Q: Are they really made of fabric?
A: Yes! They are small pieces of quilted art.
Q: What do people use in the middle?
A: It varies. Pellon Peltex, Fast2Fuse, InnerFuse by Dritz, and cotton batting have all been used. Do not make them too rigid or you could encounter problems (damage, loss) from the transport belt.
Q: How do you make them? Is there batting inside?
A: Construction techniques varied, but most of the cards were made this way: Decorative fabric, thin cotton batting and muslin backing were sandwiched, quilted, and embellished, then trimmed to size. A separate piece of fabric, sometimes fused to stabilizer, was added to the back of the quilt to form the address side. The edges were bound with fabric, zigzag, satin stitch or decorative stitch.
Q: And can you really mail them without an envelope?
A: Yes. However, each USPS office seems to enforce different rules. Postcards should be no larger than 4 inches by 6 inches and no thicker than 1/8 inch. Most require a first-class stamp at the two-ounce rate instead of the postcard rate. Some artists go into the post office and have the postcards hand cancelled. Others simply pop them in their mailbox.
Q: Is the address side paper or fabric?
A: In most cases, the address side is fabric, usually fused to a non-woven stabilizer. A few of the artists use heavy card stock (paper) for the address side.
Q: If you use fabric on the address side, won’t the stamps fall off?
A: We’ve found that if you use the self-stick stamps and rub them firmly onto the card before mailing, they stick just fine.
Q: What kind of pen do you use to write on the address side?
A: The best pen is one with pigment ink, such as a Pigma brand felt-tip or the permanent gel roller pens sold for scrapbooking or ZIG calligraphy pen. Sharpies work as well, but after some period of time the ink will begin to spread, leaving an unattractive brown halo around the letters. Others print both fabric and paper on their computer.
Q: What about embellishments? Can I use anything on them?
A: Most artists use flat embellishments. Sequins, stitching, couched yarn, very small seed beads, and even feathers have gone through the mail with no problems.
Q: How do people display their postcard collection?
A: Individually on small tripods, massed in a fish bowl, pottery bowl, fabric bowl framed, stored in archival boxes, narrow shelf/ledge on the wall, and memos boards.
Q: Why do you exchange postcards?
A: Here are just a few reasons:
- Love sending and love receiving.
- The opportunity to make friends with people all over the world.
- Love the surprise.
- They are prized possessions.
- Love seeing the way other people interpret the theme.
- New inspiration right at your doorstep.
- They were small pieces of art to create which really helped through creative blocked times.
- Love playing with techniques and the size makes it easy.
Q: What advice would you give someone starting out?
A: Here are just a few pieces of advice:
- First and foremost, have fun.
- Beware, they are addicting. It is hard to stop making them.
- Don’t stress! Remember you’re doing it for fun and friendship.
- No question is ever too dumb to ask. Someone will ALWAYS help you.
- Look at examples.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Meet the deadlines.
- Can’t say this enough, have fun!
Q: How do I join the next swap, or start my own?
A: Learn more about joining a group from our group’s organizer here.