Monday, October 18, 2010

The 800 Four-patch Block Swap

Late last summer, two friends and I agreed to do a swap among ourselves after seeing some blocks made for a postage stamp block swap club.  We are still not sure whose bright idea this was (Wendy:0) - but after much discussion, we agreed that we would make 800 4-patch blocks each.  That's right 800 blocks each.  We would all do something different with our blocks to make the swap more interesting...Carrie's blocks are made with batiks and African fabrics; Wendy's blocks are made with various textured fabrics in the mustard color way and African fabrics; and my blocks are made with many African fabrics and a solid black fabric.  The  one constant would be the African fabrics.  We all have a lot from years of collecting, so while we expected some duplication, there wouldn't be much.  After several false starts, late starts, hair-pulling and much discussion (you get the idea)  we attempted to swap the blocks.  We all went to a retreat in Smithville, VA last weekend to take classes with Bonnie Hunter among others and thought this would be a great time to swap out our blocks.  We agreed to swap 200 blocks each, so I would have 200 of Carrie's; 200 of Wendy's and they would each have 200 of my blocks. We were really busy at the retreat and didn't quite complete the swap.  I had my blocks with me but forgot to separate, they will get their blocks this weekend.  But I did get blocks from my friends.  For a simple block, these are some of the most beautiful blocks that I have ever seen.  Both friends took great care to make sure that the fabrics in each block complemented each other.  Mine were so much easier with just the accent of black.  African fabrics can be hard to work with because of color, value and the scale of the prints,  but can you imagine finding batiks to go with African fabrics for 800 4-patch blocks, let alone finding so many colors of golden mustard to work with so many different African fabrics.  Simply Amazing...!  Now we  have to each find the perfect postage stamp quilt pattern.  I have no idea what I am going to do.  We will get together soon for a sew-in and hopefully I will have visualized a quilt by then.