Monday, August 01, 2005

Swap Blocks

I have often joined online block swaps over the years and really enjoyed them. It started with Compuserve back in 1987 (yeppers, before Netscape!). Currently, I primarily join block swaps with QATW (an MSN quilting group) and Quilting at I prefer a centralized swap where the blocks are sent to a hostess, swapped out and mailed. This is a fun thing to participate in, particularly if you are not a member of a local group, but it does get expensive (you almost never seem to have the fabric in stash) and can be time consuming. I've learned to plan better and try to get everything together early on. All the swaps featured in this entry are from QATW (last 6 months or so).

The results of the Ocean Waves swap from earlier this Summer. The results were wonderful! One of the participants provided a good photo of a bunch of her swap blocks laid together. Notice that an arrow appears! I never even noticed this effect until I saw it in black. Requirements were black fabric for background and brights. I think most of us used Kona, as it is a very consistant black across the country. Here's a link to the pattern we used:
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Photo by Lea Anne

Saturday, I received my swap blocks for the Barbie Quilt! These are really nice! I'm still in the process of completing a block for Barbie 2. My first design wasn't working with the fabric selections, so I'm making a different choice. Once I'm happy, then I can go into production and finish all of them. Notice the cute bikini block in the lower left corner (thanks DJ!). I've had a couple of ideas as to how I want to set these, but I'll wait until I have all the blocks. I also need to make the Barbie silhouette block. The requirements for this swap were that you use only pink, black and solid white.
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Here's a prior block swap that I completed. It was Country Baskets (yep, another QATW). Think Thimbleberries colors as this photo sortof washed that out. There were subsequent swaps of the same group, but at the time, I couldn't join. So, I still have more blocks to make before I can finish this quilt. The swap blocks add variety that I might not otherwise have. If you would like to make these blocks, here's a link to the pattern. The instructions are excellent!

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I hesitated for a long time, since my vision worsened, to join block swaps because mine don't always come out exactly as they should. Several ladies told me to stop agonizing over it, but just don't trim the final block to size. That way, if someone really doesn't like having corners exactly meeting, they can fix it themselves.

Thoughts for July. I'm really amazed that I finished several large projects last month! It's always nice to have a finish to spur you on to finishing other things. On the other hand, due to remodeling at the end of August, I have to put a lot of my projects and fabric into storage. Eeep. On the plus side, I'll be focusing more on cross-stitch. Other good news is that I'm finding all the parts for some of those UFOs that need to be done.

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