Confession From a Block Exchange Junkie

by Featured

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I have a problem. Well, to be honest, I have lots of problems, but this isn’t that type of blog 🙂 The problem I am here to talk about today is my addiction to block exchanges. I can’t help myself. Everywhere I look, I see opportunities for a new block exchange. I even have a folder on my computer where I store pictures and ideas for yet another block exchange!

The worst part of this problem is, that I can’t do it alone…I must, in the words of a good friend, “suck others in” to my plan:) I even managed to form my own little group of others who are willing to join me in my crazy.

There is note on my bulletin board in my sewing room that says, “Note to self: DO NOT join another block exchange until you do something with all the ones that you already have.” Guess who ignored the note and has two thumbs? This girl!!!

So, how many block exchanges are languishing in my sewing room right now? Well, there are the two that I am currently supposed to be working on and preparing to exchange in January. Those are 12 signature blocks for my small group, and 100 maple leaves, both swaps that I initiated, of course.

Christmas themed signature block for exchange in January 2020.
Maple leaves from Tonya Alexander’s pattern that I found on Pinterest.

I have a beautiful set of 100 pinwheels, a lovely set of 10″ pumpkin blocks, Edyta Sitar’s Friendship Triangles to use, a strip exchange to be used with Edyta’s strip exchange book, a set of twenty-five 12″ blue, tan, and cream blocks, and a boatload of 3″ 9-patches. All of these need attention.

You may be wondering if I have ever actually made anything from all these exchanges. Yes! I have finished a Farmgirl Vintage quilt. I have pieced a top using the red and white exchange from a couple of years ago. All others are in some state of progress. I finished a beautiful brown and pink 4″ finished reproduction fabrics churn dash quilt that is one of my absolute favorites! I’ve finished yellow and black, teal and purple, polka dots, and lime and green quilts all from 10″ square exchanges made in a retreat group. These finishes keep me motivated, and make me excited to continue participating in exchanges.

Red and White block exchange quilt top is pieced and ready to quilt!
Strips cut from a 10″ square exchange ready to make into a quilt.

If you are curious about what motivated me and got me started on swaps with friends, you can check out this previous blog post:

Given how much I love to exchange with friends, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. So, my confession is: “I have a block swap addiction, and I don’t want any help.” Who’s with me?

Sandi Griepenstroh

Sandi Griepenstroh


I started quilting in the early 90's as a young mom while I was still teaching high school social sciences and English. Now it is my full time job, and I love sharing the joy that quilting has brought into my life through lecturing, trunk shows, teaching everything from piecing to machine quilting, and longarm quilting the pieced quilt tops that others have made. I am a maker through and through, and I can't wait to meet my fellow makers and talk quilting!

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