Sunday, 6 December 2009

Sewing, Flowers and Skeletons

Earlier this month I showed you hints of what I had been sewing
and said that I would show you properly once they had been received by the recipients.
Well they should all have reached their destinations by now.
Throughout the year I have been taking part in an ATC swap.

ATC's are Artists Trading Cards measuring only three and a half by two and a half inches.
So they are quite small.
That in itself makes them challenging.
They can be in any media that you choose.
Initially I struggled for ages trying to make something with paper and card
but all my efforts looked pathetic.
So I resorted to my first love, fabric.
Something that I was comfortable with.
The idea was to send out an ATC to people in the swop when it was their birthday month.
I think the original idea behind ATC's is that the artist would have left over materials that they would make up into one of these cards.
I found that I didn't really have anything suitable so had to make everything from scratch. I found it really tough to get going with them.
I might have an idea but wouldn't have all the materials I needed.
I tend to have plenty of fabrics but not so many of them are plain.
And I think I needed some plain fabrics for most of my ideas.
I really enjoyed making some ATC's out of some felt I had made.
I embroidered some pine trees and flowers onto the felt.
I showed some of them back in March.
I really enjoyed making them but they were time consuming
and I needed a change.
So then I turned to machine applique.
This is where I really struggled to find the right fabrics.
Some plain fabric here would have been useful.
Again I used a flower as inspiration
cutting a bold flower shape and stitching it onto a pieced background
adding a ribbon for some of them.
Again I loved these,
but it was time for a change.
It also coincided with the move to Germany and I got seriously behind with making them.
I struggled and struggled with ideas
with even fewer resources, as I couldn't bring everything with me.
Before leaving Sweden, I called at the sewing machine shop where I bought my Huskvarna sewing machine.
I had been trying out free motion machine sewing
but wasn't sure I was doing it correctly.
I wanted to start using this technique on some quilts I want to finish.
I tried the technique but wasn't happy with it so called at the shop for some advice.
They were very helpful and gave me some tips mostly about tension.
So off I went with a new skill
which once we got to Germany and finally more or less unpacked,
I tried some free machine quilting.
I really liked the effect and so decided to use it for my next batch of ATC's.

Mike thought it made a lovely fabric and thought I should send the cards just quilted.
It was a lovely effect.
But I added some flowers,
notice a theme here?
And so all my ATC's finally got away to their new homes.
I have found it an interesting experience.

Now it is my birthday month,
and ATC's are starting to arrive in the post.
But I will save those for another day.

On a different theme.

I made this skeleton for my grandson. It was for Halloween. I saw a photo on Womans Day Magazine, which you can Google. I couldn't find the photo again. I made my skeleton out of felt, I think they had made their's out of wool.
They had included a heart on their's but I made mine detachable and suggested he gave it to his Mum if he didn't want it. I must find out what he did with it. I know he carried the skeleton around with him all the time, even though it arrived late.

I thought it was so sweet I think I'll have to make another,

just for me!


Kath said...

Lovely ATC's, really beautiful. I'm like you, I start off wondering how to use paper and card and end up back in my cloth comfort zone :D

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing the pretty ATC's Lynne. You are so creative. That skeleton for your grandson is the cutest (I love the detachable heart!) Thanks for all the great photos!

bad penny said...

lovely ATC's - I'm trying to use fabric too but I can't sew !

How lovely that you will be receiving some for your birthday.

Great skeleton !

Protege said...

I love that felt skeleton, so cute. And I like the heart on it, it makes it look alive.;)

Sandi McBride said...

You are so talented that I feel humble in your presence! Great work here, can't be anything out there better!

Margaret said...

Your skeletons and your ATC's are wonderful! There's a group of people at an old mill by me who meet and create ATC's. They are so imaginative. I've never seen any quite like your cards, though. Very nice!

Sarah said...

Lovely Atcs and I liked reading about your process in making them. SOunds quite hard work but worth it! When is your birthday?
I like the skeleton too-very cute!

Daisy said...

I love the flowers on your ATC's, Lynne and your little skeleton with the heart is very cute. Thank you for sharing your creative talents with us. :)

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Beautiful little flowers on the ATC's. I just love that little skeleton, I would have carried it everywhere with me, too!