Featured Artist: Franki Kohler

Franki Kohler is the founder, organizer and fearless leader of Postmark’d Art which began in 2004. She is also the author of the book Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Postcards (C&T Publishing, 2006). She lives in Oakland, CA.

Note: Hover cursor over images for more information; click on an image for a larger view.

Tell me a little about yourself.

When I was young, my grandmother lived with my family. She was always making her mark. Whether she was tatting an edge for a handkerchief, finishing a pillow case with a fine crochet lace or embroidering a design for a pillow, she was creating a legacy of fine hand work that her children and grandchildren would cherish. Her mantra was, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Naturally, she shared her skills with me and I acquired a true appreciation for working with needle and thread.

Here is grandma on her wedding day. You can barely see the rose at the neckline of her dress. I’ve ‘rescued’ a bit of her broderie perse work — another rose.

Grandmother's Roses by Franki Kohler

My introduction to quilting was serendipitous. I attended a fund-raiser for a historic house in a nearby city during December 1981. Each room in the house had been decorated by a different designer. One of the bedrooms was decorated lavishly with quilts. They were on the bed, the wall, hanging over a screen, stacked in baskets — I was dazzled. I had been wanting to learn how to quilt for some years so I took this as a sign that it was time to jump in. The designer’s business card indicated that she owned a quilt shop nearby. Kismet! I took my first quilting class in early 1982. My instructor, Diana McClun (who later closed her shop to found Empty Spools Seminars), was such an inspiration that even though I was working full-time then, I completed two quilts in that year. The second quilt was a Christmas sampler. Diana thought it was good enough to be a part of an exhibit she curated in 1983 titled American Christmas Quilts at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. How encouraging was that?

Why did you organize Postmark’d Art?

I was interested in learning about the new techniques and products that were on the quilting market but I knew that experimenting with the bed-quilt format wasn’t going to be practical.  I was searching for a small format for experimentation, a format that required a minimum of time and material investment to teach me the new skills I wanted to learn. Now I could not only learn by making postcards, I could also learn by receiving them and seeing the work of other artists.

Tomato by Sue Reno

Linda Rogers

 When did you start making postcards?

My postcard adventures began when a friend handed me the summer 2004 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. That issue contained an article about a group of artists who were making and exchanging fabric postcards. They called themselves Art2Mail. This was my “Eureka!” moment.

I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough to learn more. Art2Mail didn’t have an opening with their group at that time but they had enough interest from readers of the article that they spun off a group of new traders. I was asked to be the moderator for the new group. We called ourselves Postmark’d Art. I still smile when I remember Laurie Walton’s suggestion for the name: She said that in her part of the country (Maine) R’s and E’s are optional.

Hibiscus by Karen Musgrave

 How do you display your postcards?

I have groups of postcards on small display stands throughout my house. I like to rotate the cards. I also have a quilt that I made for displaying postcards. This is Princess Bliss of the Land of 4 x 6. She holds 70 postcards altogether and she hangs out with me in my studio.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

We always have a “No Theme” group for trading and for many years that’s the group I traded with.

Recently I joined the “van Gogh” trade group and I was so happy I did! The treasures I got in the mail will be cherished for years to come. Here are a couple of them:

Meta created a thermofax screen using a Dutch postage stamp and words that she associates with van Gogh.

Tell me about your other interests.

I am an avid gardener, enjoy studying piano and traveling with my husband, David. I also relish daily walks with my boys, Taylor and Mendelssohn.

Featured Artist- Maureen Egan

Maureen Egan lives in Westfield, Massachusetts, with her husband, Glen Ebisch.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I enjoy fashion sewing, machine embroidery, making quilts and wearable art, knitting, silk painting, and of course, creating fiber postcards. I also enjoy teaching occasional classes in local quilt shops, and I have published numerous articles in FiberArts, Designs in Machine Embroidery, and The Quilter magazines.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I joined Postmark’d Art at the encouragement of Franki Kohler. I had learned about and been a member of Art2Mail a few years earlier when researching an article for FiberArts magazine. I quickly discovered the fun and creativity of postcard exchanges. It never fails to brighten my day when the mail contains a fabric postcard!

