March 11, 2016

What is a swap?

     Hi everyone. I did a quick periscope about swaps today about swaps. I decided that I wanted to do a swap series. When I sat down to write it all up, I thought to myself, this is alot to read.  I really want to share my process and what I have learned from swapping.  This series will be for people wanting to get involved in swaps from start to finish. It will be like coming to swap school, and I will be showing you around and giving you some direction. Silly, yes, but many people don't know what is going on and some swap mamas don't give you a good idea of what to expect. I think bridging that gap is going to make doing any swap more fun.

This is a package that I sent for the Starbucksmugrugswap

On a personal note,  I have been swapping through blogs, flickr, and Instagram for several years. They have all been fun for me. I love sending packages and receiving lovely handmade items. It is really Christmas all the time. I enjoy taking the time to make something for someone else. I am also honing my creative skills at the same time. I love a 2 for 1.  I have definitely learned so much from this community. I also host the #starbucksmugrug swap on Instagram which moved from flickr to Instagram and is going on round 7. It has been going on for 2 years. These people have really become friends.  Joining swaps and hosting has been a way to connect with other crafty and quilty friends from around the globe. Today, I am going to share with you about getting involved in the swap and how to sign up.

Some swaps are flickr based, hosted by a blog,  Instagram, or facebook. The person that is hosting is called a swap mama. She comes up with a cute idea like a pincushion swap and all the rules included. So, each swap mama and swap is unique. For now, let's just cover some basics. Let's pretend, I am going to host a pincushion swap for my periscope friends. ;) I am going to decide how many people to allow in the group. I am not a newbie to being a swap mama, but my first starbucks mug rug swap had 50 people, and I had help. Each time I do another round, more people are allowed in the swap. I have to guage my limits. I really enjoy running my group. I know what is going on and where. If I take on help, I make sure that they know me and how I like to run the swap. This pincushion swap should be a quick turnaround. It only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish. I periscope longer than that, lol. Some of you know that my periscopes are long. Haha. So, maybe, I could periscope the process. I will normally link the sign up through my IG profile and select a #hashtag for everyone to use. I am only going to run this link until the limit is met.

Skinny Pincushion swap pattern found here .
 20 people will be the limit on this one.
I am also going to open it to international. 
Shipping dates:
International 4/4 and Domestic 4/11/16- this will be up for conversation on periscope Monday.

Sign Up Form

  •   You choose a swap. The first thing that you will want to do is fill out the sign up form. Some swap mamas ( hostess or host) may have important details listed here, like what she may expect and ship date. Also, once the form is submitted you are committed to sending a package for that swap. 
  • Your info plus your likes and possible dislikes. What designers you love or style that you  like. All of this information goes to your partner. Usually, a swap is private. Which means that you will have a partner. You don't tell them who you are because it is secret. They will not be sending to you either. Some swaps, you do know who your partner is and they know you. It is up to that host/hostess. If this swap has secret partners, , they cannot ask you any questions directly after they get your form you filled out. 
  • I would suggest telling favorite colors, patterns, fabrics or style. You can use google some of the following and jot down what you like. Fabric  Ex: Heather ross, Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, Cotton and Steele, Aneela Hoey, Tula Pink, ect are some favorite designers. You may want to google these. 
Example of Heather Ross fabric.

  • I really don't use a lot of solids normally. I don't like green. I love pink, purple, and aqua. I love patchwork, flying geese, and hearts. I like fussy cuts or cute animals such as hedgehogs, dogs,cats, or any animal. I can't leave out foxes and owls. Super cute.
  • Be realistic on your skill level.  Sometimes, swaps are based on skill level. Meaning that beginners are put together. In the starbucksmugrugswap, I usually partner based on mugs. Typically it works out. This swap is pretty easy and simple. So, skill level shouldn't be a problem. 
  • List all social media like flickr, tumblr, or pinterest. If you are a private IG account, noone will be able to see your posts.Some people don't think it is a big deal. For me as a swap momma, it is a big deal. You may want to consider a public account for crafty posts. So many people message me that their partner is private with no social media to direct them. Well, I tell the person, they will have to get what they get and don't pitch a fit. It's a family saying. 
  • Some people love to send extras. This is a great place to write what extras you love. Notions, thread, zippers, an extra little handmade item like a needleminder. Candies are always welcome here. Chocolate is my friend. Plus, I really love sticky notes, washi, and trims. There will be a later post with all the lovely extras that you can send without breaking the bank. 
  • Another question might be are you willing to ship internationally. For this particular package, shipping international with  small goodies could be about 15.00. So, think about this as your answer. 
  • Some swaps ask if you would like to be an angel. We will get to that later in the swap process. 

Once you hit submit, you are in and wait on a partner. While you are waiting for a partner, you will need to post a mosaic on whatever platform that your swap is located. I told you, there's so much to cover. The next part of the blog series will be on making and posting mosaics. It will be posted by Tuesday 3/12 for you to look over.  So, I will be posting about mosaics,  picking a pattern and inspiration, checking in and updates for your swap, extras,shipping, and receiving. I told you, there's so much to cover. I hope that this was insightful. Thank you for stopping by the blog. May all your swapping be happy.

Next week will be all about making,posting, and giving credit in mosaics.

Happy Sewing!

1 comment

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Maira Gall