Then, I saw the Around the World Craft Swap. I was a bit bummed it wasn't strictly a mini quilt swap, but I was so excited that it was travel related that I couldn't help myself! I signed up, and hoped I would get a mini quilt based on Paris. I love Paris. :-)
I always assumed I would make a mini quilt, but when I got my partner email, she didn't really seem to want a mini quilt. I'm sure she would have been pleased with it, but it wasn't among the things she specifically listed that she would like to receive. So I went back to the drawing board...at first I started thinking about making her a bag and adding a small travel-related applique...but then she started posting requests for hoop art on Instagram, and I knew I had to do it for her.
After a lot of brainstorming, these were the designs I came up with. I couldn't pick just one, so I made her all three. They didn't take much time or effort, so I felt good about sending all three. The two quotes were specific quotes she mentioned liking, and I designed the Eiffel Tower one because she got engaged right around the time partner emails went out, so I thought a romantic tribute would be nice.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out all the shapes, and I'm super pleased with how they turned out! They were so quick and easy.
Because the hoops were so simple, I elected to sew up a little zippy pouch too. I wrote about the zippy pouch here. I love how the fabrics turned out together, and I think it's super cute! I hope she loves it.
I also sent her a black and white print of Paris that I took a couple of years ago. It's of the Musee d'Orsay specifically. She mentioned using black and white photos from her travels to decorate with, and I thought it would be the perfect addition to the package.
I had fun picking up extras for her. I found an Eiffel Tower key chain on a clearance table at a museum (score!), and I sent some note cards and ribbons as well, and a small box of Italian candies from our trip.
I had a really great time doing this swap and am on the hunt for another one. I think one thing that really worked well for me was having just one swap. I initially signed up for just one because I wanted to see how it all went, and I got so lucky. I received a beautiful mini that I can't wait to hang, and my partner loved the package I sent her. It was a really positive experience. Now that it's all over, though, I think part of why I enjoyed it was that I was just focused one. So, while there are many many swaps out there, and lots of people sign up for multiple, I think I'll stick to one at a time for now. It meant that I was really focused on making a great package for my partner, and I think that's about as much as I can handle!