Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Color BLOCK Swap!


It's time! We've finally gotten settled in our new house, my husband is settling into physical therapy and a walking boot and life is starting to feel normal. Amazing how a move will throw a wrench in all the best laid plans. But it's time to get back into the swing of things! And that means COLOR BLOCK SWAP!

 If you're new here, read all the instructions/FAQ below. If you're a pro, just scroll down to the schedule at the bottom. Keep in mind that I'm only doing this once this year. So if there's a color you're desperately seeking, make sure you sign up for that round.  Happy fabric shopping!

What's a Color Block Swap?

Beginning January 2nd, you'll be able to sign up for 1, 2, or 3 colors for a 10" square layer cake. The goal is to give you 40 different basic blender fabrics that can be used in a variety of projects.  Each color will be offered once in the fall and once in the spring. I spaced the colors out so you can do some theme sewing/quilting if you want (You'll get Halloween colors by the end of September, Christmas colors by the end of October, and Valentine's colors by the end of January). You will pick a single print, cut it into 40 squares, and ship the squares to me by the deadline. I sort them and send you a beautiful stack of basic blender fabric.

What do you need to do?

1. Sign up. We go live on January 2 (see the schedule at the bottom).

2. Post your fabric choice, along with designer and fabric line, to Instagram by the deadline. Only 100% quilting cotton will be accepted. No big box fabrics will be accepted (Joann fabrics calicos, walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc. are NOT quilting cottons. The exception to this is Kona solids you can buy at Joann Fabrics). This ensures that we don't have duplicate fabric choices in your layer cake. Because your posts have to be visible to the whole group, you must register and post using a PUBLIC instagram account. 
3. Purchase 3 yards of the print you've posted. (Don't cut your fabric until after the sign up deadline and after you get an email from me with the go ahead!)
4. Cut it into 40 10" squares, using a rotary cutting system. Be careful! Squares with jagged edges or squares that don't measure at least 10" will be returned.
5. Pay your $10 return shipping fee to me. The $10 covers your shipping fee, the cost of the shipping label, and the cost to sort, package and ship your bundles. You pay $10, whether you sign up for 1, 2, or 3 colors. Instructions for payment will be in the confirmation email. 
5. Mail your squares to me by the shipping deadline. My address will be in the confirmation email you receive when you register. Please be aware of shipping deadlines. Packages received after the deadline will be returned. 
6. Anxiously await your happy mail. I will distribute packages by the distribution deadline. 


Do I have to sign up for all three colors?

No. You can sign up for 1, 2, or all 3. You can also sign up for multiples of a single color. So if your stash is woefully small in the orange department, you can sign up for two bundles of orange. This means you'll pick, cut and ship two different fabrics. You'll likely receive two identical bundles, but then you'll have double the options for blender fabric! 
*Note: I can only ship 3 layer cakes per Padded Flat Rate Envelope. That means if you choose to sign up for more than 3 options, you'll pay $15, instead of $10.  Please keep this in mind when signing up. 

Why do I have to post my fabric on Instagram? And why does it have to be a public account?

I use Instagram to catalog what fabric color block swap participants choose. It's the easiest way for me to keep track of your choices. When you post your fabric choice to the hashtag for that round, it lets everyone know that your chosen fabric has been claimed. Private accounts who post to a hashtag will not be seen by other users, unless those users follow you. This defeats the purpose of cataloging your fabric choices via hashtags. 

Can I use more than one fabric or do all 40 squares have be from the same print? 
For this swap, all 40 squares need to be from the same print. This is another way I ensure that we don't have duplicate fabrics in your layer cake. 

What is a basic blender fabric?
A blender fabric is a fabric that reads a single color and that can be used on a small scale. The goal with this swap is to give you a stack of fabric that can be used in a variety of projects. Blender fabrics tend to be solid, tone on tone fabrics, or single color with some white/cream designs on them. Am easy, super scientific method of establishing whether something is a blender fabric is what I call the "squint test". Squint your eyes and look at your fabric. Does it read a single color or is the design distracting? If it reads solid and has a small scale pattern repeat, it's probably a blender. See! Super scientific. 

How do I cut my fabric once I've purchased it? 
I posted my method of cutting the fabric here. You're free to use any method for cutting squares, but you need to cut them with a rotary system. Hand cut squares with jagged, crooked edges, as well as squares that are too small will be returned. 

If I sign up for one round of Color Block Swap, am I committing to sign up for all future rounds? 
No. When you sign up for a specific round, that's all you're signing up for. I won't send you random emails or contact you for any purpose other than confirmation of your registration,  instructions for shipping your squares, and any pertinent status updates. 

I've participated in past rounds and have sometimes received two squares of a print. Why is that?
The goal with every round is to get 40 different participants, so you get 40 different fabrics in your layer cake. But I also don't want to fall behind on deadlines or keep you from getting fabric in your hands. So, if the deadline comes and we only have 30 participants, you'll get a few repeats in your bundle. You'll never receive more than two squares of a fabric and I double check to make sure you still get 40 squares. After doing this multiple times last year, I've figured out the pattern for doing this effectively. If I make a mistake, I'll make up for it and send you squares from my stash!

I live outside the continent USA. Can I still participate? 
Absolutely! International participants are welcome. You just need to make sure you get the fabric to me in the shipping window. You will also need to 
Pay the cost of international shipping + $5. So, a padded flat rate envelope to Canada is $23.95. You'd pay $28.95 for return shipping. 

Color Block Swap Schedule:

You'll find the schedule for the 2017 Color Block Swaps below. The first deadline listed is the deadline for selecting/posting fabric choices and paying your return shipping fee. The "receive by" deadline means that any packages received after that date will be returned. Distribution is the date I've assigned myself to get your packages sorted, packaged and mailed.

Are you excited for all the fabric gorgeousness (that's absolutely a word!)? I can't wait to see what fabrics you pick. Start stalking your favorites fabric vendors now! The first sign up will be posted here in two weeks. See you then!



If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at


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