I'm so happy with this new postcard design that I made this weekend. I always try to come up with something new for my Mom for her birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!) and some years the creativity works better than others. She's an avid gardener so flowers are always a good choice. This particular one is a true trash-to-treasure project.
It started with this little pile of scraps that I found in one of the magical bins in my sewing room. This little stack of hand dyed bits are left over from this quilt called Innova Angles. It was the first quilt that I quilted on my Innova in 2014 and I gave it to Virginia Longarm as a thank you for their great support. The fabric was some of the first fabric that I ever dyed and there was only a tiny bit leftover.
Without having any sort of a plan I just sewed all of the bits to postcard bases and had enough for 7 cards. The palette is so "Springy" that it just screamed for a flower.
I have a bin of pre-fused bits so I pulled that out and just started cutting shapes. The flowers are purple because that's what I had available that would show up on the background. No patterns here, just free cut shapes. I did fuse and stitch it in stages:
1 - vase, stem leaves
2 - petals
3 - centers (the center is 2 layers of yellow to hide and shadows from what's underneath
I used a 30 weight purple thread and went around every shape twice for definition. I even did the outside edge with 3 rounds of straight stitching instead on my usual serged or satin-stitched edge. I felt like a satin stitch edge would be too heavy. Surprisingly, I like the effect of the straight stitches. It goes against my fussy nature but I'm glad I restrained myself for this one.
Just in case Mom's gets lost in the mail I have extras. I can always send her another. I think they are so happy!
I'm happy to report that the cat quilt, now officially named Corona Cats, is done! I got the binding on last night but I didn't get photos taken yet so you will have to wait until tomorrow. I still need to make labels for that quilt and the penguin quilt and they need to be done by Friday night.
For today I have some postcards, including my Mother's Day card, to share.
First up, 4 more shibori postcards. I'm really pleased with this set, especially the 2 on the right. I have 4 more bases but I'm not sure I'll finish those. I'm less inspired by them so I may stop here and just put those 4 bits in the Drawer of magical Things for a later inspiration. I've got another postcard idea with some leftovers of the cat quilt backing and I think I want to get on to those.
This is my Mother's Day card for this year. I decided to do the beach scene because we thought that our beach vacation was canceled this year. But the day after I made this we got the news that vacation is on! We'll be sitting on the beach very soon. I've done a lot of these shibori sea cards but this one got some extra attention with the addition of tan shibori to transition from the water to the solid tan sand. I also did 3 thread colors on the edge, not something that I'd do for anyone but Mom.
It took a lot of materials to make this one small card! I pulled out the bin of shibori and a bin of pre-fused scraps.
I also got to test out the new yarn arrangement. I wanted a yarn for the horizon and it only took a minute or 2 because everything was visible at one time.
This is why I will probably not do anything with the last 4 shibori scraps bits. These are the off cuts from the cat quilt backing and I really want to do something with them. I think there are a lot of possibilities here!
Yesterday was dyeing day so I was busy most of the day dyeing some new shibori and some of the tea towels. In the evening I finished off the next 4 shibori postcards and cut some more scraps.
The postcards are so much fun to play with and I like all 4 of the ones in this set. I think I have 8 more to do and I've already started stitching one of them.
At the end of the day I spent a few minutes with the scrap bin. I cut up enough pieces for 10 more Blockade blocks and more 2.5 and 3.5 squares. I can really see the difference in the bin now.
This is the funniest piece in there. Most people would have thrown this out. There are actually a lot of good repeats left and I could have left it in the fabric cabinet but I cut it up and salvaged a lot of pieces from it. I would probably have never pulled this out to use in a symmetry project.
I also found a nice surprise in the box!
These are painted silk fabrics that I bought at a quilt show (probably Houston) ages ago. I did buy them to use in symmetry projects but they just didn't work well for that. Now they are going in the Drawer of Magical Things for future postcards. I'm already getting some ideas. They might make beautiful ornaments on Christmas cards. Finding them was like getting something cool for free because I had completely forgotten about them.
