That time of year again. The usual Secret Santa Swap I've done isn't happening this year because of some personal time issues for the planner. It was so enjoyable that I've worked to find something else.
The SSSwaps work only if people keep their promises. And I am like any adult who becomes a child during the holidays even though my celebrations are for Winter Solstice and the Festa d'Befana and not Christmas. I have become open to receive.
The Swapbot participants are incredibly generous in sharing their art and resources. Every envelope and package is a delight to open. The wrapped stocking stuffers started coming last month and mine are still wrapped for opening the end of the year (or in January when LaBefana visits)!
I have three going out after the partners are assigned later this week, and two of them are International in such countries as Germany, Finland, Ireland and Norway. This too, is like a childhood fantasy to get mail from all around the world. One never knows who they will get or whom they will send to.
To this end, I am making Valentine mug rugs. When people wait til the end of December to open their packages, if what is inside is a Christmas themed gift, the season is gone the next week.
At my local Quilting Guild's holiday party last year, I received a Valentine-themed FQ and had no idea what to do with it. Oh, its cute, but not what I want in my quilts...this is the first one I made just quilting around the images and adding a binding. I cut three pieces and this one finishes at 10.5" by 6.5". It meant that I could cut three mug rug shapes and still have half the FQ for another three.
I have a lot of scrap pieces and made a three-piece back, which seems to keep with the theme on front. Each of the swaps is to be wrapped and must fit inside a stocking, so I will roll these, and probably add something else with it.
I've learned to be more generous with what I send out, and have stopped looking for parity in the interaction because you do not receive from the person you send to.
And once its done, its done.
I feel like making these mini quilts offer me more practice, and giving them expands my sense of community and place in the world. What I like is that there is little to no connection with the people giving and receiving. It takes away all the baggage that can come with gift-giving. Probably, the postage ends up costing more than the contents of the mail. However the point is...what? to get good mail, to make connections, to learn generosity? I think that for anyone participating in these exchanges, its about an evolution of spirit.