Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quilted Notecards For your Valentine

Hello, all of you lovely, creative, quilty types! I am so darn excited to be guest blogging here at Stash Manicure today! I'm Andie and I blog over at Andie Johnson Sews. I've been sewing since high school and am in love with cutting up fabric into tiny pieces and sewing it back together!

I'm a fan of using my scraps - something that never really occurred to me until I became a little bit of a fabric snob. When I discovered quilt-store-quality fabrics - more specifically, some of the more modern colors and prints - I. Fell. In. Love. I used to shop for fabric when I needed it, usually at large-chain stores. Now, I only buy high-quality fabric{from small businesses and quilt shops} that I like and then find a use for it as I go. I don't have a huge stash, but rather a carefully curated collection of fabrics that I love. So, when I have scraps of said fabric, I keep every little shred. And as a result, I plan projects to use my scraps.
My stash - FQs in the drawers, yardage on the shelves and scraps and charms in the baskets.

So today, in honor of Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a tutorial on how to make Quilted Notecards.
I bought a book last year by one of my quilting heroes, Denyce Schmidt, that had instructions for very similar notecards in it, but I've never actually read her instructions to make them. I just looked at the picture and adapted how I thought they should be constructed.

NOTE: use a longer stitch with this project as a shorter stitch will perforate the paper! I used a 3.5 on my machine. Use whatever stitch you like - I used a straight stitch.  I don't recommend using the same needle for sewing fabric after you've made these cards as I'm sure they will dull very quickly - use an old, dull needle for these. Also, the feed dogs don't grip the paper like they grip fabric and the card may tend to "slip" a little and has a tendency to want to go a little crooked.

You will need:
*Note cards of any size or color - the bigger the card, the easier it is to work with it. {You can even recycle the un-used Christmas cards from last year!}
*Strips of fabric no less than 1/2 inch wide.
*Coordinating thread
*Rotary cutter

I bought my cards at a large chain craft store. They come in a pretty wide range of colors - some of them are sold with envelopes. The natural ones on the right didn't come with envelopes but the white ones did.
If they're not already folded, fold the note card on the fold line and lay it inside down with the outside facing up. I chose bright colors for this card. It's a good idea to iron your strips before you start - makes it easier to work with them and it makes a nice finished product. Find the layout you find the most pleasing. I like the orange fabric here the most so I want to make sure it is kind of the focal point.

Laying out the strips can be done any number of ways. You can do a random placing with some raw edges exposed, you can layer the strips so that maybe 2 of the strips have their raw edges out while the other strips are covered, you can string-piece them - arrange them however you like. {A good rule of thumb - lightest fabric on the bottom, darker ones layered over the lighter ones.} I started with the blue stripe and the pink swirl first because the blue is the lightest fabric and the pink is the widest fabric. I'll layer the others over these, but first I have to sew these onto the card. Sew along the edge as close as you can. DO NOT sew along the folded edge yet - I only sewed along the inside edge of the pink fabric. You will sew along the folded edge later.
Sew the next strip on to the card. Mine was the olive green fabric that overlaps the first 2 strips.

Keep sewing on the strips until you have sewn them all on. They should be hanging off the side a bit.

This is the inside of the card. Next is trimming.

With a straight edge and a rotary cutter - cut off excess fabric on all edges making sure that the card is OPEN until you get to the folded edge. ::When trimming around the folded edge, close the card and flip it so that the front of the card is facing down and the back of the card is facing up. WARNING: when cutting around the folded edge - do not cut or nick the folded edge or your card will be ruined::

After trimming all sides, this is what the inside will look like.

Flip card over so the outsides are facing up.

With the card open, sew around the perimeter of the card using a 1/4 inch allowance. You can use whatever stitch you like.

When sewing along the folded edge, be careful to stay away from the fold.

This is what the inside of the card will look like. {Not my best sewing - just trying to get it done!}
 And don't forget to sign the back:

And here is the finished product. Cute, huh?
The possibilities here are endless.....
Christmas Cards

Make a set of 10 to give as a gift

This was a set I offered on Etsy - they're called Uptown.
Ideas for color combos:
College/School colors
Pro Team colors
Baby Shower Thank You Notes
Wedding Thank You Notes in wedding colors
Tonals in favorite color

You can also do applique for these! Make a tiny block or cut out a shape and zig-zag or blanket stitch it on. I did these for Valentine's Day, too! The bottom one is a liberated log cabin that I fussy cut for the center piece and "quilted" with a concentric square design.

I secured this to the card with a little glue to keep it steady while sewing.
The possibilities for these cards are endless. There is no limit with what you can do with them. Keep the art of letter and note writing alive!
Come visit me on my little blog. And Madame Samm - you rock!
Happy Sewing, my loves!


  1. Cute cards Andie! Thanks for sharing your tute with us.

  2. What fun! And what a wonderful way to use up those precious scraps that are just too good to toss in the round file! Thank you Andie and now I'm going to have to go check out your blog :)

  3. I have so many strips that would be good for these. Thanks for the tutorial! Your log cabin looks fun to make.

  4. Nice cards just the thing to use up al those little strips I have floating around. I love your phrase - "a carefully curated collection of fabrics" must remember that.

  5. Good Morning Andie...and really ....I love this idea...it just opens to many possibilities..and talk about using up scraps...way to go...and you get to write a note to someone...I remember doing that...lol You are delightful....thanks for the smiles..and the great tut...and no YOU ROCK! lol

  6. Those are so CUTE!!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  7. These are really great and the possibilities are endless:) Thanks for the inspiration:)

  8. Thanks for sharing this fun, creative and cute idea!

  9. I love those cards, thank you for sharing

  10. If you'd rather people didn't see your sewing job, you can always sew onto a piece of cardstock and then attach that to your card. Just a thought!!

  11. I love the cards! What a fun idea to do with my grandaughter for her teacher! Thanks a bunch!

  12. I too save all my little scraps. I don't have the heart to throw them away. I paid for those little scraps! I just know I can find some use for them. And this sure has helped. I would have never thought to sew them to paper. How truly wonderful. Thank you for the great inspiration.

  13. I love the notecards. Thanks for sharing the instructions. They would make such a cute gift for anyone. ANd so many different ways to embellish them.

  14. What a great idea... loved the tutorial as well. I can see something like this happening soon...

  15. I'm going to have to get a grip - I love this idea and want to sit and make them immediately...wonder if I call in sick today for work if my HUSBAND, who is my boss, will believe me YET AGAIN! xo, Nan

  16. Those are nice and like the idea of using strips.
    I got some blank cards to use for fabric cards, guess I need to try some.


  17. I love this idea. I have a friend who always sends me stitched cards but I've never tried it. I bought some card stock recently so I'm ready to give it a try. blessings, marlene

  18. Another great use of scraps :) these are great and sew quick too! Ohhhhh, the possibilities! LOL

  19. I love the cards. Thanks for the tutorial and I would love to make a few and have them ready. Fabric cards are always so pretty.

  20. those are pretty cute post card or not cards - great idea, thanks for the tutorial :)
    Chestermere, Alberta, Canada

  21. Cute noye cards. I am always looking for secret sister gifts. These would be so cool to make in her favorite colors. Thanks for the tut. Can't wait to try a few.


  22. That is such a good idea. I love those. I can see those for all occasions. Thank you for showing us how to make them.

  23. This is a splendid idea for making cards for my loved ones! Thanks for the tips and techniques how to make one.

  24. I love the cards, such a great idea. I will certainly use some of your ideas soon. Thanks so much for sharing.

  25. Very cute! You are right, there are so many things you could do! Thank you.


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...