Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spider Webs and Back to School

I entered this spiderweb postcard in the Fabricards monthly challenge. So far I am the only entry. I just may win this time around. :)
I sure wish the scanner would pick up the sparkle in the gems on the postcard. This was my first time glueing on gems to fabric. I meant to buy iron on gems, but when I saw the huge red discount sticker on these little blue gems I forgot that I wanted them to iron on. All I saw was cheap crystal gems. Not sure how to glue them on, I decided to get out my super glue. So far so good, they are holding on tight to that silver gray web.

The kids have been back to school since the end of August, and to celebrate that I joined the back to school swap in my Art4Mail group. The white "paper" is actually peltex. I was too lazy to dig out my white fabric, so I used the small extra rectangle pieces of peltex that for some reason I can't seem to throw away. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Feathers and Pie

What do feathers and fruit pie have in common? Well hopefully you don't ever have feathers in your pie but, it may be possible to have a bird near you while you eat pie. But in this case, Feathers and Fruit Pie just happened to be the two postcard themes I was working on this week. The four postcards on the left are the ones I made for IFQ. The theme was feathers. A lot of the participants for the group had already posted photos of their creations and most of them had actual feathers on the cards. I was getting worried because the only idea I could think of was quilted feathers. For a moment I thought I should scrap my original idea and come up with one that had tangible feathers on it. But nothing was coming to mind other than quilted feathers. So I went to the IFQ site to re-read the stipulations for the swap. It didn't say we HAD to put feathers on the card, just to make sure that if we did, not to use real bird feathers since it might cause trouble at customs when they go out of the country. After reading the guidelines again, I decided to go ahead with my original idea. After all, quilted "feathers" were feathers in a sense. :) I want the quilting design to stick out in the card, so I chose a deep purple background as my base and then used a light pastel variegated thread to sew the feathers. They turned out stunning. I had such a good time making them and loved the way they turned out that I wanted to make even more. I ended up making a total of 5, but on the last one I ran out of thread!! I had all the feathers done on it, but I didn't have enough thread to finish the stippling in between the feathers. I did have a double pink twist thread which I ended up using to finish the last card, and as I laid them all out to look at, I had to look very closely to see which one had the pink thread on it.

Now for the pie. :) These two cards on the right are my version of Blueberry Pie. I couldn't decide which would look better, diagonal lattice, or straight lattice. I guess it really depends on which way the pie is turned when you look at it. I am not a big fan of eating fruit pie, (unless it is a good apple pie and if you consider pumpkin a fruit, then I could eat plenty of that pie) but I do love the look of a stuffed lattice top with colorful red or blue poking out of the squares.



Coming up soon on my list of swaps are some crazy quilt blocks and Halloween. YAHOO!!!, I do love the spooky holiday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is it Autumn yet?

I sure want it to be autumn, but the weather here is still acting like it is the middle of summer. I am ready for some nice fall breezes and pumpkins sitting on my porch. So in anticipation of that, I have signed up for some autumn themed postcard swaps. These four cards I made for the ladies in my Art4Mail group. My initial plan was to embroider some leaves onto some orange fabric and put them on top of some corn printed fabric, but then I got to thinking that I already had some leaves embroidered out. Two years ago, I made myself a fancy Halloween hat. On the hat I embroidered all different sorts of autumn motifs. But before I put the final design on the hat, I sewed out a few samples to make sure they would sew out like I wanted. Being the pack rat that I am though, I couldn't throw away those samples. They have been sitting in a bin in my closet for two years.
It's a good thing I kept them. they were perfect for the cards I had planned to make.  So I went to my closet and got them right out of the bin they were in. I may keep lots of things, but I know where almost everything is. I seem to have a bin for everything and everything fits into a bin. :)
Below is a picture of the hat I made. After going through my photos of Halloween two years ago, I realized I didn't have a good photo of the hat, so I had my littlest one pose in it on the front porch for me this afternoon so I could show you what it looks like. I got the pattern from Embroidery Library.com. That is my favorite place to shop for embroidery designs. They have almost everything I am looking for and I get the designs instantly on my computer once I pay for them. The site is awesome! They actually have two sites. One that sells the designs (emblibrary.com) and another that has all sorts of free project links.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pizzazz QTCs

Postcard Pizzazz had a quite a few QTC swaps with colors as themes. One of them was called Summer Glitz 2 for 1. We each made a gold and silver QTC and sent it to our partners. Here are my two. In the beginning I read the rules wrong and was making ONE card with silver and gold on it. So that is why my silver card has some traces of gold. I had already finished the silver one when I realized my mistake. But the ladies in my swap said they were fine receiving the silver card the way it was. I was glad of that otherwise I would have had to make another whole set of silver ones.


