What do quilting and the love of paper have in common? Learn about the creative design process of the new Essentials by Ellen – Pieced Together and Stitched Together with Brandi Kincaid.
Hello friends, I’m so glad to be back on the blog today to share about the two new sets I designed for Ellen’s newest release. I love being able to share more of the story behind the stamps with you, as well as what I’ve been working on using those designs, and today I’m even more excited because these sets were inspired by one of my favorite ladies, my Grandma Bess. Bess was a seamstress, a caterer, a volunteer, a fabric store owner, and for as long as I can trace, a quilter. I am lucky enough to still have pieces of her projects, fabric she cut, but hadn’t yet used, even some stitched, but unfinished, and going through that box always bring me so much joy and inspiration. It was that inspiration that tapped on my shoulder when I started to design these stamps, and then again when I went to use them. It gave me a chance to mix her love of quilting with fabric and my love of playing with paper.
It was so much fun to dream up these little clusters of flowers and foliage. Each one in the Pieced Together set fits perfectly into a simple hexagon shape, so while I am excited to show you the many ways you can use them, it also means you can create your own paper pieces not unlike the ones in my grandma’s box, just waiting for you to build something out of them.
I, of course, had to take out my paints first. These designs are perfect for markers, and colored pencils, but I definitely still gravitate to a little watercolor painting first. There is just something to taking our tight shoulders and worried hearts, and spending a bit of time slowing down, painting flowers and leaves, and letting ourselves get lost in creativity and curiosity for a bit.
I know I say this every time I come to this space, but I have to add it again – I love batch working. Whether it’s stamping, coloring, and cutting a bowlful of accessories for a Leading Lady, or piles of paper floral pieces, I like to make more than I know I need, so that when I only have five minutes, but want to make a new card, or use some of this set, I already have pieces ready to go.
The other thing I love about this set is that it pairs perfectly with Ellen’s incredible Essential Shapes – Hexagon dies. There’s a size that will cut them out perfectly with a simple edge for stitching, or to highlight the full design, but you can also use a smaller size die and get a completely different look – more of a pattern that bleeds off the edges.
This probably goes without saying, but I love, love, love using them both ways.
Of course, you don’t have to cut these out individually at all – they were designed to create patterns, as well, because how can we be inspired by quilting without thinking of fabric, and fabric is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from patterned paper! I’m going to just share a peek of what I’ve been doing with those patterns because I’ll be sharing the finished cards very soon!
What I am excited to share today are two different cards I made using the Pieced Together and Stitched Together sets. I’m using the two different sized hexagon dies so that you can see how different the same designs can look when cut in various sizes. I got to work with those cut out by the larger die first because I wanted that edge for stitching. I love the homespun, wonky, wonderful feel of hand stitching on paper. I like to use embroidery floss, and if the size of the piece is smaller, I usually grab three of the six strands, so that it’s visible, but not overwhelming. There’s nothing quite so meditative as stitching these little paper pieces – some fussy work is just fabulous.
For my first card, I kept it simple with just three stitched hexagons, raising them with a bit of foam tape to give the stitching space to breath, and paired them with one of the sentiments I seem to need too often these days.
I love the pop of color and texture the hand stitching brings to final card, especially against a simple, clean background.
Of course, I love to machine stitch, too, so I had to give that a go on my next card. Before I get started with creating patterns with die cuts, I always like to play with them a bit first on the page to ensure what I’m gluing or stitching will work before I dive in (this is one of those things that seems obvious, but I bet we all still had to learn in the hard way at some point).
I love how using the smaller hexagon die for these made the Pieced Together stamp more of a pattern, lending itself to a design with more of a patchwork feel. Because I planned to stitch this card on the machine, I knew that the texture would be more subtle, so to add a little something more to the pattern feel, I raised the center hex with more foam tape. I love that little bit of dimension. I keep white thread in my sewing machine as my basic go-to, so it’s not as visible on the card unless you’re closer up, but the texture, and extra detail is so good.
I’ll be back soon on my own blog sharing more, but until then, I hope you’ve starting dreaming up ways you might quilt with paper using these new sets!