I love the forum titles... and can't wait to see the sorting pictures and then the triangles as they are use in what I hope are beautiful and fun quilts.
But how about a picture of the boxes, envelopes, etc before the sorting.... we had one at the beginning and I think a pile of what you have received would really open our eyes to what is ahead... and maybe a good teaser too.
In Sunny SC awating some triangles,
Nancy (aka Fluffball)
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Re: SoTTT's CHAPTER 3: THE SORTING AND BEYOND!!
09 Apr 2011 09:08 #61910
Hey fellow quilters. Time is almost here for the great sort Charlie Brown. This spot I am reserving for updates on the sorting and what nots. Until the big moment I will tease and have fun with that. Sorry can't resist. I can say I have several large containers full of stuff needed for the sort, ready to launch at a moments notice. Moohahaha. Clara the Sorting Queen
As promised, here are my suggestions on doing an exchange.
Thoughts for anyone else, as wacky as we were to start their own exchange. Hey I’m wacky and proud of it!
WARNING… Set maximum number of quilters at day one. I would recommend stopping at 150. Go for the gold if you want, but there is a price to pay.
To sign up. Have them send you a personal email with info that you need. One spot to sign up makes it easier to know how many are participating and limits the surprises. (This one was a lesson I learned. We had quilters signing up all over the website. I’m sure we missed some.)
Set maximum and minimum number of HSTs or blocks exchanged. Remember 150 x maximum is a whole lot in a hurry. Ritzy had a great idea that the maximum was based off the number of people who signed up.
Deadlines are critical. Everyone needs them, or you will have stragglers on every deadline. Life gives you curveballs, you will know when to stretch and when not to. Deadline to sign up. Deadline to get in your HSTs or blocks.
What type of fabrics. I’d say, go with your favorites. You will find lots of quilters that like your style and will get more out of it.
Set up your guidelines for your exchange on the first page of the forum. You can edit as the exchange is going. Write it in a way it is easy to scan and find the info they are looking for. Formatting might be limited. Be creative.
Do have them post something on the forum you start. That’s important. That way they don’t miss out on the social aspect and great hints, tips and stories. Using the forum for communicating worked great and has been a helpful tool in just adding the social factor to this experience. That experience was the best part I think.
FOR THE PARTICIPANTS
Mix it up with your fabrics. Use a variety, so if someone has multiples from you, they will also have multiples of different fabrics. They tend to stick together and not mix easily.
Check over your guidelines. They help everyone stay consistent and there might be valuable info to help you.
Send in an allowance for the sorters/organizers. We had expenses coming in from everywhere that were unexpected. No complaints, it’s just what happened. $5-10 allowance per person would help. Everything from food to a bit of extra postage to get all those packages out of your car.
Smokers. If you are a smoker, that’s fine. Just be careful with your fabric. My hubby smokes outside, so our inside stuff isn’t covered with smoke. Use care like using fresh fabrics (washed or freshly bought) and don’t smoke where you are sewing your blocks or HSTs. This helps a great deal. Maybe put them away in a container each time you are done with a dryer sheet, until you are ready to ship.
Send them in a Tyvex (strong envelopes) and have your HSTs in a plastic bag inside. Tape your shipping envelope carefully. We were lucky and didn’t lose that many in the beginning. Very lucky.
Send an extra Tyvex envelope with a METERED Prepaid stamp. Makes the postman very happy! Have it already labeled and ready to go.
Relax, you will be tested on the boundaries that you’ve established. Know what is important to you and stick to it.
Have as much fun as you can with the experience. You will get more out of it and so will everyone else.
Careful with bolds, all caps and large text. Write with a smile and your text will show it. All caps is interpreted as screaming, so scream when your excited. But you don't scream everyday right. Think of it that way. Bold can help you break up the text and organize it for searching easier in the forum. Use that.
Hallelujah...as of 15 minutes ago, all of the packages of U.S. HSTs have been put in the mail. All names have been checked off our spreadsheet and they are now in the hands of USPS. I hope they all arrive safely & soundly, and maybe even by Saturday if all goes well!
