Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Mystery Quilted Fiber Arts Postcards (and Tutorial)

It's spring! (or rather, here in Southern California it's sweltering summer, while in the American Northeast my teenage correspondent informs me, the polar vortex lingers).

Whatever the atmospheric anomalies, the calendar marches on, and Passover & Easter are approaching fast!

You have just enough time make seasonal fabric postcards!

This will be our subject for the next two weeks. First, the idea below, which  has been  bouncing around in my head for a while. Can you guess what they're trying to say?

Here's #1

# 2:

#3. A clue: Think Dr. Seuss.


#5. Another clue: Think "rhymes with ham".

#6. Here's the hardest one.

Didja guess? My brain got stuck, for some unknown reason, on the phrase "Green Eggs and Ham," the famously least-kosher, Dr. Seuss book title. I don't know why I started perseverating on it - perhaps I am suffering from post traumatic government shutdown syndrome - but there it was, my brain kept coming up with rhymes for ham, and thinking of them in fabric. So I had to make these things.

Without further ado,


#1 is 'Green Eggs and Lamb.'

#2 is 'Green Eggs and Clam' (OK, it's probably a scallop, but let's pretend it's a ham. Neither kosher, come to think of it.)

#3 Green Eggs and Tam (the red arrow is pointing to the hat)

#4 Green Eggs and Clams ('Clams' are old-fashioned slang for dollars. Like, Humphrey Bogart movie old-fashioned. Does anyone still call dollars clams?)

#5, The golf player, is Green Eggs and Wham. Or Bam? Or Slam!

And finally, #6, it's Green Eggs and JAM!!!!


I came up with a whole bunch of other ideas that I haven't yet executed:

Scam (Must find Bernie Madoff fabric.)

Sam (Uncle! With patriotic fabric!)

Ram (Lamb fabric works. Draw on horns).

Yam (Like Madoff, yam yardage is elusive.)

Potsdam (a historic city in Germany which surely deserves more attention to its last syllable.)

Spam (I could print out a photo of a Spam can, but worried about trademark infringement)

Pam (ditto)

Pram (my Local Teen came up with this.Veddy British).

Fam (ily. Also my LT's. )

Shazam (ditto)

I have been careful not to consult a rhyming dictionary, so as not to exceed my pure limits.

I was thinking about turning this idea into one (totally non-holiday ) little wallhanging, but when Passover started racing toward us, and I dug out my Passover fiber art postcards to write a post about them (which I will show you next week - in preparation, you should start ordering trompe l'oeil matzoh fabric now!) , it came to me that the egg theme would make terrific greeting cards for Easter and spring in general.

How easy is it to make a Green-Eggs-and-Something-That-Rhymes-with-Ham fiber art postcard? Very easy! Here's a quick tutorial for making a bunch.

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

You'll also need a couple of inches of paper-backed fusible web, less if there is fusible built into the interfacing, more if there isn't.

2. Pick a background fabric for the featured side. I picked a white fabric with subtle neon green dots (insofar as anything neon green can be subtle.) Adhere the background fabric to one side of the interfacing (use fusible web if your interfacing doesn't have built-in fusible).

3. Put fusible interfacing on the back of  a couple of square inches of a couple different shades of green fabrics. Freehand cut eggs from the green fabrics. (You might want to practice cutting eggs from scrap paper before you do it on your fusible-backed fabric.)

4. Go through your novelty fabrics (or those at your LQS*) and locate fabric with funny little things that rhyme with ham. Consult a rhyming dictionary to get beyond my list above. Cut out squares or rectangles of these fabrics and adhere fusible web to the back.

5. Adhere fusible web to the back of a scrap of fabric that contrasts strongly with the background (I picked black) and cut out little "plus" signs.

6. Arrange the items on the featured side -  the eggs, the plus signs, the nouns - and press in place with an iron.

7. Stitch everything down. I mostly used invisible/clear nylon thread and a zig-zag stitch. (On the "Tam" card I used a dark rayon green for the eggs - you might prefer that look.)

8. Trim all stray threads, especially from the back.

9. Adhere a light colored fabric to the back of the postcards with fusible.

10. Do a corded edging around the sides for a neat zig-zag finish. My corded edging tutorial is at the bottom of this post. I used a white embroidery thread around mine.

 11. On the back (the message side), write in small letters the solution to your riddle, eg "Green Eggs + Spam," or whatever. Then write your message, take it to the post office to see how much postage they want you to pay (each post office is different!), put a stamp on it and mail it to your loved ones to celebrate spring!

12. Is Spam kosher? What exactly is in Spam? I bet it involves ham. I don't want to interfere the purity of my natural brain capacity by checking the Internets. Don't send a green eggs and ham, Spam, or clam to anyone for Passover. Other than that, you're probably okay.

Your green eggs and ham rhymes are always welcomed.

* LQS = Local Quilt Shop. Support your independent shop or soon there won't be any!


  1. Some day you'll have to read a piece I wrote called fifty shades of green eggs and ham. I think it's in my blog.


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