Friday, June 28, 2013

Swap 'til you Drop [Part 1]:

Welcome to part 1 of my swapping primer.  After starting to write everything out, I decided that it would be best not to present you with a wall 'o text and split this into two parts :) Today I'm going to tell you a little bit about an awesome swapping site --  In part 2 I'll talk about Flickr swaps. 
Around the time I discovered quilting, I also discovered online swapping... and let me tell you, it's addicting!  Swapping is great for several reasons
  1. Meet new people and possibly make new friends who have similar interests
  2. Tying new patterns and tutorials you may not have discovered on your own
  3. Building collections (there are tons of swaps out there for non-related things if you have other artistic interests -- like Artist Trading Cards)
  4. It's fun and you get pretty things!
So, how do you get into swapping?  The first site I discovered was  Swap-bot is a site dedicated to swapping pretty much anything and everything you can think of, including fabric and sewing swaps!  You can read more details at their About page.  Not only is it a great and easy way to swap items, it's also very easy to host swaps for things you are interested in.

Swap-bot is very ratings driven, meaning you have to build up your swapping "cred" with good ratings.  New users have to complete and be rated for 5 swaps before they get their swapping limit increased.  Setting limits on the amount of swaps that someone can participate in protects the user from getting overwhelmed, and it also protects everyone using the site from getting taken advantage of by people who just want free stuff (with no intention of sending something in return).  Hosts generally use ratings as a guide to judge whether or not they want to allow someone in their swap or group; it is very important that you send on time!  If you repeatedly send late or "flake" (meaning you don't send at all) it will hurt your ratings and you most likely won't be allowed to participate in swaps.  After participating for a while you'll get to learn the etiquette of the site.  They have a very helpful FAQ and New User Guide that I would recommend you read through thoroughly before you join :)

Finding your way around swap-bot can be a little tricky.  When a host posts a swap, they have the option to choose 3 categories for their swap, and luckily you can use the categories they have chosen to find swaps that interest you.  The three categories that I usually search for are Fabric, Quilting, and Sewing.  New users can also search for "Newbie" to find swaps geared toward new swap-bot members.

There are also a large number of interest-related groups you can join, some fabric and sewing groups that I really enjoy are (you may not be able to view these links without first creating an account): Fabric Fanatics, Nuts for Sewing, and Sew Random.  These are just some of the groups where I tend to participate in most of the swaps because they interest me, there are a lot of groups for other interests and many other sewing related groups that you may want to check out also.

My one disclaimer is:  you may not receive something that is completely to your taste, especially if you are a "modern" quilter, but if you receive something that you don't necessarily like, you can always swap it away the next round.

If you decide to give Swap-bot a try, please feel free to join the scrap swap I am hosting, I'd love to see you there!  Once you get some more swapping experience, I also host a monthly stash builder FQ swap that is a lot of fun :)

Sorry lots of text and not a lot of pictures!


  1. I have participated in a fat quarter swap. One month it was great. The next not so great. Thank you for letting me know about swap-bot, I will check it out.

    1. Yeah, swapping can be hit or miss... if I get something I don't like, I toss it in the scrap bin to use for charity blocks, or swap it away the next month. Someone on Swap-bot hosts a monthly Ugly FQ swap, I sometimes get rid of things that aren't my taste that way and sometimes I get lucky and get stuff I like in return :) Thanks for stopping by.


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