I don’t usually send Christmas cards but this year was a little different.This year I wouldn’t be getting my favorite Christmas card, the reliable one from Gram. That really got me thinking about sending out cards so when I suddenly had the idea to sew fabric to the front of a card I knew I had to try. A short trip to Jo-Ann’s, a couple hours I had the absolute neatest DIY Christmas cards I’ve ever seen.
- 2 packs of A6 off-white cards (24 cards)
- 4 @ 1/8 yard cuts of fabric for gift boxes
- 1 @ 1/4 yard cut for pine trees
- Sparkle gold washi tape for the trunk
- 24 snowflake buttons or other embellishment for the star
- 1yd thin rick-rack (optional)
- Pinking shears
- Sewing machine
I printed both a message inside my card as well as a little info on the back. Tutorial on that another day.
Because you might have different cards than I do (and so you can customize your design) trace the card onto a piece of paper
Sketch out your design. I used this so I had a way to measure approximate sizes to cut of my fabric.
Time to cut out your gifts! Use the pinking shears to trim off the cut edge then cut again the width of the fabric to a long strip.
Sub cut strips into gift boxes, be sure to cut enough for each card you’re making!
I ball-parked the sizes for the gift but cut out the sketched triangle to use as a pattern for the tree body
Cut out enough trees for each card, you don’t have to make them exactly the same size, remember they’re each going to a different home!
Layout all the pieces on a card and do a excited dance in your kitchen cause it looks super neat.
Tip: Take a photo of the layout with your camera so you can reference it later!
Open up the card (don’t want to sew it shut) and sew the tree trunk on. Doesn’t have to be placed perfectly – just eye ball it! Be sure to lock your stitches by back stitching at the beginning and end.
Cut ~1″ of the washi tape and tuck it under the seam allowance at the base of the tree.
Now get to stitching on those presents. I decided to do 4 presents, multiple that by 24 and you’ll get 96 little boxes to sew!
I’d recommend sewing all the gift boxes “chain piece” style, all the blue one on the right side, then all the green ones on the left side etc.
You’ll see I switched thread for the first two pieces. I quickly gave up on that. I’d recommend a green for the trees then switch to white and go with that for all the remaining gift boxes.
Then all the red ones…it’s okay I regretted doing this many at this point but you’re too deep now: push through.
Fourth present: I’m now too lazy to neatly pile them behind the machine. Is this over yet? Thank goodness that I don’t have more than 24 cards to send!
I bought the rick-rack to do this. I did it on only 2 gift boxes this way cause someone was behind schedule and needed to get them in the mail! If you make your cards before December 15th you may have more time for embellishments.
Trim up those threads! I this it’s super charming with the stitches in the back.
I started by stitching on the button and then promptly broke a needle and scared the jeepers out of myself. I decided I am not good at machine sewing buttons and glued them on.
Tada! I just think these are the neatest cards. I’m not one for paper crafting but I think this mixed-media Christmas card has a great handmade without looking too “homemade” which is why I had to share it with y’all. The pinking shears give it a rustic polished look and no matter how wonkey the shapes or stitches may look. No one will know where the imperfections are; they’re all going to different homes!
Merry Christmas everyone!
I am guilty of a terrible sin, only ever described accurately by the ladies of the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast as “aspirational vegetables”. You know the ones? The vegetables you pick up and think, “I’m gonna eat so healthy this week” to only end up throwing out half of them at the end of the week cause that healthy meal or that juice just never got made and now the food that was barely half decent when you bought it in the grocery store is gross? Yea, over here, I’m guilty of it.
I’ve tried a bit harder over the past year to be more conscious of food in general. This mostly means feeling more guilty when I buy a bag of shame at McDonald’s but also means I’m often making things from scratch or at least sami-home-made and fresh when I can. One thing I started doing in 2014 was mason jar salads and they have rocked my world. This year brought a new job and compared to my last city job (downtown Boston) I’m out in the sticks and there are not a lot of food options, let alone healthy food options. For that reason I’ve brought lunch to work more often and learning and experimenting with the concepts behind the mason jar salad have been invaluable. What I started doing more recently is tracking how much it takes to construct these salads both time, energy and food.
