Send A Little Love Swap

Send a little love. I know Valentine’s Day has been and gone but if you can’t talk about love everyday then something has gone horribly wrong!   The act of loving someone or something is ever-present in all our lives hopefully.  I have a lot of love to give in mine for sure!

The main reason for my love topic today though is to tell you about the #sendalittleloveswap2018. An opertunity to be paired up with someone in the crafty world on Instagram, make and send them something lovely.  Swapping I think is very big in America, I remember being at an international Girl Scout camp in 2004 and all the American girls were obsessed with swapping badges and little made pennants. My English girls not so much.  It does seem a big thing now in the quilty world I’ve stumbled across.

This one was organised by Tracy from MadAboutbags in the UK and the Send A Little Love swap was my first ever swap. I felt more comfortable trying a swap out that was UK-based and it seemed to have good chatter about how successful it would be.

I was paired up with Kay from Jennifer Jackson Dolls. A super talented heirloom doll maker who put me at ease straight away. Here’s what she makes and a link to her etsy shop. They’re pretty cool!

4 images of handmade dolls

We chatted about swaps and what we would want to make and we decided that we both were equally not too bothered by what we did make.  My main thing was needing to hand stitch my project. I just can’t get the sewing machine out with the kids around.   Kay who used to Teach modern craft said I should have a go at Japanese stitching. Not sure what this was I came across sashiko, a visible mending stitch traditionally used for mending kimonos.  More often now it seems to be used for mending jeans. I really love the effects and decided to give it a go.

Kay’s Instagram feed is fairly black and white so I decided I would use some remnants I had stashed away from a crossword quilt I made years ago. Having nine squares to work on I started in the middle and did a different pattern on each.

a black and white stitch in repeated squares

How a project evolves is pretty awesome, I didn’t have much of a clue where it was going but half way through some very mindful stitching I came up with making a heart shape mini mug quilt.   This goal in sight I needed a back. I had a lot of red scraps of fabric so decided I would utilise my hexie making skills to create the love heart back.

The heart shape love hexie fabric

I’ve not made many quilts before but every time I do I get better and more daring as I go. I used a red thread to quilt this so the little stitches are visible on the black and white above, I’ve not kept to straight lines either.   The second to last job was binding and my nemesis. Especially since for this I had to work out how to do curves.  I took my time and used a 2.1/2″ hand-made tape and very carefully worked it out with a bit of wiggling to make it fit.  During the swap I had been making mini dresdens, small pointy flowers, for different projects. I wanted to go smaller so dug out my tiny scraps and made a little red one that goes perfect with my heart shaped send a little love mug rug.  Here are the final results:

the final love heart patchwork, black and white stitching bound in red with a little red dresden circle on

So many stitches along the way I am over the moon with my result.  Using a variety of skills and techniques I created something I believe is special!

That’s not the end though! Don’t forget Kay made me something too… when we finished our Makes we arranged for delivery of impatience and requested 1st class post. Which thankfully delivered next day for both of us.  Have a look:

I feel extremely lucky, a great little bundle of thoughtfulness.  The main part of the swap being a reversable storage bag adorned with a love heart. Its beautiful and I use it every day for my EPP project cases.

My first experience of a swap has been a success and I have recently signed up for another one that is really tiny and can’t wait!

Sending you all a little love.



  1. Tracy

    What a reat blog post, I’m so glad you enjoyed the swap and that you had the chance to try so many new techniques. You and Kay seemed very well matched. And all hose stitches were just amazing. There will be no stopping you with swaps now. X

  2. Kay Jackson

    Thank you for the extra special mention, lovely photo shares and link to my shop, you’re a superstar. I loved reading about your process, it makes me appreciate my beautiful mug rug all the more Xxx

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