Monday, 20 October 2014

How Virtual Swaps Work!

In advance of our Christmas swap – yes we are having another one! – I thought I’d put up a post on how virtual swaps work and how to create a mosaic of likes to help your partner make you an item you would like to receive.

Modern Quilt Guild of IrelandThis year’s swap sign up will open on Friday. For anyone who hasn’t taken part in a swap before they are brilliant fun and this is open to members of Modern Quilters Ireland residing in Ireland. Apologies to our members abroad, Christmas being a busy postal time we are limiting this swap to Ireland residents only. We do have more swaps planned for next year.

If you are not currently a member, and want to join up (membership is free) please find the information and link to the registration form here.

Our virtual swaps are secret swaps so you will not know who will be making your swap item for you. On the sign up form, there are spaces to fill in to give your partner an idea of what you like. For example you may love Heather Ross prints or Tula Pink’s mad animal prints, you may hate Christmas wreaths and holly but love snowmen, reindeers and Santa. Try and give your partner an idea of the style or colour you like to ensure you don’t get something you don’t like in the swap! Likewise try and keep your partner’s likes in mind as you are making your swap item and gift them what they would like rather than what you want to receive!

As this is a beginner friendly swap all skill levels are welcome. We will try and match skill level but be generous we were all beginners once! If you sign up and something happens that prevents you from completing your item let us know. Life happens, (kids get sick and give the flu to the whole house! ) and we may have to call on a swap angel to make sure your assigned swap partner isn’t left in the lurch. It happened to me on a Halloween sewing swap and the organiser felt so bad, I felt sorry for her as well!

With a secret swap you are allowed stalk your partner online! Yes this sounds creepy but it is the only time I can think of that its ok to be a stalker and look at your swap partners instagram, Flickr, or blog without them figuring out you are their assigned partner. So please when you get your partners details don’t suddenly start following them on social media – wait until your swap item is in the post! Part of the fun is keeping it secret and having the surprise when you receive your parcel in the post too!
1. Winter Baubles, 2. From Belair to Yosemite, 3. Tablerunner Progress, 4. Minimalist trees Modern Christmas Table Runner, 5. brrr christmas table runner, 6. Table Runner for the SHG Table Runner and Wall Hanging Swap, 7. Christmas table runner, 8. Christmas Fabric Bee- Finally!, 9. Holiday Table Runner, 10. Snowman Table Runner, 11. Christmas table runner, 12. Christmas table runner finished!, 13. Christmas Wonky Star Table Runner 1 Detail 2, 14. Nutcracker Sweets Table Runner, 15. Finished Christmas table runner, 16. Funky Christmas Table Runner

To participate in the swap you are required to make a mosaic of items you like, to help your partner out. The easiest way to do this is on Flickr. If you do a search on Flickr say for a Table Runner (last years swap), you can mark the items you like as a favourite by hovering over the photo and clicking on the star symbol. To make a mosaic a 3x3 grid or a 4x4 grid is usually good so you would need to star 9 or 16 items.

Then go to Big Huge Labs mosaic maker here and click on the number of columns and rows you want, click on Flickr faves and add in your Flickr name. Click create and a mosaic will be created automatically for you. If you have blanks in your mosaic it is because the person who owns that photo has opted out of allowing big huge labs to do this. You can remove that particular photo from your faves or leave the one blank in your mosaic if you wish.
Big huge labs automatically creates a legend with links to the original photos that you can copy and paste into your photo description when you upload your mosaic to Flickr. It is important to respect other peoples images even if they are shared freely on Flickr and Pintrest. Always give credit where credit is due!
If you want to manually create your own mosaic rather than Flickr faves, click on individually on the mosaic maker screen. Find an image you like and right click on it, then click on copy link location. Paste this into the url box and Big Huge Labs will pull this photo in and keep the link information to create a legend for you automatically.


Save your mosaic and upload to the Flickr group Modern Irish Quilters Swap. When the swap partners are assigned you will get a link to your partners mosaic and she yours. As you are making please share in progress photos and participate in the Flickr group by commenting on other’s shared work. If you are posting photos to Instagram please use the hash tag #modernirishquilters so we can find your photos and follow along. This is a way for us to get to know each other better, have some fun and receive a lovely item in time for Christmas.
Pincushion in progress
Don't forget to upload a photo of the item received and thank your swap partner!
Table runner I received from Sarah last year - thank you!

So get ready! Please join us on Friday when sign ups open on Flickr!

-Ruth

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