When did you start making postcards?

I made and mailed my first fabric postcard in 2007. “Fiber Art in the Mail” (2006), the article I wrote for FiberArts magazine, is viewable on the Interweave Press website. Although, regrettably, the magazine ceased publication in 2011, an archive of selected FiberArts articles is maintained.  I feel honored that my article is among them, in the Genres and Markets category. I also published a how-to article on using embroidery software to create machine embroidered postcards (“Say It With Thread”, Designs in Machine Embroidery, Jan/Feb, 2007).

How do you display your postcards?

I keep a selection of postcards in photo frames, as a sort of  “ongoing exhibit” and change them periodically.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

It’s very hard for me to choose favorites, because each theme has offered its own creative opportunities, and I have enjoyed them all. In “Doors” and “Photo to Fabric,” I experimented with photo editing software, and for “Fruits,” I made original artwork on my iPod Touch. I combined fabric painting and machine embroidery for “Flowers,” had fun with fusible appliqué for “Picasso,” and brought watercolor and silk painting to “Paul Klee.” I digitized my own machine embroidery designs for “Sight” and “Fish.” Each and every theme has been a delight to try.

Tell me about your other interests.

Although I very much enjoy working in small scale to make fabric postcards, my interests extend to many other media and sizes of projects, too. I like working large scale, too, as in my “Millennium Triptych” of three 2,000-piece quilts.  Fashion sewing was my earliest fabric interest, and I still like to make clothing. The “little black dress” is a recent project. Painting on silk is a very rewarding medium for making scarves or creating small works for framing. “Sunset on Cape Cod” translates a vacation photograph into fabric for the very first fiber art postcard I ever mailed. I sent it to my husband, who keeps it in a little frame on his desk to this day.

You can usually find me in Massachusetts, my home state. It was not the most accommodating shape to incorporate in a postcard, but I had fun with it nevertheless! Of course including our islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. I live right near the tiny “notch” that reaches down into Connecticut.

Featured Artist- Sarah Ann Smith

Sarah Ann Smith lives in Hope, Maine (approximately two hours north of Portland and four hours south of the nearest point in Canada).  Hope (population 1313)  is just eight miles inland from her “metropolis” of Camden (population of about 5600 in winters, lots more in summer).

In 1997, she shares that she, her husband, son and “son-under-construction” left the rat race.  She and her husband had been U.S. Foreign Service Officers; he retired and she resigned to be a mom.  They moved to San Juan Island, Washington, and built what they thought would be their “forever” retirement home.  The school (only one on the island) wasn’t quite cutting it for their older son, so they decided to move.  Happily, they ended up in Camden, Maine, then 18 months ago moved to more land and a one-level (for senior years) house in Hope.   “Since I wasn’t born in Maine, I can’t really say I’m a Mainer, but I should be!  My birthplace was an accident of geography, and I am finally home where I belong:  in MAINE!”

Tell me a little about yourself.

Perpetually crazed I think!  I always want to do way more than there are hours in the day/lifetime.  I love art and color and cloth and have since I discovered sewing while aged in single digits.  Nearly 50 years later, things “cloth” are still my passion!

After living and traveling abroad for most of my life, at age 40, I resigned from the Foreign Service and am quite content to enjoy this beautiful country–perhaps with forays abroad every few years if I can afford it.  My past life influences my work and world view, but I am really inspired by the world around me and my friends and family.

As a kid, I always admired the kids who were good at art, and never thought I could do that.  However, I’ve learned that you can learn, and that you just need to practice. Do it, do it again, and keep doing it and eventually you get better.  Every quilt, every postcard, every sketch or doodle helps me improve.  I figure if I haven’t learned something from every piece I make, I’m not trying hard enough!  And I love it. I love the process of creation and love to share that with my students, friends, and folks in this group!

