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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Swappers Worst Fears

      I  will lead with these are my opinions and everything shared here is meant for a positive end. 


I have been in the swapping world for a few years now. I was in it back when it was still a baby and new to the world. I have blogged about it in depth.  I am sure that there was drama from the start. Isn't that the way it works? It is social media and all. Plus, I have hosted some swaps. Some were a complete success and others not so much. Sometimes, I am left thinking why in the world do I keep doing this. I have seen and heard things, and I thought it was about time we talked about the brass tacks.

Worst Fear


I remember back when I was brand new to swapping. I tried my best, of course. It might not have been the best. I am human. I was entering a world full of fabulous makers and wanted to be accepted just like anyone else in the world. You know, like the saying, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. As I plan, cut, and make I hope beyond hope....

That this will be good enough
That the person will like what I have made
Will I be accepted

Yes, I think this? Don't you? I have talked to other swappers that worry too. Being shamed can be real or talked about behind your back. Of course, the other side of the spectrum is that someone will slap something together and call it done. This happens, and that's that. That is wrong of someone else, but how we deal with it,that's what makes the difference. 

Yes,  I still worry after all this time swapping. Even though, when work is shared you can comment on it in a positive way and let the other person know that you don't like it. It isn't your taste. That's what mosaics are there for in a swap. Also, talked about on this blog. 

NOT Naming Names

A little story among friends, I will make it short. I was talking to a friend way back about not really liking my swap items. It's shameful, right? I felt bad as it was coming out of my mouth. So, this was the gist of that conversation.  I was talking about getting what you put out, and admitting that something that I received wasn't anything that I really liked....at all (while I am sharing and being honest). Now, before you drag me over the coals, let me finish. I was like, I hate saying this, and she told me something that changed me as a person and swapper. It influences me every time I swap or host. 

They tried their best. You aren't always going to get what you give. 
It is about the giving and the experience.

Isn't that just beautiful! Let's just focus in on that. 

So, if you swap, these are the truths. You may not always get what you like, and that's ok. If it isn't ok, then swapping isn't for you. Guess what, that is ok. It is about making connections with others. Having a sense of community and all that mushy gushy stuff. It isn't about tearing someone down. Sometimes, even the best people have a bad swap. 

Let's Get back to being Positive

First off, in my humble opinion, this is my opinion and I believe in being positive, even when someone else has done something that is negative or impacted us in a negative way. I don't think that blasting on social media is right or kind. In fact, I think that is genuinely, down right wrong! (And yes, I used an exclamation point.) I feel like lately the shame game is getting nastier and nastier.


You could have taken the high road. Known that you did your best and moved forward. That's what people will remember about you. They would remember your work. Now, they probably won't. They will know you for what you have said and have their opinions.  Also, you could talk to your swap mama in confidence. You could have figured out a way to  address it that's has a better impact. Maybe, you could message that person directly and expressed your feelings. You could wait and think it through. Also, you might want to consider there feelings and their side of the story. Also, what will you get out of shaming someone else, even if they deserve it. Now, that's a thinker.

What I would like to know is do you think that they wanted to make something bad or crappy so that they can be shamed? I truly don't think so.

The Ugly Truth

The ugly truth is that sometimes, that might be the persons best. In fact, I was tactfully approached by a swapper. If you are thinking that it is you, you might be right. I have been approached numerous times about quality and how the package is not well done. I have seen photos of how things were packaged and know that the person telling me these things is opening up to me. They are sharing their feelings. It doesn't feel good when someone doesn't put in effort. In one of these occasions, the person showed me the work. I have seen this person's previous work many times.

Incredibly, to my surprise, the work was better. It was their best work!

Honestly, I was proud of the person that made it in that moment. I mean, just amazed at the work. I even said that this is good work. I can tell that they were really trying. Grade A effort.

