#sqpinnieswap and Thoughts on Swaps

I have been participating in swaps on Instagram this summer.  The #sqpinnieswap is the first one that I have sent and received my item.  This was a blind swap, so the person I was making for isn't who I would receive from.  And it was kept secret who your partners were.  I received my pin cushion from the host of the swap, Carmen at Seaschell Quilts.
Everything was packaged inside the drawstring bag.
Here is my pincushion, a needle minder, a mustache pin, and a tiny seashell quilts pin.
There was also a package of rainbow Wonder Clips and a lip balm (which my daughter stole!).
My partner indicated that she really liked Heather Ross's Far, Far Away fabric line and that she liked gummies.  From looking at her IG feed, I determined that she also likes Disney princesses and cross stitch.  I also found her Pinterest and tried to get a sense of her style.  I agonized over what to make her forever.  It's pretty daunting to make something for someone you don't know.  You're pouring time and money into something and hoping they like it in the end.  

In the end, I made her a wonky log cabin pincushion.  It is about 5" square because I really wanted to use an entire unicorn from one of the prints for the backing.  I lined the backing with Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex and the front with cotton batting.  I got both these ideas from Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I stuffed the pincushion with a mixture of fiberfill and crushed walnut shells and closed it with a ladder stitch. Seems hard to believe, but I didn't learn ladder stitch until last year when my daughter was taking home ec and showed me (sorta) how to do it.  
The front.
The back.
I cross stitched a little Ariel onto some Irish linen with the idea of making a needle minder.  Ariel ended up being too large to fit on any of the cover buttons that JoAnn stocks, so I had to special order some huge cover buttons.  Shipping was more than my order amount.  :(  And it took FOREVER for them to ship to me.  I was a little worried that the swap ship date would come before the order, but luckily I got them with about a week to go.  I think this ended up being like the largest, most impractical needle minder EVER, but oh well, I worked really hard on it.  I printed off some Heather Ross tags and a card from her Prints book to use for packaging.

After completing this cross stitch, I have determined that middle age is really hitting me and I need to pull out my clip-on magnifying lens next time I try to do close up work.  Ha!  

I also included some pins that match the pin cushion, some Wonder Clips in coordinating colors, a mechanical pencil (love those things!), a Frixion marker, and a bag of Indiana-made gummies.

After watching a lot of swap reveals, here are some thoughts on swaps:  Please take the time to figure out what your partner likes.  They may not give you much to go on, or they may give very specific likes (that are probably totally different than yours), but at least look through their feed, try to find their Pinterest boards, and try to make something to their taste.  When you are filling out a swap sign-up form, if you really dislike something, say so.  Be honest about your skill level.  I admit I never know what to say, so I usually say intermediate because I'm definitely not a beginner, but don't know really what would constitute advanced--I'm not an expert at anything.  Even if a mosaic isn't required for the swap, do one anyway so your partner can see what you like. Check in when you're supposed to.  Ship on time.  You've been given a ton of time to make something.  No one wants to be left wondering if they will receive a package because the shipping deadline has passed and it's been weeks and they haven't yet received something.  Stay in contact with your host/swap mama.  Finally, please, please thank your person right away.  Nothing worse than seeing the package has been delivered and they don't acknowledge it for what seems like forever.  You're left hanging and it's not a great feeling, for sure.  Overall:  be considerate and treat others how you wish to be treated.  Good advice in life and good advice for swaps too.  :)

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