My First Artist Trading Cards

While I am progressing on the quilting of the large feathers on my On the Road to Minnesota quilt, it’s slow going. I have now finished three, and have seven left to go. While this is good progress for the quilt, it’s not very good blog fodder. It’s also too intense to work on for very long at a time. So, to both break up the quilting, and have something new to blog about, I have stitched my very first Artist Trading Cards.

For those who don’t know, Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are miniature art pieces made to the dimensions of baseball trading cards – 3.5″ by 2.5″. They are often traded among artists at events organized for that purpose. I attended one of these events last month at the Latcham Gallery in Stouffville, Ontario. I didn’t have any cards to trade, so I was just an observer (along with providing moral support to my friend). She has an account of the event in her blog.

I really enjoyed the experience, and decided that I would make some ATCs to have for trading next time. ATCs are also great for trading on a less formal basis, so it’s good to have some on hand.

For my fabric ATCs, I followed some basic instructions I found in the Spring 2004 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. I did one using some sea themed fabrics I found in my stash.

Under the Sea ATC

I call this one Under the Sea. I fused the background fabric to a 2.5 x 3.5 inch piece of quilt batting, and then fused the leaves and starfish onto the background. I added little stitching to hold them in place, and to add a few more plant fronds, and then I added a fishy bead to top it off. The whole thing was then satin stitched to a backing of heavy-weight Vilene interfacing (which is heavy and stiff, like Timtex).

My second ATC is a little night scene of a tree against a snowy, starry sky.

Who's watching?

For this one, I fused some brown fabric for the tree trunk and some green for the leaves, onto a wintry looking sky background. Some stitching holds down the fabrics and adds some detail to both. I used some metallic gold thread to stitch a few stars in the sky. And I added a pair of little eyes in the tree. Just for fun, I used NiteLite thread from Superior Threads to stitch the eyes – it glows in the dark.

I haven’t signed them yet, but the Vilene interfacing will take a signature, date and contact information very well using a permanent marker.

It was fun making these little things. I’d hardly call these ones “art” but they were fun to make. I will do some more experimenting with ideas to see if I can decide on a theme for a series of them. Making a series would speed up the process a lot, as I could stitch them in a sort of production line. These two took a fair amount of time in just deciding what to make, digging out fabrics and threads, filling bobbins, changing threads and sewing machine settings, and so on. My sewing space now looks like it was hit by a cyclone. I think this sort of creative activity benefits from a lot of open table space on which to spread everything.

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3 thoughts on “My First Artist Trading Cards

  1. Thanks! They were fun to make. And we should definitely do that – it would be even more fun to be working with a group of friends. Think of the wonderful mess we could make!

  2. Pingback: Little Fishies « Completely Blocked

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