A challenge is not a challenge if its too easy. This month the postcards were a challenge in more ways than one.
The theme for the 1 million mile postcard challenge was ‘Go Vintage’. This time I had too many options and couldn’t decide.
I had fabric with pictures of vintage cars. This would have made easy postcards. Too easy.
I had fabric with pictures of traditional nursery rhymes. Cute but again, too easy. And not enough presence.
I had 3 nails reclaimed from church pews (you can read more about that story here). They date back to 1882 and must have been hand crafted. It would have been nice to honour them. My thought was to transfer a picture of the nails to fabric and make postcards out of it. However, the picture did not transfer well so this idea was abandoned. The nails will be kept for another art project.
I do not really have any fabric that qualifies as vintage but found some crocheted doilies at a second hand store and I had some battenburg lace (used in heirloom sewing). Then I came across a few silk ribbon embroidery pieces I made in the 1990’s. It is often used in combination with crazy quilting and what is more vintage than crazy quilting! The decision was made.
Here is what Wikipedia says about crazy quilting.
Because the careful geometric design of a quilt block is much less important in crazy quilts, the quilters are able to employ much smaller and more irregularly shaped pieces of fabric. In comparison to standard quilts, crazy quilts are far more likely to use exotic pieces of fabric, such as velvet, satin, tulle, or silk, and embellishments such as buttons, lace, ribbons, beads, or embroidery. Crazy quilting as a textile art is extremely creative and free-flowing by nature, and crazy quilters will often learn as much about specific embellishments as they will about crazy quilting itself.
Crazy quilting became fashionable in the late 1800’s. Wikipedia credits an art show that combined English embroidery with Japanese art. Another popular theory is that women rebelled against the Victorian era that preceded it and felt liberated to use a variety of materials and stitches to create a quilt without any specific pattern. It began as a fashion but its popularity spread as women were free to use a wide variety of materials and scraps in their quilts. Even rags look better with a few embroidery stitches!
With a wide array of quilting scraps, ribbons, threads, beads, doilies, silk ribbon embroidered pieces, and a few specialty fabrics, I set out to make my minimum quota of 10 cards. And I almost didn’t make it. Some came close to hitting the circular bin, but perseverance paid off. All I had to do was make the cards and embroider a few seams. Wikipedia was right when it said that crazy quilting is very labour intensive.
I wish I could have made and sent everyone a card with silk ribbon embroidered flowers but according to Canada Post they were too thick to mail. At the last minute, I took a chance and mailed these 2 cards to In-Between, for a pop-up art show and sale sponsored by the Swiss Hand Embroider’s association. With a little luck they might make it there.
The rest of the cards are a combination of fabrics, embroidery and lace. The one thing they have in common is that they all employed the crazy quilting technique. Interestingly enough, the ‘Go Modern’ cards in July and ‘Go Vintage’ cards in August were all primarily solids. What is old is new again. As for the fabric with the nursery rhymes? I couldn’t quite give up on the idea of using it, so they went on the back.
Next week I will show you some of the wonderful cards I received in August. They will make you chuckle. There are also some interesting places and people the cards are being sent to. Stay tuned for that.
As for September – the theme will be ‘back to school’. Not very original, but appropriate. Maybe you have a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter or other special person entering kindergarten, university or anything in-between. Wouldn’t they love a few words of encouragement from you? Why not send them a card – snail mail style.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a creative week!