play food swap…

This Winter, I was making a lot of play food to add to our stash with the plan to put it in my children’s Ostara baskets. I do like to plan ahead. While I tend to be able to make patterns and sew most things, yarn crafts hold a romantic fascination for me. Knitting and crocheting are two areas which I admire the craftmanship without really having any desire to participate. I tend to trade for my yarn craft needs. In order to share some of my play food and receive some other pieces from others, I organized another play food swap for March. we had a good turn out, with three separate groups of around 10 people. Hoping to get some good play food, I participated in all three groups, along with a couple of side swaps.

Here are a couple of the patchwork apples I did for one group:

One of the peaches from another group:

Some plums from the third group:

One of the bunches of grapes from a side swap:

We received a lot of great pieces of play food. I think the quality we received is better than it has been in previous years. I’m still waiting on a few more items, but here are some of my favorites:

tea set…


I searched a long time for a suitable play tea set. I really wasn’t pleased with the selection available. They seemed to be either made with toxic paint, aluminum, cheap plastic, or were ridiculously priced. I had mainly given up on the idea, although since I still thought my children would enjoy a set, I kept an eye out for something. Last November, as I was making an insane amount of handmade play food to add to our collection, I had the realization that I could just make a tea set.

I did some looking online for patterns and narrowed down the selection. With the help of some mom friends, I was looking at this felt food tea set pattern. My daughter was looking over my shoulder one day when I was trying to make my final selection and said that she really liked it the best. I should have just asked her in the first place.

Locally, the only place to find much of a selection in felt is JoAnn’s. The majority of their felt is acrylic, which I refuse to use. It feels nasty to work with and pills horribly. Frankly, I don’t want to waste my time on something that isn’t going to hold up to being played with. The wool blend felt they carry by the bolt is very limited in colors, even more so than a few years ago. Purchasing wool felt online becomes expensive quickly, especially if you want some nice colors.

I decided I would rather make the tea set out of fabric. It’s more affordable and comes in a wide array of colors. In fact, I had enough fabric in my stash that I wouldn’t have to buy anything else. Looking at the pattern, I realized that I would need to make some changes. I enlarged the seam allowance so that I could sew and turn the pieces, I also added some thin batting in order to make the pieces stand up better, since I wasn’t using felt.

My children picked out the fabric from my stash. Sewing the little pieces was sometimes a pain. I put the set away to put in their Ostara baskets, but the individual pieces did manage to be played with while I was making them. Watching their eyes light up and witnessing their pretend play was definitely worth the work involved.