I get it, people. You put your best work out there, and sometimes what you get might suck. It is how we handle it that matters. Public shaming is real. Keep in mind that stern comments from swap mamas are not shaming. Swap mamas do have to do that. Imagine following after a hundred people, I digress....sorry.  I know that it sucks, because I have had to do it. People are going to not like something. That's just how the story ends. Not everyone can be happy. I am sure that the swapping drama will continue, but maybe we can sprinkle a little kindness on it.

Those are my thoughts, and I stand by them. I am sure that I could keep my mouth shut and keep scrolling, but that just isn't me.

***Also, in my swaps, public shaming will not be tolerated. You can continue to share your feelings and photos. I will make sure that you get something that you might like in return. We will handle it privately. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

****Everything that you have read here is my opinions. I felt that they needed to be expressed. I have left people anonymous for good reason. I think we should build community and be positive. Just some behind the curtain naughtiness going on around social media these days. However, if shaming is the way you roll, that's on you.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Withholding in a swap

Hi there friends and swappers. Today, I want to share with you the meaning of withholding in a swap and what it means to the person who is withholding, their partner, and the swap mama. I will also share how I can see that this is happening. There's even a chart with fictious names to show you examples. Tried and true, 9 swaps running. This also dives into my verification process that people are sending and receiving. How I know if you have tracking and other things. So, that you can clearly understand how I can see if someone is withholding. Withholding is something that the swapper does on their own. This is not when the swap mama asks you not to send. That is different and is disscussed below.

Only the names are fictitious, withholding is very real and those names are real.


The basics of most swaps. You are partnered with someone. That person is not the same person that is sending to you. Most swaps work this way. There are times when you do a swap with the person that is sending to you and you send to them.

This is the same exact layout that I use in a very accurate way to know when people have shipped and received. I update this list when someone sends. I also have columns for IG names and emails

I will make a mock sheet for you to see below and examples:

person     sending to      receiving from
1. Amy        Lou               Bob        SN: unverified
 2. Lou           Joe              Amy
3.Cathy      Bob               Joe         
4. bob     Amy                 Cathy
Joe        Cathy                Lou


Example: Amy is number 1. She has sent. I highlight the sending to column under her name green. She is sending to Lou and when Lou receive, I go to 2. under receiving column where it says Amy and  highlight Yellow. If Amy never let me know she sent, once Lou posts that she received Amy's package, I go back and highlight Amy's sending to column  Lou green. Because Lou has it, that means Amy sent it. It is a great method and can be used in many ways to double check work. I do write in side notes for myself.

One example of a side note is tracking verified. It means, I have seen the tracking. Unverified means, I have not seen tracking, but they said that they sent. Below it looks as if Lou sent, so she is green. Unverified to the right means, tracking unseen. Eventually, package should get to Lou, and if not. I ask for tracking.

Withholder's look like this: Blank  across all columns. There is only one that looks like this in this example. It could be 2 reasons, they haven't sent and they are going too. That is the option that I like. There's option 2, which means that they are a withholder. The longer it stays white across the more likely they are a withholder. When it is time to ship and they are still white across the row, and I have checked on them. They have the package ready. They side step my email. They are withholding. Bob is the withholder here, I have checked by email if they have shipped and the package is ready to ship. There's no response to emails about shipping. They will sometimes give me a fictious shipping deadline. Then, I have to reask for shipping info. I usually post an IG that you have to ship by deadline,or your partner will get an angel. Once angels are assigned the non-sending swapper or withholder will be out of the swap.

Obviously, we can see who has and hasn't received. However Amy sent her package long ago. Lou received. It looks like Amy needs an angel, but I know that Bob is withholding. Becuase he didn't get anything yet, and his package is ready to ship. He still has not shipped.  So, I have to send Amy the angel package. However, Bob will not be getting a package, because he chose to not send to Amy's package to her on time. He has forced me to send an angel package. Therefore, now, he will not be getting an angel package. He actually did need one and made things very difficult.

Once Bob doesn't get an angel package.


Amy should have received from Bob, and Bob should have gotten the angel package. Bob will now send me a nasty email for providing Amy with a package. Then, they will not come back to the swap. I will be ok with this as Amy didn't deserve their shenanigans. We are adults. 

However, Bob could email me at anytime and let me know the reason that they cant send. I will wait to the point that they say that they can send in 3 days. Which sometimes they will send and sometimes not. By day 3, they haven't sent. I send a new email asking for that tracking.  Now, he has made Amy wait a very long time. Sometimes, Bob will send after Amy gets an angel, hoping to get something or save face. That will not save Bob. 

Poor Bob. No, I don't think so. Bad Bob.

Swap Mama asks you to wait to send. This is not withholding.


It is shipping time: You (swapper) are supposed to send to your partner. So, let's talk about this here. Some swap mamas will ask you not to send if your partner hasn't shown any progress. This is simple to explain. We as a swap host and fellow swappers don't want them to get a package if their intent is to grab and go (Taker). This doesn't mean anything bad. Sometimes, people are late.

However, if your partner has sent or has progress in their feed, and your swap mama has given you the go ahead to send. Then, you should send.  This doesn't atuomatically make you a withholder. The exception to this is that you are waiting on the deadline or a payday which is acceptable.


What does make you a withholder is that you are ready to send and haven't received a package. 
The second thing that clearly marks you as a withholder is the package is ready, and you still haven't received your package. They will not send until they get their package. Angels are assigned all at one time. Not when the withholder gets their angel package. 

How is this impactful to a swap. 

1.  This is EXTREMELY unfair to your partner that has  sent their package, and they are now waiting for you to send. They were kind and on time.

2. This is not going to get you a package any sooner. Frankly, I will not ask for an angel package if you are withholding. I can clearly tell who you are and in some cases, you do this EVERY round. 

3. Now, I will have to give the withholder's partner an angel package. When clearly, you have a package made for them which you won't send.

Let me describe what an angel package is and how it works , in most swaps, angels are acquired to make a package for any swapper that hasn't gotten a package AND who has sent their package on time.  An angel already sent to their partner, and they will volunteer to give a fellow swapper a package out of the kindness of their heart. They don't get anything in return. They are just being kind. 
In some cases angels were given to a swapper that hasn't received, and the withholder will now send their package after they found out that their partner was going to get an angel package.
It really sucks for the withholder, because you ARE the one who needs the angel package. BUT you will not get one if you withhold. Because you have created the need for 2 angels!!! 

If a withholder just sent the package to their partner on time or when the swap mama advised, they would get an angel package just like anyone else. 

This is how things work in my swaps, but I know that withholding can happen in any swap. If a withholder ships after their partner gets an angel package. They withholder assume that all is well and get mad if you sent their partner an angel package. Well, that doesn't work for me. I don't like to waste anyone's time or money, and if they withholder just sent the package. Everything would workout, and they would get their angel package. Please do not withhold in the swap. If you don't send by the send by date, then you will not get an angel package even if you deserve one. Because you don't deserve one if you are withholding. It causes double the problem.

These are my own experiences. I have hosted 9 rounds. I see this all the time. I just thought, I would explain what it is and how I know it. This may help other swap mamas out there too. 

Easy fix: just send the package. 

We have what looks like possible 28 withholders. I think half of them might be flakers. 70 haven't sent, but are sending by the deadline. This is why swap mama's don't play. However, I try to be cordial and nice. Not all swappers are like this and I try to give benefit of the doubt. 





                   

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mug Rugs

Hi there, and welcome to my little blog. I have been very busy this year and had lots of changes happening in my life. Some good and some bad, but it really engulfed me. I was so overwhelmed by everything that I just was unable to get over here and post. I really slowed down  on my swapping and engagement. I just needed a break. I needed a little reset. Everyone needs that at some time in life, I think. I feel like I am finally getting back to some normalcy, or what I call normal. ;) I stay in touch the most on Instagram. So, you can usually see what I am working on over there. There's a Instagram follow button in the right side bar. Today is all about mug rugs.


You all know that I love a good mug rug. I run the Starbucks Mug Rug Swap for 9 rounds with my bestie Sheila @lovely_smw and Suzie @seamrippingsuz has helped me out before too. I can't believe that it has been 9 rounds. I am obsessed with these mugs. I have almost 40! Some family and friends have gotten me some, and I love them all. All the people in the swap have been super great to me and other swappers with sending angel packages. You all keep it going. Shout out to you!!
Here's a little YAH mug package sample. 


Top questions I get in the swap

How big is a mug rug?
A mug rug is typically 6"x9". It doesn't have to be rectangular. It can be a square. It just needs to fit a mug and a snack when in use. I put mine on the coffee table with a drink and a snack. I wash them. You can hang them. Some are just that amazing. 

I feel like a mini quilt is 12"x12". Sometimes, 10" x 10"  is getting a little large for a mug rug. 


How do I bind it? 
You bind a mug rug just like any other quilt or mini. It is just smaller. I made a little video just for you. I watch a bunch of plan with me's, and I thought that a quilt with me would be super fun and helpful. If it helps just one person, it has done its job.  I was making a mug rug and thought that you might like to see exactly what I do when making a mug rug.


The other issues that comes up in a swap


The other issue that comes up more often than I would like to see is the quality of a mug rug. I have seen pictures of work that has batting sticking out and raw edges of binding. Some mug rugs have shown up with no batting on the inside. It is the worst thing to hear, and even worse to possibly address, or the person didn't take into account what the person that they are sending would like and that is the purpose of a swap. So, I am not sure why that particular person would be swapping. Unless it is just to receive a mug, and I feel that that makes you very naughty.  I try to advise where you can go to learn binding or quilting. The easiest thing is youtube. 

Also, please remember that some of these people are trying. 

With that being said, if you are sending work like what I have described above, the person on the receiving end feels cheated or not very good. They sent out work that they felt was up to par. They ( people who will remain anonymous and they are not fictitious) feel like you didn't take the time to get it right for them or even close to right. Please show some effort. Some people know that the mug rug that they are sending isn't great, and still send it. I have completely scrapped projects and restarted a project because I know that it didn't work out. Which is sad, and it is true. I always worry that my work will be found acceptable. Especially when it is going to someone who's work I feel is awesome. 

This is how I personally feel

If you know that the mug rug is not right or not good work, and you still send it. I can understand sending something that isn't your best work, but I am talking about extremes here.  I think that is really wrong. I do feel like you could rip off the binding and redo it. You could redo the whole mug rug. You can research on youtube or blogs on how to do a good binding. 

Here's the top links that came up in the google search.


 I am sure that you can search binding and find a tutorial here on this blog. I also am providing this video for others that might need some help and because I just thought it would be fun. These are my feelings and thoughts on the matter. No drama, just truth. I have never used the naughty list for a person's quality of work. However, people do talk, and it is a real issue in swaps (not just mine).  I am not perfect, and I have seen some that have really upped their mug rug game in the next rounds. Maybe someone has thought my work was hideous. Who knows.

We all come from somewhere.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Vouching System to Me

Good morning beautiful swappers.  I am so happy to bring round 8 to you. You are really all very close to me like a little swap family and good friends. I really enjoy sharing this and seeing all the mugs and joy you get from opening your packages. Plus, appreciating all your beautiful work on your mug rugs. The way that you have supported me in my life as well. Thank you so much for coming back each time and letting me take a break from this at times to rejuvenate. As you know, I take a lot of thought and care with this swap. Which brings me to this topic....

The Vouching System 


*****Disclaimer- These are my thought and reasonings along with personal struggles with being a swap mama and the cost and effort that it takes to run. This is only to bring clarity and not to upset anyone. If you are upset by anything stated here, I apologize. ****

I would like to take a moment to let my returning people that ship on time and are so wonderful that you can read further and know that none of this should affect you or your ability to vouch. I fear that I need to explain my reasons to new swappers and swap mamas. 

