Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Swap Pieces - Good and Not so Good

Swaps are a fun, and often interesting way to see and work in a style (or fabrics) that you might not otherwise chose on your own. Generally speaking, I enjoy them. Generally, anyhow.

Here are some pics of a row robin quilt in the works for Diane. I did the aqua row. I wanted to show how it will look with the other rows. There's 2 rows remaining on this quilt. Despite kind of cruddy lighting, the blues and greens are radiant and very saturated. She chose a simple theme: Monochromatic-Big & Little. So every row is constructed of a big and a small block of the same pattern.
another peek...
I showed closeups of a few blocks last week, but here are the others. My goal was to select/design unique blocks that had not yet been done, to choose something with some curves and more intricate piecing, and to frame out the lovely Asian flowers & butterflies in that darker teak material.

I hope Diane likes the row :-)
Now, that's a swap I "Like" (and I say that, because I haven't seen too much of what's being done on my personal quilt, but in general I like the works I have been sent to work on). Here's one that I wish I hadn't wasted my time on. Any person can make a 9-patch, or so I thought. I figured this swap would be a simple way to get a nice assortment of 9-patches without having to cut all of those individual pieces myself. I'll rethink this logic next time. Turns out there are way too many people out there that don't understand a 1/4" seam allowance, or trimming to 6.5" for a 6" finished block, or even that a 6" finished block ought to be 6.5" raw!
Here's my 1st set of 16 blocks received. They're OK in terms of color. Maybe I'm not nuts for the neon one, but that's OK for a donation quilt. Problem is that one block is only 6" square, and 3 more are under 6-1/4" !! Do I toss them? Do I pick them apart? I chose to complain to the host, which may have been my downfall.
So yesterday, my second set of 16 arrived. The hostess assured me she was measuring blocks and not accepting undersized blocks. Then 2 days before the mailing date she admitted to not checking ANY of them. My set arrived with FIVE that did not measure 6-1/4"! That is 30% of what was sent. Un-freakin' believable. I am quite certain that I got the butt of the selection because many of these are really unattractive in person. To piss me off further, I sent her my last set of 16 yesterday! If these had come first, I'd probably have sent 5 of them back! What luck.
I know that there are always varying degrees of ability and taste, but a hostess has to have better quality controls. I spend a fair bit of time on my block swap checking block sizes. I understand that there are always ones that slip through the crack, but her crack is a wide open door that says "Whatever!"


paula, the quilter said...

And that is why I don't do block swaps. There is too much variance in the blocks and I always had to add some small borders to the outside of the block to bring them all up to size. *sigh*

JVC_Scout_Mom said...

I was lamenting just missing the 'cutoff' for joining this swap. Now, I'm glad that I did.

I am in another swap ... and holding my breath for when it comes my turn to receive the swap. [I'm one of the very last months.]