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Prospectors 2008 - Postcards from Colorado

The 2008 Region Seminar was in Denver and the theme was Colorado Collage.  I had been seeing numerous articles about quilted postcards and ATC (Artist Trading Cards) and collect old postcards from Colorado so that made the decision on what to do for this Prospectors an easy decision.

I set myself a few rules:
1) It's OK to leave some canvas empty
2) Don't worry about raw edges
3) Don't repeat techniques
And I set out to have some fun and use up some of the supplies I've been collecting.  I think this was my favorite Prospectors because I got to be really creative.  I started by sketching the designs and painting the canvas (so it wasn't just white canvas showing through)

The first postcard was Colorado and featured Columbines.  I had some indigo dyed linen which formed the blue part of the flower.  It was very fragile and had to be couched down.   The rest of the petals are some white wool felt.  For the words I couched down some red wool (each of the names are done in a color to suit the words).  I found a beaded ladybug I'd made years ago and sewed her down.  I embellished with alot of beads.

The words "Pikes Peak" were stitched with variaged purple for "Purple Mountains Majesty".  I started at the top with 2 overedyed blues, one with a touch of orange, yellow and purple to give a sunset effect.  I continued the pattern in purples, brown and tans to finish the mountain.  Pikes Peak had to have snow so I found a snippet of lace to applique down.  In order to hide the stitches I used some petite beads.  For a meadow in front I added a scrap of chenille thread and more beads for flowers.

The words "Mesa Verde" were stitched with green beads (verde = green).   The blue sky was was stitched with various blues in cross and rice stitch.  The background and foreground trees were made of variated wool.  The cliffs are ribbon yarn and the cliff background is black felt.  The buildings are snippets of quilting fabric, aida, linen selvage and shell beads.

The words "Royal Gorge" are stitched in Royal Blue with hints of silver.  This one was the hardest to put together.  The sky and background went in easily but by stitching them, my drawing of the bridge was covered up so it had to be freehanded in.  The metallic ribbon and floss also didn't want to go in neatly and I had to fight to get it to lie straight.  For the foreground I pulled every overdyed brownish or purplish thread I could find and alternated them randomly.  That still left alot of canvas showing.  I added some squiggles and metallic highlights but nothing else I did looked right so I left it mostly canvas.

For the backs I tea-dyed muslin, trying to make it as blotchy and old looking as possible.  I appliqued on "stamps" and machine embroidered on some "details".  They don't look great up close, but from a distance the look just like the backs of my antique postcards.  For finishing I whipped the edges, whipped the cards together and added some beads along the top.

Those are my postcards from Colorado.  I'd love to make more postcards from other vacation spots, but those are still one the to-do list.


  1. This was one of my favorite items you have come up with! Very clever & original. (Wish I'd thought ot it. ;) ) Deb


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