesn't.

Remember, if you can get active (a walk down the block, taking stairs, etc.) let this be motivation to make those choices but if you are in a place where activity is simply not an option (injury, health, whatever) you can still participate. Posting healthy meal choices, changes in diet (swapping out water for sweet tea or eating grilled chicken instead of fried) counts too!

Everyone should focus on both food and activity but these are healthy habits we are trying to make so too much at once might lead  to frustration. Take time to get to know yourself, make small goals and work toward them. Those small goals are what build up to the big one.

This is open to any and all but the prizes will remain sew/quilt related. The prizes are donated by me or other quilters and sewists in our IG community.

Back in January, I was interviewed by CBS about #sweatnsew which aired in connection with the piece regarding sewing your own clothes, in particular, the Purl Soho City Gym Shorts.  Take a look a the video, I still find it surreal but I'll admit that it still feels pretty cool.

"When Sewing Meets Sweating"

I was also interviewed by Tisha at Quilty Therapy who wrote a blog post. She was doing a series on health and sewing which was pretty neat. The post is, "Healthy Sewist - Becky with Sarcastic Quilter"

So, now that you know more about it, will you join in?  Tag friends, let's encourage each other even more!   I hope I see you on IG but for now, tell me your goals below.

My next goal, to get strong enough that I succeed in completing every obstacle in the Savage Race I'm signed up to run in October and to get back to eating clean 85-90% of the time.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Minion Mini Swap 2015 (Instagram Swap)


We are glad you have taken an interest in this swap. Bear with us, we are going to start with the negative so we can end with the positive.   

First and foremost, this is an Instagram only, blind (you won't know who's making for you) mini quilt swap for US (APO/FPO) participants only.  If you are interested in a broader swap or an international swap, rest easy, @ninjadesigns (IG handle) is hosting an international minion craft swap with sign-ups on 7/31.

Please read the following carefully.  We realize these may sound harsh and to an extent, that’s our intent. It’s no fun for anyone when recipients don’t receive packages or when the volunteer swap mamas have to track down senders, etc.  At the end of the day, it’s about simple courtesy and respect. While we assume everyone participating has it and extends is, unfortunately, sometimes, people lose sight of it.  We promise to respect you and what’s happening with you so long as you promise to respect us and help us make this a stress-free and fun swap. Really, it’s about minions so how can we not keep it stress free? 

  1. You must have an active and public IG account through the duration of the swap and have an active email your swap mama may contact you with (email will not be disclosed to any other participants.)
  2. You may only sign up for yourself.  You may NOT sign up for anyone or anything.
  3. Take note, there are MANDATORY reply/update requirements.
    • You must respond to your swap mama, when requested, within 48 hours
    • You must post pictures or a mosaic by July 31
    • You must post with a plan of attack/idea and/or fabric pulls by Aug. 31
    • You must post an update on your progress by Sept. 30
    • You must provide notification of when you shipped your mini and all packages must have tracking (sending Priority mail is usually the cheapest way to get tracking) - Shipping may begin on 11/7 and the last ship date is 11/14
    • You must provide notification of when your mini is received by posting a received photo on IG and tagging your partner and swap mama
  4. Swappers will be assigned partners with comparable skill levels.
  5. Mini quilt cannot be smaller than 16”x16” or larger than 24”x24”
  6. Extras are fun and seem to be a regular part of swaps these days but first and foremost, they are not required nor should they be expected. If you send extras that is your choice but please understand you might not receive any. Everyone’s budgets are different. To that end, should you desire to send extras, please respect the maximum $20 threshold. We want this to be about your creative, not buying, genius.
  7. Smokers MUST pre-wash their mini quilt prior to sending to their recipient.
  8. All photos must be tagged using the hashtag #minionminiquiltswap
Sign-ups are open until 11:59pm ET, Sat. 7/18 or until 100 people sign up, whichever comes first. We reserve the right to re-open or extend sign ups at our discretion.

Are you ready to sign up? Please click HERE to complete the form. 

If you need minion meme ideas take a look at Karie’s IG feed, she’s been posting one a day for the last six months. She claims she has not repeated any of them but if you find a repeat between 6 months ago and today, 7/15, I will make you an extra goodie!

Kan pai!
Becky (@sarcasticquilter) and Karie (@karie_twokwikquilters)

Disclaimer: We will be reviewing the “naughty swappers” list and using our discretion regarding participation. We want everyone to be able to enjoy this swap. Lack of communication with the swap mamas or not sending minis at all may find your name added to the “naughty swappers” list.  Truthfully though, we are reasonable people. If you work with us and communicate about what’s up, we will work with you. If not, we reserve the right to note publically on IG or privately on the list when/if we can’t reach you, you flake for no reason, or you sign up anyone or anything besides yourself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yes, more minis!

But this will be it for a while. The following were swaps signed up for last year and finished this year.  The Schnitzel and Boo IG Mini Swap, the Disney Quilt Swap and the Bitches Get Stitches Swap. I will post in order here because if you don't like profanity or sexual innuendos you will have the opportunity to leave the post and ignore my little creations and pics of what I received. Yes, it was meant to be swap a little on the raunchy side and it was a whole lot of fun.

