Thursday, December 17, 2009

Coloring Book Inspired Christmas Cards by Sherry Lidgard

By Dawn Goldsmith

I love coloring books, coloring with crayons, pencils even markers -- you know like we did as kids. It's good therapy and fun -- staying inside the lines is a nice change for fabric artists!

I'm not alone in that fascination. Recently Sherry Lidgard wrote a blog at The Quilt Show website declaring her love of coloring.

Over the years I've tried to incorporate crayons into my quilting and sewing projects. I tried using crayons on fabric, even textile crayons and wasn't thrilled with the results. Too fragile, even after heat setting them. And the colors weren't as strong as I would have liked.

Sherry, feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, searched for Christmas gifts that wouldn't break her budget and yet be a welcome present. Postage was a factor with gifts to be sent from California to Florida. So she turned to coloring books and found a 'go-zillion' online.

She explains her process: I found a bunch that I liked and printed them out. I went over the lines with a sharpie and used colored pencils to color them. Then I scanned them into my computer and ran them through Photoshop.

I prepared fabric sheets for my printer using freezer paper and muslin and printed out the pages. I added batting and backing to the images and quilted them, focusing on the outlines and doing some background quilting on some of them. I used black thread and free-motion to go over the outlines (more than once) of the pictures when I quilted them. Gives them better difinition.

Then I bound them with holiday fabric and they're ready to go! The only thing I had to actually spend money on was printer ink-everything else came from my itty stash. I made about 25 different pieces.

She added: They can be hung on the wall but I think propping them on a shelf or on some kind of small display stand would be better because of their size.

The only downside to her project was the envelope. Because of the odd size of the finished quilt she had to make the envelopes. "I bought poster board and made very simple envelopes to fit each little quilt. Next time I'll make a more standard size so I can buy envelopes and save some time!"

I'm thinking how well this project would work if you have children and want to make a memory quilt of their artwork! Or a grandma gift complete with artwork! Or or or.... next year's Christmas cards featuring your own or your child's coloring pages.

Oh, Sherry added a note with her gifts -- just in case they might not quite know what to do with it. A little disclaimer -- "It's not a potholder...."


Deb said...

Oh, how I love this idea! I know what people are getting next year!! Thanks for a wonderful idea!!

Robin said...

Delightful idea!!! Wish I was on Sherry's card list!

Just spent an hour skimming this blog with its wealth of ideas in both posts and on sidebar. WOW! My new favorite blog!

Robin A.