All of the Christmas cards are done!
I don't have any in-process photos because I was so focused on finishing them that I forgot to take any photos. These started with a ribbon package from Renaissance Ribbons. I don't see this pack available anymore but I bought it for the reindeer. I like to give a deer-themed card to our hunting friends. This is pretty subtle but it's the best I could come up with this year.
The "Merry Christmas" is a silk screen that I made several years ago. It took up a nice hunk of real estate on the card so that I could feature the ribbons. The dotty material is Punchinella that I've had in my stash for YEARS and never used. Punchinella is also called sequin waste. This is what's left over when they make sequins! Around the time that I bought it, Punchinella was the new hot item in the crafting world. Scrapbookers and surface design people loved it. Like many of my supplies it's just another thing that I bought and never used. With this year's cards I set a goal of using some of those "special" supplies and I might have made a teeny tiny dent.
I made 17 of these cards for a total of 78. Now it's time to start addressing all of them!
If you read yesterday's post you know I was digging into fabric bins this weekend looking for a stripe fabric. While I was in there I found these 3 silk fabrics. I know that they were given to me and I think that a friend might have brought them back from Thailand but I can't swear to it. The 2 solid stripes are about fat quarter size and the embroidered piece is less than a fat eighth. Since today is my best friend's birthday I thought I might be able to do a quick card for her that she wouldn't have seen on the blog yet.
The nice think about beautiful fabrics is that they do all of the work. The design can be very simple.
My design is incredibly simple! I have the bird GO! die so I cut a template from heavy card stock and traced the bird onto the fabric. I fused WonderUnder to the back of the fabric so that I could trace the shape onto the paper backing. I couldn't cut these with the Go! cutter because I would have not been about to do it without cutting random chunks from the fabric because there are 2 other birds on the die. By tracing and cutting by hand I was about to fit 6 birds on the fabric. The bird in this photo is the one that I used for Anne's card because I was able to get the 3 applique roses near where the eye would be.
Then I had to decide on which fabric for the background and I did that by selecting the applique thread. I felt that using the red thread would make the best contrast between the bird and the gold background.
It really couldn't be much simpler than this! Some of the birds, like this one, got an extra crystal for an eye. I think my birds look very elegant.
I made 6 of these cute little bird cards. I like it so much that I might have to find a pretty Christmas fabric and do this for one of my postcard designs for next year.
Happy Birthday Anne!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook this week you have seen these cards coming together. I've done one step every day since Friday and with about an hour a day I got 30 of them made.
This design isn't original. I wanted to do a card that would use up some of my collection of felt and started looking around for ideas. I found this one while perusing the greeting cards in Target. I knew it would not only be great for felt but would force me to cut into the new "vegan leather" that I bought last month. Years ago when I was sewing garments faux leather was very popular and fun to sew with. This stuff looks and sews exactly the same but I suppose it's a lot cooler to call it "vegan". Of course, I don't know what the vegans think about it being made from petroleum products. Seems that might be an issue too.
But my Santa needed a nice belt and vegan leather is perfect even though I'm definitely not vegan. I an a little faux sometimes though.
I'm not going to give full instructions to make these because they are so easy but I will share a few tips. When I started sewing the belts on I realized that I had not gotten a teflon foot for my Brother sewing machine when I bought it 4 years ago. (I have one on order now.) The regular foot caused a lot of drag so I solved it by covering the belt in tissue paper and stitching through that. Then I ripped the paper off. It worked perfect!
I cut the white felt strips with my wavy rotary cutter blade. I rarely use that thing but I sure do love having it around for the few times I do use it. You can see here that I eye-balled the placement. I try not to get carried away with perfection when making postcards, especially when I'm doing 30 of them at a time!
I did a deep archaeological dive into the the stash for the belt fabric. This gold fabric is swimwear fabric and that means that it's 20+ years old! I knew I'd need that shiny gold fabric some day. It's perfect for my belt buckle! I ironed paper-backed fusible web to the back of it and drew the belt on the paper with a ruler and then cut them out. I fused these onto the card lightly before I top-stitched them with gold metallic thread.
