1 Million Mile Quilted Postcard Challenge update: The theme for March was “I Love Water”. Each card is different and they are all in the mail. Next week I will let you know where the cards went, and how many miles we covered in March.
April will be a special month. The theme is “Work of My Hands”. I will not have access to a sewing machine (for the whole month!) so the cards will be handmade. They are being mailed from a mystery location and will be limited to the first 10 requests. I would encourage you to make a card with some handstitching on it and send it to me. I would love to show pictures of your work on my blog.
The cruise ships are busy in March with people like ourselves who like to shorten winter by a week or two. We were there to celebrate a 25th anniversary. We had the pleasure of visiting 4 islands in the Caribbean, seeing some beautiful blue water and white sand beaches. It seemed like the perfect month to have a water theme for our postcards.
My postcard design for March is based on the Tropical Fish Little Bits tissue paper patterns by Cindi Edgerton. Several years ago I made a small wall quilt from this pattern. It was my first attempt at paper piecing. Accidentally, I trimmed one of the 3″ blocks to the stitching line instead of the cutting line, making it too small to use on the wall quilt. Instead of throwing it away, I used it for a postcard – adding extra water, and a sandy ocean floor. It ended up as one of my favorites. That first postcard was sold, with much regret later.
This was the perfect opportunity to make more. The pattern has 6 different styles, with 5 patterns for each. Some are swimming left. Some are swimming right. Some point up. And some point down. It was nice to work with this diversity.
For the postcards, I started with paper piecing the fish, but not trimming it to the 3″ square. Then I positioned and ironed it (after removing the tissue) to the Flexi-firm in a position that worked with the design. More often than not, I had to add more fabric (using the stitch and flip method) to reach the sides. At the beginning I used all different shades of blue for the water but then discovered that the finished blocks looked best when the same value of blue was used for all the water pieces.
I left approximately an inch on the bottom of the card without any fabric until all the stitching was done. I went out on a limb and added sea weed with the feed dogs down. (It took a few to get it right – those are going to grandsons!). Then it was on to the sea floor and a final row of decorative stitching between the water and sand.
This time I choose a simple triple stitch to quilt the 3 layers together and added a jem for the eye of the fish.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this post. If you haven’t already done so, try making a postcard or two. It’s a great way to practice a new technique without breaking the bank or taking weeks of your time. With a little thought you will probably remember someone who could use a little encouragement or a thank you note. They would love to hold your card in their hands.