The new year of 2010 brought with it many new plans for stitching, quilting, embroidery and creativity. And along with these bursts of inspiration came with it a new batch of postcards. 2010 was a great year for our postcard group with some amazing interpretations of our themes. Enjoy our 2010 collection of postcards!

January-February
March-April
May-June
July-August
September-October
November-December

January-February

The January-February postcards were inspired by the following image:

Enjoy browsing our creative embroidery!

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Joyce’s words:

I decided to stick with a very traditional concept for my interpretation this time. I used white Pearl Cotton for the Hardanger framework and added two Poinsettias in red Silk Ribbon embroidery. Some gold eyelets gave it a
bit of sparkle. The red buttonhole edge frames it up simply but fairly effectively. Hope you enjoy it.

Kim

Here is Kim’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Kim’s words:

I thought quite a bit about this one. I knew I was going to keep it realistic but what to use. I debated crewel and then as I was hunting in my stash came across the right green felt and a wonderful red wool yarn. I decided to needle felt the base petals. The wool has a texture to it with another thin thread in it. The curl in the wool helped to give these petals some texture. To do the next layer of petals, I used silk fusion I had created and had on file. The petals vary in the degree of thickness. These were attached with some simple embroidery. I then added French knots to create the centre of the flower. It was amazing how quickly it came together once I had the background and the base wool.

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Sue’s words:

I decided to use some of my stash of chocolate wrappers. I took a piece of green cotton fabric and tore up the different green wrappers and laid them on the cotton. I then added some green and gold angelina fibres , some pieces of green chiffon and layered a piece of green organza over the whole thing and then free motion stitched all over the background. I used some green thread and some shiny green sliver thread.

The flower was made using red organza layered over red Sari silk and stitched between solvy stabilizer. I stitched around the petal shape and added some veins and then cut the petals out and dissolved the solvy. The petals were then stitched to the background and the stamens made by covering pony beads with floss. I stitched those down and added a few french knots to finish it off.

Mary-Anne

Here is Mary-Anne’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Mary-Anne’s words:

The background is pieced silk in shades of green. On top is a layered flower using shades of red silk fabric bonded with an overlay of dark green tulle to “dampen” it down, with some surface stitchery in metallic threads to liven it back up! Of course I had to have the ubiquitous French knots so they are used in the centre to hold down a small piece of metal foil.

Pat

Here is Pat’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Pat’s words:

I made the background of 24 different green prints from my quilting stash and then machine quilted them with a layer of batting and backing in green in a random swirling pattern. The petals are made up of a red tone on tone print backed with a red stabilizer and a plastic mesh found on a bag of oranges. This mesh was actually the inspiration. I was going to use it on the front for veins and textures but it covered too much of the fabric. The layers were machine stitched together along with a central vein and cut out. These were then arranged with the largest on the outside getting smaller towards the centre and tacked down so they remained 3-D. I felt there weren’t enough petals so I added some in the plastic netting. The yellow beads just had to go in the centre.

It was the perfect photo to recreate as an embroidery and yet I struggled for a long time with an idea. Funny how that works. It could also be that I was putting together a program for our day group and that consumed most of my creative energy.

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Linda’s words:

For a month and a half, I didn’t know what I was going to stitch. I didn’t like any of my ideas when I tried them out in thread and fabric. When I saw the picture of Joyce Gill’s postcard, I knew I wanted to do a white on white postcard and I decided to try Schwalm embroidery. I stylized the poinsettia and using Coton á Broder, I stitched the outlines in Coral Knot and Chain Stitch. I added the teardrops in Coral Knot and Satin Stitch to represent the green poinsettia leaves. The blanket stitch circles represent the centre of the poinsettia and the scallop and swirly lines in Coral Knots represent the background on the picture.

I didn’t want to do any of the stitching with red, but wanted some in the design, so I used filling stitches that would open up enough to let the red in the backing show through.

Seanagh

Here is Seanagh’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Seanagh’s words:

As mentioned, no knotted stitches here – mainly because despite the fact that I thought I might do this in canvas work, that never materialized, so I was just doodling around with the picture and started hatching in lines to see where the shading would fall. With the result that I took my doodles and translated them into thread. I had originally thought that I would use a whole variety of threads (thick, thin, shiny matte etc.) but as it turned out, a single strand of floss in only three colours (plus about 4 stitches done in metallic which you can’t see in the photo) seemed to work for me. It was such an agony to get this design off the ground, but once started, it became a bit compulsive!

Linda V.

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Linda’s words:

The old adage third time lucky seems to apply here. I first started out painting a background and was going to do stump work but I lost interest in that. Next I thought I would try machine embroidery and when finished, it did not appeal to me so next I designed the poinsettia outline and decided to go with blackwork. This postcard project does push me to think.

I used 28 count jazlyn material in the opalescent colour with DMC 321 and 937 for all of the various blackwork stitches and patterns. The boarder was completed by using the reverse stitch and all of the petals of the flower filled with different patterns. The center is filled with brushed gold seed beads.

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

The background is a sheer drapery fabric with a tone-on-tone pattern in small squares. This was laid on top of a gold metallic fabric. I used a gold metallic floss to do a zig zag pattern on top of the tone-on-tone squares. The flower petals were constructed by folding and manipulating wired ribbon. The leaves were constructed in the same manner. The bottom layer of petals are a polyester wired ribbon and the top layer of petals are made from a sheer wired ribbon. Metallic gold beads were used in the center of the flower. The pine branches were done in straight stitches with perle cotton and iridescent beads were added in a random pattern to the branches.

Carol

Here is Carol’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Carol’s words:

I really wasn’t too sure what to do with this one! Thank you to Sue Thomas for sending me some “red bits”, as I really don’t have a very large stash of reds. Purples, now that’s a different story!

