February 12, 2016

Crazy Quilted Fabric Postcard Tutorial

Several members have expressed interest in making crazy quilted fabric postcards, but wondered how to go about creating one. I am far from an expert, but do hope this tutorial is helpful.

Supplies needed:  

8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) piece of muslin (for foundation)
5 - 7 scraps of fabric 
4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) piece of Peltex or Timtex (I used Peltex that is fusible on both sides)
4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) piece of fabric or cardstock for back
rotary cutter, mat and ruler
sewing machine
iron and ironing board
fabric marker or permanent marker to write your message
needles for embroidery and beading needle if adding beads
embellishments: (examples) embroidery floss, pearl cotton, small beads, charms, lace, lace motifs, buttons.
Optional: clear plastic envelope for mailing

Step 1: Piece the front of the block

1. Cut muslin foundation, adding 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) to each side. (For a 4 x 6 inch post card, I cut an 8 x 10 inch piece of muslin.) This allows extra fabric so the piece may be used in a hoop for embroidery and allows for any shrinkage the embroidery may cause. Iron the muslin.

2. Trace a 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) rectangle on the center of the muslin. This will be the back of the foundation.

3. Piece the crazy quilt block. I used the flip-and-sew method for this tutorial, but you may use the method that works best for you.

3A. Cut a shape for the center of the postcard. (Note: when using a square or rectangle, I have found it easier to piece the block by setting the shape at an angle to avoid vertical and horizontal seams.) Below is my fabric piece #1.

3B. Sew fabric pieces #1 and #2 to the muslin backing. 

First, place fabric piece #1 face up on front of muslin rectangle. (The rectangle you drew should not be showing. It should be on the back.) 

Second, place the 2nd fabric you wish to use face up on the muslin along one edge of fabric piece #1. (Note: if you have shorter edges, like the sides of the photo above, I recommend placing your next fabric next to a longer edge.)

Third, pin fabrics 1 and 2 onto the foundation, as seen above.

Next, sew together along the edge of the red fabric using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Iron fabrics so both are right-side-up on the foundation, as seen above.

3C. Using a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, trim the edges of the second fabric.

Place the block on the cutting mat so the right sides of the fabrics are facing down and you are looking at the back of the foundation.

Carefully fold the muslin foundation back away from the area  you will be trimming, as seen in the photo above.

Line the ruler up so it follows the edge of fabric piece # 1. Make sure the foundation block is safely tucked beneath the ruler. Then cut along this edge.

After trimming the right side.

Following the same steps, flip the block over and trim the other side of the fabric.

After trimming the left side.

After both sides have been trimmed, iron the block. 

3D. Place your 3rd face down along one of the seams on the block, pin it in place, 

sew it, iron it, 

trim it 

and iron it again as you did in the steps above with your 2nd fabric.

3E. Repeat these steps until your block is fully pieced.

3F. Baste the edges of the pieced block to the foundation.

First, turn the block over. On the muslin side of the block, secure the outer edges of fabrics on the front of the block to the foundation, as seen above.

Using the longest stitch setting (to make it easier to remove the stitches later), baste along the 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) rectangle you drew on the back. 

Step 2: Embellish the block.

Tips to keep in mind:
     1. Do not stitch beyond the basted line. Any stitching beyond that line will be cut when you create your postcard.
     2. Place all beads, buttons or any other bumpy items at least 3/8-inch (0.95 cm) away from the basted seam line. Any embellishments closer to the edge may interfere with sewing the outer edges of the postcard together.
     3. Your postcard must not be more than 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick in any area.
     4. Any beads, buttons or charms should be securely attached. (When sewing beads on, I always pass through each bead 3 times with the thread and then knot the thread in the back 3 times before moving on to the next bead. This way, if one bead is lost, they will not all come loose in the mail.)
     5. If you do not intend to use a clear envelope when mailing your postcard, you will want to be sure your embroidery does not include long, loose stitches that can catch in the mail and that your other embellishments will not snag or catch on anything.

Step 3: Assemble the Postcard

1. Remove basting seams from pieced block.

2. Trim embellished block, leaving extra 1/4-inch along each edge you traced.

3. Cut a 4 x 6 inch (10 x 15 cm) rectangle of Peltex (or Timtex) and of your backing fabric or cardstock. (Note: If you use cardstock, your needle will dull quickly. Of course, the fusible Peltex or Timtex may do that, too.)

