My nephew will be moving into a new house (new for him, anyway) next week, and of course I had to make him a housewarming card. He's the son of one of my favorite sisters-in-law (actually they're all my favorite!) who also happens to be one of my Stampin' Up! downline members. So doubly I have to send a handmade greeting card!
I have been inspired to make a "quilt-block" card by Cristena Bagne and some other Stampin' Up! bloggers who have been having fun with this technique for awhile now. I made my first one last week as part of an online challenge. For today's card, I made the instructions myself! I found the pattern on an online quilt site and set out to remeasure everything to make it work for a 5-1/2" wide by 4-1/4" tall greeting card – which is pretty much the "standard" in greeting card sizes these days. It took me awhile, and then I didn't understand why it took me so long – the measurements are SOOO simple!
What's not simple is cutting those little squares just perfectly. If I had my way, Stampin' Up! would come out with a 3/4" square punch and my life with this kind of project would be so much easier! My own "secret" to all of this is to cut my "squares" (yes, they usually end up a bit on the rectangular side which is why the "secret") is to keep a pair of paper snips and the Stampin' Up! grid paper on hand. I first cut all the 3/4" strips, then cut 3/4" pieces of the strips. THEN I lay each piece as I'm about to use it on the grid paper over in a corner and then I snip where necessary. This isn't perfect, but about as perfect as it's going to get in Robin's Craft Room!
To place the pieces, I first cut a base piece of card stock just a bit smaller than the final block should be. Then I apply a line of adhesive along the bottom and lay on the pieces along the bottom row. I progress up row by row until I'm finished. Believe me, I do this slowly, lay each piece on lightly and step back to see if it's pretty straight (I don't go for perfection here!). Then I press down and move on. Once the blocks are all laid out, I take a Stampin' Write Journaler and, using a ruler, trace the cut lines of the quilt block. Some people use White Gel Pen to make faux stitching along the quilt blocks. But back when I was actually doing fabric piecing, I only ever used overstitching like that in crazy quilts. Other pieced projects I just left along, occasionally "stitching in the ditch" to actually do the quilting. So I figure the tracing of the line is just like the stitching in the ditch.
Finally I texturized the quilt block with the Sizzix Square Lattice Embossing Folder to make it look just a bit more like fabric.
I used paper from the Patterns Paper Packs because they have small patterns on them and because the colors are just a bit more muted than some of the other Designer Series Paper sets. Please don't ask me which colors I used because, just like when I used to quilt, I picked up paper and, if I liked the way it looked, I used it. Sorry!
Here's my layout for the quilt block. I hope you try this technique out, even if it's just using another block to start! Once you get the first one done (it was a trial for me) I guarantee that you're going to have fun with this!