All swap emails are out!

Swappers, donors, and Newbies you should all have mail. Watch your SPAM folders if you don’t see it. Remember that Newbie donors and Newbie emails come from DJMat and the swap emails come from maryeoriginals.

Mailbox common licenseOnly two people who signed up have had their emails bounce back – both because the email they supplied when they signed up was not a valid address. If you do not have your matches or Newbie info yet, drop me an email with your name and correct email address, please.

I appreciate your patience with the last mailings. It took a couple days longer than I hoped, but than the pneumonia lasted longer than I hoped as well!

And I am sure there will be a few adjustments to be made over the next couple of days. It will all work out soon!

A special thank you to this year’s “Newbie Goddess”, Ms. DJ Matulewicz, fellow quilter and Doctor Who fan! Having help getting all that set of matching done is a BIG DEAL!

Bedtime in Minnesota – Good Night Happy Quilters Everywhere!Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Swap emails coming out Oct 18-21

Yeppers. I know that’s later than I expected. But there is a very good (and unavoidable) reason for that.

Late in July, a job listing showed up for my nearly ideal job. I applied, got the perfunctory note saying “we got it” and heard nothing. If you have been in the job market lately, you know that you must do a lot of letting go and moving on . . . so I did. Then I caught a nasty cold. Life goes on.

The day the swap started, they called me. Quick interview process, and just before the swap closed, I started my new job. My cold shifted down to my chest. Work was fine, as the first couple of weeks would involve tons of reading and learning, mostly online. Birch Tree In FallActually, my new boss was wonderful about the whole thing, even when the chest cold turned into “walking” pneumonia. Sitting still was good, moving around and sleeping were horrid. Learning new stuff while feeling that way was tiring! Missing out on long walks in the lovely Minnesota Fall has been hard too.

I kept plugging away on the swap matches, and DJ on the Newbie assignments. Actually we are pretty close. The thing is, I hit a wall mid-week and had to let myself crash for two days. I did, and it has worked wonders towards my turning the corner for feeling like ME again!

So the weekend is dedicated to swap matches, lots of fluid intake, and more rest! About 500 sets of charms are looking to head to their new homes, it is always a fun thought. I love doing this, and knowing what delight these little packets bring people.

Thanks for your patience, I really appreciate it! And please do not comment about me getting better, etc, because I am healing well and getting my usual energy back! I just thought you all deserved to know why I have been moving in slow motion here.

Watch for your emails in the next couple of days . . .

- Mary
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged | 13 Comments

Fall 2014 PSQ Charm Swap Closes. On to the Spring 2015 Swap!

Many thanks to all of you who have signed up to swap those addictive little Postage Stamp Quilt Charms this round. I will be starting the process of matching partners this evening, but it takes a while, so please be patient. My goal is to have all the swap partner emails out before 10/17/2014, or sooner. We have lots of new swappers (welcome Instagram crowd!) this round, which should make for a fresh set of fabrics coming your way.

Still my favorite Postage Stamp Quilt photo.And special thanks to all who are donating sets for Newbies. We all had to start somewhere and, if you are like me, you probably have plenty to share. “DJ Mat” is serving as our Newbie Goddess this year. She will be sending out emails to all Newbies, and to all the Newbie Gift Donors. Yep, that means if you are swapping, and donating newbie gifts, you will be getting emails from two people with your swap details. Makes it go faster!

Be sure to watch your spam folder as well as you inbox for mail from mary at maryeoriginals dot com and/or from djmat78 at Hotmail dot com.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

The ninth (yep, I said ninth)  PSQ Charm Swap will run some time in April 2015, dates to be announced. That gives you a few months to acquire more scraps, cut them up, and be set to trade again. It also should give people time to get a friend or two involved, the more swappers we have, the more fun we have!

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

Instagram . . . and giveaways!

IG logoI have thoroughly been enjoying the quilting community on Instagram (IG). I think I prefer it to Pinterest, personally because there are conversations involved, not just pictures. I am “thecuriousquilter” in Instagram! I hope you will follow me there as well, my feed is not parallel to the blog. Most people follow on their smart phones, but there is also a website for joining the fun. C

Another thing that amazes me there is the daily volume of giveaways of fabric and books and notions and more. There are so many more in IG and Facebook than on individual blogs these day, if you are looking for giveaways, follow a few shops and fabric manufacturers on these sites.
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com
While you are waiting . . .

Clean and Oil Your Sewing Machine Bobbin Case AreaThis is a great time to clean and oil your sewing machine. If you have never done it, read the guidelines and directions in your user’s manual. What? You don’t have a manual? No Problem! Check out sewingmanuals.com for PDF versions of almost every machine manual you can imagine. There are also many videos on YouTube – search for your machine type.

