Bonus Sewcial Distancing Episode 33 | Podcast

10 weeks and Lori, Tracy and Ginger are still sheltering at home!  In this episode, they all share an update on their current projects and Ginger and Tracy share some news from the Golden Peak Media filming studio.  Also, Tracy gets a special birthday surprise from her co-podcasters, quilter Aby Dolinger and the quilting community that loves and adores her!  Aby also joins us to share some tips for planning your own group quilts.  Have some tissues handy, this episode is a tear-jerker, tears of joy!


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Welcome | Tracy, Lori, and Ginger Project Updates & Filming Studio News, Tracy Birthday Surprise.


Lori’s beautiful granddaughters in the dresses she made for them.
Lori’s grandchildren checking out the Mouse House she created.
Lori’s grandson tapping on the Mouse House.


The front of the bucket Ginger did for her daughter’s desk with Tracy’s help.
The back of the bucket.

Quilter’s Select Products Mentioned in the show can be found at

Quilter’s Select 60MM Rotary Cutter
Quilter’s Select Free Fuse
Tracy on set filming the May Sneak Peak featuring the Quilter’s Select products.


Tracy with all smiles basking in all her birthday love!
Tracy’s Daughter greeting her from their balcony with all the birthday decoration.
The basket of birthday cards and blocks for Tracy’s birthday.

Tips for Organizing and Making Group Quilts

Compiled by Abigail Dolinger, May 2020

Participating in a group quilt project fosters sharing and a sense of community among the participants. The memories of friends collaborating together are added to the fabric medium. Exchanging blocks and handwritten notes through the mail is a great way to keep in touch with quilting friends who live at a distance. Social interaction among the participants is one of the greatest benefits in making a group quilt.

Occasions for multiple makers –

A shared experience between friends, often resulting in a wider variety of fabrics

   *Try a different technique, learn a new skill

   *Make a quilt you might not tackle on your own

   *Meet the challenge of designing a creative setting for the blocks

A quilt guild or bee activity

Organizing signature blocks for a guild or bee member who is moving away

A gift for someone facing a serious medical situation

Signature squares collected from wedding guests

Signatures and written memories collected at a funeral or memorial service

Signatures or blocks made as a retirement gift

Blocks made by quilt guild members to raffle for operating expenses or for a charity

Birthday blocks exchanged among friends

Celebrating a baby’s birth or young person’s graduation

Who should you invite to participate?

Guild members

Quilting bee members

Family members, Examples: mothers/daughters, family reunion activity

Special friends of the quilt’s recipient

Internet friends

Characteristics of group quilt participants: Competent sew-ers with similar sewing skills, Enthusiastic about the project, Agreeable with group and coordinator decisions, Willing to schedule time to make the blocks, Conscientious to give their best work, Faithful to the commitment of exchanging blocks on time, Honest about skill or time limitations

Group Quilt Coordinator

Can solicit input from the group and then propose the following:

The pattern or design of the blocks

*On one hand, the block design should be commensurate with the skill level of participants, on the other hand, the selected block could challenge the group to learn a new technique.

*Choose a block that is not overly time consuming

*Choose a block that can be trimmed to a common size without compromising triangle points on the block’s perimeter. Examples:  Rail Fence, Nine Patch, Bowtie, “Scrappity-Do-Dah”

*Choose a block or quilt design you personally are inspired to make. Sources:  Quilting magazines, published patterns, quilt shows, Pinterest and social media

The size of the blocks (give the finished and unfinished size to avoid confusion)

   *Recommend a specialty ruler or specify a ruler manufacturer

The fabrics to be used: colors, style

   *A common background can be stipulated such as a specific solid by a specific fabric company

   *A swatch card can be distributed to each participant

   *A multi-colored fabric can be the spring-board for choosing coordinating tone-on-tones

The pace and duration of the exchange

Once the group agrees on the basics, the coordinator should:

Write and distribute clear and detailed instructions that include diagrams and pictures Delineate rules and expectations for the exchange

   *Make a sample block to show participants

   *Ask another participant to make a sample block following the written instructions

   *Demo cutting and making a sample block for the group

Set a beginning and an end date for the exchange

   Monthly at a guild or bee meeting

   Monthly – blocks mailed to participants

   Yearly – blocks exchanged at a group retreat

Throughout the duration of the exchange, the coordinator inspires enthusiasm and motivation

   Encourages participants as they make blocks

   Answers questions about construction

   Reminds participants of due dates

   Fields complaints and kindly educates participants with lesser sewing skills

   Offers sympathetic understanding if a participant drops out – life happens

Despite carefully written instructions, you will receive blocks of various sizes. The most common culprit of this malady is an inconsistent ¼” seam allowance. It is preferable, in the spirit of friendship, to use all the blocks you receive. Methods for making the blocks fit together are as follows:  Ease the blocks when sewing them together by using pins or hand basting; take an over-size or under-size block apart and re-stitch; sew a fabric frame around all the blocks and then trim all to the same size; sew sashing between the blocks; use some of the rogue blocks on the back of the quilt as backing art; use aberrant blocks in a separate quilt project.


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