Ornament Swapping

For the past several years, I have participated in ornament swaps, some as large as 12 participants and some just between my sister and two nieces.

I thought it would be cool to make an ornament for each and every one of my blogger friends, but I should have started that project back in January! (maybe next year)

I received a tip from my friend Cheryl to join the Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap 2009, sponsored by Daisy Quilts, which is how I met Rebecka. She sent me this adorable handmade ornament, which is like those Christmas crackers. The embroidered message is such a nice touch. I am going to use it to store the chocolates she sent me to brighten up my desk at work. I forgot to take a picture of the ornament I knitted for Rebecka, but you can see a picture of it here.

ornament swap from Rebecka

Rebecka also made me this fabulous card, which is a mini quilt by itself.

handmade card from Rebecka

I asked my friend Cheryl if she would be interested in exchanging handmade ornaments. I received this love-able pair of teddy bear ornaments from her. Aren’t they the cutest? Again, I forgot to take a picture of the ornament I knitted for her, but you can see it here.

teddy bears ornaments from Cheryl

Cheryl sent me a few other goodies too, which included that adorable piece of Christmasy fabric, a notepad, a kittie magnet that looks like Callie, and a bag of chocolates. Mmmm, chocolates.

goodies from Cheryl

I will definitely cherish these ornaments because they were made just for me, not part of an assembly process or in a factory. Mostly, I love these ornaments because they remind me of these two friends I met through our blogs and shared hobbies. Thank you, Rebecka and Cheryl! Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Swap With A Friend

Awhile ago, my blogger friend Amy did a post on her blog looking for someone to do a swap with her – knit her a pair of fingerless gloves as a trade for something she could make for the volunteer. I volunteered! I made these fingerless gloves to help Amy get through the winter.

fingerless gloves for Amy

In return, she made me this Denyse Schmidt Promenade Market Tote!

Front of Swap Bag

The back is just as cool as the front.

Back of swap bagIt has a big inside pocket and a flat bottom with a sturdy plastic insert, making it great to carry a book or groceries. I will probably use this tote to carry a winter knitting project, but I could also take my newest book to the cafe and hang out for awhile.

pocket and flat bottom of swap bagAmy even included one of her new scrap-busting cards and an adorable drawstring bag with this cute ribbon and vintage buttons.

scrap card and drawstring bagI really enjoyed this swap because it was a one-on-one  trade with a fellow sewing friend, making me feel more grateful for the personal touch that went into her efforts. Thank you SO much Amy!

Art From My Swap Partner

Check out this mini quilt I received today from my Summertime Mini Quilt Swap partner Kathy! It’s called Hollyhocks in Summer.

summertime quilt

She used different types of fabrics from cotton to satin and different colors of threads.

different fabrics

Even the binding is framed with piping, which I haven’t seen before. I also think some sections of this project were handquilted.

notice the hand quilting and binding

Other sections have this cool decorative stitching, like the border on the left side.

decorative stitching

I can’t believe this work of art was made just for me. In her note, Kathy said she had been stalking my blog for awhile – how funny is that. It looks like a picture I could have taken in my garden. Did I mention she’s from Wisconsin? What are the odds of us being paired up!

the back

Take a look at the back – almost as beautiful as the front. I really love the label in the center.

the label

Thank you so much, Kathy! Be sure to go check out all the other cool mini quilts being exchanged.

Swap Projects Finished!

I took advantage of the three-day weekend to finish my swap projects that were coming due.  For the Friendship Bag Swap, I made this one for my partner using Rachel’s tutorial and some Hello Betty fabrics I had left over from projects for my shop.

friendship bag for my partner

I included a couple goodies for my partner’s sewing room too. I think it’s a fun bag for fall, so I hope she likes it.

I made this mini quilt for my partner in the Summertime Mini Quilt Swap. My partner listed her preferences as Americana and Civil War reproduction fabrics. I don’t have any of those types of fabrics in my stash or much experience with those themes, so I used some fabrics from the Zippity Do Da honey bun I won from Moda earlier this year.

summertime mini quilt for my partner

This was my first attempt at making a log cabin block! I know, can you believe that after making quilts for ten years, this is the first time I’ve ever made a log cabin block?!

backing on mini quilt

I am happy to report that I put a simple label on this one, which is a first for me. I do hope she likes what I came up with.

