Mini quilt swaps are becoming all the rage! You can find them everywhere, from private blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and even quilt guilds are becoming involved. If you aren’t familiar with what a mini-quilt swap is–it’s usually created by one person, and then other people sign up to help moderate. Partners are assigned, sometimes based on similar likes and interests. You are given a deadline, and after you sign up, you are asked to create something awesome for your swap partner. It’s on a small scale, normally the quilt sizes are limited to under 24″, so there is plenty of time for creativity and finishing.
I “borrowed” this photo collage from The Houston Modern Quilt Guild Blog at houstonmodernquiltguild.blogspot.com and it shows some great examples of some minis:
Some of the more popular swaps are the #schnitzelandboo mini quilt swap (@schnitzelandboo), the #igminiswap and countless other swaps that include other items besides mini quilts. Many of them have themes that you are supposed to stay within. For example, The Strawberry swap has a strawberry theme, $itchesgetstiches (expletive) moderated by (@weenchaweena) has a swearing theme, and countless others are themed after seasons, holidays, etc.
Typically, these swaps have rules and guidelines you are supposed to follow, and the intention is to make connections with other sewists across the globe.
These swaps are so much fun to participate in, that I felt the need to do a blog post on them. Many people don’t know where to start, but they are really simple to get involved in, and probably the most difficult part is meeting the deadline before the sign up closes! Many swaps have limits for how many people can sign up, as they are usually free to participate in, and overseen by a Regular Jo with a real job.
Here are some pointers I personally have for you if you plan on participating in a swap:
1. Plan ahead. Have some ideas you can easily use and alter to fit your partner’s likes.
2. “Stalk” your partner’s social media accounts to find out what they like. This is really a lot of fun, and you can easily uncover favorite colors, patterns, and other fun things about your partner’s interests.
3. DON’T BACK OUT! Someone is looking forward to your handmade gift. If you can’t commit to the swap, don’t sign up! How disappointed would you be if you took the time to make an awesome mini for someone, and then received nothing in return?
4. Once you have your partner assignment, get your fabric and pattern early, and get to work! Have your mini done way before the deadline so you don’t have to sweat not making the ship date.
5. Put your personal touches into the gift. Don’t forget a quilt label! You want your partner to know where the quilt came from, who made it, and when.
6. HAVE FUN! These swaps are intended to be fun, so HAVE FUN!
I absolutely love making things for other people, and it makes it so much more fun when you don’t know them. It’s awesome to have the challenge of making something for someone else by trying to find out what they’re interested in.
The first swap I participated in was the Sewing Loft Blog Mini Quilt Swap. Here’s what I made for my partner: