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Thread: Curious - Do you swap blocks and why?

  1. #51
    Senior Member Laura22's Avatar
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    I think that there are two types of people in the world, glass half full and glass half empty. Glass half empty people will look at a swap and sigh over crooked seams or "imperfections" that they "never" would have made. Those who are glass half full will oooh and ahhh over pretty fabrics and enjoy the experience.

    Swaps are definitely not for everyone. I have done a doll quilt swap on another site and it was a blast. My daughter still sleeps with that little doll quilt that was sent to me every night. She loves it. I also participate in the BOM program at one of the guilds I am a member of. In that case, block and colors are shown at one meeting, folks make as many blocks as they want to/can before the next meeting. At the next meeting, you get a raffle ticket for each block you turn in. The blocks are then awarded to whoever has the winning ticket after a random drawing. That way the person gets enough for a quilt and the rest of us get a chance to practice a block and a chance to possibly win one month.

    I brought some fabric to my retreat and friends each made a signature block (10 minute block to keep them from having to take too much time away from their own projects) and I'm in the process of making it into a quilt :)

    I think the smoke thing doesn't seem like a big deal to smokers but it is a huge deal to those who don't smoke. I don't have any allergies, I used to smoke in High School and College. However, the smell of smoke on fibers is just nasty and makes me cringe. I would be extremely unhappy if I got smelly blocks in a non-smoking swap. I know the smokers picture fussy people opening the envelope and sniffing the blocks to find the smell, but when fabric or yarn or other fibers come from a smoking house into a non-smoking house, you can smell it on the packaging before you even open it sometimes.

  2. #52
    Senior Member dorrell ann's Avatar
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    I enjoy the doll quilt swap - and our small art tart group is doing a swap now - but other than that -that is it!!

  3. #53
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi, I never get envolved in any kind of swap. I belong to two guilds that each have a BOM. It has been years since I even thought doing one of them. In my experience I always end up with blocks that are not the same size. There is always at least one block that is not the right colors or sometimes even pattern. Since piecing is not my strong suit I rarely piece on purpose. To have to try and cope with someone else's mistakes is to stressing.

  4. #54
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debbieumphress
    I have joined many swaps on the QB and I guess I am missing something. I do the swaps, get mine there on time, and when mine come back to me, I don't smell them or check for hair or look for anything negative, I am thrilled to get them and I finsihed them with whatever blocks I have. I really like it when they sign their blocks or put a label so I can put it. The reason I am on the board is to meet people and this is one way I do it. I hope more positive responses make it on here too. I even have special emrboidered labels made for each swap for centers. I am in several again and will continue to join them and pray nothing like what is being said, happens to me. I do appreciate everyone's opinions though. Whether in our groups we see in person or groups on the board, there will alsways be the one that didn't come thru, but life happens. As for colors and patterns having to be the same, I would want them to be similar or we wouldn't have a matching set to make a wonderful quilt. For thsoe who chose not to swap, I am so glad you have the things you like to do on your own and can still enjoy your love of quilting. Fot those who continue to do swaps whether here or wherever, I hope we can withstand those "few" and make the best of it. JMHO And thanks to those quilters who sponsor the swaps, you go above and beyond and have to deal with so many personalities. Thank you.
    As a hostess of several swaps, I do specify patterns and fabric selections because as Deb says, when the blocks are swapped out, one does want blocks of similar nature. That is why there are so many swaps being hosted, there is quite a variety out there to choose from. And swaps are not for everyone....I will say, that I have had a few people being 'disappointed' with what they received, mostly because they thought the work they received was inferior. Well, my swaps are open to everyone of ALL levels of skill, as I find that is a great way for one to gain confidence. Most of my patterns are very simple, and I even post step by step instructions when necessary. I am not offended by your question, each has their own reason for swapping or not. That is one purpose of this board, to share!

  5. #55
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    I did a few swaps with a theme. The first on was sorta ok will have to resew some of the blocks to use but the second one I did the blocks were awful. I would be ashamed to think I sent out the crap I received. Some of it was pretty bad & to boot they weren't sent out on time. It wasn't the lady in charges fault. One of the swappers held it up for everybody. The last one I did was for a single item. I did something really nice for my pal but what I received was truly sad. So I don't swap any more for all these reasons.

  6. #56
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Luckily this board allows people to participate either way...you can swap, or you don't have to! I have done several swaps and Round Robins- both participated and hosted. I tend to rebel against lots of rules myself, therefore the swaps that I host don't have too many rules. They are open to all skill levels...so anyone signing up needs to be aware that they might recieve blocks back from beginners. The "pet/smoking" issue is a dilemna....I quit smoking several years ago and the smell isn't all that pleasant. I find that airing them for a few days takes care of it though...mostly. I have pets too...so all my quilts have that "hairy patina".

    I see both sides, but truly when I participate in a swap, its more for the "social" aspect, the blocks are a bonus.

