I generally go into swaps with eyes wide open, but still expect good quality work from all. For the last 9 months I have been doing a row robin swap. On month two, our hostess went AWOL on medical reasons and we have had little to no leadership or overseeing of quality since. The latter sure would have been nice.
I received my rows back recently. I chose something simple (or so I thought) - a row constructed of five 9" stars. I sent background fabrics out to each person too, which added to my cost since I had bought the fabric. Never in a million years would I have thought making a block (or 5 of them) with points would be so daunting. Of the six rows, only two of them are actually the right length, and are nicely designed & constructed. One row measured about an inch and a half too long. Those blocks definitely are not 9" are they? On top of size variations, I have seen the worst in thread choices. I have one entire row sewn in a rayon embroidery thread (yes, the satiny kind), and on a basting length to boot. Part of this row was even sewn with her tension all out of whack. It sure made ripping every seam out easy, but really, what was this person thinking? I may be able to salvage 2 of those blocks at best by resewing. The other three had too many HST's that had no point on them, and it's just too much work to remake them. My personal favorite was receiving a block that had a piece paper-pieced onto it upside down! Are you telling me that this was not obvious enough to fix before sending? And then there's those other 2 blocks I got that were not even stars, as I had requested, at all. I roll my eyes...
Yes, there are good swaps, and I have been a part of them and I have hosted them. They take vigilance and care to make certain that each person is doing his or her part to make each person that is a part of the swap a quality block/row. This one sadly lacked management to make it successful.
Now, I am left with a pile of at least 8-10 blocks that need reworking, a few that are completely unusable, and needing to figure out how to assemble these so as to salvage what I have despite significant size variations. On a day which I'd prefer to be just sewing, I find myself using the seam ripper for hours. I will make this work because the fabrics and blocks are lovely. Where there's a will there's a way. And for those of you that think I make a living complaining, that's not quite it either. My expectations are perhaps higher than they should be, but it is only because I do actually like many of these blocks that I am bothering to try to repair a large quantity of them Thanks, ladies, for making these rows and for putting up with my fussyness!
St Marys Quilt Show 2017
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