If you’ve never joined a postcard swap I recommend that you try it, at least once, to see if you enjoy it too.

I have been involved in other swaps but I enjoy the UKQU Postcard Swaps the most. One of the great things about the group is that there are several swaps but I don’t feel that I have to join in each one, sometimes I don’t have enough time, and sometimes I don’t have enough inspiration. However, I always enjoy looking to see what other members produce.

When I do join a swap I love the process of researching and designing something on a small scale. I often make it up as I go along, like this one for Christmas 2016:

Other times I use the postcard as an opportunity to try something out. A good example is this one from Spring 2017; I wanted to see how a miniature jelly roll race would work out:

Not awfully well, but perfectly lovely for a postcard. It’s a great way to use up some scraps and in the process, you’ll be reminded of past projects as you venture into your scrap box. This one is for the current Japan swap and used lots of tiny scraps:

Here is the back of that one, as yet unwritten:

It’s a lovely way to practice a technique you don’t use often, like this one from Christmas 2017, which uses a technique I learned from Julia Gahagan:

I usually add a binding to my postcards, but that’s just personal choice, and that’s another thing I enjoy about the swaps; every postcard I send shows a little part of me, and every one I receive shows a little about its maker.

I recently purchased this bamboo stand from a well known Swedish homeware store:

It’s meant to be for a tablet device but as you can see I think it’s nice for displaying postcards:

I try to make two so that I can keep one. I always feel very nervous to see whether the recipient will like my postcard. Some people post their postcard “naked”, but my husband works for Royal Mail and he won’t let me post them without an “overcoat” (envelope)!

If you’re a beginner and you’re worried about not being good enough to join in then my advice is to join the group and watch a swap. You’ll soon see the range of abilities and you’ll get some good ideas so that you feel more confident to join in next time. There is a pinned post at the top of the group page with instructions. As a recipient, I am always pleased to receive a postcard that has clearly been made with care, love and an attention to detail. Look at some of the lovely ones I have received:

They’re all so different, and all so lovely. I treasure them. And that is one of the best things about swapping postcards with other quilters, you know that your work will be appreciated.

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