I tend to be a procrastinator so it’s a relief to have these finished and ready to ship. I’m not signed up for any other swaps (yet), so I’m going to work on projects for my shop and  for the holidays.

Friendship Bag Received

Thank you everyone for the shop love! I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful group of blogger friends. I am really excited about my new adventure, so I appreciate all your positive feedback.

Speaking of blessings, thank you to Sharon for the bag as part of the Friendship Bag Swap! I received this wonderful package in the mail this week.

friendship packageThe card was almost as exciting as the bag. Check out this cool patchwork card! It reminds me of those fabric postcards or trading cards people are making.

patchwork card from SharonWithout further delay, here is the fabulous friendship bag Sharon made for me. I love fall, and I love the fall fabrics she used, so I am going to start carrying this right away.

friendship bag from SharonNow check out these fabulous goodies she included in the package -a couple adorable ornaments, and a cute flower tee.

friendship goodiesShe even included a stack of great fabrics that I will definitely use, possibly for a handmade holiday project.

friendship fabricsThank you so much, Sharon! I love love love the bag AND the goodies.

Second Round of 9-Patch Blocks

Thanks go out to Anina for brightening my day with a package from the Three-By-Three Swap.  I like this second batch of 9-patch blocks even better than the first!  I don’t recognize most of the fabrics here, which is refreshing and gives this project a nice variety.

second round of 9-patches

I sent my third round of blocks a couple weeks ago, so I anticipate getting the third package from Anina. Then I will be ready to assemble this cooperative project with white sashing. Isn’t it fun to have others contribute their style and do some of the work for you? Thank you fellow swappers!

Sewing Mojo

I have been in a slight funk lately, not feeling too inspired to sit at my sewing machine for hours, as usual. I attribute this to summer, gardening (er, weed pulling), family visits, and reading. But I feel a sewing spurt coming on now.

A few months ago, I signed up to participate in Anina‘s Three-By-Three Swap, where we each had to make 16 nine-patches for the months of May and June.

9-patches for July

There was enough interest, so we are making nine-patches to swap in July too. We have to use a dark and a medium, so I found some good dark fabrics in my Garden Party stash. I ended up with eight of each color scheme.

My husband requested a set of pillowcases, so these fabrics on my sewing table today. (he picked them out)

good folks pillowcasesI ‘ve also had a couple charm packs lying around for awhile, so I think it’s high time I make something with them.

I want to make this bag with these charms.

good folks charmsAnd I want to make this bag with these charms.

flower power charms

There, that should keep my sewing mojo going again. I’m starting to feel re-energized again, so I better get going! Hope you enjoy the day!

First Round of 9-Patches

I received a package recently from Anina filled with my share of 9-patches for her Three-By-Three Swap.

9-patch swap month 1

Next month, another set will arrive. And I heard we are doing a third month of 9-patches, so I better dig out my instructions since I made my first two sets in May. I might have to make some extras this time since I didn’t save any of my own blocks.  

For the finished quilt, I will most likely frame them with white sashing so they can each stand out on their own. I think these are all so lovely!

Holiday Traditions Package Received

Here are the goodies I received from my partner RaeAnn for our Holiday Traditions Exchange:

Traditions from RaeAnnShe made these beautiful and elegant looking cocktail napkins:

Cocktail-cookie napkinsShe also made this lovely turtle dove ornament with her scroll saw. I love the tradition behind this turtle dove ornament, where RaeAnn made two turtle doves, write on the back of both of them, and sends one to someone special for that holiday season.  It reminds me of a friendship exchange. Very sweet!

Turtle Dove OrnamentShe also included a festive Christmas CD and a candle, all packaged inside a lovely patchwork basket.

What a wonderful experience this holiday traditions exchange has been.  Not only did I learn about another person’s holiday traditions, but I learned how to look more closely at our own traditions.  I think RaeAnn and I would be fast friends if we lived closer to each other.  Thank you RaeAnn!