All of a sudden it was September and I saw I had volunteered to help coordinate the Christmas swap. Cue momentary panic, but life is all about new challenges and pushing the boundaries.
I must admit, I couldn't have had a cushier introduction. There were about 20 participants and Ruth from Ben and Charley Crafty Corner led the way. We had about ten people each and I couldn't have been luckier. Everybody was way ahead of the game. In fact I was probably near the last to finish my project and post pictures. What also made it lovely was I felt I already "knew" most in my group, either through previous bees, swaps or instagram. And the couple of people who were new to me, turned out to be lovely too. What a nice community this is!
As is the norm, we each made a mosaic of our inspirations and posted on instagram. No point in making somebody a velvet flowery notebook if they absolutely loathe velvet and flowers. The swap was of course a secret swap. We posted progress photos without identifying the recipient.
But what did we make you ask?
Oh yes, it was a covered notebook, and a little extra, maybe a Christmas decoration.
This is what I made for Marion.
My notebook was from IKEA, sized A5. I used some kona grey as a background and added Liberty along the spine, creeping towards the edges. I was tempted to use kona white, but thought it was too impractical. I also fancied adding some embroidery to the front but in all honesty couldn't think of anything that would work! So, I added an additional stripe of Liberty.
I faced the inside covers with a soft brown peacock Liberty.
Previous years I have sewn a primitive style tree decoration but I tried it several times yet it was just too primitive. Trying to keep the rustic shape of a tree, I kept trimming a little off. It became like a child's fringe, way too crooked and far too high. In the end I cut my losses and made Marion a mini mini quilt, or a coaster from Liberty fabrics. I included a few strips of Liberty fabric as well.
And what did I receive? I was so delighted to receive this from Lorraine.
All beautifully tied together with ribbon.
My notebook is linen and Liberty! Do you guess yet I love Liberty fabric? And Lorraine's embroidery, as you can see, was very successful! She has raw appliqued and embroidered ME!
And I'm holding a book, and thinking about books. Lorraine has been attentive - when I record my "books read" on instagram, I use the hashtag #bookishhelen. This means I can search under the # and see the list of books I have read this year. In 2016 it was 56 in case you are interested.
And not only was Lorraine spot on with her book, but she very generously included a pouch for me, again in Liberty and linen. I love it so much too. I think she may have realised that by now.
Rather scarily that has been my 4th MQI Christmas Swap and I look forward to next year's. Bring it on.
linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts, taking a slight liberty here, finished but not previously blogged about.