So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want …

Posted by on December 11, 2016 in block lotto community | 32 comments

This may seem late in coming, but I really really would like to know if anyone intends to continue following the Block Lotto (and making lotto blocks) in 2017.

  • Is there anything that would make a difference in your decision to continue to play along?
  • Larger blocks or keeping them small (and easier to mail)? A variety of sizes?
  • More traditional blocks?  More improvisational blocks? More difficult blocks?
  • New colors?  Different color combinations?  A favorite color combination that we’ve not made before (or recently)?
  • Does it make a difference if there is a sampler quilt pattern and quilt-along?  What would make joining a sampler QAL compelling to you?
  • Anything else you’d like to share about the Block Lotto?   Now’s the time.

I have a few ideas for next year, but haven’t (yet) made any decisions about blocks, direction or quilt design.  And I’d love to hear what you think.

With apologies if you now also have a Spice Girls song stuck in your head, but tell me what you want, what you really really want …


  1. I plan on continuing. I do like the 6 or 8 inch blocks. d care about color combinations as I find it fun to try new ones. I like like a variety of blocks challenging ones some of the time. I do not need a quilt along of sampler quilt pattern. My only suggestion is that you (Sophie) need to give your self a break. When your life gets too busy like all of ours do.. just tell us and skip a month. We all understand. You give so much to do this time off is an ok thing for you to do….

    • Thanks for your feedback, Peggy. Your comments (and others) have given me some new ideas.

  2. I’m lucky I don’t know the Spice Girls song!

    Yes, I plan to continue making blocks next year if you continue to host Block Lotto. I don’t need a QAL or Sampler although I must say the Samplers have been a lot of fun. I don’t particularly like paper piecing blocks but I’ve tried at least one of what you have thrown out there each month just for the challenge. So, for me anything goes! – colors, sizes, traditional or improv. For me it’s about sometimes trying something new, using up scraps and sometimes even winning! I look forward to what each month will bring.

    Like Peggy said…if you need a break and just want to have Lotto every other month or quarterly or something then do so. Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Or if you need help…just ask!

    • Thanks for your comment … and just because I wouldn’t want to deprive you of this earworm, here’s the link–

  3. I will continue to follow Block Lotto 🙂 time will tell if I actually make blocks though 🙂 I must admit, I am more of a traditionalist with preferring either 6 1/2 or 9 1/2 or 12 1/2 inch square blocks. I have enjoyed watching the QAL, but didn’t participate this year. At the start of each month, I always look at the block pattern and intend to make it, but time always seems to disappear with other stuff stealing my time – I am hoping that next year will be better 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment. From my perspective, it’s OK if you only makes blocks when you have the time and inclination–it’s really a goal for me not to make this a way to get you to commit or hook you in …

  4. I will continue to take part in Block Lotto in whichever form you decide. I prefer the smaller blocks that we have made this year purely because of the cost of postage. I do not need a sampler pattern -I just enjoy making the blocks and using up scraps. I do prefer the more improvisational blocks but am prepared to try anything.

    Thank you for all you do for this group.

    Wishing you all the best for the festive season.

    • Thanks for your comment, Maree. Right now, I am thinking about 8 inch blocks for next year, in part because they will fit in a business envelope by folding them in one direction only.

      • 8″ blocks sound great -they will not make the envelope fatter and therefore more expensive. I try to make at least 2 or 3 blocks each month and it is a bonus when I can manage more than that -I seem to have so many projects on the go but am working on finishing some at the moment.

  5. I haven’t made a block for some time, not because I don’t want to, but because so many other projects seem to pull me away. I love your creativity, but I’ll understand if you want to take an occasional break. This should be fun for you too.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jeanne. Honestly, if this wasn’t fun for me, too, I would stop doing it …

  6. I had to take a time out this past year because I have so many WIPs I need to work on. Like Mareer, the postage is a consideration for me. If I play again, and I hope to this coming year, I only make one or donate because of the cost. I’m considering pulling out a WIP and evaluating if one of the blocks in the block lotto archive might not be just what I need for a border, spacer, filler or ?? to complete that project and get it done. I like to do the blocks (when I’m playing along) to try new things, color combos, etc. Thank you for all you do for this group.

