Sunday, December 3, 2017

Quilting Elvis: Small Holiday Postcard = Big Gift

Uh oh! The holidays are upon us! If you're still stuck for a fast gift to make for people who deserve  more than an e-card, consider a quilted fiber art postcard. If you use novelty fabrics from your stash or LQS, they can be thoughtful, personal, and fun, all at the same time. (If elegant is more your style, consider making batik postcards, instead.)

Here's one of my latest:

(Elvis is singing Shalom, which means hello/goodbye/peace in Hebrew. Elvis had a non-secret Jewish history!) The card is one of six I made in September:
This one, let us call it "Lips," incorporates just three novelty fabrics: 
Plus one more on the back: 
The next one's a bit cluttered, with six different fabrics. The background is eyeglasses fabric, but it's hard to tell with all that stuff on top. 
A bit simpler, but also six different fabrics, and a hairy polka-dot Jan Mullen fabric in the background: 
On the backs, I chose more Elvis fabrics from my Elv-cyclopedic stash: 
I later strategically placed small mailing labels on top, trying to let Elvis' eyes and other significant features show. 

Making one fiber art postcard is a bit of work, but making 12 more doesn't take a dozen times as long -- there are Elv-ficiencies. I've published fabric postcard tutorials in the past, but here's one specifically for novelty fabrics. 


1. Cut pieces of stiff interfacing to postcard size, 4" x 6" (Peltex, Peltex 72F, Inner Fuse, Fast-2-Fuse - stiff interfacing of any kind, ideally with fusible on both sides, but okay without.) 

2. Pick background fabric for the featured side. Cut to a little over 4" x 6". Adhere them to ONE side of the stiff interfacing. (Use fusible web if your interfacing doesn't have built-in fusible.) Trim excess. DO NOT put the backing fabric on yet. 

3.  Gather the fabrics with the images you want to arrange on top.  Cut out these small motifs (like Elvis heads, or record albums, or G-clefs).  Cut at least a quarter-inch beyond the size you will want them when they're fully trimmed. 

4. Adhere these small pieces to paper-backed fusible web. Then cut them out closely, to the final size, and arrange them on the background fabric. (Alternative: Instead of fusible web, use a glue stick -  in that case, cut the motifs to the finished size, then use the glue stick with a light touch on the bacs.)

5. Press the trimmed motifs in position.

6. Stitch everything down with a zigzag. In the Elvis postcards, I used gold metallic thread. For less conspicuous stitching, use invisible/clear nylon monofilament thread.

7. Trim stray threads from the back. 

8. On the back of each card, adhere a fabric rectangle slightly larger than 4" x 6". Make it light-colored, so writing will show. Or, use a novelty fabric, and place it so when you paste an address label and message on the back, the key features of the fabric will still show.  Fuse it in place, and trim close around the edges. 

9. Zigzag all the way around the edges. I did it with the same gold metallic thread I used for the appliques. 

10. Add sticky mailing labels and return address labels on the back to write the address and message. Put a stamp on and mail! Your friends and family will love it, guaranteed!


  1. Where in the world did you get all that elvis fabric? Way cool!

    1. A lifetime of collecting! I'm not even that much of an Elvis fan. I just love the fabric!

  2. I never knew Elvis spoke Hebrew!

  3. Way fun! oh. Cherry lips!!OYE!!