Monday, December 15, 2014

Another in the mail

Yesterday I sent off my latest swap - this time a mug rug to Australia. The lovely Gnome Angel hosted this festive mug rug swap and I couldn't help but sign up even though the deadline was fast-approaching and my crafty to-do list is long. Along with the mug rug (which I'll talk about below because I'm over-the-moon happy with it), I made a zippered pouch with the cutest sheep in sweaters. Inside that I tucked some chocolate - including a Coffee Crisp bar stamped with a big maple leaf and the slogan "The Canadian Original" - and a lovely silvery bird ornament from Ten Thousand Villages.

I wrapped the mug rug in the snowman fabric (my partner said she liked snowmen), and added a pretty letterpress card. Although now I'm realizing I sent a "Happy Winter" card to Australia, where it's now summer. Oops! I'm on a roll - I sent hot chocolate to my last swap partner in New Zealand.

The mug rug is tiny, but a whole lotta thought and effort went into it! The actual making took the better part of a day because I tried a bunch of new things and had to figure it out as I went along.

My partner said she liked Cotton + Steel basics, and right away I thought the X fabric in navy blue would be perfect for a snowy night sky. I envisioned a tree and snowman on the blue, with a twinkling star in the sky and snow on the ground. I had a plan, but could I make that reality?

I started with the tree, piecing two different C + S greens for the boughs. Then onto the star - the biggest smallest challenge. I've never made a wonky star before, so why not start with one that's 1.5"?! Once I had the sky part pieced, I quilted straight lines through the star in a variegated thread to make it sparkle. Then onto the snow-covered hills. Those curved lines were a bit tricky and turned out not quite perfect, but I love the effect. Lastly, time for the snowman. Hexies seemed so perfectly obvious that I was surprised very few popped up in an online search. I added fusible batting behind the hexies so the blue wouldn't show through, then top-stitched him onto the snowy ground.

Finally more of the silver netorious became the binding. On the back, I used Alison Glass fabric since my partner said that was a favourite designer and orange was among her favourite colours. (Blue was the first colour she listed.) And a quick little label finished it off!

I really hope my partner likes it. I'm super proud of how it turned out. And amazed that I actually made just what I imagined! I'm more of a pattern-following sort, but this is 100 per cent my own design.

As for the zippered pouch, I made two more with the same cute flannel for friends. And I have two more to make!

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