Friday, July 23, 2010

WIP: Millennium 2000 or Y2K Charm Quilts

Y2K Quilt Top 2010Second Millennium or Y2K Charm Quilt Top ~ 2010

Back in 1999 when I started quilting, there really weren't any quilt blogs, but quilters were hanging out on quilt message boards on sites like

Lots of quilters were swapping 2-1/2" or 3" fabric squares (or charms) in order to make a Y2K quilt with 2,000 different fabric squares. There were even magazine articles about how to join these swaps. Some swaps were set up individually via email (there would be lists of people willing to swap on various websites); but others were “centralized” swaps with one person coordinating the swap.


Once you joined a swap, you made up sets of 80 squares of different fabrics, plus a signature square and a very short biography.  These sets were called “squishies” because the envelope or baggie containing the set was soft and squishy. 

There were usually 25 members in a swap.  If all worked as planned, you would end up with 2,000 different squares, or charms.  This was a really inexpensive way to get a large variety of fabrics.

A close-up view of the signature squaresDSC01462

Signature squares from the US and even CanadaDSC01465

I had so much fun swapping charms that  I ended up with enough squares to make THREE millennium (or Y2K) quilts.  My first Y2K Quilt was a 2004 Christmas gift to one of my staff for their support and hard work.

202357069knLime_ph[6]First Millennium 2000 Charm Quilt ~ 2004

And, now, here we are 10 years later, and I’m still trying to finish my 2nd Y2K quilt!  It’s pictured on a queen-size bed in the beginning of this post.  I don’t know exactly when I started & finished this quilt top, but it’s been about two years.  It’s still waiting to be quilted!

But wait!  There’s a 3rd Y2K quilt somewhere … oh, yes, here it is:

DSC01467It’s still in this bin!  This is a picture of all 25 squishies, each containing 80 different fabric charms.  You can see the squishy on the top is from Alabama.  Hard to believe I’ve had these for 10 years!  Maybe I’ll get this quilt done sometime during the next decade!


  1. Beautiful! And so much fun! I was never in a Y2K swap, but I was in lots of others early on in the late 90's--usually 6" squares. Got lots of neat little pieces of fabric that worked their way into my scrappy quilts.

  2. I had t chuckle when I read "hard to believe I have had these for 10 years" because I too have had mine for that long too. I swapped enough from around the world to make 3 quilts...I think I need to start sewing them up.

    1. Well, now I can say 14 years! Another 4 years have passed since I posted this and I still have not used them! I also swapped enough to make 3 quilts ... so yup, time to start sewing. Thanks for the visit.

  3. Yes, 15 years have now come and gone since the Y2K swap. I got hundreds of 3" squares in the mail from all over the US, Canada and a few European countries. In 2002, I made an extraordinary quilt top that has either hung on my wall or languished in storage for years, because, alas, I am the queen of unfinished projects. So, on New Years Day 2015, my best friend offered to hand quilt my huge Millennium quilt top this year! I was floored. And honored! And thankfully, she is a "get it done" kind of gal. By next year it will be a show quilt. If you know of any other swaps going on these days. email me at: ystormdesign at aol Thanks!

  4. Lol, I too, have all my squares boxed. I know I swapped with tons of people. It was so much fun! Glad to see I'm not the only one who is still 'in process" I was just going thru the book I kept to keep track of everyone. I'm in the process of putting their postage stamps with their names.