My last post was about slowing down and hand stitching herringbone embroidery stitches. This post is also about sewing by hand but, this time, I am talking about making a textile Artist’s Trading Card (ATC) for a swap.
The ATC swap is being organised by Ali of Very Berry Handmade. It is the seventh swap Ali has organised, the sixth that I have taken part in (I was “sunning” myself in Antarctica for the last swap!). I enjoy taking part in the swaps, for several reasons:
1. It gives me the opportunity to try my hand at being creative as I have to think about what I am going to do and then design it.
2. As it is time-limited, it is good discipline for me, without too much stress.
3. I enjoy making the ATCs.
4. It’s delightful to receive a handmade ATC in the mail.
If I am working to a deadline, I always struggle to come up with an idea until the deadline is near. The theme for this swap is “My favourite” which we could interpret in any way we liked. I have been bouncing favourites around in my head since the theme was announced but couldn’t come up with a workable idea. Then, last weekend, Peter and I had to travel to Kent unexpectedly. When I was deciding what craft things to take with me (much more important than choosing the clothes!), I was suddenly hit with inspiration: mountains. I have loved mountains since I was a child so it made sense to stitch my favourite landscape.
As I looked through one of my bags of scraps, I was pleased to find several that looked ideal for what I was planning. I chose a blue cotton for the sky and a piece of white for the snow caps, a piece of tweed in an earthy green/brown for a rocky peak, a mottled cotton furnishing fabric in creams and silvery grey and, finally, a brown furnishing weight cotton. I selected some toning embroidery threads which I would use to add definition.
Using my sketched design for reference, rather than as a template, I began cutting out interesting peaks and shapes from each of the fabrics, excluding the blue cotton. I used a sample piece of Empress Mills’s Superliner as the base upon which to place my collage. I began with the sky and worked forwards from there. I was pleased with how effective my chosen fabrics were in the landscape.
I used iron-on webbing to attach the fabrics to the Superliner. Pressing the fabrics firmly with a hot iron caused the wadding part of the Superliner to flatten. Although that was a mistake, it worked well as it made the fabric firmer and easier to stitch. You should be able to see the stitching on the card: some is done with two strands, the remainder with just a single strand.
The stitching is not perfectly neat but I am happy that it defines the landscape and adds interest to the ATC.
As you can see, there are differences between my original sketch and the completed ATC but that doesn’t matter as the sketch was done merely as a guide.
To complete construction of the ATC, I sandwiched a piece of card between the collage and a piece of plain cream-coloured curtain lining and used Cherry, my Brother 1250D sewing machine, to stitch the layers together using a zigzag stitch: 4.0mm wide and 1.00mm long.
The final touch was to write the relevant information on the reverse of the card. All that’s left to do is to post the ATC to my swap recipient – I hope she likes it!