A number of years ago I participated in a “Cookie Tin” quilt block exchange. Round Robin quilts were popular with the guild in the years before we tried this method. Round Robins started with the owner making the centre of the quilt and it was passed along to the next member of the group to put the next round of borders on before passing it over to the next person in the group. Depending on where one fell in the order of “rounds” it could amount to a lot of work. The Cookie Tin exchange was introduced to alleviate a lot of pressure to the persons getting the last few rounds. All one had to do was complete one block and turn it in at the next meeting. Sounded simple enough so I decided to give it a go. I chose Friendship as my theme and put one metre of Prairie Rose fabric into a large tin along with my completed block and a journal. My instructions were to make a friendship block with some of the Prairie Rose fabric in each block. It seemed pretty simple.
My 12 1/2″ block had double Sunbonnet Sues. I had visions of them holding a quilt while chatting. I received 8 blocks in the exchange. Seven were 12 1/2″ and one was 9″ while three didn’t have any Prairie Rose fabric at all. The blocks went up and down on the design wall for quite awhile before I finally got it all sorted out as to what I was going to do with them. One thing for sure was that I was going to have to do some math to fit that 9″ block in. My grade 11 math teacher would have been impressed . I decided that I could work in multiples of 6, 9, 12 and 15 inches. So I cut one block down to 9″ and made two more. Then I had to make some 6″ filler blocks as well as some 15″ blocks. And to finally make everything fit together I added a 3″ filler strip to applique “Friends” on. The Sues never did get their quilt
I’m pretty sure this quilt took a lot longer to put together than it should have but as much as I like scrappy quilts this was a challenge. Besides the math I had to figure out how to tie all the blocks together since they didn’t all include the Prairie Rose fabric. I’m pretty sure I ran out of it after making the maple leaf and spool blocks anyway. I tried to tie everything together using blues, greens and reds. I’m happy with how it turned out in the end. I have memories of who made the blocks for me and I always wanted to make a Hands All Around block.
The reason this quilt came to mind is the fact that I am working on my Point Robert’s 10th anniversary quilt. I like to think what I learned working on this quilt will make working on the next friendship quilt a lot easier! Also, what’s different with this block exchange is that all the blocks are 12 1/2″ and have one common fabric in them. I’m not worried, I know all the quilts will be a work of art and meaningful to everyone who is participating.
Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye