Thursday 2 January 2014

Fabric Postcard Tutorial

I have had quite a few requests recently to share a tutorial, showing you exactly how I make my fabric postcards.  So during the December's swap on Facebook I made sure to take a lot of pictures and I hope you will soon make your own and sending them to family and friends.  

The rules of this particular swap is that no paper are used in the making of these cards,  and the cards must have some type of free motion quilting.  So for this purpose it is exactly what I am going to show you.  But know that you can make it which ever way you like, pieced, embroidered, quilted or appliqued, they can be decorated using beads, feathers, ribbon anything you like.  They really are fun little projects!

For this particular month we had a theme 'where we live'.  Now I live in South Africa and there are probably 100's of ideas I could have used, our country is full of wildlife, african art and stunning country sides.  But I had to be true to MY area, which is Mpumalanga, highveldt cosmos country.  So making cosmos flowers was the perfect choice.  

I am going to focus more on the construction of the postcard rather than the decorating part, although I added the steps of how I made this particular 'cosmos flower' postcard.  Remember to let your creativity take over, they can be a lot of fun!

What you will need:
Small piece of fabric for the front. ± 12 x 10 inches 
Batting of the same size
Fusible applique (I used wonder under)
Fusible Interfacing 
4 x 6 inch piece of light fabric for the back to write on 
General sewing supplies, like thread, scissors, marking pens/pencils etc.
and your sewing machine

1.  Start out by making a 'window template' (like shown in the middle picture) out of cardboard or paper by cutting out 4 x 6 inches in the center.  This will help as a guide when placing your design inside the desired area, to see if it will fit and if the placement works.

2.  Trace your design onto a piece of fusible applique paper, using a hot iron press it in place onto the wrong side of the piece of fabric of your choice.  Carefully cut out the design, peel off the backing paper and press it in place on top of your background fabric.  Remember if you are making letters or numbers to trace it in reverse onto the applique paper, once you fuse it in place on top of the background fabric it will be facing the right way.

3.  Trace any lines or markings for the petals on the flower using your preferred choice of pen/pencil.  I used a sewline pencil.

4.  Place the batting underneath and spray baste or use pins to hold in place.  Start stitching out the outlines of the flowers and petals.  

5.  To add depth and colour I used a darker purple thread and 'coloured in' or I think the correct term is 'thread painting' / 'free motion embroidered' around the yellow center of the flower.

6.  Free motion quilt around the flowers to fill in the background space.  To check if you have filled in enough space use the cardboard/paper window template to see if the whole area is filled in.

7.  To assemble the card, cut out the following, ALL at 4 x 6 inches:

*  Trim the front.  
*  Cut out a two pieces of fusible interfacing.  I used a medium weight interfacing so I had to use 3 pieces to get the card nice and stiff.  Depending on the interfacing you are using, you might need more or only 1
*  Cut one piece of fusible applique
*  Cut one piece of light fabric for the back of card 

8.  Place a piece of fusible interfacing glue side on the wrong side of both the front and back piece of your card.  Use a hot iron and pressing cloth and press until it is glued in place.  (middle picture above)

9.  To fuse the two pieces, the front and back of your card, use a piece of fusible applique and press it to the wrong side of front piece, peal the paper backing and fuse the two layers together with a hot iron.

10.  I choose to trim the corners into round edges, but you could keep them as it is.  
11.  Use a zigzag stitch and sew all around the edge of the card.  Once you have gone around once, remove the card and trim any little pieces of thread that might poke out on the sides.

12.  Shorten the zigzag stitch to a satin stitch and sew all around the card again, make sure to go slow around the corners and when moving around, try to have the needle on the outside of the card when turning to get an even and perfect edge.

13.  Hide the thread tail as you would making a quilt between the layers

Now you can write on the back of your card, remember to write the word POSTCARD at the top middle and draw a line separating the address box (right) and message (left).  The stamps we get here in is not the sticker type most use abroad so I use a clear glue to make sure it is stuck to the card.  

All that is left to do now, is write a personal message and address and send it off as is.  I have been very lucky that every card I have sent so far reached its destination, but if you are worried, you can of course send it of in an envelope.  I think it is just more fun to send it 'naked' as is.  

I hope you enjoyed seeing my fabric postcard tutorial and that you'll make loads of your own.  The process and steps shown are how I make my cards, but I am certain there are lots of other ways to try.

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Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Thanks for the great tutorial Marelize! I can't wait to make one - how fun! Loved the flower you made - you are so creative! Happy New Yeara,

Quilting Dee said...

Thanks for your tute! I picked up the link on Mpumalanga. I am an Aussie, but was born and bred in Benoni! Enjoyed Cosmos country write up! Brought back memories! I am going to have a go at your tute and make a few postcards. A good opportunity for creativity!

Tina said...

Awesome Tutorial. I Love Your Detailed Description.

Anonymous said...

How absolutely beautiful!

Fullfilling my Dreams said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial, very good and will be trying one soon.

Joan said...

Great tute - thanks for that ..

Jackie said...

I love making postcards and I like the idea of your rounded edges. You have beautiful samples as well.

Radhika said...

WoW!! super awesome love the postcards..thanks for sharing the tutorial Marelize.. gone through your blog just now loved it ..happy to follow your blog.. :)

Toulouse said...

I have just found your blog and love the postcards, can't wait to get started! |'m a new follower living in Sunny SW France

ShereeSews said...

You have one of the best blogs I've seen. I adore many of your projects. Thanks for sharing them.


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