I used # 18 black canvas for the background and one of the DMC variegated perle cottons for the border leaves, and t-stitches in the centre of the card.

As it was, in my stash I found a piece of dyed fabric. It was dyed all sorts of different colours, and only one section of it had the poinsetta red that I was looking for (yes, there were purples in it too). I printed out the original picture and cut out the petal pieces, numbering them so I would know how to reconstruct them. In order to make my fabric stiffer, I adhered it with Wonder Under to a piece of red fabric that Sue gave me.

Using the pieces I had cut from the original picture, I cut my petals out of the fabric, trying to line each petal up so the lines made by the dying would be the veins in the petals. I did a whipped running stitch in the centres of the petals with variegated floss. I made a very fine twisted cord for each petal also with variegated floss and using a toothpick to apply the glue, attached the twisted cords that way around the edges of the petals.

Following my numbering system, I attached each petal near the centre of the card. To give the petals a rounded look, I folded the piece of fabric at the base before attaching it to the canvas. I finished the centre with some beads that I obtained from a dollar store bracelet.

I really enjoyed making this postcard, and was thrilled with the way it turned out!

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the January-February theme:

In Deb’s words:

I was inspired by the vibrant colours of the image, so decided to focus on that. I think I called it a Scottish Poinsettia, but a Highland Poinsettia or Poinsettia tartan would work as well.

The technique was simple weaving. In order to fit into the genre of embroidery, crossed stitches were used in the centre of the “flower”. As you can see, the image of the flower itself is only very loosely alluded to. I left the edges frayed, as an echo of the fringe on a kilt. The threads are a selection of embroidery flosses in different weights, metallics and some knitting yarns. The back is hand dyed fabric from Susan Furneaux’s Seminar class in St. John’s.

Wenda

Here is Wenda’s interpretation of the Jan-Feb theme:

In Wenda’s words:

I decided that I wanted to try colour blocking and so I s et to work carving out blocks of organza with my rather large, awkward soldering iron. Through trial and error, lots of error, I came up with the size of blocks I wanted. I liked the blackened and non-uniform edges the iron left. The poinsettia was outlined in black floss using the scroll stitch which gave it a slightly less sharp edge. A metallic black thread was also stitched on one edge of each p et al to add a little highlight. And of course french knots and beads were used to build up the centre of the bloom. I scattered more of the pea green beads outwardly to balance the same green used on the left side of the piece. Slightly random straight stitches were added in the end to give it more stitch value and a little more interest (my daughter thought it was kind of bland).

Susan

Here is Susan’s interpretation of the Jan-Feb theme:

In Susan’s words:

I’m glad you liked it. I have had this fabric for a while, for a project, that I cannot remember. The print and colours lent themselves to the poinsettia. I also wanted to use wire somehow, and the centre of the flower worked perfectly. I truly went multimedia on this card. The leaves were drawn in and shadowed, with highlights using a micro pen.

The flowers were made by cutting out the flower shape from the fabric. I then gathered each petal using a running stitch through the flower fabric only. Once the p et al was gathered I tacked the petal to the background fabric, and so on with each petal. I then attached the buttons and with an awl poked holes through the fabric and the holes in the buttons for the wire. Just a twist or two of the wire and the flowers were done. The leaves were sketched and highlighted with a black micro pen and then shaded in with pencil crayons.


The March-April postcards were inspired by the following image:

March and April bring with them signs of spring, glimpses of the sun and warm weather, and a spot or two of rain.

Enjoy our interpretations!

Susan

Here is Susan’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Susan’s words:

Since I am very familiar with Vancouver raindrops, some of the best in the world, I decided to show you the anatomy of one.

I imagine that raindrops produce a variety of images, depending one where they fall, if you were able to look through them.

If it gets dry this summer, hang this in your window. Who knows, it may summon others to your home.

Carol

Here is Carol’s March-April postcard:

In Carol’s words:

As soon as I received this picture, I remembered that I had some shiny, shiny organza type material that I wanted to use for the icy background. Originally I was going to make the background and stitch the tree, but wasn’t sure how to do that and make it look like something other than a tree laying flat on the ice, unless I put in a horizon.

I then got the idea to take branches from an actual tree and try covering them with my shiny material. As it were, I have a tree branch laying in my back yard. Why it’s there is a story all on its own. So I went out and cut off a couple of small branches. Well, I could soon see that wasn’t going to work – apparently branches do not lay flat. But while I was fiddling with it, it reminded me of trapunto.

I put 2 layers of the shiny material together and did a running stitch outlining the “tunnel” where the branches would be. Using different amounts of strands and colours of Caron’s Watercolours, I ran them through the tunnels. The shiny material was more opaque than I originally thought, and very shiny, so I added just regular organza to the top layer. I then made more tunnels to put strands of Caron’s Watercolours through.

I had to pick a rather dark fabric for the base fabric as a paler colour wouldn’t show through the layers of organza. I then attached 3 beads for the drops of rain.

It was fun experimenting with this postcard.

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

The background is wool roving which is needle felted to a pale mauve sparkle mesh.

The tree trunk on the left hand side is a flat piece of wet-felted wool padded with wool felt. The large tree trunk has hand painted threads couched in place to give texture for the tree bark. The other tree trunk and branches are wet felted wool which was rolled to give a rounded shape. The tree trunks and branches were hand tacked in place. The smaller branches are embroidered with Medici wool. Different sizes of crystal beads were used for the raindrops and small crystal beads are used all around the edging of the postcard. The edging is done in cross stitch with mauve tapestry wool.

Seanagh

Here is Seanagh’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Seanagh’s words:

As summer heat arrives in an overwhelming wave here in the East, I am happy to post my April /May postcard – reminds me of those cool spring drippy days that we had.

