Quilted Art Postcards

Barb of ritewhileucan calls herself a paper junkie and stationary hoarder. She loves the act of letter writing and all the accessories that make this pleasurable. Barb’s blog is about her paper passion! She believes the act of letter writing allows us to connect to others in a more personal way. She hopes this act of writing will make us slow down and appreciate each moment in our busy lives.

Her recent post: A fabric postcard for a teacher talks about creating a special thank you note. Barb wrote a lovely piece describing the quilted postcards I’ve created for my son to give to his teacher. At the end of the school year, he gives this truly personal gift in appreciation of their year together.

Grade 3 classroom
Drawing of grade 3 classroom

This is a tradition I began when he was in junior kindergarten. He draws a picture reflecting what he loves about his teacher and classroom. I take that image and recreate it in a 4” x 6” fabric postcard. On the back, I record the name of the teacher, school, the year and a note with my son’s name, grade and description of the drawing.

Quilted postcard of grade 3 class
Quilted postcard of grade 3 class

This quilted postcard is made like a miniature quilt that is pieced and fused, layered with backing and batting then quilted. Once this ‘quilt’ top is completed, it is trimmed to size. A firm interfacing is fused to a piece of white fabric that is then stitched to form the back of the postcard.

Back of postcard


The teachers treasure these miniature pieces of art. They are lovely mementos of your child and their year together.

Fabric fused postcard
Fabric fused postcard

If you are interested in creating a simpler version go to ritewhileucan and look at the step by step directions for making a fabric postcard on cardstock. This is a great way to send a personalized gift to someone you care!

Sow’s Ear Challenge

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild Sow’s Ear Challenge May 2014

In our May meeting of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, Andrea Vander Kooij issued the: Sow’s Ear Challenge! Participants were asked to make a quilted bag using thrift store textiles.

Andrea loves old quilts and vintage textiles, but she noticed “when looking at some old quilts was how much of the fabric was, well, kind of ugly.” Yet despite this the quilts have a sense of design and beauty all their own – the Gees’ Bend quilts are an example of this.

She goes on to say that we are very caught up in the newest fabric lines and buy pretty fabrics so of course we create pretty quilts. This challenge is to take fabric that isn’t so pretty and create something of beauty. By pulling fabric out of a bag sight unseen we are giving up some control of the process. Also, working around these “limitations” we as artists are challenged to stretch out of our comfort zone to create something we like. Lastly, using scraps harkens back to the origins of quilting when our ancestors used up all their precious bits of fabric to create functional and beautiful items.

The rules of the challenge are:

  • Bring three thrifted items like pillowcases, shirts, curtains, skirts – anything that is woven and has some cotton fibers in it.
  • The three items are put into a bag and each person could then pull out 3 items out (although not their own!). We were allowed one “do over” if we really didn’t like one of the fabrics we picked.
  • These three pieces along with a solid from our stash is to be pieced and quilted into a bag design of our choice.
Thrift Fabric
Thrift Store Fabric

These are the three pieces that I will be working with! Two of them are pillowcases from the 70’s – groovy! The small blue print is my third selection! I did my one “do over” twice! I was resigned to a burgundy floral scrap as my final selection when Emily asked if I was interested in trading it. YES! Thanks Emily.

Thrift floral fabric
Vintage Floral Pillowcase

OMG! As I was poking around I came across a new line of fabric by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics called Dreamin’ Vintage. This collection includes the Lazy Daisy print that is similar to the vintage pillow case above. The adage is true – everything old is new again!

Fibre Art Necklace

I found a beautiful mother of pearl thread keeper at The Workroom, a beautifully curated quilt shop in Toronto. I had seen these thread keepers and wanted one but I didn’t really need an embroidery thread holder! I finally caved in and bought one. It was after I attended the Creativ Festival and saw the gorgeous hand dyed threads from Nell’s Embroidery that the ideas coalesced into a fibre art necklace.

Nell's Hand Dyed Threads
Two Packages of Nell’s Hand Dyed Threads

The mother of pearl thread keeper that you can see here from The Workroom’s online shop along with a package of hand dyed embroidery threads from Nell’s Embroidery was incorporated into this piece. Each package contains five metre lengths of silk and rayon ribbons, perle cotton thread, boucle, chenille and perle cotton threaded with beads. They are hand dyed and luscious! I bought a couple of colour ways after much deliberation.

Fibre Art Necklace
Fibre Art Necklace

I incorporated these fibres along with a co-ordinating piece of fabric that was rolled into a tube and created this piece.

Detail of Fibre Art Necklace
Detail of Fibre Art Necklace

I love the way it turned out. So, I have a piece that holds thread just not in the way it was intended!

Creativ Festival 2014 Toronto, Canada

How do you feel after you’ve attended a quilt show?
Tired! but also invigorated, excited and full of creative energy too!

I just attended the spring Creativ Festival and left with ideas swirling in my head as well as many purchases. Seeing the new gadgets, colours, and designs is inspiring. The creative energy, and seeing so many beautiful finished projects spurs me to actually finish up some of the many, many projects I’ve begun.

Are you the type of person that goes home from a venue such as this and immediately begins a new project from your purchase? Do you patiently put your purchases aside until you’ve finished the one you are working on? I’ll admit that I do a bit of both! It’s difficult to resist the lure of bright shiny new purchases. Ideas and possibilities spin through my head and I can envision the finished project. Sometimes, though, attending these shows gives me just the nudge I need to finish up a project or two that I’ve been procrastinating over.

One of the vendors at the show – Steam Trunk Craftworks from Surrey, BC, had a gorgeous selection of trinkets that gave me just what I need for an idea I’ve been mulling over. They sell a wondrous selection of notions from buttons, beads, charms to trims and ribbons. Their beautiful, vibrant sari silks drew my eye. They are lengths of silk repurposed from saris and are used to embellish, knit or crochet with. The colours were a feast for the eyes.

They also had hand dyed bags of yarns that I couldn’t leave behind. These items were from Nell’s Embroidery. I purchased a couple of packages of yarns that included 5 metres of each of these beautifully hand dyed fibres: rayon chenille, mercerized cotton, rayon ribbon, cotton boucle, perle cotton with coordinated beads and sequins. Check out her shop on Etsy. She has a gorgeous selection of yarns.

I can’t just put these gorgeous fibres away! I will certainly be working on them immediately. Check back to see what I create.


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