RATZ Swaps From the Beginning

When I first joined Flickr, I was instantly drawn to the amazing swap items posted from sewists all over the world. I desperately wanted to take part, but having never made a pouch, bag, mini quilt or pillow and am still clueless about how to insert my personal holy grail… zippers… so there was no way that I could join. Then I found the perfect little swap. The Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap, or RATZ Swap, was just the opportunity I needed to get my feet wet. I may not be able to make a pouch, but magnets were definitely in my wheelhouse. Fortunately, the group was very welcoming and I’ve had a great experience month after month. As an added bonus, I’ve gotten to know and feel a part of the Flickr community. Their kind response to my work was just the confidence boost I needed to move on to more complex patterns. Without further ado, here are the projects that I’ve made and received so far.

My first month participating was June and the theme was magnets. It was near the beginning of my obsession with hexies and English paper piecing. I got a little carried away and instead of a “tiny” magnet, my partner received a Mega Magnet. I threw in a couple of mini 1/2″ hexies, because they were too fun to resist.

I sent out the largest magnet, but it was my partner, SharpShayla who sent out the tiniest. I wanted these ever so badly when she posted the picture and was thrilled when I opened my package. Pictures don’t do these magnets, made with 1/4″ hexies, justice. Her tiny stitches are just amazing!

In July the theme was Needlebooks. I have to be honest, this one really intimidated me. I was having trouble with my sewing machine and couldn’t count on it for quilting or even a good-looking top stitch. I attempted to make up for my lack of talent with beautiful fabrics. My LQS had just gotten a charm pack of V & Co’s new line Simply Color and it was divine. I quickly picked some charms and whipped up this mini needlebook.

In return, I received the absolute best needlebook EVER! Seriously my partner, Andrcarl, nailed this project!  Not only does it have bird fabric in colors I adore, but it is spacious and holds everything I need to take my hexie projects on the go. I will let the pictures speak for themselves!

The August round was Name Badges. I had just learned how to sew partial themes and came up with this elongated hexagon. I once again indulged my love of spectrum colors and threw in a little Madrona Road Memoir in Graphite as an accent.

As luck would have it, I received a perfect little package from my partner, Teach26. Not only did she include this wonderful little name tag, but she also sent a magnet and key fob. I had broken my only key chain the month before, so it was the perfect little add-on in fabric from my favorite designer, Kate Spain.

Our RATZ Swap Mamas took a month off this September. A good thing for me, since with the start of school, I really didn’t have time to participate. That doesn’t mean I have nothing to make though. In the needlebook photo above is an adorable pinnie sent to me by the wonderful Chickenfoot. She was one of the earliest people to befriend me on Flickr and sent me a great little package. I’m ashamed to admit that the small pile of goodies I have to send to her are still on the shelves in my sewing area. I am horribly overdue, so I’m publicly committing to send it out in the next week. In the meantime, here’s a picture of the precious package I received.

I’m linking up for the first time today to from blank pages…  A Celebration of Beginnings linky party. Now I just need to figure out how to insert a button!

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