To kick start the year, I am participating in my very first quilt swap #kittenmqs2015 hosted by Frankenstein’s Fabrics.
If you’re not familiar – a swap is sort of a cross between a Secret Santa exchange and pen pals – only for adults. There are a plethora of different swaps (via blogs, Instagram, quilt guilds, etc.) and I felt left out whenever I saw fellow IG’ers posting hashtags like #bestunicornswapever or #supertoteswap. Plus, it looked awesome to be getting fun mail.
Someone, usually a blogger, will host the swap and assign partners and create questionnaires and rules for it.
It took me a while to find a swap to participate in. After searching #quiltswap and #swap – most of the ones I found were already closed to new people. I was pretty bummed to miss out on the unicorn swap – some of the pictures posted to Instagram were really incredible.
My advice for finding swaps is to follow a LOT of quilting bloggers – that’s actually how I found out about the swap I’m currently involved in. Whoever is posting about it will tag the swap host and joining involves either leaving your email for the host in the comments section or signing up on their blog.
From what I’ve seen – the sign ups will last about a week or so – but if participants cap the maximum number they will close earlier than that. If you do see a swap you’d like to join – don’t wait to sign up!
Rules/protocol typically involve the following:
- Committing to mailing out your swap items by a certain date – normally there’s 2-3 months between when you are assigned a partner to the postmark deadline
- Using *ONLY* high quality quilt shop materials in constructing the quilt/sewn item. This is not a time to bust out fabric from the remnant section at Jo-Ann’s that you don’t even really like, but want to get rid of. You should make an item at a level you would want to receive yourself
- Participants should post an inspiration board on social media for their partner to get ideas for making their items
- Each swap will have a hashtag (ie: #disneyquiltswap2015) that participants all use when posting photos – so everyone can enjoy seeing inspiration boards, progress shots, and finished products
- You will likely fill out a questionnaire about likes/dislikes, personal info, that will be given to your partner
- Sometimes you will be asked if you’d be willing to be a “Swap Angel” – someone who would take on an additional swap partner in case someone else has to drop out/flakes out
- You are not supposed to tag your partner in posts, because it is supposed to be a SURPRISE (I have been stalking my partner but am not following them to avoid suspicion)
- Your partner will usually *not* have you as a partner – that is how a blind swap works
So far, I’ve been having a blast with the #kittenmqs2015 – making many new quilty friends on Instagram and loving everyone’s pictures and inspiration. Obviously, I’m a big fan of cats and went shopping a few days ago to pick up some cute add-on items. (Hint: Target has a LOT of great gift items!)
Here is the beginning stages of my cat mini quilt – I designed a block for the first time ever using graph paper. It wasn’t too difficult and I am using 2 1/2 inch blocks. It’s all single blocks and half square triangles. I still need to figure out the dimensions for the larger purple blocks because I forgot to account for the seam allowances.
Today, I am participating in FreshlyPieced.com’s WIP Wednesday!
See you next time!