Making postcards is a great way to try out new techniques and new products. These cards fall into that category and they turned into a lot more work than I expected.
A few summers ago I got into my head that it would be fun to sun print every stencil that I own. I printed multiples of all of them and am slowly making postcards with them. Here are a few that I started with.
I still have 8 sets of these fabrics left (oy!) and decided that it was time to use another. Given my current obsession with Wild Gears, this one seemed like a good idea. I wanted to see if I could combine Wild Gears with these cards.I did but it turned into quite an ordeal. I worked on these all last weekend but wanted to wait to share them because i used this card for Mother's Day (seriously) and my brother's birthday (more appropriate).
I spent hours trying to figure out how to add the Spirographs to the fabric. I considered drawing on fabric and on some sheet brass that I found in my supplies. I bet I've had 2 rolls of the brass sheets for 15 years. I don't remember why I bought them but I became determined to add this to my cards and appliqueing it wasn't going to work. I tried different pens and just a ball tip to engrave the brass.
The brass sheet had to go under the fabric. I cut it 1/2 smaller so that the brass wound't get caught in the edge stitching. The brass is very thin so it can be sewn through but there was no reason to taunt my machine into breaking.
I cut holes in the fabric and fused it over the brass. This was the fist one and I learned how to get a better circle for the rest of the cards.
Ugh, then came the hard part. Sharpie marker proved to be the best tool but I had some smearing issues. The upside of Sharpie is that if the design is crap it can be erased with some alcohol. I did a lot of erasing. They did not turn out great.
I drew some more Spirographs on the fabric with gold pen but they didn't show up great. Gold thread for the edge helped a lot. But you know what fixes everything.
Crystals! Crystals fix almost everything and they helped these tremendously
They are not my best work but I learned a lot and they aren't half bad. I made 10 of these cards. I told Mom that although they didn't look very Mother's Day-ish, she could maybe appreciate the stupid amount of time that I spent making them!
I can't put down the Wild Gears! In fact I ordered 3 more sets this week. There's an Enormous set and Ovals and I got both of those plus one other set that I didn't already have. I want the Enormous and Ovals for my floor cloths and I'm still playing around with large designs for them. But I've also been thinking about drawing on fabric so that I might make a quilt. I had a stack of yellow scraps on the table so I've been experimenting with them. Over the past week or so I've been drawing designs all over the fabric and yesterday cut them up into postcards.
I had not intended to make anything with the practice pieces but as I was looking at them I figured that adding a few crystals might make them fancy enough to be acceptable for postcards.
On this card you can see that I was also experimenting with doing designs in layers. I did a big design first in a light ink for some background lines and then added the smaller motifs in red and brown ink.
In a couple of hours I had 9 more postcards! Between birthdays, get well greetings and Airbnb guests I go through these really quickly.
Work has resumed in our kitchen with the partial installation of the countertops. The bar top was measured wrong so it's being remade and should be here next week. Meanwhile we will march forward and have the backsplash tile done this weekend. By next weekend we should be back in business!
Meanwhile I know that Spring is coming because our Airbnb activity has picked up. I had 2 guests this week and I give them fabric postcards. My stash of cards is dwindling so it was time to get busy and make more. It was also the perfect thing to do while the kitchen work was going on yesterday.
I have stacks of postcard size pieces that I have sunprinted and screen printed and this is one of my favorites.
I printed these on a waste fabric from my Southwest Gradient.The dandelion was screened twice, once in dark green and then the tips in bright green. After that dried I added the purple dragonfly. I had not done anything with these because I couldn't figure out what kind of stitching to add.
It took me long enough but it finally hit me that it didn't need stitching at all. One little crystal was just enough.
A purple edge, to match the dragonfly, finished it off perfectly.
I made 7 of these and they are the first cards of 2019.
All of the Christmas cards are done!
I don't have any in-process photos because I was so focused on finishing them that I forgot to take any photos. These started with a ribbon package from Renaissance Ribbons. I don't see this pack available anymore but I bought it for the reindeer. I like to give a deer-themed card to our hunting friends. This is pretty subtle but it's the best I could come up with this year.
