Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trading Cards

So my good friend (and often times partner in quilting crime) and I made a few trading cards and proudly toted them to the International Quilt show to find the Quilting Arts Trading Card wall after reading about trading cards in their magazine a few years ago. 
2.5"x3.5" little pieces of art!
We went to make our exchanges. 
Some cards were really interesting. I was particularly drawn to the mixed media cards.  We found and traded for cards from Australia and all over the US.  I even ended up with a card made by Miss Quilting Arts herself-- Pokey Bolton! I grabbed it thinking my son who had watched me make my cards all week would like it. I was happily surprised to see it was made by a "celebrity".  He just liked that it had a spider stitched on it!
We didn't swap all our cards at once. We would "shop" the wall frequently only leaving one of our cards when we found another one we liked enough to trade for. But it was so flattering when we'd come back to the wall and the cards we had left were taken!
I know we sound like trading card snobs but it is easy to get attached and you don't want to just give them away! 
One year the theme was Holidays here are some of mine:
St. Patrick's Day:  Fabric, Vellum, stamping, decorative stitches, sequins, button and paper.

 Valentine's Day: Felted Wool Roving then hand stitched and beaded
Another year the recommended theme was "Entertainment". Anything that entertained you- books, movies, TV, characters, famous lines, etc... I had just read all the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer and I themed my cards around characters in that series. They were all red white and black like the book covers and all the vampire cards had a drop of blood made out of bedazzle gems.

I later made these themed around Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series:

I showed the back so you could see what many people put on the back: name, if it is one of a series, inspiration, maker, date, email and location.
Trading cards can be made by someone of any skill level. My children have made them:
Angelina, fabric, beads, plastic scrapbooking snowflakes and bedazzle gems
as well as some very accomplished quilter friends I know. My mom made this one: For the hummingbird mom used a stencil, paintsticks and a bedazzled eye.

 Trading Cards take very little materials, thus can be cheap and often made of scraps leftover from other things.  They are fun to embellish and try new techniques on at a very small almost waste free scale. I have mine on a cork board posted in my sewing room mixed with those I have traded for. Here are some others I have played with:
Wool Roving, beading and hand embroidery:
Buttons, hand dyed fabrics cut with a zig zag rotary cutter:
My kids come in from time to time and ask me to get one down to look at or ask me where I got one etc... I highly recommend trying your hand at it. They are collectible but also have some useful options. My clever friend made one and embellished a plain journal cover with it.  
I made this one out of selvages and buttons:
I have seen them used as labels on gifts, framable art pieces or as gifts of course. Search Etsy or Ebay for ATC (artist trading cards) people make original oil paintings on these and sell them on these sites! I bought my mother some done with thread play.  So many creative options.... so little time.

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