Each year on the UK Art Swaps group, we run a '12 Days of Christmas' swap, where each player makes 12 small gifts, wraps and sends them to 'Mother Santa', who swaps them out and sends a set of 12 gifts to each player.
Some of us start opening one present a day from 12th December onwards, some wait until Xmas Day to open them all, and some probably open them all the moment the package arrives!
The hardest part of the swap is deciding what to make. It needs to be reasonably small, and light, so that the postage doesn't cost too much. The cost of making the gifts is also a factor because when you're making 12 of something the costs can mount up quite quickly.
This year I decided to make some brooches. I used some recycled wool fabric for the base, and needlefelted wool rovings onto both sides, to make a fairly sturdy felted fabric.
I cut leaf shapes from this felt base, and machine sewed velvet leaf shapes onto them. I used variegated Perle thread in my bottom bobbin to sew round the edges of the velvet, and the leaf 'veins'.
I sewed around each brooch a few times using metallic thread, so that each brooch has a subtle hint of glimmer.
To finish the brooches off, I got out my needles and thread and hand sewed french knots and beads to the fronts, and brooch backs to the backs.
I hope the recipients like them!
A closer view.