I thought that this time would be a lot smoother. It kinda was and it kinda wasn't. It was in that I knew more heading in as far as what the bumps in the road might be, and it wasn't in that I tried to prevent a few bumps and was only moderately successful. In the interest of providing helpful information for posterity, here are a few notes about it.
|Piles of 5" strips waiting to be cut into squares.|
Spoonflower offered the participants each a 20% discount on their total purchase. That was super fun.
The participants signed up by commenting on the post and then got a summary e-mail from me outlining how it'd work. A few people dropped at that point because they realized the process is a bit complicated or that the timing wouldn't work for them. The "alternates" list came in handy. Participants got a request from me to submit their info for a Google doc that collected all of the relevant info (usernames for Flickr and Blogger, mailing address, whether they'd be willing to cut fabric for an international participant if they themselves were domestic, etc) and after uploading their picks to the Flickr group, they got a second request to add their links to another Google doc along with their indication of when they had or expected to place their order.
Using Google docs meant I got to get all nerdy and excited looking at the highly specific and scientific data I collected, such as:
So, as I've already said, each person signing up is expecting to get 112 different Spoonflower fabrics back. Since the waiting period from order to fabric delivery varied, and got longer at the time that Spoonflower ran their free swatch day, participants waited anywhere from 9-30 days to get their fabric. If at any point after the Flickr approvals anyone had told me THEN that they wanted out, it'd have been really problematic, timeline-wise. Even without that happening, the longer end of that delivery range meant that one poor participant from Canada whose fabric was going to a PO Box in the US was making repeated 2 hour round-trip drives to see if her fabric had arrived. Ouch, right? That's dedication!
So it wasn't until after Christmas that I finally had alllll of the fabric in my hands. Had I known that the original timeline would get pushed aaaanywhere within two weeks of Christmas, I'd not have run the swap. But... maybe I wasn't thinking rationally. It was the fabric fever.
Once all of the fabric was in-house, I called in Kyra, who had participated in the swap, to come and help sort. It sounds like a simple enough task, right? You'd think. But with all of the different packages, quite a few sets coming in multiple pieces, a variety of ways folks had prepared their fabric and a bunch of sets that had exceptions (switched fabric for squares that had been mis-cut, for example) it took the two of us sorting for about 4 hours to get it all done. And to check the lists to make sure everything was accounted for.
And now? It's all accounted for. There are so many prints here that it's a bit overwhelming-- much like a game of I Spy.
I did my best to keep the fabric out of my oldest daughter's sight. Because if/when she does see it she wants to run off with it.
I'm so relieved to be sending these sets off to their new homes. I get so antsy about missing deadlines. And now that that's done it means I can finally get to work with my own squares. I've started an I Spy project page on Pinterest, and my to-do list is shaping up.
112 squares times 25 square inches each is a LOT of I Spy coverage. Please accept these three photos as a representative sample.
The folks that participated have been patient, which has made me happy even as the timeline streeetched. And I got happy notes and treats along with the fabric, which made it feel all the more festive. Now I'm hoping they'll add their project photos to the Flickr group!
Will I do another swap? I may. But I also have another idea that you might like if you missed this round. An idea that was born as a result of some of the more difficult parts of swap organization. In the coming week or two, you'll see more on that!