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I love the serendipity and joy of a card in my mailbox!

When did you start making postcards?

I don’t remember!  A decade or so ago maybe?  Maybe a bit longer?  They were an offshoot of the Artist Trading Card swaps that were so popular a while back.

How do you display your postcards?

On a cast-off thread spool rack in my studio, in a basket, and sometimes just propped against the salt shaker on the dining table!

What have been some of your favorite themes?

Alphabet, various artists, Fruit and Circles.

Tell me about your other interests.

Reading.  My family.  My critters (four cats and a pug, who appears to shed more than four cats combined!).  My quilty friends!  Exercise sometimes;  I NEED to do it, but don’t like it as much as I should!    I taught myself drawing (sort of) about 9 years ago, and have recently begun working on sketching more and using watercolors as a way to brainstorm ideas for quilts. I love photography, but haven’t had time to indulge that art form too much lately, but if I ever get to travel again, “have camera, USB cable and laptop, will travel!”

Featured Artist- Dian Stanley

Dian Stanley is a charter member of Postmark’d Art. She lives in Overland Park (a suburb of Kansas City), Kansas with her husband and a year old puppy. She has sewn most of her life.

Tell me a little about yourself. 

We moved to Kansas City from a Chicago suburb about 20 years ago.  I have been sewing most of my life starting with Barbie Doll clothes.  I love fiber of all kinds.  I am also a weaver with a floor loom in my living room so I have a yarn stash as well as a fabric stash.  My quilting is strictly of the art quilt variety.  I don’t enjoy the exactness or the handwork of traditional quilting although I find myself something of a perfectionist.  I do take advantage of all the new technology including machine embroidery and computer manipulation of images.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art? When did you start making postcards?

I saw an article on postcards in Quilting Arts Magazine.  At the end of the article, it said if you wanted to join send an email.  I did and before I knew it I had a message from Franki Kohler.  I joined for the first trade.  I thought postcards were the coolest things I had ever seen.  I had never made a postcard until that very first round.

How do you display your postcards?

I’m sorry to say I don’t display my cards.  I store them in boxes.  I teach an occasional class in postcards so they are ready to go on a moments notice.

What have you been some of your favorite themes?

I am always in favor of the “No Theme” groups.  I’m a last-minute kind of person and that really helps me.  I can expand on something I’m doing at the time or do something that has been spinning in my head for the months since the start of the trade.  However,  I enjoyed “Home” (I did the yellow brick road to my house with a Google Earth map) and the nature themes. I actually went on to create larger art quits from “Angel,” “Bird Song” and “Shoes.”

Tell me about your other interests.

I am a weaver although it has taken a back seat to my sewing lately.  I work part time for Indygo Junction, an independent pattern company, designing patterns and making samples.  I am a member of Eclectics Gallery in Kansas City where I show a variety of my work.  I am a charter member of Fractured Fabrics Society, an art quilt group.  We usually have 1-2 shows per year in the Kansas City area.  Machine embroidery is really habit forming for me.  I have more designs than I could stitch in many life times.  It’s kind of like a stash.  My other stash is beads–all shapes and sizes, but my favorites are size 11 seed beads that I use in bead embroidery.

Featured Artist- Lynn Chinnis

Lynn Chinnis is a charter member of Postmark’d Art. She lives in Warrenton, Virginia, with her husband Jim. They have one daughter, Sarah, who lives with her husband and daughter in Cary, North Carolina. Lynn began in quilting making traditional quilts.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I made my first quilt in 1975 for my daughter’s first “big girl” bed out of scraps from her clothes:  polyester, cotton, whatever I had—a lot of kettle cloth. It was 6-inch squares and tied with yarn.  Since the “batting” was an old army blanket, it pretty much had to be tied.  Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the fiber content of the yarn, which curled up into little balls the first time the quilt was washed.  Over the years it has been washed quite a bit, so they have become very tiny little nubs.  The quilt is affectionately (or not so) known as the “sandbag” quilt and my daughter still uses it.  Family members who like sleeping under something heavy love it, the down comforter set not so much.

