The sign ups for probably the biggest and one of the best, if not the best, swaps on flickr has started.

The Doll Quilt Swap is just about to start its 9th round and if you haven’t heard of the Doll Quilt Swap then go and check out the amazing number of inspirational quilts that are made each round.

We caught up with Susan a.k.a Chickenfoot, the Head Mama in the Doll Quilt Swap to find out more.

How did you start quilting? What inspires you?

I started quilting about 3 years ago with the first doll quilt swap. The bug bit and I haven’t surfaced yet! I draw a lot of inspiration from flickr. There are so many awesomely talented people here. I also work in a local quilt shop, so I am constantly seeing new projects and am surrounded by fabric all the time. Its a good place to be! I like clean modern quilts but also have my foot stuck in the past and adore the quilts of the 30′s and 40′s.

So what is the Doll Quilt Swap all about?

Its a swap for flickr users. We generally get about 170-200 swappers each round. I believe it’s the best swap on flickr, but then I’m biased! It’s simple, you make a quilt for your partner and you receive one in return. Easy peasy.

We also have a blog here.

How did you get involved in the swap?

I joined the group in the first round as a member. Lisa (losabia) started the group after seeing, I believe, Hillary Lang’s (Wee Wonderfuls) doll quilts for a wall in her home, and thought, hey that looks cute! Then in the second round and thereafter I was either a swap mama or the head swap mama. I have been the head swap mama for the past few rounds.

Some of the quilts Susan has made for the swap.

Tell us a bit about what goes on behind the scenes of the swap.

It is quite involved at the beginning of each round. In round 9 there are 10 swap mamas including me. Kimmie, Laura, Lucinda, Anita, Susan, Lynne, Solidia, S?deste and Tacha will all be involved in running the swap with me.

The swap mamas have a separate group for behind the scenes discussions. Each round we make the running of the swap more streamlined. We have a couple spreadsheets where we keep track of everyone (200 people is a lot!) We take sign ups and then once we have everyone I separate them into smaller groups and give them to their mamas. The mamas then match up partners based on preferences specified in their sign up. It takes about a week and a half to get all that done. Then once the swap is under way it’s just a matter of checking in every so often to keep the bebes on task.

What makes a good swapper?

A good swapper in our group is one that is on flickr on a regular basis. Uploading pictures of projects, fabrics, and just life in general. They are involved in a number of groups. They check comments on their pix, and comment on others photos. Generally just being a part of the flickr community, not just popping in at the beginning and ending of the swap. Also a good swapper is someone that responds promptly to emails from their mama, but most of all, a good swapper is one that sends their quilt out on time. It should be a quilt that you would like to receive yourself, not put together at the last minute.

What for you is the best part about being in a swap?

That is a tough one. I love every part of this swap, otherwise I wouldn’t put myself through this every time!!! Everyone involved with this swap is just so great. I have made some great friends, and I get to see all these gorgeous little quilts! We even have a member (Mamacjt) that makes a number of angel quilts each round, she just loves to make them and is very generous.

Some of Susan’s favourite minis from the doll quilt swap

Is there anything people should be careful of when signing up for a swap?

Careful of? Hmm, really just to make sure you can commit to it. Please don’t sign up for something you don’t feel you can finish.

If one of our readers wants to take part in the swap what should they do?

Join the group! If they are a regular flickr member, they shouldn’t have a problem. If they aren’t, start now. There is always next time.

So run don’t walk and go and sign up for the swap!