Quite some time ago, pre-craft leftovers, I started my first ever online community project – The Quilt Block Swap. I let it go and hosting it changes hands every so often, but a great woman named Sandi has been the host for awhile now. So this past December I decided I wanted to do some quilt block swapping again and rejoined the swap – this time as a member only.
The Quilt Block Swap is a whole lot of fun to get a block each month in the mail and also to see what other people are making for quilts. For this month my partner asked me to use this Maple Leaf pattern and i thought the site looked familiar, you see last month my partner directed me to the same site for the pattern she wanted me to use. Curious. Two quilters, two different states, two different patterns, both from the same site.
I decided to look around a bit and wowzers! This site – The Quilter’s Cashe – is loaded. It has not just an amazing selection of free quilt block patterns (which all include pretty detailed instructions and clear illustrations), but also tutorials on learning to quilt, different techniques to use in quilting (how to pages), a gallery of photos of quilts and blocks and then like, washing instructions, and fabric conversion charts, and more. There is so much to this site I couldn’t even get through it all. And the amazing thing, it’s all run by one woman: Marcia Hohn.
“I started the Quilter’s Cache in 1997 as a one page tribute to my favorite pastime of quilting. I envisioned it and sketched as an ALL ORANGE page, using MS Paint…sent it on to my then beau, now hubby, Joe, who made it into a web page. At that time, I couldn’t find many patterns online, and thought it would be SO COOL to draw a pattern every month…and from that humble beginning sprang this monstrosity we now know as the Quilter’s Cache…which now has all sorts of Instructional Pages, and hundreds of free patterns, all of which are hand drawn, well mouse drawn, without the use of any quilt programs.” (you can read the rest of the story here on the about page).
And when I emailed her to see if she was still adding to the site, she sent me a really nice email back explaining that while things have slowed down a bit due to life in general and all that, she is still actively adding new patterns! Awesome!
“My primary interest …is in building up the collection of free quilt block patterns, and that gets my main attention! I’ve been working on the site since 1997. It’s taken many many many hours, and is nearing 4000 pages now of work done all by one person. There are approximately 60,000 mouse drawn graphics on the site. I don’t use a quilting program to do these. I do have several wonderful gals who test my patterns also, voluntarily, and without them this all wouldn’t have been possible!”
Quilting is such a great way to use of bits of fabric. If you just make them into the same chosen block pattern or even just make a bunch of blocks of any pattern, after awhile you have enough to make a quilt top. If you don’t like the process of quilting (which I am one of those weirdos who likes handquilting) you can always take it to your local quilt shop and have them quilt it for a pretty small fee – I think usually under $60 depending on the size of the quilt (the bigger the quilt, the more is costs).
So what is your favorite quilt block pattern? Do you quilt? Do you do scrap quilts at all ever? How many quilts have you made? (me: pinwheel patterns, yep, of course, and 1 finished, one almost finished, another started).
The pictures of the quilt block in the post are of the one sent out to my partner yesterday – down to the deadline, that’s the way I roll, haha.