Countdown to Grand Give Away 2016 – 6 weeks.
Update: The May theme will be “Quilt Industry Appreciation Month”. Think about all the leaders in YOUR quilting world. They may have taught you. They may sell fabric to you. They may give you inspiration. They may be your local guild executive. Why not thank them with a quilted postcard? Let them know they are part of the 1 Million Mile Challenge and tell them why.
Next week I will give you the April locations and miles.
Panic starts to set in when I know that I won’t have access to a sewing machine. That’s when I mentally review hand stitching possibilities. Do I have a project the right size that I can take with me? Is there a new project I would like to start? How much should I take? What could I realistically expect to get done? I am ok with bringing too much and leaving some undone. I am not ok with bringing too little and running out of things to do.
In my younger years I did a fair bit of hand stitching. Mostly petite point, then silk ribbon embroidery. Several years ago I started making hexi’s and it is that project that has traveled with me on most car, plane and boat rides ever since. It is now on the back burner while I contemplate some colour issues and decide where to take it next.
This time I was a whole month without access to a sewing machine. And of course, I have the on-going postcard project. There was no question on what work I needed to do, but what should I put on the postcards?
Last year I signed up for a Cartouche Embroidery class. Obviously I didn’t read the
description very well. The name and picture sold me. What is Cartouche? It sounded exotic. And it looked interesting. A little like Zentangle. I thought it was using your sewing machine to do some circular stitching. After all, there are new tools that attach to your sewing machine for that purpose. When I got to the class, I discovered it was hand stitching. Not that I would have minded, except that they all start the same – with the basics. The running stitch, the chain stitch, the Y stitch, the Daisy stitch. I put in my time in the class and then came home knowing I would never hand stitch that pillow.
Postcards, though, were the perfect chance to use that class material and I prepped all the cards at home before leaving. I traced different parts of the design on to the fabric so that each card would be different. Then I decided to put fusible interfacing on the back to hide the thread ends. That also meant I would not have to do all the stitching through the Flexi-firm (hard on the fingers!). As with all my cards, I used the materials I have at home. In this case, it was a variety of threads – wool, pearl cotton, embroidery floss, rayon – of all different weights.
Once I got going, it was fast and fun. When I had to I modified or made up stitches. I thought some were too long for safe mailing so I started weaving or stitching additional threads in. Sometimes the stitching pattern on the back was as good or better than the front so the next time I would incorporate it in.
Finally, I added seed beads for embellishment before ironing the front and backs to the Flexi-firm. Fortunately, irons are not difficult to come by when traveling and I carried a small piece of Parchment paper with me. The last step was to hand stitch around the edge. For the most part, I used a blanket stitch as it seemed to cover up the raw edges the best.
By the end I was almost attached to these cards and had a hard time putting them in the mail.