Die-Cut Fabric Holiday Cards Tutorial

Cheryl's 2013 Holiday Card Every year I make my own Christmas cards to mail to my friends and family. I was super excited to make this year’s card with my new Slice Die Cutting machine. Here’s what I did to make the cards!

What you will need:
-cards and envelopes (I get my blanks in bulk from Michaels)
-fabric that you have painted, or any nice fabric you want to cut (like a batik!)
-paper-backed fusible web
-Die cutting machine and your die of choice (I’m using the Slice, and the snowflake on the card that comes with the machine)
-rubber stamp for the inside saying for your card and a stamp pad in the color of your choice
-an iron
– a sewing machine set to free motion quilt (feed dogs dropped) for the embellishment
xmasfabric 1. Start with fabric of your choice. I painted my own fabric using these awesome Tulip spray paints and various stencils. You can use any fabric you like, a fancy batik would look awesome!
2. I ironed the fusible web to the entire backside of the fabric, so that I could cut anywhere and minimize waste, but use what you need to for the fusible that you have. It’s important to fuse the paper backed fusible on the fabric before you cut!
slicexmas 3. Time to cut! Get your machine out, and use your favorite die. Ornaments can be made out of circles, trees from triangles, presents from squares, so use your imagination! I loved this snowflake, so I chose that, and on my Slice, I picked the largest setting. Cut away!
xmascutout Something to keep in mind is the placement of the machine while you cut. I place the machine at angles to keep my fabric waste to a minimum. Who knows what you can make from the scraps!
xmasflakes 4. Now is the time to further embellish your die cut out with paint, markers, or pens. I used black paint to paint little faces on all these snowflakes.
xmascardassemble 5. Time to iron to your card! Peel off the paper backing and place your cut-out on your card. MAKE SURE YOUR IRON IS CLEAN. Ask me how I know? Use a medium heat and iron the cut-out to the card. Keep your iron moving. Now is also the time to stamp the inside saying on your cards, and give them a chance to dry. (I also stamp my website info on the backs.)
xmascards 6. Lastly it’s time to sew on the cards to add that last bit of pizzazz! For my snowflake, I made it look like it’s just been spinning in the sky. You could make bows on packages, or the hanging string from ornaments, whatever you like! Be sure to sew carefully so you don’t create any thread nests on the backs of the cards, and also clip all of your thread tails. Voila! You have beautiful cards that everyone will clamor for! My friends save them and put them up every year as little works of art, which makes me feel so special. I would love to see what you make!!  Don’t forget to sign the front of your artwork!

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Ephemera- Another Recycling Theme!

I love the concept of recycling in art projects, things that would be trash becoming something beautiful. Even moreso, I love “ephemera”. Ephemera is material not intended to be retained or preserved. Vintage ephemera could be advertisments, candy wrappers, empty soda or beer cans, and so forth. More recently it’s greeting cards, comic books, trading cards, and the like. Some ephemera is valuable, like comic books or other collectibles.
I’m of the “keep everything to remind me of things later” types. I keep cards and letters well past any meaning they may have held. If I have a memorable moment, I keep something from it; a ticket stub, a flier, a receipt, or shopping bag.
This month’s theme is a recycling effort to use up some of the goofy ephemera I have been keeping for a project like this. I hope you like them.
This week’s is scraps of Japanese newspaper that I got as packing material from one of my Japan purchases. Newspaper is not meant to be saved, per se. Especially newspaper that is used as packing material. But I love this stuff, and carefully fold the sheets I get from their crumpled up state in my boxes from Japan.
My painting, well, I’m happy and not happy with it. First of all, this is about as close to my true art style as you will see without me posting sketches. I’m not that great an artist, figure drawing or painting-wise. But these little eco-characters were in my sketchbook, and I thought I could use them effectively for this theme. My husband likes the “happy little dirt” in the lower left.

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Monthly Quilt – Little Twin Stars

Oh my gosh, how can I describe loving Little Twin Stars as a child? Who am I kidding? I love them even now! Kiki and Lala (respectively) are part of who I am when it comes to artwork. I copied Lala’s pink hairstyle onto countless characters of my own as a kid, winning me some coveted ribbons in the 4th grade Art Fair. I still collect what I can from Sanrio that bear Little Twin Stars. In the theme of “shrines”, as a child I lined up all of my LTS merchandise on a special shelf in my room, and still have all of that stuff to this day.

I have these “diaper pins” from ages ago, and they say copyright 1978 on the back, but I know they are not that old. Since April was the “recycling” theme, and because I didn’t have much time to put this one together, I used a piece of stationery I have and adhered it to the fabric using gel medium that I added some iridescent medium to. The result was quite flexible and still sewable.
These monthly “shrine” quilts are so much fun to think of. “Gee, what do I really really love? What have I loved for as long as I can remember?” This has been a neat project to do.
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Recycling from IQA Chicago

My weekly quilt this week is firmly on the theme of “recycled” for April. As I described on my earlier post about the show, and the “Surviving the Runway” luncheon, I took some of the scraps on the table to use in this week’s quilt. I think this makes a perfect memento of the event, and our win for our table team.

Used here are tissue paper, a bingo card, a paper doily, gesso, pink paint to take down the bingo card color, ink from a stamp pad in the prize pack I won, and Wright’s hem tape used on our model, that was origianlly grey but I dyed with pomegranate juice. Too bad this is not 5×5 inches (my weekly quilts are 6×6) or I would enter it into Quilting Art’s current reader challenge!
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For real this time…

I have been travelling for work, so I apologize for being away from my blog. I was in Orlando at MegaCon, a really neat comic book convention, in which I met a bunch of cool creators and artists, and tried to sell the heck out of the program my company wrote.

This is the paper quilt entry I submitted to Quilting Arts/Cloth Paper Scissors for their “true colors” challenge. It was not accepted for either the magazine or the show in Chicago. I was a bit disappointed, because I used a paper technique I learned from Patricia “Pokey” Bolton herself at last year’s show, but in the end, I know what is wrong with the piece. It will go proudly on my wall and be entered into other shows. More pomegranates.

Next up, this month’s theme. After checking my schedule for this show in Orlando, I knew I would not have much time at all for myself. So I picked the easiest of themes, with the help of those who voted on my poll. I chose “words”, but not just any words… hip hop words.
If you need help defining these lovely words, I would suggest http://www.urbandictionary.com/. However, this site is not child or work friendly, so be warned! (NSFW) My sister works with 6th graders, who have added to her vocabulary, and now mine. I am surprised that 6th graders know what “crunk” is, but I’m apparently out of touch with the younger set.
As for how they were done… I used a technique I learned from Ann Lullie called “The Escape Hatch”, where after stitching all around turn right side out using a cut hole in the backing which you then fuse closed. This made great finished edge pieces for me to quilt using hand stitching. The “bling” quilt is done using what I call “rice” embroidery, and “crunk” is done using good old French knots. The words themselves were designed with Microsoft Publisher’s word art tool, and fussy cut and fused.
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