Christmas cards + tutorial

3 cards

This year I have got organised enough to make my own Christmas cards.

I think it is a rather fun idea that would work as well for Valentine’s day so I have also produced a tutorial.

The day I took most of the photographs the light was awful but I decided not to retake them even though the light is much better today as I have the problem of needing to decide on a new TV so life is getting a bit stressful.

The message inside the card is

Card insideOf course the love I am thinking of is not romantic love or even family love but God’s love shown in the life of Jesus. So I have included a little picture of the Christ child in the manger.

And here is a tutorial on making the heart design

It is based on a mathematical way of creating the impression of a curve with straight lines but here aesthetic considerations have been uppermost not mathematical ones.

You could make your own template but I found some on http://www.donteatthepaste.com/2011/03/curve-stitching-templates.html.

I experimented and chose what I thought was the best number of holes for my purpose (48) and made an A4 template in Corel Draw.

TemplateThe grey dots come from the original template but I added the black dots because I thought they would help me not to make mistakes as I will explain.

I had bought some red card, as it seemed suitable for hearts.

Red card

I printed on the card then cut it in four pieces.

I had chosen to use white cotton. This is your normal sewing cotton.

The first thing you need to do is to make the holes in the card. I pushed a thicker ordinary sewing needle through the grey dots.

Template on card with and without holes
After on left, before on right.

Then threaded a finer needle with a length of sewing cotton.

I found that 60 ins (150 cm) was the right length for the first two parts and 36 ins (90cm) for the second two but you can choose a comfortable length and just start and finish as you need to if you prefer a shorter length. 60 ins does make quite a long piece.

I decided to start in the top hole. (obviously the side with the black dots is the back of the card). You need a good size knot so the cotton does not pull through the holes.

Starting the stitchingHere you can see I went in at the top where the arrow is, out at the bottom (hole 1), in again at hole 2, out hole 3, in at hole 4, and out at hole 5.

Here is how it looks on the right side. Can you see how we are progressing in a clockwise direction, using every hole at the top and every other hole on the lower half.

Stitching on the right sideThis is where the black dots come in. They help to check that you are using the correct hole for the lower ends.

I say upper and lower but actually we will progress round the circle. So keep going as above.

Half way (1st quarter)

Here you are halfway through the first part. From now on at one end you will be going into holes that have been used before. Can you see?

Continue going one at a time into new holes and missing a hole each time at the other end.

Half a cardioid

This is half of a shape that Mathematicians call a cardiod.

Finish the cotton and secure by making a couple of knots as in the picture below.

Finishing cotton

You now repeat the procedure in the other direction.

Aesthetic note! I do not repeat the top to bottom thread, nor do I duplicate the thread that lies horizontally, because I think it looks better.

Threads not to repeatI just miss them out.

So I start the second half thus………….

Starting second half of cardioid

It doesn’t matter if you start from the top as I do or from the bottom (hole 2) to be more like the other half. It will end up looking the same.

This is where I found the the black dots really came into their own to keep me on track.

Just do a mirror image of what you did before and you will end up with the full cardiod.

Cardiod finishedCardiod means ‘heart’ but to create a conventional ‘heart’ we can do better.

This is where you need the shorter piece of cotton.

Starting right side of heart

You start at the bottom go across to the hole halfway up (It is a black dot hole) then come out at the hole above that one coming back into the hole next to the one at the bottom. You then proceed, moving one hole anti-clockwise each time till you connect the hole at the top to the one half way up. (This is where you already have a thread taking this path but I was happy to repeat it this time.)

Right side of heart completed

Secure the end of the cotton and repeat on the other side, working up from thebottom as before.

Now you have your heart.

Finished heart

Photograph taken in a different light so the red came out differently (closer to the reality actually).

Here is what I think will make a printable A4 template. (Copy of one I used). Right click and choose “Save image as”

Printable template

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