Next Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap Starts on October 12

Some of you are chomping at the bit, others are considering their first swap. Either way, the wait is nearly over. On October 12, 2013, the swap sign-up notice will post, and the 6th swap will begin! You should have your charm sets ready to go before you sign-up, so you can mail them off fast at the close of the swap.

Still my favorite Postage Stamp Quilt photo.I am asking you to get a friend to join the fun this round. Seriously! New swappers mean more variety and more partners. We now have some swappers that do it collectively, one person signs up, but several contribute to the charm set and share the set that comes in return. That is fun for guilds, and great for quilting friends with more limited stash.

As with the past five swaps, people are swapping sets of 100 different charms, carefully cut into either 1.5, 2, or 2.5 inch squares. This time around, swappers are limited to 8 sets in any size. So, if you have 8 two-inch sets to swap, you will get 8 swap partners to send them to, and they each will send you one set back.

The basic rules are the same–quilt quality cottons only, no flannels, no homespuns–and no duplicate fabrics in any set. After the sign-up closes, it takes a few days for me and my helpers to get all the matches set. Once you receive you swap partner lists, please share mailing information right away, and get those little packages in the mail!

Novelty Charms

Novelty charms are fun in these quilts!

New swappers, be sure to read all the rules and info found on the PSQ Info and FAQ pages, and check out all the PSQ pages for inspiration!

Postage is sometimes a deciding factor for how many sets people are willing to share. This year, the USPS has changed it pricing, especially for international mailing. Bear in mind that your partner has the same or similar expense. For people in some countries it may be higher. I spent time with my neighborhood postmaster and several sample packs to explore pricing. While your packaging may vary from mine, you might want to use this as a guide in your planning:

  • USA ONLY: If you are swapping 2.5 inch charms, a set of 100 can fit in a 5×7″ brown envelope and remain under 1/4″ inch thick, weighing in around 3.8 ounces. That should go across the USA via First Class Mail for around $1.52. More weight, or thicker packaging, and it will range from $1.72 to $2.50. Bubble mailers run slightly higher.
  • USA to CANADA: The same 2.5 inch set going from any USA post office to most of Canada will run at the First Class International Large Envelope rate of around $2.65. These can be larger and thicker than the envelopes used under USA ONLY. Bubble mailers do run slightly higher.
  • USA to AUSTRALIA, or SWEDEN, or JAPAN: Like Canada, a larger envelope is okay here too. First Class International Large Envelope rate for the same 2.5 inch set runs around $4.60. Bubble mailers might run higher, so ask before closing your packages.
  • ALL INTERNATIONAL: Please remember that customs forms are required. You need to state a value of your item. I always use “$5.00 fabric samples” as my content and value. The person receiving the parcel may have to pay duty to get their package, so keep the value low.
  • Including gifts and trinkets is nice, but not required. It will alter your packaging needs and mailing costs.
  • If a swap partner is in a remote part of the world, I would opt for more secure mailing materials and pay the high postage amount. Shipping time might be longer than you think too.

It should be fun! Remember, you can not sign-up yet, you have to wait for the October 12th sign-up post.

Are you excited?
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com Signature© 2013 by The Curious Quilter,, All rights reserved.


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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23 Responses to Next Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap Starts on October 12

  1. Karen Richardson says:

    I’m reluctant to join this swap because I never received all the stamps from the Newbee gifts. How do I know I’ll receive the swaps?

    • I am puzzled. Newbie Gifts are gifts, not swaps, so they are not sending you anything back (since they are new to quilting and do not have stash.) Did you receive all your swap partner swaps?

      • Bonnie says:

        On the last swap, I had a Newbie. I sent her messages frequently over several months & never got a reply from her. If you still have my Newbies name from the last one, I still have her envelope ready to send. I love this swap and really want to see everyone get their swaps and not be left out.

  2. Karen Richardson says:

    Thanks for your reply Mary. I guess I was not clear. I was told I had 2 people who would be sending me gifts and I only got one. I did reply a thanks to that person and even sent her a picture of my finished quilt. I never got the gift package from the other quilter. I am now wondering if the swaps will be the same.

    • AH!, I am sorry that you did not get the second one, and am going to check on that. Drop me an email please to let me know who you did get one from?

