Fabric Postcards Tutorial

Ooopss….my bad!!! Yesterday I was on the road all day and forgot to schedule this tutorial. So you get a bonus…two in one day!!! 

Looking for the Post 2nd Quarter Linky Party? It is here.

Every now and then I am amazed at who reads my blog and who volunteers to help me out. Neta is no exception to that rule. Not only does she have a great blog but she is a published author. She wrote Devoted to Quilting and it has gotten rave reviews. I have not personally had a chance to read it yet but I hope to very soon. If this tutorial is any indication, I am sure I will be pleased. If you would like to get a copy, Neta has a list of place to get it here.

This FAL would not be the same without first all you participants but certainly not without the Guest Posters and the Sponsors. I certainly appreciate all y’all! So, without further ado…here is Neta and her tutorial for Fabric Postcards.

Thank you Rhonda for having this Finish Along.

When I joined I had good intentions of staying on track and finishing several UFOs. Sad to say that hasn’t happened yet, oh a couple of UFOs are now finished projects and being enjoyed. However, too many others are still lingering waiting for me to get off my duff and finish them.

I could tell you life got in the way, of course it did, that’s what life does. However, if I’m honest I have to admit to being easily side-tracked to other newer projects. Of course, isn’t that how they became UFOs, in the first place, we lose focus and put them aside.

Luckily for me, I agreed to write up a tutorial. So, here I am with a tutorial of making Fabric Postcards, and back to work on my slowly shrinking UFO pile. Hope you enjoy the tutorial, and it’s easily followed.  I probably didn’t take enough pictures, I’m new to this tutorial thing and kept forgetting.

Thank you for the opportunity.


Materials needed:

Novelty fabric of your choice
Heavy weight interfacing (I use Pellon® non-fusible, fusible works well too if that’s your preference.)
Heavy duty needles (I use those designed for sewing with jeans)
Scrap piece of cardboard (I use an old file folder, cereal box will work well too)
Card stock or large index cards
Paper scissors
Double-sided fusible (only needed if you’re going to add an appliqué to your card.)
Also regular sewing essentials, thread, sewing machine, rotary cutter (or regular sewing scissors), iron, ironing surface, etc.

I start with a 4X6 card, that way if it shrinks up a little in the making it’s still within the range for mailing. The Post Office will accept and mail a fabric postcard as long as it’s within their regulations.  Currently those are: less than ¼” thick, no smaller than 3”X 5” and no larger than 4”X 6”. It’s a good idea to take it in and ask that the card be hand-canceled. This will reduce the possibility or your beautiful card going through the canceling machine and becoming mangled.

Make a template with your scrap cardboard. Cut a 4 X 6 rectangle then draw another ling ¼” inside the outer borders. Cut this middle out of your template. You can use this to audition your fabric, to center the fabric’s design in the middle of postcard. This step isn’t necessary if your design is all-over.
Today I’m using, this Creature Comfort Butterflies ® butterfly fabric which needs a template if I want a butterfly on the card.

1. Select the fabric for your postcard:

2. Using  a template cut the fabric.

3. Cut a piece of batting 5 X 7, to allow for quilting shrinkage, and to make quilting easier.
4. Center your fabric over the batting.  I didn’t quite cut this one long enough, but it’ll work.

5. If desired cut a piece of backing fabric. It won’t be seen, it’s just for quilting. I don’t use one, anymore, just quilt on the front and the batting.
6. Quilt your card. Since my free-motion quilting still needs work I use an invisible thread for the quilting. The bad stitches aren’t as noticeable, it still has the “quilted” look, and, the shimmer and shine of the thread adds to the look.  Before quilting your postcard, make a sample square with the fabric, batting, and backing if you use one to do your experimental stitches since your tension will need to be adjusted.
7. After quilting, trim the excess batting off.  I forgot to take a picture after quilting, before trimming. You can see some of the quilting in the trimmed picture.

8. Cut the heavy duty interfacing the same size as the trimmed card.
9. Cut the fusible webbing a smidgen smaller (about 1/8”) than the interfacing.
10. Following the directions of the fusible, apply it to the back of the interfacing, and to your card stock.
11. Set the backing aside for a moment and work with the quilted front. With thread that matches, coordinates, or contrasts with your fabric, stitch around the perimeter of the card, close to the edge. Pivot at the corners.   If you have a walking foot for your machine, it will help.

12. Clip the corners. Clipping the corners will give the completed card a more finished look.
13. Using a close zig-zag stitch, (almost a satin stitch) sew around the card catching the “card” with the zig and sewing off of the card for the zag. This will help catch all the stray threads.  This time, sew off the card at the corners. This helps ensure you completely cover the corners in stitches. You want to do this before you add the card stock backing to help eliminate perforating the card to the point it pulls off of the fabric front.  I didn’t set this stitch quite close enough; you’ll want yours to be closer.

14. Join the quilted card front and the card stock/interfacing backing. I use a glue stick and put a line of glue across the middle of the card. The cheap paper glue works just fine, no need to use your good fabric glue here.
15. If necessary trim the backing to the size of the quilted front. Don’t forget to clip the corners of the card.
16. Change to the stronger jeans needle in your machine. You’ll be sewing through the quilt front, firm interfacing, and the card stock.  Switch to the color thread that matches,
17. With a wider, longer stitch, sew around the card again with a zig-zag stitch.

18. Almost finished.  Centered, more or less, at the top of the card, on the back (the card stock) write the word “Postcard” then draw a line down the middle of the card leaving a little space at both the top and bottom.  I usually draw my line a little right of center, to give more space for the message, but leaving enough space for the address.  The Post Office requires the word “postcard” be at the top of the quilted cards.

Viola! There you have it, a fabric postcard suitable for mailing. Write your message; add the address and postcard stamp. You’re ready to take it to the Post Office and send it on its way to your friends and loved ones. I hope you enjoy making fabric postcards. If you have any questions feel free to ask. You can reach me at my blog Patchwork Living.

One more thing, Rhonda has asked me to remind you about the Pre 3rd Quarter Link Party that will start right here on July 8th and run for 7 days. If you don’t get your list in on during this time you won’t qualify for the amazing 3rd quarter prizes!!! Be sure to get ready!!!



5 Comment

  1. Great tutorial! Making your own stationary is always fun! =D

  2. Very clever idea. Thanks for sharing it. Di x

  3. This is a great idea and will make one for my friend in CA. Hope it comes out beautiful like yours. Thanks for the tutorial..Judith, Texas

  4. Judith this is Sanna, sure is hard to find your new address! You must have left the fabric atc group. I need your addy to mail you returns long over due, if this is the right Judith Reynolds that is? Please email me at arttage@yahoo.net
    Thanks Sanna.

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