Monday, November 24, 2008

Swap Frustrations

Many of the people that read this blog have been participants in swaps, so they are able to share in my frustration. In fact, some of them have even hosted swaps as I do. You know the challenges of satisfying all people even more.
My round robin is coming to a close soon. People are finishing the quilting on their pieces, and sending them out to their final recipients. And then we anxiously await the happy email saying how much they like their quilt.

Or maybe not so much like that. This particular quilt did not really suit the taste of it's new owner, much to my disappointment.

In this round robin session, I allowed preferences as to what they like or dislike, and each of the 4 partners working on a particular quilt were given these. The intention was to more closely customize a final quilt to the end recipient's taste. It seemed good in theory. The problem is when quilter's take their own liberty to ignore these preferences, as is permitted (though not preferred). People come to expect a quilt that adheres to their stated preferences, forgetting that this is still a swap. I'd like to think that when people state things that they definitely dislike, a quilter will read these as a requirement for the quilt. Problem is, some people apparently dislike some colors that may be requested, and chose their own.

As the hostess of this swap, I feel somewhat responsible. But in reality, all I actually did was the quilting & binding. The center has a lovely applique. Simple, but still leaving the door open to make this in the requested colors. Because the borders are basic, I was stuck trying to be creative with the quilting (a position I prefer not to be in!!).

I used an ivory rayon thread in much of the center, and a variagated rose-red King Tut for the outer border. The center has some additional patterning, and is filled with a small stipple. Double click and you can see the details.
I mimicked the center flower on the outer border to try to carry the design through. This shows a little bit from the back side.
It's hard to blame anybody here. I hate to do that. Swaps by nature incur risk. I know that better than most, having a number of crappy swapping experiences this year. I am sorry you do not care for red. I am sorry that this was not specified in your preferences. On behalf of this quilting project, I did all I could to ensure that you received a nice quilt. That's all I can say.


Kathy said...

Margaret, I am so sorry that you are having some "issues with this swap. This is the second swap I've participated where you have been the host. I think you have done a GREAT job. You should not feel responsible if a quilt goes wrong. You have tried very hard to accomodate people's tastes.

This quilt is very nice and I think you have done an OUTSTANDING job on the quilting. I would be pleased to receive it!

Penny said...

I think the quilt looks wonderful. Great quilting! Sorry about the disappointment. Must be a personal taste thing. I don't think I'd have said a single word, if it were my quilt... You sort of run the risk when you swap.

black bear cabin said...

This quilt is lovely...anyone i know would be happy to receive it. Some folks are just a little tooooo picky...after all, if i wanted something TOTALLY specific, i would make it myself! The point is to receive something with the artists flair...something perhaps you wouldnt make yourself...something to surprise you. Many of the swaps i have participated in i have seen quilts in colors i never would have chose or thought i would like and they are lovely! Thats why i try to keep my specs open...i love the excitement of seeing whats in that squishy :) It may not always be exactly what i wanted, but then it was made for me with a lot of heart put into it, and in the end, thats what i love about my quilt :)
hang in there!

Emma said...

I think it looks great too - your quilting is as impressive a always! It's a pity people aren't so understanding as they should be. Of course, I happen to have absolutely loved both my FSQS and ALQS quilts - if you feel responsible for the so-called bad, then also take credit for the wonderful results which dominate! Don't let a few frustrations ruin it for you.

Helen Conway said...

To tell a host of a swap that you do not like the outcome is the height of bad manners and missed the whole point of the swap i.e the secret surpise at the end. All she achieved was to make you feel unecessarily bad.
To hopefully balance that - I was looking at sneak peeks on the blog and also expecting to be a little disapointed as none of them looked enticing. Then mine arrived and it is gorgeous. Love it!
Thnaks for al your hard work.

Margaret aka Supermom said...

I did not view it as bad manners, but honesty. I want to hear if there are issues - flaws, poor workmanshit, etc. I don't mind hearing that she was unsatisfied, it just made me upset though, as I couldn't really have controlled it.
Ultimately as the host, I want all people to end the process of the RR pleased and ready to do it again. I don't like it when quilters just don't follow rules either.

Cascade Lily said...

"poor workmanshit"

LOL Margaret. I think you summed it up really in your comment on this post.

I though that was the joy of swaps? Not knowing what you're receiving and appreciating the work someone else has done on your behalf...whether you would have made the same creative decisions or not.