      In the past five swaps we have had very few problems. Of the issues we have had, many had to do with delays. Some with illnesses.

      I can’t guarantee that everyone will follow through on their commitment, but I do try to resolve any issues that come up. Mostly, swappers are just happy to trade some of their familiar pieces with fresh charms from another quilter, and grow their PSQ variety.

      I hope you will join us, and am pretty certain things will go smoothly! – Mary

  3. djmat says:

    Karen, [edited by Mary, see comment following] I would love to swap with you after you get your stash built.
    I’ve only had one very minor problem that Mary fixed pronto.
    These swaps are so much fun, I don’t want you to miss out.

    • Since Karen’s post, several swappers have offered to cover her missing charms, including DJ.

      Karen, you are covered! Volunteers , remember please that swap rules prohibit people from making one on one arrangements via comments. Email me directly, please.

  4. Dear Mary, I´d love to take part in this swap again (I liked the March swap very much and it helped me to finish my first 1000 pieces-2inch top), but, unfortunately, I´ll be away from home from tomorrow until the end of October, with a very limited access to the Net.
    I have ready 2 unique sets of 100 pieces, each 3 times (6 sets altogether) and this time also 4 newbie sets. Can I, please, apply now already not to miss this great event?

  5. JLVerde says:

    So excited!! I’ll have to haul out my 2.5 inch charm bin and get to counting to see how many sets I have (I know I’ll have to do a bit of cutting!).

    I thought I’d share this with you, too. There is a site called Swap Bot where folks swap all kinds of things. They frequently have fabric swaps including 2.5 charm swaps. If folks are interested in swapping outside of this venue, they may want to check out Swap Bot. (I’ve swapped there for about a year and had good experiences–it’s free to sign up).

  6. djmat says:

    Mary, thanks for the reminder! Hugs, DJ

  7. Sheri Wonderling says:

    how do we sign up for a newbie swap. My sister and I are both new to quilting. I would love to try to make a postage stamp style quilt. is there one size that is better than another?

    • Sheri-
      Welcome to the fun world of PSQs!

      Newbies sign-up at the same time as swappers , so watch for the directions on October 12.

      If you check out the Rules and FAQs link you will find all sorts of info, including links to planning your PSQ, selecting charm size, and how many charms you will need. Lots to read!

      Many Newbies choose the 2.5 inch size. I suspect that they are fearful of smaller charms! I love the two inch ones, that’s what I use. It is small enough to truly give that mosaic effect, but not intimidatingly tiny.

      More info in the sign-up post, but wander through all the old post links and get ideas!

  8. Kim c. says:

    I can’t wait I’m so excited. My quilting group at church had a swap in the beginning of September and I’m hooked!!!! I have 11 matching sets of 2″ and one unique set of 2 “. Can’t wait to see what I get back!!!!!!!!

  9. djmat says:

    Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow! You’re only a day away!

  10. Susan says:

    OK, it’s the 12th, I’m a new “swapper” and I’m ready! Where do I sign up or don’t you have it ready yet?

  11. April Lauer says:

    I been quilting for a whole but never did a postage stamp swap. I have a Accuquilt go,baby and studio and sometimes I just cut my scraps to the 2 inch and 2.5 inch sqs. So I have bins full of them already cut. I would have to get them out and sort. Once I see the directions . I would love to sign up. And what are you all talking about when u are talking about gifts? I’m confused on that. Thanks April

    • Welcome, April!

      Read the October 12th post, and also go through the Postage Stamp Charm Swap pages (menu bar.) New quilters who have no stash can get Newbie Gifts. People with lots of stash donate them!

      Start sorting! They do not have to be die-cut, if you want to cut several charms from one fabric, rotary cutting may be more efficient.

      – Mary

  12. 1. Beverly/TwistedQuilter
    2. Pontiac, MI USA
    3. International – YES, YES, YES!
    4. 2″
    5. 2 unique sets
    6. 2 newbie (1.5″) USA only
    7. Still collecting. I think I have enough to start my quilt, but I keep collecting just in case I run short 🙂

  13. Stitch_it says:


    I am late, just found your site. Can I join a swap?
    Let me know.

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