Postcard Tutorial


The white trilliums are aging gracefully into a streaky pink color. 


It just happens I have the perfect fabric in my stash! I love to send a fabric postcard to the Program Chairperson as a thank you note for inviting me to lecture or do a workshop for their guild. I have a lot of guild presentations coming up so I need to go into production mode. 


I cut a bunch of strips of fabric at least 8 inches long by an inch or so wide. I create the quilted base by cutting a long piece of interfacing– whatever kind I have on hand, and flip and sew the strips to the interfacing. The interfacing is about 7 inches wide. The finished cards measure 4 and a quarter by 6 inches, so for 1 card the interfacing is about 5 by 7 inches. I don’t measure much because that would involve numbers– I try to avoid numbers. 

I stitch the base fabric, backed with interfacing, with colorful quilting, including some green glittery threads for some bling. 

I select my fabric for the flowers and leaves and iron Wonder Under fusible web on the wrong sides. 


I have sketched out leaves and flower parts onto freezer paper. I iron the freezer paper patterns to the fused fabric and cut out the shapes. Sometimes I don’t bother with patterns– I just free cut flowers. Sunflowers are easy to do but trilliums are a little more complex. I can layer up my fabrics and cut 3 at once. 

 

I cut a “window” 4 and a quarter by 6 inches in a piece of card stock to compose my design. I don’t want to end up having to chop off part of my flower.


Woops. I don’t have enough “base” for the last card. See how I didn’t quilt right to the edge of the last strip? 


I just butt up a piece of interfacing and add a few more strips. That measuring technique is so over-rated. I’m a wack it out kind of quilter. 


When all the flowers are fused to the base, I free-motion quilt to add details. 


I iron on Peltex double-sided fusible stabilizer, cut to my finished card size, 4 and a quarter by 6 inches. Some numbers are necessary…because of the dang post office. They don’t match up exactly on the back because I have positioned the stabilizer based on the flowers on the front, to best frame the image. 


Trim with ruler and rotary cutter, based on the edge of the Peltex. 


Audition some fabrics for binding. I love stripped bindings!


I sew the binding strip to the card in exactly the same way I would to a quilt. My strip is 1 inch wide by…long enough to go around. WIM. (Wack It Method) I move the machine needle to the farthest position on the right to get a narrow binding. 

Turn binding to backside of card and fuse smoothly down with the iron. Yes, double sided fusible products are my best friends. 


Iron a pre-printed card to the back. There are lots of free printable templates available on the internet to choose from. 


Stitch in the ditch, close to the binding through the whole shebang– mini-quilt, Peltex and paper card, securing everything. 


Don’t forget to sign your beautiful work of art and send it to someone wonderful. 

Oh, one last thing. The post office can be “tiresome” about mailing these. I have found out that you can send ANYTHING through U.S. Postal Service (except banned stuff…) with the right postage fee. You can mail a friggin’ bowling ball without a box around it if you stamp and pay correctly. Really. They have Rules and Regulations and Numbers. They might give you a lot of guff. It took me 3 post offices to find a friendly clerk that will hand cancel my First Class stamp and mail the card. Stand your ground, don’t take no guff (politely) and good luck!


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Comments

  1. Hollace Rutkowski says:

    I have been the recipient of one of these postcards and it is one of my most cherished possessions.

  2. Thanks for the refresher Terry!

  3. Barbara MACEY says:

    Terry,

    I had lost you from my email list of favorites but have hunted ’till I urned you up once again. You were constructing the bicycle when I lost you & I was so happy to see the completed creation. A lot of work on a project that must be dear to your heart.

    I am new to “postcards” & am thrilled with the tutorial–taking me by the hand to walk me through the construction. I was often on The Creeper Trail in Abingdon, Va. (lived nearby) & loved watching & talking to all the riders as I rode my beach bicycle hither & yon.

    Thank you for the Foxglove, Trillium, Lady Slipper, etc photos, they take me back to the Appalachian mountains where I ran free as a child. Great
    memories.