i think i mentioned a while ago that i joined a swap on flickr. if you've been following my blog for long enough, you'd know that i used to swap on craftster.org A LOT. i haven't done many swaps in a long time, and the few that i have done have been single projects, with no specific focus on the recipient. this swap was really fun to do because the theme was really open, just kitchen goodies, and i got to "stalk" my partner and try to guess what she'd like. that was always my favourite part of swapping, the inspiration from my partner, the excuse to make things that i wouldn't make otherwise.
i crafted for Melinda of quirky granola girl.
i read over the info that she wrote on her swap questionnaire, spent wwaaaaaayy too long browsing through her flickr favourites, and read back through her blog looking for ideas.
she said that she likes green, blue and aqua for colours, as well as yellow and orange, and cotton, linen, polka dots and stripes as patterns. looking through her blog i saw that she likes vintage sheets and string quilts, and her flickr favourites showed that she liked linen with prints, and fun little pouches. i read that she recently participated in a fabric swap for I Spy fabric, and last year she was in a tea towel swap.
the main project i made for the swap was an apron - which was pretty likely, given how apron obsessed i've been! but also because Melinda said that she'd like one. ;)
i wanted to stay away from ruffles, lots of gathering, that sort of thing, so i made the apron to have a bit of fullness without having to gather the fabric - i see aprons that are straight up and down, without any fullness, but they seem really impractical to me. sometimes you need protection even when you're not standing up straight like a mannequin, right!?
i used strips of vintage sheets in shades of blue, green and a bit of aqua, primarily in dots and stripe patterns, and sewed them directly to a piece of white twill weight cotton to add a bit of strength and weight to the sheets. if you think of quilt as you go strip piecing, that's basically what i did, with no batting.
i sewed the three pattern pieces together, and added a trim of blue rickrack around all of the edges - i like the added pop of colour that it adds.
i created striped pleats along the bottom - again, avoiding ruffles.
i used the polka dot sheet to make straps, and used D-rings at the top of the bib to make the neck strap adjustable.
and i lined it in kona cotton to make everything all neat and tidy.
i really really love how it turned out - it was hard to give up!
and then there were the extras. the apron took longer than i thought it would, and then i was in the art jewelery/enameling classes with Richard Salley last weekend, which totally wiped me out, so i wasn't able to finish it as soon as i would have liked. and then i decided to add the tea towel, and didn't realize that i had to let the paint cure for 24hrs.... so i felt bad, and made a little linen pouch to add in.
the first thing i wanted to make was a matching potholder, and it seemed obvious to go with a string quilt block.
because Melinda isn't very fond of insulbrite, and prefers fulled wool inside potholders, i went off to the thrift store to pick up a sweater (any excuse for thrifting!).
i think the sweater i used was too thick - i thought it would be great for a potholder, but didn't think about struggling to quilt through it! but it did give the stripes great definition -
the back was just the same white twill - i wanted something thicker than one of the sheets so that the sweater didn't show through.
and then the tea towel. i made this silkscreen years ago, and keep meaning to haul it and a few others out to make patches, but never seem to get around to it. this was the perfect excuse! i used Jacquard textile ink to silkscreen. it's a fun iridescent blue/green colour.
and then the final project, a cute little linen pouch. i used more rickrack - i really hope Melinda doesn't hate rickrack! i wanted to pair linen with a print, and used the vintage trim to pull out the colours a bit.
i used a vintage orange zipper, and lined the pouch with orange kona. (i love kona, but you've probably figured that out by now)
i rounded out the package with some canadian chocolate, for grown ups as well as her little boy, and a little stack of I Spy squares from my stash.
i always get so focused on what i'm making for swaps that i forget that i'll be receiving as well - but i'm definitely going to be watching the mail next week!