Just in time for #GlobalBlockDay and Blockapalooza, a new way to make quilts: fabric postcards which will be called Mini Quilts or Minis for short. The spark for this idea goes to Jennifer Lario Moya who tucked the cutest mug rug into a batch of blocks, and one thing led to another, and here we are talking about how to make Minis.
To keep things creative to make and visually interesting to look at, there are some familiar guidelines/rules and some new guidelines/rules:
- Minis must be made of fabric.
- Minis are 6″ x 4″ / 15cm x 19cm – that is 6″/15cm wide x 4″/10cm tall. Think landscape or horizontal orientation.
- Minis must have 3 layers: a top, stiff middle; backing. Top and backing must be fabric.
- The top must be of white or slightly off white background.
- Backing fabric can be whatever you choose, though many of the samples made by veteran postcard makers feature a light colored backing fabric so it can be made to look like a postcard.
- Include as many pairs of red X’s as you like on the front of the Mini, but they must be presented in pairs, just like in Middlings, and each pair of red X’s will be considered a commemoration.
- You must tell me on the Provenance Form how many pairs are in each Mini. You may send one Provenance Form with a batch of as many Mini Quilts as you want to create, and each Mini Quilt must have a note attached telling me the number of commemorations (pairs of red X’s) on that particular Mini.
- Please no words, numbers, names, drawings, or symbols, etc. on the front – only pairs of red X’s.
- Feel free to write a note or a favorite quote or make a drawing on the back, but say it with me: not on the front.
- Embellishments (beads, lace, ribbons, textured fabrics etc.) are welcomed.
- Edges must be finished in red or white.
- If mailing them as postcards, check with your local post office for mailing regulations. (See notes below for more info.)
- Even if you mail them in envelopes, please get the Minis hand canceled so that when they’re displayed, viewers can see how far they traveled.
- Remember that the backs will often be displayed, so don’t write anything (like your address) you don’t want the world to see.
Thank you and thank you big to these people for teaching me about fabric postcards, making samples, and helping me figure out how to turn them in to Minis for The 70273 Project:
Jennifer Lario Moya
LindaMarie Davinroy Smith
- Just mailed my postcards. Because they are fabric, the postal service was going to treat them as a parcel and put one of those ugly stickers all across it, even after I specified “hand cancellation”. After I said WAIT! the post lady did not apply the sticker. I explained to her I needed it to really be handcancelled (stamped with a stamper.) Since the post office rules did not allow that, we came up with a plan for her to handcancel the fabric and then mail all three postcards in a mailer. It cost $3 and something cents to mail all three that way. Mission accomplished. ~ Pam Patterson
- The US post office will mail postcards without envelopes only if they’re thinner than 1/4″. ~ Marjorie Holme
- I don’t know a lot about the French Post Office, I probably wouldn’t send it except inside an envelope. ~ Chantal Baquin
- Fabric postcards are an art form in themselves. postal art. That has gone thru the post in a normal way, with a PO cancelled stamp. ~ Kim Monins
- If I put my fabric postcards in a clear envelope, my local post office made me put the stamp on the envelop and wouldn’t take time for hand cancelling. ~ Janet Hartje
- Clear envelopes protect any embellishments like beads etc. I have occasionally mailed in a clear envelope but get thE PO to hand cancel the stamp before sealing it. So it’s ‘legal’ AND looks like it’s made its journey! ~ Kim Monins
- I’ve made a bunch of fabric postcards. As long as it’s less than 1/4″ thick, it mails with regular first class letter postage. I usually use the thick double fusible pellon, like is used for fabric bowls. I fuse plain muslin to the back and draw a traditional postcard back design with half for message and half for address. On the other side I fused my collaged/embroidered/stamped fabric piece. I prefer hand stitching so I usually buttonhole stitched the edges…most people use a machine stitch zigzag over the edge. It’s best to secure any embellishments, like buttons, well. Smaller things can be trapped under a layer of netting or tulle. ~ Marjorie Holme
- Minis need a tiff middle which can be interfacing, buckram, Pellon or the like. ~ Kim Monins
- Just as on blocks, red X’s can be painted, embroidered, hand stitched, appliquéd – apply them any way you choose.
I think these Minis will add much visual interest to exhibits, and they will fit into spaces where big quilts won’t. We welcome experienced fabric postcard makers, those who’ve been meaning to make fabric postcards, and those who never thought about it before, but adopt a why-not attitude and dive right in. We welcome Minis and look forward to seeing many of them on social media as you post on 14 October 2017, Global Block Day! If you have anything to add, please leave a comment or email me. And hey, thanks for telling all your friends ’cause I know you’re popular.