Fabric Postcards

Lest you think that I am a one-note samba endlessly printing fern fronds for art quilts, let me share another of my obsessions with you: fabric postcards. These little treasures have been around since the 1970s at least, but my first introduction to them was in 2004 when I read an article in the summer issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. It is not an exaggeration to say that my life was changed from that moment. The potential from creating fabric postcards was clear immediately: they are ideal for experimenting with new techniques and products on the quilting market, the format requires a minimum of time and material investment and they are truly fun to send and receive.  I joined with an on-line group of artists to form Postmark’d Art  in July 2004 and we’ve been creating and trading fabric postcards ever since. C&T Publishing Inc., released my book fast, fun & easy Fabric Postcards, Keepsakes You Can Make and Mail and I have enjoyed teaching.

Need a card to celebrate a special occasion or just say “you’re special?” Why not create a unique piece of art that will be treasured for years to come?

Here is a project to whet your appetite for 4″ x 6″ art:

Quaking Aspen Bark

We’re all thinking “green” these days. With a few supplies in your studio and a bit of laundry lint, you can create “bark” that resembles one of nature’s wonders, the Quaking aspen tree.  This project will yield 6 fabric postcards.

Supplies
13″ x 13″ white felt and 3″ x 13″ white felt
12″ x 12″ white fabric for address side
12″ x 12″ fast2fuse double-sided fusible stiff interfacing
Dryer lint from 1-2 loads of wash, especially dark loads of clothes
Black wool roving
Pewter Lumiere paint by Jacquard
Small paint brush
Embellishing machine, such as Janome FM-725
Sewing machine
White thread
Rotary cutter, ruler and self-healing matt
Fine-tip permanent marker (I prefer Micron pigma 01)

Optional: Image of quaking aspen trees. For the image I used click here.

Creating Quaking Aspen Bark

Step 1. Place chunks of the dryer lint on the felt background fabric and punch.

Note: Some areas may be too sparse. Place another layer of the lint and punch it in.

A good first layer of lint is punched.

Step 2. Snip small pieces of black roving and place randomly. Punch.

Roving placed randomly.

Step 3. Cut wavy strips no wider than ¼″ from the 3″ x 13″ piece of white felt. Place one strip at the edge of the background felt and punch to secure.

Felt strip punched at the edge of background felt.

Twist the strip and punch 1″ – 2″ at a time.  Continue adding strips of twisted felt until you are happy with the look.

Note: If the strip breaks, place the end of the broken strip at the end of the line already punched and continue punching.

 

Completed piece.

Step 4. Trim completed bark to a 12″ x 12″ square. Fuse to the 12″ x 12″ fast2fuse.

Step 5. Fuse the 12″ x 12″ white fabric to the opposite side of the fast2fuse.

Step 6. Cut the 12″ x 12″ finished bark into 6 sections, each measuring 4″ x 6″.

Step 7. Use white thread to stitch about 1/8″ from the edge around each postcard.

Step 8. Using a small brush, paint the pewter Lumiere paint to seal the edge of each postcard.

Step 9. Complete the message and address using a fine-tip permanent marker. I prefer Micron pigma 01.  Use a self-adhesive postage stamp to mail.

Need more of a jump start? Check out the Postmark’d Art site and my book.

Warning: making fabric postcards is like nibbling a finger treat; once you start, it’s hard to stop!

6 replies
  1. Maureen Curlewis
    Maureen Curlewis says:

    Franki
    One of my BEST investments was purchasing your book,way back in 2004/2005.I wish I has the Australian rights for it! lol
    And now you are adding needle felting!
    Lady you are a brilliant teacher…..I’m forever in your debt……Friendship and tutoring
    How good is that!! BTW….Living in a sub tropical area I still have NO IDEA what an Aspen looks like!!

    • frankikohler1
      frankikohler1 says:

      Hi Maureen, Thanks to the interenet you can take a gander at the Aspen by following the link I provided. They are stunning trees. So glad to hear you are enjoying my book. I had no idea you owned it.

  2. Sara Kelly
    Sara Kelly says:

    Today I taught a class on how I make postcards and had one your books with me for them to peruse. Wish I had a felting machine so I could put my lint to work. Very cool project.

  3. tallgirl
    tallgirl says:

    these bark cards are tres cool. the only thing that scares me is do we not have enough fabric to work with that we now must collect dryer lint? yikes!!!

    • frankikohler1
      frankikohler1 says:

      I hear you loud and clear. But (and you knew that word was coming) when one is willing to be experiemental in this way, opportunities to enter “green” shows open up to you. I framed one of these little gems and it was juried into “Take Two: Refuse Rescued and Recreated” at the O’Hanlon Center Gallery. I was tickeled.

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