  7. #57

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    I do not swap blocks.
    The first time I did a block swap (on a different board)
    I was extremely disappointed.
    Several blocks were smaller than the size they were suppose to be. Several didn't follow the color placement the block called for. Which was really important in this block for the overall look of the finished quilt. And I had a couple blocks the fabric was thinner than a tissue and would not have held up to washing.
    Out of 14 blocks I could use only 6 blocks.
    Because of the disappointment decided then and there never to do another swap. :cry:

  8. #58
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    I have participated in a lot of block swaps, round & row robins, etc over the yrs. One thing I have learned is to choose a fairly simple block when it is my turn to have the others make blocks for me, such as in a birthday block exchange. You will be more apt to get back blocks that you are happy with than if you expect everyone to make a complicated/time consuming block. Also, I must admit that I'm fussy who I exchange blocks with. I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but I don't believe it is right to send out very poorly made blocks made with the cheapest fabric they can find. Believe me, this is not always done by beginners either as I have received some gorgeous blocks from people who have not been quilting more than just a few months as well as some horrible ones made by people who have been quilting for yrs. I too prefer not to receive blocks that reek of smoke or are covered w/pet hair. I think it is just plain good manners not to send stuff like that. Right now I'm not joining in on block swaps because I'm grounded from starting anything new until I get more of my older projects done, but I will join in some time in the future. And yes, it is difficult being both the grounder & the groundee! The 2 sides to my personality fight with each other over this all the time! LOL

  9. #59
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    my dh is making me cut back, todays shipping bill will be over $30
    two weeks ago it was $19
    i swap and don't always get back, that stinks.

  10. #60
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper
    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    I can related to all the points you mentioned plus the cost of shipping is getting to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    I am happy for those who do enjoy the swaps. I enjoy seeing all the wonderful blocks and quilts. I am not tempted to participate. I believe the first reason is my insecurity of offering/providing something that would live up to the receivers expectations. The second reason is because I like to choose my fabric, decide on the pattern and make my quilt. I think I would feel like it was not my quilt.
    I think this sums it up for me, and also, I don't like having deadlines.
    Ditto

  11. #61
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    I participated in 4 block swaps on another board. I enjoyed them, but they did have some drawbacks. The first drawback was the number of blocks received. It was a small group, so not enough for a good size quilt. The second drawback is quality of blocks/fabric. The coordinator was very specific about quilt shop quality and size of block, and most were well done with beautiful fabrics. One block however, was just horrible. I thought I might be able to resew it and make it useable, but after closer examination, the fabrics were so thin and the cutting was so far off, that it rendered the pieces unusable. That block hit the trash can and it really takes a lot for me to throw anything away! I combined the blocks from the first three swaps (all scrappy, all the same size, and similar patterns) and made a beautiful queen-size quilt with one block leftover. The 4th swap was wonderful, and made a beautiful throw size quilt, a jewel box with black background. We were concerned about the black background not matching, so I bought enough black fabric for everyone and mailed some to each participant. The quilt means even more to me because everyone included an extra block to me as a housewarming gift, so when it is quilted, it will hang in my sewing room as a reminder of the friends who pieced it. The third drawback is pressure to sew and mail in a certain time frame and some not mailing on time. The fourth drawback, I have so many projects of my own I don't need to keep adding projects! And the final drawback, the cost. I did buy more fabric for the last swap which wasn't scrappy, and I needed jewel toned fabrics, plus the cost of mailing. So, I did decide not to do any more block swaps, but mainly because of my huge list of UFOs I need to work on. I wouldn't rule it out for some time in the future, though. It's so much fun to get those blocks in the mail and see everyone's fabrics!

  12. #62
    Senior Member CircleSquare's Avatar
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    I haven't done a swap on this board but would be open to do one. I'm neither a smoker nor a pet owner, but I wouldn't be offended to receive a block from someone who is. I can always wash them. My primary problem with swaps at my guild is that the blocks usually aren't all the same size. That makes them hard to put together, but even that can be gotten around. The fun of swapping makes it worth the small inconveniences.
    I've just joined a swap on Carol Doak's online group.
    My guild does something we call "Block of the Month," but what it really amounts to is a raffle. Everybody makes the designated block and one member wins them all. I love it! I've won it 3 or 4 times in the last 5 years, and most of them are still UFOs! :)

  13. #63
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    Luckily this board allows people to participate either way...you can swap, or you don't have to! I have done several swaps and Round Robins- both participated and hosted. I tend to rebel against lots of rules myself, therefore the swaps that I host don't have too many rules. They are open to all skill levels...so anyone signing up needs to be aware that they might recieve blocks back from beginners. The "pet/smoking" issue is a dilemna....I quit smoking several years ago and the smell isn't all that pleasant. I find that airing them for a few days takes care of it though...mostly. I have pets too...so all my quilts have that "hairy patina".

    I see both sides, but truly when I participate in a swap, its more for the "social" aspect, the blocks are a bonus.
    The blocks I received from you were nice. I wasn't judging. But when you pick the block up & stuff falls off there is a problem. I always worried if mine were good enough. Making sure the fabric was nice & everything cut just so & sewed perfectly & squared up right. Maybe I'm too careful. Just wanted my friends to get the best.

