What am I wrapping up? The Maine scraps! This post marks the official end to those with this last set of cards.
I didn't have any more screen printed images to use with these fabrics so I headed to the ribbon drawer and found a ribbon with these 2 motifs alternating. I had use most of the ribbon a few years ago for another project and it seemed poetic to marry the ribbon leftovers with the Maine leftovers for these really fast cards.
Ten ribbon trees means 10 more postcards.
This big stack of cards should last me with our Airbnb guests for a while!
Bonus! I've almost used up a whole spool of Valdani thread serging the edges!
In other news it's about time to start a new project! This is one of the Galaxy fabrics (3 yards) that I had in the shop. I thought it would look nice as the focal fabric for a new quilt for the guest house so this week I'm dyeing some matching fabrics for that quilt.
Here's the third set of postcards. For these I had this screen printed leaf to use as my focal piece. These were incredibly fast to make but it took a few tries to get the final design.
This was my first try. It's OK but I didn't like it enough to do a flip and sew technique for 13 more cards. I reminded myself to keep them really simple and that means using the cut curves of the fabric.
Then I tried this with a simple 3 piece background. I though that with the curves that I could make a landscape out of the background: sky, hill, ground so that's what I did for the other 12. I will still use these 2 "rejects". For my purposes they are just fine!
14 of these! I think I have a focal piece and enough scraps for one more set of these. I'm going to be golden for Airbnb cards for the year!
I've got so much stuff to get done over the next 2 weeks that I can't really concentrate on a big project. Playing with the Maine quilt scraps a little each day is the perfect recess from work.
I have several fabrics that I had screen printed a long time ago and these images make a perfect focal point for the cards. I showed how I made these last week. I finished them off with some variegated Vandani thread that I bought YEARS ago. I think the variegated thread on the edge is what really makes these cards.
I made 10 of these and I have enough fabric scraps left for at least 20 more. It seems a little nuts to make that many cards but it will give me a nice stash for our Airbnb guest for the year. There's no reason for out Virginia visitors to know that these fabrics were created with foliage in Maine!
I made the first set of postcards from these scraps back in November and they have already all been given away.
I made a set of Dragonfly postcards in November using scraps from the Maine quilt and some screen printed dragonflies that were in my stash. I used those cards mostly for our Airbnb guests and I just gave the last one away. While I'm waiting on the new ruler foot washer to quilt I'm going to make some new postcards for upcoming Airbnb guests.
I have loads of Maine quilt scraps left and several different screen printed elements in my stash so I'm going to see how many cards I can get out of them. Last week I had an hour to fill so I pre-fused and pre-cut the Stiffy for card bases and pre-fused and cut a lot of postcard backing fabrics so I'm set to go.
The first dozen start with a little screen printed leaf image.
Because the Maine quilt is an apple core block, most of my scraps have curved edges and I'm just going with it and sewing it all raw edged. I'm using the Quilt Highlights braid to accent the stitching. These are going together FAST which makes them perfect for Airbnb guests who might not appreciate something handmade. Although most of the guests say that they really love the cards....even these simple ones.
These will get their backs and serged edges soon. I'm going to stretch the Maine Quilt scraps as far as I can!
Today is sewing day with Country School Quilters so that means I'm working on the Maine quilt! I don't get to go both days but there's a little chance that if I'll sew more and talk less that I might get the top done today.
It's early December and all of my postcards are done! I finished up the mandala Christmas trees this weekend. These were really simple and I'll share how I did them. You have plenty of time to make some yourself and you can use ANY fabric for your tree.
But if you want to make cards like mine you will start with a mandala print. I hoard Paula Nadelstern fabrics so I have a lot of her mandala panels to choose from. If you want some Cotton Club has some of them left on the Kismet and Chromazone collections.
***Every fabric that I use on these cards is first backed with fusible webbing. Mistyfuse is my go-to fusible but any fusible will work. But these will be much easier if you can fuse them together.
These mandalas are printed with 8 symmetrical sections and I figured out what part I wanted for the center of my tree and then cut the mandala into 8 identical pie wedges.
