First things first, because so many of you have asked. There will be a swap later this year, with sign up open from September 20 through October 5, 2014. While you are waiting, I hope you are cutting and packaging. But I also hope you are inviting friends, sharing the swap on your own blogs or on social media, and generally spreading the word. Stay tuned for more info at a later date.
I really want to thank you all for joining the March 2014 PSQ Charm Swap. Hopefully you are receiving your little parcels and enjoying the wide variety of fabrics that we collectively own. And I do mean variety. When I open a parcel I often find no repeats of fabrics that I have used. Considering that I have made PSQ quilts with 4000 charms and no duplicates, I thought I had seen a lot. But no!
In January 2012 I held my first PSQ charm swap, and 62 people took part. By the second swap that year we had over 230 swappers. Every swap goes on a spreadsheet, which I keep. Last night I combined them all and sorted out the repeats of people who took place in two or more swaps. In the seven swaps to date, 813 different people have traded charms. They have also donated Newbie sets to 227 new quilters who are just starting to collect or sew with these lovely little fabric charms.
When all the swap emails are out I always brace myself for the ensuing chaos. This time I received over 500 emails in three weeks, ranging from lovely thank you’s to pure distress. I wish I could just hold off the other parts of life, like cleaning and earning a living, and concentrate on replying and getting things working perfectly. Alas, I can’t, so it takes a while to figure out all the mix-ups or omissions, calm the stress, find the missing swappers, and so on. In the midst of it all, I find out that I left one swapper out by mistake, another one withdrew because of illness, one took three weeks to reply to anyone, and I did some reassigning when swappers failed to follow the rules.
So if you heard from all your partners, and got everything, remember to thank them! Please thank them even if you do not love what they sent you, be it not to your taste, poorly cut, or whatever. If you wrote me about a problem like that, I always followup with the person who sent your charms–an opportunity to educate people about what makes a great PSQ quilt. Sometimes they don’t like what I have to say, but more often they are happy to get some tips.
The point is, the swaps are fun! Do I always use every single charm I get? No, probably not. But my feeling is that every quilter is at a different place in their quilting journey. As a community that loves fabric and sewing, it is important to support them all in the best possible way. And, as one person wrote to me when commenting on a problem they had last time, “It’s just fabric, nothing life-threatening.”
Now it is time to stitch up your charms! Remember to share your progress on our flickr page as well.
With this swap finishing up, I am still happy to work to resolve issues if they are out there, but I am planning to put it all away in a week. After all, I have UFOs waiting, the snow that is falling on Minnesota today will surely give way to tulips, then lilacs, and I want to get out in the sun! © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.