Monday, February 15, 2010

There's Always Time for Love

I've always loved making Valentine's Day cards -- when I was a child, I spent weeks making construction paper valentines for my family and friends.  In fact, I gave Q a construction paper valentine when we first started dating (21 years ago).  He still has it.  In recent years, I've been making him fabric cards.  This year, the huge snowstorms meant that we got to spend an entire week at home together, which was such a treat. So in honor of our "snowcation" together, I made a card entitled There's Always Time for Love.

The main fabric is an embossed velvet in a rich burgundy color, which I fused to a thin batting.  Then I reverse appliqued the hearts, using images of clocks from three different commercial fabrics (I fussy cut the clocks).  Then I fused the whole piece to a piece of Timtex (stiff interfacing).  The edges of the hearts are satin stitched in silver metallic thread (YLI brand), and the satin stitching is extended into the center of the piece in a free-form pattern.  It ended up looking like tree-roots, as though the hearts are growing together, which I hadn't planned -- but I like it. I fused a piece of one of the clock fabrics on the back and satin stitched around the edges in black -- I think I did about 4 layers of stitching before I was satisfied with the density.

It still felt like it needed something more, so I poked around in my bead stash and came up with the letter beads made to look like typewriter keys.  These felt like they connected with the vaguely steampunk air of the piece. (Q is a big fan of steampunk.) Luckily, I had all the necessary letters to spell out "TIME".  I fussed a bit with their layout and ended up moving the M to make the curve of the word feel smoother.  I also found a silver charm with the slogan "Love Much" on one side and "Laugh Often" on the other.  I originally put it in the empty left space under the biggest heart, but it looked out of place and disconnected there, so I moved it to "hang" from one of the lower loops.  Then I added the blue heart in the middle, which provides a nice glowing center to the whole piece.  All in all, I'm pleased with it, although I think some of my satin stitching is a bit less even than I would ideally like, and I suspect I could have added another stitch pattern to give a sense of overall movement of the hearts. 

This was a more elaborate card than the previous ones I've made, so I feel that I've stretched a bit.  I like the addition of beads (I think beads enhance almost every project, so that's no surprise).  And Q liked it, which was the most important part. 

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