My trees are about 4 1/4" tall in the center. Using my rotary ruler to carefully line up the center line I cut the bottom of my trees.
When I selected the mandalas that I wanted to use I also picked a background fabric. I went with mandalas in blue/lime/purple color palettes and found this batik for the background. These are cut 4" x 6" and fused to the same size pieces of Timtex or other heavy interfacing.
I found this stripe in my scrap bin and it is perfect for my tree trunks. I cut these about 1/2" x 1"
I found this great metallic (also a Paula Nadelstern fabric) in my stash to use for my snow-covered ground.
The fun part was fusing it all together! That went very quickly and, technically, you really don't have to do any stitching. But I like to add some stitching and I started with the bottom of the tree and the tree trunk.
I added a little decorative stitching with this utility stitch and some lime thread.
Next I fused on a back and then finished the edges. I used a serger but a zig zag stitch would work just fine.
I wanted to add a little something else. I could have added an embroidered star but I have a lot of crystals and made those my tree toppers.
Here's are all 5 mandala designs. I made about 32 of these cards!
Time to get busy addressing 80 postcards!
Before we get to the postcards here's your last reminder to enter all of the Giving Thanks drawings from last week! The winners will be announced Wednesday!
The cold that I got Halloween has really lingered so I'm still operating at about 70% capacity. The cold turned into something else so now I'm on antibiotics and expect to feel great soon! I had plans to work on some other things last week but in the end decided to focus on my Christmas postcards. I could work on them in shifts whenever I had the energy. I finished up the second, and most involved, set.
Here's my Tacky Town Christmas cards! These things were a ton of work but I got to use all of my blingy threads and geegaws. Here's how I made them.
It all starts with this sunprinted fabric. As with the Stag cards, these were sun printed with a stencil. I'd tell you where to buy the stencil but I can't find it anywhere. Anyway, also as with the Stag cards, sunprinting was a complete waste of time. It would have been faster and just as effective to simply STENCIL with paint as the word "stencil" implies. I have a few stencils that work great for sun printing but mostly there's really no effective difference with stenciling vs sun printing.
I fused these to the stiff interfacing and was ready to go!
First a little outlining with metallic thread. For the windows and hearts I went around then 3 times to build up thread. Otherwise it just didn't show much. The outline of the building is done with Superior Glitter thread. It actually runs better than the metallic in my machine.
Through making these cards I learned that my Brother Innov-is machine really doesn't care for the specialty threads. I feel a machine upgrade in my future.
I really didn't have a plan for these. I either picked an element that I wanted to do or a thread that I wanted to play with and did that until I was tired of it and then moved to something else.
Next I wanted to play with these cool metallic braids that I picked up at the Hampton Mancuso show last year. These are for bobbin work or couching. I put it in the bobbin and did the garland hanging from the buildings.
I was getting tired of stitching by this point but decided that this building needed a little tree.
Next up was foiling. I haven't done that in a long time! So during one of the football games I applied foiling glue to all of the parts that needed more tacky bling. 24 times....
A smart person who plans properly would have fused on the postcard backs before doing the foiling glue but that's not what I did. After the foil glue dried I applied foil to 2 doors, a roof line and a few windows.
THEN I fused on the backs. I had to be careful not to get the iron too hot. I didn't want it to ruin the foiling. Then I edged them on the serger. This thread is Superior Halo. To be honest, I don't love this thread. I tried using it on the machine for bobbin work and it's just too fragile. I only have 2 spools (red and green) and it runs fine in the serger so I'll try to use it up on Christmas cards. over the next couple of years.
But I wasn't done! More bling needed!
Crystals were just the right finishing touch. My tree got a star, garland and doors got wreaths and some windows got lights.
I edged some in green and some in red just so I cold use both colors. I have 24 of these cards ready to address and mail. These were a ton of work so they will go only to the people who I know will appreciate them.
I'm working on the third, and easiest, set now and I think they are going to turn out to be the crowd favorite!
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'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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