Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quilts as Postcards

Have you heard of the craze of making mini quilts and sending them as postcards? People love them because they can finish them in an afternoon and they make a very fun surprise to send to someone in the mail.

I made my first one last year shortly before Christmas and was inspired by some fabric triangles my sister sent me to show me the fabrics she was using in a quilt. Her bright scrappy and white quilt turned out wonderful and the little fabric bits she sent me were irresistible. That inspiration turned into the following postcard:

Lessons learned from that postcard were 1. shortcuts can be fun (I would normally want to piece a pinwheel, but just slapping down some half-square triangles worked and was much easier); 2. you really do need to stick down applique pieces or they will slide around; and 3. more stabilizer is better, especially with the heavy sewing I needed for the lettering.

Then I struggled with what to do with it; I mean, obviously I couldn't make one for everyone on my Christmas card list! So I settled on this plan: I would send the postcard to my sister, for indeed she had inspired me to make it, and then I would take a picture of it to use in the general Christmas card I sent out to the rest of the list.


I "borrowed" a friend's Christmas tree and got this picture of my postcard sitting in it:

and I then used the picture in a Christmas postcard:
I was happy with the solution. I really didn't want to send a postcard with just my mug on it because what does that say about Christmas? Not much. So this way I got a Christmas message, and could also pass along a personal picture which does say something about my life. (Like in this case, "I cut a lot of wood this year!")

So this year, the same question: what to do for a Christmas card? A friend had given me some gold lame scraps and I had some nice leftover fabric from my Hawaiian Star quilt sitting on my desk. This was the leftover pieces from the fabric I'm only using the dark parts of. And it grew on me that I wanted to do a star. There are so many quilt options for stars and I settled on a simple Sawtooth Star:
I had some gold thread already as well, so it was perfect for the quilting. I started in the center and just sewed outward in a gentle arcs. I wanted to imitate the general shape of a galaxy (as seen from very far away, obviously).

The main thing learned from this postcard was that you really do need to have a very stiff layer in the middle (this one isn't stiff enough to mail on its own). And gold lame is very hard to photograph.

And then I took a picture of the postcard sitting in the evergreen bush in my front yard and made that the front of the card.
The inside of the card has a small family pic printed on the upper half and the quote,
"We saw his star in the east
and have come to worship him."
printed in the usual place. I had it all printed up at WalMart.com and they turned out pretty good. I hope to have them all out by tomorrow. (Phew!) I had Troy write up this year's letter which was a load off my mind.

So who's getting the "real" card this year? Sorry...I'm keeping that secret so it won't spoil the surprise when they get it!

Good luck with your Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal cards this year...give them some thought and I'm sure the recipients will appreciate it.

All for now,
christina

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