Friday, 1 November 2013

My Very First ATC

After several trials and lots of tweaking, my first 'Artist's Trading Card' for Ali's swap is all finished and ready to pop in the post on Monday.

The technique is drawn thread embroidery, a new skill I wanted to try out specially for the swap, which involves pulling out either the warp or weft and binding the remaining threads with decorative stitches. In my previous post I tried it out on white linen which gives a much more delicate effect, but I like the texture of burlap -it reminds me of harvest sacks which I thought would work well for the autumn theme alongside some autumnal coloured embroidery floss.

My construction method was a little unorthodox! Originally I was going to back the ATC with fabric using a card insert to hold the shape, but part of what I loved about the drawn thread embroidery was the lace effect it creates and I really thought that backing it with fabric would diminish it. I decided that the embroidered section had to be kept transparent so I backed the burlap with acetate (above).

This meant that in order to have enough usable space on the reverse to write on, I needed to back my ATC with card instead of fabric which I cut with pinking shears for a decorative edge (I hope that's not breaking the rules!).

I also cheated a tiny bit with the binding. I was going to cut some bias tape to bind the edge but I decided to use some printed fabric tape. This was partly due to concerns about stitching through the acetate/card and partly as I wanted as clean a finish as I could manage.

I whipped up a matching postcard with some leftover card and tape so that I can enclose a little note when I post it to it's recipient.

Now that it's finished I can stop worrying and start getting excited about receiving my own little ATC surprise in the post! Can't wait.


  1. Hi Marie - as the lucky recipient of your ATC, I just want to say thanks and wow! The acetate backing was exactly the right thing, and it is great to see the process in your blog. Sue.x

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sue, I'm so glad you like it!