Featured Artist — Karin McElvein

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.

4 thoughts on “Featured Artist — Karin McElvein

  1. Karin, I’m so impressed with your artistic journey. Beautiful pieces and I’m so glad you shared it with us all. XO Jean

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