Halloween Mug Rug QuiltsAnd then, if you are looking for a quick Halloween project, remember to make Halloween Mug Rugs! These fun seasonal samples are easy to make, and make great gifts too.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comsignature © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Ready to Swap? Just Thinking About It? Read On!

Sept-Oct 2014 PSQ Charm SwapSign-up for the Sept-October Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap is running nicely, but we have lots of room for more swappers! Even if you just have one set of small charms to trade with one other person, you are more than welcome to join! It is a fabulous way to build variety in your PSQ charm collection. To learn more or sign-up you must visit the post titled September 2014 Postage Stamp Charm Swap Begins! Please do NOT try to sign up on this post, it will not transfer to my list.

And here are some great things to look at as you plan and consider what to do with your charms:

Wedding Dress Blue, Film at Five © 2012

Film at Five

Growing Up Odd Weddign Dress Blue Blog

Growing Up Odd

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

A Swap for 5″ Charms, from The Amateur Quilter

Mike over at The Amateur Quilter runs a great swap–very different format than the PSQ swaps.

Mike, The Amateur Quilter

Mike, The (not-at-all) Amateur Quilter

This round he is having people swap 5″ Scrappy and Low Volume Charms. Sign-up now, then get your charms ready using his easy directions, and mail them to him by October 25, 2014. You need two one-yard pieces of fabric that you will cut per his instructions. Once he does his sorting magic, you get back 56 sets of two charms each from 56 quilters. I’m in, are you?
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

September 2014 Postage Stamp Charm Swap Begins!

Sept-Oct 2014 PSQ Charm SwapWelcome to the eighth PSQ charm swap here at The Curious Quilter! The September/October 2014 Postage Stamp Quilt Fabric Charm Swap begins today. You can sign-up to swap, or request a Newbie Gift by leaving a comment on THIS post, anytime between September 20-October 5, 2014. Complete details follow, and even return swappers should read on to learn more.  Update 10/6/2014: This sign-up period is now closed. The ninth swap will be during the month of April 2015, dates to be announced.

Cut b4 signup reminderStart packaging your sets and sign up to swap. I KNOW that many of you are already hooked, but I encourage you to invite a friend to join this time. The more swappers, the more variety. Returning swappers, I am glad to have you back. If you are a new swapper, you must review all the rules below carefully, look through the links included. You can find inspiration in the Postage Stamp Quilt pages on the menu bar above.

© CQ PSQ Flickr Photo SamplerYes, I am repeating my words from previous swaps, but there are new swappers out there too, so bear with me please. Even if you didn’t take part in a previous swap, you are most welcome to take part in this one. And if you have been here before, I am comforted to know that my obsession is shared. Be sure to put your collections and progress shots up on our Flickr pages! We have lots of photos, and there are a couple of really fun variations shown.

What is this all about? Postage Stamp Quilts (PSQ’s) are made with small square charms, ranging from 1″ to 2.5″ before sewing. Most quilters strive to make one with as few duplicate fabric squares as possible, but there are some really striking quilts out there that have alternating solids, or lots of repeats. A lot of people are like me, they collect fabric scraps or charms with the plan to make a PSQ sometime. The goal is to get people to actually MAKE a postage stamp quilt. Sooner, not later.

Me? Obsessed? HA! My collection of two-inch treasures reached well over 40,000 charms, and I started stitching them up a couple of years ago. I have finished seven of them, with 3-4,000 charms in each. And yes, I do keep cutting and collecting them. Every quilt fabric that comes into my house gets a few charms cut out of it. If you are new here, or just want to prove to your family that SOME people have more piles of charms than you, read more, and even more, about my journey to use my collection.

Postage Stamp Quilts Playing with Color

There are many ways to play with little fabric charms!

Help a New Quilter start a charm collection! Newbie Gifts are included in the swap this again round. I hear from new quilters who want to make a PSQ quilt, but do not have 100 fabrics to cut charms from. This is NOT a swap, it is a gift. If you are a new quilter who cannot swap, but would like to start a charm collection, sign up below. If you are a quilter with charms to spare, please sign up to donate a set or two. Details below.

Special note about newbie gifts. Many previous Newbie Gift Donors do not want to do it anymore because their Newbie Partners never acknowledged receiving their gift. Some common courtesy is absolutely required. Your donor makes the effort to cut and pack your charms, and pays the postage to get them to you. Let them know when the package arrives!

