Christmas? Already?

Apparently I am in some sort of time denial. When that reality hit me this morning, I bailed out of work and spent the day baking deserts for our annual Winter Feast night . . . a grand tradition!

Shortly before Thanksgiving I had pulled out three UFO’s that I decided to finish and gift at Christmas.  And I picked up one little pillow project to do as well.  What an optimist. It looked so DOABLE! The fact that I have a hectic full-time job,  my little grandson with me a couple of days every week, and that there are a few other things going on in my life, well I guess it all slipped my mind.

The reality this evening is that the little pillow is nearly done and will be finished my morning. Every other sewing project firmly remains it the UFO list. Good think my grandson is not hear to hear my reaction to that–I would be putting a few quarters in the swear jar!

I knwo it only matters to me. Everything else around the holiday is pretty set to move ahead, and its mostly about the time spent with friends and family anyway, right?

But we quilters are a compulsive group. We tend to obsess over projects, to plan rather unrealistically just how much time things will take, and to imagine that no laundry needs doing, housework needs to be done, or anything else when we dream of quilts.

So I decided to repost one on the nightmare of Christmas sewing from 2010 and share with with you. Forgive my repeating myself, b. While the timing of the post is off, the thought behind it remains.


Quiltblogdom, I think we have a problem. (There’s a song or something in there! wink wink)

[In November 2010,] I asked readers to mention some items they are trying to finish before the holidays pass. Being The Curious Quilter, I satto do list down and quantified, categorized, and analyzed the lists you shared. I had to use some judgement, and define a few terms for counting purposes. For instance, if you said “a couple of mug rugs,” I figured that was two of them. When a reader said “finish some ornaments,” I decided to assume that some was three. Those who bravely (or foolishly) said, “make a bunch of aprons,” well, a bunch became five in my counting. I suspect these estimates are leaning severely to the conservative side.

So just what nerve-racking quantity of crafted giftiness do the 192 quilters who shared lists actually have on their to-do lists for the next 39 days?  It totals over 660 items, broken down as follows:


Go Super Quilters All!!!

  • 58 bed or lap quilts
  • 26 baby quilts
  • 21 wall hangings
  • 41 aprons
  • 82 table runners or placemat sets
  • 32 napkins
  • 18 stockings or tree skirts
  • 75 mug rugs (see tutorial)
  • 31 pillowcases
  • 35+ ornaments
  • 62 totes, bags, or purses
  • 16 clothing items
  • over 200 stray items like pot holders, soft books, lots more…

I headed to bed after reviewing the list, my mind boggled by its sheer magnitude. I hadn’t even included my own items in the madness, and of course no one mentioned all the other things they will be doing—the food, cleaning, partying, and daily living that needs to happen in those same 39 days. Apparently, I could not get it out of my mind, as my dream shows . . .

The Dream of the Mad Quilter’s Ball

Piles fo thread for piles of quilts.‘Twas a month before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The fabric was set by the iron with care
In hopes that some quilting time soon would be there.

My children were grown and all moved away,
Which left lots of time for their mama to play;
But then, in my dreamland, I heard a loud call,
Inviting me out to the Mad Quilter’s Ball!

two hundred quilters in a dreamHigh up above me I heard such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Into the attic I flew like a bird,
Worried about all the noises I heard.

The dust and the cobwebs were scattered about,
And a light through the crawlspace was just leaking out.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a room where some quilters were starting to cheer!

How many pins to make 58 quilts?Two hundred strong, they were poised by their lists,
Ready to cut, sew, and quilt up their gifts.
They’d saved me a spot, I went straight to my chair,
And soon many voices were filling the air!

“Now, Singer! now, Brother! now, Janome and Elna!
On, Kenmore, Bernina, on Pfaff and Gammill!
Each machine in its place, Though we know it’s still Fall!
Just stitch away! stitch away! stitch away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
Soon up to the ceiling the threads, how they flew!
Each sewer turned out a wall hanging or two.

We cut, stitched and pressed as we all made mug rugs,
Thinking of friends who would soon give us hugs.
Mittens and bags began piling up high,
Dozens of baby quilts made us all sigh!

Our lists were still long, and our thoughts were less cheery.
We kept quilting on, but our eyelids were weary.
While stitching up aprons, some fingers got pricked,
For starting so late, all our rear ends we kicked!

“I can’t do it all,” someone cried in despair!
“I made this block wrong, I may pull out my hair!”
“Hush!” said another, “Just make something scrappy,
Your family won’t know, and will all be quite happy!”

Some stitched log cabins, and some made nine patches.
A few made some star quilts, with neat corner matches.
The quilt pile grew, but to all it was clear,
Fifty-eight quilts was a number to fear!

The thread piles rose and they started to shake.
They rolled up together and made us all quake!
Like little thread soldiers held tightly with lint,
They sorted themselves out by color and tint.

And what to our dry, tired eyes did take shape,
But a woman all clad in a thread and lint cape!
She laughed at us all as she looked through our lists,
Then she said, “Super Quilters are such optimists!”

She sprang to the roof, to us all gave a whistle,
And then flew away like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she flew out of sight,
“Happy quilting to all, but don’t stay up all night.”

