So here's what's been taking up a lot of my sewing time lately: I joined a block swap. I have this thing about group projects. They always look pretty fun whenever other people are doing them. Some don't inspire me, but others honestly make me want to get involved. However, there are always sooooo many reasons not to get involved. For me the biggest one is having so many of my own projects to work on - both those I have started and the zillion and one ideas that are so far just in my head. And time is always limited, so do I want to use that time for my own projects or a group project?
After much internal debate I finally decided to join the lap quilt swap on craftster. I made 11 packets of my fabrics and sent them out to the 11 other people in my group. They will make me a block with those fabrics and send it back to me. I can add one I make myself for a 12 block set to make a lap quilt (or whatever I decide to do with them). My part is that 11 people will send me little packets of fabric and I will make a block and send it back.
I convinced myself to join by considering that I could use one of those "collections of fabric that I am always setting off to the side because they are great together but that I don't necessarily know what to do with". I was excited to finally get something made out of one of those piles. This is what I chose to use, black, white, and grey with bits of color:
The commitment is really pretty minimal; making 11 blocks in three months is pretty doable even if I'm working on other stuff, too. Plus it's a good opportunity to meet some other people on craftster. I know not everyone is a craftster person, but personally I really enjoy it. The quilting board is an inspirational place. Although there are many quilts from more conventional quilters that are lovely and often very creative, there are also lots of quilts made by hobby sewists who have never quilted before, and/or random people who just thought it would be fun to make a quilt. The result is quilting with no filter, so to speak - quilts by people who don't know the "rules", haven't conceived of the quilt police, and haven't spent tons of time looking at what other people are doing. When I first discovered it I clicked around the board for hours.
The most trying part for me, as a person who usually has a complete unconcern for accuracy, is being meticulous in my cutting, sewing, and pressing in order to make sure the blocks are exactly 12.5". I spend twice as long on this blocks as I would on blocks for myself. It's probably good for me; it definitely makes me realize (or remember) why my accuracy is usually off - I don't make my 1/4 inches very (or consistently) scant, I don't measure and trim throughout the process, I just gooooo for it. So while I doubt I will ever be this careful when sewing for myself, it may help me develop better habits.
Here are the blocks I've made so far....