Friday, November 15, 2013

How I make my postcards

I thought it might be interesting to show you the process that I use to create a quilted postcard. In the case of this card I began with a sketch. Many of my postcards were made improvisationally (spell check says that's not a word...) where I edited on my machine and with my scissors. Sketches help especially when I am going to be creating my own appliqued images, like the bird silhouettes that are in some of my card designs. This card was inspired by the Starlings hanging out on the power lines on my way to work in the morning. 


Then I begin designing the background for the card. In this case I used some blue fabrics to which I had previously applied  a heat fusible interfacing that makes my fabrics into iron-on patches. It's pretty cool stuff if you are into gluing fabrics to each other! I laid the fabrics out onto a piece of white muslin so that I would have a surface to hold everything together.


 I used my sketches to create a stencil or template for cutting out the posts and the birds. I have a lot of Kona Black fabric in my scrap box so I used it and again a little fusible interfacing so when I apply heat the design is all temporarily stuck together and it does make the fabric a little stiffer so that it is easier to sew. I traced it because that was faster and then forgot to reverse it before I transferred the design onto the fusible.  (I had to point that out because it's pretty obvious and its an easy thing to forget to consider.)

Adding the poles and birds: 

I drew the lines for the wires and then sewed over them with black thread.
Below is my new Frixion Pen and it is a really great marking tool that leaves a visible line and disappears with heat. I have had to redraw things because I forget the heat thing once in a while too!
Then I added some trees because it looked pretty weird just having those telephone poles just floating in the sky. I am ready to iron everything in place and add the stiff (Peltex) fusible interfacing that makes the quilt more like a card. I use a teflon ironing sheet "sandwich style" to protect my iron and my ironing board from the adhesives.

Now that I have the interfacing in place, it is time to quilt. I decide what I want to quilt and where and make some marks with my Frixion pen and get ready to sew. I also make sure that I stitch around and secure all those little pieces so they don't fall off in the mail system. 

Next I trim the excess off the edges and iron on the white muslin for the back of the postcard.

I use my rotary cutter and straight edge to square up my card and then I choose a thread to finish the outside edge in a zig-zag stitch. The last step is to get out my stamp and stamp pad and print the postcard information on the back side of the card. 

Well, that is it. That's how I make them. 

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