I am repeating the basic rules (updated here!) for swapping below, but also want to refer you to the main Postage Stamp Quilt 2012 Swaps and Challenge page, and the FAQ’s About Postage Stamp Charm Swaps.

One note for returning swappers: I am not a meanie, really, but if your partner(s) still hasn’t received their charms from you, I will not be matching you with a new partner this round. Fix it, and you can join!

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comHow to Swap PSQ Charms

Preparing your Charm Sets to Swap Sign-Up to Swap Newbie Gifts! Puzzled? Find help!

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comPreparing Your Charm Sets To Swap:

Before you sign-up to swap, you MUST have your charm sets ready to mail. That saves time at the mailing week, and ensures that you actually have as many sets as you want to swap already cut and ready. Last minute cutting messes up swapping big time! Please note, for the Sept/Oct 2014 swap, you are limited to swapping 8 charm sets in each size that you select.

Charm Size Comparison - stitchedYou have to decide which size charms you want to swap. (My personal favorites are 2″ charms, but most beginners use the 2.5″ ones.) Check out the info in Let’s Talk Size, which compares sizes and the number of charms needed for a quilt, then pick 1.5″, 2″, or 2.5″ charm squares, get out your scraps, and start cutting. Cut some for you, and some to swap. Please use only 100% cotton fabric that is suitable for quilting. When you hold it up to the light, you should not be able to see through it. Homespuns or flannels should not be used for this swap. Yes, a few solids are fine in a set, and if you have the pinked-edge pre-cut charms a few of them can be included as well. Hopefully, your fabric has been pre-washed before cutting, but that may not always be possible. Be sure to use good cutting practices while preparing your charms, no selvages, never torn, no ripped-out stitch holes showing, and so on. No one cuts perfectly, but strive for accuracy in your cutting.

For this swap, if you are interested in one inch charms, please cut two-inch charms to swap. You will have more people available to swap with, although you will have to quarter the ones you receive.

Novelty Charms

Novelty charms are fun in these quilts!

Keep cutting. Fussy cut some fun novelties. Solids, stripes, plaids, prints, metallics, embellished, almost anything goes. Bust up as much stash as you want. Cut up strips and charm squares that you are not using.

Make sets of 100 to swap. Count them out into stacks of 100, with no duplicates in each stack. (Large-scale prints may read as different fabrics when cut into small charms, which is acceptable.) So every set of 100 charms will have no duplicates, and is a UNIQUE set. If you cut 400 squares from 400 fabrics, you have four unique sets. If you cut 400 squares, 4 each from 100 fabrics, you have four matching sets. OK, that may sound confusing, but think of it this way: with unique sets, you could swap them all to one person, but with matching sets, you would swap one set to each of four people, so no duplicates came through!* Don’t sweat it, justRed Star Means Changedholler if you are stuck. If you have 100 charms to swap, you will get 100 charms back. If you have 800 charms to swap, you can get 800 charms back. You are limited to swapping 1-8 sets in each charm size you select.

*Note: A UNIQUE set has each one different. Two UNIQUE sets have 200 different fabrics. If you only have one set, with all different fabrics, it is UNIQUE. Two MATCHING SETS means that you have two sets cut from 100 different fabrics, but each set is the same. The sets match each other. A goal with postage stamp quilts is to have few or no repeats, so ‘coordinated sets’ – say with 4 each of 25 fabrics, are not acceptable for this swap. That said, however, some duplicates are acceptable in Newbie Sets, read below.

Keep some for yourself. Set aside the number of these stacks that you want to keep for your own stash, after all, they are YOUR little treasures! Once you get started, you may want to make more than one quilt.
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSign-Up To Swap!

A favorite Postage Stamp Quilt.

My classic PSQ that I made with over 4,000 two-inch charms.

Now that you have cut and counted, you are ready to sign-up to swap. I will be matching you up to one or more other swappers, and emailing you both so you can share mailing addresses. I will be getting those emails off as fast as I can, but please do not worry if you do not hear before March 31st! (Remember, I have a job and write two blogs, so it takes me a little while to pull it all together.) Once you have the swap info, you should contact your partner/s and arrange for mailing your charms and get them out within one week.

SWAPPERS! Anytime between September 20-October 5, 2014, leave a comment below ON THIS POST ONLY, stating each of these items: (it will be helpful if you use the numbers to answer.) Update 10/6/2014: This sign-up period is now closed. The ninth swap will be during the month of April 2015, dates to be announced.