This is a beautiful picture, but here I was once again facing the chasm that always faces me when it comes to taking an image from the paper to the stitch. I tried colouring a background to work on because that was the part of the picture that I kept seeing and really liked, but my efforts didn’t thrill me. I then shifted my focus to the branches and after a couple of false starts decided to work them on a background of very slubby grey/green/taupe coloured dupioni using brown/beige/grey/purple floss. I used white stranded silk on the rain droplets themselves which initially looked all wrong, but when I realised that there was a lot of reflection in them and in fact a lot of the other colours layering into them, they improved.

Now, off I go into the sunset!

Pat

Here is Pat’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Pat’s words:

I find the ripples in the scan disappear if you enlarge the photograph a bit. I liked the out of focus background and thought tone on tone stitching would best represent this. As it turned out, the Caron Wildflowers flower thread I chose had more colour than I expected but it still suited my purpose. The swirls are embroidered in simple outline stitch on a quilting cotton of tone on tone pale blue. Over that I contrasted the swirls with the straight limbs of the branches done in raised stem stitch. This was stitched in three colours of brown to give evne more depth and colour. Finally I added just a few raindrop beads to add some sparkle.

I really enjoyed working on this card once I finally got the idea in my head. To me it reflects the lovely late winter feel of the original photo. The promise of spring is there too.

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Linda’s words:

I got my idea from my husband when he said the picture reminded him of gossamer in the way the background was unfocused, the branches were indistinct at the edges and the three big raindrops stood out. I decided to try and show what the branches would look like if they were gossamer in a luminescent cloud. To provide the luminescent look to the cloud background, I used a light blue cotton fabric overlaid with pearlized and white organzas. I cut out lace for the gossamer branches and sewed on blue facet ed beads for raindrops. I also wanted to portray the raindrops dripping from the branches and had some blue teardrop beads in my stash, so I sewed them on.

Mary Anne

Here is Mary Anne’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Mary Anne’s words:

I was tempted to layer sheer fabrics in shades of silver, blue and grey and let them do the work with little stitching. However I forced myself into a different technique and persevered with pulled thread on 28-count linen, using pearl cotton, floss and a touch of metallic thread for the translucent “drops”. Working randomly in muted colours with a few eyelets to add some interest I used a pulled thread technique. I then backed it with a pale blue-grey silk which showed through the more open parts.

I love this challenge! Is it the fact that it’s a manageable size that we’re working on? Or that we have a deadline? Or is it the exhilaration one gets when things go right? (After the initial terror/shock/panic when things don’t?!) Or is it the thrill of seeing everybody’s interpretations and anticipating what might be in the mail for oneself ? Whatever it is, it’s a good thing!

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Joyce’s words:

I loved the inspiration photo and started out by thinking I’d stay quite true to it, but I ended up using only the idea of foreground trees with water and a distant shore. The idea of a drab early Spring landscape with little bursts of colour as the plants start to grow appealed to me so I worked with a combo of fabrics, tulle, threads, and rock beads – lots of fun.

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Sue’ words:

The card is courtesy of Deb Blackmore (I raided her stash to make this!!).

I felted the background with blue wools and then added several colours of brown roving to make the branch.

To get a little light to the background I used blue thread and silver thread in an uneven running stitch.

I defined the tree with chain stitch with a variegated brown thread. I added some silver stitching along the branches with some silver beads to get the shine of the rain. I added some chunky beads for rain drops. I was tempted to add something else but decided to keep it simple – like me!

Kim

Here is Kim’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Kim’s words:

For this photo I decided to focus on the raindrop. I had a few ideas and then while searching through stash, found a wonderful blue piece of silk fusion.

I also came across some Oliver Twists in a blue-green colour range…reflecting the sky blue and grass to come and what are reflected in a raindrop as Spring progresses.

A simple collage of raindrops was the answer. I used back stitch, split stitch, chain stitch and coral stitch to add texture. Drops were overlapped and varied in size to give depth.

It is a simple design but I really enjoyed making it.

Wenda

Here is Wenda’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Wenda’s words:

I loved the colours in this photo and so I played around with it in my photo editing program and came up with a sort of colour blocking interpretation. From that I traced the outer edges of the coloured areas onto white silk. From there I sat at my sewing machine tracing the many varying lines of colour. The edited photo was crucial in finding which colour went where. The water drops were then hand stitched using the lazy daisy with an iridescent metallic thread. I enjoyed working on this project!

Linda V.

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Linda’s words:

I started this post card off by photocopying the design on cotton and embellishing it by using the split stitch on one of the trees and using raised stem stitch for the branches using a number of various DMC cotton colours. The rain drops are a form of needle lace and a few french knots using metallic thread.

Last year our guild finished a wall hanging using a similar technique highlighting special areas and events of Peterborough as a way of showcasing our city. Each time we display the pictures, they are a hit with the public.

Now a sunset is waiting for me to tackle.

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Deb’s words:
The card was created using sheer fabrics for the background and couching overdyed silk fibres for the branches. The water droplets were crystals I found in my daughter’s rock collection, from at least ten years ago. Again, another reason never to throw anything out!

Thanks for your patience. On to the sunset.

Marie

Here is Marie’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Marie’s words:

I’ve really been in a stitching rut and being challenged with how to approach some of these photos. Lucky for me there is Quilting Arts magazine. I was reading an article about a woman who scans in her drawings, adds colour and texture then prints them on fabric with her inkjet and adds more colour with fabric pencils and crayons and embellishes with thread. Well, I found the whole concept quite intriguing. So I ran the photo through Photoshop to make the outlines stronger and created a bit of a cartoony image. The process also made the colours more distinct. I then printed it on 100% cotton through my laser printer. It didn’t turn out quite the way I expected so I had to think some more about how to approach it. I tried colouring and it did bump up the colour a bit more. Then I highlighted the leaves and some of the yellow on the branches with long and short stitch. I did try stem stitch outlines and chain stitch and split stitch but they all seemed too heavy. When I was done, the leaves were great but there wasn’t any ice so I picked up some fusing powder and used that to attach some glittery tencel that I have to add to fibre when spinning. I might have gotten a little bit carried away.

