Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Angel Swap...What I Sent...

*Spoiler Alert: Holly as you haven't opened all your presents yet...look away now!

Early this year Karen from Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop proposed a Christmas swap with the year to prepare. In 2009 Karen hosted her first swap, Christmas in July, which was one of the earliest swaps I played along with. As with that first swap Karen provided a list of swap items. Some were specific and some not so much...fun!  The partners were assigned by early February with parcels to be mailed late November.  My swap friend Holly hails from a very warm area of the USA but loves winter, snow, snowmen...cold cold cold is her favourite kind of weather and, for her family, Christmas is celebrated for its meaning rather than the commercial trappings, Father Christmas and the like although she does love to decorate so I tried to bear those things in mind when I was making for her. I also tried to use patterns from Aussie designers. So, what did I send to Holly...(the headings are the items set out by Karen on the swap list)...

*A Christmas Postcard...
I used a piece of wintery fabric for the front and embellished the fabric print...quilted the hills and scattered seed beads all over for snowflakes...the first fabric postcard I've ever made, it was fun.

*A Christmas Decoration...
 
I choose the penguin stitchery from Natalie Bird's 'Tis The Season booklet (again, yep do like me this little book of patterns) to make this little hanging cushion.

*A Stitchery to fit a 4" x 6" frame...
I put mine in a frame.  I wanted something more personal than just finding a nice stitchery pattern and as Holly told me she really likes Waldorf dolls I thought that was a good basis to work from.  I found it interesting to research as I hadn't heard of this style of doll before and as Waldorf (or Steiner) dolls have no or very simple features I drew up this little design. Good thing they are simple dolls as I'm not exactly awesome at the drawing thing. Holly Days Closet is the name of Holly's blog.

*A Small Applique Wall Hanging...
I so enjoyed making the mini quilt from the applique panel that I received from the original Mrs Martin's Christmas in July swap that I searched out the magazine the pattern was from, yay for the magazine library in the sewing room, and made it from scratch for Holly.  I just love these trees.  I think I could make this little design up multiple times and never tire of it, it just lends itself to so many fabric/colour combinations for a different feel each time. Hand blanket stitch appliqued, machine pieced, beads for tree toppers and Christmas holly buttons to decorate and hand quilted with big stitch perle thread quilting (*hanger not included).

*A Candle Mat...
Pattern by Bareroots...given Holly's love of snow and cold the snowman model was the obvious choice.

*A Christmas Tag...
From a design by Vivian Robinson and featured in Homespun Vol 38, Vol 7 No 6.
*Something Sewing...
Holly is a voracious crocheter so rather than something specifically sewing I made a project bag based on the pattern in Anni Downe's Some Kind of Wonderful book using Melbourne (capital of my State) themed feature fabric and a little roll-up pocket to keep crochet hooks in - couldn't send it empty now could I *LOL*  I also attempted an amigurumi crochet tea cup pincushion.  Why a tea cup? The "something to nibble" will explain that choice.

I popped the crochet hook roll and tea cup pincushion inside the bag and then wrapped it in a fat quarter of pretty Australian bird fabric.  The next item of a starter kit also being themed to go in the project bag.

*A Starter Kit: include a piece of fabric, a button and some trim...
I purchased this little needlebook pattern from Karen's stall at the Monbulk Community Quilt Show back in March and then put the requirements together during the year.  The pattern is from a Victorian designer.

*A Santa Sack or Stocking...
As Holly doesn't do the Santa thing but she does like to decorate and she does like stockings I made her a linen Christmas Pocket using Natalie Bird's pattern and snowmen stitchery from her 'Tis the Season booklet.

*Something to Nibble...
Holly told me likes white chocolate but where she lives it is seasonal...what's with that?...so white chocolate Tim Tams seemed the logical choice to me.  She also loves tea, so to go with her Tim Tams, some yummy Tea Tonic tea to enjoy.  And of course a cuppa needs a mug/plate mat put your cup and biscuit on.

Holly chose silver over gold on the swap questionnaire so I wrapped each list item in silver tissue - except the project bag where I used fabric...
and then stuffed as many of the parcels into the pocket as I could fit, along with a cake of vanilla scented soap...
It was fun to have a box in the sewing room all year that I popped items in just for this swap.

Hope you enjoy what I put together for you Holly.

Happy Stitching...

11 comments:

Fiona said...

such a lovely set of thoughtful and beautifully made gifts...
Hugz

shez said...

wow Annette i love what you put together,everything is fantastic,i am still waiting for mine to come.xx

Mistea said...

Lucky Holly - those are some fun and useful gifts.

Love all the presents in the 'Pocket'.

marina said...

Your gifts are wonderful and so much thought has been put into them.
Lucky Holly!

Kerry said...

Wow Annette, I'll be your partner anytime. What a fabulous lot of little presents. So thoughtful.

Maria said...

What a lovely lot of gifts you have put together; Holly will be thrilled :-) Love that 'Melbourne' fabric that you used...have never seen anything like it before...wonder if there is any Brisbane version too? lol

Anthea said...

This post is full of eye-candy! Such lovely gifts made, I really love the postcard idea
x

katherine said...

So many beautiful gifts!

Wendy said...

wow, such lovely makes!

Sisbabestitches said...

OOOh I just love this post, not just the truly gorgeous gifts you made, also the explanations and stories. You were a fabulously thoughtful swap partner, I am sure Holly will be thrilled with her parcel :)

Quilt Kitty said...

This is just such an overwhelming swap & every blog I go to I fall in love with something or two, or three etc. You put a lot of thought & care into your choices which always makes for a very happy recipient. Tracee xx