Work-in-Progress Girl

Fabric Postcards for Postcard Swap

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It occurs to me somewhat belatedly that not only have I not been updating anything here, but that I’ve got a little backlog of finished items to post. I’ve always been a bad blog writer because I get so easily bored, but normally at least I put up the finished stuff, even if I don’t get around to talking about what’s going on in between. (Right now: working on my very first quilting project, stitching the birds and then picking them out and then stitching them again and then picking them out…)

Anyway, I’ve done another fabric postcard swap at my Livejournal group (Fabric Postcard Swap). (You can see what I sent out for previous swaps here and here.) When I started planning to do another swap, I was working on some little embroidery patterns, just to practise my stitches, so two of the cards here definitely feature that.

Jellyfish embroidered fabric postcard

This was my second practise piece, but it’s my favourite of the two! Love the jellyfish! It’s done with satin stitch, stem stitch, and some unfortunate French knots. The pattern came from a Sublime Stitching craft pad. Usually when I’m making fabric postcards, I wind up using whatever scraps are at the top of my pile, and that’s pretty true with this card too, as the background of it (and the other embroidery card) is using some Moda Crossweave fabric, which I’m currently using in a Block of the Month from Sew, Mama, Sew.

Hello embroidered fabric postcard

This was the other heavily embroidered card. There are tons of things I’d change about it if I could, well, not tons, but some of the stitching anyway, but I still like the idea of it even if not the execution. The worst bit about it is that it looks really dirty. I’d decided to use fusible batting (June Taylor fusible) to ease the quilting process and ironing it brought up beads of glue. So not impressed. I use paper backs on my cards, rather than fabric, so I couldn’t wash it (which would probably have gotten rid of the glue). I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of that fusible batting. I’d used some of it for a table runner, and it brought up beads of glue with that too, but it was washable, so it didn’t turn out to be a very big deal, but I mostly have fairly small bits of it left. I hate to throw things away, so maybe I should just turn the iron down low if I use it for additional postcards and hope that’ll solve the problem.

This card actually disappeared in the mail, so it never reached its intended recipient. Annoying. (Despite all the shit talk people say about Canada Post, it happens so rarely, so it’s extra frustrating when it does.)

Hedgehog fabric postcard

Hedgie was probably my favourite card just because it’s so stinking cute. It’s paper pieced using a Sonja Callaghan pattern, which you can find at her blog Artisania. I had a world of trouble with Hedgie’s feet, but I don’t think it’s particularly noticeable (unless you’ve got the pattern in hand and can see where I decided to wing it paper-free). I didn’t want to deal with the small bit of fabric for his nose, so I embroidered that on when I did his eye. The rest of the embroidery was incredibly lazy work – just a few stitches in approximately a butterfly shape, and some very lazy stem stitch for the grass. All the colours for the embroidery were chosen… because they happened to be sitting on my sewing table. The fabrics here are all scraps pulled from my scrap bags – I dug around until I found a strip long enough to make up the whole purple background and the dark brown was a bit of leftover binding strip. I can’t remember where I originally used the lighter brown, it hardly looks like something from MY stash, but there it was.

Abstract fabric postcard

This abstract one was one that started out somewhere entirely different from where it ended up. I’d started out planning to do a turquoise card with thin strips of red running horizontally through it, but then I found the scrap of that Laura Gunn poppy print and decided to use it instead. And then somehow when I was cutting, I wound up cutting all willy-nilly and definitely not all horizontally. Anyway, I kind of like how it turned out, but I am still curious what it’d have looked like if I’d followed my original plan. If I can find enough of those red scrap strips in my scrap bags, maybe I should try it out.

Star Trek fabric postcard

And finally a bonus card, sort of. The embroidered hand postcard disappeared en-route, but the person I was sending it to (Cosmic Twirling) is a fan of Star Trek, so I decided to do the replacement card as a Star Trek insignia. This paper pieced pattern came from Fandom in Stitches and was designed by Jennifer Ofenstein (of SewHooked.com). This pattern features some rather small little bits, most of which are centred around that star. Three units join up on the left side of the uppermost point, and MAN did my sewing machine hate going over that lump of fabric. The first time I sewed the top unit to the joined middle units, I forgot to do a basting stitch first. I don’t know if this is common amongst paper-piecers, but I always join my units with a basting stitch first and then when I’m sure about my placement, I do it for real. But I forgot, and it was really bad, so I had to unpick miles of tiny tiny stitching (or, you know, five inches) so that I could do it again, just a little bit better. I also accidentally missed an edge of fabric when I pressed one of the narrower pieces around the top, and so it stuck through, raw edges and all, along the right side, so I decided rather than undoing it all and fixing it, I’d just hide it! So that’s the explanation for the embroidered edge (which is split stitch, I think). I’m not a Star Trek fan (I wasn’t allowed to watch as a kid), so I don’t know how it stands up to the REAL insignia, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out anyway.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Fabric Postcards for Postcard Swap

  1. Fabric postcards are something I don’t know if I’ve seen before! They are lovely! I love looking at embroidery work (and thank you for checking out my blog, too :D)

    • Several years ago there used to be a group on Yahoo where you could sign up and they’d throw the first 25 names/addresses to sign up into a group and you’d make one card for each person and (unless you had people getting free cards without putting in any work) you’d get 25 cards back. Someone I knew back then had found them and that was the first I’d ever heard of it too! I really like doing the fabric postcards because it’s a really great way to play with new techniques on a small enough scale that if it looks bad, you haven’t ruined a whole project 😀

      I think embroidery is having A Moment amongst quilters – so many people seem to be adding it to their projects, which I really like to see. I’m not very good at it yet, but it’s a very forgiving medium, so I definitely appreciate that.

      Thanks for stopping by too! I follow a ton of blogs (as well as reading the LJ quilting community, and a few others on LJ), but I always like having someone else to add to my reading list 😀

  2. Pingback: Hedgie Fabric Basket | Work-in-Progress Girl

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