Spoonflower I Spy Swap 2: Wrapped Up!

Later today two big buckets of parcels and I will make our way to the post office. My portion of the process that began in November will be done. Hooo. Ray.

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.

This is a tricky swap to run. (At least, in my hyper-anxious people-pleasing mind it is.) There are 56 people each spending money on two yards of fabric plus shipping to themselves then shipping to me then shipping back to them. The total cost varies based on shipping distances, but it isn’t cheap. My aim is to make sure everyone gets out what they put in. They’re each sending 112 squares and should get 112 back.

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!


  1. says

    Susan, thank you sooo much for organizing this and all the time you put in! Seeing these pictures makes me giddy to get my hands on that fabric and start sewing! I can’t wait to see the next idea you have up your sleeve!

  2. says

    Susan and Kyra, you are The. Best. Thank you so much for taking the time to cut and sort and package and mail. And since we’re all watching our mailboxes, start watching yours. Somethings coming your way in the near future.

  3. says

    Wow, what an undertaking! I am always shy to commit to a fabric swap, but after seeing the photos of these incredible prints, I’m ready to take the leap. If you do another round, I’m in, and I’m looking forward to your new idea, too. Thank you so much for all the hard work you do on crafterhours. You are on my daily-bookmark list and I enjoy looking at your new and archived posts every day (I swear I’m not a creepy stalker, I just really dig your projects!). :)

  4. Anonymous says

    Susan and Kyra, Thanks so much for your hard work! You both earned some wine. And chocolate. And cheese. I can’t wait for my package to arrive!

    Also, would you kindly let us know what the best way to stack squares might be, from the perspection of the sorter? I think it might be useful in any swap.

    Thank you!

  5. says

    Thank you so much for organising this, and allowing international participants. I am so excited to receive my package. Time to check out the Pinterest board because I have no idea what I’m going to do when my package arrives!

  6. says

    Oooooh. Now I really wish I had signed up for this one. Those fabrics are TOO cute!

    If you ever do one in the future, I’d be happy to help out, in whatever way I can from all the way in Seattle. :)

  7. says

    I was so excited to hear I was part of the fabric designers chosen for this round of I SPY — Excited that so many out there are creating something wonderful with one of my designs. I hope that everyone will find out how fun spoonflower can really be.

    Thanks so much for making so much fun!

    Happy Computing! – PinkSodaPop @ 4ComputerHeaven.com

  8. says

    I should also mention, that I would love to be part of the next round…and that I’m dying to see what people make with this rounds fabric treasures! — Keep me informed, and don’t forget you can showcase what you have created on spoonflower easily with their upload a project photo feature! — YAY!


    ^_^ — PinkSodaPop

    • says

      Hi there! Thanks!

      That’s an excellent question. I do not know the answer. I know that I’m not doing one right *now*. For the moment I still have sets available in our shop: crafterhours.bigcartel.com and if/when I do another swap, the store mailing list over there is a good place to sign up. There’s a place on the form to make a note– you can let me know that you’re a swap enthusiast. Susan

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