These were made for the Pink QTC swap. I took bits and pieces of all my pink fabrics and ironed them onto the peltex and then added a chain stitch to cover up the raw edges. Then I added some form of embellishment to all the pieces, except the very thing pink stripped one at the very bottom left. It was too small to add anything. I didn't want it to get stuck under the needle down there while I had to sew on the edging. These were the only ones I remembered to take a group photo of. The others I had put in envelopes and had them ready to mail out. So I had to take a photo of the ones I saved for myself.

This one is my version of a BLUE QTC. The center blue is what was leftover from me trying to make blue inchies. It is s stiff piece of Peltex covered with some light blue fabric. I can't seem to throw anything away. Even if it is only one inch. I think to myself, I can use that in some other project in the future. And sure enough, the little one inch covered square finally found a new home on this blue QTC.


I liked the feel and texture of the raised blue square on my blue QTC, so I decided to try that same technique in my purple QTCs. This time I punched out the letter P in purple covered peltex. Instead of sewing it down with yarn, as I did in the blue QTCs, I used a blanket stitch to hold the letter down. Underneath the P is some shiny purple fabric. It is hard to tell that it shines on the photo, but in person it looks great. I couched some cording around the shiny fabric to hide its raw edges, and then finished the corners of the card with some free motion quilting. Once all the QTCs have been traded I will have a wonderful unique rainbow in 3.5in x 2.5in rectangles.


My time wasn't used making just QTCs lately, I also made a regular sized postcard.

I had plenty of butterflies and dragonflies left over from my Jars and Bottles Swap, so I used them for a few more postcards for my Art2Mail #46 swap. This time I added some grass for them to fly around in with a nice blue sky and the card wouldn't be complete without some free motion quilting in the graa and sky.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where did August Go??

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted anything here in over a month. Were did August go? It came and went faster than I anticipated. I guess I was busy with kids, vacation, the last days of summer, and school starting that the month just flew by. But I was not unproductive, I did manage to find time to create a few goodies for the ladies in my swap groups:

These three sets of ATCs (artist trading cards) were made for the Alphabet/Numbers swap on IFQ. These were for round 9. I was assigned the Number 4, the Letter N (Night), and the Letter T (Tiny Turtle). These were mailed out on the 29th of August. This is my third time participating in these rounds. The goal is to collect all the letters of the alphabet and the numbers 0-9. I have just been putting them in a basket on my coffee table to enjoy them as I receive them, but now I think it is time to make the Alphabet wall hanger to see how many I have of each letter, and to see which ones I need to fill in my alphabet gaps.

This card was made for a "My Garden" swap in the Art4Mail yahoo group. When I signed up for this one, I automatically thought of my vegetable garden. It is the only type of garden I have. I definitely don't have a green thumb and I am lucky my tomato plants have survived the whole summer this year. I hand cut out each of these vegetables and appliqued them onto the card.

Here I decided to try a new technique I saw on someone else's web page. They had taken yarns and other fibers to create a background. So I tried it myself. I put a piece of decor bond, sticky side up and layered orange, blue and purple yarns on it. Then I ironed it down to make them stick. They were a little fuzzy and I wasn't sure they would go through the mail without a clear envelope, so I used some tule and layered it over the threads to hold down the fibers that were sticking up. Then I added some orange fish and finished it up.

I was just playing around with some leftover shapes that I had cut out and came up with this card. I had punched out a lot of clouds out of white fabric earlier in the year for some other post cards and I had a few left over, So i turned them into a "Every cloud has a silver lining" card. I used some silvery crochet thread and hand couched it to the bottom of the clouds.

The Alphabet... The theme for this swap was " What A means..". I had the idea of Alphabet automatically but wasn't sure how to put that on a card. Then I saw this image online. It is a actually a quiz. Every letter comes from a logo of a famous American brand. I fancied it up with some zigzag stitches in between the letters and some green and yellow iron on gems. I mailed it to its recipient and told her to email me when she got it and I would send her the answers. I had fun with this one. :)

This next card was made for a "Jars and Bottles" swap for my ArtsNtheMail group. I picked some organza, cut it in the shape of a jar and put some bright butterflies and a dragonfly escaping the jar. I really like the way this one turned out.

Here is my finished Light house card. I embroidered the lighthouse onto some blue fabric and then free motioned quilted around it. On the bottom I tried to mimic the waves that were already in the embroidery design. If you look close you can see the curvy waves of the original design blending with my own free motion design. On the top I changed the free motion to an echo design, echoing the shapes of the top of the light house and the clouds. I love the texture that the quilting designs have made. This is one I like to hold and feel it as well as look at.