Thursday, January 19, 2023

What A Wonderful World!

It really is. And I’m sorry if I’ve given you an ear worm, but it is a most positive turn of phrase and song lyrics. I think we all could use a reminder of this these days, when so much focus is on negativity, and there is so much corruption in and disregard for our precious world: the humanity, animals, plants, and aquatic life that live upon this beautiful blue green globe.

Through my Rainbow Neighbourhood quilt pattern, I recently connected with a group of beautiful humans in North Carolina. So much about this story shines a light on the goodness that I believe outweighs the badness.
Betsy bought my house block pattern from my Etsy store last year. She sent me a photo of what she made which I showed you last month. 

I had started to let some people know that a pattern with several different star blocks on the side of each of several styles of houses in an entire neighbourhood was forthcoming. Many, one being Betsy, expressed interest. So when I published it, I went back through my messages and let those know that it had been published and was on sale that week. Betsy got back to me, saying that her church group of quilters all wanted to make this pattern as a group and would I consider giving them a discount since there would be multiple copies needed. Absolutely I gave them a discount! As I said once before, but it bears repeating, I was so grateful and impressed that they were being so honest and above board in understanding that purchasing one copy and making multiple copies for a group is wrong. Each quilter was going to purchase their own copy. That was the first big wow, there are good people moment. The second ‘wow’ was that they had chosen my design!

Betsy said she would get back to me after Christmas when they met up in January with numbers. Well, 12 quilters wanted to participate in this activity!

Betsy collected the money and I made her a listing for the pattern. To make things as simple and seamless as possible, I gave her my personal email address for her to give to the others. They would then email me and I could reply with a PDF copy of their pattern. This way it was only one email to copy as opposed to Betsy having to copy out 11 different emails to send to me where errors could easily happen.

So what exactly are they doing? Well, this is where it is just super cool. Each quilter has a box. They put their own fabric choices for the quilt in the box. Each month, using the fabrics in the box, the quilter makes a house with a different star block on the side of the house (and because the quilter sees what houses have already been ‘built’, there will be no doubles) using the fabrics in the box. The boxes get circulated until everyone has made a block for every person, at which point the boxes get returned to the original quilter. They then make their quilt however they choose to, with the blocks that they got in their box. They have a big reveal at the end to showcase all their completed quilts! Isn’t that just so much fun? This is the second block exchange they have done. 

So my little house block I sketched in my graph paper book six years ago, that I made throughout that year as my Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and also which has been made into two cushions,

Still need to sew little bows on top of the presents!

a wallhanging for an Island Batik challenge one year I was an ambassador,

finally made into a throw using the original RSC blocks,

and finally written up and published as a pattern,

now has 12 people in North Carolina using it as their quilt group’s block exchange! Ripples of happiness, a wonderful world, indeed.

I can't wait to see the twelve quilts that get created. The twin takes ten houses, the throw nine, and then there's the bench pillow and cushion designs also included within the pattern, so they'll have lots of ideas as to how to use up their 12 houses.

Speaking of ripples, I must share the centre block I've decided upon for the SAHRR (Stay at Home Round Robin) that I'm joining in with this year.

It was a hard decision because I uh have rather a ton of orphan blocks amassed over the years of being a quilter... I need to get that number down to zero, so I'll be using a bunch of them in another H2H quilt or two.
The button is just pinned on, and will be added once the quilt is complete.

This block is an extra from making Coneflower Crazies, a quilt I finished back in 2010. The method used for stacking and whacking the shapes leaves one extra block. Well, it is time to get this block some borders and send it out into the world to comfort someone, somewhere.

Linking up


  1. What an awesome concept for a block exchange. It's going to be so fun to see what they make together. And I look forward to seeing how your SAHRR rows. Your block makes me think of Mardi Gras. :)

  2. Well that's a sweet thing Sandra. I hope they allow you to post pictures for them here. Or post links...

  3. I love the story behind your Neighbourhood quilt and the QAL that is happening within the church group. There are good things out in the world, but the media just want to sensationalise everything. Looking forward to your posts for this year. Take care and hugs.

  4. Hi Sandra! What a fabulous post AND a fun block for the SAHRR. Oh, you will have to make the prompts into wacky versions. I can hardly wait to see how this project progresses. I was certain you were going to start with one of your houses but of course, you've had them in quite a few projects already. I just love what Betsy and her group is doing. I hope she will share some of the finished blocks/quilts when they are complete. What good people they are for all the reasons you shared, and that wonderful quote in the middle of the star. Love this. Thanks so much for sharing that with us and for joining in the SAHRR this year. {{Hugs}} a bunch, my friend. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Perfect solution to the "excess" block dilemma.

  6. WOW, how wonderful that they are doing the block exchange and doing it the correct way of no pattern sharing. I hope we get to see the finished quilts. Your SAHRR block should be a fun block to work with.

  7. What a fun round robin the church group has planned using your pattern. You've picked a very fun block for your version of SAHRR, very bright and fun. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone does this year.

  8. So enjoyed this very positive post. I love that this group is working with your house quilt pattern and honoring the hard work you did to develop the pattern by each purchasing the pattern. I certainly hope they share their finished tops/quilts either through you or with links to their work. Your SAHRR block is certainly interesting. I look forward to seeing what your quilt will look like.

  9. That is such a perfect bee/group idea! What fun. Love your SAHRR. This is going to be fun - almost set on my choice.

  10. What a great story. I bet that group has a ton of fun personalizing the house blocks as they swap. I went back and read the post about the coneflower quilt. Won't it feel good to use that orphan block in a new project. I can't wait to see what you do with the challenge. I know you'll be very creative as you add each round. I'm heading for FL for the first time in 3 years (yikes). I wonder if that shop is still in Sarasota.

  11. So happy that you are joining SAHRR this year! I Love your orphan block ... and it will be fun to watch the quilt grow! Thank you for linking up!

  12. Tricia told me I would appreciate your take on Snow Goose, and I am very impressed! I did mine just like the pattern.
    Mary Lee