Friday 21 November 2008

Swap expectations

Please feel free not to read this. But I thought that it was appropriate to share a few thoughts about just what is and is not acceptable to me as hostess in terms of quilts with issues or problems in one of my swaps. Please note that these remarks do not refer to any one specific quilt!!

  • quality varies. We are all differently abled. This is a swap, you take risks that the piece you receive will be not quite as good as you might have done yourself. If you can't live with that, you shouldn't join a swap. HOWEVER, there are some things which I think are unacceptable. Open seams. Holes. Quilting which has caused folding or rucking on the FRONT of the quilt (on the back, we can allow some leeway). Binding which isn't attached all the way. Bleeding on a quilt which has been washed. Points chopped off so badly that it's not apparent what the design was. A quilt which is susbstantially below the minimum size requirement.
  • I ask for preferences at the start of a swap to give guidelines to the maker. I would expect that any strong preferences be adhered to, especially negative ones. For instance, if you say you love purple and green, I wouldn't necessarily expect the maker to make a purple and green quilt (though it would be great if they did) but if you said you hated yellow, the maker should not make you a yellow quilt. I ask people not to be too picky about their preferences, to give the maker some leeway, but I also expect the maker to avoid Sunbonnet Sue if you say you hate her. Fair's fair.
  • If you mention a style you particularly like (log cabin, samplers, circles) then the maker has a chance to follow this preference, but is not obliged to. This is a swap, after all - if you only want one specific thing, you should make the quilt yourself.
  • If you receive a quilt which is made well, but isn't really "you", that's disappointing, and please feel free to write and tell me about it, because it may inform my decisions about partners for future swaps, who is allowed to play, etc, but it's not really cause for receiving a new quilt. I would only ask for an angel quilt in the event of substantial problems with the quality of the piece (and believe me, I would ask for photos or to have the quilt sent to me as proof) or, of course, non-receipt.
So, how can you avoid having to worry that your quilt might not be "good enough"?
  • Firstly, look at your partner's preferences. Make sure to note anything obvious. Buy fabric if you have to. Ask questions from the hostess if you don't really understand what sort of thing your partner likes. Haunt her blog.
  • Second, don't try a new technique on a piece you are making for someone else. Stick with what you know. And don't be too ambitious - it's better to produce a well-made simple piece than something really fancy which doesn't work.
  • Third, be honest when signing up about your quilting ability - if you are a beginner, say so. The hostess will partner you with another beginner so that your finished projects will be more comparable.
  • Fourth, be honest with yourself when your quilt is finished. Would you be happy to receive this piece from someone else?


Debbie said...

Firstly, thanks so much for hosting this swap - it is a big job and you did a great job!! I love your swap guidelines and will refer to them often when I join future swaps.... thanks again for a great experience!

Wil said...

You are absolutely correct in what you write. Thanks for hosting this 2nd swap. I am now the proud owner of 2 lovely quilts made by Lynda and Pippa.

Linda said...

A big THANKS to you for organizing this swap - it's not easy to be the boss lady.
You have good guildlines - and swapers should abide by them. However, in this world, there are those who don't - too bad for the rest of us!!!
I am so happy with my Leaves from LT - my partner and I exchanged fall leaf quilts - wonderful!!!