Sunshine – what we all crave in the deepest part of winter. When February skies are dark, and the air outside is chilly and damp, the sun is what I need the most.
That was my inspiration for this new set of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). These little quilts are just the thing to turn to between projects, or between stages of a big project. When my Crooked Rail Fence quilts were stalled until I got out and bought some fabric for borders and backings, I decided to stitch up a few of these fun little things. They are great for trying new techniques, and even for keeping skills like free-motion stitching in tune.
I find it easier to make several of them on a single piece of background fabric than to make them each individually. The larger size is easier to manipulate under the machine’s needle than a little 2.5” by 3.5” thing is.
I cut a bunch of sun shapes from various fabrics that were first fused to some Steam-a-Seam 2 fusible web, and I fused them onto some nice sky background fabric that I had marked out in a grid of 2.5” by 3.5” rectangles. Some of the sun fabrics are commercial cottons, and some are fabric that I painted using Colour Vie fabric paints (those are the dark orange swirly ones). I then fused the background fabric onto a piece of Hobbs Heirloom fusible batting.
Next I stitched all over and around the suns using various colours of rayon thread.
Then I stitched the backgrounds, again using different colours of rayon thread. I played around with different stitch designs, including swirls, clouds, and wavy lines.
I decided at that point that some of the suns didn’t have enough stitching on them, so I added a lot more. I didn’t really like the look of the suns in the floral print fabric, but by adding a lot more stitching over them the print toned down quite nicely. When I decided that I’d done enough stitching, I cut the rectangles apart.
The backs of the individual rectangles were then fused onto 2.5” by 3.5” pieces of heavy Vilene interfacing fabric. This backs the tiny quilts, and makes them stiff like cards. The Vilene is also suitable for writing on using a fabric pen, so they can be signed and dated if desired. I used a variegated yellow rayon thread to edge each card using a tight satin stitch.
And they are all finished. Here are some close-up pictures of them. You can see that they are all quite different. (All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them).