International Block Swap – Cape Town

by Jan 31, 2018News7 comments

It’s been over 2 years now since my friend, Siska Dart, put me in touch with her friend in Cape Town, South Africa – a fellow quilter, Felicity Khan.

The three of us thought it would be a great idea to do a block swap between Ps&Qs in Melbourne, Australia and St. Saviour’s Quilters Guild in Cape Town, South Africa. Little did we know….

First, Felicity and I came up with the boundaries of the swap: each person would make one block a month between 6 ½ and 12 ½ inches. It did not have to be square. We would continue for 12 months so each person had 12 blocks for a quilt.

Second, each block needed to be accompanied by a 6 ½ inch square of fabric used in the block.

When we went to our groups for signups, we reached our first hurdle. While I had 24 participants from Ps & Qs, Felicity had a much smaller group which meant each of her ladies were making 2-3 blocks per month. A little unbalanced but we went ahead with everyone’s enthusiastic consent.

Second hurdle – collecting from all participants. While some ladies entered into the challenge with great enthusiasm and created all 12 in one month, others were a bit slower off the mark and had to be encouraged to complete each block.

Third hurdle – posting the blocks! Ultimately, Felicity and I agreed to ship every three months. It just made more sense given the difficulty of shipping between the 2 continents. There were a couple of times I was very anxious about my parcel getting to Felicity. It took so long I was afraid it was lost or stolen. Fortunately, every package arrived at its destination – eventually.

After all this time, most of us at Ps & Qs have our quilt tops together and some even have them quilted. Here are a few of our quilts.

I will be in Cape Town in March to meet the group face to face – so excited about this. I hope to get photos of their quilts as well.