Then the challenge was photographing something with that much shine. It took about 8 tries before I finally got something that wasn’t totally blurry and it is still not as sharp as I’d like.

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the March-April theme:

In Linda’s words:

It took me a very long time to finally decide what I was going to do with this photo. I knew I wanted to concentrate on the bushes, but couldn’t figure out how to keep the shininess of the ice on all the branches. As I was going through my stash last week looking for something else, I saw the Marlitt rayon threads. No matter which way the light hit them, they were always shiny, even in the shadows. I had a mottled brown fabric for the background and stitched the branches in brown Marlitt with straight stitches. I highlighted the branches with a lighter brown to show the moon’s glow on the branches. I also liked the orangey moon in the photo and stitched that in very small with satin stitch so it looked far away. I was going to stop at this point, but my husband said it needed something to finish it off. He said to try one green leaf in the middle, so I stitched a small green leaf in straight stitches and highlighted for the moon glow in a lighter green and voila! it was finished


May-June

The May-June postcards were inspired by the following theme:

The longer and sunny days are finally here, and with this comes some breathtaking sunsets in the evening. This photo was taken by Paul Thomas at White Swan Lake in northeastern Saskatchewan.

Enjoy our summery images!

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Sue’s words:

Here is my interpretation of the sunset. Some of you saw the card at Seminar and Deb now has it in her collection. My challenge was working with what supplies I could find as my stash is still piled up in boxes. I am proud to report I found enough materials at home .

I used different layers of organza on a base of orange fabric to create the sky. The clouds were created with some cheesecloth I had dyed. I had initially thought I would use black tulle but that was too stark looking so I played with a few fabrics until the cheesecloth worked. The trees I used some old black lace.

The water was fun,. I layered organza to get the right colours with a little orange in the middle for the reflection. I then placed texture magic under the fabric and stitched rows across the fabric with silver sliver in the needle . I then heated the back of the fabric until it puckered up and I got the ripple effect.

To finish off I added some extra stitching with gold Sliver for the reflection and then some accent stitching in the sky.

Kim

Here is Kim’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Kim’s words:

I love painting sunsets I see, the colours are always amazing. I decided instead of adding paint, I would try something different this time. I hunted in stash and came across my needle felting materials. I picked
colours as close to the photo as I had. I then needle felted the background for the sky and water. As this is a very busy time at school, the whole felting was a good thing. Using DMC thread I used padded satin stitch to create the tree line.

I had fun with this as I have only done a bit of needle felting with embroidery.

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Joyce’s words:

I really loved this inspiration photo! I’m inclined to be more impressionistic but this one didn’t work out that way. My jumping-off point was a thread- Arabian Nights in Watercolors. It had wonderful pinks and grey-blues – a lovely blend of colours. I just needed to add some yellow in #5 pearl and some bright orange/yellows in DMC variations #4120 and a few other accents from my stash. My piece is on dark blue mono-canvas, “painted” in my colour palette of threads. It was fun and went much faster than I expected! I thought I’d send this one ‘naked” through the mail instead of in an envelope.

Pat

Here is Pat’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Pat’s words:

When I first saw the inspiration photo I thought of the bands of colour. That kept going through my mind so I decided to do a “band” sampler. I’m not sure it is a great embroidery but I think, when set beside the photo, it is a good representation of the sunset. If the linen was larger, I would have left more unstitched sapce between the rows or some breathing space.

It was lots of fun blending the colours from a limited palette and balancing the stitches to try to represent the different weights of colour as they appear in the photo. The only addition to the embroidery floss was a collection of beads where the water is reflecting the sunlight.

It was fun to stitch. Choosing colours and stitches. I didn’t stretch it over matt board as is obvious with the wobbly edge.

Now, I have horses prancing through my mind as a diversion from work. I’m beginning the roughest time of year with 3 months of intense preparation. It’s nice to retreat to my embroidery to keep the balance in my life.

Mary Anne

Here is Mary Anne’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Mary Anne’s words:

I used a textured upholstery fabric and with a dark blue-black applique for the treeline and some iridescent overlay for the water, the rest was essentially straight machine stitching in different weights and colours – quick and simple.

I can’t believe that we have been at this for a year already – it’s been a great challenge.

Seanagh

Here is Seanagh’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Seanagh’s words:

The part of the photo that drew my eye was the bright lines of colour behind the dark trees on the shoreline. I used the time-tested layering technique to get the colour on, with the tree line being made separately to give it some texture.

Carol

Here is Carol’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Carol’s words:

I was thinking of taking almost the same picture for my picture in Sept/October 2010, only mine was going to be a sunset over a farmer’s field. Must have something to do with our beautiful Saskatchewan sunsets.

I couldn’t decide how to portray this picture, so got out my batches of fabric. I don’t sew, but have still somehow accumulated 2 suitcases and a huge shopping bag full of fabric. In amongst my stash, I found a crinkled, sparkly piece of gold fabric that would work for the water, except for being the wrong colour. So I got out my limited amount of paints and tried to match the colour in the picture. I then went and bought more paint, experimented again, and ended up going back to the original sample.

