Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thank You, New Friend!!

About this time last year, I remember reading a sweet post on a new bloggy friend's blog. Aunt Spicy had just completed the FRIENDS Swap, and I thought that had to be about the coolest thing ever!

I, of course, became a regular stalker of Aunt Spicy, but somehow, I also became a regular reader of Sew Prim Khris, the Swap Mama of the FRIENDS Swap.

So in July, when she made the announcement that she was taking sign-ups for the 2010 FRIENDS Swap, I jumped right on it! A week, or so, later, I got an email from Khris with information about my swap partner, Melinda. Then Melinda and I exchanged emails, and started reading each others' blogs, and started getting to know each other. Started becoming friends.

The idea behind the FRIENDS Swap is that you send your new friend 7 gifts, one that starts with an F, one that starts with an R, etc., spelling out the word FRIENDS. And, hopefully, you have sent things that you now know your new friend would enjoy because you've been getting to know each other! :o)

I learned that Melinda is a fabulous and professional quilter in Atlanta, so when I had a quilting question, I asked her. She works at a really cute fabric store, and teaches quilting classes that I would love to take. (The commute might be a bit tough, though, eh?)

Well, that was way back in August, and the deadline to send was October 26th. In August, October seemed eons away. Like, EONS!! I started thinking of what gifts could represent each letter, and storing away little fun things to send to Melinda.  I, of course, finished mine on Sunday night...the day before we HAD TO send our swap gifts out. :o)  Somehow, those 3 months went super fast! :o)

I have been waiting so impatiently to hear that Melinda got her box o' goodies that I totally forgot I would be getting my own box from Melinda! :o) Haha...I'm bright like that. :o)  So imagine my surprise and glee when I saw a box from the mailman Saturday, all the way from Atlanta. Yay!

I ran inside and tore into it, neglecting all my responsibilities (read: crying baby) so I could see what goodies Melinda had sent me!  It was tough, but I had the clarity of mind to take a quick photo before I shredded all the wrapping to see what fun stuff she had sent me. :o)

I was SUPER EXCITED right away just reading the tags! All kinds of fabric and sewing aids! Yippee!!  I was just giddy, really. And I hadn't even opened the packages.

So once I got that picture taken, I got about the business of digging in.  And here's what she sent me! Yummy fun super stuff!

F = Fat Quarters from Sandy Gervais' Frolic line (Moda)
R = Red Thread...the Mettler I've just recently discovered and have been told it is far superior to Gutermann.
I = Ironing Aid. Just today I was telling one of my sewing buddies that I needed some of the Best Press!!
E = Easy Yo-yos. It's a Clover Yo-yo template! Cute!
N = Nickel Squares, also known as charm squares, in a sweet combination of red, white, and blue. :o) I LOVE the fact that I've got a quilt all ready to go, I just have to put it together! How easy is that?!
D = Dr. Seuss Fabric. I've been eyeing the Dr Seuss fabric since it was first an image on a website, and now I have some!  It's a bit of a panel, and I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it, yet, but I know I can come up with something great!
S = Strips. There are two little rolls of sweet, delicate pink strips.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Melinda, every ounce of it is wonderful and perfect and I'm so delighted. Thank you!

And now, it's my turn to show off what I sent to her!

Here are all the gifts all wrapped up and tagged.

And here are the gifts before I wrapped them:
F = Fluids. Nuff said. :o)

R = Rug, as in Mug Rug. She said she loves black and white, so that's where I started, then I added the rainbow around the outside, and I backed it with that green, since she loves lime green. As per my usual, there are things I would do differently, and it's not perfect, but I liked it when I was finished.

I = Idea book. Since she is a quilt maker, and a quilt teacher, and a quilt quilter, I thought she might have use for a purse-sized graph paper book to jot down and sketch out her ideas.

E = Edamame. Dark chocolate covered Edamame to be specific. YUMMMMMY!! I love these. And she loves dark chocolate, so it was a double win, really.

