What fun … making Christmas postcards from fabric & thread

Last week I played truant, and stole an hour away from work commitments, to stitch out some Christmas postcards. I had been wanting to try out a technique for stitching fabric postcards on the Longarm for quite some, so the festive season was the perfect opportunity.

I loaded some plain fabric on the quilting frame & marked it into a 7″ grid to give me a rough spacing for placing the design. A sewline marker was perfect for this step.

Mark out a grid pattern to help with the placement of the design.

I then selected a Christmas design from my IntelliQuilter digital quilting patterns. In this case I used a pretty holly wreath (unfortunately it didn’t have a name on the file so I cannot acknowledge the designer)

I chose a pretty holly leaf wreath for the Christmas postcards

It took a little bit of playing to find the optimum settings to stitch out so that I got the desired  look. I was using Cotton Mako’ Ne 12 in the needle, and Cotton mako’ Ne 28 in the bobbin and I wanted a 6″ block that looked hand stitched.

Wow! Look at the Cotton Mako' Ne 12 stitching out

Wow! Look at the Cotton Mako' Ne 12 stitching out

I eventually settled on the following settings on the Machine:
IntelliStitch Motor speed: slow  (4 to 5 setting in continuous stitch)
IntelliQuilter: Speed = 0.9 & Detail = 0.9 

I was using Cotton Mako’ Ne 12 so I also changed my standard MR3.5 needle and put in a larger MR4.5 to allow for the thicker thread.

The machine was plodding along very slowly but I  just loved the result and I was able to set up a production line to stitch out 10 designs in quick succession.

The production line. Next time I would not worry about stitching out the grid lines as it is easier to cut the squares apart and finish them individually

Once they were stitched it was just a matter of cutting them apart and finishing the edges and voila …. 10 fabric postcards for the friendship group.

One of ten finished fabric postcards!

Did I say that I just love the effect? I am now dreaming up lots more projects to use Cotton mako’ Ne 12 for the stitch outs.

Use Cotton Mako' Ne 12 for the needle and Cotton Mako' Ne 28 for the bobbin to get a hand embroidered look with the sewing machine.

PS:  You could do the same thing on a domestic machine by just adjusting the top tension, using a bigger needle, increasing the stitch length and stitching at a slower speed.

December First! IS Your Advent Calendar Ready to Go?

I like everything about Christmas. I like the smells, the music, the gatherings and the decorations. I took a class in 1999 and produced one of my favourite decorations. This Advent wall hanging has 24 trees with 3-D trunks!

Favourite Advent Calendar

Over the past few years the little pockets have enjoyed a variety of treats. Finding tempting items that actually fit into these tiny pockets has always been a joyful, if sometimes difficult, endeavor.
I think I have finally found the perfect treat. The small spools of Aurifil in all the different thread weights, including the metallic Brillo, fit so well! Can you think of a more delightful way to enjoy all the days BEFORE Christmas?


Counting down the sleeps 'til Christmas