Every year I do one design that is tree themed. This card was supposed to be the design for last year but I got stuck in the design process and couldn't come up with anything that I liked.
They ended last year like this. I had the stenciling done and just did not like it and didn't think I could save them. I decided to let them rest for a year.
They needed more red! I think the red stripe fabric is a Kaffe fabric that I had in my stash. It made for nice edges and some red paint dots fixed the trees. Once I had my mind made up they came together quickly.
I made 24 of these.
I think I made a total of 80 cards and they are addressed and ready to mail today or Thursday. Also, I have a few extras! If you would like to receive a card leave a comment below and I'll contact you to get your address. I have at least 5 extras and will take them on a first come first served basis.
The idea for this card started in the heat of summer when I did some sunprinting with Estelle and Marcy. I dyed 32 fat quarters that weekend. Two of them were dyed using a window sheer that I picked up at Goodwill. The star motif sunprinted really well and I knew that I wanted to use these fabrics for some Christmas cards this year.
Two years ago I painted a stash of fabric with metallic and pearlized paints. I found a couple of those to use for my moon and star.
The stitching took two different machines. Once all of the Christmas cards were done I had used all 5 of my sewing machines! The Brother (the most expensive machine) doesn't like sewing with specialty threads so I could only use that one for some stitching on the tree cards (unveiled Wednesday). I used a Janome 415 for the zig zag on the star but it doesn't have a free motion foot. I pulled out the Janome Gem Gold to stitch the gold loop and do the straight stitching on the star. I used the Juki for some stitching on the candle card that I shared Friday and I finished all of the cards on my serger.
For once I didn't have too many machines!
It took me a long time to figure out what to do on the edges but in the end I felt that the card needed more sparkle so I picked a Razzle Dazzle thread from Superior Threads.
It needed just one more thing. I had a ton of crystals left over from on one (and only) foray into diamond painting and just needed some Super Glue to finish these cards off.
I made 24 of these cards. I'm addressing a few each night and hope to have them all in the mail by Saturday.
The first of my 3 postcard designs is a Christmas candle.
These cards started with the "snowflake" batik. I don't know what this pattern is really called but I'm calling it snowflakes. I found this fabric in a quilt shop in Greenville, Maine called Crazy Moose Fabrics. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to figure out a way to use it to make postcards. It's not very often that you get a good Christmassy batik and one with metallic highlights is an extra bonus. I bought enough that I have leftovers and feel some new placemats coming on soon.
I wanted to feature one of the motifs in whatever design I used and I ultimately came up with the idea of having the motif be the background for a candle flame. I found some pretty textured hand dyes in my stash to use for the candles.
My first trial was having 3 candles but that was just too busy and took away from the fabric motif. Then I tried on one chunky candle and that was much better.
I fussy cut the 4" x 6" background pieces and fused them to the Peltex and then painted the flame with a couple of different metallic paints. I cut a template out of an index card to use as a stencil for the flame because I was never going to be able to paint an attractive flame freehand.
Every step in postcard making involves some kind of trial and error and that includes the edging. First I tried the dark green on the right and I felt that it left the card flat and I would need to add some other element. Then I tried the dusty red and that finished it off perfectly. I'll still use the green one, it's not "bad", but it's not as good as the red one.
I made 30 of these cards.
I was totally heads down this weekend to get my second "Paula" quilt done.
My goal this year with Paula's fabrics was to design quilts that didn't require a lot of cumbersome fussy cutting. That aspect of using these fabrics turns some people off. So I wanted to show that these fabrics are really special no matter how they are used. They really do sparkle and I can't wait to share them in color with you. Both of my quilts will be veterans quilts and I will do more just like this one. It was fast and easy but has a huge impact.
My other goal was to get the stitching done on my postcards. One day I stitched the moon and the next day I did the star.
All three designs are through the steps to do stitching. I have to add the backs, serge the edges and add a few embellishments to finish them off. All of those things will be pretty fast to get done this week. My goal each year is to have the Christmas cards in the mail by December 10 and I should be able to do that.
There was plenty of football to watch and I get my second scarf with this yarn started.