4. Place the embellished block face down on your ironing board. Position the Peltex (or Timtex) within the rectangle you drew. Place the backing fabric on the Peltex. Fuse together according to the directions for your Peltex (or Timtex.)

5. Once fused together, trim the excess fabric.

6. Finish the edges. Some members like to hand stitch the edges with a buttonhole stitch. Others hand stitch lace around the edges, attaching the front to the back. For this postcard, I used a zigag stitch around the edges, following a tutorial I will link to below.

7. Mark the back of the postcard. Then add the mailing address and your message and your postcard will be ready to mail. (I recommend taking your postcard to the post office to mail it out. I have mailed mine in a clear plastic envelope and the post office charges extra to hand cancel the postcard, rather than running it through their machine. And, I must admit, after receiving postcards mailed without an envelope, I have to say I love having the stamp directly on the card. I may have to try mailing mine that way in the future!)

Some of our members prefer to print the fabric for the back of their postcard. I do not have a pattern to print that I can share; however, I did find this tutorial for printing onto fabric.

Tutorials that were recommended to me when I created my fabric postcards are listed below. I am not affiliated with any of these sites.

1. This tutorial from Patchwork Posse that has loads of information. (One option for these postcards is printing photos. Please remember if you do choose to print photos from the Internet, to obtain permission first.)

2. This tutorial at Quilted Delights. (I use the steps from this tutorial to finish the edges of my postcards.)

3. This video tutorial by Rob Appell of Man Sewing. (Due to the embellishments added to CQ fabric postcards, you may wish to skip the batting so you do not exceed 1/4-inch thickness.) Some CQI members commented that they found the finishing information on this tutorial helpful.

As stated earlier, I am not an expert on Crazy Quilted Fabric Postcards. If you have tips or suggestions you believe would be helpful, we would love to hear them. If you find a mistake in the information provided above, please bring it to my attention. Thank you and happy stitching!

February 03, 2016

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine - Spring 2016 Edition

The Spring 2016 edition of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine is now available at Magcloud. (You may find it here.) 

The magazine is full of beautiful eye candy, tips for beginners, embroidery patterns, tutorials, and photos of impressive completed crazy quilts.

It was quite fun to recognize works from so many Crazy Quilting International members published in the Crazy Quilt Quarterly. Congratulations!

Please note that Pamela Kellogg will be accepting submissions for the Autumn edition of the magazine until May 1st. You may find more details, including a list of the types of work sought and submission instructions on her blog here.

May 1st is also the deadline for entries to the first Crazy Quilt Quarterly Annual Calendar Contest. You may read more details here.

December 19, 2015

Holiday Fabric Postcard Swap 2015

We had 13 members participate in the Holiday Fabric Postcard Swap Wilma organized for the Crazy Quilting International groups that meet on Facebook and on Yahoo. 

Participants were given a choice of swapping a winter themed postcard or a Christmas themed postcard. Some members swapped more than one card, so a total of 22 postcards were created for this swap. Photos of 21 of those postcards are below. (It is a photo heavy post!)

Beth created two postcards:
Created by Beth

Created by Beth
Carol created three postcards:
Created by Carol

Created by Carol

Created by Carol
Diana created two postcards:
Created by Diana
Created by Diana
Donna created this postcard:
Created by Donna
Elizabeth created two postcards:
Created by Elizabeth
Created by Elizabeth
Heather created this postcard:
Created by Heather
Joy created this postcard:
Created by Joy
Lisa created this postcard:
Created by Lisa
Margreet created this postcard:
Created by Margreet
MaryAnn created two postcards:
Created by MaryAnn
Created by MaryAnn
Renee created this postcard:
Created by Renee
Sarma created two postcards:
Created by Sarma
Created by Sarma
Wilma created two postcards:
Created by Wilma
Created by Wilma
Everyone did such lovely work! If you are a member of CQI and missed out on this fun swap, don't worry. There will be more crazy quilted fabric postcard swaps in 2016.

December 02, 2015

A Few Points of Interest

Coming soon... There is a Holiday Fabric Postcard Swap taking place within the Crazy Quilting International groups on Yahoo and on Facebook. We will be sharing photos of them all soon!

Until then, you may be interested in some of these opportunities - listed in no particular order.

1. Registration is now open for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2016 (better known as CQJP 2016.) You may find more details here. This is a great way to challenge yourself to create a hand embellished crazy quilt block each month so you have 12 blocks to assemble into a crazy quilt at the end of the year. Registration closes on December 20th. Kathy and Marci are wonderful to volunteer their time to this project! 

