Friday, September 20, 2013

Simple Fabric Postcard revisited

   Surprise is a good element for parties and just about anything. Often one can excite people with the unexpected. One doesn't expect a thank-you note to arrive as a quilted postcard...or a mug rug. Whatever, I like them; and the US Postal System has not let me down.

Click photo to enlarge

     Type the word "postcard" in at the top left of this blog where you see a magnifying glass, an area next to the orange and white Blogger symbol. Many blog postcard postings will come up for you to scroll different ways of making fabric postcards. I often check back to see how to make them. I wanted to get these off fast. 

     Today I needed two on the topic of art. I took Seurat's pointillism, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte to symbolize the gorgeous day and beautiful reunion luncheon many of us enjoyed on Thursday. Georges Seurat had other intentions. For me it stands for many paintings this group has supported as well as the lovely, perfect gathering.

      To make the postcard, cut front and back fabrics, as well as fleece, flannel or batting to 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches. Postcards are 4 x 6 inches and go at a postcard rate. I always put on a full- rate stamp, since I will take to the post office for hand-canceling. You need to write with a fabric marker. I used Fabrico. I have a "Postcard" stamp, but you can write out the word and should. Run over any ink with a dry iron to further set it.

       Put the front and back fabrics, right sides facing each other, the fleece on one side or the other to pin the three for sewing.  Leave a 2-inch opening on the side so that you can turn the postcard out after trimming corners. You will need to iron the postcard at this point and slip- or blind-stitch the opening closed. Sew or quilt around the card with a  1/4-inch stitch from the edge. In this case I also quilted a line down near the center from the word "Post Card." Quilt as much as you like keeping a thought to legibility. I read somewhere that mug rugs or fabric coasters are better with fleece interiors which is more absorbent. I used fleece this time along with invisible thread. Timtex makes a firmer card, but I like soft. Speed was important here. I hope they arrive in the morning.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

More Journaling: three new quilts

     Summer passed too fast; and I was not very productive. So I decided to make three journal quilts in a weekend. My Journal Quilt Connection had invited the president of our guild to visit; and I hated not to do my part to contribute.

      I always look for a subject that is memorable or I don't want to forget. These journal quilts are supposed to be sketches, hopefully with an edge. On the back of last week's blog's self-portrait (September 3), I added an embroidered hypodermic needle (lots of lidocaine that day) and clock (8 to 5 off and on in surgery); and I will surely add more details to the quilts I am showing this week:

      Coming up is the 25th anniversary of my group at the museum. Almost thirty of us will meet to lunch in Boston this coming week. I found a fabric with paintings (a mix of artists on the front and Seurat on the back). On the reverse, I added a duplicate fabric for a pocket into which I will insert a DVD of all our earlier reunions along with a music fragment of "I'll Be Seeing You." I used a clock again to remind how fast time passes when you are having fun. A glue-gun helped attach beads to the clock to form XXV (25 years). Then I got busy designing a menu.

      One day Joe and I found we could leave Boston at noon, get to Portland ME to see a show at the art museum, stop in Ogunquit at the Oarweed for lobster on the water and return to Boston early in the evening. With Joe's teaching a law class (he never stops laboring), I fear I will lose my September or fall trip to Maine and the many art destinations there. I got those pretty fabrics at the City Quilter in NYC and had been wanting to use them.  The easel is made of bias tape.

Click to enlarge all photos
     And speaking of Joe's non-retirement, he has been gathering little $3.50 pots of cactus at Home Depot that grow to form a little house of horrors. He says cactus is the one plant he can't kill. This quilt commemorates two. A very little one started growing a long, long stem and we didn't know what it was or if we should cut it off. Recently it sprouted lots of little white flowers at the far end. I gave Joe the strange 4 long finger variety. It was his birthday and I needed a present. I saw this bizarre cactus in a window of a Chelsea NYC florist. The four long spikes have grown to four extremely long arms that are loping and encircling all the other I suggested...a Little Shop of Horrors.

 More quilting and details could be added to each.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School Portrait

     Summer vanished. People came and went; and people returned to stay. In the meantime I had to pay for summers as a teen, playing golf and swimming in sunny Texas without using the lifeguard's zinc protection on the nose. It was the 50's, of course, minus the vast information about sunscreen protection we have today.
Click to enlarge.
      So this August I had some Mohs minimal surgery to make repairs, to stem possible damage to my nose. The reason I sewed the experience is that I have a quilt challenge topic of "GREEN" from an art quilt group, Material Mavens. All I could think of was money and grass, but nothing personal. I usually like an emotional connection, as in a journal notation, to create a piece of art. When I hit the surgeon's office, there were GREEN SCRUBS all around with purple accessories. I was excited to finally have a topic! 

       I have used this excellent surgeon in the past. But before beauty there are some ghastly appearances such as swollen jowls and purples. I won't show the big bandages that I craft out of brown tape every morn to cover the wounds. I had neat stitches down one side and a circle to heal by itself on the other. If I added the tape you couldn't see what I am illustrating. I believe in humor to deal with most problems.

        When Material Mavens post GREEN quilts on September 15, I will have more details on the crafting of the piece, and I just thought of some additional graphics to add to this 12" x 12" quilt.