Fabric postcard tutorial

I wanted to share a photo tutorial for how I made my fabric postcard. I made this postcard as part of the ‘Dear Me’ postcard activity for the ‘Crafting During Coronavirus’ research project but I wanted the tutorial for the postcard to be available generally too as it is such a fun, creative project.

I’ve also made a YouTube tutorial for creating a stitched postcard which can be found here: https://youtu.be/xq41v0wBvPo

Materials for making a stitched postcard:

  • Fabric (this will be for the front of your postcard) measuring 5″ x 7″
  • Wadding measuring 6″ x 8″
  • Vlieseline bondaweb measuring 5″ x 7″
  • 160gsm card measuring 6″ x 4″
  • Baking parchment measuring 7″ x 18″ (it is really important to use baking parchment rather than greaseproof paper)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Rotary cutter, mat, ruler, scissors, pen
  • Iron and ironing board

Instructions for making a textile postcard:

1. Choose the fabric you’d like to use as the front of your postcard and iron it so it lies as flat as possible.

2. Using a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat: trim your fabric so that it measures 5″ x 7″.

3. Cut a piece of wadding measuring 6″ x 8″ (having it larger than your fabric piece makes it easier to hold whilst quilting). Place your fabric on top of the wadding with the right/top side of the fabric facing you.

4. Quilt your fabric/wadding. I tend not to baste the 2 layers as they aren’t that big but if you’d rather baste then you absolutely can. Using a walking foot can help if you’re machine quilting but you can hand quilt if you’d rather.

Don’t worry about securing your threads at the start/finish of your quilting as you’re going to trim it all down.

5. Once you’ve finished quilting, lay your quilted piece on top of your cutting mat.

6. Trim your quilted piece so that is measures 6″ x 4″.

7. Get your piece of bondaweb (measuring 5″ x 7″) and your baking parchment (measuring 7″ x 18″). Bondaweb is a double sided fusible adhesive. One side has a paper covering on it (protecting the adhesive on that side) and it will feel smooth. The other side will have a rougher feel to it and that is an adhesive side. Take the time to feel the 2 sides so that you know what the adhesive feels like.

8. Place your quilted fabric on top of your baking parchment so that the back of your quilted fabric is facing you.

9. Place your bondaweb on top of your quilted fabric. You want to make sure the rough side of the bondaweb is touching the back of your quilted piece. The smooth side of the bondaweb should be facing up towards you.

10. Fold your baking parchment over so that it creates a sandwich and covers your quilted fabric & bondaweb.

11. Using a hot iron (no steam), press these layers together. I tend to press it for approx. 5-7 seconds. Make sure each area of the postcard/bondaweb sandwich is pressed. Leave to cool (don’t take it out of the baking parchment yet).

12. Take your 160gsm card measuring 6″ x 4″. I’ve found this card weight works best as it is strong enough to withstand the pen/writing but not so thick that you can’t see through it. It is personal preference though so you can find/use what works best for you.

13. Write your postcard message. My writing reflects what I wanted to say as part of the ‘Crafting During Coronavirus’ research project. I’ve chosen not to leave a space for a postal address as I always think it is more protective/private to put the stitched postcard into an envelope if you’re going to send it.

Leave a thin border (0.5″ max) around the edges of your postcard so that no writing is obscured when you add the zig-zag stitch to bind the edges.

14. Now the ironed piece has cooled – remove it from the backing parchment and gently peel off the smooth paper backing of the bondaweb. If it isn’t peeling away easily and/or if the web hasn’t adhered to your quilted piece then put it back in the backing parchment and repress. Leave it to cool and then try to peel the smooth paper backing off again.

15. Place your card with the writing face down onto the baking parchment.

16. Place your quilted piece on top of the card so that the back of your quilted piece is face-to-face with the back of your card.

17. Fold the baking parchment over so that it creates a sandwich.

18. Press in exactly the same way we did in step 11. Leave to cool.

19. Trim it down so that all of the edges are the same size and nothing is overhanging.

20. Still using the walking foot (to help with the even feed of all the layers), you’re going to create 2 rounds of a tight zig-zag stitch all the way around your postcard. I used a stitch width of 3.4 (although if I remake it I would probably go to 3.6) and a stitch length of 0.6. Test the stitch on an offcut of fabric first to check it is the right length/width for your postcard.

Start with the needle on the right hand side of the zig-zag (so that it is off the card/fabric). The needle should be butted up right against the outer edge of the postcard.

21. Continue to work your way around the postcard. The needle will go side-to-side from the outside (butting up against the outside edge) to the inside (going through all the layers of fabric/wadding/bondaweb/card). This creates a binding stitch that secures the edges and binds them together. Sew this tight zig-zag stitch all the way around all 4 edges of your postcard and then keep stitching so that you sew all 4 edges for a second time.

22. Once you’re back to where you started, having sewn twice around all 4 edges with a tight zig-zag stitch, secure your thread by reverse stitching 0.5″ and sewing forwards again by 0.5″.

23. Trim any loose threads.

Your stitched fabric postcard is now complete!