Tuesday, May 11, 2021

postcard quilt 2021

We all love quilt stories, right? At least I do, and I couldn't resist sharing about my participation in the postcard quilt experiment hosted by Zak Foster and Amanda Nadig. The entire project had the theme of "newness," and every step of the way, it indeed felt fresh and new.

So there were several steps involved to get us to the end result, and each was as surprising, and 'new' as the one that followed. First up, each participant was asked to create a postcard based on the theme. That took a bit of careful thought. My postcard included a 'scene' inspired by the lake view out my window, including string glued on to represent the screen I often few from.

All the participants were paired up into partners, and before long, my "newness" postcard was winging its way to none other than Heidi Parkes!

Of course, then I had to be patient and wait for the inspiration card Heidi sent to me! I love it for its simplicity, 'sprouts' of fabric hand-stitched onto the card.

After receiving Heidi's card, I spent several days mulling over how I could translate it into a quilt block for Zak and Amanda's quilt. When it came right down to it, my resultant quilt block borrowed several elements pretty literally, including turning the gray smudges into 'clouds.' The off-white fabric I chose for my background was slightly textured, just like the surface of the postcard; and the green print, as you see, included some white 'stitching.' 

In true Heidi fashion, some hand-stitching was definitely in order. 14" square, here is the 'block' I finally submitted to Zak and Amanda.

Meanwhile, Heidi was creating a 'quilt block' inspired by my postcard. Unfortunately, the card I'd sent looked a little different by the time it arrived to her!

Below is what Heidi created, and what she shared about it, "@aquilterstable mailed her beautiful postcard to me, and she’d glued a lovely thread grid on the surface that was almost entirely lost in the mail. This quilt block is in memory & honor of those lost threads, and a tribute to my ‘spring cleaning’ goals this year of letting go of things that aren’t serving me, to free up space & time for ‘newness.’" Though I felt a little bad most of the 'screen' element on my card got lost in shipping, Heidi affirmed it was meant to be. And as Zak first said, whatever happened during transit was indeed part of the quilt's story.

So after just a few weeks of inspiration, mailing, and creating, here is the finished collaboration quilt! 

With 378 participants from around the world (12 different countries!), it's an amazing, creative, beautiful digital work. Many thanks to Zak and Amanda for their vision for this project. You can see more about the individual blocks at #postcardquilt.

Final digital quilt photo by Zak Foster; the two prior, of my postcard and Heidi's resultant work, were by Heidi Parkes. All used with permission.


  1. amazing stories attached to both of your blocks! I love this

  2. WOW, that really is amazing. So, did you make the blocks and then just send in pictures to be made into a digital quilt? Or is an actual quilt going to be made with all the blocks? Heidi’s threads don’t look like they are actually sewn down. I’m a bit confused by that I guess. I absolutely LOVE your interpretation of her postcard though. And genius that you included the post markings too!

  3. Do you have plans for the finished block that you made based on Heidi's inspiration?

  4. Wow - amazed at all the creative thinking and producing that went into each and every postcard and block! So ingenious and lovely!

  5. Part of the process of making a quilt that amazes me is how whatever we try to create, somehow that piece takes on a life of it's own. I love how the journey through the mail added to your piece!

  6. What a great challenge theme. I love the block you created with her inspiration. When I saw your card in the first photo I did express hope that the grid would survive the post. She definitely got wonderful inspiration from it!