Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh, wow!

Talk about positive reinforcement! Thank you all so much for all the wonderful comments on my airplane block. I'm feeling pretty proud, and it's in large part because you. I don't think I've ever mentioned here how much I appreciate all of you who visit and leave your thoughts. It means a lot to me. One of the reasons I started blogging was because I hoped it would help keep me focused and motivated. Well, I don't know how focused I am (I try not to think about how many projects I've got going at this point!), but I'm definitely motivated. Thank you so much! :)

Last week, I mentioned that I'm a part of a block exchange with some other quilters in my guild. I received a couple queries concerning what exactly that means. Since I'm lacking fresh crafty goodness to share at the moment, this seems like a good time to offer a little bit of an explanation of how the block exchange works in my guild.

Block exchange participants were put into groups of 12 quilters. Each person in the group selected a block. For our exchange, the blocks could be no bigger than 15" and had to be pieced-- no foundation piecing or applique. But other than that, it was wide open! This is the block I chose to use for the exchange:

my sample block exchange block

Katie Jump RopeThen each of us created a "block box" that included a completed sample block, detailed instructions on how to make it, and contact info (in case anyone has questions about our block as they're making it). Optionally, we could choose to include as much or as little fabric as we wanted (if there was no fabric, then we were supposed to include color preferences or guidance). In my case, I included the white background fabric, as well as an "inspiration fabric" (the Katie Jump Rope plaid pictured at left). In my instructions, I requested each quilter to choose their own fabrics to make the block, using the Katie Jump Rope fabric as a jumping off point as to what colors to use (they could also choose to use the plaid as one of the fabrics if that's what they want to do).

I passed my completed block box off to another person in my group back at the September guild meeting, and I received someone else's box. At each guild meeting, we pass the block boxes around so that each month, we're each making someone else's block while someone in the group makes ours. By the end of a year, we'll all have 12 blocks-- probably enough to make a nice lap quilt.

It's been really interesting each month. So far, I've only made one block where I could choose my own fabrics. The rest have included a selection of fabrics to choose from in the box. One even instructed exactly which fabric to put where.

I think one of my favorite aspects of the exchange is that in the end, I'll have blocks made by 12 different people, so it's kind of a friendship quilt. Another thing I think is pretty cool is that it's kind of a mystery... I won't see my box or the blocks in it until the end of the exchange. It will definitely be a surprise at the end as to how the blocks look. It's an adventure!


  1. What a fun idea! When I first looked at the block you chose I was scared, I has the illusion of "y" seams. Then I really looked at had a huge sigh of relief. LOL! What a great block!

  2. That does sound like a lot of fun! I've been wanting to join one here in town ... but I guess that will have to wait a couple of years until I'm able to keep up with the basics first?

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun. I might have to join a guild near me.

  4. Pretty block! I love the inspiration fabric.