Your feedback yesterday was about half and half. I went with the lazy half and didn't add anything else! I did actually try some things but everything I tried looked exactly like what it was: a tortured attempt just to add something. In the end I decided to leave them elegantly on their own. I do always love how much the edging adds. I had a green thread that matched the green stag perfectly. The blue was more challenging. All of my solid blue thread was wither too navy or too royal. I think this variegated thread worked perfectly in the end.
I laughed out loud at Mary Anne's idea to make snow with French knots. No way, not on 23 cards! They wouldn't be done before next Christmas. But she's a "Crazy Quilter" and can be excused for her crazy idea.
Not knowing exactly what people do with these cards I don't want to invest too much time in them.
Next up are these sun prints. The bling is going to come out big on these.
Now that I've made all of these cards using sun printed stencils I have to admit that sunprinting them was a complete waste of time. Every card design that I've made with them would have been perfectly fine just stenciled with paint.
When I'm working on a new design I usually sacrifice one card for practice. In this case I had the first card that was done on a purple background and it was a fail. But I knew I'd need a practice piece and saved it. This one is helping me work through the threads and techniques that I want to use. I'd love to have these done my Monday.
I didn't do any quilting yesterday because it was "dyeing day". It's gotten cold here so Chris made a fire in the wood stove and I was quite toasty dyeing 35 yards of fabric. But over the past week I have been slowly working on the first set of my Christmas cards made with these sun printed stags. I'm planning to finish them up today. But I'm trying to figure out if they need anything else.
Last year I made this card and decorated the antlers with Christmas ornaments. I was thinking that I might do something similar this year but the more I look at them the more I think they are perfectly fine as is. They seem a little too stately tart up with tinsel.
What do you think?
I started these cards before I got sick and they just needed a little finishing. I was able to get that done yesterday.
These scraps from the Maine applecore quilt (that is only cut out at this point) were haunting me. There's too much good stuff here to throw them out and, you know, that means postcards or placemats....or both!
I had these screen printed dragonflies and some autumnal hand dyed braid. Well that just screams for crazy quilted postcards and that's what I did.
The braid added a nice element. Well, I think it does anyway. The wavy braid in the middle is the same as the flat braid with one of the threads pulled. This is YLI Quilt Highlights and I love working with it. I even bought a Christmasy metallic one to use for some holiday cards.
I usually don't like variegated threads for edging but, in this case, I think it works perfectly. These cards will be for our Airbnb guests.
I told you that I was on a roll with postcards! These are really similar to the kitty postcards.
As with the kitty cards I started with a sunprinted stencil image and hand dyed velvet for the background.
Before I go into how I made these let just admit here that, yes, these would have been easier to simply stencil with paint than sunprint. But I was in sunprinting mood this summer so that's what happened. I could see stenciling these with different colors of paint for a totally different look.
These cards definitely needed something other than the cake slapped on the background. I started with ribbon and thought about yellow to highlight the candle flames.
But, this is pertty lame.
Angelina fibers seemed like a good idea but "blech"!
There we go! I needed to stick with the cartoon nature of the cake image. I had a prefused piece of greenish yellow fabric and there was just enough to cut candlelight for all 10 cakes!
First I fused and stitched the candlelight and then fused and stitched the cake. They are finished off with a simple serged dark purple edge.
I love them.
I love sending birthday postcards to my friends and family members but, honestly, aside from Mom I really don't make custom cards for specific individuals. I just make cards that I like and send whatever I have available. I like to make them as generic little art pieces that anyone might like.
This time is different. My oldest brother and his wife are big cat people. No one else in the family is. The rest of us are really dog people. But JJ loves her cats and when I saw this stencil I knew that I wanted to make a card especially for her.
Here's how I made it.
The cats were made by sunprinting a stencil. I fused Mistyfuse to the back of the cats and then cut them out....all 10 of them because I like bulk sewing! For the background I found a velvet that I dyed over 10 years ago in my very first dyeing session. It was perfect for the kitties.
My original plan was to just stitch the kitties right on the background. But looking at this made me realize that it was boring. It needed something else.
Here's some ribbon that I got as wrapping on a gift. I love free materials!
Let's give the kitties a floor to stand on.
Next was deciding on thread. I was 99% sure that I wanted a metallic but once I drizzled some (along with a matching cotton) on the card I knew that the metallic didn't fit.
Of course they needed pink backs.
Isn't it amazing the difference that the edge finish makes? 10 cards done but the first one goes to JJ and I think it's going to make her smile at the mail for a change.
I'm sure someone guessed that my solution for the vintage embroidery would have been postcards! I am so pleased with the way the cards turned out and that I can now share Grandma Dove's embroidery with my Mom and brothers. Here's how I made them.
