When I lived in PA I always hosted a Cookie Exchange with my friends. It would start out as breakfast, then lunch, then an ornament exchange, then cirlce around the dining room table gathering cookies. It was so much fun.
About 5 years ago I started a quilting bee with about 10 friends from my quilt guild. We call ourselves "The Girls". Every month we go to each other's homes to sew. We bring our sewing machines, hand work, and enjoy spending the day together.
It seems it's always Christmas when it's my turn to have "The Girls" to my home. The first year I started missing my Cookie Exchange parties, so I decided to "tweak" it a little bit. Instead of exchanging cookies, we would exchange Christmas Fat Quarters.
In case you don't know what a fat quarter is, it is an 18"x22" piece of fabric. When you go to the fabric store and you buy 1/4 yard of fabric, it is 9"x45". To get a fat quarter you would take 1/2 yard of fabric and cut it in half, therefore giving you an 18"x22" piece. It is still a fourth of a yard, but it is a more usable piece of fabric. Most quilt shops carry fat quarters, or you can find them here.
Each person buys 2 1/2 yards of two different Christmas prints. That would make 10 fat quarters from each fabric. (The more people you have, the more fabric they will need. For example, if you have 20 people, then you would need 5 yards of each fabric.) They cut them into fat quarters, fold them pretty, and wrap with a bow.
Everyone comes over around 9:00 am. I serve them coffee, breakfast casserole, fruit, and monkey bread.
They find their spot to sew, whether it be on my kitchen table, in a comfy chair, or on the couch!
My neighbor's daughter always stops by for tips on knitting or embroidery. I think this year is the year to teach her how to quilt!
I give away door prizes which usually consist of thread, rotary cutter blades, and seam rippers. It seems those things come in handy to have when you can't find yours at midnight!
I serve lunch, which usually consists of sandwiches, soups, and party foods like a cheese ball, seven layer dip for chips, spinach dip, and whatever else I can find in one of those cute little recipe books you find while standing in line at the grocery store.Dessert is always my Italian Cream Cake, of course!
Although the sewing and eating is fun, what's more fun is to load up on fat quarters. We lay the fat quarters out on my kitchen island. We line up behind each other and start gathering fat quarters! It's always fun to see what everyone brings.
Hopefully this inspires you to host your own Christmas Fat Quarter Exchange. If you do, please let me know!