Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plant (cell) and Easter Egg Postcards

I am involved in 2 postcard swap groups right now, one with the Postcard Cottage, and another with a group that my blogger friend, Beth, of Notes... organized.  She lives in South Africa, so many of the swappers in that group are also from there.  It's been really fun to get postcards like these, that are made from South African "Shweshwe" fabric.

I just mailed off 7 of the 8 postcards above yesterday.  The theme was "plant", and I decided to make mine microscopic plant cells, complete with nucleus, chloroplasts, and mitochondria.  I have been using us a bunch of batik "strips" that I got on a local blog hop last fall.  Each store I visited gave us 5 strips.  I went to 6 of them.  I've also found that these strips make an excellent "accent" fabric for the pillowcases that I make... sewn between the main fabric and the "cuff".  I'm totally looking at those "bail pops" in a different way now!

Here's the 3 postcards that I received most recently, including 2 of the 3 Easter Egg swap cards.  The shiny one is from a swapper in Ireland!!
I tried out a few new things on my latest batch of postcards.  I didn't want to change colors of thread several times to sew on my little applique "organelles", so I used "invisible thread" for the first time.  It's basically very fine fishing mono-filament line that you can buy in most fabric stores.  I had a hard time finding out any information about how to sew with this, and even the person who owned the fabric store had never used it, so here's what I did that worked quite well.

I put the spool on my "side spool feeder", so that it would come off the spool cleanly.

I used my thin weight 30 Aurifil thread in the bobbin.  I tried it with a few different other white threads, and the thicker threads showed ups as white dots on the top, the thinner thread did not.  I used a needle designed for metallic thread.  There may even be a "monofillament" needle, I don't  know, but this is the closest "match" I could get locally.  Here's a close-up:
I also used my new rubber stamp for the back.  I finally figured out that I was putting too much ink on it, so I use it with a much lighter touch now, and it dries up nicely.  Finally, I bought a rubber stamp from our local Wal-Mart that you can personalize for the return address.  It's self-inking, and of course can be used for regular mail too.  I wish I'd done this years ago!
It's Tuesday, so I'm linking up with "Fabric Tuesday" at Quilt Story.  Come see what others have made!


Grandma Coco said...

Swapping postcards is such fun. I wish they'd make days with more hours in 'em. I have a spool of monofilament thread that must be 20 years old. It's almost empty and I was thinking I should get another one. Maybe it's a relic from the past. I'm always a little out of date. :) I like your take on plant life. Very much "you".

A.J. Dub. said...

I always love seeing your postcards! Glad you got your stamping working. :)

Beth said...

Wonder if I'm in this swap group with you? I could look, but I'll just wait and see. Love all the postcards... and can't wait to see what the mail brings!!!

Mel Brooks said...

your science twist always makes me smile! love that there is a science geek in some of us ;) love it!

Regina said...

Lovely cards and a nice blog post!

Linda in Iowa said...

The organic cells are clever. South African cloth is delightful and expensive in the USA. Over the years, I've been told that monofilament (and regular thread, too) dries out & is not stable when old. I've been using up old threads from the 1960's & 1970's testing my 2 new machines. No problems.

Latane Barton said...

Enjoyed seeing your postcards. I've never tried them.

Monika Kinner-Whalen / My Sweet Prairie said...

wow - love the eggs! I didn't join that one. Now I wish I had.

ps - Spring flowers postcard from me is in the mail!