Here is a piece of fabric I was given by a quilting friend who could no longer remember why she had ever purchased it. Last week we talked about Making Quilted Postcards in 5 Easy Steps. This week, let’s see how we can apply the steps and make a stack of Super Simple Postcards from this piece of fabric.
Step 1: Creating the Background. The first thing I do is to look at the potential placement of the largest pieces of fabric I want to use – in this case that would be 4″x6″ so that it covers the entire postcard. Those would be rough cut first. We can get 2 cards with circles from the top row (using every other circle since they are spaced too close together to be all used in this way) and 2 cards with circles from the bottom row. We can get some cards with hearts and 1 cards with polka dots on it (although the shape leaves something to be desired). There is really only 1 full card possible with the flowers since they are so large and there isn’t very much space around them. These background pieces can be ironed to the Flexi Firm and set aside for the layering step.
Now look at what you might want to keep and use as motifs. The flowers are ideal, and you still have the 4 circles that you didn’t use earlier. There might even be a heart or two that could be used as a motif. Apply Heat & Bond to the back of any thing you want to use as a motif, and do a fine cut around it. Set those aside.
Now, what do we have left? Let’s see what we can piece together. This is where a little more creativity kicks in. Play with the placement of the fabric and then simply iron the first piece on and continue adding using the ‘sew and flip’ method until the card is covered. When you have no more fabric left (or you have given up), move on to the next step.
Step 2: Layer Items of Interest. So far all we have for items of interest are the motifs that we made earlier. I am a firm believer in ‘shopping my stash’ but I must admit I didn’t have much in this colour scheme. What I did find was some rick rack and some red Madera serger thread. That would have to do.
Let’s look at the first set of cards that we had set aside. They were actually quite boring. Usually a panel provides more interest but this was just A circle, A heart or A flower. Nothing else. I ended up using the rick rack quite liberally as it was the item that made a statement. Remember the heart with the polka dots? It didn’t quite cover a postcard, but the addition of the flower motif covered what the fabric didn’t.
The serger thread was sewn in place along real seams and even along some imaginary ones, just because it added another splash of colour.
The flowers, which I thought were going to be a challenge actually worked well. They were so large, one flower could be used on more than one card. The only other thing I did was to stamp sayings on the white space. It just seemed like the thing to do.
Step 3: Embellish. There are times when less is more. I thought this was one of those times. Can you picture gems, hand embroidery, or thread painting on these cards? Neither could I.
Step 4: Complete the back. This is the easy part, especially when you are doing do a number at once. Rough cut your pieces of white fabric slightly larger than 4×6 before you stamp it. The little extra fabric gives you more control. If your stamp is not quite straight, or if you want more white space at the top or bottom of the card, you can reposition the fabric before you iron it to the Flexi Firm.
Step 5: Finishing up. My favorite technique for sewing around the edge is to do a zig-zag stitch over a single strand of Maderia serger thread. Embroidery floss works as well. Another ‘go-to’ is the triple straight stitch. In that case I have to be content with a few frayed edges.
This piece of fabric made 16 cards. The first picture is the Super Simple cards with a single piece of background fabric; the second picture is the pieced cards.