No Sew Fabric Postcards

I started making fabric postcards years ago because I didn’t have the sewing chops or time to make bed-sized quilts. Postcards are my way to make very small-scale art quilts with the added wonder that they’re mail-able! Click here to see my 2012 blog post about my fabric postcards. I had been collecting vintage postcards since I was a kid, and once I began to print my own photos and designs onto fabric it was a small hop to sew them into mixed-media fiber postcard form. Here’s an example, my self-portrait photo that I printed on cotton, then adorned with a bit of gauzy fabric and stitching around the design.

Fabric Postcard

Here’s another, my photo of an egret flying with random stitching around the design lines.

Egret soaring fabric postcard

For these fabric postcards I adhere the front to thick stabilizer and then add a backing. I designed this back by scanning the back of an old postcard in my collection, cleaning it up in Photoshop Elements, and adding my name and website.

Fabric postcard back

I print this back onto fabric and then sew the front/stabilizer/back together and edge the sandwich with a satin or zigzag stitch.

These mini-quilt postcards are so much fun to make – but I recently came up with a much quicker no-sew version. I use the same design for the back, but instead of printing onto fabric I print it onto paper cardstock. The front is fabric – I print a few of my postcard-sized designs onto a sheet of pre-treated cotton, then cut each out and run through my Xyron machine to back them with permanent adhesive.

Fabric postcards

You don’t have to use a Xyron, you can use glue or double-sided tape, or spray with adhesive. Then I bond them to the cardstock backs, using a bone folder to make sure they’re well-adhered so the edges won’t come apart during their trip through the mail.

Fabric postcards

I just checked with my local post office, and they said the normal postcard rate would apply: that’s .34 for delivery in the US and $1.15 internationally. Since the postcard rate in the US applies to cards up to 6 by 4.25 inches if you want to make them larger just use the current first-class letter rate, which is now .49.

Anna's hummingbird fabric postcard

Interested in learning how to make the mini-quilt type of fabric postcards? Click here to see a free preview of my online class on CraftArtEdu, “Fabulous Fabric Postcards.”

Want to learn how to print your own fabric? Click here to find out more my ebook, Inkjet Printing on Fabric.

Inkjet Fabric Printing – step by step instructional ebook

I just finished my very first ebook, on my most favorite subject: inkjet printing on fabric.  After writing an extensive booklet for the workshops I’ve been teaching, I decided to put it into ebook form so people who can’t come to my workshops could get the same information.

Inkjet fabric printing ebook

I take you through the entire process to quickly and successfully begin printing fabric on your inkjet printer. You will learn about types of inks, differences between treating fabric yourself or printing on pre-treated fabric, how to prepare fabric for printing, printing the fabric, post-printing treatments, and more.

The information and tips I’ve learned over years of printing on fabric will save you hours of time and much wasted ink and fabric. I have included many illustrations, questions and answers, and trouble-shooting tips.

Illustration: peeling off backing

Illustration: peeling off backing

There’s even a gallery of my original fabric creations to spark your imagination and creativity.

Gallery: butterfly art hanging

Gallery: butterfly art hanging

There are many books on the market about printing on fabric, but because the technology is moving so quickly, a lot of them are outdated. My guide is up to date, and I will revise it as often as needed to reflect changes in the field of inkjet fabric printing. Also, most of the books give general information that might not apply to your personal printer/ink setup. I tell you how to figure out what kind of inks your printer uses, and I can also answer by email personalized questions about your setup, or other problems you run in to when you print fabric. I also discuss the pretreated fabrics that are available commercially, and share the results of my extensive experimentation with printing using the different inks.  In the second edition of the ebook, now available, I added information about using two great products with fabric, inkAID and Golden Paints Digital Grounds (both coatings that make any surface inkjet printable.)  I’ve written a lot in this blog about Digital Grounds, and I wanted to expand the book to include these coatings – most appropriate for art fabric uses.  I also deemphasized the use of Bubble Jet Set 2000, a liquid solution that is the most common product used by people who want to treat fabric themselves for inkjet printing.  BJS contains formaldehyde, and I know a lot of people are concerned about any potential danger.  If you’re interested in the subject, the manufacturer addresses the issue in an article (read it by clicking here).

My ebook is in the format of a PDF file, which you can open and print using Adobe Reader.  I’m offering it through my etsy shop or lulu.com for $10.  Click here for the link to my ebooks section on etsy. If they are sold out and you would like one, please let me know and I will post more copies.  Or click here to see a preview and get it through my lulu shop.