We discussed swaps we'd already done in the past with other MQG's that included pouches, tote bags and pin cushions. Due to expensive international postage we figured the items should be small and light. Needle books became the obvious choice; no one had swapped them before and they are definitely small and light! Because many of the LMQG members are not on flickr and don't blog, we figured the easiest way to do this swap was to keep it "blind". Everyone will avoid the stress of trying to make the perfect thing for an assigned partner and simply make a cute needle book, wrap it in brown paper and send it off!
We've got well over 50 people in total participating! All of us will have a sweet handmade needle book from a fellow MQG member in time for our Christmas meetings. Fun!
I made the one you see pictured here yesterday with some of my Briar Rose "Two-fers" from another project and some Essex yard dyed linen in Flax that I purchased here. The luscious felted wool inside is hand dyed by my local friends at Wool Penny Rugs.
I just love that tiny fabric covered button (also a scrap of Briar Rose) - sometimes a little detail like that can take a simple project to the next level of special, along with the hand-embroidered border around the front and back pinwheels. I am hoping these details will distract the recipient from the fact that the lining strawberry print is upside down. Ahem. Linen does not fair well with unpicking a 1/4" seam (can you say fray?). I knew it would be risky, so I had to leave it and I'm okay with that.
This swap happened very casually and just because I happened to be visiting with a group of super fun fellow MQG members. Are you a MQG member who will be traveling or visiting another MQG somewhere in the world? Why not suggest a swap? It's a great way to forge connections and friendships between Modern quilters and it doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or onerous. We'll take photos at our December meetings so we can share pictures of swappers with their needle books and see who received our work over in London and vice versa!
(p.s. The VMQG is a large and enthusiastic swapping guild. We have several more swappers signed up than London does, but that's okay because the extra people will swap "in-house". That means about 10 locals will swap amongst themselves rather than be left out of the fun)