IBS3 - Frequently Asked Questions

IBS3 - Frequently Asked Questions

Please first read the 3rd International Block Swap Introduction or download the IBS3 Flyer to find all important details about the rules, block measurements, deadlines etc.

Here are some questions we have received from quilters since we have "officially" started our 3rd International Block Swap.

You are very welcome to contact us any time at info@quilt-around-the-world.com if you have doubts or questions concerning any aspect of the swap. We will answer your questions as quickly as possible and will publish anything that might be useful to other quilters here at Quilt around the World (anonymously, of course!).


Setting Sun Block  About the Participants

Question: I am still a beginner and I fear that my blocks will not be so artistic. Can I participate nevertheless?

Answer: Of course you can participate! Our IBS3 is not the Quilting World Championships and we explicitly invite all interested quilters, no matter whether novice, occasional quilter or textile artist! Just do your best. Choose a simple block appropriate to your skill level and you will be fine! It is important that the stipulated finished size is correct, however, so we would recommend measuring the block units frequently before going on. Also try making a sample block first before you cut the fabric for all 9 blocks. You might not like the block enough to make 9!

We had a lot of participants in our past IBS projects who apologized for their "simple" blocks when sending them in. Let us tell you - these blocks were among the most striking and beautiful in the entire block swap.... :-)

Question: How do you make sure that the swap teams are truly international?

Answer: Regarding the swap teams we do our best to make sure that the teams are as international as possible. However, this strongly depends on the origin of the blocks we receive. We are happy about every block set we receive and don't have limiting quotas as to the maximum number of participants per country.

We expect that in each team there will be included one or more “exotic blocks” because we’re constantly working towards expanding our international contacts. But you will certainly also find a few blocks from quilters of German-speaking countries.

Question: How do you select the members/blocks to build a swap team?

Answer: As soon as we have received all blocks, we will group all participants into teams of 9 quilters according to the statistical weighing of the represented countries and exchange the block sets of those nine quilters within these teams.

We are often asked how we guarantee that the blocks go well together. The simple answer is: We don’t! The only criterion for the combination of the block teams is the proportion of each nation compared to the total number of participants.


Kansas Sunflower Block   About the Blocks

Question: Do the nine blocks have to be 100% identical? Can I change e.g. the position of an appliqué motif from block to block?

Answer: Let’s be honest – Are two blocks ever identical? This isn’t a factory! The blocks don’t have to be 100% identical, but it should be obvious that they belong together and were made by the same quilter e.g. an appliquéd motif may have some variations, but it should at least be the same motif with the same colour values. It is NOT o.k. to send in blocks with totally different patterns or completely different colours.

Question: Why does the design of the nine blocks have to be identical?

Answer: Your nine blocks will be exchanged within a swap team of nine international quilters so that every quilter in your team receives the same set of nine blocks. Then, it is completely up to you (and the others), what kind of design and layout you choose for your yellow sunshine quilt (or textile object). When you compare the final works of your swap team in our IBS3 Online Gallery or during our IBS3 Travelling Exhibition, you will be very surprised how different the same set of blocks will look! This stunning effect, however, only works if your nine blocks are identical and can clearly be recognized.  

Question: Do I have to sew one of the sun block designs shown on the website or the IBS3 flyer?

Answer: NO, please don't! These patterns are just a few examples to give you an idea how your block could look like. You can choose whatever block design you wish. It can be a traditional block pattern or your very own creative design as long as your block motif represents the IBS3 motto "In the Sun".

Need some more ideas? The motto "In the Sun" could be interpreted in many different ways, e.g. sunshine, radiation, sunflowers, your favorite place in the sun, sunrise/sunset sceneries, light vs. shadow, the solar system, solar eclipse, solstice, solar clock, sun-moon-stars, solar storm, solar panels.... Just let your creative juices flow and have fun! 

Question: Can I use other colours besides yellow?

Answer: Yes, you can use as many different colours as you like as long as the colour yellow is visibly included in your block.

Question: How will you make sure that everybody uses pre-washed high quality fabrics and does their sewing properly?