I used a background fabric of brownish yellow to portray the yellow spot in the sky. I had a piece of velveteen (or something) that seemed to work good for the trees as if frayed just a little bit on the edges. I had some of the red fabric that I had used in the poinsettia, and used Wonder Under to bond the pieces together. The gray clouds were cut out of some type of fabric that didn’t fray, but after I finished it I decided it was too solid and too dark, so I tried painting it a bit.

All in all, the only part of my postcard that I liked was the water! As I said in my postcard to Pat, my pieces don’t always turn out the way that I expect them too, but I am enjoying the experimentation.

Wenda

Here is Wenda’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Wenda’s words:

My design began by looking at my 8 X 10 image of the photo which was slightly pixilated. Shortly after receiving the photo, myself and a couple of other guild members went to an ONN AGM which was hosted by Connections Fibre Artists. Part of the meeting involved a teaching technique demonstration and I was fascinated with the idea of melting synthetic fabrics over natural fabrics. I loved the reflecting colours of the sun on the water which showed in little blocks and decided to combine that idea with the melting. After experimenting with a variety of materials I made my decisions. Heavy synthetic felt, found in the upholstery section of Fabricland, was used as the base. Wonder Under was then applied to the back of varying colours of Dupioni silk. Little strips of different lengths were cut and carefully pressed onto the felt, leaving tags at the edges to help guide me in where to stitch later. Then a piece of regular synthetic black felt was placed in top of the silks. Next the blind stitching began! Trying to use the silk tags as a guide I stitched horizontally, jumping vertically every once in a while, to create the pixilated effect. Then the fun part began…the melting! Using a paint stripper heat gun on my ironing board I melted most of the felt away, except closer to the edges, creating a very textured look and exposing the colour.

Sorry about the expose Joyce, but you asked how I did it! I enjoyed doing this and likely would not otherwise have taken the opportunity until sometime later or maybe never, had it not been for this postcard exchange.

Can’t wait to see what the next challenge brings.

Susan

Here is Susan’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Susan’s words:

Here is my sunset. I found metallic water colours at seminar this year, and wanted to try them out. Then along with black floss and beads came up with my interpretation of the sunset .

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Deb’s words:

For the sunset, I used a fabric I had painted years ago when first experimenting with paint on fibre. It worked well for the colour of the sunset and was toned down a bit by organza scraps held down with long stitches in silk thread from Piper’s in England (the same thread that Helen Stevens uses). The tree line was a piece of my own silk paper, and the stylized trees were done in a Stef Francis overdyed silk from my stash, probably picked up at Seminar. To create the water effect, I used a scrap of dyed cheesecloth from the Susan Furneaux workshop at Seminar in St. John’s. Big mistake, not dyeing more of that cheesecloth! Everyone should have some of that in their stash.

The image attached is a bit brighter than the actual piece, probably because I photographed it under an incandescent bulb, but without a flash.

Linda V.

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Linda’s words:

So far, like all of the post cards to date, I decide on a technique and then change it along the way. I wanted to try machine embroidery using texture magic on this one. That part went well but then when I heated the backside to make it bubble…. well, I over bubbled and it looked bulky and awful.

I wanted the sunset to show orange, yellow and blue. I used yellow fabric and embroidered half cross stitch pattern which turned out looking like chevron stitch (which was not my intention). I wanted the sunset to peak through the trees so I used green organza to get that effect. The water is made out of different colours of blue organza cut in wave shape and fused to the background.

All of these cards are so inspiring. Its a wonderful way to try out techniques, fabrics, colours, threads, etc.

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Linda’s words:

As I looked at the picture and rejected several ideas, I started to wonder what was happening under the lake. What was it like for the fish and plants with the sun s et ting? Just how dark was it in the lake? Now I knew what to stitch. Black lugana makes for nice dark water and Caron’s Waterlilies Moonglow was perfect for the water weeds and fish. I was going to stitch blackwork patterns on the fish, but it became too busy. I outline stitched the fish and used Holbein stitches to fill in the faces and fins.

I wanted the back of the postcard to be black and needed to find som et hing to write with that would show. I found a Pilot Silver ink pen that worked beautifully. I don’t usually send pictures of the back of my postcards, but I wrote a Haiku poem about my postcard that I wanted to share.

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the May-June theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

For quite some time I have wanted to do a landscape using an irregular cretan stitch. This was my opportunity!!

The background fabric is an off-white silk which I painted with Setacolor fabric paints. The sky and water were embroidered with an irregular cretan stitch using one strand of cotton embroidery floss. For the reflection on the water I split one strand of DMC metallic thread and used a running stitch.

The trees were done in herringbone stitch using one strand of a very dark grey and a black cotton embroidery floss.


July-August

The July-August postcards were inspired by the following theme:

The long summer days bring with it trips to the local community fair or perhaps even to the big city to take in a full-blown summer exhibition. Cotton candy, snow cones, the Tilt-A-Whirl and of course the carousel ride make the day complete. With memories of fun days spent at the fair, here are our July-August postcards!

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Linda’s words:

This was a real hard picture to translate to fabric and thread. I had lots of ideas, but I didn’t like any of them when I started stitching. I went to my last resort and showed the picture to my husband. He came up with the idea of the carousel horse as a star. I thought about his idea and started to see the carousel horse going around faster and faster until he could fly up into the sky and become the constellation Pegasus.

On black cotton fabric, I used a variation of blank et stitch around the outline to make it appear to be glowing. I outline stitched his mane and put sparkly blue organza over the horse. I stitched on crystals to represent the stars in the constellation.

What started as a difficult postcard now has turned into one of my favourites.

I hope each and everyone of you has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May all your stitching dreams come true.

