Singing Birds Postcard
I wanted a bright Spring-like card for Mother's Day this year and I found this idea while wandering around the web. It's not original. I just love the simplicity of the egg shapes for the birds.
My free-motion stitching skills aren't great so I always stitch around at least 2 times to help hide the mishaps.
One of the nice things about sewing fabric postcards is that you don't have to worry about tying off thread. The fused backing fabric holds everything in place.
I made 8 of these cards because I also have a bunch of May and June birthdays. I like my little flocks.
All over the place...
I did all kinds of things this weekend but it started by quilting my last 2 veterans quilts! This one is the same pattern of the green cougar one in Friday's post. Like I said then, I think Gwendolyn made both of these quilts....but I might be wrong.
This is quilt #13 of this month! I know this one was made with the Accuquilt Go 6" HST. I think that Sharon made this one.
I delivered two of the finished quilts to Becky and Nancy on Friday. Nancy had another top ready but I asked her to keep it until the May meeting because I needed the break from veterans quilts for a couple of weeks to work on some of the other quilts I need to quilt. I know I could have just hung it in the closet but I think I needed to feel a sense of being "done", like when the laundry basket is empty.
I switched to the star and ribbon pantograph for these last 2.
These are all of the trimmins from the last few months of quilts. It's time I made more pet beds for RAL.
Next I moved on to making some birthday postcards. One of them was due April 6th. That was after my beach trip and was in the middle of the massive cold that Chris and I had. I sent my friend a birthday text and promised her a card before the end of the month. She's a fellow Hokie so this ribbon, that I bought for my Ultrasuede bear, was a good start.
This is what I came up with and I love it!
I started with 4 of them but....oops!
I ended up with 3 of them and that's enough for the people I need to send them to.
I started another set of cards but I won't be able to share them for a few weeks. The card is for Mother's Day and for my friends having birthday in the next 2 months. I'll get them finished this week.
The other thing I worked on was finding a a blue that would work with this quilt. It's a quilt that my quilt club is making for a local food bank. We give them a quilt every couple of years to raffle as a fundraiser. I want to dye a gradient back but I want it to match the front and this color will work perfectly! Believe it or not, ths one has a lot of grape/boysenberry in it. It's about 70% grape to 30% cerulean.
While I was walking to the mailbox Saturday I noticed that the first iris are blooming.
Spring in December postcards
I have a few December birthdays and one is 2 days before Christmas. My only goal with the cards for these birthday girls is to make these cards look decidedly non-holiday. I was a little behind in getting these done so Friday evening I had to get busy and get them knocked out. One of them is already a week late!
These cards started with some sunprints that I made a few years ago. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled these prints out to try to figure out something to do with them. I've been trying to use them as a the whole card image and nothing ever inspired me. Friday evening I pulled them out again and thought that cropping the image might just do the trick.....and it did.
Some shiny, bright pink stitching was all that was needed to finish them off. I made 6 and mailed two of them Saturday. In the end I think they are pretty cute!
I did lots of other things this weekend but I don't have photos yet. The tie dye tshirts are all done and I started 2 new veterans quilt tops that I'm going to probably finish this week. I don't have any other sewing projects queued up so I'll put these two simple tops together. Photos of all those things will come in the next few days.
Christmas postcard displays
I don't have anything creative of my own to share today. Yesterday I spent the day making bread and cookies and other chores. But I do have 2 cool photos to share of my postcards being displayed.
Mom and I went to our quilt club holiday pot luck dinner last night and she shared this photo with me last night. This is how she had displayed her cards. I love seeing them all together! She hasn't received her card for this year yet. I hope it doesn't throw the display out of balance.
After I dropped Mom off I remembered that another friend had told me that she displays the cards too. Just as I was thinking about texting her to ask for a photo she sent me one! Literally, at the exact same time. It was weird...and cool. I've had a few connections like that happen this week.
Here is Mitzi's display. I love the way she clipped them to garland. She has received her 2022 card and she clipped it right in the middle. I think her whole mantle display is beautiful.
This is why I make them. I'm never sure which people really love getting them but I know there are some and I make the cards for them.
The Christmas Tree cards
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.
Bling Moon postcards
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.
Christmas candle postcard
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.
A productive weekend
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.
The week got away from me
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 subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
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.