First up, the Schnitzel and Boo IG Mini Swap.
I ended up making for a person who lived a town or two away from me and happened to just join the Fredericksburg Modern Guild so I had a chance to get to know her a little before making the mini.  She said she liked things that looked a little different than others and that she liked BariJ, Art Gallery fabrics.  I pondered and pondered but ended up deciding that a disappearing pinwheel using the fabrics would be neat approach so I went for it.  And I liked it. Thankfully, so did Beth. :)
The person who made for me Becky (IG: @keepmeinstitches), well, from the moment I saw this posted on InstaGram I was hoping and hoping it was mine. There isn't one thing about her package that didn't sing to me. The deer heads, camoflauged in the Joel Dewberry fabrics, a wristlet made with Joel Dewberry Notting Hill, and a JD jelly roll. Sing, sing, sing... loved the colors, too!

Second up, Disney Mini Quilt Swap.
I struggled a lot with this one for my first partner because I was intimidated by some of her skills but as fate was watching out for me, she needed to back out of the swap due and I was reassigned an angel.  Since I hadn't started anything yet for my original partner, I was able to create something special to the angel and I love what I came up with. I went with a minimalist approach to Genie, her favorite, then sent her along a Cheshire cat mug rug and Disney mug with a couple other of her "favorites" on it.

The person who made for me (IG: @evil_moogle) went over the top. She found some Seven Dwarfs fabric and highlighted my favorite dwarf Grumpy. It's so spot on I can't help but grin every time I see it.  Then she did this awesome cross-stitch hanging and added a few Grumpy decals that I could use for good measure.  So cool!
This was such a fun swap to make and receive and most certainly to watch others create.

Last up, the Bitches Get Stitches Mini Swap (warning, profanity below). Stop reading the remainder of this post if you prefer not to see it.
This swap had clean to really naughty levels. I think my curse and "dirty" factor landed somewhere in the middle despite my favorite curse word being "fuck".  However, the lady I was making for, Miranda, let me tell you, she was a saint. I sent this swap SO LATE because we moved unexpectedly and Miranda patiently waited for me to send along her package. She should be receiving it any day now but I think she will like it. She made a comment, the dirtier the better so I went with it. Thinking innuendos, I found a few phrases on the internet and printed them on fabric.
The first: "Remember, it's not polite to spit." I put this onto a cup cozy and sent along the cup, with the cozy on it and some bachelorette straws. Not just any straws, penis straws! I feel pretty freaky even writing that.
The second said, "INVITATION: We are hosting a charity concert for people who struggle to reach orgasm.   If you can't come, please let me know."  I put this on a zippy pouch. (hehehe)
The third said, "My fortune cookie told me to masturbate. 'Why not treat yourself to a good time instead of waiting for someone else to do it?' "  This went on the same zippy pouch as the other but on the opposite side. (evil grin)
Lastly, I went with a straight and simple, "What. The. Fuck."  This went onto a simple mug rug.
I also bought a bright pink baseball cap to send along that said, "Classy Bitch." It seemed appropriate.
Also, though, since she waited SO long, I wanted to send along a thank you for her patience so I made her a mini she could actually hang in public, if she wanted. She loves skulls and crossbones and Anchorman quotes so I put them together and voila!
Update: she received it and likes the package! Yay... (this is her photo)

From another person (IG: @mnnofziger), I received 2 wonderful handmade gifts! A tote where she painted on the fabric some graffiti style "fucks"  and I love them!
The other side has a neat hexi and is clean and prim.
That means I can take this bag out in public and I did just that the other day. The F side is not really in your face noticeable unless you are staring at it.  Also, she stalked well because during this swap I came across a neat coffee mug. I posted it and mentioned I needed to find one somewhere. She commented and we had a little silly back and forth about how everyone needs one. I saw her making one later, saying it was for her partner but it never crossed my mind that I was that partner so when it came in the mail, suffice it to say I was very, very happy and I use that mug pretty frequently during these cold weather days. Heck, I think I need to go get some tea right now that I'm thinking about it. :)
There you go, you are all caught up on my swaps from last year. Do you participate in mini swaps? Do you love them as much as I do?


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Michael Miller MQG Fabric Challenge

Last year I made several minis and used those opportunities to stretch my creative wings.  It was not easy and often I found myself coming up with an idea which then proved quite difficult to execute.  I have a half finished mini sitting in my sewing room for that very reason. I will finish it one day but suffice it to say, it reminded me to consider my skill in these bright ideas, too.

One mini I DID finish however was the one for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge (see winners here).  Using the Petal Pinwheels line of fabric from Michael Miller and some solids from my stash,
I drafted a mini quilt design which I felt had a modern feel and highlighted the fabric.  After printing it, I modified the design just a little further.
Then I got to sewing.  I love foundation piecing and that is the technique I used.

I pieced the binding and the back with leftover bits of fabric.
I kept the quilting simple because I felt there was no need for anything more, the mini was busy enough and the fabrics were what needed to show.
I love how this came out.  I am hoping that this year, I can try this pattern with some other fabrics and if it works again, who knows? Maybe I'll share the pattern with you all (of course, that might require more organization than I actually have.)