It’s that time of year where a lot of us cozy up with fiber crafts of all kinds, from crochet and knitting to sewing and embroidery. Angela’s here with some fresh inspiration to help you get your fix—in card format!
Ever since I re-discovered my love for paper crafting and began making cards about 2 years ago, I’ve always felt drawn to geometric designs and simple shapes. Those simple, clean lines make my type-A personality heart sing, but I also appreciate a few abstract elements as well. Today’s card combines both of those things plus some stitching action—a design that will certainly help you put your Essentials By Ellen Essential shape dies and stitching dies to use!
The first step in the process was to create a background, and for this I was envisioning something colorful with an abstract, modern look. The Essentials by Ellen Abstract Paint Strokes stamp set seemed like a perfect fit, as well as the Organic Elements stamp set – in fact, these two are my absolute favorite for creating fun, abstract backgrounds. I picked a small paint stroke stamp and did some repeat stamping on a white card panel with 5 different inks: Concord and 9th Peacock, Oceanside and Sea Glass, as well as Pinkfresh Studio Candy Violet and Catherine Pooler Shea Butter.
Next up came die cutting with a bunch of shapes from the Essentials by Ellen line. I decided to combine a hexagon, arch and circle on my card front, with the hexagon being the focal point. I selected a small Essential Hexagon, an Essential Hexagon for Stitching that was one size bigger, and one more Essential Hexagon that was another size bigger. I did the same for the arch and circle, and used some low-tack tape to secure them together as you see in the photo below. The taping may seem unnecessary, but it made it so much easier later on to assemble my card and ensure all of the lines and stitching holes lined up.
With my three sets of taped dies ready, I ran them through my die cutting machine with white cardstock to create 3 frames that I would later stitch directly onto my stamped card panel. The next step was to cut the same shapes into my panel, but before doing so, I removed the outer die on each of my taped clusters so that I’d only be cutting the smaller of the three shapes, and the stitching holes around them. I started with the arch since this shape was going to look like it was behind the others, then continued with the hexagon and circle. It was really helpful to trace the shape dies onto my card front lightly in pencil (which I erased later), because this allowed me to ensure the shapes weren’t crooked.
Rather than leaving those shape “windows” open, I decided to create a frosted look by adhering a panel of vellum underneath, just as you would do with acetate if you were making a shaker card. Since the hexagon was going to be my focal point, I picked a ‘Hey Friend’ sentiment from the Essentials by Ellen It’s All Good stamp set (which fit perfectly!) and embossed it in white on the vellum area.
There was one more bit of die cutting to do, and that was to re-cut the stitching holes in the same place as before – this time piercing through the vellum layer. I untaped my die bundles, re-cut those holes, and alas, it was finally time for some stitching!
I selected some DMC embroidery floss in 3 colors that coordinated with my stamped background, and starting with the arch frame that I made earlier, began stitching it to the holes on the card panel. I’m definitely not an embroidery expert, but I knew I wanted to try something a little different to a simple backstitch. The Pekinese stitch in the Essentials by Ellen Embroidery Guide looked like a really nice border stitch, and (to my delight) was extremely easy to do. I did this for the majority of the arch, leaving a few holes unstitched where I knew my other shapes would overlap. From there, I carried on doing the same with the circle and hexagon frames.
At this point my panel was all stamped, all stitched, and ready for turning into a card! I mounted it on an A2 card base with foam tape, and that was that! Making this card now has me thinking about all the other shape combinations that I want to try next, and I hope it’s got you thinking about a new way to use your Essentials by Ellen stitching dies as well.