After that, I didn’t make another quilt until about 1992 when a friend of mine talked me into a quilting class at a local store.  By that time we were using rotary cutters and rulers rather than scissors and cardboard templates, and quilting became a lot more fun.

When did you join Postmark’d Art?

I joined in 2004 when the group first started.  I had gotten bored with traditional quilting and wanted to try something different.  Somehow I found the QuiltArt mailing list and was amazed at what people were doing.  It seemed a lot more interesting than my traditional quilts. I finally got brave enough to try a QuiltArt Deck of Cards swap.  I really enjoyed experimenting with different techniques in a small format and wanted to try postcards.  At that time Art2Mail was closed to new members, but they had created a waiting list for a new group.  A short time later that there were enough of us on the list and Franki Kohler  agreed to take charge of the new group.  I remember we had discussions about what we’d call ourselves, but can’t recall any of the other choices.

Since then I have joined a couple of other postcard groups.  They are all run a bit differently and have different “personalities.”  Time pressures have caused me to give up the other groups, but I will stick with Postmark’d Art.  I am trying, however, to limit my number of themes I sign up for each trading period.

When did you start making postcards?

I hadn’t made any until the Postmark’d Art group started.  A friend had joined another postcard group, and I had seen a couple of hers.  I remember searching the web for what to use in the middle and tips for finishing the edges. The Deck of Cards swap used regular playing cards for the base and we mailed them all in a package to the coordinator who parceled them back out, so I had no experience with making something that would actually go through the mail.

How do you display your postcards?

I have them in two large baskets in my living room. I periodically give the baskets a “stir” so that different cards will be visible on top.  I’m about ready to buy a third basket.  People are always interested in seeing the cards.  I finished my Round 14 cards at my guild retreat in April, and people were always stopping by the table to see what I was working on.  My husband always enjoys the ones I receive, but he does ask what’s going to happen when I run out of places to put the baskets.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

Wow, there have been so many good ones.  It’s always fun to see the suggestions we come up with at the beginning of each round.  In some cases I wonder what on earth someone would do with that theme, and then when I see the albums I wish I had signed up for it.  Some I’ve liked because I’ve especially enjoyed working on them, or my cards have come out really well, and others because the cards I’ve received had been especially great.  I have done Circles at least twice.  There is something very Zen-like in cutting circles of various sizes and colors, and maybe a few lines, and just playing with the arrangements.  I liked both the Fire and Water elements themes because I had gotten a needle felting machine and could play with that.  The Song Titles theme was fun because there were so many different songs, including my 40’s standard “Autumn Leaves” which some folks had never heard of.  Guess I was showing my age with that one.  I enjoyed the Photo to Fabric group in the last round.  I used a small part of a beach scene that I have been meaning to make into a wall hanging someday.  Playing with that in postcard size gave me some ideas about composition for a larger piece.

Tell me about your other interests.

I do a lot of reading.  I knit quite a bit and always have at least two projects going.  I also enjoy gardening.  Both of us dislike lawns, so most of our backyard is a garden.  I try for the cottage garden look, but sometimes it just seems messy, especially when it’s as dry as it has been this summer.  The birds enjoy it though, and we have become quite interested in bird and butterfly watching.   We love to travel and especially like poking around on back roads and in small towns.  I try to remember to always have my camera with me to record ideas for more quilts.

Featured Artist – Meta Heemskerk

Meta Heemskerk lives in the Netherlands with her husband Thijs, her 18-year-old son, Mathijs, a golden retriever and two beagles. She joined the group late November 2011.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m 54 years old. I have been making fiber art for nearly three years now. We were at our summerhouse (sounds very posh, but it’s tiny). I always needed to create things, no matter what, and I had wanted to try to make one of those quilts I’d often admired. I had no idea how to do this. I found a little quilt shop nearby and as soon as I went in there, I was hooked. All those lovely fat quarters, folded up, sitting in little baskets, sorted by colour. The owner of the shop explained to me, in short, how patchwork and quilting was done, and I went home with some fabric, quilting supplies and a simple pattern for a traditional wall hanging. I started out very bravely, but didn’t get any further than making three patchwork cushions (never even managed to stick to the pattern for the wall hanging!). After the cushions, I tried a wall hanging without using a pattern, just making it up as I went along.

