Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Love Never Ends

I spent this morning making the nicest card I was capable of making, and I mailed it to my Aunt Helen this afternoon.  Her husband, my Uncle Jack, recently passed away after a long and happy life and I wanted to write to express my sympathy.

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.

 I started by gathering supplies.  I had a "practice" heart left over from some sachets I made for Valentine's Day this year, so I used that as the model for this heart.  I cut out a paper template, and I found a piece of scrapbooking paper with an interesting vintage look to it.  In the picture below, you can see these items sitting on top of the damage quilt square.

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:


wendiek said...

How thoughtful, Leslie! Your aunt will love that card for sure!

Unknown said...

that is totally beautiful

Alexandra Abarca said...

Leslie this heart has many meanings, it is a really good idea.

Costa Rica

Leslie Andersen said...

Thank you Wendie, Susan and Ale.

Ale, I realized after I made it that this card would also be good for a couple getting married, because of the different meanings.

Kay said...

So beautiful, I am sure your aunt will treasure it. It was also nice to read your story of how you started sewing.