This swap has been my baby from the beginning. Some swappers become great friends and being with each other through great tragedy and ups and downs of life. I have worked with many people that have been in need and always take great care when dealing with any situation. Sometimes, as they say, things come up and people cannot send a package. Honestly, I have come by my own monetary problems as well throughout these swaps. 

As a romantic, I guess, or maybe naivety I believe that people are all good and will send. I try to believe this about people. 

1 round, I sent 6 angel packages.  

I thought I was done at that point. I had broken our bank account and my belief in people. I just couldn't stop the swap because of the other 100 people that do an amazing swap.So, I thought long and hard. I thought about tracking who sent what and when and bug-a-boo them about their confirmation numbers for shipping, not for me.  I conversated with friends on how we could minimize the angel damage. By angel, I mean, sending a package to someone who doesn't get a package. Someone that has been a great swapper and sent a package already. 

    Let me put this in facts for you.

Fact, a mug is 10.95
Shipping 10.00-25.00
International 25.00-45.00
Time: priceless :)
Getting a mug that the other swapper doesn't have- interesting and can be pricey.
I believe that I spent at least 500.00 last year on postage and mugs for this swap.

I have had to personally stop doing other swaps to fund this one. I have even sat out rounds during this swap. Asking someone to angel for another is not at all what I want to do. In fact, it really makes me cringe. With that being said, by round 3 or 4, I had to ask for angels. They spent their hard earned money. Without them, this swap wouldn't happen.

I respect  and love that about you all!

The idea of vouching instead of going completely to a private swap was the only way to save this and let other people have the joy and excitement that they wanted. It makes me happy, and I have built great friendships here. 

A returning swapper can vouch.

Returning swappers, they understand me and my quirks. They know when I am angry and upset. I believe that they do. Like, when I am really crazed that 50 people haven't sent, and I haven't slept all night because I am wondering how I can buy all those mugs. This is very true and makes me crazy. They also know that their spot will be on the line if the vouchee doesn't send. Even though, push come to shove, I would help them any way I could. I don't want them to find out that their friend didn't send. 

A non- Starbucks Mug Rug Swapper or Swap Mama

Like I said earlier, I put out very good details about the swap through email and partner emails. Another thing that a returning swapper can do is keep in contact and answer their vouchees questions. They can let them know certain things and be their for support for them. I outsider that vouches will be sending you in blind and this causes more emails and questions. I don't mind the questions, but they can be very overwhelming.

Edit: I also like to take on 3 new people each time. 

TRUTH: More than 1 person hasn't known that we are swapping YAH Mugs. 

I do this swap for my friends and myself. I do have a husband and two children. I drive them to school everyday. I stay home and clean house. I make all the meals. I do all the errands. I am the VP of the Pensacola Modern Quilt Guild. I love to quilt,read, and watch tv. I spend time with my family. 

I do this for free, even though, it costs me alot of time and money.
Sometimes, headaches.

Please respect this and know that this is a well laid out plan. I take great care to be fair and kind. Please do the same. So, vouching for 6 people is not something that I think anyone should do if they are taking this seriously. My returning swappers know this and use very high discretion. 
I appreciate that about you all. I hope this helps you understand the process.






Happy Swapping

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

During the Swap and Sending - Swap Series


We are ready to make our swap partner's item. Sometimes, my original pattern choice works out. Sometimes, I have to change it. Finding your sewjo can be frustrating sometimes. Mine has been coming and going lately. My seam ripper has been in constant use. I usually take a break from sewing for a day or two until I can get my mind right. Take a refresh day.

I couldn't get these points to match. I couldn't send this. I had to remake it. Those days are awful. 
   Posting sneak peeks on instagram is a fun way to take a minute to interact with you swap group. Sneak peek photo Such as this pic. I was showing the basic layout and plan. I use the hashtag for the swap, maybe a hashtag for your moderated group. #starbucksmugrugswap #teamyvonne.   This is the way that you can find all the group photos in one place. This makes it very convenient for you as a swap mama,partner, and moderator. Please use the ones that they request. If you want to add others, that is fine too.

