After I discovered my joy of embroidery, I had a really hard time finding supplies, like REALLY hard time. I have been able to find a few things here and there since then, but they tend to be heinously expensive, so I still don’t buy them. Anyhew, an idea popped into my head around then of stitching onto greeting cards instead of fabric as I knew where to get those, and after another internet search, bam! Lots and lots o resources. I started making greeting cards for Valentine’s Day, and that spread to Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, in-between cards, and a large batch of cards for my church group to use for birthdays (that one was so I could still have fun stitching cards but it would have that much needed “purpose”). I also designed and made cards for the children at my church when I moved away, it ended up being a fun little Christmas gift. I really liked putting together the name cards, they are lots of fun.
The first few cards I did were just tracing simple pictures off the internet like this tutorial suggests, I even used a cookie cutter for the heart card, and this is picture for the little yellow flower card. Then I found this amazing website aptly named Stitching Cards, and found their patterns to be simple, helpful, and inexpensive. They have a tutorial also. As you may notice, for the most part I strayed completely from the color pallets recommended by their patterns, but I thought that was a fun part of the process, and honestly the pictures I took were to remind me of different color patterns I used.
I like to experiment with different embroidery stitches that can be worked out of a single like of holes, and I had fun using stitches like Portuguese knotted stem stitch – it works up really well on a card, french knots, chain stitch, Hungarian Braided chain stitch, daisy stitch, and Bullion knots (on an unpictured Easter egg card). I even tried pricking a double row of holes to try out palestrina stitch, as I love the stitch on fabric. Stem stitch is a great go-to stitch and the easiest to use.
TIPS: Be careful when punching the holes, I actually prefer using a singe piece of felt over a firm surface (though my craft desk now has lots of tiny marks on it, so protect your table with some cardboard or something) rather than the 1 inch thick felt pricking pad I found at the craft store, so that my puncher doesn’t slip and make a huge hole. If you do your own designs/cards, still use the method Stitching Cards uses for taking the thread over and across instead of around the back, or you’ll end up with a lot of thread on the back of your card. Also, I found out that the more/heavier thread you use, and the larger the card, the more they will cost to send, so be aware of your choices. I covered the back of the embroidery with an additional piece of cardstock/thicker paper as plain colored paper showed the threads.
Time: For a very simple design, about 3600 seconds per card from start to finish. For some of the more elaborate/complicated designs, it took more like 7200-10800 seconds per card.