The secret life of secret swaps

It is no secret that Instagram is BIG. And no secret that the communities formed are supportive and inspirational. And that ig friends become real life friends.
The ‘hashtag’ has become a uniting link. One such hashtag is #saturdaynightcraftalong. Those crafting on a Saturday night around the world post photos of their makes or WIP and add this hashtag to their photo. Crafters who join in are encouraged to follow the hashtag and support others in the community. Crafters can join any Saturday. Or every Saturday.
There are three lovely and dedicated ladies that take the lead and organise this crafty bunch around the world. Rachel @thebarefootcrafter in Australia, Lucy @charmaboutyou in the UK and Meg @myteaandbrie in the USA.
In it’s second year running we have just participated in the #sncaswap2018. 180 crafters globally participated in a secret swap. After completing a few questions and registering your interest on of the organisers sends out your swap partners details. Although the person you create for is not the person you receive from.
Each participant is encouraged to post a mosaic on Instagram. A mosaic is a collection of images and photos to assist your partner with your likes and preferences. Although everyone welcomes the idea of being surprised.
Each crafter had about 5 weeks to make a main item and add one smaller made or purchased item to the package. All packages were to be sent by the end of the first week in December in time for receipt before Christmas. Participants were also encouraged to post progress shots without revealing too much. The element of surprise was paramount. Crafters posted cryptic photos, photos of their wrapping and photos of their postal receipts.
The swap is an opportunity to use colours you normally would not. Try a new pattern. Or create something completely different.
It also a lovely way to connect with your partner and form another ig friendship.
Participants then shared what they received on instagram.

In researching for this post I reviewed all 680 posts [at the time of writing] that had the hashtag #sncaswap2018. The top 3 and the most popular were:

fabric pouch

drawstring bag

mini quilts

Followed by [in random order]:

needle-case

bunting

fobs

thread catcher

fabric bucket

roll and go

sewing organiser

scissor pouch

patchwork doll

patchwork stocking

stitchery cushion

gadget holder

wallets

project bag

scarf

sofa arm sewing caddy

wall hanging

knitted socks

pincushions

mug case

mug warmer

mug rug

cowl

cross stitch decoration

cushion

oven mitt

tea towel

Japanese knot bag

table runner

supply case

bag

fabric baskets

rope basket

wire/bead tree

hoop applique

pillow case

fabric ball

And the mini extras included:

washi tape

tape measure

knitting nancy

badges

pins

decorative pin

scissors

pincushion

lollies

chocolates

charm packs

gingerbread

ribbon

lipstick pincushion

stickers

baking cups

bookmarks

crochet star

fabric star

notepad

Christmas decorations

mug

wallet

keyring

embroidery floss

mug cosy

coasters

hoop pack

lip balm

travel sewing case

Christmas bauble

felt ginger bread decoration

I received this package from the talented and generous Natasha@sewcraftynatasha.

‘Cookies for Santa’ embroidered tea towel and oven mitt

Reindeer and sleigh cookie cutters

Miniature cupcakes, cup and teapot

a beautifully handmade card

And this is the package I sent my partner.

Tara loves amongst other things, drinking tea and reading. So I set about making a tea themed package, ‘a teapot cosy’ pouch and tea cup bookmark. It is the first time I tried the dumpling pouch pattern I found on pinterest

and I designed the teacup bookmark from inspiration of the beautiful Russian beaded brooches I have seen on Instagram.

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