Free Project by Kathie Briggs
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Fabric postcards are fun to make. You can try new patterns, techniques and color combinations without committing to a large project. You can use all those little scraps of your favorite fabrics and trim. Best of all they go through the US mail with a 41-cent stamp and will delight your friends. There are many ways to create your miniature work of art. Each postcard you produce will give you ideas for new ones!
- Sewing machine
- Stabilizer: Each postcard needs a 4" x 6" piece or slightly larger if you want to trim after quilting. I like either Timtex or Fast2Fuse. If you are using Timtex you will probably also want to fusible web (such as Wonder Under). Fast2Fuse is slightly thinner than Timtex but is fusible on both sides. You can also use craft-weight Pelon, buckram, or heavy cotton duck fabric as your stabilizer.
- Fabric scissors, rotary cutter, mat and ruler
- Fabric(s) for the front of your postcards. They can be whole cloth, pieced, appliquéd, etc.
- Plain light colored fabric for the back of your postcard. Heavy muslin is great.
- Fabric scraps, ribbons, yarns, fibers, feathers, sequin, paper scraps – any thing your machine can sew through.
- Thread(s) to match or complement your fabric. Bobbin(s) to match.
The rest of the supplies are optional but fun to use.
- Decorative threads (variegated, rayon, metallic, etc) and appropriate needles
- Netting and/or tulle
- Thin batting
- Rubber stamps and stamp pads
- Fabric markers
- Pigma Pens for writing on the postcards
Method #1 – Quilting directly on the stabilizer and trimming to size
1. Start with stabilizer (Timtex, Fast2Fuse, or other stabilizer) cut to at least 6 ½" x 4 ½" (or even 7" x 5").
2. Prepare the background for your postcard front. It can be whole cloth or pieced. Cut it slightly larger than your stabilizer and fuse or sew it to the stabilizer.
3. Add decorative elements. You can fuse shapes or sprinkle snips of fabric, fussy cuts, ribbon, fibers, even paper etc. (Tulle is optional but useful to hold down these elements if you choose not to fuse.) You can embroider, rubber-stamp, paint, or even add small beads.
4. Using decorative thread in the machine and a light or invisible thread in your bobbin, quilt your postcard using the stitch(es) of your choice.
5. Cut a piece of heavy white or natural muslin (or any light colored fabric) slight larger than your postcard and fuse it on the other side of the stabilizer.
6. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim the postcard to 4" x 6".
7. Finish the raw edges with a satin stitch, zigzag or add binding. Remember to use matching or coordinating bobbin thread. (You can also use a serger to finish the edges.)
Method #2 – Quilt first, then creating the postcard.
1. Assemble your postcard front on thin batting or fleece as described in step 3. (Hint: use fusible batting if you are using Timtex).
2. Quilt as described above in step 4.
3. Cut a piece of stabilizer 4" x 6" and fuse or sew your front to it.
4. Trim your postcard front flush with the stabilizer.
Continue steps 5-7 as described above.
Another Idea: Create a series!Start with a larger design (say 7" x 14") and using either method create 4 (or more) postcards at once. As you cut your design into sections, each one will amaze you.