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Thread Techniques!

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Card Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

The use of thread on card and paper-crafting projects is a great way to add texture and interest to a project. There are many techniques that may be used, each resulting in its own unique effect. There is also no shortage of beautiful threads that may be used! Some of the techniques involve thread wrapping, stitching and even a random freestyle approach. In this issue we'll explore a sampling of these techniques as well as share some last-minute festive touches. There is still time to create beautiful tree ornaments and table favors, and to customize your gift wrapping. If you still have a couple of cards to complete, we even have inspiration for using thread on cards. So let's get started!

Using thread on cards is one of my favorite techniques. Whether it is a basic wrap or a stitched design, these techniques are not complicated, nor do they require a ton of supplies to accomplish. The color range of beautiful threads is truly endless, and there is an assortment of weights and textures from cotton and rayon to metallic and holographic.

Let's begin with a basic thread wrap as shown in Project 1. The materials that are required in order to create a basic wrap design are cardstock shapes with scalloped, pinked or notched edges, thread and tape. These types of edges are important because they have valleys in which the thread may be wrapped or "parked." These edges can easily be created with the use of punches or die templates. Almost any shape may be used for a basic wrap design, including circles, hearts, ovals, squares, octagons, triangles, etc., and the list goes on. Working directly from the spool of thread, simply tape the end of the thread to the back of the prepared cardstock and wrap around through the valley at the top edge and then directly across at the bottom edge. Continue the wrap to the right of the first wrap at the top edge and to the left at the bottom edge; continue wrapping in the same direction until complete. A basic wrap was used on the bottle tags shown. The wrap was completed on a scalloped circle, and then it was layered onto a plastic snowflake ornament and a cardstock rosette. These tags are the perfect finishing touch for sparkling juice, wine, liquor, lotions and even chocolate-caramel pretzels.

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Project 1    

Next, let's try a "quilt wrap." A quilt wrap is a thread wrap that is completed in a pattern similar to a quilting pattern. Start with a square or rectangle shape, and create vertical, horizontal and diagonal thread lines. For further inspiration take a look at some basic quilt patterns or just experiment until you come up with the desired effect!

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Project 2

The next progression in thread wrapping leads us to a spirelli wrap. Spirelli is a form of string art that also makes use of cardstock shapes that have scalloped, pinked or notched edges. The difference between this wrap and the basic wrap is that after the first wrap through a valley the next wrap does not go directly opposite. Instead, a given number of valleys are skipped before continuing the wrap. The more valley areas that are skipped results in a smaller center circle on the front of the shape. The resulting visual effect is similar to the lines achieved with a drawing toy called Spirograph®. The bottle tag shown was created using a scalloped circle. After the first wrap eight scallops were skipped and the wrap continued in the ninth valley to the right. Another difference is that once the shape has been completely wrapped, there will be two thread lines in each valley. The ornament shown makes use of both a scalloped circle and a notched circle, the latter of which was formed using an I-Top punch.

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Project 3

Aside from wrapping thread, just about any paper can be stitched. Stitching with a sewing machine using a straight or decorative stitch is a wonderful and quick option to layer papers and at the same time create visual interest. Or try stitching by hand to create a truly custom design. The card shown in Project 4 is a great example of hand-stitching a custom design. The materials required here are thread, a piercing tool, a foam pad, a beading needle, tape and a pattern. This delightful tree started with a pierced hole at the center top of the cardstock and seven pierced holes at the bottom followed by eight holes for the tree trunk. You don't have to tie a knot in the thread; just tape it to the back of the cardstock and start stitching. Another technique is shown on this project, and that is to use corner punches and finish by wrapping thread around the decorative edge.

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Project 4

Stitching patterns can be made with the use of graph paper or try using one of the templates available through Ecstasy Crafts. Other options for stitching are some of the newest stitching die templates from Papertrey Ink or Simon Says Stamp, and the pierced die templates from Spellbinders® Paper Arts.

The final technique I would like to share with you is a freestyle thread technique where threads are randomly swirled and adhered to an adhesive sheet. This particular technique does require a few more supplies, but it is a wonderful technique that can be used on a variety of surfaces -- even glass votive holders! I hope you will check out the free project in this issue to learn all about it!

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Free Project

Whichever method you choose, I am sure you will be pleased with the eye-catching results you can achieve with thread. I hope that you have been inspired to create and will give these thread techniques a try!

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