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.

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Evolon cuff bracelet. Part 1: The design

I’ve been itching to use Evolon® since I first heard of it years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easily available in the United States. So I jumped when I had the chance to participate in a challenge to create a project with it.

First, what in the world is Evolon? The manufacturer, Freudenberg Nonwovens, describes it as “a unique microfilament fabric combining very good textile and mechanical properties. Like traditional microfiber, it is soft, drapable and light, but it is also at the same time very strong.”

It comes in two weights: Regular and Soft. For the call-out I got a 20 by 36 inch sheet of the Regular. It feels divine, with a rich, soft suede-like texture. Like Lutradur, it doesn’t tear or fray, making it much easier to use for many art and craft projects than paper or woven fabric.

I wanted to make something that took advantage of the strengths of Evolon, and I love making jewelry with unusual surfaces, so I decided to try my hand at creating an Evolon cuff bracelet. I designed the cuff by making a blended digital collage with my photograph of a Julia Butterfly and my photos of the face of an old stopwatch and a fragment of an old metal measuring device. This is the butterfly image, which will be the focal point of the design, and below it are the two other images:

Julia butterfly on zinnia

Watch and measure digital collageI started out by opening a 3 by 8 inch blank canvas on Photoshop Elements. I dragged the butterfly image onto the blank canvas and resized it to show most of the wings. I then dragged the other two photos onto the canvas and adjusted their placement and opacity. You can see the separate layers on the palette at the bottom right of this screenshot.

design with layersI erased some portions of the watch layer, including the hands, because I thought they interfered with the design. The layer now looks like this:

Screen shot stop watchHere’s the layer of the fragment of the old measuring device. It’s a very small portion of the collage, but I liked the symmetry of the numerals with the numbers on the watch.

Screen shot digital collageI’m printing a letter-sized sheet of Evolon, so I opened a new blank canvas and placed the finished collage onto it. I also duplicated and flipped the collage so I could make two cuffs, and added a smaller version at the bottom to fill the sheet.

Julia butterfly cuff sheet

In my next blog post I’ll tell you about printing, assembling, and sewing the bracelet.

Oh, okay – George thinks I shouldn’t make you wait to see the finished cuff bracelet, so here it is!

Evolon cuff bracelet

Have you ever heard of Evolon? Have you ever used it? I’d love to hear what you’re doing with it, if so. If you’re in the US, I believe the only place to buy it without paying international shipping charges is through Meinke Toy’s website. They also sell Lutradur and other wonderful fiber art supplies, and are very helpful.

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!