ST&D postcard: not embroidery, then…

It’s as I suspected.

I did a test piece and I simply can’t get the needle and thread through the bits where there are three or four layers of fabric, especially when one of those fabrics is a densely-woven batik. Add to that the need to use a layer of waste canvas* and it’s out of the question. So…

I’ve changed things round a bit. The ‘Greetings from Tropical North Queensland’ bit runs diagonally across the back of the postcard and is hand-lettered in indelible ink, as is my name in the address section. I’ve used a font that looks like vintage ‘brush stroke’ lettering, to keep the kitschy-postcard-vibe going. Happy with the result… The front will stay message-free.Here’s the finished block. And now I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, that’ll be quite enough of that!  The next one will be considerably simpler and quicker 🙂 I have another postcard block to do, plus the OCA ribbon block, plus the postage stamp block in the centre, and I’m not doing complicated for each one.

On with the next one! 

*waste canvas is where you place a layer of canvas or other gridded fabric like Aida on top of the surface you want to embroider, do the embroidery, and then pull the canvas out, thread by thread, leaving just the embroidery and the fabric surface. Again, very fiddly, but it produces an excellent result.

NOTE: The free online photo-editing suite I have been using has now decided it won’t let me save my edited images unless I start paying. I ask you all to be patient while I learn to use the built-in editing options on my MacBook, which are not as versatile, but present a more economic option than paying over $140 a year to make my photos a little prettier!

40 thoughts on “ST&D postcard: not embroidery, then…

  1. itwasjudith says:

    I love your postcard!!
    I use iPhoto to store and edit pictures on my macbook. Once you get used to what/where features are, it’s quite easy to use and gives great results!

    • katechiconi says:

      I keep all my photos in iPhoto, but I haven’t till now used the editing suite. First time today, and it’s not too bad, a few things I can’t do that I used to, including adding copyright lines across the image. I’ll work something out!

      • itwasjudith says:

        You’re right, I hadn’t thought of the text editor as I never placed copyright text. Worst case, perhaps you could add the copyright text using Preview? It can open images and add a text layer with Tool/Annotate/Text (that’s the path in my version, options may have been renamed in time). Not ideal, but still free 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        Exactly! You gotta love a Mac!

  2. Robin Murphy says:

    That looks wonderful Kate. A bit out of my comfort zone, glad I am doing corners.

  3. tialys says:

    It’s bloomin’ gorgeous. I’m glad you’ve posted a pic of the finished postcard block – I can see what’s going on with the colours now. Do you prefer a light teal background or cream or doesn’t it matter? Same question for the back of the postcard.
    What no embroidery? Hoorah! That’s good news for me.
    Have you tried Gimp for photo editing? – I edit the product photos for my shops ’til the cows come home and it’s all free. Loads of features, most of which I haven’t taken advantage of yet.

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t mind what colour the background is – you could go dark if you want to do a light postcard, although it’s probably safer to stick with a lighter colour, so you don’t end up making the only dark one!
      No, I haven’t tried Gimp, up to now I was happy with the one I was using. Today I used my built in editing softward that comes with iPhoto, and that’s OK, but it’ll take some getting used to. If I can’t get my head round it, I might give Gimp a go.

  4. Well, that is quite amazing… and quite enough complexity for the time being. Enjoy doing something a bit less fiddly for a while. This is going to be a stunning quilt.

  5. Sara says:

    Love the postcard! I had no idea that iPhoto even had an editing suite; I need to check that out! Re adding a copyright, you could look at this tutorial: http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2012/07/how-to-watermark-photos-without.html

    • katechiconi says:

      Glad you like it! If you go into iPhoto there’s a button top right of the pane called Edit, and if you click on that, you get a menu down the right hand side. It’s not bad…
      I can add a copyright line to my photos using Preview, and then Annotate in the Tools drop down. Click Text, and away you go. Easier than installing a plug in or additional software.

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    Oh My, I mena OH MY, isn’t that just BRILLIANT!

    • katechiconi says:

      It was fun! Bit like painting with fabric. I’d like to have another go at the process another time, but with a larger piece and larger snippets so it’s not so fiddly.

  7. Moira says:

    Love this block!

  8. dayphoto says:

    That is sooooooooooo cute! You did an excellent job!

  9. Ohmygosh. This is a thing of beauty. I love the clever colors and design and, well, all of it. You are such a talent, Kate.

  10. lucyannluna says:

    It looks great as it is.

  11. This is beautiful! I have no illusions that I can even approach what it is you do, but this one really inspires me. I’d love to make a series of cards I can send to dear ones. Thank you!

  12. Kirsten says:

    This is so pretty. I really like the colours. I used to do a similar thing but on a larger scale a couple of years ago. A kind of appliqué picture!

  13. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    How pretty !!!!!

  14. kathyreeves says:

    It’s perfect, and now I’m ready to work on mine! Just sent the draft off from a consulting report, so glad to be finished and back to fabric!

  15. rutigt says:

    Thanks for all the tips. I don´t think I´ll do exactly like you, except for the lay-out. Working on it in my head 🙂 Dreamt about it the other night!!!

  16. craftycreeky says:

    I love the postcard, the picture is amazing !

    • katechiconi says:

      Thanks! I’m happy with how it turned out. For a bigger piece of appliqué with larger bits of fabric I’d probably use matching threads, but this was too small to be changing colours all the time.

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