Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tutorial: Simple Patchwork Christmas Card

Today I'm reposting a fun tutorial I wrote for my friend Rebecca's Christmas in July series last year. I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to try making some patchwork cards as the holidays creep up on us - I'd love to receive a comment or email with a picture! :)
 This project can be streamlined and simplified in a thousand and one different ways: the quilted card. It takes about 15 minutes... maybe less (and you can do several at once!)
Materials:
  • 1 12" x 12" piece of cardstock (scrapbooking paper works great!)
  • 1 6" x 6" piece of cardstock (same color or different, depending on your taste (I chose white to go with green
  • Charm pack of Christmas fabrics (I used Kate Spain's Flurry)
  • Glue stick
  • Thread, pins, scissors, rotary cutter, sewing machine
*Quick note: the 6" x 6" card made from this tutorial will not fit into most envelopes; you may have to adjust your measurements and your cardstock cutting. It made more sense to give these measurements than the crazy ones that would accompany the many different kinds of possible envelopes you have. Of course, you don't have to do patchwork, either; you can make any design to fit your card size!
 
1. Cut your cardstock in half (at the 6 inch mark). Put one half aside, and fold the other in half. You should now have a folded card that is 6"x6" when folded, 6" x 12" unfolded. You can even make two cards with one piece of cardstock!
2. Choose five of the 5" squares from your charm pack to use for the patchwork. You can do 9 different squares if you want. Above are 3 of the 5 squares I chose.
3. Cut a 2 1/4 inch wide strip out of one charm square. Cut THAT strip twice into 2 lengths of 2 1/4. The pictures above shows the little piece of extra you will have after.
4. Repeat for all other charm squares. You will have more than 1/2 of the charm square left each time, so put it aside to make more patchwork cards later. Never let that go to waste! :)
5. Once you have 9 little 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 squares, decide on your layout and pin in three rows, across.
6. After this initial sewing, you'll have three rows. PRESS! This step is so important! Some people press their seams open (like above) but I suggest actually pressing them to the side, alternating for each row. When you do this, the seams nest together.
 
7. Pin the rows together. Repeat (sew, press). Now you have a little patchwork square!
8. Unfold your card and pin the patchwork to the front, centered. Don't worry about the pins making marks in the paper (or the sewing you are about to do); it will be covered up.
9. Quilt your patchwork as desired (right onto the card. Beforehand, you *may* want to use fusible interfacing to make the patchwork more sturdy, but I did not because I didn't know how much weight it would add to the card overall.
I decided to quilt along the seams, 1/4 of an inch away. I would recommend using a dull needle for this part if you have one on hand, and sew slowly!
10. Slowly zig-zag stitch your way around the patchwork to help with those raw edges. This is an important applique step.
11. Take the cut piece of 6" x 6" cardstock (either the color of your card, or another color), and use a glue stick to glue it over your quilting lines on the card's inside. It makes the card look crisp and clean. You could write a message on top of it, or even draw a picture!

12. Finally, write your message. You probably will want to personalize it when December approaches, or maybe you'd like to just get that done now ;) Just think - you could have a stack of Christmas cards waiting to be sent out!!



Overall, a very thoughtful, homey feel, don't you think? Perfect for Christmas.
This project is extremely versatile. They don't have to be Christmas cards; they can be Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmahanukwanzaakah cards. Season's greetings. You could even make cute gift tags this way (and you wouldn't have to worry about covering up the back!) Here's a picture of some notecard thank yous I made previously, using this method:
 

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5 comments:

  1. Cute cute cute!! I really like the gift tag idea!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know...I don't think I own ANY Christmas themed fabric. I did like the polar bears that were around last year? Or over the summer?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fab idea Jess, last year I made patchwork Christmas tree cards but this year I'm just too swamped and have had to buy some instead. I'm remembering this though for next year :D

    ReplyDelete

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