And here's the card I stitched for her, which was very much inspired by stamping:
In fact, it started out as a stamped image - a simple, clear line image of a flower. (It's KN2432 Sangria Blossom, a Karen Neuburger design for Hampton Art Stamps, by the way - I can't find it on their website so I don't think they make it any more, but with those details you might be able to track it down somewhere if you love it as much as I do!)
I then carefully followed the stamped lines with a paper piercing tool, piercing holes at regular intervals. After that I just stitched over the stamping, through my pierced holes, with coloured embroidery threads. A simple mat with a torn bottom edge in a colour that tones with the green thread, popped onto a base card that matches the yellow flower centre, and we're done!
So here are a few tips, based on my experience:
- First pick your stamp. Something with a clear, simple outline is best. I stamped my image in black but if you use a paler colour then you can get away with not following the outline exactly. It will make it a bit harder to see the stamped lines, though!
- The spacing of the pierced holes is important. Too far apart and it's difficult for your stitching to follow the stamped image exactly, and any curved lines won't 'flow'; too close together and you're much more likely to tear the cardstock.
- Be particularly careful when you have several stamped lines converging or when they near each other, as again you run the risk of the cardstock tearing as you'll have pierced holes close together.
- Actually, that's important, too. It does need to be cardstock! Paper is too thin to stand up to the piercing and then the handling that the stitching requires.
- You can rescue a small tear! There's a tiny tear in my cardstock in the flower centre, but a bit of tape behind it has secured the threads and you wouldn't know it without looking very closely - and what kind of ungrateful recipient is going to scrutinise your hard work that closely?!
- Don't forget that you can split embroidery thread for more delicate stitches. Using all 6 strands of thread for some parts of the design and split thread for other parts will give the effect of some of the lines being bold and standing out more.
- Secure the ends of the thread behind the cardstock with tape - knots would create too much bulk.
Just finally: don't forget, if you make anything inspired by Clair's class then share a link here to be in with a chance of winning a lovely prize!