Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Last Swap....

Last week I finished and posted my last swap. And I feel great.

Have you been involved in many swaps? Have you found them fun or a chore, a way to experiment, try new techniques and a way to meet new people from all over the world?

The last two years I have joined a number of swaps, large ones with thousands of people involved from all over the world to some smaller local ones. At first I found them fun and a great way to meet new people and a way to try new techniques or an opportunity to try a new pattern. I loved joining stalking/researching my partner, discovering some amazing blogs and making something especially for them. It was great fun. It was all about the mini or pouch and it was fun to add a little extra something, like a chocolate, lollies or some pins.

Last year they seemed to be more and more swaps to join and they were getting very popular with hundreds of people joining in a matter of minutes. The more I joined, the more rules there were to follow that they started feeling like a chore, like I had homework and if I didn't do it on time I had the teacher sending me emails and messages telling me how bad I was that I didn't put a mosaic up on Instagram or didn't post at least 3 images of the item I was making with multiple hashtags. I had to make a calendar just for swaps and tick off each of the rules of the swap as I did them. One swap even required that you post the mosaic before you were even accepted into the swap. And then came the treat that if you didn't follow one of the rules exactly you got put on a black list. What!!! I thought this was supposed to be fun. Well, after a while I was no longer having fun.

As the rules increased so did the information you had to give when joining a swap, and I really started feeling yucky about them when people started requesting what colours, what fabrics you had to use, what pattern and what to add as there extras. The extras were getting bigger and bigger and not only did you have to make the mini but then another one or two other handmade extras. The demands just got to me. I always put a couple of extras anyway, but when I was being told what to put in and whether it had to be handmade and how many, I just lost interest and the fun. And then all images of post office receipts as the post date got near. I felt like I was filling my account of mosaics and receipts.

And you know that black list I was telling you about. Yep I landed on it. Because instead of posting it by 5pm on the post due date and uploading a photo of my receipt with tracking number I posted it the next morning at 9am. Not only did she put me on the list she wrote some pretty horrible things about me on Instagram for not following the rules. After that I did join a few more but the passion was gone. So no more swaps for me. It was a great way to meet new people and I have made some great connections through the swaps, but I am sure I will be able to find other ways to connect with quilty people all over the world. Not all my swap experiences have been bad, there have been many great ones, it's just time to move on and try something new.

The Thimble Blossom mini quilt swap was my last swap and I am so happy that I finished off with my favourite fabric designer and quilter. I loved making this one. Below is the one I received and I just love it.

This year I have joined a bee hive swap which I am enjoying, and some online BOM's and sew-alongs (I'll tell you more about them in my next post) and I am going to finish off some quilts I started and put aside to make time for swaps. I have set myself a little challenge to finish at least one quilt to enter into my local Springwood quilt show. Fingers crossed I finish it on time.


I'm looking forward to another year of sewing and quilting and meeting new quilty friends.

Feel free to share your swap experiences.

Filomena xx


  1. Hi Filomena,
    What a great things you have made!
    Too bad it wasn't give you a good feeling all along.....( blacklist...yuk!)
    And selfish! Do the things you <3 !


  2. Oh Fil, I nearly cried when I read this but I fully understood. Swaps are "meant" to be fun, sadly some nasty flakers have ruined it for so many. There are now over 500 entries on the Swappers Black List & some are multiple offenders. Having been on both sides of the fence - swap participant & swap mama/organiser - I can only commiserate & agree with you. These nasties have ruined it for us genuine ones who really enjoyed it. Rules have gotten tighter, too many snowflakes or below average work, sadly the genuine ones have been badly burnt in the process. Love you Fil & have enjoyed our friendship & getting to know you & my Hazel Hedgehogs (Schnitzel & Boo swap) always bring a smile to my face!! Thank you for your friendship & for being a wonderful member of some of my own swaps too.

  3. ps there is another entry on the Black List counteracting that "other" listing. I have personally put myself down as a reference for you.

    1. Fiona, I have made some beautiful friends through swaps and you have always held a special place in my heart from the moment I got an email with your name on it saying you were my partner. Thank you for standing up for me regarding the blacklist. Maybe if I have some time off doing some other things I will enjoy doing them again one day. Love you too.....