There's nothing much to be done about a cold except to wait it out and that's what I'm doing. I did have the energy for a little bit of sewing yesterday but I didn't want to do anything that required math.
These are the scraps from the sample quilt that I made with Paula Nadelstern's Artful Snowflakes collection. They have a nice bit of silver metallic in them so I thought I'd see if I could come up with a postcard design for one set of my Christmas cards.
I worked through several ideas but settled on this. It uses the symmetry print leftovers for the centers and a cool border print for the edges. I'll finish them off with metallic thread edges and will likely add some crystals. This is going to be a fine project to work on in bits of time over the next few days.
Well, you know how nutty I get about my scraps. Here's yet another example. Sometimes I'm almost embarrassed to share just how weird I am about tiny bits of fabric. But, it's not as if you don't already know me well enough not to be surprised by another story.
These are the cut-offs from making the border of the puppy quilt. After I finished the last border and was putting everything away I just could not toss the strips out. It's as if they were screaming "Postcards!" to me. So I made postcards.
I didn't want to put too much thought into it so I just started sewing strips to cards with the raw edges exposed. At this point I was thinking that I might applique a flower motif or something on them.
Some got applied horizontally and some vertically. Why? Because that's how long my strips were.
Next it was time to really think about what to do with them.
I found these in my "Postcard Bin of Magical Things". I screen printed them a long time ago and they have just been waiting for a home. What could be more appropriate than some crazy ladies? I fused some Mistyfuse scraps to the backs and cut them out to be fused to the cards.
Not bad at all! But they needed a little something else.
Like some fabric marker to add a little color. The black edging was a perfect finish to reference the black lines of the :"drawing". This is a screen that I bought a long time ago and I honestly don't remember where I got it.
7 more postcards for my every-growing collection.
I've been working on this last set of shibori sea cards, that I'm calling Spring Shibori Sea, over the past week. I had a lot of the yellow sky bits thatwas enough for 14 of these cards! I'll be all set for our Airbnb guests next Spring. One of my recent guests, Jessica, comes here pretty regularly with her son to mountain bike and when she came last week she told me that she loves her cards and has them all on display in her house. That makes me very happy. The bright colors in this set of cards makes me very happy too.
I've been playing around with different sky stitching for each set of cards. On these I stitched straight lines in different designs. I don't really have a favorite design. Do you have a favorite? I like all of them and I really like the effect of the Superior Glitter thread. It's pretty finicky to sew with but worth it in the end. It's got great sparkle. Of course I have just about every color they made. I'll never use it all up.
In my ongoing efforts to purge some things from my all of my Drawers/Cabinets/Bins of Magical Things, I found something else that I'm thinking about turning into postcards so I might have even more to share soon. I really need to switch gears and start thinking about some Christmas designs but my head just can't go there yet.
Yet another set of shibori sunrise postcards! I'm calling these August to represent the oppressive heat of this month around here. August actually looks a lot more pleasant in these cards than in the reality of July and August in Virginia. I have two different shibori patterns to go with my orange sky bits. So, you're wondering what determines the orientation. That's all about the size of the sky bit that I have. I had some that were 4" wide and some that were 6" wide. These cards always start with the sky and then I dig around for a shibori fabric to pair with. So the sky piece determines the orientation and the depth of the ocean.
I'm trying to do a little something different for the sky in each of these Shibori sea postcards. For these I found the sparkly sheer fabric that's probably used in things like dance costumes. I fused some Mistyfuse on the back and then cut out some clouds to fuse to the cards.
A little metallic thread was perfect to stitch down the clouds. There are a total of 6 cards in this set. I only have one more set to make (as of today) but they are so much fun with them that you shouldn't be surprised if you see even more of them.
I had a great weekend. There wasn't much making going on (actually none) but there was celebrating happening. Today is Mom's (insert big number)th birthday and the whole family gathered at my house to celebrate. It was almost 100 outside but the AC kept us cool and happy inside. She should receive her card in the mail today.
If I don't have a fixed idea for a new card I'll often start here in the Drawer of Magical Things. The DOMT is full of random trim and other ephemera that I've collected over the years. Some people would call it trash but we know better.
Here are just a few of the cards that come out of the DOMT. So that's where I started for Mom's card.
It took some determined digging but I eventually unearthed the fusible daisy ribbon. I then found a postcard base that was already fused with a beautiful hand dyed velvet. All I needed to make the card was some green thread.
For each of the stems I stitched with a very narrow zig zag and I stitched out and back for extra dimension. Because the background is velvet the stems needed that extra stitching to show.
I fused every one of those daisies on this card and I love how it turned out.
It's just this kind of "win"that makes me buy more stuff for the DOMT. You can bet that the next time I'm in a trimmings store I'll probably buy more of something like this and it will sit in the DOMT until inspiration hits again.
Last week I shared my blue Shibori Sea postcards. When I was pulling out the scraps to make them I could lots of other colors of "sky" fabrics and got a little carried away. But I use my postcards so fast that making a lot of these simple designs wasn't a bad idea. Each set is simple: sky fabric (all are leftover postcard backing fabrics), sea Shibori fabric, yarn horizon and one element in the sky. I added a gull in the blue cards. In this one I used a metallic thread to stitch a hint of clouds in the sky.
