One of my friends finish her last chemo treatment last week.I thought she needed fireworks to celebrate.
I made the starburst from the new Quilt Highlights thread that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love the way I can draw it up into sort of a ric rac effect. The green that I bought will be great for leaf vines.
I was making such good progress on the postcards that I finished them yesterday between football games.
I used 2 different tree silhouette patterns and 3 different backgrounds.
I felt like the edges needed to be as solid as the trees. In other words, not a stitched edge. I cut 1/2 inch strips of fused fabric and wrapped it around the edges fusing it in place. This wasn't particularly easy but I like how it looks. After the edges were fused and trimmed I topstitched all the way around to make sure it stayed in place.
I made a dozen of these cards simply because that's how many trees I was able to cut from my black fabric. I'll use them for birthday cards and cards for our Airbnb guests so they won't last long.
If you want to see how these were made check out yesterday's post.
I made it all day yesterday without a nap. That's a major milestone and it's good because I'm teaching all day today at The Longarm Network and it would be nice not to need a nap there. Wonder what they would think if I brought a yoga mat and rolled it out in the floor for an afternoon nap like when I was in 1st grade?
I thought about starting to mark my mandala fabric today but I felt that it needed more math ability than I was capable of. So it seemed logical to start something else....some postcards. I need some new ones for guests and birthday cards. While roaming the web over the past week I found a new quilt made by Rachel Derstine and thought the technique would be great for new postcards. With her permission I moved on to start making a much simpler postcard version. First step was to draw some tree designs.
I drew some 4 x 6 squares on scrap paper and drafted some ideas. These 2 were rejects.
These 2 passed muster. Now I needed to transfer the design to my fused fabric. Since these are on regular paper I quickly found out that tracing around them wasn't going to work well.
I remembered that I had some ink pads and, surprisingly, they are still working! Stamping over the tree shapes gave me a perfect outline for cutting them out. I have a fat quarter of the black fabric and will get 12 trees cut out of it. This is a project that I'll work on while watching TV this weekend.
I'm using some of my "waste fabrics" for the background. These aren't fused yet. I just wanted to see how they will look. I'll finish cutting out trees before I start putting them all together.
I have been making and sending Christmas postcards for a long time. I didn't keep great records but I know which ones I've made since 2007 and I have enough left over for 2 more years. 2008 is totally missing from this photo. I called Mom and the earliest one she has was from 2006 so I'll assume that's when I started. I didn't make as many in the early years as I make now but I'd guess that I've made over 650 of them.
This is the first time I've actually pulled them all out to see them together. Some are better than others. I started making postcards to learn some new techniques and design principles and I'd say that I've accomplished that goal. I have 2 big bins full of cards that I've received in various trade groups that I've participated in.
Last year, for the first time, making the cards was a chore. The ideas didn't come easily and I felt rushed. I almost stopped making them but decided to give it one more year. This year the ideas came quickly, the making was fun and I've received more feedback from the recipients than ever before. People have sent me photos of how they display them and sent me lots of messages about how much them love them.
I suppose I won't stop. Plus sometimes I get cards in return! Here are the cards that I have that are displayed on my fireplace mantle for Christmas.
After I took this photo I found even more!
I think I need to figure out another way to display them. I know from receiving these how much people like receiving them so I'll keep it up and start thinking of designs for 2017!
I finished these cards last week but just got around to editing the photos this morning.I made these for December birthdays. I always think about the December cards a lot because I want to make sure the cards are nothing like Christmas. The sunsets at the river over Thanksgiving inspired. Fortunately I have a good stash of shibori fabrics to choose from!
I thought I'd take some time and show how I made them.
I start by preparing some card bases. I use Stiffy interfacing from Longcreek Mills. It's close enough to Timtex but a lot less expensive. I am almost through a 35 yard roll and ready to order more! I fused Mistyfuse to one side and then cut it into 4" x 6" postcards.
Next is picing the fabrics. I wanted a dark sky so picked a blue and black shibori pieces. Each was overdyed with orange to give me the sunset streak. I had a yellow/orange shibori for the horizon line and a brown textured dye for the water. I cut these into roughly the sizes that I need and amde sure that the sky pieces all have orange along the bottom edge.
Next I arranged the fabrics the way I wanted them and fused everything in place. The sky and water pieces are always on top of the orange. Once they are fused I trim from the back to the edge of the postcard base.
The stitching is very simple on this. I used monofilament thread and stitched along the bottom of the sky (to hold it in place) and then along a few of the shobori dye lines. it's amazing how much that little bit of stitching added movement to the sky.
