Swap Goodies for Gretchen

These are goodies I made for Gretchen (aka June at Noon) for a personal craft swap. When we originally agreed to the swap, it was back at the beginning of the year and the only rule was to complete the swap by year-end. At the time, I had no idea it really would be very nearly the end of the year before I completed my part of the swap. Yikes! Gretchen’s a sweetie for being so patient :-).

I wanted a change of pace from my typical embroidery projects, so opted to make several small-scale items rather than one larger item.

First up is a “Matroyshka” Tissue Cozy, made of felt and embellished with a bit of embroidery.

The design is a freebie (found here) offered up by Sew Sweet Stitches. I purchased the wool felt from Felt on the Fly — Janet has a kit available containing the felt colors called for in the tutorial, or you can do what I did and ask for Janet’s help in swapping out colors :-). This was my first time working with wool felt and, boy, is it lovely! I thoroughly enjoyed making the tissue cozy and will absolutely be doing more felt + embroidery crafting.

Next up is this “Autumn” needlekeeper.

The embroidery design was inspired by Gretchen’s love of trees and autumn. Adventures in Thread’s needlekeeper tutorial was the basis for my project. I used business-card sized magnetic sheets, which have an adhesive backing on one side. Individually, when wrapped in a piece of fabric, they didn’t have a very strong magnetic hold, so I adhered three of them together and that created a strong enough hold that the needles won’t fall off. Then I adhered those to a thin piece of matboard, to make the needlekeeper a little more stiff. I laced my embroidery over the top of the magnets, and covered the back with a piece of craft felt (applied with Elmer’s Spray Adhesive) so the lacing wouldn’t show.

The “Noel” mini-ornament was part of a holiday cross-stitch kit that came with an issue of Cross-Stitcher magazine (I love that magazine!). The original ornament was supposed to be bigger, but I had a “should’ve measured twice” moment and cut the Aida too small to complete the original ornament design, so I improvised and made a mini-ornament instead :-).

The buttons are vintage. I adhered little round magnets to the back, but used just the adhesive that was already on the magnets, rather than a heavy-duty adhesive, so that if Gretchen wants to pop the magnets off and use the buttons for another project it will be easy to do so.

(Included in the goodies Gretchen made for me was this beautiful “Under the Stars” illustration which I get to look at when I’m sitting on our living room couch, like I am right now!)

I have one last personal craft-swap to wrap up for 2012, for the also-very-sweet-and-very-patient Lisa :-), and am having a good time working on the goodies for that swap.