What I know about Swaps!

I’ve been doing swaps for about the last year maybe? Since last June. I’m going to tell you what I know about them. But I have to give a warning… They are addictive! So if you start, just beware…


Pretty LIttle Pouch Swap

I’ve had a lot of questions about the swaps, so I thought I’d tell ya what I know! And if you know more, please add comments below for others to learn from!

All the swaps I do are flickr based. You basically have to use flickr. Let’s step back a minute… How did I learn about them to begin with? I would scan flickr now and then and I kept finding amazing things people had made for this swap or that swap. I had no clue what a swap was, but eventually I put two and two together and realized that a swap is literally a swap! Hello!


Modernista Homemade Swap

So I started seeing a theme between some of these pieces I like and which swaps these artists were participating in. Most swaps require a good history of swapping. But you have to start somewhere, huh? So I wrote to the group administrators and told them I was interested in playing along, but I had no history…. They took a look at my flickr page and let me in.


Doll Quilt Swap

Most of the ones I do, you have to be approved to join. And others you have to be invited. Of course, each swap has their own requirements.


Modern She Made Swap

How they work. All the ones I do are blind swaps. Meaning who you are making something for is not the same person who is making something for you. AND… The person you are making something for doesn’t know you are making something for them! So you can’t ask them directly what they like and what they don’t like!

ModernistaSwap-Sewing Machine Cover- I'm Feelin' Crafty

Modernista Homemade

If you can’t talk to them, how do you make them something that they are going to like?? You stalk them. Yep. No restraining orders here. The more stalking the better! When you get your partner’s info, it includes their likes and dislikes and all their social media outlets. Like their blog, their pinterest page, their flickr page, and anything else you want to share!

Kitchen Mini-1- I'm Feelin' Crafty

Modernista Homemade

Now you have your partner. You can start stalking. But there’s another component to the whole swap thing… And that’s the fact that you really need to stay up to date on all the progress pictures being added to the flickr group for the swap. You are asked to comment on as many progress photos as you can. Why would you want to comment on so many pictures? Because you don’t know who your partner is. And your partner, more than likely, is going to post progress pictures with questions. And the more you comment, the more likely your end product is going to be perfect for you! You are answering questions and helping guide your fellow artists in making the perfect gift for you. And you are also letting your partner learn more about your likes and dislikes based on the comments you share!


Modern She Made Swap

Then you make something cool, mail it off and get a wonderful package in the mail just for you!

Most swaps also send little goodies with the main package. So be sure to know the swaps guidelines on that too! I didn’t realize that at first and almost sent mine out without the extra goodies!

So what swaps do I do? The two main ones that I have loved are the Modernista Homemade Swap and the Modern She Made Swap. I recently joined the Pretty Little Pouch Swap, that was a lot of fun! And I’ve also just started the Doll Quilt Swap and the Fab Little Quilt Swap.

And a few that I like, but haven’t participated in yet are the Fab Little Pincushion Swap and the For the Love of Solids Swap.

If you swap, let us know your favorite swaps, too!
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Pretty Little Pouch Swap

Yep, I’ve caught the bug! Not just the horrible cold going around the country, but also the swap bug!


I was explaining the swap process to some friends the other day and they just had this look of, why??? You are given a partner that you can’t talk to, but you have to ‘stalk’. You follow along and comment on tons of pictures, giving your partner an idea of what you like and if also, just in case it’s something for you, you want the person to know how to make it just right for you. It can actually be a lot of time. But in the end, you get this package with a wonderful hand made piece inside! And usually a couple of extra goodies to go along with it! So I’m addicted!


This swap is called the Pretty Little Pouch Swap. My main pouch didn’t end up being very little… But I think it worked.


My partner didn’t comment on photos too much, but she did comment on one other person’s photo of a red, teal and blue process photo. And I jumped on it! I knew right then the color scheme! With a little white, grey and some hand stitching.


Then it was decided on the pattern and the pouch. I had just done a Herringbone Quilt Block from Stitched in Color and it’s just really cool. But it’s also really big! So I made everything 1/2 the size and ended up with two herringbone blocks, one for the front and one for the back.

Then I decided to use Noodlehead’s Open Wide Zipper Pouch, the large version! She has a lot of great pouch tutorials on her blog. very easy!


And of course, swaps always seem to have a little goodie to go with the main thing. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do! I’d been eyeballing this teeny tiny little pouch from Me Sew Crazy. It’s actually a Mini Moo Card holder, but I made it a little lotion holder. I love it, but I think I want to make it just a little bit bigger next time!


I also added a few fabric scraps from the fabrics used and a couple of tasty treats! I love how it looks like a swimming pool on the inside!


And of course, then I got mine!!! My secret partner was the wonderfully talented Suvarna. I was so excited! I’d been in love with this pleated pouch as I saw it popping up in the flickr pool.



And I got an open wide zipper pouch too! With a little pin cushion attached. And a needle book! I’ve always said I was going to make myself one and never have. I’ve already used them to cart my things back and forth to work at the quilt shop!



Soooo…. What do you think? Is the swap thing for you? Do you love them or hate them?


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