N = Notecards. They are lime green and black and white and they say "cherish" on the front. If you look closely, you'll notice that each one is in a clear envelope. Stampin' Up makes them, and I love them! The post office will accept them if you have a stamp on the outside of the envelope (I usually write the address on a piece of paper and slip it in the back, then seal it and stick a stamp on the outside). I just love the idea of the recipient getting a peek at the card before they even open it. Just bright and happy in the mailbox. That's all. :o)

D = Drink. I found out she likes Chai tea, so I got her a little mug (to go with her rug...) and a box of tea.

S = Sweets. Again, she likes dark chocolate. And I have recently learned that I like to snack on Chex Mix when I'm quilting. It is not unusual for me to quilt my way through a whole bag in a few short quilting sessions. :o) So maybe she likes to snack a little when she's quilting, too.

Whew! That was a lot of information, wasn't it? But, I know you all feel better now that you know all of that. :o)

I had a whole lotta fun with this, and I'll probably try to participate again next year, if I can!  Yay for new friends and new goodies! :o)

I hope you all get a sweet surprise in the mail just like I did.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wee Tease

Here's a little snippet of something I've been working on for my F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Swap Partner, Melinda.

She loves black and white and lime green.

It's going into tomorrow's mail for you... :o)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tea Time Mug Rug

August seemed to be the "scrap buster" month around the blogosphere. I read post after post after post about how people were busting their scraps. Somewhere along the way, I hatched a scrap buster idea of my own.

I emailed Alissa of Handmade by Alissa, and suggested a Scrap Swap for the September LA Modern Quilt Guild meeting. The idea was that anyone wanting to participate would put some scraps (2x2" or larger) into a sandwich sized ziploc baggie, and wrap the baggie so we could have a blind swap. And then, the person who got our baggie would take it home, add one fabric of their own and make something fabulous to give back to us! Don't like red and aqua? No problem, it's not for you. You got a bag of pink scraps and you have no pink decor in your house? No problem, it's not for you! :o)  See how fab that is?

Oh, honestly, I didn't even know how great it was going to be! Didn't. Even. Know.

So I got Melissa P's fabrics, and she gave me 4 different "sets", if you will. I had grandiose plans. But alas, babies and moves and other obligations got in the way, and I was only able to complete one project. One that I loved making for her, and I'm super excited to make more, but only one.

It is: The Mug Rug.

Here it is in action, even! She took it to work and it found a happy home snuggled up with a matching mug. :o)

The "mug rug" is supposed to be a little piece of quilty, handmade heaven on your desk or table, large enough for a cuppa and a cookie. Mine was 9x6, but I think I'll make future ones larger. Maybe 10x7.

Oh, right. Back to the swap. So she gave me the aqua and orange fabrics, and I added the Kona Ivory. All the binding was from her scraps, too.

Here's the back. You can see my machine stitching and my hand stitching.
Scrap Swap MR - MP Mug Rug 2

So, we got the scraps at the September LAMQG meeting, and brought back our finished projects to the October LAMQG meeting, which also happened to be the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!  Which would have been tons of fun anyways, but I really think the fun and the commaraderie and the family-feel was heightened by the fact that those of us who participated got to give and receive gifts! Presents are very important at anniversary parties, right? :o)  Honestly. I wish I could go back and record the entire thing because there were squeals of delight, and there were hugs, and there were "oh my goodness"es and there was just a HUGE SHOW of amazing creativity. When I cooked up the idea, I had NO IDEA how fabulous everyone's creations would be! We had pillows, pillow covers, mini quilts, table runners, aprons, oven mitts, stuffed animals, shopping bags, (What else? I've forgotten what else we had!). What an amazing group of people we have here. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm standing among giants in that room.

From my scraps, I got to bring home an little quilt for Sprout that is awe to the SOME!! from Eliza. It's got the colors of the rainbow in it, and soft, snuggly minkee on the back. Sprout was so excited she promptly spit up on it. Of course. I'll post a picture next week, I hope! :o)

Sprout also received an award for perfect attendance...she's the only member that has been to every meeting since she was born. :o) The guild members all love her, and she loves them. (And so do I! Very much so do I!)

I hope you have a great week!