What do you do next, you may wonder. Well - here's how it will work.
- First, take some time to admire all the lovely quilts. There are lots of great ones.
- Next, begin to compile a list of quilts that you might like to receive. You should end up with a list of 10-15 quilts, in order of preference.
- Send me this list, by Friday 16 July at the latest. That's next week, Friday. Please be sure to send me your complete name and postal address when sending the list so I can pass that on to the person who will be sending you your quilt!
- I will compile and compare and juggle and fiddle and fudge and all those things until I get the best possible balance of what quilt is going where. I will then let you know privately who you should send your quilt to. Because last year some people wanted to know what quilt they were getting and some didn't, I decided this year that I wouldn't tell anyone straight off, but when I email you to say where you should send the quilt you made, you will have the option of finding out (through private email) which one is coming your way. Or not. As you like.
- Sit back and wait for your lovely quilt to arrive in the post! Yee hah!
Q:Will I get my first choice?
A: Probably not. You might, but I certainly can't promise it. It depends largely on how popular your first choice quilt is. If you are the only one who put it first, you might well get it - but then again, you might not as it will depend on who picks which quilts in which places and how many times, and other complicated factors. Last year, approximately 3/4 of the participants got a quilt that was at least no 5 on their list. As I no longer have last year's spreadsheet, thanks to a dead computer, I can't give complete statistics, but I think the lowest placed quilt was around 8th place or so. But don't quote me on that. What I can promise is this: you will get a quilt you like. I can promise this because you will not get a quilt which is not on your list. And if you don't like a quilt, you won't have put it on your list in the first place! I also can promise that I will do my best to give the greatest number of people quilts which appear in high places on their preferences lists as I possibly can.
Q: What if no one likes my quilt?
A: I will not pretend this is not a possibility - it is. After all, people's tastes differ, so there's a chance that no one else will enjoy something you have made enough to put it in their top 10 (or 12 or 15). I haven't put any restrictions on joining this swap - you are allowed to take part even if you are a beginning quilter, or if your work is really avant-garde or odd, but there is always a chance that a quilt won't appear on any preference lists. This didn't happen last time, though there were a few which only appeared on one or two lists. If no one chooses your quilt, then what happens is simply, you keep it. But if that does happen, you will of course not get your choice of the other quilts. One of the reasons I've stressed that I need good clear photos and some detail shots is so that people can see how lovely your quilt truly is!
Q: What if I don't like 15 quilts? (or 12 or 10...)
A: In that case, just put as many as you do like. Though you should be warned that if you put too few, there is a chance I won't be able to arrange to have one sent to you - I would really like a 10 quilt minimum list. But if you only like 8 and any others would simply not make you happy, then you can let me know that and if necessary, you can keep your own quilt... Frankly, I don't see this as a problem - I think the hard thing will be narrowing the list down to as few as 15 in the first place.
Q: What if I have some questions about a piece before I put it on my list?
A: I will do my best to refer those questions to the artist and get you an answer. This is much more likely to happen if you ask these questions in the next few days than if you wait until Thursday the 15th to ask them, so I suggest you have at least a preliminary look through the quilts right now, if you've not already done so, and get your questions sorted straight away.
Q: How will you pick who gets what?
A: Honestly, this is a matter of balance. And it's impossible to predict until I see the lists, who will end up with what. There are a few factors that might influence my choice - for instance, if you rate quilt 6 (just for example) highly, but I know you had a quilt from that person in one of my previous swaps, I might not allocate that one to you. Or, if you made a quilt that 20 people put in their top 3 choices, I might give you a slight preference in your preferences to someone else, in recognition of you making a quilt so universally enjoyed. Last year, I was lucky in being able to allocate all the quilts in a way which was fair and balanced and many people did get one of their top choices, but who knows.
Q:What form should our preference list take?
A: Very simple, really - just an email saying "here are my choices, in order of preference: 1. quilt no 102; 2 quilt no 56; 3 quilt no 72" - and so on is fine. If you want to put the title or a brief description next to the number, that's great - just in case you have mistyped the number, I will be able to tell from the title or description which quilt you mean. (e.g. no 1, quilt no 102 - blue with circles; no 2, quilt no 56 - Spring Flowers - and so on)
Q: When will you finish allocating quilts?
A: Frankly, it depends on how the preferences fall. If lots of people want the same quilts, it gets harder. And there are 42 quilts this time, which is quite a few more than last time. Still, I don't see it taking more than a few days to work out - but I will keep you posted. I am leaving to go on holiday on the 27th of July and I hope to have everything completely done well before then, including all the emails telling people where to send their quilts...
I think that covers most of it, but as always, please just ask questions if you have them - either by commenting here or by emailing me directly.
Enjoy! Lots of great quilts to see - and covet! And remember, preference lists in to me by Friday 16 July at the latest, otherwise I just give you whatever makes my life easier. :)