Wish Upon A Card – Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Fundraiser

Well, I’m now gearing up for going to Sisters, Oregon, this July for the wonderful Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and The Quilter’s Affair, where wonderful classes go on all week.

One of the ways the quilt show gives back to the community is through a fund-raiser called Wish Upon a Card. The project collects money for cancer patients in the area.

Being a teacher at The Quilter’s Affair gives me the benefit of having my postcard framed and put into a silent auction during the teaching week at the high school. Last year my postcards were a bit clunky and awkward, but they looked so much better with the wonderful framing job that is provided by HighDesert Frameworks.

Making a quilted piece that is only 3″ x 5″ is a MAJOR challenge for me. This means that the pieces need to be TEENY WEENY. And I mean MINUTE!!!

My new work is all about making quilted appliques, and, with this in mind, I set out to make a little vase of flowers.

Azucar, fabric from Alexander Henry fabrics
Azucar, fabric from Alexander Henry fabrics

The only fabric that I liked for the project and which had flowers small enough for the postcard was this wonderful skull fabric – made by my boyfriend Alex, of course. I am in love with these colors right now and I loved the gold glitter on the motifs. I cut out the flowers from the eyes, chins, cheeks, foreheads, and background.

I glued little cut-out flowers on  to black batting and trimmed the edges to leave a shadow of the batting all around. I really like how this effect makes the flowers pop.

Flower placement on the postcard
Flower placement on the postcard

I created a wall and table on the 3″ x 5″ piece of fusible card and auditioned the placement of my bouquet.

Stitched borders and first stitched appliques
Stitched borders and first stitched appliques

Then I used some variegated threads and some fancy stitches and sewed around the table and the outer border. I wanted to give the piece some visual interest and texture before adding the bouquet.

The vase is made out of a fabric with cacti all over it. Some of the flowers, like the one in the above photo, were pieced from several parts of the skulls, including the eyelashes. I was working to get a balance of color and the different flowers in a variety of sizes.

Using the Ott Light magnifiying glass to see the beads
Using the Ott Light magnifying glass to see the beads

I stitched the appliques in place with gold thread on my regular sewing machine.

Then I felt compelled to add the WORLD’S SMALLEST BEADS! Look at them! They’re smaller than a really tiny thing! Can you imagine the pain I went though?!? Me who doesn’t do hand work!?! Poking myself with the needle every other minute! And I can’t even begin to talk about the size of the eye of the needle or I’ll need medication (more medication, that is!)!

Postcard finished!
Postcard finished!

I’m pretty happy with the results (after all that torture).

Fabric Bouquet postcard, by Alethea Ballard
Fabric Bouquet postcard, by Alethea Ballard 

I hope it raises loads of money, and I’m glad that I won’t have to make another one until next year!

Anyone can donate fabric postcards up to July 1 to be sold for the charity. Yes, that means you can be tortured, too!

Here’s what the website says:

Please consider donating one (or more!) fabric postcards for this worthy cause.

• Postcards should be 4” x 6”
• To be considered for Challenge prizes and silent auction, cards must be received by April 15
• We are happy to accept cards for sale up to July 1
• Please include your name and address and mail to:

220 S. Ash St. #4
Sisters, OR 97759

Home again, jiggedy jog!

Lucky Girl!
Lucky Girl!

I’m a lucky girl!

I’ve just returned from a great lecture and a wonderful Dream Chair Workshop with the Moonlight Quilter’s Guild of Santa Rosa.

I had a lovely visit with the tremendously talented quilter and author, Judy Matthiesson, and I got to meet my illustrator on Dream Chair Quilts, Mary Flynn!

I showed quilts and told stories and, fortunately, everyone laughed at my jokes!

Moonlight Quilter's Guild of Santa Rosa
Moonlight Quilter’s Guild of Santa Rosa

I also had a lovely time down in Carmel! My Uncle Richard is an amazing builder and I got to hang the Awesome Mustache Quilt on one of his little barns!

Awesome Mustache Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2013
Awesome Mustache Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2013
Awesome Mustache Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2013
Awesome Mustache Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2013

Next up: Redding and then Oregon!

Stay tuned!

P.S. You can get the pattern for this Awesome quilt here!