Thursday, August 18, 2011

Postcard Tutorial and Swap sign up

Good morning everyone from a sunny gorgeous day here in Nova Scotia , are you ready for some fun ?Ok I am going to give you a tutorial on how to make a postcard , I am no expert by any means but will give this my best shot and please realize this is my way of doing this and I am sure there are several other ways that this can be done and possibly easier but this has worked for me so here we go .
 As with any project the first step is to assemble your supplies and for this the list is not that long and certainly not expensive it will even use up some scraps , oh did I hear a big YEAH , well it really is just a small amount of fabric so dig into that scrap basket and really have some fun.
  I'll share a photo of some of the things I use , so in this photo you will see first off a photo which is optional but a good way to start if you plan on making this a  landscape postcard . Then you will see some wonderunder which I will explain later , some unbleached cotton , timtex or that can be heavier weight iron on interfacing , heat and bond lite , permanent fine tip marker , ruler and of course fabric . Not difficult so far right :-)

So the first step is to take that photo and trace just the main features onto freezer paper , don't try to make it exact and of course you can simply draw a basic landscape with some soft flowing lines , you will find that works best not sharp points .Why freezer paper you ask , well ,because once you have traced off the photo you will cut it apart along the lines and iron it onto your chosen fabrics ,iron it to the right side of the fabric and when you cut these pieces out remember to leave a scan seam allowance in areas that will need to be overlapped ,also because we are going to iron this onto a slightly larger piece of fabric than the finished product add a little more onto all sides as well which you will trim off later  ,I have probably really confused you now but hopefully this will make sense later on. To the right you will see my drawing , I did not use the photo I simply drew out a landscape that was pleasing to me , and below is the drawing that is now cut apart on the lines. As you can see my shapes are very simple , so next I will choose some fabrics that I think will look best for this scene . I love finding just the right fabric and sometimes it surprises me just what fabric works ,so be creative and don't too concerned about getting it to look like your photo ,this is your creation remember . 
Now I should stop here and say that your postcard does not have to be a landscape infact most aren't , it can be most anything, you can applique flowers , birds whatever really or perhaps you love crazy patch well nothing nicer than a postcard done in a crazypatch design or even string piecing both using up those scraps and then you can embellish however you wish but do remember this is going through the mail so it has to be secure .

So at this point we have chosen what we are going to put on our postcard , have our drawing cut and ready to go and our fabrics chosen for the various parts of the front of the postcard . Now you will need to get your unbleached cotton cut ,cut it a little larger than 4x6 which will be your finished size , then cut a piece of wonder under or similar product the same size and iron that on the cotton . Peel off the paper once that is cool and take each piece of your landscape and lay it on the top of the wonder under , you may want to use a little glue to hold it in place but it isn't really necessary , once you have everything in place with things overlapped where needed take your iron and iron these on , oh you might want to protect your ironing board with an applique pressing sheet and even place a piece of parchment paper over the ironing board if you do not own a pressing sheet . Another good idea is to use the paper you just peeled off the wonder under to place over your project to protect your iron as well. Here is my postcard after ironing on the fabric to the front . I have not sewn anything down yet   Not to confuse you more but you could also use the heat and bond lite and trace off your pieces remembering to add those seam allowance and simply iron them on the front of the unbleached cotton ,you would need to reverse your photo though. Alright so now you have the front ready for embellishment , in this case it will be stitching , it is your choice how much stitching you do but each piece must be secured to the background in someway . A very small satin stitch or zigzag or even just a straight stitch very close to the raw edge will work fine , I just added a photo of stitching along the edges of the fabric pieces but blogger will not allow me to move it where I want it :-(  . If you like to thread paint this is the time to do that , you can add a thin batting if you want but not not too thick !Have some fun with the embellishments ,if you are doing something other than a landscape you can add lace ,ribbons, wool , your choice of design.
So now your front is complete iron on another piece of wonder under or heat and bond to the back of the front . Then, iron on some timtex to your back , which in my case is another piece of unbleached cotton but can be any plain piece of cotton as you will be writing on it so you want to be able to see what you have written. Some timtex comes with a fusible backing while others will need something to iron it onto ,so in if this is the case iron on  a piece of wonder under  to the backing then to the timtex .Then you will iron the front and back together ,hope this makes sense ,I know it seems like a lot of ironing stuff on but that is what holds it all together , then trim your postcard to measure 4x6 "and draw a line down the middle of the backing and you are ready to address it . Now onto your last step ,you will need to do some stitching around the entire piece ,I use a satin stitch as I find it encloses the edges the best. In this postcard I experimented with a different stitch to finish it off but to be honest I don't like it as well .
Lastly I will show you three cards I just completed two landscapes and an applique one so you can see the possibilities are endless . I hope you can understand this tutorial and if you have any questions or suggestions please be sure to pass them on as I am open to suggestions on how to make this process easier , the important thing is to have fun .
 Wasn't that fun , ok it will get easier after you make a few and  as I said if you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer you .   Do I have anyone interested in exchanging postcards , if so please comment and then also send me an email with your address and I will choose a partner for you and I promise not to share your info . Let's say you must sign up by August 21 with a mail out date of Sept 21st. ,that should give me time to give you a partner and you time to get one made and mailed out , how does that sound for time ? So spread the word and lets start making those cards :-0
 Enjoy your day and thanks for your patience , this is my first ever tutorial so I could easily have misssed some important points . Before I let you go I just googled for flicker photos of fabric postcards and here is the link so you can see there are lots of creative ways to make these .
hugs Sheila


  1. Hello dear friend, Your tutorial was soo very good, Sheila. I do want to join in on the postcard swap.Another nice N.S. day eh?? Dianne.

  2. Your postcards look great. Thank you for the tutorial.

  3. Hey Sheila...that was very interesting....and all the postcards are great...but I do like the stitch on this last gives the postcard a rugged look somehow...don;t ask I like it....if I get a chance to get one done soon...I would love to swap..just not sure with my schedule...but thanks it was great..

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. I've always wondered how to make fabric postcards.


  5. If I was at home I would LoVe to participate... perhaps NEXT time!
    Good luck. :)

  6. Great tutorial Sheila. I won't sign up as i have to much to do at the moment. Hugs,

  7. Sheila, thankyou so much for this great tutorial.. I am going to have a go at it before I commit myself to a swap. Your postcards are truly

  8. Just had a close up look at your beautiful postcards... did you know that you have 'quilted' a map of Australia in the top left hand corner of the postcard in the upper right hand corner!! You have even put in Tasmania!! lol xxx

  9. Hi Sheila! This is a very good tutorial. I do want to join in the swap so let me know when you plan to get started!


  10. Wonderful tutorial girlfriend! Wish I had time to swap, but my plate runneth over getting ready for my workshop.
    xx, shell

  11. Loved the tutorial. Well done. It was all quite clear. I think this sounds like a great swap idea. I would love to join in.

  12. Great tutorial, thank you so much.

  13. Is it too late to sign up for your postcard exchange?

  14. Enjoyed your tutorial Sheial...but did you use dardboard at any stage, as the backing...soryy I am a dopey person :)

  15. Thank you Sheila, what a great tutorial, and I have learnt somthing new, yeah ☺ I´m not sure, if I can whrite it well in english, but it is the step with the freezer paper...I have always wondert how to trace the motivs from a picture to fabric, now I know, thank you!
    Sometime I´ll try it ☺
    I hope that you will have lots of paticipants to the swap.