A project-based companion site to, based on creations from the AnnTheGran community. My blog has moved to my new web site, and you can access the blog directly by clicking here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Embroidered Greetings Cards

Our international trend continues this week with a project from Jean Isley in England. Growing up during WW2, Jean did a lot of knitting and hand embroidery at a very young age. Her love of crafting carried over into her adult life and early this year she received an embroidery machine as a Golden Wedding anniversary gift. Already it is considered to be one of her most treasured presents and she is sharing her gift with others in both traditional and unique ways. Recently she took inspiration from some very old silk cards and has made some very special greeting cards for the most treasured people in her life. I'm honored that she is now sharing her story with our community.

Jean's Description
I am an English 'Crafter' very, very appreciative of your free embroidery designs. Using your free designs, I am busy making Christmas Greeting Cards to give to Members of our Carpet Bowls club. To date, I have made in excess of 30 cards - some in the form of postcards, some traditional cards.

Step by Step:
Download and convert design zip files to JEF format & Janome hoop sizes (or whatever format you need for your machine). Transfer to embroidery card ready for stitching design. To be 'frugal' with top and backing materials I like to use the B hoop and position designs to enable 4 designs to be stitched. I prefer to use muslin with stitch and tear stabilizer. When making 'envelope' cards in the style of WW1 sweetheart cards I use nylon to simulate silk with see through backing.

POSTCARDS: Templates of postcard back on computer - some plain reverse, some with designs on reverse. Stitched design is stuck on to this ready to accommodate the cut-out front. Various embellishments can be added to card for desired effect or before sticking to back, if preferred, front can be embossed.

Made as above with an extra piece of card fixed to left-hand edge and folded back to form an opening card.

What Makes This Project Special
Making greetings cards has become a passion. I make cards 'in the style of' WW1 silk cards send home by the troops to loved ones back home. Very time consuming but everyone who sees them falls in love with them, so I consider it to be time well spent.

Skill Level:
When the software has been mastered the possibilities are endless. I'm sure most computer literate people would be able to master the techniques.

I use a Janome 300E Embroidery machine with Digitizer Pro software. Also necessary for the project is a computer and printer, embroidery designs, thread, compact flash discs, embosser and all the usual glues, peel-offs, embellishments etc. for card making.

Time Investment:
Quite time consuming. Obviously an elaborate stitched design takes much longer than a simple one. Assembly of the card can take up to 1 hour, thinking time takes longer in some cases more than others!!

Why I Love This Project
My husband bought my machine for a Golden Wedding Anniversary gift in April, 2007. Before that time I had done nothing like this at all. As a very small child, during WW2, I always had craft projects, mostly making knitted socks, gloves, and dolls dressed in uniforms to sell for the war effort. I even remember embroidering tablecloths on flour sacks (I have no idea where or how my mother was able to acquire the materials when everything was dependent on coupons). When a friend come across some WW1 silk cards that had belonged to her Grandmother, I thought they were beautiful and wondered how I could make cards remotely like them. The embroidery machine enables me to do this, but they take even more time to make & are left for very special occasions.

Send Us Your Creations
Do you have any creations that go with a great story? If so, we'd love to hear about them, and see them! If we choose to post your project, you'll get a free $25 gift certificate to use in the online store. Click here for details on how to submit your creation.

What Would You Do?
Jean received her embroidery machine as a present for a very special anniversary. Click on the Comments link to share with us when and why you received your first embroidery machine.


Sarah said...

I bought my embroidery machine in 1996. , Because my husband bought
him a new John Deere tractor,
I love to embroidery , I love your designs, I embroidered doll cloths by hand when I was a young girl. Now I am up in my years.
a embroidery machine is much easier.

toots said...

I love making cards too, and also try to do several designs in a hoop to save fabric and stabilizer. I had a 300e but now have an 11000 which I bought in October, its magic. A friend bought my 300e and embroiders evrything in sight, no one in the house dares to stand still for too long in case she starts on them.


Moira said...

I love the idea of replicating silk cards - can you tell me the type of nylon you use. Thanks Moira

Annie said...

Jeans idea of making embroidery cards is fantastic!!!
It is great that she has thought outside the box!!!
What a lovely idea I can think of so many ways to be able to use this idea,Jean thank-you I'm inspired and will be making some cards for Birthdays etc
Regards Anne

mobird said...

Hi Anne,
I have a Bernina Aurora and have been really hooked on embroidery. This year, I too did some embroidered cards for special people. I used cards made specially to slip in a 4" x 6" photo - the ones with a cutout in front.
Embroidered a picture then fixed it to a rigid backing (the same as I use for fabric postcards) and secured it inside with glue dots.

Anonymous said...


I am Tita, and I live in Orlando, Fl. My first embroidery machine was bought by my husband in our
50th wedding anniversary, then I changed several times until i have now a Designer SE husqvarna Viking, which is a treasure to me. I am in my 70s and my dream is to embroider my children and grandchildren photos in a quilt, but I don't have the program, should somebody know a person that can do this for me not very expensive, I will be grateful.



mellgree said...

Having used my Janome 8000 for 25 years, bought when my first granddaughter was born, making most of her clothes and those of her younger sister, I treated myself to the Janome 200E when my eldest granddaughter was expecting my first great grandson nearly three years ago. Thanks to AnnTheGran designs he has many embroidered clothes and toys.