Embroidery Library

In-the-Hoop Postcards

 

Fabric postcards are a unique way to send warm wishes all year 'round!

Choose your favorite colors, fabrics, and postcard designs to send a unique and personalized gift to friends and family members.

Read below for these free project instructions.




 


Supplies Needed:

**Small pieces of fabric (we
   used craft felt and quilter's
   cotton)

**Small piece of white or cream
   colored quilter's cotton (for
   back)

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Cutaway stabilizer

**Tear-away stabilizer

**Fabric marker or permanent
   marker

**Ribbon and grommets to hang
   postcards (optional)
 



Designs used: 

A In-the-Hoop Christmas Postcards Design Pack

Finished Size:
4 inches wide by 6 inches tall
less than 1/8 inch thick
Weight - 1/2 ounce (with envelope and stamp)

Mailing Instructions: 

The following mailing instructions were written on September 1, 2009 and follow the United States Postal Service mailing standards. For up-to-date mailing information, click here.

We recommend using a
4 3/4 inch by 6 1/2 inch (A6) invitation size envelope (we found ours at Target) with a First Class (currently $0.45) stamp to mail the postcards. This will protect the postcard and ensure that it makes it to its recipient safe and sound. In order to use a First Class U.S. postage stamp, the item must weigh less than 1 ounce (ours weighs 1/2 ounce with envelope and postage).

You can also mail the postcard as-is, although it could become damaged in the mail. These fabric postcards measure 4 inches by 6 inches and can be mailed using one self-adhesive First Class (currently $0.45) stamp. Fabric postcards should be made 1/8 inch thick or less thick to stay within weight limits; cards over 1/4 inch thick will require an extra postage fee for their depth and will weigh more. The U.S. Postal Service wants you to write "postcard" on the back. And, if you've used fabric backing, you need to be sure to do your writing with a pen that's both permanent and fabric-safe. Again, be sure to use a self-adhesive stamp and do not iron in place.
 




 

When you download an in-the-hoop postcard design, you will see four files. One is named with only an "X" followed by four numbers - this is the embroidery file. The other files are dieline files and contain "_DL" in the name. The front piece is labeled "_DLFront" and the back piece as "_DLBack". The dielines for the front character pieces (faces and hats for example) are labeled with only "_DL". If you have embroidery software, print the dieline files at full size.




 

If you do not have embroidery software, you can sew the dielines directly onto the fabric. Cut a piece of cutaway stabilizer and fabric a bit larger than your hoop. Spray the stabilizer with adhesive and smooth the fabric on top.




 

Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together.




 

Attach the hoop to the machine and load one of the dieline files.  Embroider the dieline directly onto the fabric.




 

Then, cut out the shape.

Do this for the front piece, back piece, and front character pieces.




 

Or, if you do have embroidery software:

Spray a piece of cutaway stabilizer with adhesive...




 

...and smooth the fabric on top.  Spray the back of the paper templates with a very small amount of adhesive, smooth it on top of the fabric, and cut out the shape. 

Do this for the front piece, back piece, and front character pieces. We are using a light colored quilter's cotton on the back so we can write a message on the postcard when it is completed.




 

A third option for cutting the fabric pieces is to sew the dielines directly onto paper. Hoop a piece of paper, embroider the dieline directly onto the paper, and cut out the shapes as described earlier. Now that the fabric pieces are cut and ready, it is time to embroider the postcard!




 

Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer.




 

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the embroidery file (the file that is named with only an "X" followed by 4 numbers). Embroider the design - the first thing that sews is another dieline. After the dieline has sewn, stop the machine.




 

Spray the backside of the front fabric piece with adhesive.




 

Lay the fabric right inside the shape and continue with the design. A tack down stitch (blanket or "E" stitch) will sew next. This binds the fabric piece to the stabilizer for the remainder of the design.




 

Continue with the design - the front character pieces will sew next. After the first character piece dieline sews ("hat dieline" for example) stop the machine and spray the backside of the fabric piece with adhesive.




 

Then, lay the fabric piece right inside the dieline shape and continue with the design. Another tack down stitch will sew next.




 

Other character pieces will sew. After each dieline sews, stop the machine, spray the corresponding fabric piece with adhesive, add the fabric piece, and continue with the design.  Other elements will sew as well, such as stars or swirls.




 

Look for a note on the color change sheet that says "back piece tack down." When you reach this step, stop the machine. Remove the hoop from the machine but do not remove the stabilizer from the hoop. Spray the back side of the back fabric piece with adhesive and add it inside the shape on the backside of the embroidery.




 

Since both sides of the embroidery will be seen, we are winding a bobbin in the same color as the top thread for the remaining step.




 

Attach the hoop to the machine and continue with the design.  Another tack down stitch will sew next - this binds the front and back fabric together.




 

Unhoop and gently tear away the stabilizer. We found that it helps to fold the stabilizer at the edges of the postcard first before tearing it away - this helps to weaken the fibers and makes a clean tear.




 

Your postcard is now complete!  You may write a message on the back of the postcard using a fabric marker or a permanent marker.




 

If you are mailing your postcards, we recommend using a 4 3/4 inch by 6 1/2 inch invitation-size envelope. This will protect the postcard and ensure that it makes it to its recipient safe and sound.




 

You can also use the postcards as decorations! Add a couple of grommets at the top corners, thread ribbon through each hole, and tie a knot at each end of the ribbon. Now you can hang the postcard on the tree, on the wall, or add it to your Merry Mailbox!



Oh what fun it is to see an idea, and make it better! Embroiderer Debb wrote, "I used a thin cotton batting under the bear and hat. It looks great! Made the card almost 3-D looking...and it was no different to sew. I used a scrap of warm and natural batting. But I think you could use any thin cotton batting that you might have scraps of.
 




 

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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Products used in this Project: