This summer I participated in The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 5 organised by the lovely Beth Nicholls at the Do What You Love website. This is the second time I have joined in the stitchy fun - you might remember the first time (here) when the theme was Love and I had the pleasure of meeting my swap partners Heather Powers (Textile Designer and Organiser Extra-ordinaire) and Jessica Swift (Pattern Designer and Colour Expert), both living in America
This time the theme was Discover and I used the opportunity to discover a new technique I have been curious to try - cross stitching onto paper. My swap partner was the lovely Katherine Quinn (Illustrator of gorgeous, whimsical characters) across the other side of the world in New Zealand
Leaving it to the last minute as I often do (I always have the best intentions with too many ideas and tend to over commit!) I set about marking my design onto my postcard background with coloured pencils to make it easier to follow. I simplified a cross stitch design of a flower that I found in a vintage embroidery book
To make the stitching part easier, I used a pin to pre-poke (is that even a term?!) the holes in my postcard and then set about with my stitches one colour at a time
Now, I won't lie to you; it really hurt my fingers! I mean really! Pushing the needle through all those holes and often missing the target a couple of times, each time, was a teensy bit tedious but I am delighted with the end result. In fact, I love it!
I decided to give it my trademark crochet border and then added a little text using some vintage Lettraset which I glued on as it was too fragile to transfer.
One of the best parts about participating in a swap is that you get to meet other like minded people from all over world, and so the wording I chose for my text is "Discover new friends". I'm still in touch with both Jessica and Heather from last year and I hope to strike up a lasting friendship with Katherine too - she wrote a lovely. friendly message on the back of her postcard, as if we had been friends for years, just catching up. Here's the back of mine; I hid the reverse of the stitching with a piece of white cotton before I worked the crochet border and wrote my mesage on it with a ball point pen
I did plan to send my postcard directly in the post - like Jessica did with hers last year - but right at the last minute (and influenced by the gasps of horror from my sister!) I decided to enclose it safely in an envelope so that it arrived in New Zealand unscathed by the postal system!
So would I use this technique again? Yes; infact I have a couple of ideas lurking already for how I would like to use it. I would like to learn the magical trick that is using embroidery floss without getting into a hideous tangle - something I've never managed to perfect despite my degree in textiles!
And, of course, I'll be looking forward to Beth's next Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap too. You can find out more about that here and sign up to be notified when it takes place