I was thrilled to receive the name of one of my actual friends from the North Jersey guild, Melanie. Chad and I organized the swap, and to ensure that we could both participate, we chose for each other. My match was a happy accident. The main problem was not squeaking and giving away the fact that I was making gifts for her for two weeks as we chatted!
For Day 1, I made a 1 Hour Basket by kelbysews. This quick and fun basket is currently a huge hit on Instagram (#onehourbasket), and I found the directions very easy to follow. It took me a little longer than an hour because I wanted to pieced the outside. I used strips of Melanie's favorite colors and fabrics (low volume with greens and blues, plus lots of Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics), in color gradation (on the side in the picture below). I wrapped a bunch of goodies I've been picking up here and there and left them in the basket, too. Hopefully, at this point, Mel knew she was in for some spoiling!
Day two's gift was the most fun to set up. I made Melanie a double-sided mug rug (which really could also serve as a mini quilt). She loves typewriters, so I took a deep breath and used one of my two Melody Miller typewriters paired with the perfect shade of Doe orange. I had fun quilting this!
I also scoured the Internet for the perfect Muppet mug (I found this one on Society 6) and filled it with Kit Kats (her favorite candy). Finally, since she was teaching her Peek block that day (and I was taking her class!), I left an apple with a note: "Good luck, teach!" P.S. Melanie's Peek block pattern is now live!
On the last day, I left my signature double-sided tablerunner. Melanie is very inspired by Libs Elliot, so I gathered my fabrics together and made a bunch of half-square triangles. Then, I used Ms. Elliot as inspiration to lay them out. I threw in a couple of larger HSTs to vary up the scale. On the back, I improv-pieced lots of scraps together. The tablerunner is quilted with straight lines and spirals. I hope it is the clean and modern look that Melanie is looking for in her home.
It was a pleasure to create all of these presents for my secret partner, and it was exciting to wonder about what was waiting for me each morning! Due to the popularity and success of the swap (38 out of 75 people at the retreat participated!), I'm sure we will do it again next year.
Purple gifts from my own Secret Sewist on the right! (@alysonwonderlan on IG - THANK YOU, Alyson! :) ).
P.S. My Sew Mama Sew giveaway is open until Sunday night!