I have 2 sewing machines in my sewing room. One is all set up for postcards and the other is set up for making dog blocks. I can sit down to work on either project without having to move anything. My mood can dictate what I work on.
I only made a couple of these cards because I only had two pieces of the sky fabric. But I'm really happy with how they turned out. I'm calling them Autumn Sea.
Right before I sprained my ankle last week (ant it's totally healed now) I had started to make these postcards. We've had a lot of Airbnb guests this summer and I'm going through them pretty quickly. I wanted to make some really simple and quick cards. I remembered the Shibori Sunset cards that I made a few years ago.
It just so happens that I have a big bin of shibori scrraps and another big bin of fused hand dyed scraps. I found a light blue pre-fused fora sky and blue shibori for the sea.
I didn't take any process photos but this is pretty easy to figure out! It's sky fabric, water fabric and a piece of yarn for the horizon.
They needed a little something else so each one got a little bird just drawn on with a Pigma pen.
I got the fusing done before my ankle hiatus and just finished the edging. The bins are still out so I think I'll see if I can create some more of these easy landscapes before I put everything away.
Making postcards is a great way to try out new techniques and new products. These cards fall into that category and they turned into a lot more work than I expected.
A few summers ago I got into my head that it would be fun to sun print every stencil that I own. I printed multiples of all of them and am slowly making postcards with them. Here are a few that I started with.
I still have 8 sets of these fabrics left (oy!) and decided that it was time to use another. Given my current obsession with Wild Gears, this one seemed like a good idea. I wanted to see if I could combine Wild Gears with these cards.I did but it turned into quite an ordeal. I worked on these all last weekend but wanted to wait to share them because i used this card for Mother's Day (seriously) and my brother's birthday (more appropriate).
I spent hours trying to figure out how to add the Spirographs to the fabric. I considered drawing on fabric and on some sheet brass that I found in my supplies. I bet I've had 2 rolls of the brass sheets for 15 years. I don't remember why I bought them but I became determined to add this to my cards and appliqueing it wasn't going to work. I tried different pens and just a ball tip to engrave the brass.
The brass sheet had to go under the fabric. I cut it 1/2 smaller so that the brass wound't get caught in the edge stitching. The brass is very thin so it can be sewn through but there was no reason to taunt my machine into breaking.
I cut holes in the fabric and fused it over the brass. This was the fist one and I learned how to get a better circle for the rest of the cards.
Ugh, then came the hard part. Sharpie marker proved to be the best tool but I had some smearing issues. The upside of Sharpie is that if the design is crap it can be erased with some alcohol. I did a lot of erasing. They did not turn out great.
I drew some more Spirographs on the fabric with gold pen but they didn't show up great. Gold thread for the edge helped a lot. But you know what fixes everything.
Crystals! Crystals fix almost everything and they helped these tremendously
They are not my best work but I learned a lot and they aren't half bad. I made 10 of these cards. I told Mom that although they didn't look very Mother's Day-ish, she could maybe appreciate the stupid amount of time that I spent making them!
I can't put down the Wild Gears! In fact I ordered 3 more sets this week. There's an Enormous set and Ovals and I got both of those plus one other set that I didn't already have. I want the Enormous and Ovals for my floor cloths and I'm still playing around with large designs for them. But I've also been thinking about drawing on fabric so that I might make a quilt. I had a stack of yellow scraps on the table so I've been experimenting with them. Over the past week or so I've been drawing designs all over the fabric and yesterday cut them up into postcards.
I had not intended to make anything with the practice pieces but as I was looking at them I figured that adding a few crystals might make them fancy enough to be acceptable for postcards.
On this card you can see that I was also experimenting with doing designs in layers. I did a big design first in a light ink for some background lines and then added the smaller motifs in red and brown ink.
In a couple of hours I had 9 more postcards! Between birthdays, get well greetings and Airbnb guests I go through these really quickly.
Work has resumed in our kitchen with the partial installation of the countertops. The bar top was measured wrong so it's being remade and should be here next week. Meanwhile we will march forward and have the backsplash tile done this weekend. By next weekend we should be back in business!
Meanwhile I know that Spring is coming because our Airbnb activity has picked up. I had 2 guests this week and I give them fabric postcards. My stash of cards is dwindling so it was time to get busy and make more. It was also the perfect thing to do while the kitchen work was going on yesterday.
I have stacks of postcard size pieces that I have sunprinted and screen printed and this is one of my favorites.
I printed these on a waste fabric from my Southwest Gradient.The dandelion was screened twice, once in dark green and then the tips in bright green. After that dried I added the purple dragonfly. I had not done anything with these because I couldn't figure out what kind of stitching to add.
It took me long enough but it finally hit me that it didn't need stitching at all. One little crystal was just enough.
A purple edge, to match the dragonfly, finished it off perfectly.
I made 7 of these and they are the first cards of 2019.
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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