I wonder how much cool stuff we all have that we have forgotten about!
Yesterday was dyeing day but there was still plenty of time to finish up the cats that I started this weekend. I only have 8 more to make but I might make a few extra so that when I lay out the quilt I can replace any that don't make me happy. My favorite in this group is the on on the lower right.
Here are all 12 that I've made so far. These are so much fun! I've done all the "paperwork" that I needed to do this week so today is pretty much a day reserved for exercise and sewing.
The other thing that I work on between crochet session is stitching on the shibori scrap postcards. I have 16 bases of scraps sewn together and I'm adding little bits of hand stitching before fusing them to postcard interfacing and finishing them. It turns out that these are a lot of fun too! I'm making them in sets of 4 and I've already started stitching on the next set. It's just another fun thing to do in the evenings.
I'm purposely not talking about the virus and sequestration and all that goes along with this. My sewing room and my blog are my escapes. But I am thinking of all you and hoping that you and your families are safe and comfortable. We're doing great here. Like many of you, being away from other people isn't exactly hard times for me.
I tried out several different options to add length to my penguin quilt until I found these clamped shibori half yards in my shibori bin and thought that I might be able to make "ice" for the penguins to skate on. The clamped fabrics have more white in them than the penguin bodies. I got the first sashing done and I like the look. I'll proceed on and get the other sashing rows and outer borders done.
Several people recommended another row of penguins. That was an option I considered but I'd ahve to make 5 more faces and I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
I'm just thinking that it might be possible for this to be a March finish!
While I was cleaning off the cutting table to work on the sashing I started playing with the shibori scraps. They are so pretty! They could possibly be placemats combined with the leftover light blue backing fabric. But I decided to try a postcard first.
Some hand stitching seemed to be in order and I found these candidates in my collection of embroidery threads.
I sewed together enough strips to cover a 4 x 6 postcard base but didn't fuse it to the postcard base yet.
I stitched on some circles with Perle cotton. I do realize that the circle motifs don't really fit in this assemblage but I was in the mood for circles and really just trying to decided if postcards were what I wanted to do with these scraps.
All I had to do to finish it was to fuse it to a postcard base, fuse on a backing and stitch around the edges.
Yes, I'm please with this and I'll make postcards with the rest of the scraps.
This is what happens when you are searching a shelf and find a box and wonder what's in it.
In this case the box had these things in it. There once was a Accuquilt Go! die that made these 3 sizes of triangles. I ordered it thinking that the triangles were bigger and was surprised they were so small. I should have sent it back right away but, no, I had to play with it.
Like every 5 year old I quickly tired of that game and put the bits in a box where they have comfortably resided for a few years.
Of course when I reopened the box I was most fascinated with the tiny ones.
I was listening to a book, it was evening...let's see how many I can put together before bed.
This many....in 3 hours. Only one thing to do with it at this point.
Make a postcard! I did finish off the edge with a purple satin stitch but I forgot to take a photo.
Usually when I make a postcard design I make at least 2 so that I can keep one for myself.
Not this time.
This is a true on-of-a-kind card that I sent to my best friend for her birthday. She loved it and so do I but I'll not make another.
Today I'm off to my monthly sewing days with my quilt club. I'll finish the autumnal Hunter's Star and start the gray/brown one this weekend. the weather is crummy so it's a perfect weekend for sewing.
These are probably the most special postcards that I've ever made. Even Chris says that these are his favorites.
I unearthed these embroideries from one of my Bins of Magical Things a few months ago. I made then YEARS ago and they were intended to be ornaments just like you see in the pattern photo. I did the embroidery but never actually made the ornaments. It was time to do something with them.
The first step was to pick some fabrics. I had a nice red satin that would be a great background for the 6 red and green ornamants and this green would be a perfect frame for both designs. I eventually dug up a pretty purple satin for the background of the gold embroideries.
The first step was to fuse WonderUnder on the back of the green fabric and cut out the circles that will frame the embroideries. I used WonderUnder because I wanted to be able to draw guidelines to help center the circle.