The "Merry Christmas" is a silk screen that I made several years ago. It took up a nice hunk of real estate on the card so that I could feature the ribbons. The dotty material is Punchinella that I've had in my stash for YEARS and never used. Punchinella is also called sequin waste. This is what's left over when they make sequins! Around the time that I bought it, Punchinella was the new hot item in the crafting world. Scrapbookers and surface design people loved it. Like many of my supplies it's just another thing that I bought and never used. With this year's cards I set a goal of using some of those "special" supplies and I might have made a teeny tiny dent.
I made 17 of these cards for a total of 78. Now it's time to start addressing all of them!
If you read yesterday's post you know I was digging into fabric bins this weekend looking for a stripe fabric. While I was in there I found these 3 silk fabrics. I know that they were given to me and I think that a friend might have brought them back from Thailand but I can't swear to it. The 2 solid stripes are about fat quarter size and the embroidered piece is less than a fat eighth. Since today is my best friend's birthday I thought I might be able to do a quick card for her that she wouldn't have seen on the blog yet.
The nice think about beautiful fabrics is that they do all of the work. The design can be very simple.
My design is incredibly simple! I have the bird GO! die so I cut a template from heavy card stock and traced the bird onto the fabric. I fused WonderUnder to the back of the fabric so that I could trace the shape onto the paper backing. I couldn't cut these with the Go! cutter because I would have not been about to do it without cutting random chunks from the fabric because there are 2 other birds on the die. By tracing and cutting by hand I was about to fit 6 birds on the fabric. The bird in this photo is the one that I used for Anne's card because I was able to get the 3 applique roses near where the eye would be.
Then I had to decide on which fabric for the background and I did that by selecting the applique thread. I felt that using the red thread would make the best contrast between the bird and the gold background.
It really couldn't be much simpler than this! Some of the birds, like this one, got an extra crystal for an eye. I think my birds look very elegant.
I made 6 of these cute little bird cards. I like it so much that I might have to find a pretty Christmas fabric and do this for one of my postcard designs for next year.
Happy Birthday Anne!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook this week you have seen these cards coming together. I've done one step every day since Friday and with about an hour a day I got 30 of them made.
This design isn't original. I wanted to do a card that would use up some of my collection of felt and started looking around for ideas. I found this one while perusing the greeting cards in Target. I knew it would not only be great for felt but would force me to cut into the new "vegan leather" that I bought last month. Years ago when I was sewing garments faux leather was very popular and fun to sew with. This stuff looks and sews exactly the same but I suppose it's a lot cooler to call it "vegan". Of course, I don't know what the vegans think about it being made from petroleum products. Seems that might be an issue too.
But my Santa needed a nice belt and vegan leather is perfect even though I'm definitely not vegan. I an a little faux sometimes though.
I'm not going to give full instructions to make these because they are so easy but I will share a few tips. When I started sewing the belts on I realized that I had not gotten a teflon foot for my Brother sewing machine when I bought it 4 years ago. (I have one on order now.) The regular foot caused a lot of drag so I solved it by covering the belt in tissue paper and stitching through that. Then I ripped the paper off. It worked perfect!
I cut the white felt strips with my wavy rotary cutter blade. I rarely use that thing but I sure do love having it around for the few times I do use it. You can see here that I eye-balled the placement. I try not to get carried away with perfection when making postcards, especially when I'm doing 30 of them at a time!
I did a deep archaeological dive into the the stash for the belt fabric. This gold fabric is swimwear fabric and that means that it's 20+ years old! I knew I'd need that shiny gold fabric some day. It's perfect for my belt buckle! I ironed paper-backed fusible web to the back of it and drew the belt on the paper with a ruler and then cut them out. I fused these onto the card lightly before I top-stitched them with gold metallic thread.
Yesterday I finished them all off with a black serged edge. I think they turned out really cute and they came together quickly. I now have a total of 60 cards an only need 20 more. Hopefully I'll have them to share Monday. I'm in the mood to make some veterans quilts and that's keeping me focused to get the cards done first.
I didn't post earlier today because I was intent on having two finishes in one week! In between errands, a clay shooting lesson (I'm still bad but improving) and chores, I finished the set of Christmas tree cards! This post counts for Thursday and Friday this week.
