Quilt-as-you-go block swap

I’m doing my second ever sewing swap on Swap-bot! It’s for a striped quilt-as-you-go block, so fabric sewn directly onto the backing fabric/ batting which I can see would be a really quick construction method. The requirements were that it’s constructed on a thin backing (I used a white cotton) so it can be sent as a letter, and to use at least 6 fabrics. I haven’t done a block like this before and underestimated the size and amount of fabric needed so my block uses 11 fabrics all drawn from my stash. My swap partner likes bright fabrics and I have plenty of those! The idea of the swap is that it will be held approximately monthly to slowly create a full quilt. My plan is to make myself a matching block every month to remember what I’ve done and build a quilt more quickly.

I like being able to spot bits of other projects in this block – my first quilt and several different gifts I’ve made in the last couple of years.

Now to wait and see what I receive…

Easy pillowcase swap

I recently took part in my first proper sewing swap on Swap-bot! The swap was for an pillowcase using a simple tube method with 3 fabrics. The instructions in the swap directed us to this video, but I think there’s plenty of similar instructions out there.

Sent to USA:

My swap partner likes pink and red, so a raid of the fabric stalls in the market produced a couple of nicely contrasting patterns with similar colours. I used a wide woven ribbon for the small strip of fabric because it coordinated better than anything else I had. I also added some text detail with freehand machine embroidery. And French seams too! I was really pleased with how it looks.


I was a bit uncertain about the size of the pillowcase, it seemed really wide for my pillows, but my swap partner was really happy with it 🙂 and the pillowcase I received is a similar width so it must be the design. Are American pillows wider than UK pillows?!
Received from USA:

I was a bit uncertain about what I might receive but look at this! A perfectly coordinated beautiful floral fabric pillowcase. It’s really well made with French seams and sharp corners. The sender told me she made lots of these as Christmas gifts, so maybe practice makes perfect 🙂

I’m looking forward to finding my next sewing swap now!

Month of Letters – 24th to the end

So Friday night (24th Feb) I did a load of of letter writing and swap sorting, spent a small fortune on postage of Saturday, had visitors on Sunday, then woke up on Monday and decided I really wasn’t well enough to do things like get out of bed. Probably explains my tiredness for the past week… But I have just about posted an item every day this month, with a couple of delays and make up days.

To finish the monthly report – outgoing post:

25th – My final item for the swap-bot ‘month of happy mail’ swap. I made a weeks worth of positive notes and little gifts – 7 notes and gifts individually wrapped. It’s based on another swap I once did and really enjoyed.

I wrote a few nice quotes and some hopefully cheerful notes on a variety of postcards and note cards, then put each note in separate envelopes with a little wrapped gift. I raided my little gifts stash, I hope they enjoy everything. I did forget to pack the chocolate raisins so I’ve eaten them instead!

26th – Technically posted the day before, I sent off a swap for a homemade pillow case. I’ll post about it separately soon.

27th / 28th – I started to recover from my cold/ flu type thing to realise there’s 3 birthdays coming up in the next week or so! So I dug out a few cards, and added a little gift and letter to one to a penfriend. There’s only 1 I’m fully confident will arrive in time!

The round-up:

In February I’ve posted 31 items to 10 different countries – UK, USA, India, Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Turkey, and Australia. I’ve spent £47.32 in postage. I have one letter to write still outstanding that I feel a little guilty for being so slow to reply to, but it’s a first letter and I want to do a good job of it.

I don’t as fully track incoming post, just enjoy it and blog about it occasionally, but I’ve had a whole mix of stuff. I don’t think I’ve received more than normal despite sending nearly every day, but maybe that benefit will come as replies over time.
I’ve also realised I do much better at keeping to resolutions when I have a challenge to meet, even if there’s no competition or consequences. Maybe especially then, it’s just me trying to be better but not stressing over anything extra. I don’t have great will-power or determination so I need something else as well… The next challenge begins as the last one ends – now it’s Lent! Can I really fully give up milk instead of the half-way I’ve been doing for years? And will it make much difference? Let’s find out…

Lettermo 21st – 23rd

I’ve been writing, I’ve just been bad at updating…

A few days of incoming post:

3 of these are from the Swap-bot ‘happy mail all month’ swap – a colouring card with flower seeds, a selection of stationery items, and a postcard of a wooden bridge apparently common to certain areas of USA. The cat face card also comes from USA as part of the ‘postcard roulette’ swap.