    • I love the idea of using lotto block patterns to complete a UFO or WIP. … maybe because I do that ALL THE TIME 😉

  7. I plan on participating if you plan on doing. I did better this year than last. I probably won’t make a mystery quilt or QAL because I have other plans for next year, but just make blocks for lotto. 6-10 inch blocks are fine with me. I don’t care if it’s traditional or improvisational, but I don’t tend to do difficult blocks. I simply don’t have time. The colors this year were fine – every year. The original idea, a lotto of blocks, is fine with me.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Susan. This sparked an idea for me and I’d like to think they will be easy blocks that look more difficult than they are 😉

  8. I really want to play, yes really really want! My only problem is curves. There have only been two blocks I didn’t make over the years and they both involved curves. Otherwise I’m open to anything. I love the variety. Smaller blocks are easier to mail. But a big block thrown in there is fine too. I’m failing miserably on my sampler this year. I love to see them but there doesn’t need to be one. Thank you Sophie for all you do!

    • I am thinking an 8-inch block still falls in the “easy to mail” category. Do you agree? While it makes me really really happy to read that you really really want to play … I also would love to hear your suggestions on what might make it MORE appealing to you and others.

  9. I intend to keep making Block Lotto blocks in 2017. I use my blocks to make charity quilts, so I’m not interested in making a sampler. I’d suggest a red/white/blue combo occasionally for a veteran’s quilt. the smaller size is fine. an occasional block that is very easy is a nice break. I”m more traditional than improvional. My favorite block this year was the Barn Door.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kathie. While we have done patriotic and holiday themes over the years, as we become more international and diverse, I have tried to be sensitive that those kinds of themes don’t have universal appeal. That said, I do have some ideas about how, for example, you could add red as part of the setting for blue and white blocks to create a veterans or QOV quilt.

  10. I really enjoy the block lotto, its so exciting to win! I will continue!

    • Thanks for your vote of confidence.

  11. I wanted to join in the quilt along this year, but there was some personal issues, then came the big flood and there was just no way to even backtrack. I would love to do one next year! Maybe boy inspired…..I am having a grandboy in may!

    • I think you are forgiven for ANYTHING you planned to do before the flood …

  12. I too really hope Block Lotto continues. I find some of the techniques and ideas have carried over into other quilting projects and helped improve them. The smaller blocks are easier to fit into envelopes when posting but if you wanted to throw in a larger one once in a while that would be fine too. I don’t need the mystery quilts or quilt along as I generally make quilts for specific people. I love your choice of colors and the specificity helps the person that wins the blocks have a quilt where all the blocks sing in the same key. I agree with Elizabeth that there are blocks in the archives that would be fun to resurrect and I too love the solids, especially since I have a few large bins of them calling from my shelves. Again, thank you Sophie for continuing to put your creative energies toward helping us all be better quilters!

    • Thanks for your comment. There is such a great body of work in the gallery, even if interest isn’t he lotto drops off, I would still work to preserve it.

  13. I definitely want to really really play! I try to participate each month, but sometimes one is enough, and at other times I’ve made more for myself. I also fell off the wagon with the OMMS – plan now is to just put together the blocks that were made. My favourites are the improvisional ones, and I loved the curves! Please keep going, Sophie – but only if you enjoy it!

    Two questions I’ve being meaning to ask is about thread. I am strict with using only cotton fabrics, but I have a lot of poly-cotton threads (20 years ago my husband had a garment factory!) which work fine for my own quilts. I used to make sure to use cotton threads when making Lotto Blocks, but sometimes I forget to change thread especially if the colour is right in the machine! I threw out all the pure polys as they did melt! And should we be strict with colour matching of thread to fabric – again I don’t worry with my own quilts.

