Monday, October 14, 2013

Feeling Stitchy

My stitched postcard for the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is due, and this weekend I sat down to give the project some serious consideration.
I was greatly inspired by an article in the Handcrafted publication (Volume 8), entitled, "Quilted Love Notes," by Jen Osborn.  I loved her layered fabrics, rough edges, primitive stitches, vintage photos, attached buttons, and printed ribbons.  My own fabrics, photos, ribbons, and stitches fell into place so naturally that it felt like a project that was definitely meant to happen!
I have a tendency to demand a certain perfection to my projects.  That is not to say that I think I am so great and so perfect; it is to say that I think all edges must line up, and paper must not rumple or tear, and stitches must align perfectly.  And it is to say that I toss things out in frustration that do not fit that standard.  For whatever reason, I felt blissfully freed from those requirements with this project, and I love the overall floppy, off-kilter, primitive feel of what resulted.
Rather than using hand-dyed fabrics, as Jen did, I scrounged around in my fabric stash for some likely candidates for my postcards.  My stash consists of old blue jeans, an old pair of off-white corduroys,  and a huge stash of my kids' outgrown clothes that seemed to have nice patterns or designs.  And rather than using the custom-printed ribbons by Anna Barrow that Jen mentions, I took old seam binding from my grandmother's stash, and used blue Staz-On ink and some rubber stamps to make my own custom messages.
The actual placement of elements felt easy and natural.  The most challenging task was just figuring out which layers to stitch together first so that any hand-stitching of buttons or photos did not require needle-breaking work through too much fabric.
I even got to raid my modest button collection for a few appropriate embellishments for each postcard.
I had so much fun putting stitched postcards together, that I ended up with three possibilities to choose from for the swap.  I have decided to send "Object of My Affection" to my swap partner, because I have found appropriate homes for the other two.
This stitching project kept me reaching into my fabric, binding, and paper stash all weekend, so I have a few more projects to share with you in an upcoming post.  And to all those wonderful people who have sent me mail art over the past few months that has gone woefully un-reciprocated:  I promise that there will be something fun in your mailbox SOON!

11 comments:

Patty Antle said...

One word: LOVE. you are amazing.

VivJM said...

Love these Andria!

Jewels said...

These are wonderful - great job Andria! By the way I just discovered this and some friends and I are going to do a swap (will be a good challenge for me). Thought you might like to see it and get inspired to! http://bockel24.blogspot.com/2009/04/postage-people-alert.html
Cheers, Jewels

PamelaArtsinSF said...

These look fabulous! great work.

eli said...

they are gorgeous, Andria! I looove them!

BTW, did you get something from me lately? I'm a bit worried that Correo Argentino has done it again...

Tina said...

These are fantastic! I love the way the seam binding with the stamping turned out. You're so creative!

Carolyn Phillips said...

These are gorgeous.

Caatje said...

Oh. Wow. These are amazing! Absolutely beautiful!

TheSnailMailer said...

Yes! Well done. Makes me want to make a blue jean blanket again.

Bad Jones Rising said...

I don't know how I missed this post, but I must say I love the colors and the tactile theme. The textures and fabric are great.

Robin said...

WOW love your stitched postcard. Its really amazing.