Yesterday I finished them all off with a black serged edge. I think they turned out really cute and they came together quickly. I now have a total of 60 cards an only need 20 more. Hopefully I'll have them to share Monday. I'm in the mood to make some veterans quilts and that's keeping me focused to get the cards done first.
I didn't post earlier today because I was intent on having two finishes in one week! In between errands, a clay shooting lesson (I'm still bad but improving) and chores, I finished the set of Christmas tree cards! This post counts for Thursday and Friday this week.
I usually make 3 or 4 card designs each year and there's always a tree. This year I decided to quilt a little free motion tree to use up some thread. The threads I picked are Superior Rainbows variegated trilobal polyester thread. They have a little shine to them. I'd quilt some on the margins of quilts that I had on the frame. I've been working on them off and on all year.
You can clearly see here that they are totally free motion stitched!
I have 6 different background fabrics simply based on what I had in my "waste fabric" stash.
I wanted to add an extra element...also from my stash. Some have dyed cheesecloth "ground" and others have pieces of knitted metal mesh as a background. The sequin star is from my old stash of beads and sequins from the ornaments that I used to make.
With an obscenely large thread stash it was easy to find the perfect thread colors for the serged edges. I have a great start on the 80 cards that I need with 31 of this design!
I also put a tiny dent into the thread stash. I'll finish off the rainbows the next time that I need to baste a quilt.
This weekend turned into more of a weekend of chores. I did some hand applique while I watched football yesterday but I mostly continued my efforts to get the inventory from the AQS show put away. I think I'm about halfway done at this point. There are only 3 big bins left in the middle of the living room floor. Believe me, that's progress!
I did take a couple of sewing breaks and made some progress on postcards.
I didn't love my last iteration of the tree cards so I pulled out some dyed cheesecloth and metallic mesh ribbon and gave my trees some background. Then I hand stitched sequins and an bead for a star. I'm happy with this one.
Now they are all ready for their backs and edges.
I also figured out a new direction for the cat postcards. Estelle had this cat stencil that's going to work perfect. In my stamping supplies I also found these little cat paws. My plan is to get these done this evening.
Well, not a fail so much as way to involved to make.
I didn't post yesterday because I simply didn't have anything interesting to tell. I was just getting involved in this mess and the story had to wait a day.
I had to sidetrack off of the Christmas cards because I remembered some upcoming birthdays. One is my sister-in-law. She and my brother are serious cat people.
I was on Renaissance Ribbons recently looking for some ribbons for another Christmas card idea and I saw this cat ribbon. I just had to get it for JJ's birthday card. Of course I had no idea how I was going to use it but my deadline is looming and it was time to figure it out. Yesterday I started to work on ideas. It's a narrow (3/4") ribbon so it needed another element as the focal point for the card.
I rejected about a dozen ideas before I decided that a foundation pieced cat would be just the thing. I was already about 3 hours into the project by the time I got the cat drafted to my liking. Time to print the foundation papers.
(It kind of looks like a snake ready to strike the cat, doesn't it?)
But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Let's give this thing a try.
An HOUR AND A HALF later I had exactly one card made. I have enough ribbon for 9 cards! I don't really love the card but I will keep it and send this one to JJ. I know that she keeps all of the cards that I send her and she'll appreciate that it's a cat and hopefull will give me a "A" for effort.
Now I'm working on idea #2 for the remaining 8 cards. I don't know what that's going to be yet, except that it will be easier.
This weekend wasn't my most productive ever but it was nice. Friday I spent most of the day reliving my high school years with my best friend. She died in August and I wanted to collect photos and stories for her, now adult, children. Aside from the emotional aspects of it, the chore required a good bit of excavating and reorganizing. But it was fun to revisit photos, reread the yearbooks and decide which photos and stories I could actually share. Some things just need to remain our secrets forever! Her son and daughter appreciated it so it was a day well spent for all of us.