Mary Anne

Here is Mary Anne’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Mary Anne’s words:

I, too, stayed away from the horse, though I would have loved to have felt confident enough to tackle it. Instead, it was the flowers and the rhythm of the carousel that caught my imagination. And of course there is always the music that accompanies it. I used a pieced background to capture some of the colours and the flowers were worked by freeform machine stitching on double layers of coloured chiffon then cut out and attached to the background with French knots. Gold cord was couched with red silk to represent the saddle detail and the gold supports of the horse, and I hoped for the undulating motion by making my musical score drift up and down in time to the music.

It was a great subject and I enjoyed it. Not being original enough to write my own poetry, I borrowed some lines from Joni Mitchell.

Kim

Here is Kim’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Kim’s words:

I am with you Sue, the horse was not going to be something for me to tackle. I was drawn to the carved flowers etc. on it. I decided to do some Broderie Anglaise as I am planning on working on a piece shortly and this would be a good warm up. It would also add some depth to the embroidery. I chose bright colours to match the photo. I added buttons to again give depth and add colour. I chose hearts because everyone ( or almost everyone) loves the Merry-go-round or has a memory of one they love.

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Sue’s words:

As you can see I couldn’t manage a horse! I did try but it would not work for me. I took a piece of lutradur and painted it with Seta paints for the background. I was quite pleased with the effect. I thoroughly wetted the lutradur and then just put blobs of paint on to it and they all ran in together and stayed quite clear and bright.

I then felted silk, wool, threads and angelina in a circle with my embellisher. Next I used free motion stitching with different colours of Sliver to get the sparkly effect. My horses are quite magical and spin very fast, the piece was then made more sparkly with sequins and beads.

This was a very challenging photo Susan but it certainly made me think.

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Joyce’s words:

I decided that I would actually keep the horse this time. I printed it and cut it out carefully, getting rid of the background. Then I laid the photo on a piece of patterned organza and scanned it. I printed the image with its new background on Iron-on transfer paper and ironed it on to a piece of linen. Then I embellished it with lots of 2mm Silk Ribbon roses and gold threads on the saddle. My husband thought he should perhaps have a pole through him, but I think he escaped!!!

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

When I first saw the carousel horse picture I immediately thought of silk ribbon embroidered flowers. But I was not about to do a horse on which to put these flowers!!

In designing I very seldom use the technique of a view finder to define a specific area but I thought this a good opportunity to do this technique. I finally chose an area on the shoulder of the horse, in front of the saddle. The off-white background (which represents the white horse) is a slightly textured silk fabric. The blue fabrics and the one pink-white fabric are polyester and rayon and are all hand appliquéd in place. Kreinik gold braid was couched in place to outline these fabrics. All the flowers and leaves are done in silk ribbon. Rayon thread was used for the feather stitched stems. A purchased gold braid was tacked to the outer edge of the postcard.

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Deb’s words:

The image was executed in silk threads over a habotai silk ground.

I wanted to give the feeling of movement, hence the repeated motif, which I hoped would suggest forward movement. The kantha quilting in the background didn’t work as well as I had hoped to echo this movement. I probably should have just worked straighter lines. Good to know for the next time.

Seanagh

Here is Seanagh’s interpretation of the July-August theme:

In Seanagh’s words:

I loved the carousel horse and like many others liked the feel of the movement. When is came right down to it, the flowers were the things that drew me in (also, strangely, it’s rather ugly mouth and big teeth, but fortunately that idea didn’t fly!) so I concentrated on them and the gold details which I interpreted by layering some transparent fabrics, some painting, some ‘distressed’ silk flowers and machine stitching. Lots of fun to make.


September-October

Our inspiration for September-October comes from this photo taken by Carol Storie’s daughter Tara along the highway between Regina and Saskatoon:

Can you believe it is September already? We’re as equally surprised as you are. Well, as time marches on so do our creative juices…

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Sue’s words:

When I saw this photo it made me realize that after being a Prairie girl for 30 years I did miss the endless sky and the distinctive elevators.

I tried to think in Carol’s colours but for me, this postcard had to be the wonderful blue blue sky, a grain elevator and the sparse greenery.

I took a piece of hand dyed silk and added a piece of dyed cheese cloth as a top layer for the sky. I found a piece of dyed wool for the grass and under growth, I then cut the elevator out of Dupioni silk with the ribs running vertically. I fixed this all down with a little machine stitching.

Next ,I used a grey pencil crayon to add some shading to the elevator and then used different values of grey to pick out the details on the elevator.

I used different greens for the bush area. This was the first time I actually bought any supplies to make a postcard. I purchased some extra grey threads , did I really need them? probably not , but now I have more choices for the next project.

Martha Cole and Margaret Vant Erve, you do not have to worry about the competition!

Mary Anne

Here is Mary Anne’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Mary Anne’s words:

The colour of the sky was achieved with watercolour pencil on a cream ground then overlayed with organza. A small bit of surface stitching on the linen (frayed at the horizon for some texture) and some metallic thread to capture the sunrays in the foreground.

Next year will be my first roadtrip across Canada and I look forward to seeing those iconic grain elevators in person.

Pat

Here is Pat’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Pats’ words:

Here is my photo of the card I sent to Kim. I believe my most successful part was the beading on the edge {grin}. I struggled with this one more than the others and I don’t know why. Perhaps because the photo had such wonderful lighting. Perhaps because I was over tired and over stressed from helping 50,000 students get started on a new semester (even if I didn’t have to deal directly with most of them). Anyhow, by October 31st, I told myself to stop putting it off and look hard at the photo. What struck me besides the colour was the graphic lines. So that’s what I did. The glowing circle for the sun and its aura and the straight lines of the grain elevator and telephone pole. I played a little bit with dimensions using two shades of gray and white. I also extended just a few lines and did them in sunshine colours.

I’ll let you be the judge as to the successfulness of the card. It does have the stark appearance that I imagine many easterners imagine the prairies to be. I, personally don’t share that opinion but it worked for this card.

