Are You an IG Swap Virgin?

If you are new to swaps, and have questions, you are not alone! Today’s blog will cover the basic “how to’s” for the common swap on Instagram.

The first thing to know about swaps is that they are F-U-N and not with just a capital “F” but with all three of those letters capped. Yes, I’m yelling. They are FUN! But you kinda know that already with all the posts you’ve been seeing about them on Instagram. You know, things like, “Oh, I really shouldn’t but I just can NOT help myself” or “Another one! I’m in SQUEEEE” or perhaps “Are you in @soandso”? (my apologies if that’s a real IG name) and other gleeful, hopeful and excited swapper comments.

There are all kinds of different swaps. There really is something for everyone.

I can’t cover them all in this post (see my last post. We are moving! What business do I have sitting down to write a post, anyway? I should be organizing to move.) I’ll touch on a few just so you get a taste.

Want to collect different fabrics without having to hunt them all down yourself? Then be on the lookout for a color swap. Or a favorite designer swap. Or a pre-cut (charm, layer cake, 10″ square, etc.) These are efficient swaps to get your stash built up.

I am currently involved in the Liberty Stamp Swap, where participants are making 28 blocks of 16 2.5″ squares with no repeating Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics. This one has been dreamy. Truly. I love Liberty of London, London, fabric, sewing, quilts….right up my alley. Anyway, come June I’ll be mailing off my completed blocks and then receiving 27 back…all sewn by different people.

Then there is the themed swap, which my IG friend @dizzylittlekingdom introduced me to with her Paris Swap and Bee Still My Heart Swap. Both themed swaps will involve one sewn item, a treat, a FQ of fabric, and in the case of the Bee, honey or honey-related item (since shipping honey across the ocean or from country to country is problematic), as well as a sewing notion and a treat. It’s a great combo.

How do you find a swap, you may be asking? Well, stalk Instagram. I joined IG not too long ago and started following other quilters by doing a search for #quilt #quilts #sewing and before you know it you will jump into the incredible IG world of making new friends world-wide who have the same love for sewing you do. Soon you will see posts that involve swaps. These posts either come from the swap host or by people reposting from the host. The best thing to do is to find the originator, which is easily done by reading through comments. Usually the host’s IG name is in there somewhere. Then go to the host’s profile and there may be information on the profile or you can check through their feed to see where the post first pops up. It’s easier than it sounds and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

There are a few ways hosts handle swaps. Sometimes you just have to leave your email in a comment. Other times you need to go to the host’s profile and click on a link for a Google form to complete. Take note that after you fill out the form you are brought to a screen that shows that you signed up. And the poof…it seems gone. You will not get an email confirmation or anything. So you might want to fill out the form again and the same thing happens. The worst that will happen is that you will have signed up twice but the host will catch it. Don’t worry.

Details for the swap are generally outlined in the beginning. What it will involve, if it’s secret or not and when the ship date is. If everything is vague, the host will be sending out more info soon or in an email after sign ups are complete. It all magically comes together.

If you’ve had enough info to get started, go on…hop on IG and see what you can find. If you want more info, another very basic post is coming.

I know there are no pretty pictures, quotes and so on that make a great blog post. But I can’t fiddle with that today. I’ve got to get my sewing stuff packed up safely so I know exactly what boxes to find in the new house. Thanks for reading and I hope it helped.

P.S. Swap experts-Please leave comments below to help out swappers!

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