Postcard Tutorial

So, while experimenting with these little quilts I have learned a few things:

1. I don't like double sided fusible-like the effect but the process is painful.
2. They don't need to be perfect-just pleasing
3. I love doing them-instantaneous joy at the completion
4. They use up nicely those bits of fabrics left over from paper piecing that are too small for regular quilts.
5. They are addicting!

Step 1      Gather Materials

Peltex: I used Peltex double sided fusible heavy duty.  There are several products out there that will do the trick.  The Peltex made a nice firm card that ironed flat and wasn't too thick.

Double sided lightweight interfacing: if you feel the need

Glue sticks: The one I used was acid free and went on blue but turned clear

Material:  Thematic prints, batiks (worked well with the raw edge applique technique because they didn't fray as much as the regular). Also a plain cotton for the back-light color.

Scrapbooking stuff:  You know you have it:)  Most of my quilting friends scrapbook as well or at least used to.   Stamps/inks (Check the dollar bins at Michaels) also, I found the large "Postcard Stamp" at Road to CA for 14.00.  I am sure it could be bought on line-but it isn't necessary-you can draw it on.  Cardstock, charms, yarn/ribbon, stickers, beads, buttons, words, pens, colored pencils, etc.

Iron and Ironing pad, Sewing machine, embroidery thread, an ironing sheet for applique is nice but not essential, Rotary cutter and mat.

Gather supplies into one area so they are easily accessible
Step 2   Cut Base of postcard

Cut Peltex with rotary cutter and mat into 4x6 inch rectangles.  My roll was 24 inches wide so I cut it into 6 inch strips and then cut each strip every 4 inches so I got 6 postcard blanks every 6 " or 18 postcards for 1/2 yard of Peltex.

Cut Base material with rotary cutter and ruler into 6" strips then cut every 4 "

Step 3  Stamp your backside (not your backside-the card backside)

I stamped quite a few of these ahead of time so I didn't have to stop and make a back.  Cut your light colored plain cotton 4.5x6.5 so it overlaps a bit.  Then either stamp with your postcard stamp or lay it aside to write on after the card is complete.

Cut material 4 1/2 x 6 1/2

blot don't rub ink onto large stamp

Center stamp onto material

Postcard backing complete-set aside

Step 4  Choose your fabric base and pieces for postcard

The St. Patrick's day post card was a solid base with pieces cut out of another thematic fabric after it had been ironed onto double sided lightweight fusible.  The 2nd side of the fusible was then scored with the tip of a scissors or pin and backing is peeled off and then piece is stuck to base piece and ironed down.

Pieces are selected

second side of double sided fusible is scored

plastic from fusible is peeled off

Pieces are ironed down individually and colored pencil is being applied
Another way to add fabrics to the front is with glue.  All the tutorials I read said to use fusible interfacing but I am going to do it my way  because it is just faster and less tedious-either way will work.  I used an acid free glue stick and just went over the back of each piece-careful to glue the background before the foreground.  Since I am going to stitch everything down-I don't see why it would matter. Let me know if you have a reason that it matters that I don't see.

Pieces selected from paper piecing scraps

Same pieces glued down starting from back and moving forward

I decided I liked the looks of the purple mountains fabric backside up.  It gives that smoky look at dusk that I wanted.  Our Santa Maria Valley has 5 mountain peaks when viewed from the north end looking toward the southwest and the mountains are very rocky-hence the blue squares on the purple mountains. The sun sets behind them and we have beautiful red sunsets.  Anyway-the block is securely attached and now I will take it to the machine using decorative thread.

Step 5 Machine Quilt

all stitched down

from the back

Step 6  Trimming
Trimming can be done two ways, by hand or with a rotary cutter.  There are pros and cons to both.  Rotary cutting gives a nice clean edge but if not careful you can nic the postcard.  Hand cutting gives you more control but is not quite as clean as the rotary.

Iron backing on, let cool, line up card and cut with a rotary cutter

Trim front even with card with sharp scissors

iron back to trimmed front

back peeks out about 1/4 inch all around

hand trim flush to edge or rotary cut with ruler and blade

Step 7  Finish Edge

Set your machine to zigzag.  I like a thin edge that is tightly sewn-personal choice.  I set my machine to 3.0 mm width and 0.3 length and go around the card 2 times.

machine set to 3.0 x 0.3

finished card
back of card
This back is made from a preprinted quilt label from Kaufman-I printed the lettering and the lines

Last Step  Put in a plastic sleeve and mail

You can have the post office hand cancel the postcard and then put it in a sleeve to keep it safe-tape back down securely.


ready for mailing

nature inspired

Valentine's Day

Mother's Day

St. Patrick's Day
I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial.  I only ask that you not copy my original designs.  You can surely do better:)

 Stepping Stones in the Garden

Cutting instructions

This quilt can be totally scrappy or controlled scrappy.  For totally scrappy, you will need (160) 4.5" squares and  (10) 2.5" WOF light fabrics and approximately 4.5 yards of dark 2.5" strips (WOF)

20 different lights and 20 different darks
Controlled scrappy:
20 different lights: cut as shown out of a fat quarter or .25 yd. each
1/4 yard (9"x42") will yield 4 Double 4 patch blocks and 2 double 4 patch triangles

Fat quarter yields the same as the 1/4 yd but is easier to cut

Top to bottom is 18", left to right is 22.  Cut two strips off left at 4 1/2", then 1 strip at 5", then 2 (or 3) at 2 !/2

Cross cut first two strips at 4 !/2, second strip at 5" and 2 1/2", and rest of fabric at 2 !/2"

Cut the 2, 5" squares into triangles
(20) 2.5" strips for center blocks and (50) 2.5" strips for Stripe border

20 different darks: cut a 2.5 strip off of each for center blocks and another 50 2.5 " strips off the darks for  striped  border. (I used more strips of the darker of my darks for sharp contrast.)


Stack pieces in 2 piles: 4 triangles and (4) 2 1/2" squares for your 20,  4 patch triangles and (8) 4 1/2" squares with the neutral  2 1/2" strips and 1 dark strip from your stack of 20 for 80 blocks.

 If you have the above done before class, you will be able to get a lot done in class.  The quilt is made up of 3 components: Double four patch blocks, 4 patch triangles and striped triangles.

Bertha approves of the color choices

If you have time, and want to be father ahead, sew 1 Dark strip from 20 strip stack to light strips from one cut set (butting lights along the dark to fill it.  Press toward dark.  Cut into 2 1/2 segments-you need 16.  Stack with the (8) 4 1/2" squares.


See you in class on April 18th, 10:30-3:30 at the Crazy 9 Patch! I am providing a large salad and a baguette and maybe something chocolate.

Assembly Part 1

Center Blocks

you need (2) 4.5 inch background blocks and (2) four patches for each block.   Take two sections (background and dark sewn together) and sew together.  Make sure seam on top is pointing toward pressure foot.

Twirl Seams

 iron middle seam open

trim to 8.5 inches

 Assembly Part 2

Four Patch Triangle

You need (1) four patch and (1) 5"square cut in half diagonally

Make sure dark squares are positioned correctly

Sew triangles on one at a time, ironing seam toward triangle between each

 Make 40

Assembly Part 3 

Strip Triangles

Take 6 assorted 1.5" strips and sew together lengthwise alternating direction with each strip.   Press seam allowances in one direction. Make 8 sets.   Use template or ruler to cut out approximately 5 triangles from each set.  Sew 1) four patch triangle to one strip set triangle.  Make 40.

When sewing the quilt top together, lay out in 12 horizontal rowsrows
When sewing together quilt top

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