Answer: As you can see from the rules, we have stipulated that everybody uses good quality cotton fabrics. Since we hope and expect quilters from all over the world to participate, also from countries with a comparatively young quilting scene, we cannot guarantee that the results will be up to everybody's high standards and expectations. The objective of this block swap is not to make a PERFECT block sampler, but to join in, make new quilt friends around the world and work together in a global quilting project. Please be aware that there are many quilters out there who don't have easy access to fabrics, tools and classes and please be tolerant towards blocks which might not match your own in material and workmanship.

Question: Do I have to sandwich and quilt the blocks before handing them in?

Answer: No, please leave the blocks as they are after sewing. Don’t join them together or quilt them. Every quilter will assemble and quilt the blocks according to his/her own creative ideas and taste after the blocks have been swapped.

Question: Do I have to sew a 9th block if I would like to have one of my own blocks, too?

Answer: To be perfectly honest, we asked everybody to send in 9 blocks to make our task of assembling the block packages easier. You, your blocks and your post cards will be put in a team of 9. For this team, 9 identical block packages will be assembled and each person in the team will receive one of these packages. You might think this is funny, but even doing it the simple way, it is still difficult enough not to get muddled in the swapping process!

Question: Can I make more than 9 blocks? E.g. 18 or 27?

Answer: OF COURSE! We only ask you to send in picture post cards for EACH set of blocks and also to pay the registration fee for EACH set.

Question: You have asked for a 10th block on a voluntary basis to make a community quilt. How will that quilt look like, who will make it and what will you do with it?

Answer: We hope that many quilters will in fact send in a 10th block because we are very much looking forward to joining all these blocks together to create a very large “Sunshine Quilt”! Our QATW-team together with some volunteers will do the sewing and quilting. As it is, we don't have any definite plans yet for the "Sunshine Quilt". It could accompany an IBS3 Travelling Exhibition. Should you have any ideas for this quilt-to-be, let us know!


Sunny Lanes Block   About the Registration

Question: Why do I have to pay a registration fee to participate?

Answer: First of all, your registration fee will help cover at least some of the expenses involved in the organization of such a project – including the packaging and postage for sending back all swapped block packages to you and all other IBS participants around the world.

Secondly, 1 Euro per block set will be donated to the international humanitarian organization “Doctors without Borders” (www.doctorswithoutborders.org) to support their important medical aid in all countries where the need is greatest because people are affected by conflicts, epidemics or natural disasters.

Question: When do I have to pay the registration fee?

Answer: Basically, it is of course up to you to decide when you will pay the registration fee.

If you register now, this might create some positive creative "pressure" and you will start very soon with the design of your blocks with the motto "In the Sun"...

For organisational reasons, we will unfortunately not be able to refund your registration fee if you don't send in your blocks in the end.

So if you are not 100% sure that you will really have the time and the motivation to take part in the 3rd International Block Swap and to hand in the blocks by 31 May 2016, then please transfer the registration fee only when sending the blocks.

Question: Is it necessary to register on the Quilt around the World website to participate in the International Block Swap?

Answer: For administrative purposes, you'll be asked to create a login with your user name and password when you pay the IBS2 registration fee via our web shop.

But if you're interested you can also register now - it's free of charge - and get access to many more quilt projects, tutorials and international activities and get an inside view behind the scenes of Quilt around the World. 

Question: How can I pay the IBS3 registration fee?

Answer: You can pay your registration fee directly via our web shop. Just follow this link:

IBS3 Registration Fee

Here, you can choose whether you prefer to pay via bank transfer or PayPal.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a PayPal account. You can also make payments without registering with PayPal. Just follow the link “Don't have a PayPal account?" and type in your credit card information. Depending on your country, you may also be asked to enter your address, e-mail and phone number.  

Please note that there will be additional banking charges for international transfers. Therefore, check back with your bank before you wire money overseas. 

Also, in some countries there may be legal restrictions on international money transfers.

Sending cash with your block package is not a secure – and in many countries strictly forbidden – option for paying your IBS3 registration fee. So please, if you have any problems with the payment methods above or are in doubt, please contact us at info@quilt-around-the-world.com. We will certainly find a workable solution for you!

Only send cash as a last resort!