Sewing with Swap Blocks

I made really good progress on my friendship quilt made with blocks from the Small Quilt Talk group swap. I finished the top and the quilting! Today I want to get the binding done before work.

Have you ever done a block swap? I have done many over the years. They can be a lot of fun. However, I know of many people that were totally disappointed. It is all a matter of expectations really.

I do swaps for fun and friendship, not to make an award winning quilt. You will have some swappers that make perfect blocks and others that struggle to make a block square and even close to the right size. You will likely be swapping with newbies right along with those more experienced than you.

If you expect perfect blocks, don’t swap, make them yourself!

When I put these blocks together, I only tried to match the corners of the blocks. I didn’t even try to match the points at the sides of the blocks. Once in a while, they lined up! But when all is said and done, those mismatched or missing points won’t be that noticeable.

One thing that can cause problems is when the seam allowance was cut too close.

I didn’t see this until I was sewing the blocks together or I probably would not have used this block. This workmanship is really not up to par for a swap. I salvaged this by adding a bit of fusible interfacing to the back to reinforce the area. I am not mad about it, I knew when I signed up I could get anything back.

On the flip side, I do my very best to send out my best work to others. I make a test block to make sure I can so this well or I don’t sign up.


At the end of the day, for me at least, it is about connecting with other quilters. This quilt won’t be perfect but it has been fun to make from beginning to end. And I have a tangible link to my online friends.

I am linking up with Connie at Free Motion by the River.


About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing adult kids, and a former librarian. I love making everything from traditional quilts to art quilts. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
This entry was posted in Civil War Repro Quilts, Small Quilt Talk Group, Swaps. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Sewing with Swap Blocks

  1. I love your quilt and agree with the points you made in writing your post. Don’t expect perfection or you will always be disappointed. I love swaps, in particular signature quilts. I have quite a few and about three or four in my UFO pile. I am making one similar to yours and just need to sew the blocks together. When I wrap up in a signature quilt or block swap quilt, its like getting a hug from your “quilty” friends. Always makes me feel better.

  2. The colours are beautiful – the finished quilt is well worth the minor frustrations.

  3. Alberta Sue Bennett says:

    You have done a great job on this. I agree you have 54 different seam allowances, but the fact that you have such a great quilt to play with. I love mine. I also didn’t worry about the everything matching. Love what you have done.

  4. I’m not doing a swap, but rather organizing a thank-you signature quilt for the lady who puts on our quilt retreats. I’m using the same blocks as you, and am planning on adding some Ohio Star blocks as well. I’ll keep in mind what you warn about, and adjust my expectations accordingly! At the end of the day, its gonna be a beautiful quilt, and much appreciated I’m sure!

  5. takro4 says:

    Beautiful! I love the fabrics & how well you put it together.

  6. Connie Campbell says:

    Your quilt is looking beautiful and no I have never done a block swap. Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  7. The quilts from the last few posts all look so great! I love how prolific you are as a quilter, it’s inspiring!
    Maybe that wonky block WAS someone’s best work… Remember their are all levels of quilters among us. And practice (and encouragement) is the only way to improve.

  8. Donna Keating says:

    Your signature swap quilt is darling. Love your border fabric.

  9. Diane says:

    I have always liked the way these blocks can “glow” when pieced together. You did a great job! It is a good tip to just match those corners.on a block exchange like this.

  10. I have always liked this block with different fabrics. It is scrappy yet cohesive. Yes, the overall look is that the points and corners go together nicely. Very nice.

  11. Sandi says:

    I love how your quilt turned out. Makes me want to get busy with some of my swap blocks. I also like what you had to say about swapping. It’s to connect with our online friends and share our joy in our passion. We should always send our best stitching but there is no guarantee. You did beautiful! Hugs,

  12. It turned out lovely! I like the three different blocks that you added in!

  13. I’ve never done a swap … it sounds like it would be fun.

    Your top turned out fantastic! I love it … and that quilting in the border is neat! A really neat alternative to the ubiquitous feather border.

  14. I’ve done a lot of group projects and would do them again. I’ll admit, though, right now I’m enjoying working by myself and for myself.

    I really like the border quilting! That’s a great idea — looks like Gothic arches.

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