Friendship Exchanges

February 21, 2011

I’ve recently begun a delightful email relationship with one of the quilters I met in Ireland on our Sew We Go trip last October. Sandlin and I have been sharing stories about our families, faith and quilting. She’s currently making a quilt using Replique for her grandson. It’s delightful and really makes me smile.

You can visit her guild’s blog at: www.westernips.blogspot.com

Wendy and I are hoping to put together some sort of friendship exchange/challenge with our Irish travelers and the Galway branch of the Irish Patchwork Society. We haven’t come up with the details yet and I was wondering if any of you have done long distance exchanges that were successful.

I did one in the early 1990’s that was great fun. I was living in Madison, WI and belonged to Mad City Quilters. A group of quilters in Freiburg, Germany contacted us for a challenge and also invited a group from Bern, Switzerland. The German quilters chose 3 fabrics (1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green print) and sent 20 packets of the 3 fabrics to us and 20 to the Swiss quilters also. We, along with 20 German quilters, were to each make a small wall quilt using the fabrics. That was it! The resulting quilts were delightful! Here’s mine:

The most exciting part was that we were able to send them all to Freiburg and have all 60 hung in their town hall. Then all 60 came here and were displayed at the Civic Center on State Street in Madison. Lastly the quilts were exhibited in Bern before we each got ours back. This quilt has been many places I haven’t.

The added fun of this Irish exchange is that we’ve met the quilters from Galway. Now to come up with the perfect challenge (perfect is a relative term :-). Any suggestions? I’m really hoping for some helpful input from all you talented folk! Ta ta til Thursday!


  1. The first thing that I thought of was an Artist Trading card challenge. It could be anything or a theme/color. It would also be easy to mail.

  2. Sounds like a fun project. I’m interested to read everyone’s suggestions. Many of my spinning acquaintances have participated in something similar, where they exchanged ounces of wool. I loved seeing photos of the results and what’s most interesting is seeing the creative diversity.

  3. Something that represents your home country? state? or a date? inspired by a postcard? Sounds like fun. can’t wait to see what you come up with and what results from it.

  4. Hi Chris:

    What about using three different fabrics that represent each Country you are doing the exchange with. It will make a multi-cultural piece.

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