I took part last year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience (you can read about the 2016SVE here) and thought I would definitely take part in the 2017 exchange.
I almost missed out this year as I didn't hear about it until a day AFTER the deadline for signing up (because I am not on Instagram anymore it is easy to miss these things). I commented on Sanae's blog post saying I was upset to have missed the deadline...
BUT, the following day I received an e-mail from the lovely pair asking if I was still interested in participating as quite a number of people had difficulties signing up using their mobile devices etc.... Of course I said yes!
So my SVE buddy was Kate from Cornwall. She loves the colours of the sea; blues, greens and purples. She has an Instagram account @k8c1962 which is lovely stream of hand craft, crochet, luscious hand-drawn patterns and beautiful scenery. I admit to a bit of research (friendly-cyber-stalking) before embarking on my hand-made gift to Kate.
I used only stash fabrics to produce a good sized tote bag to showcase my English Paper Piecing Patchwork I made at the London Craft Club at the National Gallery. I used a few fabrics provided at the workshop but also included some scraps of my own including Liberty Tana Lawn prints (the aqua Vanessa and Betsy prints).
Here are some photos of the finished bag. The patchwork was hand-appliquéd onto the blue fabric before the construction of the bag.
I used a bright blue medium weight cotton (remnant fabric from my SOI Tulip skirt from 2014) for the bag outer along with a baby blue polka dot cotton lining that I bought in a Cath Kidston sale quite a while ago.
I also wrapped up an A5 Liberty print sketchbook (Kate is always doodling and sketching) and some pretty MUJI origami papers. Here is the final Secret Valentine Exchange parcel.
My SVE didn't end there, although this was not an 'official' Secret Valentine Exchange.....
After attending the Janet Bolton workshop at Selvedge in January I created a hand-sewn applique and embroidered piece using monochrome colours. I had it in my mind that this would be the piece I would send to my SVE buddy. When I got Kate's details I realised that the colours and personality of that piece might not be quite right. I instead chose to send it to a new friend Kathy who I met on the Janet Bolton workshop. She lives in New Jersey and had travelled to London to enjoy some sight-seeing and the embroidery workshop. I had mentioned to Kathy about the SVE project and she thought it was a wonderful idea.
Here is the final piece. All hand patch-worked, appliqued and embroidered.
After gift wrapping.
Here are the parcels ready to go in the post!
Last week I received my parcel from my SVE buddy. It turns out that Kate (that I had made my SVE gift for) was my partner! She had been busy and made me four beautiful gifts!
I had mentioned that I liked the colours red, bright pink, green and monochrome and the pattern company Marimekko. She was very creative and produced the most lovely things.
Beautifully wrapped in such lovely paper with a hand-made card too!
First a beautiful black linen bag. This fabric has been hand-dyed by Kate made with the remnants of a costume she made. The linen originally came from her grannies haberdashery shop. A very precious piece of stash busting here Kate. Thank you.
This funky little felt brooch was attached to the ribbon of the parcel. So cute and I love the hand-stitching.
My favourite piece is this striking red leather purse made from a recycled leather jacket! How cool! I especially love the vintage ribbon with the Marimekko-esque flowers.
The final gift is a hand-made bag in black linen. The appliquéd decoration is actually a woven sample that Kate produced whilst studying Textile Design in the 1980's. The texture and colours are brilliant.
In conclusion to this epic post, I feel very lucky to have participated in this year's Secret Valentine Exchange. I had so much fun making the Janet Bolton inspired embroidery piece for Kathy and learning English Paper Piecing techniques for Kate's SVE gift.
A big thanks goes out to Ute and Sanae for organising such a beautiful project that brings joy and happiness into peoples lives x
I am already looking forward to SVE 2018!
This post is linked to #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.