To put it together I first cut the embroidery about a half inch larger than the hole and then centered the embroidery in the hole and tack fused it in place. The teflon sheet is so helpful. I had prefused the back of the satin fabrics and then cut out circles the same size and the hole in the fabric. I used the paper backing to position the satin fabric on the postcard base and fused it down. then I flipped the embroidery part on top of that and fused all the layers together. I used a pressing cloth to protect the embroideries.
I did a satin stitch around the ornament and added a hanger and bow.
I stitch lines like the bow and hanger at least 3 times to build up a bold line and to hide any bobbles.
Here's a close up of the stitching. These cards will be mailed in clear envelopes to protect the stitching. I made 12 of these cards, 6 in each design.
I also unearthed these two old/vintage cross stitch projects that I might have done over 35 years ago! I used the same method to turn them into cards too. That's 88 cards made this year!
There's still a ton of stuff in that bin.....
These cards, like most all of my cards, started with trash. This was the pile of cutoffs from the Groovy quilt blocks. Just look at that pretty pile. I couldn't toss it out! Instead I grabbed a sheet of WonderUnder and fused the strips into stripes. (Say that 3 times fast.) It reminded me of all things 60's so the design for a Peace tree came to me quickly. Besides I always have one tree design every year.
I wanted to screen print the Peace lettering so I created a Word document and sent it off to Susan and she had the screen to me in just a couple of days. Getting custom screen made is really easy and not expensive.
I just couldn't accept a solid color Peace. It's easy to get a rainbow effect by overlapping the colors that you apply to the screen. I did have to wipe everything clean every 10 cards or so because it does eventually blend to brown.
It was very peaceful.
The trees were cut and fused to the cards and at this point I was in love!
The fabric bits aren't totally fused so they had to be stitched down. I tried several methods and colors of thread but a simple black outline worked best and set the stage for a colorful serged edge.
This variegated thread was perfect for the edging and one little crystal tops each tree.
I made 30 of these cards.
Usually I make 3 designs each year but this year I actually made a 4th very special design and I'll share that one Monday.
After I finished the blue diamond postcards I still had a big stack of scraps left and one night in October I sewed them all together and made a big piece of "new" fabric. I didn't have a plan for it, I was just play sewing.
A few days later I needed to either put the new fabric away or do something with it. The easy answer always is to cut it into postcard backgrounds and that's how this new card design started. I thought they might look nice with a Spirograph motif on them for a stylized snowflake look.
It took a surprisingly long time to get to this point. I tried getting the designs to work on fabric but I just couldn't get a sharp white line. So I broke my rule of not buying supplies for postcards and ordered some krafttex. That's awesome stuff! You can sew it like fabric but it's also like paper. I'm going to have to play with it some more. But for now I have bright white snowflakes. They looked a little lost on that background.
A rummage through the Drawer of Magical Things unearthed this white fabric that had been over-painted with pearlized paint.
That's what it needed!
All they needed after that was backing and some edging. I got 23 cards out of that pile of blue scraps.
Over the next several days I'm going to be sharing this year's Christmas postcards. I was very happy to get all of them done by December 1 and now I'm finally editing the photos to share. First up are the Blue Diamond postcards.
When I make the sample quilts for Paula Nadelstern I like to try to use some of the scrap fabrics in my Christmas postcards.
These are the fabrics that I started with from her new Artful Snowflake line. I made my "I'm Not a Snowflake" quilt and it involved a lot of fussy cutting so the remnant fabrics looked like a lot of Swiss cheese.
I decided on a framed diamond shape. I started by cutting as many symmetrical diamond shapes as I could from the scraps. That turned out to be 21. I added a frame in black. I also had a lot of cut off corners from that fabric that looks like beads. They were perfect for making the frames. Some of the frames are narrow and some are wide. That's because some of the diamonds were smaller than others based on the scrap of fabric that I had for the symmetrical design.
After I serged the edges black I thought it needed a little something else and for Christmas cards that something is almost always crystals.
I made 21 of these card.
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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.