Archive | tips and techniques

herringbone card tutorial.

In honor of the holiday and the fact that I’m planning to do lots of sewing today, I thought I’d share a fun, little project with you.

herringbone sewn stationery set_carolyn friedlander

Being a card person, I like to keep several tricks up my sleeve for making my own. Most of my tricks are derived from available options and needs. This particular approach is inspired by a large pile of extra quilt blocks I have sitting in a drawer.

drawer of extra blocks

Oh my. Does anyone else end up with lots of extras??

Sewn cards are one way to use them, and here’s how to do it.

Ok, supplies: Nothing crazy here, just some card stock and a leftover from my herringbone runner. This would make a fitting accompaniment if you are giving the runner as a gift OR you can use it for any other purpose. It’ll be pretty and your friends will like it. As far as card stock goes, Paper Source is my fave – all colors and sizes, flat, plain, and simple.

I maintain a stash.

supplies_carolyn friedlander

First things first: I need to do something about my fabric block. It’s larger than my card, and that won’t work. Oddly enough it is exactly twice the length of the card, so I’ll just cut it in half. You could get crazy and cut it up more to use in a different way or on more cards. Your call.

just the right size_carolyn friedlander

It’s now freshly cut in half, and I need to decide which piece goes with which back.

Maybe this way…

cut in half_carolyn friedlander

…or this way?

or should they go this way_carolyn friedlander

Looks good to me.

Now you can pick out your thread. Keep in mind that you will be seeing it from both sides.

This red-orange looks pretty good here.

match thread_carolyn friedlander

And then how does it look with the other?

thread works here too_carolyn friedlander

Contrast is good, and I’m sticking with it. Otherwise you could switch thread.

Before you start sewing, adjust your stitch length to roughly 3.0. I’m using a straight stitch, but you could get crazy and try a zigzag or something. Just don’t choose a stitch that punctures the paper too much. That would weaken your card, and it could fall apart.

That would be bad.

stitch length_carolyn friedlander

Here’s a tip: Don’t worry about pinning the fabric to your paper. That would give you unnecessary holes. I like to hold it in place with my fingers.

Now you are ready to go. Backstitch a little at the beginning and start sewing…

start stitchin_carolyn friedlander

…needle down and pivot at your corners. Keep sewing…

keep stitchin_carolyn friedlander

…until you get to the end. Backstitch to finish. Trim your threads. Repeat with second card, and…

Voila!

stitched cards_carolyn friedlander

And you can also check out the back.

stitched card backs_carolyn friedlander

I like that you can see the stitching. Usually, I’ll use the box or lines as a guide for my message. In this example, I would probably fit the main portion of my note in the box and then use the top portion to create a fun header.

Then you can pick out an envelope for your first card…

envelope and first card_carolyn friedlander

…and one for the second.

envelope and second card_carolyn friedlander

Finally, think about someone special. Write them a note. Drop it in the mail. Repeat over and over.

Real mail is special, especially when you’ve made it yourself.

Have lots of fun and enjoy the people in your life.

Happy Fourth!

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feels good to do some knitting.

Seriously. It’s been awhile, which makes me a little sad. When I got back from Market, I re-assessed my knitting situation hoping to get excited about finishing something up. I certainly have enough half-finished things to choose from. Most recently I was working on a cardigan, and it’s pretty far along. I’m just not entirely thrilled with the drape (or lack thereof). I hoped it would sort itself out as more of the sweater materialized – totally not the case. So knitting limbo continued.

Then, I saw this in the summer issue of the Debbie Bliss magazine.

debbie bliss summer shrug

I latched on right away. It’s not that it’s the most perfect thing in the world, but it’s exactly the kind of project that I needed. It’s pretty, it’s something I can wear (in Florida that’s an issue), it’s not a massive undertaking, and it’s not anything that’s sitting around unfinished and causing me frustration…all important things. It is just what I needed to get going again.

starting my summer shrug_carolyn_friedlander

And it warranted a trip to my favorite local yarn shop. That place can be dangerous without a specific goal in mind. The yarn I am using is silk, mohair, and dreamy. I can’t stop touching it.

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So it goes. I’m very happy to be back on the needles.

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plugging back in.

quilts riding shotgun

quilts riding shotgun

It feels great to be back home, finally. My trip to Quilt Market was a wonderful adventure and only being able to work from an ipad was a great excuse to unplug a little bit, which I love. I continued my digital hiatus by spending the weekend unloading, unpacking, re-organizing, cleaning, and generally trying to get life back in order. I’m making progress. As a goal today, I’m facing the computer screen and my inbox, which doesn’t feel so bad since I’ve given myself some space from it. I kind of make these deals to myself. If I do this much of X, then I can do some of Y. Most recently Y is clothes sewing and the single girl. Remember this weekend project I started recently? I’ve finally got an update.

 

single girl update

 

Also, I have been getting ready for the follow-ups and the long list of thank-yous — more non-digital tasks that I enjoy. I’ve got a big stack of stamped stationery just waiting for the right sentiments.

 

art quilt stamped cards

 

Happy Memorial Day.

 

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