What to send in a pouch swap!

Have you always wondered what to send in a pouch swap (beyond the designated pouch of course)? Well then, here is a little note to help you decide on the ‘extras’. You can definitely send just the swap item, but where is the fun in that!

Pouch Swap package

So Step 1:

Put a fair deal of effort into the swap item itself, pouch in this case. You don’t want your partner to feel unhappy or cheated in any way for receiving a sub optimal swap product. If you are a newbie, then make attempts to practise before you make the final product for the swap.

People who know me, know that that I love to make pouches so am not exactly a newbie. However there is always something more to learn, even in a simple zippered pouch—like adding fabric tabs on both ends or adding an extra pocket on the inside or interfacing the fabric a particular way. Use this opportunity to learn, practise and improve.

Here is my first and second attempt. The second one goes out to my partner.

First attempted pouch

Swap Pouch

Step 2:

Stalk stalk stalk your partner. I would never advocate stalking in real life but here, if your swap recipient is unknown to you, in a different location or country, you have no option but to go online and check their various social media handles to see what they like and what colours they prefer.

My partner has hardly any social media presence and her pics are primarily the ones posted by her friends so I made some educated guesses. And here are the tips for you in case you land up in a similar situation like me. I know she loves to sew as she is part of a quilting group and has made a pouch for the swap; maybe she takes a hot beverage to her sewing desk or even a cold one…so I made her a matching mug rug to help hold her tea/coffee or catch the condensation from the cold drink. This was a perfect opportunity for me to practise my Y seems as well. So double benefit 🙂

Mug rug and thread spools

Step 3:

Look at the social surroundings. Its COVID time and everybody can do with an extra mask. All the better if its hand made and hand embroidered; so thinking I added this mask to the mix.

Hand embroidered Mask

Step 4:

Every quilter on earth loves some extra notions, even if they have a tonne! So a few spools of thread are making it to the swap package as well. I would suggest you keep off from fragile items like scales and sharp objects like an awl as they are difficult to ship; a broken scale or an improperly packed awl is more trouble than gain for the recipient. Lace and fabric are a good option, if you know your swap partner’s preferences.

Also, try to keep the packaging flat. My first choice would have been embroidery floss but I don’t know if she does any hand embroidery at all, so machine thread it is!

Step 5:

While I love receiving candies and chocolates in swaps, its difficult when you are shipping them from a metro in India. Contents check at the Post office usually make you remove chocolates. Also, liquids are not allowed via Speed Post so try to prevent sending homemade jam, sauce etc…just saying.

Step 6:

A step that completely lights up the recipient’s face….a hand written note telling the partner how you felt making the pouch and putting together the package for them, Trust me, nothing beats the feeling of receiving a personal, hand written note in a beautiful sheet of paper no matter your hand writing (as long as its legible, she will love it)!

Step 7:

Last but not the least, post it on time. Don’t keep your partner waiting for the goodie bag. I know, life happens and if it does, then send a note to the swap coordinator letting them know that the package would be delayed or that you wouldn’t be able to send it so they can pick an angel when there is still time. Don’t keep your unsuspecting partner hanging at the door, waiting for the postman!

Keep in mind that quilting swaps are a fun events! Don’t stress too much and just enjoy the process. As you take part in multiple swaps, you will get a hang of what to send and how to put together a beautiful package for your swap partner!

Here is what I received from my partner, the super talented Lalitha Rajan ! Thanks a bunch girl 🙂

Received : Beautiful Pouch and batua!

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