Fabric Postcard Dream Catchers

by Laurie Walton

I’ll admit, getting positive responses from my fabric postcards is part of the fun. So when Franki’s email arrived saying, “Laurie, you rock! Seriously. I just got your card today. It is sooooooooooooooo cool. I love your ideas, your work, your everything! Thank you so much for a beautiful card!” followed by a request to consider a dream catcher tutorial as a featured article… how could I say no? :-)

“Daisies Adrift” uses ideas from previous rounds of my Postmark’d Art cards, with the Dream Catcher being the focal point once again. This design offered a chance to use colorful threads and some of the underutilized stitches on my machine, plus the addition of a little hand embroidery that I enjoy the most.

Hopefully my technique will make sense, but there are multiple sites online that explain how to make dream catchers if you need more guidance. Searching the Internet is how I started!

www.nativetech.org/dreamcat/dreminst.html

www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Gorge/1066/534dreamcatcher.html

General Notes:

The web is stitched using about 20 inches of #5 DMC Cotton Perle. The dream catcher is the final step after the rest of the postcard is finished.

Complete the design-side of your postcard, including embellishments. It’s not my intention to have everyone trying my dream catcher technique churn out postcards exactly like Daisy’s Adrift — it’s the example I’m using for demonstration purposes. I encourage you to design something completely different!

Apply address-side fabric to back and finish the outside edges as you wish. As you create your design keep in mind where the hole for your dream catcher will be cut. It shouldn’t interfere with address and stamp locations on back.

Front and back layers of postcard shown were attached to Pellon’s Peltex 70 Ultra Firm Stabilizer with Pellon’s Heavy Duty Wonder Under. Edges were finished with zigzag stitching set at length .04, width 4. The circle was cut about 1″ from each edge of one corner.

Instructions:

1. Use a quarter to trace a circle. Cut out and finish the raw edges with a tight satin stitch. It may be necessary to stop and start several times while stitching around the circle, pivoting the card in needle-down position – outside of zigzag.

2. On the back of the postcard, mark 8 tiny dots, each an equal distance apart  just outside of the zigzag stitching. Mine are usually about 1/2″ apart. These dots mark where the needle enters from the back when stitching the first round of dream catcher.

3. Secure thread with a small quilter’s knot through the back layers, clipping thread close to knot. My knot usually shows on the back, as DMC thread is too thick to bury. (Insert thread about ½” away from chosen dot, burying the thread so that if knot comes undone there is enough between the layers that work wouldn’t come undone.)

Bring needle through to the front at your first dot and drop back through the hole.

4. Working counter-clockwise from the back, insert the needle through the next dot, pulling the thread to the front.

5. Insert the needle down into the space just made by the first stitch, being careful not to catch the thread with your needle.

Pull stitch straight and fairly taught — it will look like the letter L.

To keep the work fairly tight, pinch each new stitch with your thumb as you rotate the card. A little tug on the thread will tighten things up if it becomes slack or if you have to put the project down.

6. Insert needle at the next dot on back and pull through to the front. Place needle down through new space just created and pull taut.

Repeat Step 6, coming up from the back through the next space and dropping the needle down through the space just created, until there are no more dots.

7. Insert needle up through the starting space (being careful not to catch the thread) and drop needle through last space created to finish the first round. This last stitch may need to be wiggled a bit to make it line up vertically like all the others. Think spokes on a wheel. Pull taut.

8. Come up from the back through the second space of Round 1.

Note: This is the only time a space will be skipped.

Go down through the new space created (as before), keeping the new stitches centered in the space it came up through, so that it locks in the middle as you pull the thread taut.

Repeat Step 8 until the hole is filled. Thread on a bead in the second or third round if you wish. Work the center as closed as you like.

9. Take a few whip stitches  to define the eye of the circle if needed. Make a small knot if you wish or bury the thread among the last round of stitches on back.

Laurie Walton lives in Maine and is a member of the online group Postmark’d Art. As a stay-at-home mom, she now proudly boasts (to anyone who’ll listen) her two daughters have graduated from the University of Maine — both summa cum laude in their chosen fields!

She is volunteer editor of Maine’s Pine Tree Quilting Guild newsletter, Patchwork Press. Learning to knit socks became an obsession for a while but the urge to make another quilt is growing stronger. A number of unfinished quilt projects have languished that should probably be worked on first. But she’s always up for another postcard swap!

Laurie has a blog called Socks Have No THUMBS!