Today I'll be showing you how sewing on your cards can create interesting effects and accents! In my first example, I created a unique background by stitching a harlequin pattern onto a Memory Box Cranberry notecard base. To help guide my machine stitching, I lightly scored the pattern onto the card base and then stitched on those lines.
Using the same color of thread as my card base creates an elegant tone-on-tone effect. Memory Box's Crystal Chandelier was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink onto Neenah Natural Whitecardstock and the flames colored with Red Copic Spica Glitter Pen.
Clear adhesive crystals accent the chandelier and the sentiment was stamped separately, using a Stamp-a-ma-Jig for perfect placement. The image was die cut matted with Labels ThreeNestabilities dies (and Licorice Memory Box cardstock). The pieces were layered with foam tape to the card base and then tied up with black ribbon.
In this example, I used a Classic Heart Nestabilitiesdie (remember, this die set has been discontinued by the manufacturer, so when Ellen's stock is depleated there won't be any more!) and embossed it onto a Memory Box Sugar Plum notecard, and then used that image as a guide to machine stitch with brown thread the heart shape. Think of all the shape possibilities you have with shaped dies for this technique!
I also machine stitched two ivory straight lines on the left side of the owl tab (click on the photo for a larger view), to help create an "anchor" to the image. The Memory Box Owl Love You image was stamped with Memento Rich Cocoaink onto Neenah Natural White cardstock and then colored with Copic markers E31, E35, G40, G82 & R81.
I rounded the edges of the owl image with Zutter's 1/4" Corner Rounder and mounted it with foam tape to the card. The cute "owl always love you" sentiment is included on the end of the owl rubber stamp image wood block! I used Martha Stewart's Cosmos punch on some Memory Box Gossamer paper and glue-dotted it to the heart shape. The edges of the owl image and card were sponged with the Rich Cocoa ink.
In the example above I stitched Memory Box Gossamer patterned paper to a Memory Box Granny Smith notecard, after distressing the edges of the paper with Tim Holtz' Distresser. The stitching also holds the lace onto the card -- a perfect "adhesive" solution for laces or trims that have an open weave to them, where other adhesives would show through the lace.
Memory Box's Cake Stand was stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink onto Memory Box Gossamer patterned paper and then colored with Copic markersR81, R85 & G82. I trimmed the image with my paper trimmer, layered it onto more Granny Smith cardstock and machine stitched around the edges. The stitching creates a simple edge and added interest to the focal image.
Don't forget the insides of your cards -- Above, I added zig-zag stitching to help accent Memory Box's "hope your valentine's day is sweet" sentiment!
You can also use stitching to accent stamped images:
Above is Memory Box's Sonoma Print image stamped with Memory Box Tuxedo Black ink. In the photo below (click on it for a better view), you can see where I added a machine stitched "stems" to the floral image:
You can also use machine stitching to create added interest to your die cuts. Above, I die cut the image with Classic Ovals-Lg Nestabilities and then used the embossed edge of the die cut as a guide to stitch. On intricate shapes, just take your time and go slowly with the machine, turning the wheel by hand if you have to, to get the stitching exactly as you'd like it. Pivoting the cardstock (just lift up the machine's foot while the needle is in the cardstock, and then lower the foot again before stitching) is also a great help. A (Labels Nine Nestabilitiesdie was used to cut a black cardstock mat for this image).
I hope these examples help to get you sewing on your cards!
EDITING TO ANSWER A FEW (GREAT) QUESTIONS!
I use my “good” regular old (very basic) Singer sewing machine, but don’t use it very much for fabrics anymore, so I wasn’t worried about "ruining" or otherwise affecting it. I’ve not had any problems with my machine since I started using it for paper crafting about 3 years ago. If you don’t want to chance using your good machine, smaller inexpensive machines can be found. The most popular is a Janome Sew Mini which retails for about $50-$60. A Google search will yield many shopping results!
I haven't ever tried to stitch together more than two layers of cardstock or patterned paper, so I can't attest or recommend trying more!
You do want to be careful about where and how much adhesive you use on paper pieces that you will be sewing. Try to place the adhesive (and just small amounts) away from any areas that you will be sewing, or the adhesive will gum up your needle and you WILL have problems (speaking from experience)!
I use a "heavy duty" needle that is recommended for my machine. Just check it periodically to make sure it doesn't have adhesive on it and if it does, clean it with Goo Gone, Scrapper's Solution or rubbing alcohol.
I use upholstery thread, which is "thicker" than an all purpose thread -- I like the bolder look of it and have fewer problems with it breaking.
If you have any more questions, please ask away and I'll answer them back here!
Stamps: Memory Box wood mounted Owl Love You, Cake Stand, Hope Your Valentine's Day Is Sweet, Sonoma Print, Crystal Chandelier, You Light Up My Life
Paper: Neenah Natural Whitecardstock, Memory Box Gossamer 6x6 pad. Memory Box Notecards-Sugar Plum, Granny Smith and Cranberry. Memory Box Licorice cardstock
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa & Tuxedo Black, Copic markers & Copic Red Spica Glitter Pen
Accessories: Spellbinders Classic Heart Nestabilities, Classic Oval-Lg Nestabilities, Labels Nine & Labels ThreeNestabilities dies. Zutter 1/4" Corner Rounder, Martha Stewart Cosmos punch, clear crystal gemstones, Prima Lace, Ranger Ink Blending Tool, Tim Holtz Paper Distresser, Stamp-a-ma-Jig, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, Tonic Guillotine Paper Trimmer, Mini Glue Dots
Other: Sewing machine and thread