Next time your quilting group needs an idea for a block exchange, how about using Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks as a creative springboard?
We did this for Quiltmaker’s Block Party in Williamsburg last summer, and again in Portland in March.
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.
I was so happy to see that several people taking part had made blocks that I designed!
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.
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.
• 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.
• 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.