When I got home after our vacation, I made several more pieces this way. Then, browsing the Internet, I came upon the website for Quilting Arts magazine and discovered that what I did was called ‘art quilting.’ I uploaded some of my work onto the members’ gallery and got some nice feed back. And then it went from there. I’ve learned a lot and know many techniques now. I’m still learning, though, there’s so much to be learned! It was quite a surprise to me that I could make something, which could be called ‘art.’ I spend most of my time creating which, I think, you can tell by the many pieces I’ve made in a relatively short time. You can see most of this work on my website, Green in the Middle.

It has taken me a while, but I’ve come so far now that I call myself an artist. I’ve sold a number of pieces of work and started an online gallery, Galleribba, of small work for international artists.

I prefer painting and printing my own fabrics. I do so by layering colour on to white fabric in order to achieve depth.  I dye, print, stamp, discharge etc.  Besides art quilting I enjoy using other ways of expression.  I like working on paper, needle felting, embroidery, encaustic, and many more things.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I joined Postmark’d Art because Debbie Geistweidt, who is a friend I ‘met’ on the quiltart listserv, a great online community. She asked me whether it would be something for me. We both joined at the same time.

When did you start making postcards?

I’d never made a fiber postcard before, but I very much liked the idea. I’ve made cards for two rounds so far and I love it! I was surprised by all the wonderful pieces of art I received. They are like little presents!

How do you display your postcards?

I store them in a little basket, which is on my coffee table, so visitors can have a look through them. I’ve framed two of them and they’re on my ‘art wall.’  I’ll replace them from time to time with some of my other cards or that I’ll be receiving. I cannot hang them all, or there won’t be any wall left!

What have been some of your favorite themes?

It’s a little difficult to chose favourite themes as I’ve only made cards for a few. I loved van Gogh and No Theme, as I can make anything I like.

Tell me about your other interests.

Art is my biggest passion. Most of my time I dedicate to making art and trying to improve myself by learning new skills, taking courses and workshops. I’m interested in art history and spend quite some time on the Internet. There’s so much information to be found there. Occasionally I do some editing and translation work.

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.

Featured Artist-Maureen Curlewis

Maureen Curlewis is widowed and lives in Australia with her Abyssinian cat Sam. She is known for her sense of humor.

Tell me about yourself. 

I was born in the Kimberley region of northwestern Australia, the middle child of three children. Dad was a pharmacist in Broome, but relocated to Perth in the early days of WWII.  As a child I suffered from severe asthma and from those days developed my love of reading, drawing, writing and “fiddling with fabric” as my family dubbed it. I still have the first apron I made for my mum at about 10 years of age, and a doily made when I was eight.  As my health improved, tennis and swimming dominated my life.

I trained as a General Nurse at Royal Perth Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth and after graduation I got married. I was busy rearing a family and managing a mixed fruit orchard. Whilst my two sons and a daughter were small I made their clothes and that was about all the stitchery I had time for except for the odd bit of embroidery or knitting.

In 1974, we relocated from Perth to Brisbane, Queensland, because of my husband’s work in the earth-moving and mining industries.  In 1983 we had a “sea-change” and moved from corporate life to a more tranquil and rural lifestyle. Not long after the move I joined a local arts and crafts society where I was introduced to quilting and embroidery. Living in a subtropical climate, there are only so many quilts one needs, and besides I was a bit of a maverick and was not content with cutting squares and triangles and joining them neatly!

