Saturday, May 16, 2015

How the Block Lotto has changed my (quilting) life

Join me on the Block Lotto Blog

A couple of months ago I was lamenting that I had not participated in the Block Lotto in February and I was debating if I should make a block in March. Maybe it was just bad timing - I'm busy and these recent blocks did not appeal.

Ever since I started playing in December 2010, I have made at least one block each month. Back then I had just started getting into quilting and was looking for ideas and inspiration when I found the site. I was attracted by the variety and the possibility of sending and receiving blocks to and from around the world. Each month Sophie came up with something new and interesting and even those blocks made with colours or fabrics that weren't my cup of tea taught me something.

Here are a few favourites:

I started thinking about the projects that I have on the go right now and realised that each one was influenced by the Block Lotto, some directly and others in more subtle ways. I realised that even if I am no longer making every block that comes along each month, I am carrying the spirit of the Block Lotto in the work that I do and I am thankful of the community and what it has given me. So, it's time to share that thanks.

My green and white quilt has been years in the making and it's almost done. Believe it or not, it started out with some bonus triangles trimmed off of this block that the Block Lotto did in April 2011. I think I had about 12 HST units in green and cream and I just started playing with them.

They eventually turned into 1,600 HST units in a mix of greens, greys, whites, and creams. I am currently putting on the binding so it should be done soon.

My next current project is more obviously from the Block lotto - this quilt is made up of 15 sunrise blocks I won in June 2014. It's ready to start quilting (this weekend I hope).

My most recent quilt is my pink cat quilt. This started with a cute cat fabric that was gifted to me by Jude when she sent me her sunrise blocks (centre of bottom right block). I thought that it was so sweet that I had to buy some more cat fabrics and design/make a quilt. After I designed the block, I used Sophie's instructions for 8-at-a-time HST blocks and the no-waste flying geese method, also using Sophie's instructions. I've done 11 of the 25 blocks, so it's coming along well.

I have won blocks three times all together and these have resulted in 3 finished quilts (and one in progress). I also used one of the block patterns from December 2012 to make a wedding gift for some friends.

I'm sure there's more that I could tell you about, but I think you get the idea. So, even when I'm not thrilled with a block one month, I am still thankful that I have been involved with the Block Lotto and hope that I can continue to be inspired by its leader Sophie and all of the other wonderful quilters who contribute each month.


  1. I agree Laurina -Block lotto has had a huge influence on my quilt making and I have been lucky enough to win at least seven times since I started about 4 years ago. I won a set of the clover flower blocks pictured above and that quilt sits on a single bed. It was made before getting my swiftquilter from you so has only minimal quilting on it -maybe I will put it on the frame one day and add some more quilting to it. I have used a lot of the blocks I have won but there are still many waiting to be turned into quilts. I do not participate every month now as I seem to have too many projects on the go at the moment but have learned so much from the blocks I have made.

  2. Wow! You really put a smile on my face this morning with your sweet tribute to the Block Lotto.

    Lately I have been thinking about just how lucky I am to be part of a community on the Block Lotto that is (almost always) willing to try whatever crazy idea/block/color combinations I suggest ... it's such a contrast to the quilters in my guild who are deeply entrenched in doing things as they have always done them.

    At my local guild this month, the program is "your go-to pattern" and members were asked to bring an example of the block/quilt pattern that they make over and over. I realized that my "go-to" is the set of blocks we've made for the Block Lotto ... but I know that most of the guild members wouldn't understand ... but I think you do ;-)

  3. :) I agree too! I haven't participated much in Block Lotto this last two years, but I still read the blog, even leave comments every now and then LOL What I do love, is the opportunity to see the quilts made up using the blocks that various makers have contributed. I have won 3 times - two are flimsies that need to be made into quilts, my favourite - the violets - is just waiting for layout inspiration to fall into place. Being a beginner when I started participating in Block Lotto I would never have tried many of the blocks if it wasn't for Sophie's wonderful instructions, and the feedback from other Block Lotto members was great too!