Swapping comfort zones!


I’ve heard a lot about IG swaps and a number of people I follow participate in them and produce some amazing items both in quality and number for their swapee (is that a word? Almost certainly not but you get my drift). Most appear absolutely delighted with both the giving and receiving.  But I’ve also heard horror stories of people putting in huge effort in their gifted item and receiving either something that’s obviously been made without a thought for the person’s wishes and taste or worse still, nothing arrives at all. Rumour has it that there is a black list that circulates amongst the marvellous people who coordinate these things of swappers who are ‘no shows’.

So I’ve never participated but I was tempted by what was presented as a small swap for those who participate in the Saturday Night Craft Along on IG. This is an IG link up of people who are crafting on Saturday evening and who share whatever they are working on. It’s fun and informal and hosted by someone in each geographical zone. Lucy of Charm About You hosts it here in the U.K. and lives up to her sewing name by being a very gracious and generous host. It is my ambition one day to sew all 18 hours or so from when it opens in Australia to when it finishes in the US. In my dreams… too many people in my house wanting to be fed or given lifts!

Anyway these hosts organised this anonymous swap with about 100 participants. It’s not actually a swap in the sense that you make something for someone who in return makes something for you. You make for the person assigned to you, in this circumstance Stacey, @craftylilmouse and someone else is assigned to make for you. In my case that was Natalie of @sewmuchtolearn.  As I say this was all anonymous so noone knows who is making for whom until you receive your parcel which adds to the fun.

The swap was well run. It was very clear that the items should require no more than 2/3 sessions to make and extras should have a value of less than £8 in U.K. sterling.

People were asked to produce mosaics of things they liked/colours/style. Here was Stacey’s which she posted early on which helped enormously.



Stacey also helpfully added she likes pastel colours, floral, fun and cute fabrics, mustard and pink  being favourites.  Now this definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I don’t as a rule sew with pastels and cute fabrics or designs but that’s the challenge! Stacey has a dog Millie who took centre stage. She had included an image of a daschund and I remembered the Elizabeth Hartmann design Dogs in Sweaters. I thought that might work  – it’s a cute design, it’s a dog and although not the same breed I could use Millie’s colouring and of course with a pastel coloured sweater!



It was quite agonising choosing to make for someone else. I tried to match up the colours to ones she posted and decided that a cushion might be a good idea. I scaled the picture down as it’s quite a large dog pattern. I put a zipper in the back so it can easily be removed or used as a wall hanging.


0AE690EA-B410-4FC2-91F8-77154E619220As for the extras I remembered I’d got some very cute mouse fabric to tie in with Stacey’s nickname of Mouse and made up the see through pouch from Aneela Hoey’s new book. I thought it would be perfect for holding some of Stacey’s card supplies.


And together with a cute sloth fabric in Stacey’s colours and some other pastel fabrics the swap package was good to go….

You can imagine my relief when a) the parcel arrived and b) she loved it and said some very sweet things.

What did I receive I hear you ask? My swap person was  Natalie at @sewmuchtolearn. Natalie had this mosaic to go on…



Well all  I can add is that Natalie in fact doesn’t have sew (sic) much to learn at all as she made the most unique and beautiful of items, a 3D cup and saucer using fabric from the Wonderland range of  fabric from The Rifle Paper Co  which I’ve loved from afar. It looks a tricky make but beautifully constructed and is in pride of place on the dresser. It’s a pity it has to share the space with my son’s hairdryer and hair gel as he has no mirror in his room. I must reclaim that dresser particularily now.



Its an absolutely perfect choice of fabric, all themed around the tea party in Alice in Wonderland and of course I consume vast quantities of tea. There’s even a cat in the mix! Look at that clever and thoughtful detail when you peer inside the cup, the grinning face of the Cheshire Cat looks up at you from the bottom.


Looks just like Felix in a wicked moment, OK maybe it’s more of a grimace than a grin….



But clearly Natalie has been a very effective stalker of my IG account for all the good reasons! And I can now use the posh tin of Betty’s Tea which Natalie sent me to round off the experience. It’s absolutely delicious by the way and I’m not looking forward to going back to PG Tips! There is also a variegated thick thread from Aurifil to play with one day which looks fascinating.

All in all it’s been a very enjoyable swap.  Yes more agonising than I anticipated but satisfying and fun at the same time.  And of course two new IG friends!

6F8573A2-4C73-4A20-9701-D6593751BC31Linking up with Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts

PS Look what Stacey sent me as a thank you. It arrived today the most beautiful  handmade card and this really sweet hand painted cat key ring. It’s way too special to bear the brunt of life with my keys so I’m going to make it into a Christmas tree decoration.


5 thoughts on “Swapping comfort zones!

  1. Pingback: Breaking out the Outback Wife | The Lilac Cat

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