Artist Trading Card Swap Guest Post: Say Something!

Tonight’s blog post is a Very Berry Handmade Artist Trading Card Swap guest post by lovely Sherry (here’s her blog, and her Instagram account) – I know you’ll enjoy her contribution, and judging by the sneak peaks below, she is creating a fabulous ATC! 

It’s that time again! I’ve just signed up for another ATC swap organised by Ali at Very Berry Handmade. This is my fifth swap and something I always enjoy taking part in.  An ATC is a business card sized piece of artwork that is swapped and a chance to let your imagination run free!  The standard is really high – these are the beautiful ATCs I’ve received in the past.

Picture 1

It always makes me a little nervous to begin with – especially when you see some of the amazing cards people make. The theme for this ATC swap is Say Something. So… favourite lines from books or films? Favourite quotations? I wanted to say something about a topic close to my heart.
Nature is my inspiration – it makes me tick, so it was the obvious subject choice for me. Where to start? The environment? Loss of habitat? Beauty in nature? I normally begin any project with a mind map. It’s my way of organising the rambling chaos of thoughts in my head! This time though, there was no need. My idea was taking shape so quickly that my thoughts turned to my swap partner – what were her likes and dislikes? I remember a couple of swaps ago that I had my idea perfectly formed only to then discover that my swap partner had a total aversion to the main colour I had chosen, so note to self – check your partner’s preferences first!! Luckily, it all fitted in well, so off I went on a materials hunt.

Picture 2

Picture 3
I always need to reign in my ideas as there is only so much space on this wee card! Having decided landscape over portrait – a few quick sketches help me work out exactly what I can fit on the card. Gathering all the bits and pieces that I want to fit on the card need to form the card means another reassessment!

Picture 4
Starting this early is quite a departure for me as I often begin my stitching quite close to the actual posting week and while that certainly focuses your mind, I felt like a more tranquil sew this time around!
I like to have a quick practise stitch to see how it looks..

Picture 5

Picture 6

I drew the size of the card onto fabric and roughly sketched my idea out using a Frixion pen where the ink disappears when touched with the iron – magic :). Things don’t really start to come together for me until I begin stitching and I quickly realised that the proportions were all wrong and it just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t happy with how it was looking so I decided to make another quick drawing and this time thinking more about exactly what I wanted to say in such a relatively tiny space.

I think I’m there now and sewing has begun in earnest! Ideally (when not super rushed!), I like to spread the sewing over a couple of weeks and it’s a project that I always love to pick up. It’s amazing how much fun it is to take part in these ATCs and to watch the little card develop, and ultimately it’s all about sending it off in a few weeks time and hoping that your swap partner will like your mini piece of textile art. I also love to see everybody’s ideas as they start to appear on Flickr – there is so much textile talent out there.

Happy sewing wherever you are and I hope this may inspire you to sign up for a swap some time – it really is such a rewarding thing to take part in!
Sherry xx

5 thoughts on “Artist Trading Card Swap Guest Post: Say Something!

  1. Thanks Sherry for your tips, very useful and your design looks wonderful. It is amazing how small those cards are – I’m taking part for first time and have ideas but having trouble fitting them in such a small space but you are right, it is fun!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the swap and design process. I’ve only taken part in one swap before. I am always amazed at how small the area is when you actually get to working!

  3. Thank you for sharing your tips and thoughts about swap design and production Sherry.I decided not to attempt this one as I just didn’t gel with the subject and I am involved in another sew along at present, I feel inspired to do the next one now.

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