A sneak peak, and she loved it. Yay! 
I like to browse, like, and comment on photos in the group. You never know who is making something for you. It is nice to know if your partner saw it and liked what you are making. This works in your sneak peek photos as well. If your partner hasn't liked or commented on your sneak peek, and you are ready to move forward. Go ahead, I usually go with the majority. If the group likes a certain pattern, fabric option,or binding. I say, go with it. Your partner may be busy and missed your post. Sometimes, it is because the group is very large and it tends to lose the personal touch. You can always post another sneak peek photo along the way to fish for more details.
       
  Feedback is an important way to be a part of a swap.

If you don't have time to comment, browse ,or like something, then you may want to  consider slowing down on your swaps . I look through my swap hashtags regularly. I know who has been interacting or not from a swap mama point of view in my swaps. If your partner is not seeing any signs that you're even there, they start to doubt that you will like what they have made. Some swappers take special care and time to put in their swap packages. They buy special fabrics,goodies, and make a pattern that you love. Take a look at mosaics, and what they have listed on their forms as something that they might like.

I picked all these out special for my partner. I take a picture before packing it up. Save it for later. 
    Most swaps are around 2 to 3 months long. If I am out and about running errands, I will pick up extras for my partner. I make myself a little list of their likes and keep it in my purse. (This goes back to filling out the form to let your partner know what you like.) Sometimes, I even order special things online. If I am tight on money, I think about extras that I can make that they might like such as pincushion, embroidery, scrap pack, a little pouch, or a cute needle minder. Handmade goodies are fun and always appreciated. You can get threads,floss for embroidery, target dollar spot is nice if they like notepads or cute pens. Putting a little candy or stickers is fun. Bunting is really trendy right now. Fabric stamps or basted hexies or hexies paper templates. There's tons of cute sewing notions that you can find out there

 When it comes to packaging, people love when you wrap everything like a present. Tissue paper is very inexpensive and looks great. Wrapped in twine,ribbon, or a strip of skinny fabric. Also, selvage. Some people save selvage. I do! Love it. Personalizing your partners package is fun and pays off big time. When you send your note, I try to write something  besides "I had fun making this and hope you enjoy it."   You have been looking through their feed and getting  to know them. This is the part of putting something personal into your package. I may write, this was my first time doing clam shells, or I tried this quilting technique because it reminded me of the ocean. It could be that you love the color palette. Just anything personal.

This is from Katmama367 on IG. She wrapped her swap package so pretty!
     Once you have your shipping cormfirmation, some swap mama's ask that you email them the confirmation or tag them that you have sent. When your partner gets it, I usually wait until the next day or two days before I worry and contact my swap mama. If you can clearly see on IG that they are travelling, you may just want to have your swap mama or moderator check in with them and let them know that your package arrived. If there is still no photo that your person received it just sucks. Sometimes, people are just rotten, and they don't post a pic. I don't know why. I get really excited and post a pic right away when I receive my packages. That is how most people are when they get a package. In those blatantly rude or neglectful times, after a certain time frame, I will post a picture of what I made and goodies sent and tag the person and swap mama or moderator. It is polite to let them post, or wait for your swap mama to respond before posting your own photo of the package you sent. Recently, I saw that my package was received and she was on a trip. I didn't post a pic until she did. I didn't want to ruin the surprise for her.
 
     Hopefully, you receive a wonderful package and your partner loves your package. That's the whole fun of it. I hope that all your swap dreams come true. Everything in here is my opinion and based on my own thought and experiences. Swaps, swap mamas, and swappers vary from swap to swap.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rainbow Mini Swap Finish-FAL Q1 Finish

I am linking up a few of my finishes. That is all I got done, and they are mostly small finishes. I will definetely take any finish though. Since, I have barely been making a dent in anything last year. This year is already starting out very productive. I hope that the next quarter knocks more off this list. Although, I am getting somewhere on the AMH plus quilt. Yay, 100 blocks. I love swaps, and this is one of my last mini swaps of the year. I am taking a hiatus. I love swapping though. So, I will be back at it soon. I thought this would be fun for my partner, and I love paper piecing. She loved grey and I love prints. She loves solids. So, I married them. They are living happily ever after bound with polka dots.
You can find the orignal link up here.

