Monday 15 September 2014

Very Cherry Swap

Back in July a friend alerted me that there was a swap starting up on Instagram called the #VeryCherrySwap  Naturally I was in.  I sent off my enquiry, filled in the questionnaire, and waited anxiously to see if I would be accepted.  After a few nervous days of waiting I received my acceptance notice and not long afterwards I was introduced to my Cherry Swap Partner - the lovely Kath. 
As it turned out Kath and I were already following each other on Instagram but we really didn't know all that much about each other.  Thus began a good friendship as we started stalking & researching each other and planned and plotted our cherry projects with assistance from the Secret Squirrel. Many sneaky peek photos were shared on Instagram as we taunted & teased each other along the way revealing hardly anything but the odd snippet of fabric or of squirrels eating cherries.  Many laughs were shared, many stitches have been sewn, and the secret squirrel has been well fattened by eating way too many cherries. 
I knew that Kath loves blue. I knew NOT to use any purple or batiks.  I knew that among her favourite designers is Bonnie & Camille (the others I either didn't have any of their fabrics or I didn't know of them).  And I knew that the types of items that she would be happy to receive are: "mini quilt, mug rug, cushion cover, sewing pouch or bag, pincushion, needle book". 
Over the next 2-months I browsed gift shops, supermarkets and of course eBay, searching for cherry related items to go in her parcel.  Now that our shipping deadline has passed and I know that Kath has safely received her parcel, I can finally show you items that I made for her.  I will do a separate post showing what I received from Kath.
Mini Quilt
I experimented with a few designs for a mini quilt.  I was quite fond of a free pattern by Podunk Pretties that I found online which used many HSTs to form the cherries; however the blocks measured 12.5" each and I wanted to use 5 cherry blocks.  When I reduced the size of the blocks they looked too warped.  I then tried to paper piece cherries but they looked too wrong for perfectionist me.  Eventually I decided to hand stitch the cherry panels with embroidery thread.  I used some "April Showers" and "Miss Kate" fabric by Bonnie & Camille for the spacer blocks.  Although I felt much happier with this approach the mini didn't quite have enough oomph (it's important that my quilts have the oomph factor!) so I decided to applique the centre cherry block. From memory the mini quilt measured about 18" square.
Sewing on the quilt label
Sewing Pouch or Bag
I'm still pretty inexperienced to sewing with zips, but I was determined to make something "zippy" for Kath which fitted this brief.  I contemplated making a "Sew Together Bag" for her but thought it might be a bit advanced for me with all of those zips, so instead I made a small & a large Open Wide Zippered Pouch (pattern by Noodlehead). 
The smaller bag is made & lined with "Avant Garden by MoMo by Moda" and the larger bag is lined with "Rose & Hubble English Collection by David Textiles Inc.".


Mug Rug

I still had an embroidered cherry panel left over from the mini quilt so I decided to turn it into a mug rug. 
Lately I have been sewing hexis at night (for another project), so I set about designing something combining these elements. 
Close up of the quilting.
I was determined to  use more blue so I pulled out my "Miss Kate" by Bonnie & Camille and found some yummy coordinates amongst my scrap container.  Both the red solid and the blue solid (used for the binding) are from "Miss Kate".
The good thing about making 1" hexis is that you only need scraps measuring 2.5" square.  Yes I keep almost all of my scraps, you never know what you can do with them!
I finished it off by hand quilting in blue thread (I  used white thread on the cherry panel), sewing about 1/4" inside and outside of all of the seams.  I used more of the "Rose and Hubble" cherry fabric on the back.
Extra Cherry Goodness
Here are photos of some of the extra cherry goodies which I included in Kath's parcel:
Air Freshener, Lip Gloss & Crafty Cherries
a limited edition Dark Chocolate Ganache Cherry Ripe, a Cherry Bounty, a Cherry Ripe & a tin of Cambridge & Thames Cherry Drops

Not cherry related but some variegated blue sock wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills as Kath likes to knit

The Cherry Fabrics

Here is a close up of the two cherry fabrics that I used.

On the left is "Rose & Hubble English Collection by David Textiles Inc." & on the right is "Avant Garden by MoMo by Moda"

The Results: Kath received her parcel today.  Here is her feedback:



  1. That cheeky squirrel! I know you'll keep him busy, my lovely! I'm a very lucky swap recipient! A word of warning though- IG swaps are addictive! Xxx

  2. Creative, generous, & original. Great gifts! Even better is the friendship that started. Love seeing it happen.


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