Monday, 4 April 2011

Fabric postcards

One of our members Sue March has written instructions on how to make Fabric Postcards.

Those of you who would like to buy the postcards already made, they will be available at our Exhibition at Layer Marney Towner in August (see Events)
The postcards can be sent through the post, the stamp might have to be glued onto the fabric. Alternatively, put into an envelope to post and protect the embroidery, especially if beaded.

It is very important that the piece of embroidery or mixed media work is larger than a postcard to start with.  1” all round is perfect,   ½” is a little awkward and not so easy!!


1. Use an old postcard as a template to draw round or if you wish to select a part from a larger piece of work, create a postcard stencil in a piece of A4 paper, cut the window, select and draw round giving yourself a guide line.  This is easier to do with the flat piece of work before layering up at the next stage.

2. Lay the work onto slightly larger piece of felt (or thin wadding, or wyncette sheet) and then onto piece of craft vialene, (this stiffens it enough to make it able to be posted and yet it is still stitchable).

3. Tack a straight stitch round the rectangle on the drawn line, use a large stitch. This will give you a guide for quilting up to and holds it all together as you work. (I used 505 spray adhesive and no tacking).

4. Quilt the work – this does not have to be intensive, just enough to hold it all together.  If machine quilting use white bobbin thread so that it does not show through at the next stage. I used a variegated top thread, and free machining. Loosen the top thread very slightly so that the white will not pull up from the back. You will find that the quilting slightly distorts the shape.

5. Lay the whole piece of work onto a piece of calico. I used 505 adhesive spray or pin the corners.

6. Re-draw the postcard shape on the front of the work to check that the corners are ‘square’.

7. Cut all to size. Do this just before you are going to complete the final stitching so that the work does not fray.  A rotary cutter, a metal rule and cutting board are perfect for this.

8. Zigzag round the edge three times. Use matching bobbin threadand top thread.
a) width 2.5   length 2.5
b) width 3   length 1
c) repeat, stitching at a slower speed.
At the corners have the needle on the inside of the zigzag and pivot to turn. On one postcard I zigzag stitched a 4th time, as the bobbin thread had ran out. If you need to do this, widen the stitch to 4. Stitch slowly. Hand stitchers could use a fine blanket stitch.

9. When completed, if the edge is not entirely smooth, very carefully use embroidery scissors to neaten and I use a cotton bud with some matching fabric paint to run gently round the extreme edge, or dab of PVA on a cotton bud, and smooth with your finger will work. Ensure you do not get either on the calico side.

10. FINALLY – use a postcard to copy from. Use a pencil and mark the centre line and very carefully print the word P O S T C A R D  and then draw in the address lines using a rule.
                                                                                 Sue March c 2011.

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