Friday, June 28, 2013

I Put A Stamp On It!

Reminder: If you're still a Google Reader subscriber, switch to following me via Bloglovin. Just click the button to the right!

I'm happy to be participating in another blog hop. Thanks to Madame Samm and Thearica for cheering us on in this one!

I knew right away that I wanted to do a stamp set instead of a single stamp, and that I wanted to do something old-fashioned looking. And most importantly, for ease of making this project, I wanted to do a faux-stamp edge. But more on that later.

I started looking around for clip art that I could use to create four stamps within a stamp set. And I found an awesome artist on Etsy, and purchased this clip art. Isn't it great? My theme became clear...Gents!

I imported the clip art into Photoshop, and added text. I randomly picked 5 cents as my stamp price, because I've always liked the number and I was trying to be old-fashioned! But later on in the process, I decided to use the price of a stamp in the year I was born (1963). And what do you think that turned out to be? Yup, 5 cents. So either I'm psychic, or I accessed some latent memory, because I assure you I did not consciously recall the price of a stamp from 50 years ago!

Anyway, back to the project...

Next, I selected a linen-look cream fabric for my backgrounds. I wanted to do black on cream, so I used black wool felt for my appliques. I printed my graphics out and traced them all onto freezer paper. I then cut them out from the black wool felt with fusible web applied to the back. For the blocks, I used my 12.5" square ruler, and added fusible fleece to give the fabric body and to use as the batting. I hand appliqued the designs with two strands of black DMC floss, and stitched an interior border with six-strands. Here's one of the blocks:

 After appliqueing all four blocks, I joined them together with 1/4" seams:

Here's where the faux-stamp edge comes in. I looked around for a trim that I could use. I was thinking about jumbo ric-rac, but then I found this ric-rac ribbon. It's thinner than traditional ric-rac and wider, and I thought it would work well. (I actually purchased the ribbon through

Using a zig-zag stitch near the edge, I machine-stitched the ribbon over the seams where the blocks were joined. I realize that stamp books don't usually have black backgrounds, but I wanted to set off the cream-colored stamps and give them the illusion of a wavy edge.
Then, I added it to the outside edges so that half of the ribbon was hanging off. I planned to use this as my binding later. Next, I cut another piece of the beige fabric for my backing, and did some quilting. This is my first real attempt at machine quilting, and to be kind to myself I'll say it turned out "rustic." But it actually worked pretty well with the folk art feel of the piece. I quilted around each stamp border, following the waves of the ribbon. Then, I quilted a box just inside of the inner borders. I left the area around the designs alone so they'd stand out more. Finally, I folded the ribbon over the edges, and hand stitched it on the back, and added a sleeve on the back for a dowel for hanging.

Here's the final piece...from a distance so you can't see my messy quilting too well I hope!

All-in-all I'm happy with how it turned out! It measures 24" square (more or less), and will eventually hang in our home office.

I'd appreciate any comments you'd like to leave, and be sure to visit the other creative people on today's list!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Evelyn from Ontario who won my "Say It With Flowers" blog hop giveaway! It'll be in the mail to you very soon Evelyn.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Free Pattern: Floral Pincushion

I created this pincushion for the "Say It With Flowers" blog hop, and thought I'd put it up on my blog as a freebie for you all.

This pattern is for your personal use only. Enjoy!
(Click on image to access the .pdf file.)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Latest Published Project!

I have a project in the current (July/August) edition of Create & Decorate Magazine. My piece is on pages 80 & 81, so check it out!

I will have project in the next two issues as well; all-in-all three of four table runners that I designed will be published. All four will eventually be available as patterns in my Etsy and Craftsy shops.