Fabric Postcards

Tonight I decided to get a move on some ATC's I wanted to make and had so much fun with them that I also did two postcards.  The ATC's (artist trading cards) are for an Imagination Tribe trade where the theme is Anything But Paper.  I had been planning on trying these for a while.  These are fantastic for using up tiny pieces of fabrics so I got out my copious bags of scraps and got to work.  After making the ATC's I thought a tutorial would be in order so I did that with a postcard.  The tutorial follows these photos of the ATC's.

The words on these card are cut from selvedge edges of fabric.  I have a bag of these that I've been saving for years.   I cut interesting words off of every fabric that has them.  I think I first got the idea after reading one of Gwen Marston's books.  I had great fun trying various stitches on the machine and also tried some free motion quilting as well.  I find that the free motion stitching works a lot better for me when I have something small to stitch.

Now for the tutorial.  First of all, I'm using Pellon double sided fusible heavy weight interfacing, so these have some heft to them.  They are nice and sturdy.  I asked what the ladies at the Stitchin' Post use and they said Fast-2-Fuse works well also.  For fusing the bits of fabric I used Wonder Under.  Other than that it's just fabric and thread.

Here's what the stuff looks before starting.  I cut mine to 4" x 6".  Both sides have fusible web, but only one side has this shiny paper covering it.  That's so you can fuse one side and not have the other side stick to your ironing board. 

Then I chose a background fabric cut slightly larger than the card and fused it to the un-papered side.  I cut it to the edges of the interfacing after fusing.  I just realized that I have mixed photos of the two different cards I did.  This is actually the background for the second one, so the rest of these photos will show the first card.

Here you can see how thick this interfacing is.

Next I found some bits of fabric to decorate the front of the card.  I cut them roughly into squared off pieces so it would be easier to fuse them. 

Here they are laid out right side up on the fusible side of the Wonder Under.  I just put them together so the sides are touching.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but you don't want to have areas of fusible web showing between the pieces.   

Then I covered it with a bit of scrap paper to keep the web from melting to my iron and I ironed them for about 10 seconds.

I cut the section off with my "paper" scissors.  You have the paper backing on there so don't use your good fabric scissors.  Flip the whole thing over and give it another press with your iron on the paper side of the fusible web to make sure it's well fused.

Then I peeled off the paper backing and cut the pieces using my fabric scissors.

I like to cut the motifs with a bit of edging on them, but you can cut all the way to the edges if you like.  Here they are arranged on the background that has been fused to the interfacing.

Now, fuse the whole thing again.  Then, take off the plastic backing as you get ready to sew it all together.  I discovered that the plastic could be a little hard to get off.  I might give the Fast-2-Fuse a try for this reason.

Once the backing is off and all the pieces are fused to the background you can sew.  I did some straight stitching, free motion embroidery and some of the fancy stitches.  You can doodle as much as you want and even do some thread painting.

Now, I picked out a fabric for the back of the postcard.  I discovered that the threads on the back showed through so I did a double backing on them.  First I fused a piece of muslin to the back.  Remember, you've already removed the plastic backing so it's ready to fuse.  The fabric was cut a little big, then after fusing trimmed to the exact size of the card.

Then I picked out this pretty yellow to go over the muslin.  I had to use more Wonder Under to fuse this in place.  Again, cut it a bit larger at first and then trim to size after fusing.

Lastly, from the front of the card I went around the edges with a zigzag stitch.

Here's the second card before putting the backing on.  I need to get some more Wonder Under, so I couldn't finish it tonight.

These two cards will be sent to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show for a postcard exhibition called Wish Upon A Card.  They are collecting fabric postcards to be sold at the quilt show.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to breast cancer support groups around Central Oregon.  This is a very worthy cause so if you are so inclined to create a postcard or two think about sending one of yours in!  The cards will be on display the week before the quilt show and they are having a Viewer's Choice contest.  Click the Wish Upon A Card link to get the mailing information.