Outgoing:

21st – I made this scrapbooked art letter thing I have forgotten the name of a while ago but never figured out who to send it to… the ‘happy mail all month’ swap seemed appropriate 🙂


22nd – a letter to a penfriend in Germany

23rd – I didn’t feel up to letter writing this evening although I have 2 I want to get out over the weekend… today I’m sending a postcard to Italy through Postcard United. She likes UNESCO sites so I’m sending Strutts Mill in Belper.

Lettermo – 3 in 1

Yesterday I had a visitor all day, and tomorrow I’ll be out all evening, so today I’ve written several cards and letters to keep me up to date 🙂

Outgoing:

A postcard from the V&A museum off to USA in reply to a Valentine’s postcard, I’ll write properly when I have enough brain power to do it well. A short letter off to Australia to an old penfriend who doesn’t really write anymore but I don’t want to give up on yet. She sent a Christmas card so I’m just saying hello. And a letter to a fairly new penfriend in the Netherlands, with my last Agatha Christie stamp.

(Yesterday’s) incoming:

A beautiful note card and tape samples from my ‘happy mail all month’ partner.

A great selection of goodies from the Swap-bot stationery supplies swap. Postcards, note cards, writing sets, envelopes, and some labels and stickers. I was very happy to receive this one 🙂

Challenging myself to send something every day is definitely keeping me on track this month…

Lettermo #16 & #17

I’m not sure what happened to yesterday…the days have all blurred into one! So here’s 2 days together. I’m glad it’s the weekend…

Received cards:

A fun illustrated card of the clock tower in Izmir, Turkey from postcard pal. And a possibly Valentines-ish type of postcard from a postcard pal in Russia, who I just replied to so I might wait before sending another card!

Sent cards:

The smile card is the next installment of my happy mail all month swap off to the USA. And the view of Chatsworth is a reply to Turkey 🙂

Also today, there was a lovely sunset. I can see the days getting longer now.

Lettermo day #13, and Postcrossing at its most boring

Is it really only Monday? I could really do with some more days off…

Outgoing today:

2 cards in the Swap-bot ‘postcard roulette’ – one assigned partner and one selected by the sender from a list of participants. The flowers are to my assigned swap partner in Canada, and Tower Bridge is headed to Germany to my randomly chosen second partner. I wonder how many cards I’ll receive this time…

Incoming today: the most boring Postcrossing card ever. I’m so uninspired I haven’t even registered it yet. Blank white envelope, printed on postage, ID on the envelope and a completely blank black and white local view postcard inside. No message, no information, not even a real stamp to admire…what’s the point?! Add to that I’m now 3 postcards up on Postcrossing so I haven’t even earned this disappointment yet. I need nice things to get me through this week!

Month of letters day #10

It’s Friday! Woohoo! Today’s outgoing happy mail was mainly pre-prepared as I’m off to a meet-up soon…

It’s part 3 of my month of happy mail Swap-bot swap, a collection of stationery and stickers I hope will appeal to my partner 🙂

Incoming today were letters from Germany and Australia, I’ll have to get writing over the weekend!

Month of letters day #9

Is it only the 9th February?! It’s feeling like a hard month…

Outgoing today:

It’s a ‘figure of a hand showing cabbalistic signs and sigils ca. 1775 from a manuscript of demonology’ that I got from a London museum, off to a postcard pal in USA who I believe has an interest in the spiritual and historic.

Incoming today:

These are Swap-bot travelling postcards! Purely by chance travelling within the UK for this round. I’ll add my name and hang on to them until next month 🙂

Lettermo day #8 – today I have post!

After days of an empty letterbox I finally received a small stack of post!

Incoming today (from the left): 

a letter from a penfriend in Slovenia, a letter from a penfriend in the Netherlands, my first received part of the ‘happy mailbox all month’ swap from USA, and a first letter from new penfriend in Pakistan – from Lahore but obviously routed via Islamabad. I’m not sure why that pleases me, maybe it’s just that there’s evidence of the journey…

And fun contents! As well as letters I’ve gained a Parisian fashion card (following a discussion on Jane Austen books), a froggy Valentine (‘wouldn’t FROG-et to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!’), a Slovenian forest fruits tea bag and 2 postcards of Pakistan. I was surprised to get a request to become penfriends, I’m still not sure why me but we’re the same age and both engineers so I’ll see how it goes 🙂

Lots of happy post to cheer me up today!

Outgoing today: a reply to Slovenia. Once I’d started it went more easily than I expected. This challenge is definitely making me sit down and start writing.