This week I've got to get caught up on my actual business and spend a day putting up the Christmas decorations. I also want to finish the postcards and get those out of the way. Then I have to come up with a gift for my girlfriends and get those made by December 9.
After the 10th I should have the rest of December free to relax and enjoy the holiday.
Well, I had a post ready for Monday and I suppose that I forgot to schedule it. It's out of date now so I'll just jump in to where I am at the moment.
Working on the Paula Nadlestern quilts each year are a challenge for me. It's a challenge that I like because it really pushes me. It's really difficult for me to 1) work with a limited group of fabrics and 2) try to estimate which ones I will use and how much I need by just seeing an image of the fabric. Every year I plan my quilts, order my fabric, receive the fabric and realize that my plans won't work.
This year I made it a little more difficult on myself by deciding to make larger quilts that I can use for veterans quilts. In the past we were limited to 36" square quilts because they were sent in and displayed in Houston. Now they are being advertised in a lookbook so we can make whatever we want. I don't have a need or use for 36" square quilts so I'm happy to be able to make lap size quilts.
Here's where I am on the first one. Paula likes for us to keep the pattern simple so that we can include block and quilt layout diagrams in the advertising material. That worked out really good for this quilt because I didn't order enough fo the star point fabric to make something like an Ohio Star block.
I've gotten the blocks done and will work on the on-point setting and triangle border blocks tomorrow between some Thanksgiving preparations.
For the second quilt, I've worked through a couple of failed design ideas but something fun came to me yesterday and I'm excited to get to it this weekend.
I'm also trying to spend a little time each day (only about a half hour) to do some of the stitching on my Christmas postcards. If I can get the stitching done by December 1 I will only have the backs, edges and extra bling to get done and that will only take a day.
This design too several iterations and samples but now I have 30 of them through the stitching phase.
The background fabric is a batik that I purchased in Maine this summer. I knew that I wanted to use it for postcards and I knew that I would fussy cut it so that a star motif would be a focal point.
I have a finished crochet project to share Thursday or Friday and hopefully the first finished quilt top to share by Friday.
I intended to post yesterday but just didn't have much worth posting.
I worked the election at my local precinct Tuesday. It's an incredibly long day (5:00 am - 8:00 pm) but we had a great team and really good turnout. I was surprised by the turnout because we only had one item on the ballot. I basically rested all day Wednesday except for dyeing some fabric for a custom order. There will be no newsletter next week because I didn't have the energy to dye any new fabric.
Laura is here for 6 more days and we are having a great time. Today we went into Ashland so she could get some coffee and a treat from one of her favorite shops. Tomorrow we are going to Charlottesville for an Artisan Studio Tour. In the evenings we mostly sit and knit (her) and crochet (me) and watch TV. She love Hallmark channel and she allows me to make snide commentary throughout for my part of the entertainment.
Meanwhile, Chris was quarantined in the guest house since he came home from hunting Sunday. Everyone on the trip got some sort of cold/flu/not covid. It's not nearly as bad as what we had in August but I still didn't want to risk sending Laura home sick. The guest house is a great sick ward. I had him set up with a TV, his computer and snacks when he got home from Nebraska (he got sick there so I knew to prepare). I think he actually enjoyed it a little too much over there but we eventually needed him to cook dinner for us and he's back "home"now.
I haven't done much sewing because I want to spend time with Laura but I did get the appliques fused to this set of cards. Next I need to add some metallic stitching. I need to get back on the cards quickly because my Paula Nadelstern sample fabric has arrived and I need to have the sample quilt (or 2 quilts) done by December 1. I've got a plan, I just need to execute.
Hopefully I'll be back Monday with some progress on something. I might start another crochet project but I really need to work on these cards.
To be honest, most of what I did this weekend involved chores (laundry, cleaning out a freezer, cleaning the stove) and a lot of leaf blowing. I'm not even half done with the leaves but I made a good dent.
But it wasn't all chores. I made some progress on my Christmas postcards. I got the tree cards to the point where I'm ready to serge the edges and then I'll just need to add paint dots for ornaments.
