24 June 2010

Postcard Swap

I belong to an online ATC and Postcard Swap Group, and recently, I joined a swap called "Loosen Up" Postcard Swap. We were given an instruction every couple of days, and the idea was to do each step as it was given, so there would be no pre-planning. It was fun to do.
I kept a journal of what I was doing at each step, and why, so thought I'd share it with anyone interested. (skip reading this post - it's quite long - and just look at the pics if you like - I don't mind) :)
For the base of my postcards, I chose a Lisa Walton (Dyed and Gone To Heaven) hand-dyed purple fabric, which I then ironed on to pellon for stability.

Prompt 1: Add something sparkly, or, Add a fat line.

What constitutes a fat line? It's really only its relationship to other lines. When does a fat line become a rectangle?
I used red marble iron on bias tape, in a wave down both sides of the fabric, as it was going to be made into 4 postcards. I wanted some on each card.

Prompt 2: Add something very light, or, Add a strong vertical

Light: weight, colour or light itself? I chose silver thread (Mettler Poly Sheen No 40) - it meets all 3 in a way.

Prompt 3: Add a skinny line, or, Add heavy fibre stitching

The silver thread stitching is already a skinny line, so for variety, I needed to add heavy fibre stitching. I chose yellow DMC thread No 2727 - double thickness - hand stitched using a large darning needle. It was very awkward getting the darning needle to pull thru' the hand dyed fabric and to get evenly sized and spaced stitches, so I decided to let it evolve. I had no fixed plan as to where the stitches were going and I quite liked the idea of varying sizes. I also added some knots occasionally to add to the texture.
Once I had finished, I realised the piece needed more silver threads, so I went back in to add more.

Prompt 4: Add on shape in multiple sizes, or, Add cross stitch.

After adding the yellow stitching, cross stitch just would not look right, therefore, I went with Shape.
Considering I used curved lines, I had to decide whether to follow the trend or change it. I decided free hand cut circular shapes. I used some Lisa Walton hand dyed again, in orange, and stitched them down free style with fuschia thread (Mettler Silk Finish Cotton No 59). I stitched from the centre out, in an orbiting motion, deliberately swinging the orbit out onto the background fabric.
I kept checking that there were enough circles on each postcard. If this had been one piece, I would not have done as many circles.

Prompt 5: Add something large, or, Gather something and add it

There was no room for anything large, so I had to consider what next? We were allowed to stop once we had completed step 4, but I felt it needed something more - something with a darker tone to add tonal variety and a bit of lime or acid green. I needed to think a bit more about this one.
A couple of days later, I was gathering up my art supplies to put them away and came across a Fabrico pen (#116 Peony Purple) and thought "Perfect!". I was "gathering" wasn't I?
I coloured in some small spaces, followed some stitching, and "shadowed" the red bias tape. I also added a few small circular dot shapes.

Prompt 6: Add a doodle, or, Add some single thread stitching

The piece still needed some lime, so I had to think what I could do with lime to meet the criteria. Doodle stitching? Or single thread stitching?
I decided to doodle some tiny single thread free motion circular sort of shapes in a lime thread (had for years - label lost)- mirroring the larger ones, then wandering along some of the lines and pathways.



I needed 4 postcards from the finished piece, so I cut it and zig zag edged (going around twice) the individual cards, using Gutterman col 3832 (purple).
As a set:


Two were sent off to South Australia and one to Victoria. The other, I get to keep.

I had a lot of fun doing this exercise. :) I tend to let projects dictate what they want or need anyway, so it felt quite normal not having a set idea in my head at the start. I liked being given criteria to follow and then finding a way to meet that criteria, even if I did do a lot of thinking as to the meaning I could evolve from said criteria! lol

Would I do it again? Definitely! :) 
Once I have received my swap partners' postcards, I will show them on another post, so you can see how different they all are!



  1. This is just the bestest post. I loved reading about your adventure with threads and seeing the process and evolving of the postcards. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

  2. Love reading about your thought process to get to the end result I may do that for my postcards.

  3. Fantastic post, Lindi1 Thanks so much for sharing your photos and thought processes with us!

  4. Hi Lindi, This looks like such a fun way to do a project with the little prompts along the way. Your postcards turned out beautifully.
    Regards Dianne.