  1. Your first name, middle initial, and the first letter of your last name. (I am asking for more info, as last time I had three people named Cathy R. sign up, two from the same state, and I messed up their swap partners.).
  2. Your City, State or Territory, and Country.
  3. Are you willing to swap with people in other countries? (Often more variety, but higher postage rates may apply. Check out the postage rate discussion included in my 10/6/2013 post.)
  4. What size charms you want to swap, 2.5, 2 or 1.5 inches. If you are doing a 1 inch project please swap 2 inch charms.
  5. How many UNIQUE sets or MATCHING sets of 100 you have to swap. LIMIT 8 SETS per charm size.
  6. How many NEWBIE GIFTS you have to share.
  7. A brief comment progress report on what you are doing with your charms. Please, start sewing asap, do not just save charms!

Please DO NOT include your email address or your mailing address in your comment below! You email address is held privately when you submit the comment form. By joining the swap, you are giving me permission to share your email information with your swap partner/s.

Here is a sample blank SWAPPER comment, you could copy it and replace the info with your own:
1- Mary E. W.
2- St. Paul, MN, USA.
3- Yes Int’l.
4- two inches.
5- three matching sets, and two unique sets
6- two Newbie gifts.
7- After I finish two wedding quilts, I will finish my 7th PSQ this year for sure.

If you swapped in previous swaps through The Curious Quilter, an effort will be made to give you different swap partner/s this round, to help you get more diversity in your charm stash. But this will not always be possible, so please just enjoy what comes your way!

Red Star Means ChangedBefore you sign up, double-check that your charms are all set to mail! That is why we have a week to sign up, if you want to swap but aren’t through cutting your sets, do not sign-up until you finish cutting and counting them. Please do not directly point a comment at another swapper asking them to swap with you. The only sharing of info between swappers should be through me. I am not trying to be controlling, REALLY, just trying to keep it fair.
Lovely Color Sorted Charms
NEWBIE QUILTERS! Are you requesting a NEWBIE SET? Read those rules below. You can only be a NEWBIE once, though. To actually sign-up, any time between September 20-October 5, 2014, leave a comment below, stating each of these items: (it will be helpful if you use the numbers to answer, you can copy and paste sample below and type over my info.) Update 10/6/2014: This sign-up period is now closed. The ninth swap will be during the month of April 2015, dates to be announced.

  1. Your first name, middle initial, and the first letter of your last name.
  2. Your City, State or Territory, and Country.
  3. What size charms you are collecting, 2.5, 2 or 1.5 inches. If you are doing a 1 inch project please request 2 inch charms.
  4. A brief comment about what you are planning to make with your little squares; or share some comments about progress on your project.

Please DO NOT include your email address or your mailing address! You email address is held privately when you submit the comment form. By signing up for Newbie Gift/s, you are giving me permission to share your email information with your donor/s.

Red Star Means Changed*Note: Please Do Not Share Info once you get your swap lists! I really am not a total control freak, but I work hard to keep swapping fun. So I have a firm reminder for everyone. Looking ahead to the matching, please remember that you simply can not share your swapper’s names and emails with other swappers. This is a privacy issue, as well as a swapping issue. Also, do not offer to swap with people in the comments, all matching is done behind the scenes, not by comments.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comNEWBIE GIFT INFORMATION!

What is a Newbie Gift?

Two Inch Treasure Frames

There are many ways to use PSQ charms, even if you do not have thousands of them.

A Newbie Gift is a set of 50 fabric charms in the size requested. All fabrics must be suitable for quilting, with no homespuns or flannels. Preferably, all 50 fabrics will be different, but, since these are probably ‘overstash’ from a seasoned quilter, some duplicates will be acceptable. (After all, the new quilter can trade them with a fellow quilter.) In no case shall a set include fewer than 25 different fabrics, so two of each.

Who Donates Them?
Any quilter with charms to spare! As you probably know, most quilters are very generous people. They may be stash-busting, or have duplicates to share. Or they just may take delight in helping stash-less quilters become fabric addicts!

Red Star Means ChangedBut they are donations, not swaps, so they REALLY MUST GET an email when the gift gets to you. Sounds so basic, but well over half of our NEWBIES in the past have not acknowledged receiving their gifts. Do let your donor know!

Who Can Receive Newbie Gifts?
Red Star Means ChangedAny quilter who has insufficient stash to create a charm set of 100 different fabrics AND HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY REQUESTED NEWBIE SETS! you will receive one or more Newbie Gifts depending on how many donors sign up! But please note, if you sign-up to swap, you cannot receive a Newbie Gift. While you are waiting for gifts, you might enjoy my PSQ tutorial. Then, keep cutting so you can be a SWAPPER in the next round of swaps. When you GET your gifts, remember to send your donor an email letting them know it arrived safely. (I simply cannot stress that enough!)

