Happy 2019 + Secret Valentine Exchange Hiatus

Happy New Year!!! I hope 2019 has started off in a good way for you, my friends! K and a friend baked these lovely macarons a few days ago, and they’re so delicious — a perfect way to begin the year. She tells me that they used this video and it must be a darn excellent tutorial because the macarons came out very profesh.

So I’ve been mulling over how to make this announcement. Typically, my first post of the year is all about the Secret Valentine Exchange and I was keeping my fingers crossed that 2019 would be no different. However, when the numbers reached over 500 last year, we were astounded and delighted but also overwhelmed by the amount of communication and follow-up such a large number of people required. We have loved loved LOVED hosting the exchange for the past five years. It’s one of the most beautiful and meaningful projects I’ve ever been part of, made extra special because it was a collaboration with Ute, who is one of my favorite humans on earth. But if you’ve been following either or both of us, you’ve probably noticed that our online presence has dramatically declined because a lot has been going on in real life. I tried to figure out a way to keep SVE rolling while working on two books and other projects that I don’t often talk about here, but I had to admit I would be setting myself up for a very stressful start of 2019. Ditto for Ute. A hiatus made a lot of sense for this year.

Somewhat related, “macaron” — according to Chowhound — shares a root meaning with the oft-confused and different cookie named “macaroons.” Both names are derived from the Italian word ammaccare, which means “to crush”. It’s crushing (in a not-so-great way) to put SVE on hold, but if we want to crush it (in a great way) in 2019, the extra time will be used productively and with a different kind of love.

From the bottom of our hearts, we are so very grateful for all the past participants. It’s called a “hiatus” because I truly hope that we’ll be back next year or the year after. On the upside, one of the things we discovered last year was that there is a veritable explosion of similar gift exchanges these days. Perhaps if you’d be so inclined, you could leave a comment with some of your faves as alternative options?

And for those of you that might be eager to do some sewing and want to get a sneak peek into my next book, I’ll be putting out a call for pattern testers in a few weeks. Stay tuned!!!!

12 thoughts on “Happy 2019 + Secret Valentine Exchange Hiatus

  1. Thank you for hosting it for the last years! I took part for the first time last year and loved it! Totally understand that there must be a lot of admin work with so many participants! I’ll gladly wait for whenever the next sve is 🙂
    There was a restyling exchange last year, where you refashion an unworn garment for a fellow sewist. Definitely recommend that one!
    Kudos to your daughter btw, those macaroons look scrumptious!

  2. Thanks to Ute and yourself for hosting the SVE for the past 5 years. I have truly enjoyed taking part for the past three years and look forward to the next session. Good luck with your book writing and I’d happily volunteer my sewing / crafting testing services if you need them!

    1. It was a tough call, but I do think it was for the very best. Thank you, Caroline, that would be wonderful if you’re able to pattern test! xo

  3. Sorry to hear SVE won’t happen this year, as I was thinking I might finally join in. But I can’t even imagine how much work goes into it (and seeing as how I took 3 years to psych myself up, I must have an inkling).
    I hope that Ute is ok, and hope for both of you that the busyness brings its own joy.
    Very excited to hear that you are working on a sewing book!
    Happy new year and love to both of you and your families.

  4. Tell K that those look AMAZING! All of us out here in electronic land are super super impressed. 😊. Thank you for hosting SVE – it has been a blast and I love all the new connections I have made through it. Enjoy the easier pace as you begin this new year and know we are all thankful and blessed because of your efforts on our behalf over the last several years! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. I just told K and she’s very proud. 🙂 Thank you for your generous spirit, Beccy! SVE has been a joy all around and we love to hear about the special connections that participants made!

    1. Thanks so much Mel!! I try my best not to overwhelm my schedule because I invariably get sick when I try to do too much. I’m anticipating a much calmer work situation next year, so I’m full of optimism about SVE 2020!!

  5. I hope you had a great start to the new year, Those maccarons look really great,

    I am looking forward to your new sewing book. Mind you, I am still sewing from your old book! We have been enjoying Ba Chan.and I am just looking forward to hearing more of what you are up to.

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying the Ba-Chan book and are still sewing from Sewing Happiness, Max! This next book is a little different, though the book after that will pick up where Sewing Happiness left off in a way. It’s all incredibly exciting! Thank you for being part of it all!

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