Carol

Here is Carol’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Carol’s words:

For my prairie sunset, I was going to try colouring on paper with some crayons which apparently will iron transfer to fabric, but before I got around to that I luckily found a scrap of silk paper in the right colour for the sunset.

The sun I made by stitching beads peyote style completely covering a dime. This served as a dual purpose for me, as I was demonstrating this technique for our Guild program (more accurately, how to attach a mirror with beads). I then made some chain stitches around the sun to make it appear as though its shine continued outward for a bit.

As my computer seemed to show this picture dark, I made a silhouette of the elevator and foreground. I attached the fabric to the horizon in staggered stitches, hoping to make it appear as though there were trees/bushes there. And since I was piecing together the appropriate coloured fabric, I just ignored the fact that the picture was taken across a highway, and made a “landscape”, including some bushes made of colonial knots.

This was a fun piece to do, even though it seemed to take me a long time to get it done.

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Deb’s words:

My image of the prairie sunset was predicated by childhood memories of visiting my grandparent’s farm in Sonningdale, SK. This one particular summer was hot, dusty and all four of us came down with chicken pox. To quarantine us, we were put in the attic which did not have much insulation or trees to temper the sun, so it was bloody hot. So, I wanted to portray heat.

This postcard was constructed entirely of strips of candy papers, machine stitched in place. Very simple actually. Thank you to Lindt, Quality Street and Cadbury for providing such lovely wrappers.

Linda V.

Here is Linda V.’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Linda V.’s words:

I enjoyed working on this card but rather than working it in the same manner as I saw in the posted photo I thought I would produce a post card as I remember Saskatchewan.

I traveled through Saskatchewan many times while living in Victoria/Vancouver. My family all lived in Ontario. I always remember blue sunny skies, miles of wheat fields and roads with the occasional grain elevator.

I painted the card on cotton first and then embellished it will embroidery using a variety of long and short stitches and french knots to resemble the look of wheat in the field. I first covered the wheat fields with a yellow silk and embroidered on top. I cut the silk away when finishing the road.

Stephen Leacock wrote “The Lord said ‘let there be wheat’ and so Saskatchewan was born” was written on the back of the card.

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Joyce’s words:

I actually found this to be one of the most difficult photos to come up with an idea. In the end my interpretation is quite simple – a background in sunset-coloured fabric with overlays of chiffon and tulle, a bit of gold flecking around the sun and a foreground in corduroy. It is almost all sky – just like Saskatchewan.

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

The sky and sun are coloured sheers that are layered. The sun circles were cut with a soldering iron using a template, so that the edges were sealed and would not fray. I tried to place one sheer over the sky to hold the layered sheers in place but all the coloured sheers that I tried dulled the sunset colours so I compromised by tacking down the edges of the circles with invisible thread. The ground and road surfaces are cotton fabrics that are hand appliquéd in place. The elevator is a cotton fabric, with pencil crayon embellishments, that is fused to the background. The trees are done in herringbone stitch, the bushes are French knots and the grasses are straight stitches.

Linda

Here is Linda’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Linda’s words:

When I looked at this picture, all I could think of was how molten it looked. The sun was white hot and made everything else look hot. I knew then that the sun would be my focus and I only had to figure out how to make it appear molten. I finally figured out that I should stick to metal threads in gold, silver and copper.

The sun is silver kid leather circled with silver pearl purl. I couched down Japan copper with red silk thread to make the six long sun rays. The smaller rays are checked purl in gold and red. I matched the sky background making it a dull gold and used a black cotton for the ground.

Sandra

Here is Sandra’s interpretation of the September-October theme:

In Sandra’s words:

This was an awesome photo to work with. So iconical of Saskatchewan but probably even more so of the Saskatchewan of my youth than today.

I started the card with a mottled red top and solid black bottom. I cut out the grain elevator shapes and stitched them on in a thread colour that was just a shade darker to give a hint of the texture of the wooden slats (this was just a memory thing, not visible in the picture). The sun was a flat metal piece that originally had little eyes out the sides to stitch it down. I cut the eyes off and used a shisha mirror technique to attach the round metal and give it the sunset glow. Then I went looking for what to do about the trees/shrubs. By then I knew I was going to overlay everything with a grey/black/blue sheer to give it the hazy feel that I remembered. I wanted a texture but not French knots or colonial knots which might be lost under the sheer. The solution was in Erwin’s dressing change materials – a foam strip used in the VAC dressing. I took a strip the length of the card and snipped away at bits to create the uneven top. Then I pinned it in place with the sheer overtop and randomly stitched to create the shadows and depth in the shrubs. (This is my favourite part of this piece.) I finished by outlining the edge of the road to give the piece a bit of perspective. (Not entirely successful, but I’m practicing) And there it is — a typical August Saskatchewan sunset.


November-December

Ah November – the time of year when the air gets that crisp snappy feeling to it. The leaves and grass start to crunch under our feet and we all know that the snow is just around the corner. But as the weather turns to the cool side of things, it also brings with it some spectacular scenery.

Mother Nature has her needle and thread out decorating the trees, leaves, branches with her special touch. This photo submitted by Marie, captures this artistry perfectly:

Enjoy our creative stitching for the last two months of 2010!

Kim

Here is Kim’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Kim’s words:

I wanted to try and keep the “icy” feel of the sticks etc. I thought some shadow work would be appropriate for that. I used some sheer fabric and then created herringbone stitch using some silk thread in dark green, black and green.

When I first saw the green leaves, they looked like a bunch beads. I used mini glass beads for the leaves and then to add more sparkle of some snow, added some crystal like beads to the top of sticks.

