At the December meeting of the Contemporary Quilt Group, I briefly demonstrated how I make all-purpose and Christmas Cards.

For my all-purpose cards, I make a design in a leaf shape.  I use this as my motif and you can see a much smaller version in the ATC’s I made last week.

Here are the steps.

  1.  I use the selvedges saved from my Liberty of London Tana lawn.  Any strips will do, about 3/4″ or 5/8″ wide, but the width is not critical. Because the strips are basically foundation pieced, your seams can be narrower than the standard 1/4″.  Mine are about 1/8″ or even 1/16”. If you want to use a 1/4″ seam, you should cut your strips about 1″ wide.

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2.  Using a piece of scrap wadding (batting) about 12″ x 6″, sew the strips of fabric onto the wadding sew-and-flip. I don’t use a backing fabric, you can if you like.

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You should have a finished ‘strip quilt’ that looks like this.  Because I tend to buy Liberty in 12″ pieces, this size suits me.  Cut your wadding to suit your fabric strips.  You do need a minimum quilt of about 8″ x  6″.card3

3.  Cut your quilt into triangles as in the picture.  the extra piece on the left I will use next time.  The cut triangles are roughly 3.5″ x 6″.

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4.  Combine your pieces together, piece 1 goes with piece 3, and piece 2 with piece 4.  Line them up together to make a wedge shape and roughly zig-zag the seam to attach. This shows pieces 1 and 3 being used.

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A close-up of the zig-zagged seam.

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5.  Cut the wedge quilt into a leaf shape.  I use my rotary blade for the outline, and then trim with scissors if necessary to make a more pleasing shape.

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Because I am in Australia, I cut one or two bites out of the leaves just like the caterpillars do to our Eucalyptus leaves.

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6.  Use another straight strip to form the centre stem of the leaf.  the stem will cover the zig-zag stitching.

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7.  A standard A4 sheet of light card is scored and folded into thirds.  The leaf will be sewn onto the centre panel.

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8.  Sew the leaf directly onto the card.  I usually sew down the centre stem to hold the leaf in a suitable position.  I don’t pin it, but you could.

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Blanket or buttonhole stitch on my machine is just right for appliquéing the leaf to the card.

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The completed leaf.  Trim any unravelled threads or wayward bits of wadding.

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The inside showing the thread ends pulled through.  Glue one of the side panels onto the centre panel to cover up the stitching.  I use a solid glue stick.

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The completed card, ready for an inscription:  Congratulations, Thank you, Happy Birthday, etc.

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The same method works well for a variety of shapes and designs.  Here are some examples that I have made.  Only the candy cane is Liberty, the Christmas tree is silk, the leaf is hand-dyed fabric, and the other is clearly cotton selvedges.

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