myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Around the Bend and Across the Pond

Well I failed dismally in my attempt to post about more of my current swaps before the weekend! I am just running to catch up, as always.

Never mind, I am here now to tell you about this unusual swap from the Old Red Barn Co Quilt group on Flickr. It’s unusual because it is a kind of swap/bee hybrid. The name, Around the Bend and Across the Pond, refers to the fact that we are a mix of UK and North American participants and that we are adding bits to each others quilt beginnings. That sounds a bit confusing…
So I will try and explain about my particular group first. We are called the Awesome Rawsome Round Robin 8 (or ARRR8! exclaimed in a pirate voice!), named by the ever enthusiastic Dolores (yes,we are in a lot of swaps together!). We are each making the middle of a quilt and sending it on to the next person in the group to add a new ’round’, and so on, until we receive a completed medallion type quilt top in the post!

There are 4 different groups, a Row group where they each send the first row of a quilt top and everyone in the group adds a row, and 2 groups of ‘freestyle’, where anything goes! I have always wanted to attempt a medallion quilt so the ’round’ option seemed the most exciting.
Everyone else in the group has made a beautiful pieced middle so I feel a little lazy for just sending off a single piece of fabric, but what fabric! It is that gorgeous piece of Frida Kahlo fabric by Alexander Henry at the top of the page, given to me by Marilyn ‘Spiced Coffee’ as a swap extra a year or 2 ago. I have never been able to bring myself to cut it up so I thought this was the perfect project for it.
As well as the middle we have all made signature blocks to go on the back of the quilt once they have been signed by everyone on the way round. That’s my siggy block above, with space on the white steps for names and hometowns.

And if that wasn’t enough we also decided to send a journal with each quilt where we could lay out our likes and dislikes and where all the participants could add comments before sending it on. I was just on the look out for a nice notepad, when Lynz made her own cute little journal and the next thing everyone was making their own! Luckily Lynz posted a great tute on her blog and I managed to make this one, with a LOT of help from my work colleague, Sarah (thanks Sarah!).

So this whole package was sent off to Pam Uberstitch a few weeks back and I received my first middle from my fellow Brit Quilt Swap Mama, Jo, below.
Isn’t it beautiful? Lot’s of pressure now to add to the beauty and not detract from it! 
I am looking forward to having a go, and I’ll let you know how I get on!


  1. Very cool, looking forward to seeing what happens with yours. I'm doing one starting in March, and it'll be a secret after we send it off, so we won't find out for nearly a YEAR! It'll be so exciting when we get them back :o)

  2. I'm in the same bee about to start with Katy so very ineresting to see how your bee is developing. Love this idea of it building up over time and then coming back to you in the end.

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