A very fitting picture for today’s weather and our first “no bus” day of this year

Sue

Here is Sue’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Sue’s words:

This was one of those where the ideas I had didn’t quite work the first time!

The background was made with a piece of black chiffon layered over some silver fabric. I then did big free motion stitches with a silver sliver thread to give more shine. The branch , I made with a piece of machine wrapped cord. I used a variegated brown thread which gave quite a nice colour combination.

The leaf worked on the third attempt! I used a base of dyed quilt batting and added some strands of angelina and then a layer of iridescent green organza. I then stitched the leaf shape with green thread , added a little brown for the main stems and added random stitching in shiny green sliver thread,.

The ice was a happy accident. I was looking for something iridescent in my stash and found silver battenburg lace tape. I just gathered that up and stitched it on the branches. The final touch was the addition of frosty beads.

Joyce

Here is Joyce’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Joyce’s words:

Winter is so black and white. The toned cotton background that I picked for my card worked well with some branches stem-stitched in variegated Pearl Cotton and accented with silver. Then I added a detached leaf of layered organza and a fine wire edge and just a bit of vein accenting. This leaf is a Survivor!

Mary Anne

Here is Mary Anne’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Mary Anne’s words:

A silk shantung scrap was the background with various textured threads and yarns layered for the branches. Padding underneath the leaf gave it some dimension for the surface stitching and of course I had to have the ubiquitous French knots to catch the icy-ness of the frozen leaf.

Happy New Year to you all

Sharon

Here is Sharon’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Sharon’s words:

For this postcard, I wanted to emphasize the sparkly nature of the photograph, so I used a base of dark green corduroy, put a loose layer of polyester roving on top snowy branches, and sprinkled irridescent mylar shreds on top. Then I covered the underlayer with shiny, light blue organza and machine stitched the layers together. I then embroidered a small leaf with silk ribbon and added beads and sequins as embellishments.

Pat

Here is Pat’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Pat’s words:

First I’d like to thank Sue for her kind words. I was really stumped with this picture. It was truly enchanting and I tried many sketches but nothing spoke to me. I then enlarged the leaf portion of the photo on my computer and the ideas started to come. But how to make the leaves look like they were sealed in ice…that was the tricky bit.

As Sue guessed I took some plastic (a sandwich bag as it turned out) and surrounded the needle lace leaves. I tacked it down with a thread I thought would disapear but that didn’t work. Oh well, nothing is perfect. I also created the branches with thorns to add a bit of dimension to the background of grey flannelette. Finally I put the snow on top. Some hideous DMC plastic thread (sparkly to their marketing department) that was awful to work with but gave the look I was after.

Now, those ideas of the zebra need to get down on paper to be realized in thread.

Deb

Here is Deb’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Deb’s words:

As per the previous postcard, I stayed with the candy paper theme. As well, I tried my hand again at free motion machine embroidery, but realized that I really needed to expand my supplies of machine-friendly threads. The silver thread didn’t show up as well as I had hoped for the snow. All good experience though.

Seanagh

Here is Seanagh’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Seanagh’s words:

I did a lot of experimenting with the background of this because I thought it was every bit as dramatic as theleaf itself, However, my attempts mostly failed in the drama department and I ended up using lutrador painted with black acrylic with white ‘snow’ highlights. I then built the leaf from various glass beads and finally added more snow with french knots and highlighted some of the branches with straight stitching.

Eleanor

Here is Eleanor’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Eleanor’s words:

I had a lot of difficulty trying to decide what to do with this picture. The final decision was to paint branches on one of my fabrics that I had hand dyed. This was augmented with embroider work, using a chain stitch, of three additional branches to give texture and depth.

The leaves were made from two layers of light weight Lutradur. A blanket stitch was used to encase the edges and hold the two layers together. Long straight stitches, using Water ’N Ice metallic ribbon, were done on the leaves to give the frosty look. To give a frosty look to the piece, silver metallic paint was painted onto the fabric and Multi Fyre Werks and Water ’N Ice white iridescent metallic ribbons were stitched, using straight stitches and French knots, onto the branches and at the top of leaf cluster. The edges of the postcard were finished with a twisted cord made with stranded embroidery thread.

Carol

Here is Carol’s interpretation of the November-December theme:

In Carol’s words:

I had quite a difficult time trying to decide what to do for this card, for some reason. I decided that unless I did trapunto again, I wasn’t going to be able to do a “realistic” postcard. So I tried for the effect instead.

I actually stitched an Artist Trading Card first with the 3 leaves on it, and the same couched background. But the leaves looked like they were inset instead of standing out, so when I did the postcard, I stitched the leaves on a separate piece of canvas using leaf stitch, cut them out, outlined them with a twisted cord, and stitched them onto the top of the couched background. I actually wanted to use Brazilian thread instead of DMC Perle Cotton, but I couldn’t find it. I did, however – in February – find the two stocking stuffers that I couldn’t find before Christmas!

The base fabric is black 18 count canvas. I first laid a single ply of Caron’s Watercolours horizontally every 6th thread, and then vertically every 6th thread, couching it down at the intersections. I then laid diagonal threads with some shiny and hairy mystery thread that I found in a baggy. I believe that it is one of the Rainbow Gallery Threads, as the base of it matches with the Gold Rush #18 that I used to couch down the intersections (I didn’t have enough of the mystery thread). I have looked on Rainbow Gallery’s website, but can’t find the thread, so I guess it will remain a mystery!

I then placed larger crystal-like beads in between the laid background threads. I lined the backing cardboard with some silver candy wrappers (big sacrifice, had to eat some chocolates). Also, thank you to Deb for sending a supply of other candy wrappers to me after mine were so carelessly discarded!

Once I decided what to do, I quite enjoyed stitching this piece.