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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Paper and thread botanical greeting cards

The holidays are over and I am settling back into routine.  A new blog post is overdue so thought I would do a quick tutorial on how I made the botanical greeting cards recently posted in my Urban Stitcher® Etsy shop.  They are fun to make with endless possibilities.  I will mention the supplies I used, but honestly, there are no rules.  You probably already have everything you need to get started.  

I wanted a simple design to accommodate a variety of media, including free-motion sewing machine stitches.  

As with most all my projects, I started with a sketch pad.  

Now, switching to my 9"x12" watercolor pad, I cut one sheet in four 4-1/2" x 6" pieces.  My blank card stock is 4-5/8 x 6-1/4, so no waste!  I prepared the watercolor paper with a simple wash.  I will not dwell on how to do this.  I am not accomplished with watercolor, but there are great tutorials on YouTube that have helped me learn the little I know.  

I traced the outside line of the picture to a paper-backed adhesive.  I use Pellon's Wonder Under.  The paper will be peeled away, so pencil is fine to do the tracing.

After tracing, I loosely cut around the image.  More care will be taken in cutting out the image after adhering it to the decorative paper. 

After the basic shape was cut out, I used my steam iron on low heat/no steam to press the Wonder Under image to the back of decorative paper.  Any kind of paper or fabric can be used.  I used Thai Mulberry paper in several colors. 

Now it is time to carefully cut around the image. When the image is cut out, peel the Wonder Under paper backing away from the decorative paper, flip it over and use the iron again to press it to the prepared watercolor paper.  

I used a Frixion Clicker Erasable pen to draw the detail I want to stitch.  This is my favorite pen anytime I need to make a temporary mark on fabric or paper.  It disappears with a light press with an iron.   

I used a very dark green Sulky 40 wt rayon embroidery thread to stitch the detail in free-motion.  It is good to plan how you will stitch the lines.  The needle makes holes in the paper.  It's part of the charm unless you go over the same area too many times.    

Sometimes it is necessary to stop stitching in one area and move to another area.  In that case, I leave a long tail on my threads so I can come back later, pull them to the back side, and knot them on back.

In this picture, the flower is completed.  The watercolor paper has been trimmed to a size that will allow me to use a "mat" and still fit on the blank card stock.  I will use a needle to pull these threads to the back side and knot them.   

I use double backed tape to adhere the watercolor paper/mat onto the blank card stock.  I like the layered look, so my picture was trimmed to allow a bit of mat and the blank card to show below.  Again, just personal preference.

I used very little stitching on this card because the embedded mulberry leaves add so much character.

Some of these leaves were too small to detail with decorative paper, so I used a little watercolor to give them color.   

That's it!  Simple greeting cards made with love.  I hope you are inspired to try making some of your own!    

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