  14. #64
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    I love swapping! It depends on the group I guess. I am new here but have been on another board and have participated in dozens of swaps. I think the key is clear instructions and a hostess who doesn't mind returning inferior blocks.

  15. #65
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    One problem I noticed in the swap I participated in was that people got utterly mixed up with finished vs. unfinished size, even though we did our best to make it clear which was which. So some people got a variety of sizes, for instance one person who was doing a wonky log cabin. She ended up solving it by adding a frame to each block, using three different colours for the frames so that it didn't really matter that they were in varying sizes. This is one reason why I asked for crazy quilt blocks and didn't bother about size, I figured they'd be hard to mess up. Of course, I still got a few odd ones, and several people blithely ignored my request for quilter's cotton with no metallics, but hey, I won't be the one washing the quilt over time, hopefully it'll hold up well. It does also mean that I am doing fairly peculiar sashing with lots of partial seams, as my blocks range from 6" to 12" (with some truly inventive right angles along the way!), but hey, it's fun.

  16. #66
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I'm involved in 2 round\row robins, both on this site. I haven't really had a bad experience per say but it hasn't been been without it's issues. (One of my items was lost for a little while but it has been found.) I said at the beginning of the year that my goal for 2010\2011 was to try something I've never yet. I haven't seen a bad row or round yet with my things. you have to go into them with an open mind, you aren't always going to like everything that everyone and not every one is at the same level of quilting but the important thing is that you try your best in them and you get new friends out of it.

  17. #67
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Ripped, I found that one thing about the Round/Row Robins is that if you aren't thrilled with a specific addition...just wait...usually the next round makes it all work...somehow...Its amazing how it all works out. And of course, they are fun..communication in those things is the key!

  18. #68
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    I never have. At the quilt guild I belong to, we used to have a block of the month. Everybody (well, those who chose to
    participate, made the block and brought it to the next meeting.
    Then there was a drawing for the winner. After the drawing,
    a pattern for the next month would be given out and we did it
    all again the next month. I think I have only seen two who
    actually made a quilt out of their blocks. I won, one time, and I had to "frame" each one so I could cut them down then to all
    be the same size. A quarter-inch doesn't seem to be the same
    for everybody..right? I think most of them just get stuck back
    somewhere. Incidentally, now a new block is made each month
    but the person who made it takes it home with them..and the
    same in the following months. They end up having enough of
    their own blocks to make a sampler quilt. That seems to work
    a whole lot better.

  19. #69
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    I used to join in a lot of block swaps and charm swaps but over the years it has less and less attraction for me. A couple of times I never got the blocks back that I was supposed to get. Seems like it just got to be too much of a pain and the rising costs of postage can really put a damper on it too.

  20. #70
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    I belong to a block swap at an LQS. We have a focus fabric and a common block each month. We make four with the focus fabric in the designated area, and the rest with our view of it (choice of colors). We meet and collect the blocks, shuffle them and deal them out like cards. We go round robin and can steal twice. At the end if we want a specific block we can pay $1 to protect it. At the end of 6 months, we have enough for a queen size quilt or other items. The money that has been collected pays for a brunch on the last day of block swap.

    It is a social event, builds friendships, develops a variety of skills, and gives you one more UFO.

  21. #71
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    I belong to a block swap at an LQS. We have a focus fabric and a common block each month. We make four with the focus fabric in the designated area, and the rest with our view of it (choice of colors). We meet and collect the blocks, shuffle them and deal them out like cards. We go round robin and can steal twice. At the end if we want a specific block we can pay $1 to protect it. At the end of 6 months, we have enough for a queen size quilt or other items. The money that has been collected pays for a brunch on the last day of block swap.

    It is a social event, builds friendships, develops a variety of skills, and gives you one more UFO.

  22. #72
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    No I don't. Once when another group I used to quilt with asked for each of us to exchange blocks and to state what colors we wanted and anyother specifics I got totally diffrent colors from what I had asked for. I got teal when I asked for royal blue, light blue and gold.

  23. #73
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    I don't do the swaps either, because of what people say, I don't want to be rude but somtimes people can be so rude and picky. But I do enjoy this board very much and I learn a lot. for which I'm very thankful.

  24. #74
    Senior Member winter012's Avatar
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    Well I DO participate in swaps. I enjoy them, maybe not the stress of finishing the blocks on time, but I've gotten to where I don't overdo anymore. So far, I've only received ONE block I couldn't use, at least not for the swap it was intended for. I think that's pretty good. All in all, I think most quilters want to do their best, & will use the best quality fabric they can afford. That, at least, is my opinion, & is what I do. And so far, no one has complained about cat hair on my swap blocks....

  25. #75
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    I prefer to do blocks swaps etc with people in person, thru quilt guilds, friendship groups, quilt classes ... that kind of thing. More likely to agree to patterns, fabrics, colors etc. when in a group face to face.

    The ones I've done online have been a bit disappointing and maybe others might have been disappointed in mine too. Also I get stressed if I'm not on time. I don't need more stress, LOL.

    And as someone else mentioned, I don't want to pay to mail them.

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