Work-in-Progress Girl

Fabric Postcards – Swap Cards

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Am I getting behind on posting or what? I’ve got two other finished items to show and there have been one or two videos since my last update. Maybe I’ll remember this Tuesday.

Fabric postcard #1 by clumsy chord
Fabric postcard #1, a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I made three postcards for the second swap at my Livejournal community for exchanging fabric postcards (Fabric Postcard – creative name, eh?). I had set an optional theme of rainbows, and intended to do something rainbow related, but I got distracted by the stuff on the top of my scrap pile, bits and pieces of aqua and raisin Kona cotton and scraps (little wee scraps that I couldn’t talk myself into throwing away) of Mendocino.

This was the first postcard that I made, and the most basic of them. Just slashes of purple in aqua, and I wish you could see it BEFORE I quilted it, because the quilting really ruined it. I should have done my usual type of postcard quilting and just done a light, decorative stitch around each of the purple pieces. It’s just too busy as is.

Fabric Postcard #2
Fabric Postcard #2 a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

When Canada Post went on strike just in time for the exchange, I decided to try remaking that first card, but the second version didn’t really turn out any better. I like the quilting better, but the purple slashes ended up more as chunks and they just don’t work, somehow. Or anyway, they don’t work for me. (Also, I rather obviously forgot to trim the excess purple from behind the aqua in at least one place. Eeep.)

In the end, I sent out the first card and still have the second one sitting around, waiting for me to decide who to send it to.

Fabric Postcard #3
Fabric Postcard #3 a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

This is the second postcard I made and it was definitely, to begin with, the most simple of all the cards – just a sea of aqua and that bright square with the seahorse. I had some blue variegated thread and had always planned to try stitching on some water movement, but decided at the last moment that I wanted to try embroidering fish on the card as well. I don’t know the proper stitches for embroidery, but I just winged it and I think it turned out pretty well anyway.

First I drew on the shapes with a pencil (they’re all based somewhat on another Mendocino print, the one with schools of fish) and then I stitched in whatever way seemed like it might work. The fish with the lower fin was done in mostly very small stitches, which I was hoping would look like scales.(I don’t think it does, quite, but it’s not bad.) The other large fishes were done with a lot of parallel stitches, just filling in space. The littlest fish were just two or three stitches done in the same entrance/exit holes, which was wide enough to make the fish body, and then two small stitches for the tail fins.

Creating the water look with quilting was harder than I thought it would be and less successful than I’d hoped, but I think it adds something to the card anyway and I wouldn’t change it. (Maybe I’d make it more smooth, if I could, but I wouldn’t do away with the quilting entirely as I would with the first card I showed.)

Fabric Postcard #4
Fabric Postcard #4 a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

In Flickr, I labelled this postcard as #4, but it was actually the third one I made. In terms of the fabrics I used, it’s the most complicated or… involved of all the cards. (It’s more wonky in style, and wonky is NOT a comfort-zone for me.) All the bits of colour are little pieces of Mendocino fabric. The pale and the bright pinks are both from prints that have giant octopuses on it, but my scrappy bits are just background only. I love the way the colours all work together though. The little gold octopus (and its even littler pink friend) were centred as carefully as I could so that I wouldn’t lose any of the print. I’m sure the seam allowance is at most an eighth of an inch, but that’s okay since this is a postcard and not likely to be used and abused like a quilt might. I really liked the postcard, it turned out beautifully, I thought. (Maybe I should have quilted some waves into the water, rather than just outlining things, but I’m happy with how I made it.)

In return, I should receive three cards, but I’ve only had one arrive so far (damn the postal strike/lock-out), but I’ll make another post once they’ve put in an appearance. If they do. (One may have been lost, and the third person is MIA. She sent out all her earlier cards on time, but I haven’t been able to get a hold of her in the weeks since the postal strike was over, so I’ve got no indication that she’ll have received the email saying it was okay to go send out my card.)

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Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

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