Now I wonder what I will do with all my extra time? It's been a fun, interesting ride and I have made many friends, though maybe some will only be through email..it has been priceless and I thank you for all the help, the support, and the EXPERIENCE!!
Clara is working on the International packages, so she can provide an update on what's happening with those.
Ladies and Gents,
Imagine you've all figured out by now that sorting day was yesterday, Monday, April 11th!
Another point to Clara's post about asking if your package has been mailed yet...I promise, we will mail them out as they are completed, but we WILL NOT be keeping track of the packages that have been returned. If you sent HSTs and a return envelope (with sufficent postage) or charged on Paypal, you will get it back eventually. The sorting process was absolutely unbelievable and monumental, even getting everything unloaded out of our vans and into the church hall, as all theTQS helpers who were there can attest to. My main focus, other than my day job which I still have to do, for the next few weeks, yes probably weeks, will be getting them mailed back to you. Probably no quilting projects in my future for a while .
Also, because of the massive numbers of HSTs, you may be short a few or may have a few extras. If you do come up a little short, we apologize, but we will not have any extras to send to you as replacements. If you're over, consider yourself lucky and enjoy the extras. There was absolutely no way to make this a fool-proof operation.
Most assuredly you will receive duplicate HSTs from one or more members or even some of your own, you had to have been there to understand why that would happen. It was absolutely impossible to handle each HST as its own individual unit and make sure that on one received more than one from each member.
My incredible Bee (most of whom are NOT TQS members) will be helping me with more sorting tomorrow and we should be able to get quite a few more packages in the mail after that, but not ALL of them. It's not just a matter of counting the correct numbers of HSTs, it's also a matter of putting them back into the return evelopes (many of which were too actually small for the return quantities), getting them taped, and then taking them to the post office to mail. I was hoping to get the larger counts finished first, but that was not to be, so the majority of the packages left to distribute are the large counts, 700, 616, even 300s, etc. which will obviously take the most time and manpower.
Several members sent in packages for multiple members together on one envelope that were were all to be returned in one envelope. That only worked to confuse the sorting process so we had to adjust. When you get those back, it will be a total of the HSTs you sent and they will not be packaged individually, so you can have fun going through them with each other and taking turns picking out the ones you want.
There are also quite a few that were pressed open...those were equally distributed amongst all the others, so you'll have those in your mix too. I believe we successfully fumigated the 'smoker' HSTs, so hopefully you won't even notice if you receive one of those. TQS member DebbieK, who came to help me a couple of weeks before the sorting took those 'smoker' HSTs home and pressed them (because of using the Febreze and putting them in the dryer with dryer sheets, they did tend to curl up). There are also quite a few members who didn't write anything on there HSTs so you'd know where they came from...so you can be creative in your own mind and imagine they came from some far away exotic location !
Since Clara has all the Paypal funds, she will be taking the International packages back home with her to finish sorting and mailing.
It was a fun ride, but it's not over yet..in fact, it's probably only about half-way there. Your patience and understanding will be greatly appreciated. Please remember that everything that was done for this exchange was on a volunteer basis including all of our wonderful helpers on sorting day.
To All of our TQS Helpers: A great big thank you and huge hugs to the TQS members for helping yesterday, and especially for those who drove from as far as San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Vernon, Spring...did I miss any other cities?? We couldn't have done it without you and I hope everyone else will appreciate you as much as we did. I was hoping to have the chance to visit with each of you more than I did yesterday, but there was just too much on our plates to make that happen. I am hopeful that we will all get to see each other again at Quilt Festival in the fall....if we can get a reunion together at the TQS booth. Keep the cute namebadges that DebbieK made for you and wear them for the reunion so everyone else who is there can also say thanks.
TQS member, NancyW, made 30 wonderful tissues holders so I could hand them out to all of our helpers yesterday. Everyone was thrilled with them and so appreciative of the time you spent on them. Nancy even overnighted them through UPS so they would get here in time for Sorting Day.
And to all of you who sent CHOCOLATES...you can bet your bottom dollar that every bit of chocolate was thoroughly enjoyed!
And, Rosemary, what can we say but 'WOW' for the job you did on our Sorting Hats. Clara and my DH both took pictures, so we'll be posting more soon.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."...quote courtesy of Dr. Seuss