Each year one of my friendship groups has a monthly project exchange (we call it our basket) where each member decides upon a quilting project they would like, and prepares a 'basket' that can be rotated each month to a different member to participate in their project. Since there are diverse interests, there is usually something 'out of your own box' to learn. I love this whole idea. I've learned alot about quilting just through this project approach. At the end of a year, the basket owner has the makings of a near finished piece. My 2011 project will be scrappy floral "hunter star" blocks. It will make a sharp bed quilt AND use up lots of stash fabrics. I am buying NOTHING new for this quilt top.
Having done this a few times... I've learned that good preparation on my part will better result in good results on my friends part. All my lady friends are sharp and could certainly figure out any pattern or plan, but they are all busy just as I am, so anything I can do to make their effort easy is a good thing.
Some things I've learned:
1. Follow the written pattern instructions ( even if I wrote them myself) and make a sample. By doing this, I verify the accuracy of the instruction, and also learn how I best prepare materials for my friends.
2. Whenever practical, precut and package fabrics.
3. Make templates where helpful.
We'll see how it goes...