How Do I Participate?
Follow the directions in the Sign-Up section, above! Donors, use the SWAPPER instructions. New quilters will find their own instructions there as well.

How Can I Build My Stash?
Red Star Means ChangedOur Newbie Gift Goddess from 2012, BARB K., had a few super ideas for building your own stash quickly, and moving into being a swapper.

  1. Join a local quilt group, as quilters are always willing to share the wealth. Ask for small pieces they don’t need anymore, tell them why!
  2. Check at your local quilt shops, one near Barb has a basket that people leave their leftovers!
  3. recycle or freecyle! Check online for local free-cycle sites, Craigslist, and more. Join these groups locally online and place an ad that you are looking for unwanted fabric suitable for quilting. You will have to pick it up.
  4. Buy SMALL! Buy from your local quilt shop, or the chain stores like Joann’s and Hancock Fabrics. Barb buys a 3″ piece when they are on sale and cuts it into squares. Most of the time the fabric piece is around 35-50 cents. She doesn’t know how small a quilt shop will cut but most Joann’s and Hancock’s will cut as small as 2″ BUT allow for crooked cutting and shrinking and get at least half an inch extra. (Mary says: When I find nifty small novelties, but feel broke, I treat myself to an eighth of a yard, and get as many fussy-cuts as I can out of that!)

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comHave fun! Keep watching for more Postage Stamp Quilt goodness. And thanks so much for taking part!! Oh, and do not forget to start SEWING the charms together. Collecting is fun, but a finished quilt is an accomplishment. And a QUILT is the goal of all this swapping!!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comHere is the SWAP sign-up model, repeated so you can copy, paste, and change to share your own info:

Update 10/6/2014: This sign-up period is now closed. The ninth swap will be during the month of April 2015, dates to be announced. Any time between September 20-October 5, 2014, leave a comment below ON THIS POST ONLY, stating each of these items: (it will be helpful if you use the numbers to answer)

  1. Your first name, middle initial, and the first letter of your last name.
  2. Your City, State or Territory, and Country.
  3. Are you willing to swap with people in other countries? (Often more variety, but higher postage rates may apply.)
  4. What size charms you want to swap, 2.5, 2 or 1.5 inches. If you are doing a 1 inch project please swap 2 inch charms.
  5. How many UNIQUE sets or MATCHING sets of 100 you have to swap. LIMIT 8 SETS per charm size.
  6. How many NEWBIE GIFTS you have to share.
  7. A brief comment progress report on what you are doing with your charms. Please, start sewing asap, do not just save charms!

Newbie request? Please scroll up for your sign-up directions.

Matches will be made after sign-up closes, and it takes a few days to a week to get that accomplished. Do be patient, please! Will there be another swap after this one? Of course!  The ninth swap will be during the month of April 2015, dates to be announced.

Happy swapping, and have fun drooling over little fabric charms!

Update 10/6/2014: This sign-up period is now closed. 

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comMarch 2014 PSQ Charm Swap Sign Up Begins © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged , , , , , , | 153 Comments

Back to Blogging, and the next PSQ Charm Swap!

Yes, I have run away a good part of the summer, and I need to thank you all for patiently putting up with my unusual silence. But that is over. Today I am sharing a quick announcement.

Sept-Oct 2014 PSQ Charm SwapThe next Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap signup will run from September 20-October 5, 2014. This will be the 8th swap! Only comments left on the post that will be put up on Sept. 20th will be in the swap. Click here to go to that post.

Why am I mentioning this a month early? Because you MUST have your charm sets all cut and ready to ship BEFORE you can sign up to swap! So start cutting and counting today!

The rules are the same. A set is 100 charms, all one size, with no duplicate charms, cut from 100 different fabrics. Quilting cottons only, no flannels or homespuns. We swap in three sizes, 1.5″, 2″, or 2.5″ squares, and you can choose one size or do all three sizes.  You can swap up to 8 sets in each size. Or you can swap just one set if you want!

© CQ PSQ Flickr Photo Sampler

Click the photo to visit our Flickr group to see some things swappers have done with their PSQ charms.

Newbie quilters who do not have a stash of 100 fabrics can ask for a Newbie Gift. This is a donation of a set of 50 fabric charms in the size requested. Swappers, please donate at least one Newbie Gift in the size of your choice (2.5 is most popular, and 1.5 is the least.)

Go to the FAQ & Basic Swap Info pages to get all the details. Please read that carefully before you start cutting your charms to swap. You may find it helpful to read all the links on the FAQ and Links pages under Postage Stamp Quilts on the menu bar above.

There will not be a spring swap in 2015, but there will be a late summer or early fall one then.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments