I’m constantly amazed by the opportunities for real life connections that the Internet has brought me over the past few years. From all of the kind comments that are left here on my blog and on my photos, to swaps and friendships that I’ve made online, I cannot imagine my life without it.

So, in the newest of those opportunities, I joined a project called the 12 Squared Quilting Bee. It’s interesting how it works: for the next 12 months, we’ll all be making blocks for each other. One person sends her fabric out to the other 11 quilters, we make blocks to her specifications, and then send them them back to her. This month I made blocks for Valerie–month one down!

May blocks

Truthfully, I was really overwhelmed when I got the fabric for May. I loved the fabric, but together they’re big and bold and just not what I’m used to. Plus, seriously! It’s nerve wracking to make parts for other people’s quilts.

Block No. 1

But I really didn’t need to be worried, because Valerie has a great sense of color and pattern. The first one I did, I pieced like how I do my quilted totes. No plan whatsoever.

Block No. 1

But this one is my favorite. I love the fabric in the center of the block and I really felt that it needed to be framed by a log cabin.

Looking forward to next month’s set of fabric!

There are those projects that are destined to be failures even before they start. This is one of those projects.

doll quilt swap

On first glance, it doesn’t look like a fail. Looks can be deceiving though.

I signed up for a doll quilt swap back in March (or maybe earlier, I can’t really remember), and had really good intentions about getting something started. Between the combination of lack of inspiration, other projects I was more interested in, and good old fashioned procrastination, I managed to hold off beginning this until about the last week in April. Turns out, if I had read the information (at all) I would have noticed the quilt was due the last week in April. Well crap.

doll quilt swap

In the meantime, I received my super awesome quilt from Alison. It’s so fabulous. I love everything about it–the colors, the design, the quilting. She did a fantastic job, and sent along a handmade pincushion to boot. She’s so talented, and I was lucky to be her recipient. Did this help me be a better swapper? You be the judge.

doll quilt swap

But finally, I managed to finish the quilt earlier this week. Since I decided to hand quilt it, it took a longer to finish, but it looked good. I ended up buying a store bought, pre-made bias binding for the edge (which I’ve never done before, but why cut all that fabric when I just wanted a red border?) and at that point, thought I was ready to go. A quick toss in the sink, then a run though the dryer and I’ve got a soft, wrinkly doll quilt.

doll quilt swap

Did you know you have to wash store bought quilt binding? Neither did I.

The red dye from the binding was everywhere. I took to the quilt with a bleach pen. It seemed to work, but at this point, I had to come up with a way to get the bleach out of the quilt. I took a chance and washed it again in colorsafe bleach. It took the dye out, but now, the water had soaked the bleach through all of the layers and dyed the back of the quilt. Splochy and overall ruined really.

I couldn’t bear to take a picture of the quilt afterward. I sent it out anyway, with an apology note and a few other goodies to make up for my craptastic swap.

So….who’s interested in doing a swap?? I promise it can’t get any worse than that.

Wee people are surprisingly easy to make gifts for. Find cute stuff, make it, and present to wee person’s keeper (or mom). Simple.

monkey onesies

I do not have wee people. I have a dog. And I work with mini people at work everyday. Although I do not currently have the desire to own my own wee person, I apparently have an intense drive to make cute embroidered onesies for other people’s wee people. Monkey onesies!

all of em

Despite saving these until the last minute (and staying up most of the night before the were due) I was overall happy with them. I used a Sublime Stitching iron on pattern, and other than figuring out that I had to use an interfacing under the stretchy material, the whole thing couldn’t have been any easier.

baby chalice blanket

I also wanted to knit a blanket, and being that the wee person will be arriving early this summer, I went with something lightweight. I used the Baby Chalice Blanket (link here if you’re on Ravelry) pattern, with in Knit Picks Comfy. It’s a 100% cotton yarn, and while I’m not usually a fan of knitting with cotton, this stuff seemed really nice to work with. Plus, it should help the wee person’s mom and dad when she spits up all over it and it needs to be washed about 15 times a week. No worries about felting it all up.