I wanted to add more to the horizon line so I pulled out some yarns and couched them to the horizon. The secret to this is having long tails on the yarn pieces so that you have something to hold on to as you start sewing. I used a wide zig zag and monofilament thread. Trim off the yarn ends after everything is stitched down.
For the water I found a shiny dark brown thread and stitched along some of the dye lines. This stitching is done with a free-motion zigzag. If you have never tried free-motion stitching with a zig zag give it a try. It makes a very cool line.
After this stitching I fused on the back. For my backs I prefuse Mistyfuse to some fabric and then cut it into 4" x 6" rectangles.
The fussiest part of these cards was the edge stitching. I changed colors for each section and it really didn't take that long. This idea came from Monica Kinner-Whalen. I've been following her art for several years and she uses this finishing technique on her cards.
Addressed, stamped and mailed.
I'm ready to call Christmas done. I don't even want to decorate but Chris is prodding me to start doing some of it today and so, I will. I know I'll like it once it's up but, honestly, I'd rather spend the day cutting glass or quilting.
Judy, at Judy's Quilting Studio, is hosting a postcard challenge and asked me to do something that I've never done before. She wanted me to tally the miles my cards will travel. It seemed like a daunting task at first but you know me, I love to track things. If you are making and sending postcards you can participate too. Just check it out on her blog. So here's my chart.
Most of my cards, of course, are staying in Virginia but I have a few that are traveling long distances. One is going to England and a few to the Wests Coast. Don't get too caught up in the cities. Tampa for example actually represents Tampa and a MidWest city that was the same distance. I still have a few more to address and several that will be handed out personally but I'm pretty impressed with a total of 23,700 miles (or 38183 kilometers).
It's the day before Thanksgiving and ALL of my Christmas postcards are DONE!!!!!!!
Of course these are my personal favorites. Christmas doesn't start for me until I've seen the original Grinch show on TV. This was not an original design. I googled Grinch images and found several that have this basic imagery. I think what really makes these cards work is the red-purple background and the print that I found in my stash for the ornament.
I made 31 of these.
With all of this done I am going to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving weekend. I'll be back here Monday.
I am on a roll this week!
These are the first cards that I started for this week. The started as a a bag of scraps from the Rainbow Quilt that I'm making. I gave myself a challenge to use them this year. There were lots of triangles in the scrap bag and that's what led me to trees. The dots are dimensional fabric paint and I think it's the addition of dots that really make these cards extra cute. The lesson I learned on these is to add the paint dots AFTER all the cards are completely done. I did them before I fused on the backs and had to be extra careful not to ruin the paint with the heat from the iron.
I did not fuse the triangles, I just positioned them where I wanted them and stitched carefully to get them held in place. You can see this post for the stitching path that I used to do these in a continuous stitching path.
I made 30 of these cards.
This is the postcard that I will send to Chris' hunting friends. Although Chris and most of his friends don't hunt deer, I think they will get a kick out of this one. This one was really pretty easy to make.
I talked about the screens I used for the background and stag head in this post. I've had the stag screen for a couple of years and bought it specifically for Christmas cards but I couldn't quite come up with a good idea to use it until this year. Once I decided to treat him like a Christmas tree I knew I had a winner.
I think he looks like he just woke up the morning after the office Christmas party and isn't quite sure what he did last night. Or maybe the fawns got to him while he was napping in front of the TV.
Aside from cutting out the stag head, this one went together fast. The only stitching is the ornament chain. The dots are made with dimensional fabric paint. The added benefit of having the paint dots on the end of the antlers is that it helps to keep the antlers from peeling up from the fabric.
I thought about using black thread for the edging but I think the added bit of red makes him even more festive or humiliated, whichever is appropriate.
I made 26 of these cards.
The end is in sight on the postcards and there's a remote chance that they will all be done before Thanksgiving. It will be a Thanksgiving miracle!
I left off Thursday with the hand and cuff stitched. Next I needed to do the ornament. My original plan was to use gold thread like the one in the right but I really didn't like the gold thread on the ornament. This is why I usually have one extra card that I use for testing thread or paint colors. I already had 3 thread changes for these cards so what's one more. I switched to monofilament thread to stitch around the ornaments.
Then I put the gold thread back on the machine and stitched the hanging wire.
Next I had to decided how big I wanted the ornament cap so it was back to the practice card. This practice card will come in handy again later when I test the serger stitch.
87 cards ready for backs and serged edges. I also still have to add some paint to the stag cards.......but they are soooooo close!
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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