I usually make 3 or 4 card designs each year and there's always a tree. This year I decided to quilt a little free motion tree to use up some thread. The threads I picked are Superior Rainbows variegated trilobal polyester thread. They have a little shine to them. I'd quilt some on the margins of quilts that I had on the frame. I've been working on them off and on all year.
You can clearly see here that they are totally free motion stitched!
I have 6 different background fabrics simply based on what I had in my "waste fabric" stash.
I wanted to add an extra element...also from my stash. Some have dyed cheesecloth "ground" and others have pieces of knitted metal mesh as a background. The sequin star is from my old stash of beads and sequins from the ornaments that I used to make.
With an obscenely large thread stash it was easy to find the perfect thread colors for the serged edges. I have a great start on the 80 cards that I need with 31 of this design!
I also put a tiny dent into the thread stash. I'll finish off the rainbows the next time that I need to baste a quilt.
This weekend turned into more of a weekend of chores. I did some hand applique while I watched football yesterday but I mostly continued my efforts to get the inventory from the AQS show put away. I think I'm about halfway done at this point. There are only 3 big bins left in the middle of the living room floor. Believe me, that's progress!
I did take a couple of sewing breaks and made some progress on postcards.
I didn't love my last iteration of the tree cards so I pulled out some dyed cheesecloth and metallic mesh ribbon and gave my trees some background. Then I hand stitched sequins and an bead for a star. I'm happy with this one.
Now they are all ready for their backs and edges.
I also figured out a new direction for the cat postcards. Estelle had this cat stencil that's going to work perfect. In my stamping supplies I also found these little cat paws. My plan is to get these done this evening.
Well, not a fail so much as way to involved to make.
I didn't post yesterday because I simply didn't have anything interesting to tell. I was just getting involved in this mess and the story had to wait a day.
I had to sidetrack off of the Christmas cards because I remembered some upcoming birthdays. One is my sister-in-law. She and my brother are serious cat people.
I was on Renaissance Ribbons recently looking for some ribbons for another Christmas card idea and I saw this cat ribbon. I just had to get it for JJ's birthday card. Of course I had no idea how I was going to use it but my deadline is looming and it was time to figure it out. Yesterday I started to work on ideas. It's a narrow (3/4") ribbon so it needed another element as the focal point for the card.
I rejected about a dozen ideas before I decided that a foundation pieced cat would be just the thing. I was already about 3 hours into the project by the time I got the cat drafted to my liking. Time to print the foundation papers.
(It kind of looks like a snake ready to strike the cat, doesn't it?)
But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Let's give this thing a try.
An HOUR AND A HALF later I had exactly one card made. I have enough ribbon for 9 cards! I don't really love the card but I will keep it and send this one to JJ. I know that she keeps all of the cards that I send her and she'll appreciate that it's a cat and hopefull will give me a "A" for effort.
Now I'm working on idea #2 for the remaining 8 cards. I don't know what that's going to be yet, except that it will be easier.
This weekend wasn't my most productive ever but it was nice. Friday I spent most of the day reliving my high school years with my best friend. She died in August and I wanted to collect photos and stories for her, now adult, children. Aside from the emotional aspects of it, the chore required a good bit of excavating and reorganizing. But it was fun to revisit photos, reread the yearbooks and decide which photos and stories I could actually share. Some things just need to remain our secrets forever! Her son and daughter appreciated it so it was a day well spent for all of us.
Saturday I met with some friends who are interested in starting a SAQA group in the Richmond area. If you are or know any art quilters around this area who might be interested please let me know and I'll pass on your contact information.
But Saturday evening I got back to my sewing room and got started on the Christmas tree postcards. I usually start with a test card and that's what I did this time too.
I found a hand dyed backing fabric that I liked and stitched the tree to the card....easy.
I have a lot of beads and sequins left from when I made those Cracker Box ornaments and decided that the tree needed decorations.
The cool thing about beading on a postcard is that you don't have to be too worried about tying off the threads. Fusing the backing on the card holds all of those threads in place.
I'm not sure if that's going to be my final decoration design but I do like the dyed background so I did get background fabrics fused to postcards. I have a stash of dyed cheesecloth so I might see if adding some of that might add a nice extra dimension.
These are one of my goals for the week. I also want to get the binding done on Antelope Canyon, load and quilt 2 QOV quilts and I still have tons of things from the show to put away.
Time to get to work.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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