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.

Etsy Craft Party: Fabulous Fabric Fun

On June 20th people around the world will meet and mingle to create, collaborate, and just have fun at countless Etsy Craft Parties organized by Etsy artists and crafters in their own hometowns. This year’s theme is “Craft for Community.”

etsy craft party logo

Michele Battise, of Battise Fashions, generously included me in her vision of the ideal Craft Party. Michele is a clothing and accessory designer whose mission is to help women look and feel their most uniquely fabulous.

Animal Print Jacket, by Michele Battise

Animal Print Jacket, by Michele Battise

I met her several years ago through the SF Etsy group, when she contacted me about her idea to use some of my nature-design fabric in her clothing line.We really connected, and bonded over our love of fabric and original design, and the value of collaboration and supporting other artisans. Having Michele include my fabric in one of her dresses has been a high point in my artistic career.  That backstory explains how this Craft Party came to be, and also our philosophy behind it. So, on to the details!

We have planned for you a fun-fest of creativity and inspiration, a chance to learn many different unique and easy techniques for DIY projects. It’s Thursday, June 20th from 7 to 10 pm at the Gateview Clubhouse, 555 Pierce Street, Albany CA. Proceeds from the $10 ticket sale and raffle will cover supplies and your donation to La Clinica de La Raza, a healthcare organization serving low and moderate income families in the East Bay area.

We’ve got projects for everyone! You can learn to print your own artwork and photos directly on fabric with an inkjet printer.  I’ll do hands-on demos all night using your images (see below for details*), taking you step-by-step through the whole process. I’ll let you know what equipment works best, show you how to prepare your files, give you all of my secret tips to get fabric successfully through your printer, and much much more.

Pillow made with inkjet print fabric

Pillow made with inkjet print fabric

Expert photographer and printer KG of daydreaming arts, will demonstrate printing lengths of fabric (think scarves). She’ll show you the great potential in using a large-format inkjet printer, but also scale down her advice so you can get similar results from the smaller inkjet printers that most people use at home.

kayla garelick printing fabric

kg’s large-format printer setup

The most exciting thing about teaching printing on fabric is watching people get their first print! kg and I will have time for at least 15 (hopefully more) people to print their own images at the Party. To be fair, it’s first-come, first-served, so if you want to get your own photo or artwork printed, register for the Party and then email me (at HeidiRand@gmail.com) a jpg of your work. The file should be 8 x 10 inches, at around 300 dpi. Email me any questions as well.

What else? You can learn to print on fabric using stamps and stencils with Grace Taormina, author of “The Complete Guide to Rubber Stamping” and “The Complete Guide to Decorative Stamping.” Grace will bring a huge variety of stamps, stencils, paints and other supplies and equipment for you to create and experiment with. She’ll have 12 inch muslin squares as well as other fun fabrics for you to use in your projects.

Grace Taormina

And the marvelous Michele will teach you several quick-sew or no-sew projects using felt for ponchos, scarfs, and more! She’ll have sewing machines for you to use so you can complete your project at the Party. And since one of her specialties is designing and sewing clothing, purses, and accessories with leather, she’ll have recycled leather pieces that you can use in your designs and projects.

Michele Battise leather purse

Michele Battise leather purse

Do you have a fabulous fabric technique you’d like to share?  Let us know so we can include it.

We’ll provide all the crafting supplies and equipment needed, but feel free to bring your own favorite supplies, fabric, stamps, paint, paper, etc! Oh, and last but not least – plenty of refreshments to keep our creative fires stoked!

You can register by clicking on this link. See you there!

Butterfly Bliss mini-art hanging

These days my creativity is best sparked by challenges organized by groups I’m in. I haven’t made an art hanging in a while, so when the call-out came to make a piece using some art material (I’ll let you know which when the challenge is over), I decided to use it in a mini-art quilt. As it’s prime butterfly season, incorporating my favorite flying beauties into the piece was a gimme.

Butterfly Bliss

I had the butterflies in my stash. They were photographs I took of an anise swallowtail and a monarch butterfly that we raised and released. I printed the photos onto lutradur that I treated with Golden Paint Digital Grounds. When I need to print something onto lutradur, I fill the entire sheet with images so as not to waste any of the treated material.

Closeup anise swallowtail butterfly on lutradur

To set off the butterflies, I sewed them to some gauzy fabric bits that came in a flea-market home decor fabric sample book. For the background, I chose another larger piece from the sample book.

Closeup monarch butterfly on lutradur

I chose another piece from the sample book as a backing for a finished look, and slid a piece of firm stabilizer in between so it will hang without folding. I folded the top over and strung a leather cord through before I sewed it closed, for an easy hanger.

I love art quilts because they can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. If you don’t like to sew you can even just use double sided tape to add elements and make the seams. They’re a great use to upcycle discarded clothing or other fabrics. Have you made an art quilt? Post links here to any of yours that you’d like to show!

Art Quilts & Fabric Hangings : One-day workshop

Workshop taught by Heidi Rand

Canyon Trail Art Center, El Cerrito California

Saturday June 19, 2010 – noon to 4:00 p.m.
$50 + materials

Lars quilt

Lars quilt

Further adventures in the exciting new world of fabric printing!  Offered for the first time — a hands-on workshop where we will explore printing your fabric and designing a small art quilt or hanging.  Even if you’ve never made a quilt before, this workshop will teach you basic art quilt construction.  We go beyond quilts used for bedding, by adding embellishments and mixed media elements, and framing or hanging options.   Basic inkjet printing and sewing knowledge is helpful, but not required.

Golden butterfly art quilt on canvas

Golden butterfly art quilt on canvas

I’ll show you many examples of the kinds of art quilts and hangings you can make using your inkjet printer and sewing machine. You’ll get lots of new ideas about what to do with your images and designs, and the knowledge to go home and start making your own personal fabric-art piece!

Lavender rust quilt

Lavender rust quilt

Bring a flash drive with your images, or letter-sized images to scan.   If you want to begin sewing your piece at the workshop, bring your sewing machine and some possible backing fabric.  Pre-registration required.   Please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

Upcoming workshops:

Saturday July 17, 2010 noon to 4:00 p.m.  Inkjet transfer techniques. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday August 29, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m. Photo Art : Altered Imagery. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday September 19, 2010, noon to 4 p.m. Beyond paper : inkjet printing on alternative surfaces.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday October 24, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m.  Exploring lutradur.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday November 21, 2010, noon – 3:30 p.m.  Handmade gifts with your inkjet printer. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Have questions? Interested in registering?  Please email me

If you can’t make the workshop, I also have an ebook to teach you to print on fabric and online classes at CraftEdu

Saturday June 19, 2010, noon to 4. Art quilts and fabric hangings. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center