This is what I started with. The embroidery was done by my Grandmother in the early 1930's. It started life as a pillow cover and then it was framed for 20+ years. Last week it fell off the wall and the frame shattered. The linen is too fragile to invest in having the piece cleaned and re-framed. Mom and I agreed that we could toss it out and then I had this idea.
You can see in this photo how fragile the fabric is and that some of the embroidery is coming undone. I wasn't about to get involved in embroidery repair but I could stabilize it.
You know I love Mistyfuse and it came to the rescue once again. I like that it doesn't add any additional stiffness to the fabric so I can fuse with multiple layers. I thought the fabric was too close to sheer to fuse directly to the postcard interfacing so I first fused the whole embroidery piece to a piece of muslin and then I added a layer of Misty fuse to the muslin (for later fusing to the postcard interfacing.)
Then I played around with the postcard interfacing to see how I could cut them to maximize using the embroidery.
Here's what I came up with.
Where I had seams I decided not to stitch a seam but to butt the cut edges together. I stitched the edges down and then covered the seam with ric rac. You can see from the finished photos that I added ric rac to some of the other cards too.
For the back of the cards I stayed with the vintage theme and found this old sugar sack in my stash.
Here's the back of all of the cards. The print is light enough that black ink for addressing shows up just fine. I know that because Mom got her card with no problems.
Because of the fragile nature of the embroidery I broke my rule with these cards and will mail them in clear envelopes. This is the one I sent to Mom for her birthday.
The best part is that this is all that's left to be tossed out!
I finished the rainbow scrappy blocks and, of course, there were scraps left so I got some postcard interfacing and started piecing some of the scraps onto the postcards. I didn't do much cutting. I used the scraps as I found them.
The top two here started with the centers that were already pieced. The bottom was was just a bit of insanity.
I think that these are my favorites. Isn't it cool what you can make with trash?
I had a lot of birthdays in May and our Airbnb traffic has picked up. Since both audiences get fabric postcards I wen't through my last stockpile pretty quickly. I only had 2 left and lots of Airbnb guests coming up. I had to get buys and make some new cards.
I've been thinking about a fireworks theme for a long time but couldn't figure out how I wanted to execute it. Working on my little mandala quilt last month gave me the idea to get these done.
I've written up a tutorial if you want to make some for yourself. You can find it under the Tutorials tab above or just click here.
I worked through a few prototypes testing threads and technique. I decided that even the rejects looked good enough to keep.
Seeing as these are made from garbage I think they turned out pretty cute! Here's a little background on how these cards came about. First you have to start back on April 7 when I was pondering cards from 2 piles of fabric trash. Go ahead, check that out and I'll wait for you here.
I ended that day with 2 possible designs and I liked the rainbow city best but wanted a different sky.
I pulled some of my "waste" fabric from dyeing the Blue Sky Gradient and fused that to my card base as a starting point. I decided how deep I wanted my river and drew a pencil line. They I started arranging the buildings making sure that the bottom of the buildings went below the drawn line. I don't know why I stitched them with parallel line but it was easy and I liked the way it looked. Every postcard has one pointy building because I had a lot of little bits with triangle points.
Next I fused some dark blue fabric with Mistyfuse and then cut strips to fuse to the cards. I stitched through all layers with horizontal parallel lines making the lines closer together at the city edge. I really love Mistyfuse for my postcards because it doesn't add any bulk or stickiness. The hard it is for the needle to get through the layers the more likely you are to have problems sewing with some of the specialty threads.
This is Superior Glitter thread and it can certainly be persnickety, hence the Mistyfuse. I have at least 14 (out of 24) colors in this line and I love the holographic sparkle that it adds. I use it a lot on postcards and this blue is probably the color I use most often.
After I finished that I fused backs on to the cards and then stitched around the edges. I did the water part in dark blue and the top part in light blue.
Look at that perfect sky match! Remember my Thread Confessions? This is one of the acrylic threads that I bough YEARS ago at a deep discount. This particular cone had never been opened until this week. What would I have done without that absolutely perfect match?
This is why we have thread (and fabric) collections. They are absolutely necessary.
I stitch my postcard edges with a zig zag stitch set at 4.0 wide and .2 length. For these I put the same thread in the top and bobbin.
I did not let my 2 sample cards go to waste either. I finished both off. One is in the mail to a friend for a birthday card and the other will go to our Airbnb guest arriving tomorrow. Counting these 2 I made a total of 13 cards.
The postage stamp quilt is packed away until next month and I'm back to working on things at home.
Remember this pile of stuff that should have been tossed in the trash?
And then I made this? I liked it OK but it's really kind of a nothingburger. Just a ho hum use of scraps.
Well turn it upside down and put a sailboat on it and now we have something! In fact, I have 8 of these somethings. How about that perfectly thread matched edging? I've got a little confession about that for Thursday, The sailboat is dark navy. I first tried black but it was way to stark. The blue made a big difference...that doesn't really show in photos. Can you tell that I'm ready for the family beach trip?
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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