Winter 2016 ATC Swap

A few weeks’ ago I was very excited to get the chance to take part in the ATC swap entitled Winter Sparkle! I’ve done a few of these now and it’s always great fun preparing my own handmade card for my partner then waiting for one to drop through the letterbox for me! This is the one I made for my partner  The tree is made from heated and fused Angelica fibres and the little presents at the bottom are scraps of liberty fabric from my stash.

Handmade card with green fabric Christmas tree

Sparkly tree with liberty wrapped presents

I posted my card out at the beginning of December as per the rules of the swap but didn’t receive anything back over the next couple of weeks.




On Christmas Eve morning I was having a much needed cup of tea before the family get together when the postie brought this! Ooh the excitement!!

Air mail packet

Christmas Eve post delivery

Inside was a beautifully wrapped package made so I had to remove the fastening round the two buttons to open it. This forced delay in seeing my card just added to my anticipation and I was filled with excited glee as I slowly unwound the twine.

White Envelope

Beautifully wrapped!






And inside? A pretty, ethereal winter scene which really did Sparkle!

Hand sewn scene of winter snow


Sparkly fabric catching the light

See the sparkly bits!

See the sparkly trees?

Hand sewn fabric card with

The delicate stitching

I really love this card.  You don’t know who is sending you one until it arrives as it’s not a straight swap. My card was from Larissa at Stitching Notes, I have thanked her for it and it has added to my seasonal decorations at home! It came a long way overseas but receiving it on the last postal delivery before the Christmas break was almost as magical as the card!

If you fancy taking part in an ATC swap you can find details by checking the VeryberryHandmade blog by another Ali, Ali Burdon. She arranges 3 or 4 swaps each year.   You have to be quick to sign up though as the participants have to be limited to a reasonable number Ali can cope with when working it all out!

Maybe you’ll be my next swap partner? 😀

Sewing Machine Appliqué

Not done a lot this week so thought I’d show you how I used the digital download of a sewing machine which I bought from Wendy’s  Handmade Harbour a few months ago! I made two sewing machine appliqué for two machines.

Embellishing Machine

Embellishing Machine

I had great fun copying the images onto felt then sewing on the little details using some of the array of stitches which normally I never use! The little patchwork quilts are made from Liberty Tana Lawn scraps!

Sewing machine cover

Sewing machine cover

so that’s it for now – over to Handmade Monday to see what’s going on in the crafting world!


Winter Sparkle ATC swap!

Happy New Year!


I’m starting this year with a post about the Winter Sparkle ATC swap which I took part in towards the end of last year!  These Artist Trading Cards (ATC) swaps are organised by another Ali – over at VeryBerryhandmade. The theme was Winter Sparkle and we had to design the ATC to a standard size 2.5 x 3.5 inches and it had to be predominantly textile.

It it took me ages to decide what to make ! Part of the problem was my ongoing sciatica which is very painful and makes standing and moving difficult and the necessary drugs which tend to dampen down the creative processes!  Eventually as the posting deadline loomed I was forced to actually start work as I couldn’t bear the thought of some poor person waiting for her mystery packet which then never arrived!

My favourite background for these cards is one of my lovely 100% wool felt bought from Wonderwool last year – it makes a pleasing firm background and the edges don’t fray so no need for fiddly binding!

After much deliberation around the sparkle aspect  I suddenly thought of how the roads look at this time of year – all the houses lit up with twinkly lights! Our family doesn’t go in for dressing up our own houses that much but we really enjoy travelling round our area to where there are roads and cul-de-sacs with several houses which are completely bonkers over the top with lights and figures etc! Using these for inspiration I began sewing on my little houses from scraps in my stash. I used my textile iridescent paint for the night sky. I love how it looks clear in the tube but becomes twinkly and sparkly on dark fabrics! Finally I used silver embroidery thread to look like rope lights on the house roofs and to make a couple of stars by using just one strand of the thread.

Felted scene of houses with decorations

Sparkly Mid Winter Madness!

So that’s my Winter Sparkle ATC.  My partner sent me a lovely thank you email so I think she liked it!

If you fancy joining in one then take a look at the Very Berry blog and have a look at all the amazing cards created.  Also the next swap will be in February so keep a look out!