There’s a Billy Joel song that goes “You may be right; I may be crazy.” It has been stuck in my head while I set this up, and I confess to having moments when I think I am a lunatic for doing this. Ha! I am in great company–all of you! It seems that a whole bunch of us love these little fabric charms, and the various quilts they make. We all may just have a streak of lunacy in us. So, here we go again!
The July Postage Stamp Quilt Fabric Charm Swap begins today. You can sign up to swap, or request a Newbie Gift, anytime between July 6-22, 2012. Read on to learn more! OK, if this is your third swap, you might think you can just skip to the end and sign up. Well, you could, but you might miss some of the redefined swap details included here!
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. There will be four swaps altogether this year, the last one is in October, so lots of opportunities to grow your own collection of unique little charms.
Please get a friend to join the fun! The lunatic in charge of the swap still believes that the more, the merrier, and the more charm variety.
And, put your collections and progress shots up on our Flickr pages! We have 25 photos so far, and there are a couple of really fun variations shown there.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 for this year is to get people to actually MAKE a postage stamp quilt.
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 six of them, with 3-4,000 charms in each. 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.Something NEW! Help a New Quilter start a charm collection! Newbie Gifts are included in the swap this round. I hear from new quilters who want to make a PSQ quilt, but do not have 100 fabrics to cut charms from. Many of the experienced quilters who took part in the January and April Charm Swaps have expressed an interest in donating sets of 50 charms to them. 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.
One note for returning swappers: I am not a meanie, really, but if your partner(s) still hasn’t received their April charms from you, I will not be matching you with a new partner this round. Fix it, and you can join! Email me if you have lost your January swap information.
How to Swap PSQ Charms
|Preparing your Charm Sets to Swap||Sign Up to Swap||Newbie Gifts!||Puzzled? Find help!|
Pick your size, 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. 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 selvedges, no ripped out stitch holes showing, and so on.
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.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. Keep cutting, as charm swaps will also be offered in July and October.
Make sets of 100 to swap. Count them out into stacks of 100, hopefully 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, just holler if you are stuck. If you have 100 charms to swap, you will get 100 charms back. If you have 1,000 charms to swap, you can get 1,000 charms back. But remember, there will be more chances to swap later this year!
*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.
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. With a little help from a friend, I will be getting those emails off as fast as I can, but please do not worry if you do not hear before July 28th! 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! Any time between July 6 and July 22, 2012, leave a comment below, stating each of these items: (it will be helpful if you use the numbers to answer)
- Your first name.
- Your City, State or Territory, and Country.
- Are you willing to swap with people in other countries? (Often more variety, but slightly higher postage rates may apply.)
- 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.
- How many UNIQUE sets or MATCHING sets of 100 you have to swap.
- NEW! How many NEWBIE GIFTS you have to share.
- A brief comment about what you are making with your little squares. Please, start sewing asap, do not just save charms!
Please DO NOT include your email address or your mailing address! 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.
If you swapped in January or April, 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!
OK, I know I am repeating myself here, and I said this before up there, but: If you did not send some of your partners their charms last round, you are on Santa’s Naughty List, well, actually Mary’s Hold List. I need you to clear the air with your former partner before I will give you a new one. Sorry. I am not trying to be cruel, just fair.
NEW QUILTERS! Any time between July 6 and July 22, 2012, 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)
- Your first name.
- Your City, State or Territory, and Country.
- 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.
- 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.
Here is a sample SWAPPER comment, you could copy it and replace the info with your own:
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- my seventh PSQ, BUT all I seem to do lately is organize swaps and not sew, so this quarter I will SEW!
What is a Newbie Gift?
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!
Who Can Receive Newbie Gifts?
Any quilter who has insufficient stash to create a charm set of 100 different fabrics! But please note, if you sign up to swap, you cannot receive a Newbie Gift. While you are waiting for gifts in late April, you might enjoy my PSQ tutorial.
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.
Have 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.
©2012 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.