Beautiful Esme from Love Patchwork Quilting Magazine



Linking up for the FAL Q1

A Quilter's Table

Monday, April 4, 2016

Partner Emails and Details- Swap Series

So, you are signed up for the swap. You are waiting on your partner info to come out. Mosaic is done. You have the send dates. Ok, so we know the dates,swap mama, and partner info is out. Getting your partner info is an exciting day. Normally, we like to skip all the blah,blah,blah and get to the good stuff. I know you do it too. Those emails can be lengthy.  Once you get a look at your partner and have some idea of who they are, let's go back to the email with the details.

Seriously, almost all swap information or questions you have should be able to be answered by looking at your partner email. You should really save this email. I have a swap folder in my yahoo. I also like to send a backup to my other email address. Also, this email could have a response required letting your swap mama know that you received it. So, be sure and send a quick reply to your host or moderator letting them know you got it. I have told you that the swap mama is the main host. Now, a moderator is someone that is helping the host. Sometimes, you are grouped and these groups can have special names or hashtags. Then, these groups are ran by the moderators who communicates to the swap mama.

Swap Requirements

Yep, swaps have rules. Each swap mama is different. She/he likes things thier way and that is great. Sometimes, there are mandatory check ins  and mandatory  progress shots. She could require you to post 3 pictures. You may be contacted by email or tagged on Instagram. Some swap mamas are very strict. Let's say you miss these check ins, you can or could be dropped from the swap. Really?!?! Why yes, they can do that. It is their swap and their rules. In their defense, they have a lot of running around to do behind the scenes. They have to track you and keep up with the moderators. Please believe that it is all very necessary. 

 Not checking in or posting progress is a #1 red flag that you are a flaker or taker. 

Yes, flakers and takers exist. It is the worst thing that happens in a swap. That means, that they received a  package and never sent a package. Sometimes, they change their IG name. They could even say ugly things about the swap to cover up their wrong doings. All excuses are made, which have included job loss, sickness, money problems,car problems, and surgery. When these situtations are real,  a normal or good swapper will notify their swap mama or moderator immediately. They don't wait til weeks after the shipping deadline or until days before the shipping deadlines. Obviously, you knew you were pregnant and what the due date was in said swap. It happens all the time. At the end of the day, an angel will be needed. 

Swap Angels

These are people that offer to send a package to a person who's partner didn't send for whatever reason. At this point, it really doesn't matter why the other person doesn't send, it matters that if someone sent a package, they should get one. That is the right thing to do. Angels do not get anything in return. They give out of the goodness of their heart. I have been on the receiving and giving end of being an angel. Thank you to all the angels that make it possible to keep swaps going strong. You rock!

Let's be clear, an average package costs minimum of $20.00- $50.00 dollars.

Withholding Packages

This is a major no-no in (my) swaps. What this means is that you are not sending until you receive a package. It is really horrible if angels are needed. Because if an angel has to send to you and your partner, you have created twice the work. If you are in my swap, the rule is simple, ship on time. Once angels are provided, you are not getting an angel package until I have verified that you have shipped and not until then. Sometimes, people will ship way after their partner has received an angel package, and they have the nerve to want an angel package. No way that is happening. 

