Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Making Fabric ATCs and Postcards, Arlee Style By Arlee Barr of Albedo Designs

If you have never made one of these before, or even if you have, here's the method I use. It saves fiddling with tiny bits that slide around on the machine and makes for easier edge finishes. You can print or email this entry to a friend too--just click on the right button at the bottom of the entry :} And credit where credit due, please, is all I ask.

1. I save bits that are very small, adding them to what I call 'the Component Box". They are generally samples in a technique, off cuts from projects, extras I have made or special scraps; all are fabric or paper. I chose these for this tute: a piece of prequilted fabric paper, a soluble thread work motif and a piece of hand painted fabric:

2. I attached the painted fabric to the prequilted fabric paper and stitched the outline of the ATC. ATC's are 2 and 1/2 by 3 and 1/2 inches, about business card size. Notice NO TRIMMING SHAPE YET.

3. Then I attached the cilia piece with a few beads. I recommend doing any embellishing before you go any further than creating the top layer. Also keep things that protrude away from the edges so it will go under a machine needle in one of the next few steps.

4. The prequilted piece I used was already pretty stiff, so I can skip the step that I usually do of laying the front on a larger scrap of batting. There is also the backing fabric (beige) there as well in this photo--notice still no trimming of the edges. The batting and the backing I cut a bit bigger than the ATC so I can see that everything has coverage.

5. I stitch around the shape now on all three layers (if you have batting), but I leave one short edge open.

6. NOW you can trim the edges evenly:

7. I add a piece of cardstock for firmness. I use cereal boxes! Cut it slightly smaller so that it slides in easily between the batting and backing. Round the corners too so they don't catch on any stitching inside. If your card has any printing make sure it's against the batting, as it may show through the backing :}

8. Take it back to the machine, go over the short open edge to close and then zigzag around the edges a couple of times. You can do better coverage with several passes, or leave it slightly more "organic" as I do :} You can also add novelty edgings at this point.

And voila! The front:

And the back, with the information: title, number and edition number, signature, and URL:

I use the same process for postcards, finding that layers that are bigger than the finished piece are so much easier to deal with!

Update on Wed, February 6, 2008
This tutorial was written in response to Susan Lenz's Cybre Fybre atc trade.
cyber fyber exhibiton atcs

and her postcards as well:
cyber fyber exhibition postcards

Copyright © 2008- All Rights Reserved — Written By Arlee Barr of Albedo Design. Arlee is a textile artist, fashion designer, seamstress, published poet, book critic, illustrator, artist and floral designer. According to Arlee: "Texture and shadow and illusion draw me: the more lush and luxurious, the more alluring and seductive. My passion manifests itself in one of a kind and limited edition garments. These pieces are wearable art fashioned using a variety of hand and machine techniques. My designs appeal to the adventurous, the non-conformist and the unique. Design shapes are simple, allowing the fabric and detailing to tell the story. Whether your taste is Gothic, flamboyant, outrĂ©, avant-garde or just ready for something different, you can explore your closet dreams."

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