At first I thought of sending her a card along with some of my stuffed hearts, with words of love and encouragement on them, but I know she is living in a small apartment now, and I didn't want to send something that might be in the way. I didn't want to send just a card either, so I came up with a kind of compromise: a card with a flat heart on the front, which I cut from a piece of a damaged antique quilt.
After cutting out the heart from the quilt, I gathered a few more things: pink and green embroidery floss, felt for a flower and leaves, and a butterfly charm. As it turns out, I didn't use the butterfly. I wrote the phrase "Love never ends" on a piece of white fabric, using a light box and a Micron marker, and machine-sewed it to the heart.
Next, I embroidered around the edges of the phrase patch, then added the green vine and pink blanket-stitching around the edge. I cut out a flower and four leaves from the felt and sewed them in place with the embroidery thread. A few French knots and two buttons completed the heart.
If you look closely, you can see the lines of hand-quilting sewn by the maker of the quilt:
I softened the appearance of the scrapbook paper with a piece of patterned vellum cut just a bit smaller than the front of the card.
I wanted the heart to be secure on the card, but I value the old quilt too much to use glue or anything else that would be permanent, so I sewed it onto the card using the same embroidery thread I used on the heart. I was really surprised at how easy it was to sew through the card!
Halfway through, here's how it looked on the inside:
I lined the inside of the card with a piece of writing paper, and wrote my letter to my aunt there. At the end of the letter I explained how I made the card. My love of quilts actually began on a family visit to Aunt Helen and Uncle Jack's house when I was 14 years old--that's where I first saw a hand made quilt. As soon as I got home from that visit I started sewing my first quilt, and I haven't stopped sewing and quilting since then! That's why using the antique quilt for this card was especially appropriate for Aunt Helen.
The finished card: