ATC swap progress report

Attempting a super-fast blog post because I am trying to stick to my new resolve to turn off the internet at 8pm every day… but I really wanted to share some of the awesome work that is already appearing in the Very Berry ATC swap group on Flickr.

Here’s some sweet stitching underway by Claire at Little Red Monkey & Co:

Textile Trading Card Swap

An awesome applique mermaid by hokeycokey (sorry can’t match up Flickr name with real person – someone tell me who you are!):

ATC Swap - Finished!

Some gorgeous applique beach huts from DD Blogger (sorry, another one I can’t match up – do tell!):

ATC May 2013

and some stunning stitchery from Natalie at Sewing Room Secrets:

ATC 2013 progress


And now, on the dot of 8pm, and totally inspired by the above, I am off to do some stitchery of my own… 

Artist Trading Card Swap Update

Textile ATC swap button
So, the swap is now officially underway. Exciting! If you are taking part you should have your swap partner’s details – if you haven’t, then check your spam folders and, if you *still* can’t find the email, do drop me a line. There are 45 of you taking part from places as far away as the Czech Republic, Luxemburg and the USA! By the way, if you’d like a button for the swap to use on your blog you can find the code at the end of this post – thanks to Catherine for the reminder for this!

In the end I decided not to join in with the actual swap, but don’t worry, I will keep myself occupied making 2-3 cards so that I can act as a Swap Angel if anyone doesn’t receive a card due to the vagaries of the post…. and also so that I can play, of course.

I’ve already got started with my first ATC. I have wanted to try blackwork for ages, but hadn’t got a clue where to start, and then I was lucky enough to be sent this lovely book – Mastering the Art of Embroidery by Sophie Long – to review.

By Sophie Long

My proper review (and hopefully an offer code!) will appear in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime I can tell you that if you are interested in having a serious go at embroidery, this is a great place to start.  As soon as I spotted this gorgeous fish by Mary Corbet (who has a fabulous embroidery website – you can see a better picture of her fish there), my urge to try blackwork struck again. I love the use of geometric patterns to create texture, light and shade.

Blackwork fish by Mary Corbet

So I thought I a little blackwork ATC sampler was in order. This is what I have managed so far…. One strand of embroidery floss on a charity shop find woven cotton napkin… It’s slow work but I am enjoying it – and I’m very pleased I own a lovely magnifying lamp!

Blackwork sampler ATC

I plan another 4 sets of stitches on the left hand side. Just got to decide which ones to go for…  Hope all you lovely ATC swappers are enjoying deciding what you are going to make!

Here’s the swap button – just right click in the box, click on ‘Select All’, click on copy, then paste the code into your blog.

Very Berry Handmade
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Textile Artist Trading Card Swap: Sign Ups

I’m pleased to tell you that the Very Berry Textile Artist Trading Card Swap is here (shall we call it VBATCS? Errr, no, definitely not – readers out there with experience of childbirth might know why…). Anyway, enough of that obstetrical diversion, here’s the button!

Textile ATC swap button

Textile ATC Swap: Something New

I thought it would be good to have a theme, but wanted it to keep it fairly vague, so the theme of the swap is Something New… This seemed like an appropriate choice for Springtime, and it’s relevant because I know some swappers will be making ATCs for the first time. Also, I really wanted to incentivise you to try some new skills and techniques, if you’re in the mood to have a go.

If you are pushed for time, don’t worry, your ATC doesn’t have to be hugely ambitious, just fun! For the ATC I made for this blog post, I wanted to try a few different embroidery stitches that are new to me, such as the spiderweb (bottom middle square) and the French knot with the stalk (top right). I combined these with chain stitches, buttonhole stitches. and backstich, which I can do pretty well, so it was a bit of a challenge, without being overwhelmingly tricky to do:


A few rules…

Your ATC must be 6.4cm by 8.9cm  (2.5″ by 3.5″), but you can use the card in either portrait or landscape orientation. Don’t make the card too thick though – no more than 3-4mm (1/8″) please.

The ATC must be predominantly textile, but you can use any techniques that you want to try, e.g. embroidery, patchwork, beading, cross-stitch, fusing fabrics, colouring fabrics, using fabric paints or ink stamps. There’s masses to choose from – I’m going to do some blog posts about different ideas in the next couple of weeks, but in the mean time, here’s an intro to fabric ATCS and here’s some Flickr inspiration.

The back of the ATC needs to include, at the very least, your name and the date. It is also preferable to include your email address, and, if you have given the ATC a title, you can include this too. Here’s the back of my ATC – I used a waterproof micron pen to write on the fabric (can you tell how much I was trying to keep my handwriting neat – I appear to have regressed to seven years old!), which I then bonded to the felt backing of the ATC. I covered the edges in rather wobbly chain stitch:


The Swap Basics…

  • You will make 1 ATC and received 1 ATC in return. Serious bit: Before signing up, please think for a minute whether you can put aside enough time to make something lovely and thoughtful for your swap partner, and whether you will be able to meet the deadlines.
  • Please sign up by leaving a comment on this post and dropping me an email at veryberryhandmade (at) gmail (dot) com by Thursday 25th April.
  • I will send you an email with a few questions (just a bit of basic info for the swap) on Friday 26th April and you must respond by Tuesday 30th April. Partners will be assigned by 2nd May. 
  • It will be a secret swap so please don’t let your partner know who you are!
  • Participation is open to anyone anywhere in the world (the ATCS wont be too pricey to send), so please be prepared to send overseas if you join in (but I will *try* to make exceptions if you are really stuck for cash… just let me know).
  • Cards must be posted during the week 3rd-8th June (or a little earlier if you are posting overseas and you can manage it).
  • Please do not include anything else in your parcel, except a little note if you like!
  • Once you have received your ATC, you must get in touch with your partner to say thanks… (I know, I don’t need to say this…!).
  • If you blog, use FB, Twitter or Instagram, please feel free to share your ATC swap progress, and definitely share pictures of the ATC you receive from your swap partner, if you can.

I hope you feel as excited as I do, now that this is underway! I’m looking forward to hearing from some enthusiastic ATC swappers…