Postcard Fabric Art 2020

In 2020, I committed myself to a year-long project. I’m often not good about finishing stuff, and even though there were months when I thought about skipping, I made it through the whole year. I’ve posted about some of these before, but I wanted to show them all together.


The theme this year was time periods.

January – Egypt

I focused on hieroglyphs. I drew the hieroglyphs on white fabric. To tone down the white, I gave it a light blue watercolor wash. I then added strips of my dyed fabric before stitching.

February – Greece & Rome

I just had to use my picture of the Colosseum from our visit in 2006. I shared a tutorial on printing pictures on fabric on this post.

March – Medieval Era

Coming up with a subject for this era was a bit challenging, but I pushed through! This is a panel of Geometric Grisaille from the 13th century. The term ‘grisaille’ derives from the French word for grey – gris – and describes the monochrome effect of non-figurative decorative white glass. This glass was used during the Middle Ages primarily in churches across Europe.

April – Renaissance Era

This under bust corset is made out of a dyed vintage napkin. I added grommets and laced it up with some ribbon.

May – 1920s

This Art Deco design is a stencil I made a couple years ago. I stenciled onto my dyed fabric. I then thread stitched it, cut it out, and attached it to this dyed background.

June – 1930s

The 30’s was the Golden Age of Radio. It was common for families to sit around the radio in the evening listening to a variety of programs. I remember my parents talking about doing that. Several of the programs that they listened to on the radio I remember watching on TV including Queen for a Day!!! I drew the radio on white fabric, FM stitched it, and then used watercolors to add color. I added the dark brown with a fabric marker. The words were printed on fabric. I decided to FM around the text instead of carefully stitching to give it a wonky feel.

July – 1940s

I remember mom telling me years ago when I was whining about something, she’d say “You should have lived through the depression. You should have had to deal with rationing.” Anyway, in light of our current situation, I wanted my 40s postcard to focus on rationing. Luckily, we are not having to deal with that. These are copies of mom and dad’s ration booklets and some stamps all printed on fabric and sewn onto the card.
And a little bit about rationing: “Food was in short supply for a variety of reasons: much of the processed and canned foods was reserved for shipping overseas to our military and our Allies; transportation of fresh foods was limited due to gasoline and tire rationing and the priority of transporting soldiers and war supplies instead of food; imported foods, like coffee and sugar, was limited due to restrictions on importing.
Because of these shortages, the US government’s Office of Price Administration established a system of rationing that would more fairly distribute foods that were in short supply. Every American was issued a series of ration books during the war. The ration books contained removable stamps good for certain rationed items, like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the right ration stamp. Once a person’s ration stamps were used up for a month, she couldn’t buy any more of that type of food. This meant planning meals carefully, being creative with menus, and not wasting food.”

August – 1950s

I don’t know about you, but I hated saddle oxfords. When I think about the 50s they come to mind. In addition to hating to wear them, I hated to have to polish them all of the time. Do you remember that polish wand with a ball on the end? Feels like I cheated this month. Found this picture online and printed it on fabric with text and drawings on it. Added the title and zigzagged the edges.

September – 1960s

Oh, the 60s! I remember sitting on the floor in the livingroom waiting for this cute British mop head group to appear. Mom and Dad were on the couch. When they came out and sang “All My Lovin,” I was in love. If Mom and Dad wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have screamed. I printed the photo and text on fabric, sewed it up and then added watercolor which made some of the printer ink bleed.

October – 1970s

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik; he wanted a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry. It took him a month before he was able to solve the Cube for himself. Over 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide – making it is one of the bestselling toy of all time. I never was good at this toy, but I’m thinking about buying one again and seeing if I’m any better now! I drew the cube from a photo, free motion stitched the black, and then painted with Posca fabric markers. I then added printed words and watercolor.

November – 1980s & 1990s

Lots of stuff from these decades, but I chose these two. I never had one of these small Macs but bought my first Mac in early 1990s when I started my writing/graphic design business. It cost $5,000 – way more than any pc. My brother had died and I received that much from his estate. Since then I have had several MACs, although often jobs I had required me to use pcs. In the 90s when my graphic design biz was going strong, I flew out to California for a conference on designing webpages. I went out there not really thinking I’d get into it. When I got home several of my clients called requesting them! I traced the two objects from clipart, stitched, and painted them with Intense pencils with GAC 900. The background was painted using watercolors.

December – 2020s and beyond

I’ve spent the last several years researching my ancestors. It wasn’t until I reached out to my grandfather’s half sibling descendants this year that I found so much information including info on my great aunt Mary, my grandfather’s sister. I’ve connected with several 1st cousins 1x removed in their late 80s and 90s who have told memories of my grandparents and their parents. It’s been a joy for me, one of the activities that has helped me through this pandemic, and why I wanted to dedicate my FPA in December to her. For the background of my card I used one of my vintage napkins that I dyed. I printed out the words and Mary’s wedding picture on fabric and attached it to the napkin. I stitched around the words and pic in a shape of a computer – where it all started. Then zigzaged the edges.

This was a great challenge. In addition to learning about some of the eras and coming up with a design, I learned so much from the other members who did the same thing. As we moved into those decades we have lived, it was fun to see what others focused on which also brought back memories for me.

I’m looking forward to next year’s challenges. If you stop by here every month, you can even play along with me. (Currently the admin is not accepting any new members to the Facebook group.) I’ll be posting a tutorial and my finished challenge piece on the first of the month (or at least right now that is my goa!!)