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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. 

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!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Color Play Friday Link Up

I have been so busy this week. I squeezed in some color play friday in at the last minute. I struggle with picking fabrics for this challenge and in real life. It is the hardest part of the quilting process for me. I have fabric waiting on me to decide what to do with it right now. I just buy it because I love it. I get it home,
 and then I am not convinced that it loves me. It waits and waits until some magical moment occurs and then it becomes epic. That's why I love doing swaps. Because the other person tells me what they want. They give me something to strive for in a mini.

At least in picking colors in the Color Play Friday palettes and sharing them. I am not out there buying it. So, I am sure it is hubby approved. I am just building a palette. However, I have built one palette that I feel needs life. I may work on purchasing those.

This is also about community, and I love that. It is the whole reason I started blogging. It is about connecting and getting to know others. There's your Friday getting to know me tip. I have successfully shared little pieces of myself every Friday. ;)  This week, I just couldn't get past the Tula Pink Chipper Chipmunks! They stole my heart. I guess, I am just a one designer quilt snob. Ha! Who knew?

 I just love how Tula Pink makes all her colors work so well with each other. Even if they are in a different collection. So, here's the link where you can find them. Most of them, except for the 3rd one down are Eden found here and Chipper (3rd down) found here.

Chipper up close. It stole my heart at hello. 

                 I know  you may be tired of my one designer wonders, but I love this palette.

If you want to play along, you can find all the details over and Trina's and Lorinda's blogs. They are linked under hostesses below. It is a fun way to build color palettes with friends. Go check out everyone's blog and see what they are up too. Maybe, I will see you next week. You can find us over at the #colorplayfriday on IG too.

Hostess Lorinda at www.laurelpoppyandpine.com

Hostess Trina at www.inanotterlife.com

Yvonne that's me.

See you next week. Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Color Play Friday Link Up

Hi everyone, thank you for coming by my little blog for  Color Play Friday! It is just so fun to sit down and just look at fabric swatches. The picture of the Starburst were such a  bright and colorful palette. Although, I really had some tough fabric choices this week. At one point, I had a lot of 80's splash looking theme, but I finally felt that this selection spoke to me. This is the first time I actually started planning the quilt in my head. I am a little on the wild side with these choices.

                This week has a special giveaway. See below for details!

Color Play Friday!!!

1. Is Weekends by FreeSpirit here 2. Rashida Coleman Hale- Zephyr here 3. Carolyn Friedlander Doe Blue here 4. Allison Glass Ex-Libris here 5. Allison Glass Sun Print here


Color Play Friday Hostesses Lorinda and Trina's bundles are available to purchase over at Stash Fabrics. There's a giveaway With a chance for 2 winners. One will get Lorinda's Bundle and the other will get Trina's bundle. Hurry over to one of their blogs. Good luck!

Trina's Bundle

I would be really excited to have this bundle in real life.  I love how all the colors are working together and so graphic. Almost every very week, I play along with all the other people that do Color Play Friday. It happens every Friday. It's nice to go and see what bundles they come up with on their blogs. You can find out more details about Color Play Friday from the hostesses Trina and Lorinda. Trina has a video on how to set up your pictures, and you can get all the rest of the details over there too.

Color Play Friday

Trina http://inanotterlife.blogspot.com/

Lorinda https://laurelpoppyandpine.wordpress.com/

Linking up this week

Thanks for stopping by.
Yvonne @quiltydream

Monday, March 14, 2016

What is a mosaic? Swap Series

If you have signed up for any swap, a mosaic might be required by the swap mama or host/hostess of the swap. So, let's talk mosaics. A mosaic or collage of pictures helps your partner get an idea of what you might like your swap item to look like. Let's say this is a mosaic for the skinny  pincushion swap. You could give an example of some skinny pincushions, fabric, and color palettes you like. Below are just some examples of individual pictures that I have saved on pinterest.

Private vs. Public IG Accounts

Private IG accounts makes it impossible for those who don't follow you that are in the group to be able to see your posts. Hash tagging or tagging someone doesn't make it visible to others. This swap is going to be very small. So, in the  pincushion swap, I will just send a list of everyone who is participating. This way everyone in this group can follow each other. When a swap has 50+ people. It is almost impossible to give all of names of that size group to all the  members. So now, the only way that your partner can see anything you have on IG is to follow you or fly almost blind. If they do follow you, they know who their partner is right away. That isn't the point of a secret partner swap. It is supposed to be a surprise. This is why we ask for a public account. You can check your setting  under the person icon. In the right top corner, theirs 3 inline dots. Click here to view and change your settings.                    

If I am working on my computer, I might Google photos or go to Pinterest and save these photos to my pictures. Also, I grab the name of whoever created the item to give credit to its original maker. This is very important in our quilting and crafting community to give credit. For Instance, if you have saved a picture of a skinny pincushion I have made and put it in your mosaic When you are uploading your mosaic to IG where the swap is based, you can go to the person icon during the edit process and tap on the picture of the pincushion I made and type in quiltydream.


When making a mosaic from a laptop, I use bighugelabs.com. On the main page, there is a mosaic maker. Once you get in there, you can pick how many photo tiles. 3x 3 is a good number. That is nine photos. It will then ask how you are uploading. You can choose individually from your computer or use Flickr favorites (which is my favorite way.) Once you are done, you can choose make mosaic and save it. You will want to save it to email and open on your phone or iPad. You will open it and take a screen shot. Now you will be ready to upload  to instagram. It is almost like taking a photo. Select gallery and find and select image. You will then, tag makers for credit which is described above . You can also tag makers below in the description by using @quiltydream or @amanicustoms ect.

I like using pic stitch and screenshots when I am on my phone or iPad. It is very easy. You will need to write down or remember the maker to tag. Pic Stitch is an app that is free. You can find it in your Google Play Store. You could also search other apps or ways to make free mosaics online or search in the app store. 

Once you mosaic is complete and tagged with credit given to makers. You will use the hashtag #skinnypincushionswap in the IG description.   It will look just like this. Hashtag is another word for # (pound sign) It works like a grouping. So, you will be able to see everyone's photos that the hashtag was put in the description of that photo. Below is a photo of what has been marked skinnypincushion swap as of 3/14/16.  You can also search many different hashtag like #quilting,#pincushion, #mugrug.

Design seeds is a website that has really pretty color palettes. I am sure you can search #designseeds or #colorpalettes. You can google pink fabrics or other colors for an example that you like. Below is a screenshot of the #designseeds on IG. 

A mosaic is important to make because it gives your partner inspiration. It also may be a requirement in a swap.  You don't have to buy exactly what is pictured.  If you have something similar to their likes that is in their mosaic, go for it. If you are ever in doubt, you can do a fabric pull and get involved in posting pictures on the hashtag. Next week, I will post about commenting and taking pictures of progress or how to find out what your partner likes without outright asking just them. Because it is secret. That's the best part, it is a surprise. 

You can make a mosaic while waiting on partner info to come out.
 I hope that this has been helpful in how to post a mosaic and why it is important. 

Happy sewing!