Monday, November 24, 2008

Notebook Holder

I finished the notebook holder I was working on over the weekend by following the tutorial posted on Janet's tutorial blog. I loved the step by step "how to" she did by using photos. It made making mine very easy. I always learn best with visual instructions.

I added a simple embroidered frog design on the front and now my son wants to claim the notebook holder as his own. Since it is quite simple to make them, I suppose he can have this one. After all, I am already the owner of a very special notebook holder made by Janet herself. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two more ATCs

I finished up two ATCs the other day. One for my Postcard Pizzazz group. The theme for this one was landscape. I had actually received all mine from the group before I even made mine. It was a good thing because two of the ladies wrapped their ATCs in some extra scrap fabrics. Well it was just enough scraps to make my landscapes with. One was the lovely brick fabric, the other was the white flowers in the grass. I used my own blue for the sky. Then added some machine stitching over all of it. My first thought when I saw the brick fabric was to make a landscape scene that resembled the wall in the movie Stardust. But as I made it and looked at it, it appears to me to be more of a cobblestone walkway, which is still nice.

The next one was for a one to one swap with one of the members of Fabricards and is titled "Hen House". I had fun putting this one together. This card is the size of a baseball card, so you can imagine how small the chicken parts are. It was a nice fun challenge for me. Again I machined stitched over the pieces to make sure they stayed on and to give it some dimension. I drew the eyes on with a fine point pen and trying to get them both look the same without screwing them up was harder than I thought. She looks like she may have one lazy eye, but I didn't want to keep drawing over them for fear of turning them into two big black blobs. I do like the over all effect though, she seems to have her own personality with those eyes. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Something Other Than Postcards...

I have finally made something other than postcards. I was having so much fun making them I almost forgot there were other things out there to make. Like the last few UFO's on my list, some holiday bags, the quilt ideas I have rolling around in my head and I also want to make some of those fancy notebook holders that Jan posted instructions for on her blog. Maybe I should make a craft schedule: postcards on Monday, quilts on Tuesday, bags on Wednesday.... Nah that would stifle my creativity. :) I'll just continue to go with the flow, but make sure I take time to work on a more variety of projects.

These burp cloths I made for my Mom's friend who is having a baby next month. I used the pattern from Embroidery Library, but I unstitched the back part of the diaper and lifted the back flap before I did the embroidery. That way I could close it back up and cover the not so pretty back of the embroidery design. I also changed the edging technique. I made it more like a quilt binding instead of trying to catch the front and the back of the edging with one pass through the sewing machine. I always seem to screw that up by either missing the back all together or sewing too far from the seam and then weaving to get to close to the edge, making the back look sloppy. So I finish it on the front first, turn it to the back and attach it with an invisible hand to close it up. It takes a little longer but looks 100% better than what would come out if I did it the other way.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Colors

My postcards lately have been full of fall colors. Probably because autumn is my favorite season. I love the cool weather, the long sleeves, the changing colors, and most of all the pumpkins. This card is my "Pumpkin Patch" postcard for Fabricards. I embroidered the design on my machine, then I fussy cut some fall fabric to line the sides with. Again I used a fabric edging, but I added loose zig zag on top of it.

Next is the card I did for the Fabricards Monthly Challenge for October. The theme was "Nine" We could do anything we wanted as long as it was related to the number nine. I choose to do 9 squares each filled with 9 french knots. This didn't have to be a fall theme, but since I am in the mood of playing with fall fabrics, I chose to use them for this card as well. My card did not win the challenge this month, but it was fun to enter and watch the voting. To see the winner, you can go to the Fabricards group home page. The winner always gets a their card posted as the home page photo for the month.

This card was also made for Fabricards. The theme was leaves. For this card, I embroidered the leaves onto some fancy designed felt that I picked up at the craft store. It almost feels as if it is an embossed design on the felt. The felt is a deep brown, but it is showing up as black on my computer. I decided to add some pumpkins to go with the swirly leaves. The pumpkin fabric also serves as the edging. I folded over 1/4 of an inch of the pumpkin fabric to the back of the card and then sewed a single line around the whole card to hold it in place.

Another card made for a Fabricard swap, this leaf card was for the Pick-A-Word swap. Leaf was not the word I chose though. Instead, I picked the word "Echo". Still with autumn on the brain, I embroidered a falling leaf onto some swirly orange fabric and then "echo" quilted around it. This leaf has a red edging, with green center. The ones I sent out had just the opposite.

I finished up these cards this evening. They are for the Art 4 Mail Harvest Soup swap. I punched out some orange pumpkins and put them inside the mixing bowl. Then added some fussy cut leaves and such to the inside and bottom of the bowl. Again I used the fancy brown felt. I like the look of it and think it makes a perfect fall colored background. Still into the fabric edging, I decided to use that again on this card. But this time I used a blanket stitch on the inside edge to give it a different look. I made six of these. Four for my group, one for me and one for my mother. This is the one I kept for myself. Mainly because of the pumpkin on the front. It is the only one out of the six with a pumpkin sitting out of the bowl. The strip of fabric I was fussy cutting from had only one pumpkin on it, and it wasn't even a whole one. But I couldn't bear to throw it away, so I found a spot for it on this card. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Harvest Time

I really like how this card turned out. I guess you could call the center design "Orange" work since I only used the one thread color for it. For the binding I fussy cut some harvest fabric then folded it over and sealed it on with a straight stitch. These were mailed out to the ArtsNtheMail group. I have to make another set for my Art4Mail group. I wanted to do something a little different for those cards though since the actual theme for the Art4Mail group is called "Harvest Soup". I was envisioning a bowl of some sort on those cards. A bowl full of pumpkins. We shall see if the image I have in my head comes out as nice on the card. I'll post photos once they are finished.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Autumn Postcards

I wanted my living room to be covered in fall themed postcards, and the best way I knew how to do that was to sign up for the ArtsNtheMail Autumn swap twice. :) I ended up making all my cards different this time. Similar, yet different. Usually I make 3 or 4 of the same card and then swap those and get 3 or 4 totally different ones and I always make one to keep for myself. It usually isn't hard trying to pick which one I want for me, because they are all the same. But this time they were different and I had a hard time picking one. I ended up just closing my eyes and choosing. The one I saved for myself is pictured on the left. Below is the a shot of all the cards I made. I had such a good time making these, I ended up making two extra instead of one. (One for me, and one I sent to my mother.) She got it on Halloween day while I was there visiting her. It was nice to be there when she got it. Funny thing was though, the stamp was never canceled. The card didn't even go through any machines. Which it should have because I only put a $.27 stamp on there. Oh well, one can never understand the mysteries at the post office.