Making friends with the Supernova Friendship Block Swap

My friend, Stephanie, who blogs over at, and I have decided to host an exciting event we’re calling the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and we’d like you to join us! By sewing along, you’ll end up with a gorgeous Supernova quilt of your own and make a wonderful friend in the process.

Designed by Lee at, who featured it last year on her own Supernova Quilt-along, Stephanie and I both think it’s a classic. Take a look at all this gorgeousness:

Photo from Freshly Pieced; used with permission.
Photo from Freshly Pieced; used with permission.

Stephanie and I also figured there might be a few people like us who missed out on Lee’s original QAL, so we are reviving it with a new twist. A making friends twist!

Here’s the idea: to learn more about each other and deepen our friendship, each time we send our surprise package with a new block in it, we’re also going to include a few details about ourselves.

Each month we’ll add a couple of questions on our blogs for all of us to answer and give to our partners. With my experience as a journalist and Stephanie’s as a psychologist, you can bet we’ll have no trouble coming up with some interesting ones!

By the time we finish the quilt, I’m sure we — and you and your partner — will have developed a wonderful friendship. What’s not to love about that?

Here are the details:

1. Find your partner. It can be someone who lives nearby or far away, but ideally, it should be someone you don’t know well. Neither you nor your partner needs to have a blog to participate. Just leave a comment on this post if you’d like to join us. Provide a link back to your blog (if you have one) or your email and we’ll include your name on our Supernova blogroll.

2. Choose a combination of colors, e.g., blues and golds, black and white, warm or cool, or a fabric line to use in your blocks. Check out the site Design Seeds if you’d like help with picking a beautiful palette.

3. Each month you’ll make two identical Supernova blocks — one you’ll keep and the other goes to your swap-pal. Your pal will do the same thing for you. The deadline to send your first block to your partner is June 15. The remaining blocks will be due July 15, Aug. 15, Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. Your finished quilt will be a combination of blocks from you and your new friend, making it truly special.

4. Hop on over to Freshly Pieced for the fabric requirements and the guidelines for planning, cutting and piecing your blocks. Lee has already spelled out all the details for us, so it couldn’t be easier. Stephanie and I will post tips and tricks along the way.

5. If you’re a blogger, write a post announcing your plans to participate and be sure to link back to either this post or Stephanie’s announcement so we can get the word out to as many quilters as possible. You can also copy the Supernova Friendship Block Swap button found on my sidebar and add it to your blog.

6. When you send your first block, be sure to include your list of 25 things your quilt partner doesn’t know about you. They can be as silly or as serious as you would like. Here’s an example by TV’s ultimate fixer, Olivia Pope, aka, actress Kerry Washington.

7. For bloggers, when you post your progress each month, include at least one new thing you learned about your partner (with his or her permission, of course!) from our follow-up questions, and include links back to Stephanie’s and my blogs.

8. Post photos of your blocks on the Supernova Friendship Block Swap group on Flickr. To be eligible for the prize, you both have to post photos of your completed quilts. (Make sure your name is attached to them in some way so we know who you are.)

9. Make a new life-long friend and end up with a gorgeous Supernova quilt to memorialize the development of a beautiful new bond.

To sweeten the deal, we’re even offering a prize to the winning partnership, judged by none other than Lee herself! The prize package will include:

Stephanie and I chose Splendor 1920 by Bari J. for our fabrics; she took the cool palette and I’ll work with the warm one, complemented by additions from our stashes. Art Gallery’s Linen White will serve as the background fabric. Here’s my FQ set that just arrived:

fabricsHere’s the cool palette: (photo from Moona Fabrics on Etsy where I purchased the warm palette. They’ve got lots of great choices.

From Moona Fabrics on Etsy, where I purchased the warm set.

Since the blocks are so large (18″ unfinished), we’ll each make five, or two per month; one to keep and one to send. That’ll give us the nine we need for the quilt top and an extra block to use on the back, or to use for a mug rug or even a mini-quilt.

The great thing about the Supernova quilt is that it can have so many different looks, depending on which fabric you choose. Take a look at these two:

Supernova by Patrick at Straight Stitching Singer.
Supernova by Patrick at Straight Stitching Singer.
Vicki's Supernova at Sew Inspired
Vicki’s Supernova at Sew Inspired

If you haven’t seen either Patrick or Vicki’s blogs, check them out. There’s lots of inspiration for this project and others, too.

Well, what do you think?  Are we crazy, or does this sound like fun? Please join us and send a comment today. If you don’t have someone in mind to partner with, you can leave me a comment with your basic style (modern, traditional, transitional) along with colors or fabric lines you love. Stephanie and I will keep track of the singles and try to make some friendship matches.

If you leave me a comment about participating and you don’t get an email back from me within 48 hours, then you’re probably a no-reply blogger. In that case, I’ll reply directly to your comment on the blog asking you to send me your email. Hopefully, you’ll check back and see it — I don’t want to miss you!



Finished: plus-sign quilt top

I am very happy to share my finished Napoleon plus sign quilt top! This quilt is large enough to cover my bed, and it’s wide enough that it will hide the box spring without a bed skirt.

Getting photos of this hasn’t been easy. Every time I had a chance to grab photos, the weather wouldn’t cooperate. When it was nice out, I didn’t have time. So, I event though I wanted to share more process photos with you guys, it wasn’t meant to be.

As you can see on the photo below, this thing is a monster. It’s 109 1/4×96 3/4 inches, which is not only ample enough, it also won’t matter once it’s washed if it shrinks a bit.

front-2Here’s a cropped shot so you can hopefully see the fabrics a bit better, even if the perspective is a little weird. The light was too perfect this afternoon to miss.

DSC_0017Course, it was also windy …

DSC_0019DSC_0020DSC_0021So much for my outdoor photos! Don’t worry, I have an idea for a straight shot that I’ll take once it’s quilted and bound.

What I love about plus sign quilts is that they’re a great way to show off fabrics and you can size them to suit whatever yardage you have on hand. At six inches for the top/bottom squares, these are bigger than most, but I think it worked well for large-scale prints. Next time, I’ll probably do something smaller with solid fabrics.

As for quilting, I plan to do something with curves to offset all the straight lines, probably a large stipple. Anything fancier would really be lost. Another idea might be to emphasize the plus signs and do some echo-quilting in each one. I could also do basic straight lines, too.

Since this isn’t a full finish, I’m going to link it up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.