I have recently caught the fabric swapping bug. A friend of mine from my local guild posted some photos on her Facebook page of some of the fabrics her swap buddy sent her. After drooling a bit over these fabulous fabric finds, I immediately went online and started researching fabric swaps and signed up for the next month’s swap.
- You sign up for the months you want to participate.
- There are no fees to join, you only pay for the fabric you purchase, any goodies you send as extra fun, and the shipping costs.
- You generally have until the end of the month to register for the following month. You might be asked to provide such information such as your favorite colors, favorite designers, or favorite collections which will help your swap partner pick out the perfect fabric for you.
- There will generally be a deadline by which to have your package sent out.
The swap I signed up for is organized by a wonderful quilting blog called Kool Beenz. Each month we send out four different fat quarters that are unwashed and quilt quality. This has been great fun for me; every month I look forward to seeing what my buddy has sent me and sending out my own packages. What better way to grow your stash and try out new fabrics you may not have considered before?
Quick Fabric Lesson
Speaking of fabrics, did you know that all fabric is not created equally? There is craft fabric, sewing fabric, and quilting cottons. Craft fabric is stiffer and feels rough, and is often carried at big box stores like Walmart. Sewing fabric is soft and often has polyester in it. There will be quite a bit of stretch in this fabric because it is used for sewing clothing, which needs to move with the body. Jo-Ann’s, Hancock, and Hobby Lobby sell all variety of these fabrics. (You really need to know what you are looking for if you shop at these stores.)
Quilt quality fabric is made of cotton and is tightly woven. If you hold it up to the light you will not be able to see between the thread weaves. The best bet for buying appropriate fabric is to frequent your local quilt store. They will already have shelves of precut fat quarters ready for you to peruse. If you shop at bigger fabric stores like Jo-Ann’s or Hancock, just check with a sales person to help locate their quilt fabric section.
Finding Your Own Swaps
All it takes is a quick Google search to find out where the great fabric swaps are. Many of your favorites quilting forums or blogs like Kool Beenz organize swaps that you can participate in by simply contacting the organizer and expressing your interest. Your local quilt guilds or associations might also organize swaps that you could sign up for. Or why not organize your own? All you need is a handful of quilting friends and a little bit of organization and you’ll be swapping in no time.
Swapping can stretch your creativity too. In addition to swapping fabric, fat quarters, or charm packs, you could swap mini quilts, UFOs, finished blocks, favorite patterns, notions, and the like. The possibilities are endless!Here are few of my other favorite swapping sites you can check out:
So now that you’re armed with a little information, it’s time to join in on the fun! Happy swapping!
Get in touch! Leave a comment or email email@example.com.
I’m new to quilting & watching YouTube gives me many ideas to use. Now I plan to make quilts for my family. Anything suggestions from other quilting friends will make my day.
I checked out Kool Beenz and found their latest post was in Feb 2016.
Hi! I looked everywhere for an active swap and couldn’t find one, so I’m starting a group to begin swapping 4″x4″ charm squares through the mail like this in January 2018:
Anyone interested is welcome to join!
Just saw your posting about the 4×4 fabric swap. Are you planning to host one for 2019? I would be interested. Hope to hear from you soon.
Yes. I just joined the group and there is a sign-up for a swap this month.
Haven’t swapped in about 15 years… ready to get back on the horse
Love the idea! Our Guild recently had a speaker – Kelly DuMaresq – who spoke on Scrap Quilting and gave a workshop on what to do with your scraps/stash, how to keep and size them as well as provided us with a dozen free patterns. One of the results was a scrap fabric exchange. We decide on the colour/theme for the month. Register with the co-ordinator of the program (me) then bring one 2.5 x WOF strip for everyone on the list to our next meeting. I send out the list the week before our next Guild meeting. You bring your strips to our monthly meeting and do the exchange. There you sign up for the following month, if you wish. One lady in our group cuts a 2.5 in strip off every new piece of fabric she buys. She has been doing it for years and you should see the stash she has accumulated. Great sharing, great fun! We just started this so everyone is looking forward to seeing what quilts will get made from this scrap exchange.
I am looking for a swap group to share fabric charms (2″x2″). The Curious Quilter is running one in October but I want more and sooner 🙂
I am in a 55 and over RV park and would like to put on a fabric swap day. I have no idea how to do this. I want a successful swap and requesting how to do this, if you have information to help me please email me.
Here is a great article with information on different ways to host a fabric swap:
How to Host a Fabric Swap – ellisonlane<http://ellisonlane.com/2012/02/how-to-host-fabric-swap.html>
Ever thought about hosting a fabric swap but were unsure how to start? Fabric swaps are a fun, affordable way to get a large variety of fabrics without having to buy …
Hope this helps!
Eager to join do you ship international? Thanks
Hi, Susan. Thank you for your comment. We currently only ship products in the U.S. to avoid high international shipping charges to our customers and to allow faster delivery of content.
Does this idea reach to the UK? Hope so
Hi Susan. I live in Canada and have the same issue with programs and products from the USA. I suggest you join a quilt guild and set up your own swap within the guild. We just did that starting with strips – 2.5 inch by Width of Fabric . Pick a colour/theme. Create a master list. Have each person registered bring enough strips for each person on the list. ie: 15 names = 15 strips. Bring the strips to the meeting and do the exchange. Choose the next theme/colour – sign up on the master list and do it again the following month. You can continue this as long as people are interested. It is inexpensive, fun and a great way to form a stash to make a scrap quilt. You can always expand the fabric amounts from there if you find enough people interested. Good Luck!