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.
- 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″. If you want to use a 1/4″ seam, you should cut your strips about 1″ wide.
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.
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″.
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″.
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.
A close-up of the zig-zagged seam.
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.
Because I am in Australia, I cut one or two bites out of the leaves just like the caterpillars do to our Eucalyptus leaves.
6. Use another straight strip to form the centre stem of the leaf. the stem will cover the zig-zag stitching.
7. A standard A4 sheet of light card is scored and folded into thirds. The leaf will be sewn onto the centre panel.
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.
Blanket or buttonhole stitch on my machine is just right for appliquéing the leaf to the card.
The completed leaf. Trim any unravelled threads or wayward bits of wadding.
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.
The completed card, ready for an inscription: Congratulations, Thank you, Happy Birthday, etc.
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.