When making mini quilts for swaps I often start with the extras (little gifts that are included with the mini quilt) because they are often fun to make and there is less pressure than when making the actual mini quilt. For the Aussie Mini Barn Quilt Swap my partner made it really easy for me to decide what to make her. In her submission she indicated that she loves caramello koalas and collecting mug rugs to brighten up her desk at work. Naturally, I made her a set of mug rugs with little pockets to hold the caramello koalas.
Another handmade item I included was a swoon block pin, made using a Dandelyne mini hoop and some cross-stitch supplies.
One of the swap requirements was to "prettily package your parcel" so I went a bit OTT with the wrapping, making a handmade box for the mug rugs (I used some woodgrain paper in line with the barn quilt theme) and added a pretty handmade tag.
My partner loved her extras and I enjoyed making them for her. And that is why I love participating in swaps, despite having my hands full with two small babies. In fact, I may or may not have just signed up for another one :P