Hey fellow quilters. Time is almost here for the great sort Charlie Brown. This spot I am reserving for updates on the sorting and what nots. Until the big moment I will tease and have fun with that. Sorry can't resist. I can say I have several large containers full of stuff needed for the sort, ready to launch at a moments notice. Moohahaha. Clara the Sorting Queen
As promised, here are my suggestions on doing an exchange.
Thoughts for anyone else, as wacky as we were to start their own exchange. Hey I’m wacky and proud of it!BASICS
WARNING… Set maximum number of quilters at day one. I would recommend stopping at 150. Go for the gold if you want, but there is a price to pay.
To sign up. Have them send you a personal email with info that you need. One spot to sign up makes it easier to know how many are participating and limits the surprises. (This one was a lesson I learned. We had quilters signing up all over the website. I’m sure we missed some.)
Set maximum and minimum number of HSTs or blocks exchanged. Remember 150 x maximum is a whole lot in a hurry. Ritzy had a great idea that the maximum was based off the number of people who signed up.
Deadlines are critical. Everyone needs them, or you will have stragglers on every deadline. Life gives you curveballs, you will know when to stretch and when not to. Deadline to sign up. Deadline to get in your HSTs or blocks.
What type of fabrics. I’d say, go with your favorites. You will find lots of quilters that like your style and will get more out of it.
Set up your guidelines for your exchange on the first page of the forum. You can edit as the exchange is going. Write it in a way it is easy to scan and find the info they are looking for. Formatting might be limited. Be creative. FORUM
Do have them post something on the forum you start. That’s important. That way they don’t miss out on the social aspect and great hints, tips and stories. Using the forum for communicating worked great and has been a helpful tool in just adding the social factor to this experience. That experience was the best part I think.FOR THE PARTICIPANTS
Mix it up with your fabrics. Use a variety, so if someone has multiples from you, they will also have multiples of different fabrics. They tend to stick together and not mix easily.
Check over your guidelines. They help everyone stay consistent and there might be valuable info to help you.
Send in an allowance for the sorters/organizers. We had expenses coming in from everywhere that were unexpected. No complaints, it’s just what happened. $5-10 allowance per person would help. Everything from food to a bit of extra postage to get all those packages out of your car.
Smokers. If you are a smoker, that’s fine. Just be careful with your fabric. My hubby smokes outside, so our inside stuff isn’t covered with smoke. Use care like using fresh fabrics (washed or freshly bought) and don’t smoke where you are sewing your blocks or HSTs. This helps a great deal. Maybe put them away in a container each time you are done with a dryer sheet, until you are ready to ship.SHIPPING
Send them in a Tyvex (strong envelopes) and have your HSTs in a plastic bag inside. Tape your shipping envelope carefully. We were lucky and didn’t lose that many in the beginning. Very lucky.
Send an extra Tyvex envelope with a METERED Prepaid stamp. Makes the postman very happy! Have it already labeled and ready to go.PERSONAL
Relax, you will be tested on the boundaries that you’ve established. Know what is important to you and stick to it. Have as much fun as you can with the experience. You will get more out of it and so will everyone else.
Careful with bolds, all caps and large text. Write with a smile and your text will show it. All caps is interpreted as screaming, so scream when your excited. But you don't scream everyday right. Think of it that way. Bold can help you break up the text and organize it for searching easier in the forum. Use that.
Hope this helps. Clara aka the Sorting Queen