Using Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks

Next time your quilting group needs an idea for a block exchange, how about using Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks as a creative springboard?

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We did this for Quiltmaker’s Block Party in Williamsburg last summer, and again in Portland in March.

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This gal is happy with her Sew Tweet block from Volume 6, as she should be. It’s adorable. Designed by Paula Stoddard.

Because of the things we learned on the first block exchange, we simplified things a bit for Portland and had great success with this idea.

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Jill Neely made my Starsteps block for the exchange in Portland. She’s all smiles and I was, too!

I was so happy to see that several people taking part had made blocks that I designed!

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This Block Party attendee made my Paisley Punch block for her exchange. I was thrilled! The color palette was blues and greens to reflect our location in the Pacific Northwest. Her fabric choices were lovely.

I’m not as experienced a designer as most of our staff, so it’s still a thrill for me to have someone make something I conceived.

bp222 Using Quiltmakers 100 Blocks

This sweetheart of a gal made my Writer’s Block for her exchange. Again, very exciting for me! Aren’t her fabrics wonderful?! That’s me on the left, and the quilter on the right.

Your group can have a successful exchange, too. Here are a few things we suggest to help things run smoothly.

• Let everyone know that Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks volumes are all available:

• Decide on a color recipe so the blocks will work together. Suggesting two or three colors usually works. Here are some options: blues and greens; blues and oranges; greens and purples; purples and yellows; fiery colors like reds, oranges and yellows; ocean colors like blues, purples, greens; all tints, tones and shades of any one color.

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• Gently urge everyone to be certain their blocks finish at the appropriate size. The designs in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, all volumes, finish at 12″. Unfinished blocks should be 12.5″.

• Decide on a time frame so that people have enough time to finish their blocks, but not so much time that they lose interest. I’ve been in exchanges as short as one month and as long as one year. I think six to eight weeks is about right but it depends on what you’re doing.

• Limit the work of the exchange to keep the commitment manageable. If the sewing is equal to a king size quilt, it’s probably too much! Depending on the complexity, 10 to 15 blocks is okay.

Vol3 200 Using Quiltmakers 100 Blocks

• Share our setting ideas with your group so they get inspired to finish the blocks they receive into a quilt. You can see setting ideas in the different volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, and there are setting ideas online.

• Send us photos of your group and their blocks. We’d love to share them others using our social media tools. You can use this email:


About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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