Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's My (Mom's) Party

I hope everyone had a great labor day holiday.  I've been jumping out of my skin with excitement (and cleaning) for the last two weeks waiting eagerly for the impending visit of my parents, sister, and brother-in-law who were all coming from out-of-state for the long weekend.  My mother is a potter by profession (you can check out her fabulous work on her somewhat outdated website here), so was coming out primarily for an arts festival.  It was so good to see them all, and I'm very sorry they've gone again.  

My sister had some fabulous news of the new-family-member variety; we'll be welcoming the first new niece/nephew/grandbaby to this wing of the family sometime in March, so as you can imagine I was pretty (super-fabulous-squealing) excited.

In addition, over the weekend we celebrated my Mom's birthday as well as those of my uncle and grandfather.  I made a few small things for my mom and thought I'd share them in the next couple posts.

First up are some fun-but-simple birthday cards- I'm not much of a scrapbooker, but I really do like making cards.  Recently I started combining paper and fabric with (I think) really cute results.  In each case, I cut the fabric out, glue stick it to the cardstock, then blanket stitch it down.  It's pretty much raw-edge machine applique on a birthday card.  The final step is to take folded fabric or ribbon and sew it around the edge to create a clean finished look.  In order to avoid having to write your greeting over the stitching (on the inside of the card), I usually glue a piece of cardstock in a contrasting color into the inside and then make sure to catch it when I'm sewing the binding on.  I found out that ribbon makes a great binding since the edges are finished, and I thought this red-maroon looked nice.

My Uncle Kenny is a roper, so I put a green horse on his card.  My grandpa likes to fish; so a couple of smiling trout (my interpretation-ha!) for him, and a blue fabric snowflake for my mom.  For the snowflake, I didn't want to sew around all the edges, and I was worried that I might not be able to get glue on the whole thing evenly, so to avoid having some stuck edges and some floppy edges, I put fusible web on the fabric before cutting it out and then just fused it to the cardstock (just like fusing to fabric).  I didn't take pictures of the backs, but the lake (on the fish card) and the snowflake both go around to the back of the card which I think gives a more complete look.

So there you go!  Instant colorful greeting cards limited only by the scraps in your scrap bag!  One thing I'd recommend is using an old sewing machine needle and changing it out after this project before trying to sew "real" fabrics again.  I think sewing through the cardstock really dulls the needles.

Ridiculous side story:  I made all the cards together early last week then set them aside and checked "make birthday cards" off my to-do list.  I didn't pick them up again until Friday night when I handed my mom hers along with her present.  Imagine my embarrassment when she opened it up to find I hadn't written anything on the inside.  Not even my name.  Completely blank.  Apparently I hadn't filled in any of them.  Total fail.

What about you guys- any fun Labor Day action?  Embarrassing project stories?  Great greeting card ideas?  Feel free to share!