I've put a new link on the blog for the Quilting Tips I personally find useful and plan to add to it as I go. Its a way for me to keep what I find for quick reference when I need it. Sometimes when I go looking for something, like that old camera, and end up cleaning the whole house, too much time is spent being frustrated and off center. So I like to organize one more thing in my life.
I joined a 12" Halloween Block swap through the 12"Christmas Block swap I belong to. The facilitator said that if it goes well, we may do more of them. Tonight, I finished the Dresden Plate pattern for it and am pleased. The black fabric is authentic retro, and all I had were scraps, so this was a perfect use of them. The orange is a modern fabric, and the center (just pinned here but now completed) was a scrap leftover from scrubs material. I bought the lime green new. Whomever gets this can finish quilting in whatever way they want. I like it and had fun making it. I might make a traditional block too.
The second swap is one from swapbot.com called the Halloween Stuffed Stocking swap. What I made is maybe 7" tall or so and is to be filled with about $10 worth of Halloween goodies. I liked this so much that I cut out a few more for gifts to the youngsters in my family.
They will also get some of the treats purchased for the swap stocking. Each stocking is made with different scraps. I found the pattern on this site witch-stocking-shoe-treat thought it was a cute way to get started on the seasonal projects.
The swapbot swaps have become great prompts for me to send things to my Grandkids. With hundreds of collective minds thinking about giving and receiving, what I see is that people around the world like participating in this process and want something in their mailboxes that are positive and celebratory. Oh sure, you give and receive, and yet, what I am seeing is an amazing generosity of people that goes beyond the swap requirements.
Just because. They give just because. For the most part there is no financial requirement and if there is, it indicates it and a person can pass that swap up and go onto another. Its not going to change the outcome of politics or prejudice, or convert people to think a certain way. There is no advertising or gimmicks that I have seen thusfar. Its fun. Its healing. And its fun. I've already smiled and laughed more because of the mail I've gotten from this swap than I have in years. Silly laughter, silly fun. With the promise of more to come.
Thing is, with this site, you really need to read the FAQ carefully, because one slip and you are out. The site owners have a zero tolerance for flakers, and that makes it run more smoothly. I know that I've never been much for rules, and yet, sometimes you just gotta have them, gotta support them, and gotta follow them. Or find another place to play.