I signed up on Kim's blog to participate, as that was certainly my intention yesterday. I just needed to finish some swap blocks first. Today I realized in reality that the swap blocks were going to take all day to make, even though I'd already completed the large triangle squares and what I was sure were enough small triangle squares.
I signed up for two sets of 8, because I want enough blocks for a nice size table or lap quilt. I made 24 large triangle squares so I'd have an extra 8 to keep for myself. I really like how these are turning out - it's about time I used some of my 30's and 40's collection!
When I'm making blocks for a swap I make sure to do my best work. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a bunch of blocks in different sizes, with none of them measuring what they are supposed to measure! To assure mine were exactly 8 1/2" square, I first drew that size square on the top of my ironing surface.
As I finish each block, I lay it within the square for pressing. If it is a bit small or large anywhere, I spray it with water and then carefully pin it inside the square. I stretch where it needs to be a little bigger, and pat it in where it needs to be a little smaller, carefully pinning all around the perimeter.
I leave it pinned in place until it dries, often helping it along with some judicious pressing (not ironing!) up and down. You can see I have also clipped carefully just TO (not THROUGH) the seam line to allow me to press intersections open and seam allowances to distribute bulk evenly. This assures that each block I sent to the swap mistress will measure exactly what it is supposed to.
I love to participate in swaps and always want all the blocks I receive to be signed. They provide great memories whenever I look at the quilt. However, I didn't organize this swap and it doesn't involve signed blocks. I will still love making a quilt with blocks from many parts of the country (I don't think any participants are outside the US this time).
This swap is an activity of the 30's Fabric Quilting yahoo group. We are a small group - 81 total - and not very active message-wise. If you love 30's fabric and 30's quilts, and would like to participate in swaps, etc., but don't want to join a group that will swamp you with emails, then I encourage you to join us. Just click on the link above. (You will need to register with Yahoo Groups first if you don't already belong.)
As it turns out, I have to make a LOT more small half-square triangle squares. So back to my machine!