Q & A

Posted by on December 17, 2007 in blocks | 3 comments

Frequently asked questions and the answers will be added here as they come up in the forum discussion (or in the comments).

Revised March 1, 2009.

Q – Is the Block Lotto (or you) going away?

A – No. I’ve held the block lotto nearly every month sine 2002, except during 2004 when someone else took over . . . and the lotto died. I picked it up again in 2005 when there was a demand for a BEGINNER-FRIENDLY activity on the Quilting Forum. In early 2009, I decided to move the Block Lotto to Blogland.

Q – Who can play?

A – ANYONE. The blocks will continue to be BEGINNER-FRIENDLY. This doesn’t mean that they will always be easy-peasy, but they will always be achievable by beginner quilters. I have always thought of the Block Lotto as an opportunity to occasionally S-T-R-E-T-C-H our quilting skills (or practice them)

Q – Do I need to let you know in advance how many blocks I am making?

A – No, you do not have to commit to a number of blocks at all – when you have made however many blocks you want, post the photos and you will get one chance to win for each block (or pair of blocks, if specified that way) you have completed at the point of the draw, up to the maximum (which beginning in 2009 is 9 blocks or pairs).

Q – Is it ok for me to take part if I am in Canada [or elsewhere outside the US]?

A – Yes, of course. The block lotto has always been open to those outside the US, and, with the changes made in 2008, it will be even easier for folks elsewhere to take part.

Q – Why are we using a blog to communicate rather than the forum?

A – In March, 2009, I made the decision to move the Block Lotto entirely to Blogland.

Q – I am a beginner quilter, will I be able to make the blocks?

A – All the blocks are beginner friendly, designed to give you a chance to learn (or practice) basic quilting techniques.

Q – Where do I find the block patterns?

A – In the first blog post of the month, there will be block pattern information and a link to directions. There will always be a link to the main informational post in the left side bar.

Q – Do I have to make blocks every month?

A – No. You can play as frequently (or not) as you like. No commitment required.

Q – Can I donate my chances to someone else?

A – Our tradition has been to donate chances to the first-timers (aka newbies), to avoid the block lotto becoming any kind of popularity contest I’ve seen elsewhere . . . and keep it friendly and welcoming to newcomers.

Q – How can there already be so many blocks made on the first day of the month?

A – As an incentive to make blocks, anyone who enters blocks at least one week before the deadline receives “sneek peek” email with advance information about the next month’s block and will be encouraged to make blocks and send me photos to use so I can provide eye candy to everyone else to encourage them to make blocks for the lotto.

Q – If I make a paper-pieced block, should I remove the paper?

A – Yes, please do. Although when we are making projects for ourselves, we’re taught to leave the paper in until the blocks are sewn together, I ask that the paper be removed from lotto blocks for 2 reasons:

  1. So you can see all your seam allowances and make sure that there aren’t any OOPS too small allowances (if you are new to paper foundation piecing–or even if you aren’t–trust this can happen . . . ask me how I know 😉
  2. So you can ensure that none of your seams pull out with the paper, which can also happen if your stitch length was not set short enough.

If you have non-square edges at the outside of your block, please stitch INSIDE the seam allowance before removing the paper.

Julie posted some good photos of examples of things to watch out for on paper pieced blocks, Some Advice for Beginners.


  1. Sophie, I love this stamp basket block and the suggestions you have given regarding coloring. Thank you. I can´t find the original instructions which came in the newsletter. ROSE

  2. Rose, The block lotto is an activity for the forum members of the quilting.about.com site. Please hop over and join us there–the discussion (with links to directions, etc) begins here. You still have a week to enter this month.

  3. Thank you, Sophie, I was about to tell you I found all the information in your origianl forum post. ROSE

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