Saturday 10 September 2011

Mug Rug Madness

Done it. Finished the two mug rugs for Cindy's Mug Rug and Goodies Swap. Never made a mug rug before this week. Now I have made two. Kind of a satisfying process. Tiny quilt, done in a day - for the most part. I like that instant gratification thing. It appeals to my childish nature.

I posted about the first mug rug a couple of days ago. I put the binding on but it still needed that white space on the right hand side added to. Well, I think it did. Just a little too bare, don't you think so too?

I hate how wonky it looks in this photograph
because it doesn't seem that wonky up close and personal.
 I added a little bit of stitchery to it today, taking my cue from my You Spin Me Round quilt. Talk about a lack of imagination! Do a pin wheel quilt once and use the same idea whenever you see a pin wheel again. I will have to think of something else next time!

Yesterday I also pieced the top for the second mug rug. I have struggled to come up with an idea for this partner because she is one of the 'silent swappers'. Sorry if it is you, but when you sign up for a swap jump in and enjoy yourself. When everyone else posts an inspiration mosaic, do one too. They are easy to do, there are plenty of tutorials out there if you need help (or ask the swap mama - here Cindy shows hers), and it lets your partner know what kind of things you like. Hint - put photos of quilts, handmade things, colour inspiration, etc. - not your cat! Have lots of 'favourites' in your Flickr profile. Keep your blog up to date so fellow swappers can drop by and get to know you better.

I am not trying to sound like an old hand here, because I have only done a couple of swaps. The first one was very intimidating - not only were many of the other participants incredible quilters with gifted imaginations, but lots of them already seemed to know each other. Well, there is only one way to get to know people and that is to talk to them. Start leaving comments. Post photos of your swap work in progress and let them comment on what you have done. I have yet to see someone be nasty about someone else's work. I am sure it can happen but swappers tend to be very nice people.

Best of all, if you are stuck mid-project put the problem out there. You will receive all sorts of helpful advice that you won't find in any books. The advice is given with generosity and good will. Silly to pass that sort of expertise up.

So, if you are new to swapping, like I was a few short months ago, find out what the best thing about swaps is. Not what you receive, but the people you meet. If you are not interested in meeting the other people participating, can't be arsed to leave any comments ever and making a mosaic is just too much trouble - why are you in the swap? Be brave, put yourself out there. Who knows what new friends you may make?!

O-kay, enough of that. Back to the mug rug for which I received no inspiration. By failing to have anything for me to go by my partner will have to take pot luck here. Sorry!

I apologise if you found what I said a little harsh. The people who go to the trouble to set up swaps put a lot of time and energy into it - more than I think a lot of people realise - and wouldn't it be nice for them if all the participants who signed up actually got the best experience out of it and participated?



  1. I completely agree. What make swapping fun is the throwing yourself into it. It's fun for the participator and everyone else taking part. I've never seen anyone say anything nasty (unless you can't when I said your drunkard path block was 'bad' the other day!)

    Another thing I think is a shame is when people just say I'd like anything. I'm sure that's right but giving your partner lots of info means your chances of getting something you LOVE is completely increased. It's so hard to make for someone when you have nothing to go on.

  2. Oh I forgot to say - I like both of your mug rugs lots. I think your partners should be delighted!

  3. Well said Susan - I had a silent partner in my first swap who barely acknowledged receipt of my quilt - it was very upsetting. So if you enter, be sure to take part!!

  4. Well said!

    I love the mug rugs! You've done a great job!

  5. I totally agree Susan and I know you always make 200 per cent effort and give with all your heart. Your mug rugs are of course adorable.

    I am also glad you said you found your first swap intimidating as this is my first swap and I find the whole flikr thing totally intimidating. Everyone seems to know each other and it can feel a little like the first day at a new school. Having said that, you have to put yourself out there and I do comment as much as I can find time to!

    I hope to have my mug rugs up in a few days but I`m seeing if I can sort my machine out first. The good news is I have ordered a new one. Woot woot!

  6. Hear, hear! Well said, Susan! I'm not in the swap but I'm really enjoying seeing all the things people are making and leaving a few're right, the best bit about swapping is the people and joining in is much more fun than standing on the sidelines! I love the mug rugs - the fly-away pinwheels are wonderful, why not repeat a great idea?!

  7. Both absolutely beautiful! Susan you said it girl - now we all know what we should be doing! Most have I hope! If your partner doesn't want them I know a place they could have a great home! hehe!

  8. Just tell it like it is Susan, dont hold back ;-) Right you are too though, its sooo much more fun if you take part. And for those who are first timers, dont be shy!
    Lovely mug rugs Susan, and you're not lacking in new ideas, you are playing with a particularly good one!

  9. I agree susan, and no, you are not being harsh at all. My partner in the bqs was pretty dang quiet and it was not nearly as fun as it could have been. I feel bad now, of course, being off for a week I haven't been checking in the flickr group... but I did make a mosaic, so its probably not for me right? Damn. Its lovely!

  10. Three cheers and beers for Susan!!!!!
    So funny and so true!!

    Love the crazy pinwheels!

    No-one should be intimidated - get your flickr alter-ego out and start commenting, that's what I do!!

  11. I think whoever gets either of your mugrugs is going to be so lucky and blessed! They are beautiful, I especially love the pinwheel touch on your first one - perfect. You have certainly tried v.hard Suz to find out about your partners - take the pressure off yourself now and enjoy the rest of the process. Jxo

  12. Hi there!
    I suspect you & I may have the same partner!!!

  13. I also have a silent partner, not posted anything and a blog that is not updated very often and no flickr. I have done my best! So agree with what you are saying.
    love your two rugs

  14. Both of your mug rugs are beautiful and who ever receives them should be grateful and thrilled.

    It must be disappointing when you don't get a lot of feedback from your swap partners, but just plough ahead and do what makes you happy. There isn't a lot else you can do in that situation.

  15. Agreed.
    Love love your mugrugs. That pinwheel stitch touch was perfect!

    But also a note to newbie swappers. It may feel like we all know each other and that you're the only newbie but looks can be very deceiving. For example I am a seasoned swapper but I only know about 2 people in this swap. There are also lots of people feeling just as nervous as you. Just get in there, make comments and have a go. You'll soon see that its not as scary as you think.
    Remember we were all the new girls not to long ago.
    But the most rewarding swaps are where you jump in with 2 feet and talk to people. That way they soon become your great, and very inspiring friends...

  16. Ah Susan don't sit on the fence, tell us what you really think! Lol, jokes aside you are totally right!!! Swaps are so much fun when people are participating, my FTLOS swap partner was the best ever she was so active it made it so much easier. I really love both these mug rugs :-)

  17. Hello you, just catching up with bloggy reading after a weekend away, and had to comment on this highly entertaining read :) well done on saying what you think, and how tricky to make a gift for someone with no clue of what they like! You did great! X

  18. Hello! Stoping by from the Goodie Swap. Very well said post. This is my first swap, and I was very nervous about whether I belonged or not, or should comment very much. I am SO glad that joined! I am having the best time with this bunch of gals, and wish we could all go out for coffee :-)


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