Monday, November 03, 2008

And Today...


...I tried my hand at fabric postcards. According to my new work plan, I should not be starting anything totally new that doesn't in some way generate off what's already on my work table or design wall, but I have my reasons. I started by sketching out my idea full size - using a photo for reference. I reviewed different instructions for making postcards, then in my usual manner, ignored the recommendation to use a product such as Timtex. I've looked at it in the store and arbitrarily decided I would not like working with it or using it as the base for a postcard. So I've gone back to my old friend Decor Bond, and we shall see if I am happy with the end result. Here you see a piece cut slightly larger than finished size that I have traced my design on. I used pencil but you could probably use permanent pen as well. I just wanted a bit of a guide.

I've often heard, and have experienced myself, that small projects can take almost as long to make as larger ones, and why is that? I discovered one reason today - it's not the execution that takes up the time necessarily, but the same sorts of decision making any project requires leading up to the execution. In this case, it was taking me just as long to choose the proper fabrics and find just the right spot to cut pieces from as if I'd been working on a larger wall quilt. And I have nearly as much fabric strewn around in the process of auditioning too. Who would believe that 3 little postcards could generate such chaos?


Once those decision were made, it was relatively smooth sailing. I'm using the accidental landscape method essentially, but not so accidental, as I'm using those traced lines from my sketch for placement. The edges of each applique piece is merely pressed under with an iron, the tighter curves causing more care to keep them smooth. A few pins to hold each in place on the non-fusible side of the Decor Bond while the turned under edge is top-stitched with mono-filament thread. You could certainly use a matching or contrasting color of thread, but it's just easier for me to go with the clear. These colors are not very true - something about the type of light bulb in my machine and the digital camera makes for some weird colors which I was only partially successful in adjusting. Oh, and that's my "newish" machine back from the manufacturers. I felt good enough today to hoist it out of its box and set it up, but I haven't tested the free motion yet to see if it's truly fixed.


So here are my three little postcards as far as I got and my sketchbook. In the process of adjusting the colors again, I lost the detail on the sketch page showing the alternate orientation for my landscape. I meant to do them all the same direction - portrait, but then I discovered that a feature I plan to add wasn't long enough to run the whole length, but would work in landscape. So far so good, except that I didn't have enough sky fabric for the third card and that blue cloud fabric scrap was only wide enough for the portrait orientation. Well, they really don't need to be identical and it's fun to see the design rendered both directions.

Tomorrow I'll add some decorative stitching (crossing my fingers that my machine behaves in free motion mode), attach the back and finish the edges. At least that's the plan.

1 comment:

THE WEST COUNTRY BUDDHA said...

They're lovely! I hear so much about fabric postcards and ATC's and I did toy with the idea of having a go a few months ago, but time was against me. It was very interesting to read how long they took, as I had been pondering about making some to sell at the next exhibition. Reading this means I obviously need to get cracking, as it's in June!!