Well I’ve taken part in Artist Trading Card (ATC ) swaps before but this was my first very berry handmade mini hoop swap! The ATC swaps involve making a small credit card sized original hand crafted piece of art. There must always be some sewing but the ATC can be a multi-media extravaganza of whatever takes your fancy. The mini hoop swap is very similar except that the work of art is encompassed within a mini hoop of 4-5 cm in diameter and has some embroidery.
In the past my ATCs have been very diverse and they haven’t included embroidery so this was a new challenge. There was no theme to this swap just some brief details from the recipient of my hoop as to what colours she liked. Ali from Very Berry Handmade sorts out all the swap partners and sends off the details to everyone. It’s a secret swap so the recipient of your art is not the person who sends one to you!
Here are some of my ATCs from previous swaps.
For the mini hoop swap I took a long time to start actually making it as I just didn’t have any inspiration at all. Then one evening I was idly playing with a small square of purple fabric and it struck me that folded into four it looked a bit like a butterfly! So that’s how I developed my mini hoop – I sewed the ‘butterfly’ onto some linen, then placed the hoop around it to see where I wanted it to sit, then embroidered freehand the stem of a flower, the butterfly’s antennae and sewed a button for the flower head. A little bit of silver glitter glue to enhance the butterfly’s wings and it was done!