Saturday, October 3, 2009

Block swap season

There is just something about when the weather turns cold, well cooler anyhow, that makes me want to block swap. I want to piece random odd bits of fabric, send them off in the mail & get someone else's random odd bits back.

Most of the block swaps I do these days are swaps that I organize. Not because I am a control freak (& curse anyone thinking I am) but because I run an every-other month swap & keeping up with that is as much as I can do. But one of the sites I follow announced a 9-patch swap. 9-patch, how hard is that? & BIG 9-patches, with one of the two fabrics being white or off-white. Bright, clean & quick.

There were six people in my swap set & I made my blocks the first week-end & was about to mail them. Fortunately I checked e-mail because in the time the names were posted & the time I finished, one person had dropped out. Someone else had dropped right in, but it was still a bad omen.

I mailed my blocks, got two sets back within that first week or two & since then nothing. Bupkis. Zilch. The mail-by deadline was a few days ago, so I am not optimistic anything more will arrive. I understand things come up, I really do. But in a self-selecting set (after all, quilt block swaps are hardly mandatory) only three out of seven people managed to meet a known deadline. Only one of the four that did not was aware they would not meet the deadline. That is a greater than 50% failure rate & only 25% of those who failed acknowledged they would fail.

Is this more annoyed than I should be? Probably. But I cannot help but notice that not one of the three that DID receive blocks from me (& the other two, am sure) but did not send theirs have not returned mine either. & although we are all on the same e-mail list, none sent a message saying "hey, my kid is sick/relatives are visiting/full moon came early & now I am a werewolf" to explain.

Is this the end of the world? No. But it is probably the end of my participating in this kind of block swap. Which is a shame, really because like it or not I represent the less-than-50% who actually did the work. & maybe, just maybe that is why the swap failed. Way-back-when four people mailed & one did not, one of those four said "screw this" & dropped out. Then three people mailed one did not, two people mailed & one did not, & so forth. It will not be long before only people who are not really able to meet the deadline/do the job/communicate with others are the ones who actually sign up. & I guarantee one of them will complain to the organizer about her fellow deadbeats.

//before you ask, the way my swap works is everyone sends their blocks to me, i swap them & send them back in a SASE by each swapper. It means that you do not have to pay for postage except to & from yourself & that no one needs to worry about not getting back what they put in.

UPDATE: less than 30 minutes after this posted I did indeed get another set of blocks. They were postmarked 2 days after the deadline.


  1. Almost every swap I have ever been in has been like this. I always send early and then wait, and wait, and give up.

  2. i'm trying to cut back on my swaps this month... i did so many in august and september (mainly mini quilts) that i need a break.

    but like you, i've had some flakers. i'm still waiting *patiently* for a mini quilt from a swap in JULY. she swears she hasn't flaked to myself and the swap mama, but nothing has come yet.... i sent hers. and the thing is, i mailed her my fabric!! i'm out fabric and time.

  3. I got my bitch on too early-two more envelopes arrived today which means only one is AWOL. I am actually most pleased with what I got & will be displaying it, in all its quilted glory, in a future post.

  4. that should have been NONE is AWOL. Me no count pretty.