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


© 2016 The Curious Quiltemsw-sm-2016r, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Coming to you very very soon…

PAtient Swappers who are still waiting.. there is HOPE!

After I found the problem, resolved it, and culled carefully through the fallout from it (every trader has several partners, so that takes a while)…

I sent the revised list of what’s left to send out to my proofreader. She found two little fixes. I got that list back frmo her late last night.

I am working today, will have some time this evening to get the already send corrections “FIXES” out, I work tomorrow but that evening and Sunday are set aside o get the rest to you.

THANK YOU so much for your patience and PLEASE hold off on comments as my email is buried in them.

– Mary

Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Leave a comment

quick note

Swappers: sorry to be a bit abrupt here, but I work full time and have a family. I am spending all my free time finalizing the swap. I am not answering emails or comments unless they are specifically sharing a swap error so please trust I am working as fast as I can and not really ignoring you all! Thanks. – Mary

Typed on teeny, tiny keyboard on my phone at work.

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Emailing hiccup…but almost done

The challenge of matching 1962 charm sets and getting out all the emails and making as few errors as possible—well things don’t always go as planned.   I set up the matches, they were double checked. That is a human process so bound to have a few mistakes in it which are easy to fix once found.

Two Inch Treasure Quilt #1

You don’t have to be crazy but it helps.

Then I set up the mail merge, and actually pre-screened every email quickly to see if it looked like what the giant spreadsheet showed. Triple checking might be a great idea there but too time consuming. Besides by now all the names are a jumbled in my head…

Off the emails went, trickling out over a couple of days. I could sleep!

Next night though, with 75% out, i had a serious failing of my brain power and turned off my computer before I went to bed. That stopped the mailing. and made for a funky hiccup when I restarted. But it was back on,. until I saw more problems from the hiccup. So I stopped it last night before bed. I had my 16 month old grandson with me, and opted for sleep after that. I am fixing the rest now. The last bit will be manually done emails today.

And yes, the usual little errors have happened, but not too badly. Of the 87% now out, so far I have only had 6 little charm sets assigned badly. At least as far as people have told me! That means about 1750 little sets have been correct so far, and that is not all bad. If you have one of those wayward ones ,please do EMAIL ME HERE.

Again, sorry for the delay but THANK YOU for your patience.

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

october-2016-swap-signup-is-open  © 2016 The Curious Quilter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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October 2016 Swap emails are on their way…

flying-charmsThe matching of 1982 charm sets to swap is complete. That means a lot of little parcels will be heading out in the mail!  All those charms together woudl create five queen sized quilts.

The emails are set and started going out at midnight. Yes, once again, they go out in little batches over a 36 hour window. That is so my service provider does not shut me down for “suspicious activity!”  The sending order is random. You may hear from a swap partner before you get your own email. Hold on until the weekend before letting me know if you did not get one.

Check your SPAM folder. All emails are marked clearly from The Curious Quilter.

A few important notes for all swappers and newbies to read:

  1. I still have swappers/newbies Missing In Action with some info who have not replied to my emails! If you are one of the people listed here please email me fast.  — B.L. from ED******, MO — C.T. from Ham******,  UK —-  J.V. from S****, AK —- V. Y. from M*****, RUssia —- E.B. from Col*****, MD —
  2. Swap partners share personal info with their partners. Respect that and do not share it with other swappers.
  3. Newbies, you will hear from your donor/s. You do not need to send them anything, just an email of thanks once you get their charms.
  4. Some people are still confused about the term NEWBIE. you are a NEWBIE if you do not have enough stash to cut 100 different fabric charms from. Newbies do not send anyone charms, they just get gift sets of charms from some swappers. If you are new to my swaps but have sets of 100 to trade, you are a Swapper. You cannot get Newbie gift sets. No one can be both a newbie and a swapper.
  5. Despite heroic efforts by me and my proofreading helper, there WILL be mistakes in the matching. I will do my best to resolve them as fast as I can.
  6. Remember that every quilter has different taste, budgets, and so on. Please accept your swap sets graciously,  I cannot police all the swap sets. IF you get a set that has lots of duplicates r poorly cut charms, I appreciate knowing so I can have a conversation with that swapper for their next swap. Serious problems DO let me know–angels may be able to replace a really bad set. But mostly, swapping is a fun way to meet other quilters, and grow your charm stash variety very quickly. (YES, if you missed it in the rules, solids are allowed! Just not as the majority of charms). Re-read the Basics before you grumble, and talk it through with your partner in a pleasant way.
  7. Put the address of the person on the inside of the envelope as well as the outside. It stands a better chance of getting through if the parcel gets damaged.
  8. And do not even think of sending a gift to the swap manager. Seriously. I have enough stuff for my next two lifetimes.

So keep an eye on your mail and let your partners know when you mail their lovely little charms!

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

october-2016-swap-signup-is-open  © 2016 The Curious Quilter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Posted in PostageStamp Quilts/Charm Swaps | Tagged | 8 Comments


I fixed all the glitches in marching but had to work today. So, emails will start coming out later tonight. Darn JOBS sure can cut into fabric time. Thanks for your patience.

– Mary

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