Above you’ll see my counter from last night. From one bag of spring mix, one container of grape tomatoes, one cucumber I made salad for my boyfriend and I to enjoy with dinner and two salads for lunch this week. No food was left over and now two days this week I can grab a jar salad and go. It only took me an additional 2 minutes, no lie just 2 minutes (it took longer to bust out the camera and take this picture). If I’d made the mason jar salads “later” like I usually do it would have take 10 minutes and may have not even happened before the lettuce wilted or the cucumber got soft. Now they’re not “fancy” mason jar salads like you see on Pinterest but they’re perfectly good salads and do you really need more than that?
Do you make mason jar or grab and go salads when you make dinner salads for yourself or your family?
So far everyone I’ve emailed/talked to about my project QuiltAlong.net has been really supportive and excited about it and I wanted to post an in-progress update on it!
Last weekend I released an update so that now the weekly link parties are availiable on the site:
I’ve been excitedly working on the quilt along and block of the month listings. So far I have 8 current and 14 past quilt alongs/block of the month clubs. There’s more queued up to add but I really just want to get the ones I already have released before teh end of the year! I know in the past sometimes I’ve gotten bogged down on web projects cause I don’t comprimise on the details. Kind of like with quilting I need to let some of the imperfect stitches go and really focus on the overall.
I’m also trying to make sure there’s no “feature creep” going on. For those who don’t know what that is, feature creap is when you’re working on a project and as you’re working on it more ideas pop up and try and sneak there way into the project. When these features are worthy enough I am adding them in but I’m trying to keep a list of them to come back to after I’ve released all the essentials. A couple of things I’m planning on adding are calendars of major online and in real life quilting events/shows as well as links to different and neat quilting memes like Amy’s amazing #omitted topics over at 13 Spools and the process pledge over at Fresh Modern Quilts. I just haven’t figured out the right way to integrate those ideas. There’s another idea about doing something Dear Jane or Farmers Wife too but I’m still figuring out details on those ideas too.
I’m going to try and get feedback from all the hosts of the quilt alongs and blocks of the month I have listed so far before I launch it to the public to get their feedback/change requests to how I’m using and sending people to their content.
The most unfortunate part of working on the site has been that it’s sucked a lot of time away from my actual quilting. I haven’t sewn a stitch at all this week. I did go to Jo-Anns the other day to pick up some things to make Christmas cards this weekend. One thing I’m very excited about with my boyfriend is that he hunts; that means that Saturdays he is out in the woods while I am free to craft as I please. Saturdays have become great days for major apartment cleaning and crafting :)
I’m still looking good to launch the rest of QuiltAlong.net by the end of this month, just in time for all the Janurary Block of the Month clubs to start! Wish me luck and go to QuiltAlong.net to get an email update when the next phase is released!
I’d love to pretend that any of this is a good excuse but since my last post I left my old job (well my entire office was outsted but that aside…) took a 7 week stay-cation between jobs, spent lots of time with friends and the boyfriend and just plain lived. When I got the 60 day notice about the layoff I thoguth to myself “Think of all the time I’ll have for quilting between jobs”. When the time came to not have to go to work on a Monday my attitude changed to “Think of all the living and relaxing I can do.” I was blessed to have an opportunity to take time off of work without being strapped for cash and having to rush back to work. No kid’s mouths to feed, just my own and a comfortable savings that would’ve allowed me to go unemployed for 5-6 months if necessary while being in a career field where I can find a job in less than 2 weeks. I am so thankful to be so fortunate as so many people are not. Because of that I do not regret disappearing from the blog but I do have some good news: It’s winter and I’m back!!!!
I’d designed a quilt quite some time back and named it Goose Lane – it’s a flying geese, modern inspired quilt. The rows of colored flying geese (that look like chevrons when stacked) went together nicely, but I hit a funk and couldn’t get myself to cut the rest of the yardage for the sashing and geese on the side. I also thought the name no longer suited the pattern and started second guessing everything aout it from the colors to the pattern and my taste. Goose Lane is the highway exit we take to get to my family’s cottage. A month ago I would’ve called that my gram’s cottage but not any longer. I think that’s what kicked me back into gear to finish the quilt top. It was a sigh of relief finishing both the top and back the other day. While I am determined to work on my domestic machine quilting skills I think this one might going out for quilting cause I can’t wait to throw it on the back of my couch. I’ve sketched out a twin and queen size version of this quilt and plan to produce a pattern for it.