My first introduction to candlewicking (white work embroidery) led me to attempt adding dimension and texture to my work, especially in working with Australian wildflowers and Crinoline ladies. Next I tackled silk ribbon and Brazilian Dimensional embroideries. I taught both for a while. Then, in Brisbane at a quilting show, I met Judith Baker Montano and her embellished crazy quilting. I had found my niche.


When did you start making postcards?

In 2004/5, I joined the online group Aus/NZ Art Quilters (art quilt artists that live in Australia or New Zealand, or are citizens of these countries) and got involved in making Journal Quilts.  Through a swap organized in May 2006 between the Aus/NZ Art Quilters and (I think) the Rocky Mountain Quilters, I participated in my first postcard trade. The postcards were not mailed but taken to the U.S.A. by one of our members.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I joined because I could see that the smaller format would allow me to tackle more techniques and if they didn’t work out there would not be too much angst if an unsatisfactory piece resulted. Well! That’s what I thought at the time.


How do you display your postcards?

My favorite postcards are framed and displayed on various walls in my home; others are displayed on shelves, and the recent arrivals are in a goldfish bowl in the open area where visitors can check them out.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

Whatever I’m working on at the time, although I did enjoy Favorite Songs, Cityscapes and Elements.  Each card I receive teaches me something new, both about how the artist perceives the subject, as well as new techniques for me to explore.  As very few of my friends are interested in fabric and fibre, I rely on my Internet friends to stimulate my imagination.


Tell me about your other interests. 

I have just purchased an embroidery machine and am looking forward to marrying machine embroidery with needle felting and producing some art quilts.

Apart from my fabric and fibre addiction, I read a lot: non-fiction, historical fiction, and the labels on jars, Quilting Arts and Sub Tropical Gardening magazines.

In early 2007, just before the death of my husband Ken, I relocated from the shores of Moreton Bay to the city of Redcliffe. After Ken’s death, I needed to live as a single entity, rather than as part of a pair that I had been for 46 years. Along the way, I took up learning to pilot a glider (soaring) but 15 to 20 flights later, I found it too expensive to continue. I love travel, particularly visiting other cultures. I volunteer as a tutor in English as a second language to newly arrived immigrants. I am a member of PROBUS, a seniors group of the Rotary Club.

I had been participating in musical revues but decided this year to “retire” and be in the audience rather than be on stage and acting also as wardrobe and props mistress.

Last but not least, my family is within an hour’s drive from me and there is always to-ing and fro-ing between us. My youngest grandchild is in year 11 at high school and there is always some concert or martial arts exhibition that she wants her Gran to attend. I have one great-grandson, but as he is in Tasmania and I don’t get to visit.

You can catch up with Maureen on her blog.

Featured Artist: Kay Laboda

Texas-born artist Kay Laboda teaches and volunteers in San Diego, California. In addition to volunteering and making postcards and quilts, Kay makes pine needle baskets.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Texas.  My son once gave me bag with a picture of Texas and a cowgirl on it with the word GRIT written across it. Then in small letters it said: Girls Raised In Texas.  That pretty much describes me in many ways.  I tackle most jobs like I was roping a calf- full bore and with lots of gusto and determination.

I started sewing when I was about 8 years old by making clothes for my Barbie dolls.   My mom showed me quite a bit about how to make them and helped me with the hard parts.  I started making my own clothes in junior high.  I used to make clothes for my friends in high school to make extra money.  I started making quilts about five years ago when I was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. A friend of mine gave me a prayer quilt and I decided that I wanted to learn more about quilting.  I took a class with Karen Cunigan through the San Diego Continuing Education program and fell in love.   I started and still facilitate a prayer quilt group through my church. Being able to make and give these quilts for others going through a tough time is incredibly rewarding for me.

I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1975, with a BA in Fine Arts.  After graduation from college, I moved to San Diego, CA. I started working on my master’s degree in art at San Diego State University, but after getting married, I started having babies.  I never finished my master’s degree, but did go to San Diego Design Institute and received a second BA degree in Interior Design.  I worked several years specializing in Kitchen and Bath design.  Now I am retired, happily making quilts and babysitting for my grandson Nehemiah.

