Monday, February 18, 2008

Sweet Renditions

Ahhh. . . Valentines Day. A holiday made and marketed by Hallmark themselves. Everyone buys into it. A good excuse to eat chocolate, I guess, teeheehee! Tuesday evening I made DH and I chocolate chip cookies to eat on Valentines Day. Simple and sweet. I halved the Toll House recipe so we wouldn't get ourselves into too much trouble. We don't really do much in the way of celebrating for Valentines Day. It's a day just like any other. But why not use the day for an excuse to show off my recent love of fabric postcards.

Monday I devoted an entire day to creating Valentines for some of the loved ones in my life. Those little fabric postcards I've seen were something that always intriqued me. I just had to have a go at it. Late in the week earlier, I took out a ready-made postcard for the size and broke out some scraps. I had this great SUPER thick interfacing that I used for the backing of the diaper organizer wall-hanging I made for my neice. It was perfect to keep the postcard firm and sturdy for shipping. I researched some that were on Etsy, both for pricing and other helpful information. I realized that shipping these in a clear envelope would add a nice touch, protect them during shipment and provide a surface to stick the adhesive stamp to. I went ahead and ordered some that just came to me two days before posting this. On that note, I need to either order a smaller size, or make the next postcards to fit the envelopes I still have left.

I used my glue stick--a recent addition to my sewing room. I had run out of the fusible web I usually use on my applique work some time ago and had not the chance to get to a store to get more. The glue stick provided the same results as the fusible web, but with a less thick, less, stiff surface to stitch upon. I think this works both positively and negatively. On the positive note, the end result is a much softer overall feel, and certainly makes sewing through it a lot easier, especially with layered applique work. On the other hand, it is a much sharper surface to sew around, which can make turning corners and going around curves a bit different to deal with. I also think it's a matter of getting used to.

So I did a simple applique of a tree and different skyline colors. I decided to keep the satin stitching light yet intentional.

These postcards will lend a more handmade look, with less attention to perfection. As an artist, sometimes it is difficult to step away from what is safe. We often do things because we know someone liked what we did before and certainly someone else will like it too. It is hard to step outside of the box to make things that may not be perceived as perfection. I guess not all of use are looking for symetrical, planned-out appearances.

The next postcards were a fun collection of bits of fabrics from all throughout my stashes. I'll hold off on showing you the pics until I decide what will become of them. One of my favorite quilt shops in Hagerstown MD has these wonderful little grab bags. They are only three bucks and you just never know what you'll find in there. I was so happy with the first two I bought. One had quite large pieces that were actually big enough to do good size drawstring re-usable gift bags las fall and during the holiday months. The other had some of the cute little bits that I used in a the cat postcards. The last two grab bags I bought weren't quite the same. One I gifted to my friend Danielle had a decent amount of small to medium size pieces. But mine kind of sucked. I got nothing but strips. Strips no larger than 2.5" wide. Some are selvage to selvage which would be nice if it was already washed and dried and pressed up nicely.

But it's not.

I know many of you reading this will agree with me how much of a pain in the bum frayed fabric is after washing and drying it just on normal yardage. So try to imagine 1- 1 1/2 yards of nothing but strips. . . . that will become nothing but shredded rubbish when it's all said and done. I decided it's not worth even doing anything with. Another friend of mine is making rugs with strips of fabric and this will be perfect for her.

Okay, back to the Valentines. I'm getting a little side-tracked here!!! The Valentines were fun because I was able to use reds, pinks, and some of my fabrics with hearts or other love-ey themes to them. It was so much fun! I ran out of that thick interfacing so I used the one I bought for wallets. I just triped up the layers and it was just as good. I found a great place online for a back to the postcards, so I began printing out and using paper ones instead of the original white muslin for the backs of the postcards.

I had a lot of fun quilting them. I dropped the feed dogs on my machine and just went to town. I let the fabrics speak for themselves, and, in other cases, I let myself get a little bit carried away with the themes. I hope you enjoy them too. I'm going to perfect the edging a bit more (some of the knots I tied off the zig-zag stitching have come undone--I shall add a drop of fray-chek next time honies!!!). After I'm a bit more happy with the results, I'll add them to etsy. I might put some of the first ones on etsy as a low introductory price or something catchy. I just need to get some sales in there!!!

On Friday, I finally got to see my wonderful friend Amy, and I finally got to make and enjoy some long-awaited homemade pizza I have been craving. It's been a while since I made any, and I had all the ingredients I'd need. I made a delicious sauce and some just okay dough. I wasn't really pleased with the texture of the dough--kind of boring. But the sauce and toppings were delish! Sliced shiitake mushrooms and black olives on one, just cheese on the other. Yum!!!

I also made some freaking YUMMY mini egg rolls for the appetizer. I had all the ingredients for it, and also had some handy-dandy wonton wrappers so I just threw some stuff together and made my own recipe. Some shredded cabbage and carrots, diced onion, garlic and shiitake mushrooms, and some rough chopped shrimp, too. I seasoned it up with pepper, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and some sesame oil. I let it cool down for a bit, then added an egg white before rolling them into little eggrolls. I used a little bit of cornstarch and water as a sealant. Haha--sealant for a food item!!! Silly!!!!

Thanks to Amy for the WONDERFUL photography, folks. Just ask me for her information if you'd like. She's a pretty busy woman, but I bet if you ask her REAL nice, she'll take pictures for you, too. For a small fee. =) Pin It

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your cards are awesome! You had the same idea I did about making fabric postcards (I saw it on swap-bot and was intrigued), but you actually did it *smiles* I am thinking I don't love my peeps enough to waste sturdy interfacing. Haha, just kidding...well, sort of!! Your egg rolls look delish!!!

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