The Blues: An ATC Swap guest post

This week’s guest blog post about our Artist Trading Card swap is from lovely Abigail of Cut and Alter. I am sure that you will agree with me that I can’t wait to see how her beautiful indigo plans work out!  Abigail writes:

This was the image that got me started on Very Berry’s ATC swaps. I saw it over on Knotted Cotton. I had been aware of ATCs before when I helped organised a Quilt Exhibition for my local club in New Zealand. There was an ATC category and I saw some beautiful pieces of art.

Abigail ATC 1

They sounded fun and I wanted to join in. I kept an eye out and then saw Ali launch the Winter Sparkle ATC swap. I signed up immediately. The premise for an Artist Trading Card is simple – produce a piece of fabric art which is the same size as a business card, 3.5” x 2.5”. The majority of it must be fabric but how you make it and what stitching you do is up to you – patchwork, applique, beading, stitching, crochet, printing – anything goes! However, the working in miniature was something I found quite challenging.

The card I received in the first swap was this one:

Abigail ATC 2

And the card I made was …. Whoops I was running somewhat late for this one and did not take any photos, either in progress or as a final piece. I was crocheting a lot at the time so I got some very fine white cotton and a very small crochet hook and crocheted a star. I placed this on some deep blue fabric and stitched out designs in white and silver with some bead embellishment. It was supposed to represent the night sky full of stars and frost. I made it oversized and then trimmed. I put it together with backing and a thin piece of wadding. I decided I would sew it bag style and then turn out to neatly top stitch around the edge. I’m kind of good with things like that and I thought I would get a lovely finish – that’s one of the drawbacks about working in miniature. I ended up with quite a fat little thing that was rather bulky at the edges!

Onwards and upwards to my second swap – Home Sweet Home. This was the card I received:

Abigail ATC 3

And this was the card I made (I made sure to take a fair few photos this time!):

Abigail ATC 4

The finishing on this one was the more common finish I had seen around and I realise why. The backing was placed right side down, then a piece of curtain lining with the finish top piece facing up. I then oversewed the edges with a satin stich. Or that’s what it would have been if I had been able to do it neatly. It turned out to be an uneven zig zag/satin stich kind of finish.

So for my third attempt – how will I finish it? I am not quite sure yet. I think I had better come up with a design and produce a finished top before I worry about the finishing. Design may sound like I know what I am doing. When Ali was looking for some people to write about the process she stated:

 …contribute a blog post on their ATC progress – with maybe sketch plans, work in progress, ideas behind the planned ATC…

and that made me laugh. I would describe my process as organic, flexible, on a whim, totally made up …… It takes all sorts doesn’t it? At least this time I had an idea. I knew that I was going on an indigo dyeing workshop before the ATC needed to be sent out and blue really is my favourite colour – so I thought that could easily fit into the My Perfect theme. Because I offered to write this post I have been thinking about it a bit more than previous swaps. Blue to me is wonderful. Cerulean, azure, turquoise, lapis lazuli, midnight sky, sky blue, aquamarine, cornflower, forget me not, the words are so descriptive and so many shades including the innumerable colours of the sea ……

Abigail ATC 5

So I have the starting blocks which are the fabric bits I dyed on the day. A variety of cotton, linen, vintage, new and yarn all dyed in the same dye bath but all resulting in different shades of indigo.

Abigail ATC 6

Abigail ATC 7

Abigail ATC 8

Abigail ATC 9

I have some ideas in my head but I guess once again it will evolve and grow (but not too big I hope) as I actually make it.


Thanks so much Abigail – good luck with your plans as they come together… your work process is much like mine! Still haven’t started sewing my ATC…

2 thoughts on “The Blues: An ATC Swap guest post

  1. Hi Abigail and Ali , funny it was seeing my first atc on knotted cotton as well that sparked my interest ! Catherine has a lot to answer for.
    I think I might try the zig zag as well this time

  2. Much of what you’ve said struck a chord with me at various stages of my ATC journey. It can be a bit daunting when you make your first ATC, can’t it?

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