Naughty Listers

So, we know now what flakers, takers, and rule breakers are in a swap. The naughty list was implemented to use as a tool for swap mamas. If someone signs up for 40 swaps, and flakes on not just one but ALL of them (based on a true story). They can be tracked on this list. A swap mama can add people to this list for any number of reasons. While the naughty list is a scary thing to some swappers, because noone wants to be on it. It was made and is in place to keep flakers and takers out of swaps. If used in the wrong way, anything can be bad. So, use care in the information that you see here or what the information says. You have to use your best judgement, and that is with anything in life. The major thing about a swapper that I want to know is  "are going to send". That is my #1 priority as a swap mama in (my) swap. This is the nuclear stress level indicator, if 17 people haven't send, and today is the deadline. Also, if you try to do your best, chances are you are a good swapper. If you are reading this, you are probably a good swapper. Honestly,  I have missed a check in or two and forgotten to post a mosaic in a timely manner.  They had to email me or tag me. It happens once in a great while. We are human.

...and I keep coming back for more.

Red Flags

I field so many emails. I/we (anyone who is helping in the swap) care about my/our swappers. I look at all your feeds and take time out of my day to help you. So, here are my red flags.
Nothing quilty in your feed. Private profiles, non-communicators, lack of any interaction. These are signs of a non-sender. 95% of the time. Also, these are things that you can look for from  your  swap partner. Life is busy. Sometimes, people don't post when things get busy, or they are travelling. You know something is going on  in their life, though. You should contact your swap mama as soon as possible. Name changes can be a red flag as well. Sometimes, it is no big deal, but it is if I don't know what the name was changed to or your partner doesn't know. If someone is new to IG, that is fine. I know that new people deserve a chance. Sometimes, people take new swappers. You may have some quilted items that you can upload or other social media. Maybe you are on Flickr. In this case, Starbucks Mug Rug swap does vouching, and it works! I will go in to that on a different post. 

Swap Mama Business
This is from a swap mama perspective, please understand that I get it as a friend. 

I get a lot of emails about many different things from swappers. #1 email is  that their partner is private (insert headache here) My partner doesn't have anything quilty in  her IG feed. What do I do? So, go back to red flags. For a private account or non- quilty item people, your  partner is trying to make something for you. If you are private, noone in the group can see or comment on anything that you post. They have to send a friend request, and then you know who your partner. It ruins the surprise. I normally don't friend my partner. I love surprises. I tell someone that sends this type of email that i will request them to either make profile public or give some other type of social media. Also, that if it doesn't change, they will get what they get. Feedback from a private account holder  is normally not good. They don't seem to understand why it matters. Hello?!?! Seriously, if you are private, you probably shouldn't be swapping on public social media. That is just the hard truth. You could think about making a profile just for swapping, if you have issues that need privacy. Swapping on social media is a social event. This is my biggest pet peeve of a swapper. It happens in my starbucks mug rug swap. I let them know many times throughout the swap that private accounts are not good. Newbies that don't know that they are private, no big deal. If you go back in the series, I go over how you can make your account public. Is it time for closed captioning....

I don't get it at all. Private accounts can't be seen by other swappers. If you post, we can see nothing.  So, what is the point? Seriously, if there is an answer, I would love to know.

My skinny pincushion swap, I sent out all IG names to avoid any private account issues, in that case it doesn't matter if you are private. 


Newbies
I would always suggest to start with something small and work your way up. Some people can get in over their heads, and I can understand how. There's a swap for everything! They are extremely fun. Until you know the ins and outs and time that it takes to get things done, you should pace yourself. There will always be more swaps. These are all the tid bits about being behind the scenes in a swap. The best advice I could give you (a newbie) is to do your best. Look on youtube. Learn how to sew binding. Learn or try a new technique. I love to use my swaps as a place to try something new, and if it doesn't work out. Make something else, leave yourself some time to come up with another idea.


Even though some of this sounds crazy. It seems like none of this should be happening. It really does and then some. I keep coming back. Don't take this stuff in a negative way. Take this as a learning experience and have fun. Just remember, stay involved, post some pics, and send on time.
You will be stellar!

Also, these are just some of the things that happen. All of the above is subject to change at any time.
Swap mamas can be stern or lenient based on the situation. Like I said above, all swap mamas are different. If you communicate with me, I am very reasonable and more apt to work with you in a swap.
I hope this has been helpful and have fun swapping!