The 4th International Block Swap (IBS4)

Sneak Preview: The 4th International Block Swap

In May 2017, we'll start our 4th International Block Swap with the motto "Back to Nature" and invite you, dear quilters from around the world, no matter whether novice, occasional quilter or professional textile artist, to join in and become a part of an exciting and fun international and multi-cultural quilt activity!



IBS4 "Zurück zur Natur" - Informationen auf Deutsch

IBS4 "Volver a la Naturaleza" - Informaciones en español

IBS4 "Retour à la Nature" Informations en français


Quick links:

The information leaflet: ibs4-flyer_en.pdf

The registration form: ibs4_registrationform.pdf

IBS4-Frequently Asked Questions

The block phase is over - unless you have already registered, you can no longer participate in IBS4!


Please only register if you are sure that you will eventually send blocks for IBS4!

IBS4 Back to Nature

The Idea:

We all are surrounded by the natural world. Spending time outdoors and getting in touch with nature helps us to calm our busy minds, breathe fresh air and experience peace and quiet.

Nature nurtures us with clean water and our daily food, even with medicine. Indigenous cultures worldwide therefore celebrate the natural world as their 'mother'.

The variety of natural scenes and the beauty of the flora and fauna are also a vibrant source of inspiration not only for painters, musicians and film makers, but also for us quilters…..

What is your personal association with nature? Tell your story with a block!

We invite you, dear quilters from around the world, to be part of our 4th International Block Swap (IBS4). Make 9 identical blocks on the theme "Back to Nature" and send them to us. All participants will be grouped into international teams. You will receive one of your own blocks plus 8 different blocks from quilters from around the world

Join in and become part of an exciting international quilt activity!

Our heartfelt THANK YOU to all our IBS4 Friends and Supporters who help us spread the word across all continents!


IBS4 Back to Nature

The Rules:

Make 9 identical RECTANGULAR blocks which measure 6" x 18" or 15 cm x 45 cm (FINISHED size) plus a seam allowance of ¼“ or 0.75 cm on all sides. You can either choose landscape or portrait format for your blocks

The blocks MUST contain the colour GREEN. More colours MAY be used. Please use good quality, prewashed cotton fabric

You may use any textile technique (compatible with cotton fabric) and any block pattern. If you use embellishments, please make sure that these don‘t exceed a depth of ¼" or 0.5 cm and that the block can still be quilted

Please enclose 9 picture postcards of your town/region/country in your block package. Use the postcard to convey as much information about yourself as you wish (e.g. hobbies, family, e-mail and/or mail address etc.). Please add at least a personal greeting.

You can send in more than one block package, however, the registration fee needs to be paid for each block package

Deadline: 28 February 2018

Depending on the number of entries, we expect to dispatch the swapped blocks two to three months after the deadline.  

Please make sure that you adhere to the rules stated above. Should you have any questions, please contact us. Unfortunately, blocks which don‘t comply, cannot be included in IBS4 and will be returned. This also applies if the registration form and/or the postcards are missing. In this case, we will not be able to refund the registration fee.


IBS4 Back to Nature

The Procedure:

All participating blocks will be grouped into teams of 9. The blocks will be swapped within these teams, so that all team members will receive the same combination of blocks

We are frequently asked how we make sure that the blocks fit well together. The simple answer is: We don't! The only criterion for selecting the members of each team is the percentage of each individual nation in the total number of participants.  


The "Back to Nature" Community Quilt:

We would like to have a lasting reminder of IBS4 and to this end are asking you to make and send an extra block on a voluntary basis, of course, which we will then sew together to make a gigantic Nature Quilt.   


The Registration Fee:

The registration fee for EACH set of blocks is as follows:  

25 Euro

1 Euro for each set of blocks will be donated to Doctors without Borders together with our annual donation

Link to the registration in the Quilt around the World webshop

Please only register if you are sure that you will eventually send blocks for IBS4!


Why you should participate:

  • You will be part of an international exchange between quilters from around the world. You will have the opportunity to network and find friends across countries and cultures.

  • You will be supporting a very worthy charity whilst indulging in your favourite hobby.
  • Your block will be published in our IBS4 block gallery.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in the planned follow-up activities with your nature quilt (or other textile piece) which you made from your 9 IBS4 blocks (exhibition incl. catalogue).
  • You can also win something! Fabric packs, useful quilting tools and notions will be raffled among all participants.

We are explicitly inviting ALL quilters, no matter whether beginner, occasional quilter or professional. Please understand if not all the blocks are "perfect" in your eyes.  

For the swap teams, we take care to make them as international as possible. This depends very much, of course, on the number of blocks we receive from each country. We hope that every team will have at least one "exotic" block as we are working very hard to establish more and more international contacts. You are likely, however, to receive more blocks from quilters in German speaking countries.

The information leaflet: ibs4-flyer_en.pdf

IBS4-Frequently Asked Questions


Link to the registration in the Quilt around the World webshop

Please only register if you are sure that you will eventually send blocks for IBS4!

Should you have any questions or concerns, please send us an e-mail at We're more than happy to assist!

IBS4 Back to Nature     IBS4 Back to Nature   IBS4 Back to Nature