I spent 3 hours yesterday sorting and making the first Alison Glass Charm Swap bundle for Group 2 (I am still waiting on 2 more packages for Group 1). As I was building up the charm bundles, I noted several things that I thought would be worth passing on as tips.
A *huge* thank you to the people who shipped me beautifully staggered stacks. The photo above is of 72 charms, grouped in “twos”. Two charms were set down, then the next two were rotated 45-degrees, and so on. This was amazing for me and made my life as the sorter placing the charms together so much easier. Something to consider!
I just cut all my charms for the #2016AlisonGlassCharmSwap! As the host, I waited for shipping confirmations before cutting fabric. All of the Group 2 charms have been received (thank you!) and I am waiting on 2 more charm packages from Group 1. I had to substitute for one person in Group 1, so I am glad to have waited and cut everything at once. I am looking forward to sorting these rainbows of fabric goodness!!! 🌈
When cutting your charms, cut 5-inches by width of fabric cuts and then leave those folded and cut your charms two at a time. There is no need to then go back and flip all your squares “right side up”. In fact, it was super helpful for me to get a stack of every other charms when sorting into the stack! For a great photo tutorial to help you visualize what I am talking about, be sure to check out Sarah Quilts: Tutorial: Cut a yard of fabric in a flash.
For those who might be interested in hosting a charm swap, I definitely believe organization is the key. My top tips for organization are:
- Use Google Sheets (or spreadsheet/list of your choice) to keep track of when you receive charms.
- The mistake I made once here was NOT marking someone as received. It happens and the person was polite to point out that I had in fact received her charms. So, don’t forget to use your tools!
- Email each person when you receive their charms.
- This really helps alleviate their anxiety about whether their charms got lost in the mail. It also has the benefit of being a double checking mechanism for you if you do forget to mark them as received in your spreadsheet. 🙂
- Send several reminder emails.
- Personally, I sent a halfway email to those who I had not received from and then a reminder 2 weeks before the final deadline (because I figured shipping really needed to be done 1 week prior to the deadline, so it was really the please ship in 1 week reminder).
- When/if someone forgets to send a pre-paid self-addressed envelope for return shipping, having them PayPal you money works well.
- Also, another great thing to keep track of in your organization spreadsheet!
- Be kind to yourself and those in the group. It is a lot to keep track of, and in the interest in giving people time to meet the deadline, it is also easy for life to slip in. Frequent communication and kindness is the key.
Have you participated in a charm swap or hosted one? Are there any tips you would add to this list?
Linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.