I would love to make a full quilt like this someday...and might...but one day I got to thinking how much fun it would be to swap these blocks. And so, I give you The Mod Bento Block Swap...
...mod from Ashley's "modified" tutorial, and also for modern fabrics. The basic deal is that you make as many blocks as you want to, quarter them, mail them, and get back that same number of delightfully-mixed-up quarters for your own awesome project. Ashley was kind enough to allow me to base the swap on her tutorial--thanks, Ashley!
Through a little graph-paper geekery (which I'll post in the next day or two), I figured that you can get all of the components you need for one block from a quarter-yard (not a fat quarter) of fabric, and so 5 quarter-yards will yield 20 coordinating-but-different quarters. Do some assembly-line cutting and sewing, and end up with a great variety once the swap is done. Of course, these can be scrappy, too...more thinking, but maybe more fun.
Some ideas for smaller numbers of blocks (in case you're not up to making a full quilt's worth)...
- 4 quarters:: a pillow, 4 placemats
- 12 quarters:: a wall hanging, a table runner
- 20 quarters:: a lots-of-solids quilt (I'll throw some possible layouts around in the coming days),
- 48 quarters:: a lap quilt with dimesions like Ashley's original (40" x 54").
- Please use modern (there's that "mod" again!), quilt-shop quality fabrics. There are plenty of lists floating around the web of what constitutes "modern fabrics"--I'm guessing most people who are participating know them when they see them, butif you have a question, just send me an email or post to the flickr group.
- There are no color police, but to keep everything coordinating pretty well, let's aim to use primarily neutrals and saturated colors and prints. Also, please try to use a mixture of colors in each block--no "blue-only" blocks, for example. Solids are great, and it's fine to use different fabrics within a particular "ring" of the block.
- Please follow the tutorial! Nobody is perfect with seam allowances & block sizes (least of all me!), but the strips in each quarter need to line up fairly well with their neighbors in order for the blocks to look good. To allow a bit of wiggle room, let's go ahead and follow Ashley's suggestion of squaring up to 15.5" (before cutting), which will result in 7.75" quarters.
- This is a centralized swap, which means you'll mail me your block quarters and a stamped return envelope (the same amount you used to send), and I'll mix everything up and send you back the same number that you made.
- International swappers are welcome! I think the best way to deal with postage is through Paypal, which we can handle as needed.
- A suggested mail date for US participants is June 28. Allowing a week-plus for the blocks to get to me, I'll mail what I have on July 9. I'll plan to do another switch-and-mail for stragglers after a week or so if needed, but for best variety, the blocks should arrive here no later than July 5.
- Feel free to keep one of your quarters (i.e., make a block, send me 3 quarters and keep one for your project).
- I'll do my best to give you a variety of quarters, but depending on what I receive, you may end up with a couple from the same set of fabrics.
From here on out, we'll handle questions, discussion, etc. at the Mod Bento Block Swap flickr group. Join us!
**edited to thank Christina for catching an error in the button code...if you've had trouble with it, try again as it should be fixed. Thanks, Christina!**