I got the backings fused for the night sky cards fused to the bases.
Now I'm working on cutting out moons and stars from some metallic/pearlized painted fabrics. After these are fused on I'll do some stitching with metallic thread.
Tomorrow I will be working at my voting precinct so I have to be there at 5am and will not get home until around 9pm. It's going to be a long day and there won't be a post on Wednesday.
First, thank you for all of your lovely comments on my Red Sunset quilt that I posted yesterday. I'm really excited about this quilt and I'm really looking forward to quilting it and getting it on the bed for good.
But, for now, I need to focus on the postcards and I spent yesterday figuring out ideas. I'll just insert right here that I don't think any of my ideas are original because I always start my idea search on Google. I look up Christmas cards and, especially, DIY scrapbook card ideas. I spent about 2 hours yesterday looking through Google images and sketching some of them on index cards.
Next I start looking through my supplies for materials that I might want to use. None of these particularly relate to the index cards. I usually try to do a card with symmetry fabric, so I pull some of that. I also have a holiday themed batik that I picked up in Maine, a sunprint that I made this summer with stars motifs and a stack of cards that I started and abandoned last year. One thing is crystal clear, I have enough postcard making supplies to last the rest of my life.
Then I started experimenting with different things and I think I've narrowed down the three ideas for this year.
I really want to use this sunprinted fabric so I'm going to add an appliqued star cut from a pearlized painted fabric and a bunch of crystals for a really simple starry sky.
After a year of marinating, I've decided that I actually like this card so I'm going to finish them for a second set.
I bought this batik fabric with the plan to specifically use it for postcards and I'm going to center that snowflake motif near the top of the card and add 3 candles. I'll get gold metallic paint for the painted flames.
My plan is to get the materials prepped with fusible web so I can take them to the beach and cut out all of the elements. I could actually have these together in a couple of weeks.
It took almost a week but Mom finally received her birthday card and I can finally share them on the blog. I say "them" because I can rarely make just one.
A lot of times my postcard ideas start with a fabric that I want to use rather than a design idea. That was the case this time. I have a nice stash of metallic painted fabrics that I made a couple of year ago. I wanted to use my metallic paints before they all dried up so I made a couple dozen fat quarters of fabrics all painted with various metallic paints. I used one recently for my cousin's cutlery case (which she loved). That's what prompted me to use another for Mom's birthday card design.
I chose this blue one that looked watery and decided to stick a fish on it in some way. I pulled out a bunch of pre-fused scraps of fabric that I might be able to use for seaweed or fish.
Before assembly I did free-form cut a bunch of seaweed and fish shapes to figure out my basic design and then I had to figure out a construction order. I started with some seaweed on the right. I got it stitched down and then fused my fish in place.
Next I added some seaweed on the right but I was not happy. It needed something else. I have no idea what these round things are but they seemed to work to finish off the design.
A little dot of paint for the eye finished them off. I made 7 all together so I have enough to send then to 2 of my brother's at the end of August and a few extras for upcoming birthdays.
I really like the hand dyed fabric effects on the little fish bodies. All of them were cut from one piece of fabric that was leftover from the backing of the Summer Sunset quilt.
Boy did I push Mother's Day just to the wire. I got this card finished Thursday night and in the mail Friday. Fortunately it made it 25 miles to Mom's place Saturday. With the USPS that's not a guarantee these days.
These postcards started with a stack of sunprints that I've been hoarding for a long time. These were sunprinted with a stencil and I couldn't decided exactly what to do with them. There's nothing like time pressure to fix design angst. I felt that all they really needed was some sparkle. I outlined them with some free motion stitching using Superior Metallic thread and then added crystals.
I tend to use the crystals primarily just for Christmas so it was fun to use the "other" colors of crystals on these cards.
I made 7 all together. I only got one made before I had to get Mom's in the mail and I finished the rest by Saturday. Now my May and June birthdays are covered.
In other news, we have baby Bluebirds! I hope they have survived the unseasonably cold weather we've had this weekend. I'll check on them again in a couple of days.
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
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.