Friday, March 20, 2015

should I participate in a swap or not?

I have been swapping for a couple of years now and mostly with great rewards. I have made friends, learned, shared, received, was spoiled, and was amazed..but also let down and disappointed. I know there are many other of you out there too, who have this same problem and ask yourself continuously, should I participate in a swap, or should I just forget about them?

As is everything in life, there are always a few bad apples. (I think this was in a book from the Berenstain Bears I read to my kids.) I rarely ever get disappointed from a swap or from a swap partner, for that matter. There are so many amazing women (and men) out there that totally and completely rack their brains to come up with original ideas and transform them into needle and thread simply for the pleasure of other's happiness. For the most part, I think this is and will remain the truth. Unfortunately, there are a few out there, that have forgotten to be kind and polite. Yes, we all have "real lives" and things come up that prevent us from fulfilling our commitments, but we owe it to our swap partners (our friends) to inform them. A simple one line email, SMS or Instagram message would do the trick, but these people are just not motivated for that simple courtesy. Why is it that everything else is more important...and we are just a courtesy needed? Maybe someone could explain this? This is sad, sad, sad., so very sad...(Dr. Seuss is coming to mind now.) Aha...that is the problem. These swappers have never read the traditional moralistic books I now read to my kids? Morals, values, norms. What are those again? In today's world we don't have time for those do we? YES WE DO! And I practice them too...!!

I recently participated in the Forth Worth Fabric Studio Spring Mug Rug Swap! And I loved it! I made this very springy mug rug for my partner, Nancy. I still don't have a formal "thank you," from Nancy, but I am still hopeful there will be a note one day in the mail. Lindsey, from the Fort Worth Fabric Studio, forwarded an email from Nancy stating she was pleased with it.


Thank you so very much, Lindsey, for organizing this swap for us 50 swappers! We all had a secret partner and didn't know who was swapping for us. The ever talented, Dorothée commented on a post of mine that she too was participating in the swap. It never ever occurred to me that she was sewing for me until I received her ever most beautiful package! I have never, ever received such a beautiful package in my life from a swap partner!!

Dorothée is a skilled mini stitchest (that is not a word but fits the skill)! She sews these tiny, micro stitches that totally blow my mind away!

She was only "required" to send a mug rug, but sent all of these goodies as well. The one thing that was the first to disappear was that fabulous bamboo box with handmade chocolates!

And here is her spring mug rug using garden flowers and again her tiny hand stitches! Amazingly beautiful! Thank you, again, Dorothée!

Now, keep in mind, my swap partner was Nancy. And Dorothée sewed for me. I quickly wrote her an email directly and thanked her for the beautiful package. I was so moved by her generosity and warmth, I sent her a small "thank you," in return. I finished my bee swarm mug rug and sent it to her!

Yes, every cloud has a silver lining! If you want to participate in a swap, you will be a richer person for doing it. In general, you will gain many things, meet new friends, build skills. But, don't be too disappointed if it doesn't turn out the way you planned. In a rare few cases, you will be disappointed.

What did I learn this week? I hate to constantly get pricked by by straight pins! You know you are a sewist when you have little wounds all over your hands from them!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Well said. I always at least expect 'acknowledgement of receipt'. As you say, how difficult is it to send a quick email. Lately, After waiting and waiting, I've had to write to people and ask THEM if they rec'd my parcels. xo

  2. I think I'm addicted to swaps, I just love them. Meeting new friends from around the world is great, not to mention the beautiful things you receive. Yes I've had a few baddies, but the good certainly outweighs the bad. So I'll continue to join swaps,working on the idea that I always send parcels that I would love to receive & a thank you is so easy to send these days.

  3. I have so far made no bad experience with swaps. The pillow swap is my 4th swap and I am so sure that this swap will be just wonderful. It took some time until I participated in a swap. And many of my friends keep asking why do you do this. All the things that I was sent are still in use and I love them.

  4. I do agree I like swaps and there is always eager beginners. I just think back to when I started sewing and hie proud I was to have made something. Always pay compliments there is something to say nice about. They finished and you received that alone deserves a thank you . I think the worst thing a person can do is not communicate with the partner Thanks Karen a good topic.

  5. I have participated in a few swaps. Some good, some not so good. I like to participate in swaps simply because I really enjoy trying to make something that I hope they will really love. I don't wait until the last minute. I really make an effort to make something they would like to have. That makes me feel good. Getting something good in return is just icing on the cake.

  6. Wow! You really hit the jackpot! I love the one you made also. I have received mine, and I posted it, but the person I sent one to hasn't posted so Lindsey told me I could post it myself. She did receive it because I asked Lindsey.
    I've had good luck most of the time, but not always with swaps.

  7. Du hast so schöne und liebevolle Kleinigkeiten von Deiner Partnerin erhalten.
    Hab ein schönes weekend meine Liebe.
    GLG, Deborah

  8. Jetzt hast du eine neue Freundin durch den Swap gewonnen. Dorothee wird sich bestimmt über Deine Bienchen freuen! Sei nicht traurig das nicht Alle zu Freunden werden, es sollte einfach nicht so sein.

  9. Swaps can be so very hit and miss. For the most part I think they are very rewarding and over time I have learned to pick and choose which swaps I will participate in. I'm so very glad you had such a thoughtful partner sewing for you, she really did send a most magnificent package to you. I absolutley adore the mat that you made for your swap partner, it is so clear that a lot of thought and love went into stitching it and it is such a shame that she could not take the time to acknowledge that. It only takes a minute or two to write a message to someone to thank them for their beautiful work and there really is no excuse for not doing so no matter how busy your life may be. If you can take the time to let a swap mama know you have received a swap package then you can most defintiely also contact your partner. It is not difficult to be polite and thank you is not hard to say, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people seem unable to do this one simple thing. And while we are on the subject of thanks let me say thank you to you for writing this post, it is a subject that I think some people are all too willing to just shrug off and ignore and as a result one that needs to be highlighted as much as possible.

  10. Well I don't know what to say other than what I had set out to when I followed an enclosed address that led me to this blog so I could thank the person who had sent me the most beautiful mug rug. Thank you very much! It's absolutely beautiful! I had no idea what I would find when I got here. Excited I was sure because we both shared to joy of quilting, but to my surprise I found myself being publicly scolded for not sending a formal thank you yet. Hurtfully, my response time was worthy of being noted in a blog. Well to answer your question, should I participate in a swap or not? Yes, I'll do it again. It was a lot of fun. Maybe because I didn't have expectations of others. Just hope I don't get another blogger as my partner! Sincerely, Nancy

  11. Up to now I haven't been disappointed but I have to admit, that I chose my swaps very carefully... There are people who seem to take part in every swap that's around and I believe, they can't do it with all their heart. Sending a "Thank you" note is the first thing I do when I received my package - either personal or within the swap-group (e.g. on flickr). I know that every sender is desperately waiting for a reaction and that is so easy to do!!!
    I agree totally with you - swapping makes great new friends and builds our skills :-)

  12. just to play devil's advocate here.... I've received packages with the name and address obliterated and I've also lost contact with who gave me something. Items take weeks and even months to complete. So, sometimes, life has made it difficult to send the thank you. I know me very well and unless I send the thank you immediately - it's gets lost in my island of insanity. I don't do swaps very often because of my work commitments but I have been blown away by the amazing creativity and generosity that lurks in others sewing heads.
    To play the other side; an email thank you is not enough. You should follow up with a hand-written note acknowledging the hand-made nature of the gift.


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