Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How To Make Fabric Artist Trading Cards, Part I

There are a myriad of ways to begin your Artist Trading Card project. My first tip would be to begin by sketching out a minimum of 10 ideas. Push yourself to do it. You'll be amazed at what you come up with! And remember: your sketches don't have to be perfect. As you sketch out your ideas, keep in mind that an Artist Trading Card (ATC) measures a finished size of 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".

ATC's were first introduced as business cards; a unique way to show-off artistic talent. They've since become a very popular way to collect miniature works of art. When I was taking classes through The Art Institute, someone introduced me to an ATC online group. After this weekend, I think I'll look into it more seriously, now!

From a basic sketching session, there should be one design that you're drawn to; that you keep coming back to. Listen to this inner voice and run with the idea!

I envisioned making a collage of fabrics. Using a 1/8" seam allowance, I began by sewing strips and pieces together from my scrap bag. Once my sewn strips measured approximately 8" x 12", I began cutting and re-piecing until I had an interesting mosaic. Note: this size is much larger than you'll need, but I wanted to make my piece larger so that I could also use the scraps for future projects.

The following pattern will show you how to make 4 coordinating ATC's.

List of Supplies:

fabric scraps
batik fabric piece, at least 3 1/2" x 10" (I chose an interesting wavy design from my stash)
neutral fabric piece for back
1 spool of coordinating AURIfil thread
rotary cutter
rotary cutting mat
quilter's ruler
sewing machine
Heat 'n Bond lite
light-weight stabilizer

Measure your pieced fabric collage, then cut a piece of Heat n' Bond the same size. 

Place your fabric collage upside-down on your ironing board . . .

Add the bonding sheet, paper-side-up, and press the textured/"glued" side to the back of your collage (see manufacturer's instructions for further information). Allow it to cool when finished ironing before you work with it.

Once your fabric collage piece has cooled, cut a 2 1/2" strip using your rotary cutter, then cut a piece from this strip that measures approximately 2 3/4" (see photo, lower right):

 Cut your coordinating batik fabric, paying close attention to its pattern. Because I wanted to take advantage of the "wave" of the fabric, I cut a strip 2 1/2" wide to use the wave horizontally in my design.

Cut 4 pieces from your batik fabric strip and lay out on your cutting mat.

Taking the first piece I cut from my fabric collage and using my rotary cutter, I cut a wavy edge off of the 2 3/4" length.

Remove the paper backing from your collage fabric to expose the glued back.

Lay the cut collage piece on top of a batik strip.

Now iron it to the batik substrate.

 Please check back on tomorrow's blog to see how I finished my Artist Trading Cards!



Judith said...

Suz, thanks for sharing your tutorial. I have been looking for ideas to start on my ATC's or just had a SR. moment...this helps. Judith, Texas

Unknown said...

Hi Judith! This was so much fun, I HAD to share!