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Thread: What is important in a block swap?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I was thinking of joining a block swap. Having never done one before I thought I'd ask your opinions.

    What is the most important thing to consider in the blocks I create? Is it perfect piecing? Lining up everything? Perfect size?

    If you are to swap say 12 finished blocks, would you plan on making say 15 so you can pick the 3 best? Or maybe even 24 and pick the best? (Yes I can be a bit obsessive).

    When you "send in/present" your blocks, do you starch them first?

    Thanks in advance for your answers - I can't wait to hear what your thoughts are on this!

  2. #2
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    I would make extra blocks to choose the best ones. I would press very well the blocks maybe even use some spray starch. Make sure your points are not blunted and seams are not twisted and that your block measures the correct size. Check with the swap instructions some of them want the blocks squared up and some don't. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i only plan on making the required amount of blocks - if i don't like how one or two turned out only then would i make new ones.

    as for guidelines, i stick to the rules and prefer others do the same. so the size should be correct, the color scheme should be adhered to, and if the fabric calls for 100% cotton washed thats what i provide.

    i don't mind if points or HST aren't perfect - thats part of quilting and some people are beginners and others aren't - i love the imperfect blocks and much as the perfect.

    i was in a swap that called for 100% cotton LQS quality and i rec'd back 3 blocks that were made from t-shirt fabric.

    i would have preferred the swap host have sent those blocks back instead of passing them on since the person clearly didn't follow the rules.

    i've come to learn, from doing swaps, its more important who the host is then the experience or perfection of the people in the host.

  4. #4
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    every swap is different. Some are REAL particular and some only care that A block gets there.

    IF you are particular about your piecing, using GOOD fabrics, etc...then you might need to read the rules and make sure that swap is for you!

    Centralized swaps are the best..cheaper and the block hostess and can DECLINE any blocks that do not meet the requirements!

  5. #5
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    with block swaps you will get some good ones and some not so good ones. i make all of my blocks with perfection in mind (and something i want to receive)that i will swap and that includes using quality fabrics, trying to my best to make sure points/seams match, that the block is the correct size and that it is aesthetically pleasing.

    while we may work to achieve perfection, sometimes points are off or seams get a bit misaligned. i think this just adds to the character of the block. if it is too off aesthetically, i will take the block apart and resew it.

    some of the block swaps include quilters of all levels so keep that in mind also. i say make your best blocks the first time around. if i am trying new techniques, then i use practice fabric first to make the block and correct any errors before i will make it up in the fabric for the swap.

    there are so many talented quilters on this board, when you're in a block swap you will receive some beautiful works of art. give it a try.

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    following the rules/guidelines- using quality fabric- creating blocks to the best of your ability which you would be happy to receive if they came from someone else.
    we all know---no one is perfect- swaps are often a chance for someone to try something new-
    as long as you do the best you can-- use good fabric- follow the rules of the swap- you will do fine.

    i did a swap a few years ago where one person did not follow the guidelines- and the blocks (6 years later) are still on a shelf in my closet---they were red-work embroidered calendar blocks on white squares---one block was done on a tan fabric- so there are 11 nice white blocks- and one...ugly brown one- i always think when i pull them out- one of these days i should make a replacement block- but have never got around to it- and i've been a bit upset that the blocks were exchanged=and not returned to the person who disregarded the rules of the swap ---AND NO- IT WAS NOT HERE...all of the swaps i have participated in here have been great swaps!

  7. #7
    a regular here MegsAnn's Avatar
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    Starching will make the fabric lie flatter so you can get more in a box.... but check the swap rules first! Many ask that you don't use starch because of allergies.

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