I have recently completed several large projects and so felt like taking a break and working on something much smaller and quick to finish. I’d had the idea in my head for these bougainvillea flower inspired fabric postcards and had even made a quick sketch while I was working on something else so this was the perfect project to work on.
I started off with some hand painted ‘sky’ fabrics left over from other projects, then couched down several strands of hand dyed embellishment yarn. I used a free motion zigzag and invisible thread for the couching. I took some scraps of hand dyed and batik fabrics backed with ‘Misty Fuse’ to make the flowers and leaves.
I cut the fabric into tiny random snippets with sharp scissors. I’ve only recently started using Misty Fuse but so far I have found it very good to use as it is light weight, bonds well and doesn’t gum up the needle.
These were applied to the background stems using tweezers as the pieces were so tiny.
The leaves and flowers fused in place ready to be embellished with free motion stitching. I used several different shades of green rayon thread for the leaves and then several different pinks for the flowers. Bougainvilleas come in a wide range of colours here in Brunei apart from the standard bright pink that you mostly see across Europe, so it was a good opportunity to play with some of the fabrics I don’t tend to use so much and make a series of cards. Once all the stitching was complete I backed the cards with Fast 2 Fuse, trimmed to size and then zigzagged the edges using variegated thread.
crazy pieced fabric postcard with autumn leaves
My latest batch of fabric postcards were constructed on a crazy pieced background using lots of small pieces of batik fabrics that I had left over from other projects. I got the idea from a short instructional video that was on The Quilt Show recently. I’ve done a lot of crazy patchwork type blocks using foundation piecing printed out from EQ6 and used them as backgrounds for some of my rain forest quilts.
I liked the method shown on the video because it is done in the more traditional way using a piece of fabric for the background. The background will be completely covered by the crazy piecing so it doesn’t matter what it looks like. I used some scraps of muslin for these cards. It’s a great way of using up fabric scraps and because you’re not using a preprinted foundation every block is different.
Embellished fabric postcard
These fabric postcards are also a great way of experimenting with various embellishments. I’ve collected quite a few yarns over the years and am not always sure how best to use them, so I just played around with a few here.
gold threads and decorative machine stitches
On this card I even tried out a few of my machine’s decorative stitches using gold thread and then couched some thicker gold thread in random squiggles. All the leaves were made using sheer organza and variegated rayon threads. These will the last lot of fabric postcards I’ll be making for a while as I’ve now run out of the Fast2fuse iron on interfacing that I’ve been using to make them nice and firm. I’ll order more for the new year and I’m sure I’ll have loads of ideas for more cards by then.