A photo posted by Terri Swallow (@terriann) on
I also finally got the stunning lone star medallion that’s been sitting on my design wall going again. Thank to the ladies in the Facebook Late Night Quilters group I mustered the gumption to fix my bad Y-seams and got the borders for my medallion started (and mostly planned) to bring this medalltion from 30″ to 60″ square. This quilt has no destination so I don’t know what size to make it to. My gut says “go queen size you big sissy” so I’ll probably aim for ~100×100. That’ll leave me with 20″ of border to design around what’s left, that’ll probably take 6 months to figure out at the rate this puyppy’s going but whatever…at least it’s in progress.
Other updates on the home front: I finally got around to making my logo. It’s not on the blog layout yet but as I started thinking about pattern writing more seriously I knew I needed something more than just “Childlike Fascination” in a random typeface to start branding my work. What do you think? I adore it!
Well that’s all for my update for now. I’m going to try and get back into a once a week schedule posting. I feel like my quilting made leaps and bounds progress when I did that and winter is my favorite time to quilt.
Life’s an Adventure is a split double irish chain quilt that’ a fun modern twist on a traditional quilt pattern dating back to the 1800’s.
I made this quilt and designed the pattern with a Fat Quarter Shop Blogger’s Bundle in mind. I’ve been recieving the monthly deliveries for a year now and had brainstormed this design so I could use up a whole pack of coordinating fabrics that come from a bunch of different lines of fabric! It’s a 70×70″ couch size quilt
The 12 page pattern, which is available at Craftsy now is a perfect pattern for someone who is looking for a quilt pattern that can produce a bold or subtle statements easily.
Visit Terri Ann S’s Craftsy Pattern Store »
The Craftsy download instruction includes a 12 page download to walk you through the quilt top step by step making it a great challenge to a newer quilter!
I even used my Craftsy Camper Appliqué on the back surrounding the quilt label.
I used the scraps from the fat quarters to make a scrappy binding. It came out really neat with so many different prints on the binding!
This quilt name comes from the fact that I designed it and sewed the top just after I got laid off from my job - the named seemed pretty appropriate when combining that plus those stinkin' cute campers :)
Quilt Name: Life’s an Adventure
Fabric: Stephanie Alvarez Blogger’s Choice Bundle (Fat Quarter Shop)
Quilt Design: Scrappy Irish Chain Pattern – download on Craftsy (me)
Pieced by: Terri Ann Swallow (me)
Quilting by: Kathy @ Kiss Quilting (MA/CT)
Finished: April 2014
It’s week 2 in the New Quilt Blogger’s blog hop and I’m a little behind on visiting but here’s some fresh faces to go an meet!
Hi, I’m Terri and I’m a total slacker. Life got in the way and caused me to completely forget that I didn’t pick a winner for the giveaway last week. Whoops! Well when I remembered I rushed to my computer and picked our winner. It’s Helen with this lovely comment:
Just waiting on a response with her mailing address and the 4 mini charms and 1/2″ yard of Vintage Happy will be on their way. I had picked up 4 charms for myself and plan to do a fun granny square wall hanging with em!
In other news I’ve been working on a few things this week. I finally bound my Penny Patch quilt that I started forever ago, expect some fun photos of that in the next week or so when I can get outside with a professional quilt holder assistant and my camera. To machine stitch the binding I used a decorative stitch, this is a technique I will certainly be using again as it’s the nicest machine stitched binding I’ve ever done!
I’ve also started a new quilt top, it’s a lone star medallion done using the Grunge jelly roll I posted about last month with the typographic black and white print. I have a few buggers to unpick and fix, one y-seam got unacceptably yucky and I’m going to loose a point when I add a border. Gotta fix that before I continue on.
