Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Summer of Colour - Week 2

This weeks Summer of Colour challenge was orange and hot pink. R requested that we do some "sewing machine art", so we made these fabric postcards.

We raided the fabric scraps stash for the correct colours.

To make them yourself you will need a sewing machine, fabric scraps, plain backing fabric, fusible webbing (Bondaweb or similar), craft weight/pelmet/heavy Vilene interlining, sewing thread, baking paper and an iron. I get my supplies shipped from the UK from Cotton Patch, which is way cheaper than anywhere in Australia even with the postage.

Firstly cut 1 piece of Vilene, 2 pieces of Bondaweb and 1 piece of backing fabric to slightly larger than your finished card size (4 1/8 inch by 6 1/8 inch for a 4 by 6 postcard). You will also need some smaller pieces of Bondaweb ready to attach your motif.

Iron one of the the Bondaweb sheets to the Vilene (use baking paper to protect your iron and ironing board) and then remove the backing.

Cut you background fabric pieces into rough rectangles.

Place the rectangles onto the glue web side of the Vilene. Overlap them a little so the whole thing is covered.

Place the whole thing between the baking paper and iron again so the patches are attached. Don't worry if some of the edges are a little loose.

Next sew over the whole thing in any way you like to add pattern and to secure the pieces. R loved doing this and soon got the hang of how to use the machine.

Choose fabric scraps for your motif. Iron some Bondaweb onto the back of your scraps BEFORE you cut out the motif. You can draw the motif on the paper backing and then cut out the motif.

Once the motif is cut out take the backing paper off and place glue side down onto your background.

Iron the motif onto the background. You can finish your motif here like L did.

Fabric postcard by L

If you want to add detail and also make your card stronger then sew over or around you motif. If you have a random design, like R, just go over all the pieces randomly.

Fabric postcard by R

If you have a pictorial motif you might want to go around it in satin stitch.

Fabric postcard by Mum

You may want to add some hand stitches or other embellishments to the card.

Once the design is finished use the last piece of Bondaweb to iron on the plain backing fabric, I just use white cotton. Use rotary cutter and ruler (or scissors) to trim and square up the edges.

To finish the edges sew a zig-zag or satin stitch all around the outside. Place the card under the machines foot so the zig-zag sews off the edge and wraps it as it goes.

You can write directly on these cards, stick a stamp on and actually send them through the post "naked". If you have added lots of embellishments then just send them in an envelope as the post sorting machines can tear off 3D parts.

The thing I love about making these is that they are small enough to experiment with techniques without wasting to much material. For R especially it was all about the process and using the machine. We found putting the machines control pedal on a step stool made it high enough for him to reach. L was still too small so she sat on my lap to manipulate the fabric while I did the pedal for her.

Use a step stool to raise up the control pedal. 


  1. These are awesome! Wish I had the skills to make something like this.

  2. all three pieces are fabulous - lovely use of colours - and thank you for the instructions

  3. WOW! Now this is really spot on with the colors for SOC. Very nice job and the children are looking so involved. What a great thing to do. Job well done! Thanks.

  4. This is a fantastic project and I love how your kids are getting involved too! Reminds me of my crazy quilting days.

  5. I really love this it reminds me of how my mum taught me to sew at a very early age :)

  6. Very nice fabric postcards!
    This really makes me want to get into making some myself!

  7. Those are marvelous! They'll really brighten up some mailboxes. And a great way to use up all those scraps. It's neat that your kid likes to sew. I taught my stepson when he was 8.

  8. Ohh WOWW!!. Fabulous art collaboration here!!. Bravo little ones, and mum !!. LOVE all the beautiful postcards, makes me smile looking at them :).

  9. Awe, you had me at step stool!! I LOVE seeing your progress shots - especially with the kids hard at work - and LOVE the results you all achieved. Please give the kids a high-5 from me, xoxo

  10. Beautiful way to use scraps and how marvellous to get your children involved.

  11. These are really gorgeous...the kids did a great job too...xxx

  12. Oh, hallo! I love your work with fabric and your Kids! Thank you for sharing this wonderful photos and your collage in this wonderful colors!

  13. Love those flowers! What a great idea.

  14. These are really beautiful and a wonderful skill to teach your children. I taught my boy to use the sewing machine when he was young, he is 25 now and will use my machine when the need arises. Visiting from SOC

  15. Oh my goodness! I am LOVING your wonderful creations! They are all so beautiful! I love how everyone in the family worked on these, too!

  16. Wow, I love those, and I love that you made them with your kids!

  17. You truly ARE an educator. It's great that you and your children made these. They are perfect for the challenge and a great motivational tool for kids.

  18. What fun, very creative!

  19. these are simply amazing... love the photos of the kids enjoying it as well... even if the sight of a sewing machine did bring me out in hives... was worth it to see your lovely take on the colour prompts...xx

  20. Wow that's just amazing. Love how it turned out. And I love that you did this with your kids! Great idea!!!!

  21. Wow gorgeous and so fun to see the kids involved!! Good for them!!

    Hugs Giggles

  22. Oh my gosh!! Thank you. I was thinking they were above me and then I saw your little one and I would love to try my little ones with this. Maybe they would not be as scared of the machine as me. And such clear instructions as well. Thank you!!