Monday, April 25, 2005

Sign-ups closed!

Thank you to everyone that signed up. We'll have the back-tacker participant list updated in the next day or so and you'll receive an email from us later in the week with your match ups. Oh, and we have a surprise. But you'll just have to wait and see.

We've really enjoyed organising this and have appreciated the positive feedback. Look forward to seeing the fabric swapping and your amazing creations!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sign-up extended!

We've had such a great response. Thanks to all of you that have signed up. Sign-up has been extended to Sunday 24 April midnight (your local timezone).

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sign-up for back-tack

Welcome! Glad you've dropped by. Get comfy, make yourself a cuppa, grab a biscuit, sit back and relax. This first post is a bit of a long one, but details are important. So if you're serious about participating please read this post in full. We look forward to seeing your creations and hope you have a lot of fun with this (as much as we've had creating it!).

What is it?
Back-tack is a craft-come-sewing swap with a twist. You send fabric and anything else you'd like your partner to use in creating their notions holder, like zippers, buttons, ribbon, to someone (they don't know who you are, you do this anonymously), and receive fabric from someone (anonymously). Once you've received your fabric/notions you get to work sewing a notions case (you'll be sewing for a different person than the one you sent fabric to) and then filling it with items you think your fellow back-tacker would like (read their blog!) and sending it on to them for them to enjoy. You will be sending the pouch to a different person to the one who sent you the material. The idea is you create something using someone elses raw materials, and also participate in spreading some love with little bits and pieces you think your recipient will like – you could send them some needles, some vintage threads, some ribbons, buttons, chocolate, little stashes of fabric, wool, knitting needles, crochet hooks, whatever the person you’re sending to is into. This isn’t restricted to just sewers, we’d like to see a wide range of people get involved. The aim is to create and see what comes about from a common starting point when we let our imaginations work!

Why "back-tack"

We (Alison and Nicole) wanted a name that didn't necessarily state the obvious, but also something that was sewing/craft related. We wanted to create a swap that was a challenge, without being too frightening, and also fun.

How does it work?
- You sign up by sending an email to address, together with:
1. your full name
2. postal address (include Country please)
3. blog URL

4. let us know if you DON'T want to send to an international participator.
- You're then matched to someone to send fabric to and someone to sew something for (you're not sewing for the person you sent the fabric to).
- In the month of May you WILL send your first allocated person their fabric. Be creative, you could also send embellishments like, ribbon, buttons, felt, braid, a zip, beads.
- You'll receive a fabric parcel from your anonymous back-tack pal.
- In the month of June (or before if you receive your fabric before this and can't wait!) you'll sew your purse/pouch/container and fill it with some goodies and then send it on anonymously to the second back-tacker you've been allocated. You could send needles, pins, knitting needles, crochet hooks, wool, embroidery threads, a pincushion, ribbon, a tape measure, chocolate, brooches, cards – whatever! Be creative and fill it with personality.

Yeah, but what are we making?
That would help! You're going to make a little notions pouch/purse/container.

We'll supply a pattern for a sewing roll. However feel free to make your own pattern - you could sew a zip pouch, or a knitting needle roll, the possabilities are only limited by your imagination.

These are just ideas, but we’d prefer people to stick to a notions holder as a general rule of thumb. The pattern will be available as a downloadable pdf.

Minimum Requirement for What to Send
- 1/2 yard of fabric for outer and 1/2 yard of fabric for lining. We recommend raiding your fabric stash if you have one, if you don't off to the fabric store.

- A selection of little gifts to enclose in the pouch. Again, these could be from your stash, or they could be bought. We're not putting a financial limit on this.

The fine print
- You'll need an anonymous email address, one that doesn't contain your name or your blogs name.
- You need to have a blog. We want your secret senders to get to know you.
- Numbers will be limited to 100 participants.
- Email your back-tackers anonymously to let them know you're about and lurking on their blog.
- When you receive something, please post it on your blog.
- When you've completed your pouch please send us a picture 400 x 400 pixels wide at 72dpi together with your name and url and the person you sent it to's name and their url. We'll create a photo gallery at
- Don't reveal who you are until the end of back-tack, 30 June 2005. (For further deadline information please read "Important Dates" below and on the sidebar.)
- Your blog address will be listed on the sidebar, so people can wander around and have a look at what everyone is receiving and making.
- Please don’t participate if you can’t commit to the whole project. Because of the cyclical nature of this swap, everyone's participation is a crucial link in the process. If you can participate but you’ll need a little leeway with the timing, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

These will be added to as back-tack progresses, but here's some we can think of now.

- Is there a button? Yes. It's hosted on flickr. Please copy it and host it on your server. There are two sizes.

- Who can participate? Anyone with a blog (some sewing experience would help!), anywhere in the world.

- Can I use other items from my stash to create the pouch? Or can I only use what is sent to me? You can use items from your stash, it’s encouraged.

- What if I don't receive my fabric in May? Please let us know. Send an email to and we'll send the heavies 'round wielding seam rippers.

- Will there be “Angels” if I don’t receive anything? At the moment, no (that’s the short answer). However please do let us know of any problems and we’ll do our best to sort it out, we may request Angels later.

- What if I can't send my fabric or finish my pouch by the deadlines? Let your receiver know and let them know when it will be arriving, however please try to meet the deadlines. Allow for postage time. We know international post (airmail) can take between 5-10 working days.

- Is there a minimum MONETARY contribution? Yes 1/2 yard (or 1/2 metre if you're metric) of outer fabric and same again for fabric for lining. It would be great if you could send some other embellishments like ribbon, buttons, zips, felt, beads etc and similarly some gifties for the finished pouch, but this isn't compulsory. Plus, postage for both sending the initial fabric, and for sending the finished product.

Important Dates
Duration: May - June
Signup period: commencing 15 April, ending 22 April
Allocation of back-tackers: from 27 April
back-tack matches will be distributed: week commencing 1 May
Fabric to arrive with anonymous receiver: 31 May
Finished pouch to arrive with anonymous receiver: 30 June
Supply image for flickr gallery: 15 July

Have we forgotten something? Send us an email or leave a comment.

Questions, gripes, warm fuzzies etc to