Saturday I met with some friends who are interested in starting a SAQA group in the Richmond area. If you are or know any art quilters around this area who might be interested please let me know and I'll pass on your contact information.
But Saturday evening I got back to my sewing room and got started on the Christmas tree postcards. I usually start with a test card and that's what I did this time too.
I found a hand dyed backing fabric that I liked and stitched the tree to the card....easy.
I have a lot of beads and sequins left from when I made those Cracker Box ornaments and decided that the tree needed decorations.
The cool thing about beading on a postcard is that you don't have to be too worried about tying off the threads. Fusing the backing on the card holds all of those threads in place.
I'm not sure if that's going to be my final decoration design but I do like the dyed background so I did get background fabrics fused to postcards. I have a stash of dyed cheesecloth so I might see if adding some of that might add a nice extra dimension.
These are one of my goals for the week. I also want to get the binding done on Antelope Canyon, load and quilt 2 QOV quilts and I still have tons of things from the show to put away.
Time to get to work.
After I finished quilting Antelope Canyon I've been slowly quilting out a bunch of thread trees on the excess batting and backing an the edges of the quilt. These will be for one of my Christmas card designs. I finally finished them off last night and was able to take the quilt off the frame. Now I have a lot of cutting to do.
These are from the last batch that I stitched out a few months ago.....you know I don't like my Christmas card-making to become a last minute thing! I started these in the summer.
I'm growing quite a nice forest.
The best part of this is that it was a great opportunity to clean out some bobbins. I bet I emptied at least 20 bobbins stitching out these trees.
Let's not forget the other thread that I've used. I used the blue on Antelope Canyon and the other 2 on the trees. There's just enough left to stitch the trees to the postcards and to bind Antelope Canyon. Oh, I do love an empty cone of thread.
I started playing around a bit with the layout. I'm thinking about using some of my waste fabrics for the background and stitching on a few beads. These should go together quickly.
Now I just need 2 more design ideas for the rest of the cards.
You might remember last year when I made some cards from a damaged vintage linen that was embroidered by my Grandmother. Well, apparently that exercise freed me to cut up more linens!
These are some doilies that my Grandmother embroidered. These kinds of heirlooms are a bit vexing. You don't want to toss them out but you also know that no one will ever use them. The one on the left has been on a shelf in my bathroom closet for YEARS and the one on the right was in my Mom's closet for DECADES. In fact, when she was moving I found it in the yard sale pile. I decided to rescue it for her Mother's Day card and them I took the other one and made it into cards for my Aunts.
Could a postcard be easier than this one? I fused on a base layer of green to match the leaf stitches and then I fused the embroidery on top. Add a back, finish the edges and it's ready to mail!
This doily had 2 embroidered edges so I got 2 cards from it. These went to my Aunts.
Easy peasy! If only I would design Christmas postcards this simple.
I scheduled this post last week but, assuming that everything went as planned, movers are picking up all of my Mom's belongings and will deposit them in her new apartment in Richmond today. We started talking about his move last summer after her miserable cataract surgery (that she is just now stabilizing from). She had a great run for 11 years living with her sister but it's now time for a new phase and I made her a card to celebrate. Some of my dear quilt friends also sent her fabric postcards so she will have some good mail to greet her when she arrives later today. Here's the one that I made.
I started with some watery backgrounds. These were more of the fabrics that I sunprinted with stencils. I love how these turned out. This was one set where I felt that sunprinting really was the best option. I fused them to card interfacing and trimmed them to the 4" x 6" size.
Next I needed a fish. Using another stencil I found that opaque screen printing worked great for my fish image.
A school of fish!
I affixed fusible webbing to the back of the fish fabrics before I cut them out. I fused them to the cards and stitched around the edges and fins. Simple!
The hardest part was decided on what color thread to use for the edges. These were both rejects but that doesn't mean the cards are rejects. I'm just playing around with color.
I finally settled on a solid orange. It's a simple card but I love how it turned out.
My pond has 9 goldfish. These are going to make for great birthday cards too.
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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