Heavy Metal – Part II

Make a Postcard with Angelina and Étal
by Sharon Benton

Part 2 – Discovering Étal

Once you have created the Angelina base (see Heavy Metal Part I) you are ready to decorate with stitching and Étal appliqué.

Layer the Angelina and background fabric on a 6¼” x 4¼” piece of Timtex or batting. Using a variegated thread similar in color to your Angelina background, machine stitch a simple pattern. You can free-motion stitch (see card #1) or use a programmed stitch from your machine (See card #2). When the stitching is done to your liking, you are ready to appliqué the Étal pieces.

Card 1

Card 2

A Little Bit About Étal: Étal is a fine metal coating on a flexible backing. It comes in a variety of textures and metallic colors such as gold, copper, and silver (shown below). It is acid-free, so it’s safe to use with fabrics and photos (for scrap booking). It is easy to cut with scissors or a rotary cutter. You can iron fusible web to the back and fuse just like fabric (but I do not recommend it for this project because the heat from the iron could discolor the Angelina background. If you do ever use it with fusible web, cover with a press cloth and iron just enough to set it. It’s pretty much heat-resistant, but can curl and buckle if it gets too hot (ask me how I know!)

To add additional texture, you can print directly on Étal using your ink jet printer. This photo shows an abstract design on copper Étal.

Attaching the Étal : To affix the Étal to the card base, use small dots of glue or a glue stick in the center of the appliqué shape . You need enough to just keep it in place while you stitch it and you should avoid glue on the edges because you don’t want to sew through it. I’ve also been able to just hold the Étal in place while stitching. It is heavier than fabric and does not tend to shift the way fabric might.

The other thing to be aware of when stitching Étal is that needle holes could be visible. For these postcards, I have stitched only around the edges of the Étal. Metallic thread blends well with the patina of Étal.

  1. Cut out the appliqué shapes you want.
  2. Attach  to the Angelina base with a dot of glue in the center (avoid the edges).
  3. Set your machine to a blanket stitch or fly stitch.
  4. Use a metallic thread to stitch around the outside of each shape.
  5. Fuse white fabric to the back and trim if necessary (the Timtex or batting layer will protect the Angelina)
  6. Set your machine to a tight zigzag stitch and stitch around the outside edge to bind.

Voila! Your card is done!

You can order Étal from http://www.etalcraft.com/. I recommend the Scrappy Bag for Art quilters – you get variety of colors and sizes of the stuff. Just the right size for postcards.