Karin McElvein lives in Norfolk, Virginia, and spends her free time quilting and golfing. She is married and has a son, a daughter and four beautiful grandchildren.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am a transplanted Northerner, having grown up in Massachusetts. I graduated in 1965 from Bates College, located in Lewiston, Maine, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After getting married, my husband David was a Navy pilot so we traveled a lot. In 1974, when he left the Navy, we returned to Massachusetts for 11 years. I received a Masters in Science from Worcester Polytech in 1982. And in 1985 we moved back to Virginia. I taught high school chemistry for 20 years. I retired from teaching in 1996 and then worked in David’s company for 12 years. When his business closed in 2008, due to the economy, I began working as the office manager for a small company where I am today.
When did you start making postcards? Why did you join Postmark’d Art?
A member of Virginia Consortium of Quilters introduced me to fabric postcards at one of our quarterly meetings. I just loved them. She gave us the contact information for Postmark’d Art and I asked to join a group. I was set up in a new group, Fabricardart, that had formed and was fortunate to then be asked to join Postmark’d Art. I think I began in round four.
My first postcard was the Cape Henry lighthouse in Virginia Beach. It was published in Bonnie Sabel’s book Positively Postcards: Quilted Keepsakes to Save or Send (That Patchwork Place, 2007).
How do you display your postcards?
I have two photo albums that hold cards in special plastic sheets. I like to show both the front and the back. I keep many cards in baskets all over the house. When I teach a class on fabric postcards, I bring several along for inspiration.
What have been some of your favorite themes?
What I love most about making postcards is the process in coming up with an idea to represent a theme. I also enjoy trying new techniques that I’ve just learned on the small scale. I loved doing the Element themes. Working on the small scale enabled me to incorporate the techniques into larger pieces later.
Tell me about your other interests.
When I retired from teaching, I decided to take up golf and quilting, both expensive and time consuming. I still battle some days as to what I would rather do when I have free time. I signed up for lessons in both, and I definitely became a better quilter than golfer. I made a sampler quilt in my first class that I still love. I have made a lot of traditional quilts, both pieced and appliqued, especially baby quilts.