Making fabric postcards are a great way to try out ideas. They don't take a lot of time or resources. Here are a few examples of postcards I have made resulting in asking myself "what if?" What would happen if I tried to use paints, rubber stamps and ink, T shirt transfer paper, how about a technique I've been wanting to explore? Even free motion stitches can be tested on a postcard. Most of all I just give myself permission to play.
Here I used an image from a stencil. I lightly penciled in the honeysuckle and then used watered down acrylic paint (nothing fancy) just the inexpensive stuff available everywhere.
The outlines are drawn with a fine tipped sharpie. Believe it or not it is actually washable after heat setting with an iron.
This is called "Painted Honeysuckle".
So how about rubber stamps? They seem to be everywhere but I did not want to spend a small fortune to find out if this idea would work. So it was off to the dollar store in search of supplies where I picked up a few small ink pads along with a stamp. Then I looked around my home to see what I had handy that could be used to make simple shapes.
I used the stamp I had purchased and placed it randomly on the fabric. The dots are made using the head of a screw & pen tops. The shapes that resemble flowers were made using the hardware that will hang your broom or mop. Once again I got out my trusty sharpie marker and did some outlining. This piece is also washable after heat setting.
I call this one "Playing with Ink".
I find it difficult to come up with names for my quilts so making postcards can also be good practice at giving your works a title.
How about using T shirt transfer paper? It also helps with your skills at the computer. Once I have an image I am happy with, I simply tell the printer that I am using a transfer paper and it will reverse the image for me. Follow the few simple instructions that come with the paper and you can do most anything.
For this one, I printed a number of quilt blocks, cut them out and ironed them onto the fabric, did a few quilted spirals and I was done. Since they are all star blocks
I have called this one "Seeing Stars".
A friend of the family ( who is a passionate quilter) was about to celebrate 60 years of marriage. She enjoys receiving a postcard from me now and then so I thought I would just have to make one to commemorate this event. I, unfortunately did not get a picture of the finished card before mailing it but here is the image I created, then transferred onto fabric just like Seeing Stars above.
What a great way to send a "one of a kind" greeting!
Of course you can take advantage of scraps of fabric just too lovely to toss away. Here I cut a spiral and some ray shapes, fused them to a beautiful batik to create some sunshine. I then put a layer of tulle on top of this so that I need not worry about the raw edges fraying ( although that might have looked cool too!) and added the machine quilting.
This was one of my 1st postcards I think I named it "Catching some Rays".
Don't forget all those novelty prints out there. Have you ever bought some thinking that they were kind of neat but really have no idea what you will actually make out of them? Well, with some paper backed fusible web and a little imagination you will soon find use for even the strangest prints you own.
Here I have just placed a few leaves on my fabric added a couple of rubber stamp images and then used a variegated thread for the quilting. I can not remember what this one was called.
This next one is a novelty print used with a twist. I know that you can use fusible web under fabric but what if I wanted to use it on top of one and under another?????
The fish and plant life were fussy cut and simply laid on the fabric, I then layered a fusible web the size of the entire postcard on top of them. Next came a piece of drapery sheer, with a Teflon sheet I pressed the whole works with a dry iron and the result gives a cloudy appearance which I thought was quite effective. This was "Catch of the Day"
How about trying a new technique? I have seen and admired shadow applique and thought it might be a good candidate for a postcard. The pieces of stem, flower and leaves were all placed on the 6 x 4 inch fabric and then a sheer layer was laid over them. I did a straight stitch around all of the elements and then just had fun trying a new free motion quilting pattern.
This is "Morning Fog"
I enjoy being able to play and not worry so much about trying to achive a perfectly finished piece. I am always happy to find a fabric postcard in my mailbox.