A few years ago I participated in a block exchange in my local quilt group. It was my first block exchange. Our local quilt group was subdivided up into smaller groups for the exchange and I would bring 12 identical blocks every month and go home with 12 different blocks. We made the apple quilt from "Quilting with My Sister" By Teri Christopherson and Barbara Brandeberg. That book is one of my favorites and my apple quilt is a treasure.
I remember being nervous about my own block construction and fabric selection because I wanted the women in our exchange to be pleased with my blocks. Of course everyone's blocks were so different, even though we used the same pattern and everyone used red fabrics. There was such a distinct difference in fabric tastes. And to be quite frank, I ended up with a few blocks I wouldn't normally have picked to put in my quilt.After all my exchange blocks were sewn together I still wasn't sure about some of the fabrics. And yes, everyone had a different "1/4" seam and individual construction methods were not identical.
If you haven't noticed I'm a little competitive. I wanted to be the first person finished with my apple flimsy in our whole group. So I was quick to get the leaves appliqued and my get the finished product to the machine quilter, Wren. When my quilt was finished I was delighted. First of all Wren did an amazing job quilting it with a circular pattern in each apple and small stitching around the apples to make them "pop". I bound my quilt in time to take it to our local quilt show and it was a hit. Yes. I was first!
Of course now love the quilt. I love all the different fabrics and textures that each individual woman in our exchange brought to the finished product. I would not have picked many of those fabrics but when they were stitched together those apples made an awesome statement - the differences in taste fell away and the beauty of each block and the person it represented was apparent. It is a great memory quilt and represents women I share a hobby with. It is a wonderful patchwork of personalities. I wouldn't change a thing. I hope our 47 Christmas cottage swappers find the same experience in their cottage quilts.