Hooray, hooray! My partner finally received her mini quilt today, all the way in Brazil! I was starting to worry about the postal system, here, there, and in between, as I’d shipped it USPS Priority International Mail back on March 3rd, and it finally arrived today, March 21st! The shipping estimate I’d been given was 10-14 days, but tracking wasn’t available for this package!
This swap had more rules than the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap – but they were completely reasonable, and I loved that they guaranteed a fair swap (or as close as you can get) for everybody. Rules like mandatory check ins, so the swap mamas could tell you were making progress instead of whipping something out in two hours on the last shipping date, and having some sort of evidence of sewing/quilting in your Instagram feed. I would happily sign up for another swap hosted by Kate (@katebasti).
When partners got handed out, I got @silort_on_flickr – which I was thrilled about! I’d been following her since (I think) the Schnitzel & Boo swap last fall, and I love her work. It’s also such fun to make a lovely gift for somebody who posts such wonderful photos and praises of the things she receives! I was extra thrilled when she posted some photos of quilt patterns and styles she enjoyed, and included the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I’d been looking for an excuse to buy that pattern, and it seemed like it would be perfect for a rainbow-themed mini swap. I had so much fun making this mini quit and the extra goodies for such a lovely partner!
Early on in assembly, I’d decided that just one of the hedgehogs must have the pair of glasses that was included in the pattern. I’d also appliqued a pair of glasses onto the Hazel pouch I’d made, and once I saw how the back looked on the pouch, I intentionally waited until after quilting to to the zigzag stitch around the glasses on the quilt, so they would show “through” to the back side. Once again, I stole Marthe’s (@thesistyuglers) idea for a quilt label, though I ran mine through the printer instead of free-handing it. For quilting, the angles of the hedgehogs on the front were just begging for some chevron lines – and I was even able to get some metallic silver thread to match the background fabric on the front!
I also sewed some corner pockets into the top, to tuck a dowel into so that the quilt can easily be hung on a wall. Once again, I used the tutorial from Sara at Heirloom Creations to calculate the “right” size of the corner pockets, and that calculation seems to be working out on everything I’ve tried it on so far!
I had a little too much fun with extra goodies for this swap 🙂 I had tons of rainbow fabrics (most leftover from the La Passacaglia piece I made for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap), and was struggling to decide. Rather than just cutting corner bits off to play with to audition the colors, I decided to make 1″ hexagons from all of the color choices to play with as swatches… and then to send off with the quilt for extras. I ended up with 75 hexies. Who knew I had that many colors of fabrics between the two swaps?? According to her survey, my partner also liked “dark chocolate”… and after some quick internet searches to make sure there shouldn’t be any restrictions on shipping chocolate to Brazil, I picked out three bars from one of my favorite chocolate brands – Ghirardelli. I wasn’t sure how dark of chocolate she liked, so she got 60% cacao, 72%, and 86%, though it sounds like all three are a hit from her posts today on Instagram!
I’d loved Johanna’s (@johannaweidner) idea to make a zippered pouch from a Hazel block to ship the mini quilt in, and she’d been kind enough to share the size of panels she begins with, and her finished dimensions with me. The only difference was that I did the zipper on mine in the style of an open wide zippered pouch rather than sewing the closed end of the zipper into the seam.
I’m so glad that I went with the “less is more” approach for the border of the quilt, versus the flying geese border I’d been debating over. However, since I had extra flying geese that were already pieced, and nothing to do with them, I used a strip of them up the back of the hedgehog pouch I made to use as wrapping for the mini quilt!
I quilted the front and back of the pouch separately, and look at how closely the quilting on the sides lined up – just by chance. I could not have done that if I had tried!
Karen (@greengroves) was kind enough to do a run of the “#rainbow mini swap” buttons again for round two – she’d come out with the buttons during the first round of this swap, and I’d been awfully disappointed when I came across the picture to find out that they had been for the swap last year. I picked up a couple when she brought them back to her Etsy shop! I didn’t even realize that my partner wouldn’t have been able to buy one herself if she’d wanted to – the shop only ships within the United States, so I’m extra glad I included one for her! I plan to pin mine to the mini I received 🙂
In my searches for fabric, I’d managed to get my hands on some Ex Libris print, and made a size medium “Pouch with a View” for my partner, too, and tucked her hexies inside for shipping. I love using that fabric for the pouch with a view, since it’s such a pretty kaleidoscope of color.
I’d done some research online for shipping internationally, and most information I found suggested using a USPS Priority Mail flat rate envelope to help it arrive in a timely fashion – and that sometimes it being priority mail helps to expedite it through customs so it doesn’t sit for two months. I was struggling to get the mini quilt and goodies wedged into the envelope, and I wanted the mini quilt in plastic to protect it during shipping anyway… so I brought out my FoodSaver vacuum sealer, and vacuum-packed my mini quilt! Everything fit much easier afterwards, and I’ll have to remember that trick in the future!
Yeahhhh!! Yeahhh!! @katebasti There’s a Happy Dance here in Brazil!!!! the stunning, gorgeous, awesome, fabulous mini that @mdruddy85 made especially for me!!!!!! in #rainbowminiswapR2 #rainbowminiteamred dear Melissa! You cannot imagine how happy you made me with your talented work and with tour generosity !! and you also cannot imagine how much I was needing this love to my heart that is so hurt with all the bad news in my Country!!!!! Thank you dear friend Melissa! you made my day!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!! And friends sorry but I need to overgramming!!!!!😘😘😘😘😘 I need to share my happiness!! 💕💕💕💕💕
To my delight, she loves it!