You know how sometimes the image itself dictates the design? That's what happened with me and the "Waiting for Santa" stocking image from the new Strawberry Kisses Christmas line. The stocking looked quilted and homespun, so I decided to go with a quilted background and carry that feeling throughout the card.
Quilted backgrounds are nothing more than pieced paper, and are a lot of fun to do. Also they are great to use up paper scraps, or paper that is a little bit out of style. Years ago I had bought a huge slab of Christmas designer paper and still had most of it left. So I dug in and punched one inch squares from four coordinating papers. The plus side is that it makes you feel very virtuous to be using up those old supplies! (Tip: you can cut the squares on your cutter, but it sure is faster and more consistent to use a square punch.)
You can Google quilt designs for pattern ideas. This one is fairly simple, using squares and triangles. Time saving tip -- you really only have to "quilt" the edges because the middle usually gets covered up. A mixture of patterns and solids usually works well. I ran the solid squares through my trusty Swiss Dot embossing folder for texture. Then just start gluing down on the mat layer (in my case burgundy), starting 1/8" away from both corner edges and working square to square The quilted layer was then adhered to a 5.5 inch top folded white card base.
Final touches were applying tulip snow for the fur on the stocking, and faux-sewing 4 buttons and using glue dots to adhere -- three in the upper left and one on the greeting (which I scanned and shrunk to fit my small oval punch). I deliberately used white buttons and white thread because although I wanted the homespun feel and added interest, I didn't want all those buttons to compete with the focal point or even the background.
I used a fifth coordinating designer paper to make the envelope. It is so easy to make custom-sized envelopes with the Envelobox Creator. For an envelope to fit my 5.5 inch square card, I started with an 8.25 square piece of paper and scored at row G on all sides. That was it! Another great way to whittle down that slab of paper, and it removes the reluctance that I used to have to make these large square cards, for fear that I didn't have an envelope to fit.
Hope you enjoyed today's card!