For this newest swap, it was where a theme and fabric colors were given, and each participant used her own fabric choices and block of choice to fit the theme, then made one block for each of the participants signed up plus one block for the hostess of the swap. All blocks were mailed to the hostess, who sorted them and mailed each participant back one block from each of the other participants. In this case, 15 people signed up, so I made 16 blocks total (15 people plus an extra for the hostess).
In September and October we sewed. At the beginning of November, we mailed the blocks, along with a return envelope with enough postage to get our 15 blocks back. The hostess sorted them out, added an extra block to each of us as her gift to us, and mailed them back. Everyone included delivery confirmation slips, and we all started tracking our packages once the hostess posted that she had mailed them at the beginning of last week.
Since the hostess was in Ohio, and I live in Michigan, and I'd used a priority mail envelope (and postage!), I figured mine might arrive the day before Thanksgiving.
It didn't. According to the postal service website and my tracking number, it went from Ohio to Pennsylvania. What?? How is Pennsylvania on the way north to Michigan??
Oh bummer. Now I had to wait through the no-mail-on-Thanksgiving holiday to hopefully get my package on Friday. Just in case, I checked the postal website on the night of Thanksgiving. It said that my package had arrived at a sorting facility in Michigan, from Pennsylvania, that morning. Oh joy!! It would definitely show up in my mailbox on Friday then, right?
Nope. On Friday, the mail came and went. No package. What the---?? Again, I got online and tracked my package courtesy of the postal service website. To find that instead of arriving in my mailbox on Friday, my package had arrived at a sorting facility in Phoenix Arizona!!! Ummm, hello? Post office? I think you made a mistake! How does a package, addressed to a mailbox in Michigan go from a sorting facility in Michigan to Phoenix AZ?? Sounds like a waste of fuel to me.
All through the long weekend I waited. And worried. And tracked. At least by Sunday afternoon the website said my package was back in Michigan. So, hopefully, not totally lost.
Finally, Monday afternoon, it appeared in my mailbox. Hooray!! All is right with the world!! (Except I'm wondering why my 2-3 day priority rate package took almost a week and a long detour to get from Ohio to me here in Michigan.)
Anyway, when I opened the package, it was just like the best surprise party ever with the bestest friends ever. Taking those quilt blocks out, one by one, admiring the skill that had gone into each and every one of them, reading the names and locations of those who had made them, that was like being surrounded by people who love you, all lined up to give you a hug.
Here is a picture of all 16 blocks as I laid them out on the living room floor when I opened the package. The little white squares and rectangles are the name tags attached to each block, telling the name of the maker and where the block is from.
The theme was rustic/cabin (what you'd see in/around an old cabin), and the colors were the colors of autumn: golds, browns, greens, etc. Blocks were made by wonderful ladies in MI, OH, TX, VA, NY, WA, OR, AL, AZ, MS, TN and Quebec, Canada.
Now I can't wait to be done sewing up Christmas gifts so that I can start sewing these lovely blocks together into a quilt. Then my far away quilting friends can give me a hug every time I wrap up in it. :o)