Tiny Cards & Applique Arcs

Valentine’s Day is fun. This is a sweet time of year, and I love to send out cards. For previous Valentine’s Days I’ve sent out postcards, embroidered hearts, glitter cards (and those turned in to glitter bombs after being processed through the mail!), and now these old school grade school valentines I found about a year and a half ago when helping a relative move.

These sweet animal cards were perfect. Time has been a bit crunched the past two weeks, but I still wanted to send out cards.

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The other evening I sat down with some Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Gold and set to drawing. It’s been about eight months since I used a calligraphy pen and nib, so there were some rusty moments and valentines were limited, but I was able to ease up on the amount of pressure my fingers wanted to apply to the pen and the cards turned out cute. The sun came out just as I was taking pictures, and the gold really sparkles.

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How and why colors coming together are constantly on my mind. I want to tell a story with each piece I make, and it should not be a story that leaves one wondering why it was created. The story should be steady enough to enter and fresh enough to the eye each time that one keeps returning; I’m thinking a lot about it! After trying many other combinations, these two were my final contenders.

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Chain-piecing was one of my favorite skills I learned in beginner quilting. The product makes me want to hang garlands all around the house.

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A new sewing machine is close to being a part of my life, but I still love my little Janome. It is doing a great job sewing up those seams!

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I decided to nestle the clouds between the solid purple and blue Arcs to give this more of a sunrise feeling. Catching the sunrise everyday is one of the most amazing times of the day, and the sun pushes the pinks, purples, and dark reds against the blue sky. With this much print, I felt it was important to create a balance within the already chosen colors, and then find the most cohesive union between these rows. I’ve been contemplating a border the entire week and have yet to settle on any one idea.

Any tips on how you decide on borders?

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are you doing to mark the day?

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Greeting Card Tutorial: Embroidery!

A thank you to all that have stopped by & looked, liked, commented, or a combination of all three. Deciding to start a blog wasn’t easy for me due to introversion, but that was a feeling I pushed aside to forge ahead.

The way I typically thank those in my life is through a greeting card. With the internet being my platform here, I thought it best to provide a greeting card tutorial. The embroidery greeting card first came in to my life in the form of tiny hearts I cut out. I embroidered my friends’ initials or names in the hearts. Many of the tiny hearts were cut  without a thought about templates and I hadn’t learned back-stitch yet (my favorite right now)! This is the sophisticated version, using calligraphy style script, of those sweet little hearts. The embroidery greeting cards don’t take much time, but make a big impact on the recipients!

Materials:

  • Card-stock or any type of paper you would like to use for a card. Firm is better here.
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • General Purpose Thread
  • Pencil & Eraser
  • Scissors

1.  Measure the paper to to size of card you would like. Here I cut the paper down to 6 1/2″ x 11″.

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2.  Fold the paper in half hamburger style. I used my fingers to set the crease.

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3.  Free hand draw what you might like on the card. Typically I write “Happy Birthday, _____!”, or if for a couple I draw both their names with a heart in-between. Don’t worry about using fancy script, because everything looks beautiful once embroidered.

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4.  Poke holes in the card every couple of millimeters or centimeters. The closer the holes are the more likely of a collapse of the card-stock between the spaces. The further apart the holes the larger the stitches will be and this will make the card faster to complete. A variety of stitch lengths are used in the making of this tutorial for demonstration.

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5. Pick your colors and embroider! I like to use french knots for periods. The thread may feel bulky and stiff, but this is because paper is a more firm fiber than cloth overall!

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6. I prefer to hide the knots inside the card, but if you are feeling bold you may leave them on the outside of the card.

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7. The corners have to be secured since the card will not close flat on its own. I used general purpose thread to anchor each corner with an X, but you could as easily use embroidery thread. I tied the knots to the back of the card.

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8. Admire & fill out your card to send away. Or you might use the card as a wall hanging for your inspiration board.

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Thank you for reading & I hope everyone has a lovely week. Please feel free to share any made embroidery cards!

Applique Away

After a week of figuring out some technology–hello, YouTube!–the computer is free for roaming. The snow has been beautiful. Everything is quiet and the cars move slowly along. The sunrise colors are delicate here. IMG_5120.jpg

Post Card Party Swap is a fantastic way to share small quilted pieces with other knitters and totally hits all my favorite categories: mail, pen-pals, quilting, and applique. The LQS offers classes with postcard ideas and this was a class I joined that used wool. It was my first time doing wool applique, and I love how textured and sturdy wool is to work with. When the snow began to fall, I decided to hand quilt circles as the background, enjoying it so much I worked on it until I finished.  Hand-stitching is calming, centering, and adds a beautiful finish to this little postcard!

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Practice makes for more experience and so out came the scrap bag and the rotary cutter, and I cut out six more hearts to applique. The squares are sevens inches by seven inches and the heart is a basic template. Since I’ll always have scraps about this size I plan on collecting at least one heart from each piece of fabric from here on out. When there are enough of appliqued I will make a quilt. Right now eleven appliqued hearts exist. IMG_5161.jpgIMG_5170.jpgIMG_5173.jpg

Savor Each Stitch arrived and it is a wonderfully written book with clear explanations. The first project is cut and ready to be basted. Basting, I’ve just learned after pinning ten hearts, is much easier to work with when doing needle-turn applique. What I particularly liked about basting is how smoothly the round edges turned under. It was a revelation to me, because the pinning seemed to cause distortion overall, but the basting kept all in place! Looking forward to moving ahead with this project. IMG_5154.jpg

Everyone is posting such lovely work! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog.

 

 

Greeting Card Tutorial: Upcycling Scraps & Notecards

I needed a card yesterday. The store’s cards were okay & nice, but lacked a personal touch. After assessing materials in house, I decided to use 5″ x 7″ lined notecards & scraps from the just finished half-squre triangle quilt to make a greeting card.

Materials: 

  • Scissors
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • 5″ x 7″ Lined Notecard
  • Fabric scraps
  • Sewing Machine
  • Imagination!

 

Step One: Grab fabric scraps & see what ideas come to mind. What shapes do you like? Cut those shapes out of the fabric!

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Step Two: Pin shapes on a piece of fabric & thread a hand-sewing needle. IMG_4812.jpgIMG_4813.jpg

Step Three: Sew the shape on to the fabric. I used a straight stitch here. IMG_4817IMG_4819

Step Four: Place fabric on the notecard & decide how the card should be folded. I creased the card hamburger style. IMG_4823.jpg

Step Five: Adjust stitch length & sew fabric on to the card. IMG_4827IMG_4826

Step Six: Enjoy & make more! IMG_4838.jpgIMG_4839.jpg

Thanks for reading & hope you enjoy making some cards!