Those who know me know how fond I am of functional art. I enjoy creating and gifting functional art in textiles. Paper art is cool but I LOVES me some textiles. When I get to craft I have my eye set on creating a piece where I can see the definite end on the horizon. I borrow the term SWF which I learned when I first began booking commercials and television roles back in the day, thanks Humana, Dallas and Knots Landing! SWF on a daily production call sheet stands for start, work, finish. In the entertainment industry this is where the union day player actor enters…stage right! Commercials for the most part were usually day player roles. You get in, hit your mark, say your lines it’s a wrap. Go home and wait for the residuals cha-ching!
So yes, I borrow the term SWF and keep it in mind as sort of a mantra as I plan my next crafting session. My goal being to finish what I start as soon as possible to keep it from becoming an addition to the dreaded sack of UFO’s (Unfinished objects)
Now, when I book a gig, acting, stand up etc., I am pleased as punch, realizing I not only get to work doing what I love but also get to finish the deal with m y own kind of personalized thank you. I remember an episode of Seinfeld where the gang spent a nice chunk of time debating when it was proper to pitch a greeting card in the trash. That episode comes to mind when I craft and it is why I prefer textiles as my medium.
I recently did a corporate event where I entertained dinner guests before their awards presentation. It was a great evening. Back home I thought about what to send for a thank you card and as usual I wanted it to be cool, quirky, fun, personalized, functional made from textiles and snail mail-able.
I started looking in my stash and that lead me to finally check out my QuiltCon goodie bag I received a few months ago. Looking through it I stumbled upon a charm pack called PAPER OBSESSED by fiber artist Heather Givans for Windham Fabrics. I cracked the cigar band and started giggling as I took a look at all the fun “paper” themed 5 inch charm squares. There were notebooks, paper airplanes and yellow legal paper and envelopes. All sorts of paper related motifs. The gig I did was for a school so I thought this charm pack would definitely fit the bill.
So I set to work. Oohing and ahhing, picking and choosing from the charm pack.
These charms made the cut. I placed the top/showy side facing together/back side facing out, lined them up and ironed them. Then fold them over to form a triangle and ironed to make a crease. A light pencil/chalk line or score line down the center point to point would work as well. Because some of the charms are light I decided to iron in the crease.
I sewed a scant(really scant quarter inch seam on both sides of the crease the cut the charm square on the crease line.
After setting the seams by ironing them the triangles were then ironed open.
If I were making a block this is where I would sew the half triangle squares together but these are destined for a postcard so the journey continues with light at the end of the tunnel.
Now it was time to embellish and for that I let the embroidery dial on my sewing machine have some creative play time. A word to the wise and a tip I keep at handy. Measure twice, cut once…Norm Abrams, This Ole House. Typing each name into the sewing machines embroidery brain takes time and patience and I’ve learned to always run a test beforehand. Happy I got all names correctly spelled. Whew! Here’s a hack tip. A piece of paper towel works great in a pinch as a stabilizer when using the embroidery function.
Time to add the batting or in this case peltex which is a stiff interfacing which lends stability to the fabric postcard making it sturdy enough to send without an envelope aka “nekkid” through the postal system. Be mindful that extra postage may be required. Usually instead of postcard stamps I use one first class stamp or forever stamp when mailing anywhere in the United States. International rates for a fabric postcards at this time start at $1.15 and could be more depending on the size and thickness of the postcard. For these cards I used double sided iron on peltex which I buy at craft and fabric stores.
Here is where I embroidered the names and the pic shows a portion of the paper towel I used as a stabilizer.
This is the backs of the fabric postcards. I used some rubber stamps and wrote Postcard in the area I deemed to be the top. Check USPS regulations for directions on how a postcard should be labeled.
The finished postcards. Paper Obsessed fabric, rubber stamps, embroidery, personalized fun!
The postcards are sent through the postal system aka “snail mail” to brighten the mailbox with happy mail for the receiver. Fabric postcards are not only fun artwork but also great as a rug for your mug or glass or scone, cookie, biscuit or sandwich. Personalized with a nice sentiment it becomes a thoughtful gift and heirloom.
Have fun making these awesome treasures!
p.s. You know how that peddle can sometimes slip away from you when you are at the most crucial part of your sewing project? Well this is how I stop the skids. Place a piece of textured drawer liner under the foot peddle and you will be good to go!
2 thoughts on “I’m functional that way.”
I love your postcards! They’re so neat. I’ve never attempted a fabric postcard, but this really makes me want to try it. I have a mug rug sitting here that is just about perfect sized for a postcard. I didn’t make it, but it makes me want to use my meager sewing skills on something more interesting that repairing my t shirts.
I also enjoy functional art. I’m a glass artist, and my favorite things to make are plates and bowls, because they are useful as well as beautiful. We keep them all over the house for small things, and I’ve heard from people I’ve given them to, that they also find them handy/
That is an amazing view on art! It makes me want to learn a new hobby. (From Swap-bot!)