    • Your thread question is a good one. I generally use all cotton thread for piecing, but, honestly, I believe that the poly-wrapped cotton threads these days are good quality (as is quilting cotton fabric) and there’s no risk in using them. Maybe we’ll start a thread topic to see what everyone else thinks, but I don’t see any reason for you not to use your poly-cotton supply.

  14. I didn’t play along much this year as I didn’t like the 6.5 inch blocks. I mush prefer 9.5 and up. I also didn’t like that the blocks were tied to a QAL that I had no interest in. I felt like the blocks were an addendum and not the main attraction, e.g. that one month when they were some sort of leaf. And then I’ve been quite disappointed in the quality of the blocks. I have discovered that the 1/4 inch seam is a very elusive thing for people to attain! I’ve spent many hours training apart blocks and re-sewing. I’m sorry, I’m sounding like a complainer, but you did ask!

    Sophie, I appreciate all you do and realize you’ve had a tough go of things this year. I hope 2017 is better! Have you considered repeating one of the prior years? When I looked back, some of those blocks made some really cute quilts.

    • For what it’s worth, the blocks this year came first … and then the Old MacDonald’s mystery quilt was designed using the chosen blocks. I’m sorry you saw it as the other way around. Right now, I am thinking 8-inch (finished size) blocks for next year mostly so that you don’t have to fold them in two directions to put them in a standard business-sized envelope.

      Don’t worry about what you think you might “sound like.” Your feedback is important to me and it’s good for all of us to read about your experience. Thanks for your comment.

  15. I am agreeing with most which was said. I LOVE Block Lotto because I have learned so much over the years. I love participating and try making each block whether I like it or not just so to see how it works. Quite often I have been surprised. I might have never tried curves and other things if it wasn’t for Block Lotto.

    My luck of participating lately had nothing to do with Block Lotto but all with time. I have missed it. One time I managed to make the block and then didn’t get around to posting it. 2017 should be better again. I don’t mind the size, colors, technique. I love to look at the samplers but have to be honest with me that I never will be able to complete one. I look and dream. But somehow they do inspire me nevertheless. Can’t wait to see your completed version.

    Sophie, since we are all different one can’t please everybody. As long as you like it and not dread your work you will have happy followers. We are so grateful!!!!!!! THANK YOU!

    • Thank you, Christa, for the sweet comment, but HONESTLY, if there’s something different that you think would be a good idea, LET ME KNOW. I promise I won’t “take the block lotto away and go home 😉

      I have a sampler quilt layout idea for next year that I think will be quick and easy enough to have wide appeal …

  16. So good to see that you are planning for 2017! Your life has been so crazy lately that I wondered if you would be able to continue. I definitely plan to play along next year.

    I have been missing out for awhile, as my life got super busy and complicated this summer, but have been following the blog and downloading the patterns. I have the first 5 month’s blocks made for the Old Macdonald quilt along – I was looking at them last week and wondering if I will ever get around to finishing it. I must admit I will probably substitute a couple of them that were a little too improv for me – I am a bit traditional at times. I have most of my snails sewn together from my win in February so hopefully will get borders on and send in a picture or two after Christmas.

    I think the 8″ blocks sound like a good size. Ease of mailing is definitely an important consideration. I think the quilt along was fun, and encouraged me to look each month just to watch the pattern emerge, but can’t say that it made any difference in whether I made blocks for the Lotto or not. I do like the variety of techniques that you use, I like paper piecing, but enjoy other kinds of blocks too. I can see where the small, 6″ blocks lent themselves to paper piecing more than larger blocks. As far as blocks that it would be fun to win, I like your “controlled” palates better than the completely scrappy ones. They just seem easier to put together in a quilt to me. I like that you often introduce new elements, or a new and different way of making a traditional block – and Sophie, you have a gift for quilt design that often inspires me. Thanks for all you do.

    Looking forward to a new year! Kathleen

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