Interchangeable Postcard Quilt

I started making postcard quilts just before my daughter was born, many years ago. Now I find I am making one again: for a friend whose baby is due in February. She has a pack of alphabet cards she wants to display, so we designed this one to hold the cards, with additional spaces for some family photos or colorful ephemera. I included the instructions in (now out of print, but available used) Unique Handmade Books, thinking it might be a good display for pamphlet books and booklets as well.

This wider version hangs in my studio by eyelets. Incorporating a dowel (for a quilt narrower than four feet) makes it easier to hang.

Materials: heavy 12-14 gauge clear vinyl; Sharpie marker; large straightedge or L square; awl or hammer, nail, and wooden block to make the holes; X-Acto knife and cutting mat; nail polish remover and cotton balls, paper towel, or tissue; heavy duty needle; wooden dowel (2-4" wider than the anticipated quilt width, 1/2" diameter); walnut ink (optional)

Measure and cut two layers of vinyl. Stack them so their edges are as even as possible. Mark out the pockets and draw a grid, leaving room at the top for the dowel, about 2-3 inches. Make the pockets vertical or horizontal or a mixture: 5 x 7 pockets for items 4 x 6; 6 x 8 pockets for items 5 x 7. The final size of this example will be approximately 32" x 53".

About 1/2" from the tops of the pockets, measure and mark a line. Put the cutting mat between the layers and cut a slit in the top layer with the X-Acto knife.

Punch or poke holes along the lines. Once the holes are poked, the two layers will stay together for sewing.

Apply nail polish remover to paper towel, tissue or cotton ball and remove the Sharpie lines.

Thread a needle with embroidery thread. Tie a knot at the end. Start sewing from back to front. 

You might choose to change colors at every intersection or let the thread run out wherever it may.

Trim edges so they are even, leaving 1/2-1" margin.

Before I proceeded with the quilt, I stained the dowel with walnut ink by putting a little ink on a paper towel and rubbing it in.

Measure 2" from the top line of stitching, draw a new line, poke holes and stitch. Then slide the dowel into the sleeve you've created. The ends will protrude so you can hang the quilt.

On the dowel, this could be hung almost anywhere.

And so it went on its way from California to…

my friend in New York City,
where it received its lovely alphabet cards.


Unknown said…
I love this! I currently display a few cherished postcards on a wire attached to a bookshelf, but your quilt holds so many more. What a beautiful way to keep memories on display.
Jennifer said…
What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing the details.
This is an absolutely fabulous idea!!! What a wonderful way to display mail art postcards. Thanks so much. I have your book and I love it. I'm going to share this post on my mail art blog too...