I do teach fiber arts classes for my church.  I have taught several fabric postcard classes that are very popular.  I also teach how to make fabric baskets and in the summer I will teach a one-day mystery quilt class.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I found out about fabric postcards in the quilting class and discovered Yahoo groups.  I joined Art2Mail and when the group disbanded after a couple of years, I found and joined Postmark’d Art. and like the group a lot.  We have become friends and at times a support group.

How do you display your postcards?

I have them in a special album that you can view front and backs.  I also have some on my kitchen pass through counter top.  I change that up when I get new ones and I keep some on my desk in my studio.  I love sharing them with my quilting groups and with the people in my fabric postcard classes.  Everyone finds them so fascinating.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

I don’t know if I have a favorite.  I love the theme groups and always have so much fun making AND receiving them.  I love the landscape postcards that I have made and received. I think I will enjoy the upcoming Claude Monet theme, as he my favorite artist of all time. I also have enjoyed the alphabet group.  It really is amazing how everyone comes up with such creative and imaginative works of art.

Tell me about your other interests.

My other passion is for an organization called Royal Family Kids Camp. This is a camp that I help organize and run for abused and abandoned children that are currently in the state foster care system. They are ages 7 through 11. We take them for one week to one of the local camps in San Diego County for a week of safe fun. They arrive with frowns and withdrawn. They leave with smiles and hugs. You can read more about this camp at http://www.rfkc.org

I also volunteer at Visions Art Quilt Museum in San Diego. I serve on the Exhibitions Committee deciding on and planning the exhibits usually two to three years in advance. I also arrange where the quilts will go in the gallery once it is time to hang the next exhibit. I love this part of the job. Hanging the quilts is really such a privilege. We get the first look at the quilts and we get to hold and touch them (with white gloves of course). We always are in such awe of them.

Featured Artist Marianne Bishop

Marianne Bishop lives and creates in Quincy, Massachusetts.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

Even as a child fabrics and fibers interested me. My little Ginny dolls had lovely crocheted dresses to wear and I was quite young when I crocheted a complicated popcorn stitch bed-jacket for my mother. I live in the large city of Quincy, Massachusetts, which offers a public transit system allowing easy access to Boston Museum of Art and the wonderfully creative Cambridge community.

2. Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

My local the fabric shop, where I had taken quilting classes, offered a one-day fabric postcard class. We were given a demonstration and an exciting display of creative samples to get us interested. The shop also provided us with the supplies necessary to make three postcards.  I was hooked!

3. When did you start making postcards?

Joining Postmark’d Art was really a piece of luck for me. While searching the Internet for fabric postcards, I came across Franki Kohler’s website.  It seemed very professional to me and I wrote Franki to see if, just maybe, she thought I would be creative enough to join in the next swap. She has been an inspiration ever since to me: a true mentor and leader. All the creative cards from the members of Postmark’d Art keeps me on my toes.

4. How do you display your postcards?

Unlike many, I have a different way of sharing my treasures. The newest cards are displayed on my china cabinet but the rest are in a plastic box that I freely lend out to my friends. This allows them to share the cards with their friends and family and gives them the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy looking and comparing all the different techniques. One of the things they also find fascinating is the variety of states and countries the cards come from.

5. What have been some of your favorite themes?

Some of my favorite themes have been the Elements ones. We would make a 12 x 12 piece then cut it into six postcards (keeping one and swapping the other five). It was extremely challenging and fun to make Bark using painted fusible web. This particular technique produced a fascinating card that even felt like bark. For Rain and Wind, I created them totally by hand and the resulting effect was pleasing and graceful, so much so that I used them for my No Theme swap too.

Working on the different themes, I discovered that I love needle felting by hand. I don’t have a studio and was able to leave my work out on the table to add additional embellishments or roving to as needed until my idea was created.

6. Tell me about your other interests.

My other interests include quilting, quilted tote bags, simple beading, painting, knitting and crocheting.