2. Speaking of Kathy... her new book, Crazy Quilting Volume 1: Beyond the Basics, is now available at Amazon and it is free to Kindle subscribers!

3. If you are looking for a 2016 calendar, there are two crazy quilting calendars available. One is published by Pat Winter. The other is published by Pamela Kellogg and features the work of some of our members.

4. You have an opportunity to have your work featured in the 2017 Crazy Quilt Calendar. Pamela Kellogg has shared details for the Crazy Quilt Quarterly Annual Calendar Contest on her blog. I do hope you will consider making one to submit by the May 1st deadline!

5. I know many of you have enjoyed using Sharon B.'s crazy quilt templates. She has created a 2nd set of templates that are now available. You may see them here. If you plan to order them as a gift this December, the deadlines are listed here. (It looks like shipments being mailed to Australia need to be ordered by Monday, December 14th. Any other destination needs to be ordered by Monday, December 7th.)

July 12, 2015

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Magazine - Summer Edition

The Summer 2015 edition of Crazy Quilt Quarterly is full of under-the-sea themed eye candy and tutorials.

The Autumn 2015 edition will be available on August 1st at Magcloud

Pamela Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs is currently accepting submissions for the Winter 2015 edition of the magazine. So, if you have winter scenes, snow scenes, Christmas scenes or any of the other ideas suggested for winter here on her blog that you would like to submit, the deadline is August 1st.

On September 1st, the 2016 Crazy Quilt Calendar will be released. If you would like to see a sneak peek, just follow this link.

If you are looking for the post with details about the Crazy Quilt Retreat 2015 August 20th - 23rd, you will find it here.

February 24, 2015

Crazy Quilt Retreat 2015

                       Crazy Quilt “Sit & Stitch” Retreat
                                        Kansas City, Missouri, USA
                                 August 20, 2015 to August 23, 2015

Nestled in the wooded bluffs east of the Missouri River, Heartland Center is just 20 minutes from downtown Kansas City and less than 15 minutes from the Kansas City International Airport (MCI).
Retreat attendees will stay in Cray Lodge, two per room (invite a friend to sign up so you can share). Every room has a private bath and shower.
Next door to our accommodations is the main building, which houses the large meeting room, with the dining building just steps away. All three daily meals are served in the dining hall and you will have access to hot water for coffee and tea.
The location was selected to assist with minimizing costs for retreat attendees. Heartland Center offers a nice peaceful location with short commutes to and from Kansas City International Airport (KCI/MCI) as well as to shops and entertainment areas.
Cray Lodge

                                    All this for only …. $365.00

   This include lodging for 3 nights, all 8 meals

  (Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast),

      With snacks & bottled water!

Retreat participants will need to arrange their own transportation to and from Kansas City, MO.  Participants arriving at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) will pay an extra cost for transportation for service to the Heartland Center (to be determined before the registration date).
*** This retreat is open to All Crazy Quilters.
     Sorry, we will have no accommodations for husbands.
*** Registration begins on Monday, March 2, 2015 
How do I register?
Send a $200.00 deposit (or you may pay in full) via check or PayPal:
PayPal to:  Please mark as “gift” or include an extra 4% to cover PayPal fees. PayPal will provide you with a receipt.

By Check, mail to:
Elizabeth Rudder (please make check payable to Elizabeth Rudder, not CQI)  
1611 Lecompton Road
Leavenworth, KS 66048-5401
If you mail a check, please provide your email address so a receipt may be emailed to you.
Balance of $153.00 is due no later than June 30, 2015

If you must cancel for any reason, your cancellation refund will be as follows:

     By April 1, 2015 – all payment made less $25.00

     By June 1, 2015 – all payment made less $50.00

      After July 1, 2015 – No refund unless your space is filled, then everything you paid less $75.00

Meeting Room

You will need an stitching Light, we will provide the extension cord.
A list of items to bring will be emailed to all registered attendees to assist those who have little or no experience in attending a retreat. The airport shuttle service and pricing will be sent with this list.

If you attend without a friend, we will pair you up with a room mate. There is an elevator in Cray Lodge and we have 4 special needs rooms available to us during the Retreat.

If there is a large group attending, we will have Nunamaker Lodge (next door to Cray Lodge)available and these rooms will sleep 3 individuals. There are no single rooms available.