Tuesday, July 10, 2012

LAMQG Trinket Swap

It's funny. I joined the LAMQG online pretty much when the guild was first formed but I didn't have the guts to actually attend a meeting until well over a year later. Looking back, I wish I had mustered up the courage to go sooner. I am so blessed to be able to gather with such an amazingly talented and kind group of people every month (sometimes twice a month if I can sneak away to our Saturday Sew) and now I wouldn't miss a meeting for the world. So if any of you are out there and chicken, like I was, to attend your local MQG meeting, I would encourage you to just go. It might take a couple meetings to get to know people, but it's so worth the effort.


If you can't guess, last night was our monthly meeting, which meant the swap reveal. This swap was intense. Almost everyone who participated admitted that there were struggles along the way. But in the end there were some amazing swap items created. I know for me, I am glad I decided to participate in this one because it really challenged me. This swap was a little different than we've done before. Last month, everyone who wanted to participate brought in a picture of a trinket from home for our partner to use as inspiration. All of the inspiration pieces were put into a large bag and each of us drew out a piece blindly. I picked Patsy's geode which, while I love it and think it's striking, I was at a loss for inspiration.


I knew that I wanted to play off the curves of the outer part of the geode and with the clean lines in the striations in the inner part but what to make was the hard part. I didn't want to make a mini quilt and a pillow just seemed too linear. I carried the geode around with me everywhere in the hand stitching bag I take all the time, partly for safety and partly waiting for inspiration to strike.


Then it did. I started thinking about a bag. And I actually have a hobo-style bag pattern locked up in my head that I've been wanting to create but just haven't had the time. Well, I didn't have the time now, either, so don't get too excited. It's still hanging out in the gray matter and will come to fruition one of these days. Unfortunately time was running out so this was not the project for it. Instead I found a McCall's pattern for a smaller, curved, handbag. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for but it was close enough.


I pieced a variety of solids in strips from 1" to 3" in width, using the 3" strips on either side so I had enough to cut, and created a striated "fabric". I stuck with a gray palate to match the inside of the geode, working with everything from Essex Linen in gray to shades of Kona and Art Gallery solids. Using the striped fabric I created I then cut out one of the outside pattern pieces from this "fabric".


Then, to create the geode shell, I used an orange shot cotton on the opposite side and for the strap and base. The lining is Stella. I loved the gray color palate and the clamshell design which I think worked well with the overall aesthetic. But I ran out, and, quite frankly, I made this at 4 am the morning before the meeting so I couldn't really run out and get more, so I used an Art Gallery solid for the pockets and seam binding. Finally, to emulate the crystallization in the geode I beaded the button on the handle. I added the amber beads in the center because there is a tiny piece of, what looks like, fossilized amber inside that I wanted to capture. Patsy seemed really happy with it so that's all that matters!


I didn't go home empty handed, though. Oh no! Megan picked my trinket, which was a wine cork. (Yes, I'm a lush!) But Megan gave birth to her beautiful son on the Fourth of July so, understandably, she couldn't make the meeting. But she sent her gift to me with a proxy. Megan made me the most incredible pillow from my wine cork inspiration. Seriously, I am so in love! I think she might have been stalking me in PTS8 because she nailed me.



Her work is incredible! And the colors are so me. I immediately wanted to put it on our bed, but it wasn't made. It will live there eventually. And it's given me motivation to finish the Lone Star Quilt I've been making for our bed. I think it will match beautifully. Thank you Megan! It's perfect!


  1. Your "geode" purse is fantastic! Love the quilting on your pillow too. Sounds like a very successful challenge :)

  2. Oooh, that last comment I made was spooky!!! I love how this came out though, especially that button on the handle. Your cushion you got is fun too (no idea why it wasn't delivered in person though... ;o) )

  3. Very cool, both creations. :D