Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Exchanges can be a really fun thing to do or a disappointment.  Most of the time, the exchanges I've been in have been fun.  I have found, though, that unless you know the skill level of the others in the exchange, it's best not to exchange blocks unless it doesn't bother you that the blocks will come in variations of the size they are supposed to be.

The best exchanges in my experience have been exchanging fabric.  This quilt was made with exchanges fat eighths (11" x 18" pieces).  You can read more about it here

You should recognize it as it is on the mast head and I blogged about it previously.  It is one of my favorite quilts because without the exchange, I might not have included some of the fabrics that are in this quilt.  There are some fabrics that we just don't think of as ocean colors, but if you've ever flown over the ocean, you know that there are definitely colors that are not just blue as the sky is reflected in whatever wonderful colors the sunrise or sunset is that day.

This much smaller quilt was made from 6" squares exchanged by quite a number of people.  The wonderful thing about making a quilt with small pieces is that even if you don't care for a particular piece of fabric, it works in these small pieces.  You might want to exclude it if you were to see more of that fabric.  You can read more about this quilt here.

I have other quilts that I've made or at least started from other exchanges.  I just don't have digital photos of those.  One is a Christmas quilt where 9-patches were exchanged.  I'll get it photographed when I get the Christmas quilts out and share it then.

For this exchange, there are a limited number of people -- 5 in all.  This makes cutting all those pieces a piece of cake.  If there are over 20 people in an exchange, it can take a while!  In other exchanges, the fabrics were whatever the people chose to exchange with no theme.

In this case, we all asked for a specific type or color of fabric and also specified if there was something we DID not want to receive.  That way no one ends up with a bunch of 30's fabric if that is not their "thing".

Two chose Fall fabrics, one red and green, but not Christmas prints, and one prefers batiks.

What I learned from this is that all fat quarters purchased are not equal.  Some are not cut straight and are not 22" wide because all fabric is not 44" wide.  Since probably 90 percent of the fabric I purchase is in the form of fat quarters, this is important to know!  Since most of my quilts are scrap quilts, it is not a problem for me as I just use a similar fabric if I "run out" of one.

So here is a sneak peak at the fabrics I've cut and are ready to be shipped.  Sh, don't tell my friends.  Oh, wait, they read my blog so I guess they will get a sneak peak, too!

Here are the four piles of fat eighths.  Don't they look yummy stacked like this?  Now I want to make a quilt with all of them!  Oh, I'm the 5th participant so I didn't cut myself any fat eighths.  My pile would be neutrals -- leaning to the warm side -- white through tan.  I'm not much into the grayed down colors.  Why neutral colors?  I'm glad you ask.  I have one drawer of neutrals, but at least one drawer EACH of the colors.  It is simply that the neutrals go faster than the colors.

Here is a closer look at the red and green and one of the "fall" groups.

Here is a closer look at the batiks and the other "fall" group.

Cutting these fabrics did not even make a DENT in the stash!  Now you know why living 30 miles from the nearest quilt shop isn't a problem unless I need thread or something specific for a project that I don't have on hand.  I will not admit to overbuying fabric in the past.  It might be true, but I will not admit it! LOL

Okay, friends, it's time to use that stash!



JoQuilter said...

Lois, you forgot to tell about the "shape" exchange and the "block" exchange that the DBQ'ers had way back in the 80's. I'm so proud 'cause I got both of those quilts made. Did you!

Lois Arnold said...

LOL, Jo. No, I don't have them put together and that was a LONG time ago. The Thousand Pyramid from the charm exchange is in blocks and sitting in my studio. The Birthday Blocks are in a tub in the garage. I've started to put them together several times, but there they sit! There are some other exchanges I didn't mention either -- it would have been a very LONG post if I had!

Lorinda said...

Some of the "exchanges" I have enjoyed most were round robins. Never checked out skill levels, just took what I got. I have taken apart a couple to make them work. Jo made me keep every part of the original exchanges. Reworking thme was a whole new challenge but it can be done:)