I’m thinking a thin solid black border (1/2″ maybe) then a larger border using the black Essex linen in the shot above. Possibly adding a row of feathers to the sides cause the star only used 9 of the strips in the jelly roll so there’s so many other colors to work with! Isn’t the texture in the Grunge line just delicious!
I’m also really excited to get away this weekend with the boy, when I heard 4hr ride there and that there’s no TV I thought “Jackpot! think of all the time for hand stitching binding.” So my quilt Queen Terrain (the 3nd quilt I ever started) may actually make forward progress again!
Hope y’all have a splendid weekend, I gotta run off an pack
It’s an oldie but goodie, today I wanted to show off the 3nd quilt I ever finished. In Sept 2012 I got back to quilting after a hiatus with a quilt for my girl Lindsey’s baby shower. I came across The Bungle Jungle fabric line by Tim & Beck for Moda which was a perfect line to try Baby Lattice a Moda Bake Shop quilt pattern.
My friend Katie held it up for me when we went on a picnic last week, it was too cute watching the Geese walking the little gosslings in a row behind her!
I used the grey fun Bungle Jungle print for the backing cause for a boy this was just perfectly full of fun animals and bold colors. I have a very hard time finding masculine fabric combination, I feel like everything I do tends to lean quite feminine in both colors or patterns.
I’m so glad I’ve updated my style of quilt labels from just my simple handwriting! The runner up name for this quilt was Thor’s Trellis but my baby name suggestion wasn’t a front runner! Haha.
Quilt Name: Jungle Baby (Thor’s Trellis)
Fabric: Bungle Jungle by Tim & Beck for Moda
Quilt Design: Baby Lattice a Moda Bake Shop quilt pattern
Pieced by: Terri Ann Swallow (me)
Quilting by: Brenda @ The Fabric Stash in Charlton MA
Finished: September 2012
Ready to go on a perfect picnic adventure? Let’s Go!
I called up my friend Katie for a little picnic adventure so out we went to the park at the pond near her house where we laid out the blanket and our other picnic companion, Brooke, to verify comfort
She seemed to approve so we plopped our bums down and kicked off the flip flops
We sat and watching the mom & dad Canadian Geese with their little goslings
We had packed a picnic but made a couple mistakes…first we forgot the sandwich, also forgot the spoon for the yogurt and fork for pickles. Oh and we forgot the corkscrew for the wine…but whatever it was a beautiful day. We had apple chips, pickles with our fingers & drank iced tea in mason jars
This picnic blanket is an oversized Colorado Beauty Star block, I made 16 half square triangle blocks, each HST is 15″ finished
Adding to the list of things I forgot: a kindle or quilting magazine to show off the magazine pocket. It’ll also be perfect to tuck phones into on the beach later this simmer to keep them out the direct sunlight this summer.
I tried to do a flat felled seam for the backing but messed it up but it’s still a great seam back there!
Nature came to visit too and seemed to approve of our picnic which I had to snap a photo of
Quilt Name: Picnic Quilt
Fabric: Misc from Jo-Ann’s with Better Homes & Garden outdoor fabric
Quilt Design: Terri Ann Swallow (me) based on traditional Colorado Beauty Star
Pieced by: Terri Ann Swallow (me)
Quilting by: Terri Ann Swallow (me)
Finished: May 2014
Thanks for coming on this adventure with us on our picnic, now for a tasty giveaway. What’s the best desert for a picnic…..
4 Candy Sized 3.5″ Charm Packs & a 1/2″ yrd of Vintage Happy by Riley Blake
How to Enter
- To enter just leave a comment in the section below of your favorite picnic or cook out snack that requires no utensils (since we clearly don’t know how to pack them)
- For an extra entry like Childlike Fascination on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know you liked us!
- Follow the blog using Feedly, Blog Loving or your favorite RSS reader for another extra entry (then comment and let us know)
That’s right you can enter up to 3 times for this giveaway!
Rules & Details
- Contest open to US & International entries
- Giveaway will be open until Sunday June 8 at 8 p.m. EST.
- Winner will be chosen on June 9th using the Random.org random number generator
- Winner will have 24hrs to respond by email otherwise a new random winner will be chosen
Be sure to visit the other stops on the Perfict Picnic blog hop today too: picnics galore!