Swaps, bees and challenges really do act as a kind of creative prompt for our quote-unquote tribe. I love them. They give me the chance to make for someone else. An opportunity to tap into inspiration that otherwise might have been left by the wayside. A way to stretch a bit. Learn something new. Perfect something old.
But I think maybe the best part is the global neighborhood that we might not have even known we live in. Through the groups I have worked with I have been able to chat with makers in Germany, England, Jersey (a tiny island in the UK that I didn’t even know existed), all over the US, and quite a few in Australia. I mean really, what other excuse would I have to chat with someone on the other side of the pond, or even on the other side of the globe?
So, I got to thinking. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a neighborhood quilt? One that was made of bits of this amazing global neighborhood we belong to. Inspiration…
I don’t know actually what to call this. It isn’t exactly a swap, or a bee, or a straight-up challenge. So, I guess we’ll call it a project. The “Our Neighborhood” project.
Here’s the deal. You make blocks of things that are in your neighborhood, or at least represent things in your neighborhood. It can be your country’s flag. A house. Apartment building. Dogwood tree. Feral cats. Mailbox. Grave stone. Creek. Rainbow. Grass. Sand. Cloud. Sun. Get it?
Then you send those blocks to The Green Apricot, and I will redistribute them back out to you. So, if you make and send four blocks, you will get four blocks back. If you make or send ten blocks, you will get ten back. You will have until May 29 to send your blocks if you are in the US, and May 22 if you are international. I will then send your blocks to you no later than June 10, 2015.
But that’s not all. I am notorious for collecting blocks from swaps that I never actually put together into a finished project. So here’s the deal. We are going to have an “Our Neighborhood” online quilt show. That will be judged. With prizes.
Get ready, ’cause this is the challenge. I will send your blocks to you Priority Mail, and you have until July 10, 2015 to finish your quilt and post a picture to our online quilt show. Then our judges will scan the posts and respond to a survey about the projects, which will result in prizes. Just like a IRL quilt show. Except I don’t know what the prizes are yet. Just being real here.
However, I do know who the judges are. Giuseppe- aka @giucygiuce. Kristi- aka @schnitzelandboo. Chris- aka @frecklemama. Lee- aka @maychappell. Karie- aka @karie_twokwikquilters. Ummmm, yeah. Like, that’s awesome.
So, here’s the rules in relatively short form. Relative because I always talk too much.
1. Register to participate by clicking here. *****There is a small fee for shipping your blocks back to you. $6 for US residents, $20 for international participants (It’s expensive and takes a lot of time). This fee is not refundable, and is required if you want your blocks to be mailed to you.
2. Make your desired number of quilt blocks that represent your neighborhood. You may make the same block multiple times, or you may make all different blocks. It is up to you. Use your best fabrics and your best skills. Don’t be sketchy because I will just send them back to you or send you other people’s sketchy work. You may use whatever technique you would like. Blocks can be no smaller than 2 1/2″ UNFINISHED, and not larger than 8 1/2″ UNFINISHED. (To clarify- blocks do not have to be square, as long as they are no smaller than 2 1/2″ on any given side and no larger than 8 1/2″ on any given side.) Label each block with a small piece of paper pinned to the block including your name and where you are from. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Use the hashtags #tgaourneighborhood and #makeitlikeyoumeanit and/or tag The Green Apricot when posting progress.
3. Mail blocks by May 29 for US residents, May 22 for international participants- AT THE LATEST. I am not responsible for blocks lost in the mail or not received before June 10- the date that I am mailing out to you. I suggest you mail them as soon as possible with tracking, and that if you wait until the last minute, which is what I would do, then use expedited services such as Priority Mail, UPS or FedEx. The mailing address will be made available to you in a confirmation email after you register. DO NOT SEND ANY EXTRAS. Note- I will use USPS Priority mail with tracking to send your blocks to you on or before June 10. Again, I am not responsible for blocks lost in the mail, although I will probably feel really bad for you and make you some more myself. Or not.
4. Wait on pins and needles for that package to come from The Green Apricot.
5. When you receive your blocks, get to planning and to work. You will only have a couple of weeks to finish your project and post it to the online quilt show. International participants will have even less time. You may add whatever you want to the blocks you receive, but please indicate what blocks came from whom.
6. Post pics of your completed project in the online quilt show by July 10. Projects should be complete with quilting and binding before the pics are to be posted. Information for posting will be included in the mailing of the blocks.
I am totally aware that I am doing this at a crazy time of year. And totally aware that this is a real challenge. And totally aware that you can do it. Between now and July 10 I have three trips that require an airplane, a child graduating from high school, and a camping trip with about 200 teenage girls. I’m sure your list is even longer and more consuming. But remember, sometimes we just need to reach a little further to win the prize. I can’t wait to see what you do…