Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh, The Joy of Swapped Blocks!

I love scrap quilts - they make my heart go pitter patter. I think that's why I'm enamored with swap blocks. So many glorious fabrics all in one place. Blocks made with fabrics I don't have. Combinations of colors, patterns, styles, expertise gloriously blended together. I also enjoy the surprise in every mailed package.

Several years ago I participated in a Courthouse Steps swap all made in repro Civil War fabrics. The instructions were pretty fabulous - take 3 fat quarters and, by following the techniques and cutting instructions, you make 8 swap blocks (7 to swap and 1 to keep). As this is the Sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War, I decided I need to put these blocks together this summer.

When I made my blocks, I was very focused on making sure they were exactly 8.5" square, seams aligned, blocks totally flat, and the best-quality fabric perfectly coordinated. Now that I'm piecing my swap blocks together, I'm smiling at all the not-so-perfect blocks I've received through the years!
> The log cabin blocks 1/2" too small with a note to steam iron it.
> The nine patch with the corner blocks 1/4" to 3/8" larger than the center squares.
> Block squares sewn on backwards.
> Selvedges peaking out of seams.
> Gaping holes where the blocks weren't joined.
> Grape juice splattered on white backgrounds.
> The time my swap partner ran out of time and mailed me the cut squares... Missing a piece!
Don't get me wrong - I've received MANY stunning blocks, but you do have to go into swapping hoping to be pleasantly surprised. What about you? Have you ever received a not-so-fab block? Did you use it? Fix it? Do share!

Let's swap stories!



  1. I can't help but laugh. Maybe you should try some of Mary Lou's swaps where size doesn't matter and wonky works well.

  2. I haven't done a swap yet. I am a little scared to do one, not because of what I get but afraid I would mess it up for someone else. I can be a procrastinator at times, but I usually always meet my deadlines, so I would probably be fine.
    I am doing my first mug rug swap right now, I figured it is just one thing, not an ongoing swap, so I can handle that to start! : )

  3. Too funny! I have only done one swap, it was for a mug rug and mug hug - I AGONIZED over mine and loved what my partner sent me! That was enough though, too much agony for me. I obsess over things for other people, lol.


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