Swapping Fun and Gifts

In my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, I don’t know a whole lot of people who love to bake, knit, or craft as much as I do. So, I spend a lot of time on Ravelry, a knitting facebook kind of group, I bake along with Tuesdays with Dorie, and I joined a do.good.stitches, a charity quilting group. In some groups, we do swaps to try to get to know other members better. It’s a great way to make friends who have common obsessions interests. Plus, who doesn’t love to shop for crafty supplies or get some unique yarn or a handmade gift?

My sewing group organized a secret swap recently, and we were each tasked to make something for our partner. I was a little apprehensive about this, since I am not as experienced a sewist as many others in the group, but I decided to dive in any way. The project I chose to make was a tote bag. I used the market tote pattern from a book called Patchwork Please . This one appealed to me because of the two large pockets on either side. I am a sucker for pockets and I often wonder why bags don’t have more of them.


To make the bag more interesting, I made patchwork panels on the outside instead of just using a large piece of fabric. I have to say, my favorite part of the bag are the handles. Aren’t they great?


And there’s another little pocket on the inside, too. Also, to make the bag sturdier, i used interfacing in the lining as well as the exterior. It was a challenging project for me, but I am pretty happy with the results, and I hope my partner likes it, too!


Yesterday, I received a package from my secret swap partner. This little quilt is fabulous, don’t you think? I love the way the colors interact with each other and make different designs, depending on the way you look at it.


I am going to hang this in my sewing corner so that it can in inspire me when I am in there. There were some extra goodies, too: a cute little bag (perfect for notions and things), cool fabric and a great quilt pattern that I am excited to make.


On the knitting side of things, I received a swap package from a fellow knitspot club member this week.


It was a fun box of goodies that has brightened up my very busy week. I especially love the indigo dyed yarn and the cute sheep ornament.


In our house recently, we have been talking a lot about the nature of giving and why we give gifts. As we enter into this gift giving season, it is too easy to get distracted by the gifts themselves rather than the reason behind them. We give gifts to show others that we care about their interests, their welfare, and we want to brighten their day. Without the love behind a gift, a gift becomes just an object without meaning, but with love, any gift, no matter the size or monetary value, can have immeasurable worth.

Sure, I can go out to the store and buy stuff that I want or need, but to get a gift, especially a handmade one, makes me feel loved and cared for. It is just one of the many ways we can show our love for each other, so I don’t advocate it as a substitute for love or concern. But, no matter what the gift, it is always a reminder that one is loved.


Posted on November 22, 2013, in Finished, Quilting, Sewing, Thankfulness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Beautiful job on the bag!

  2. The bag you made for the swap is really nice, I’m sure your partner loved it.

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