Computer Labels

Here are the instructions for printing a label onto cotton fabric to sew onto the back of your completed postcard.

Supplies needed: freezer paper, cotton fabric (pre-washed to remove sizing), ruler, sharp scissors, ink jet computer printer, iron, sewing thread and needle, pins, pencil.

1. Iron (cotton setting) a piece of freezer paper (shiny side) to a piece of cotton fabric. I used muslin. Be sure to pre-wash to remove any sizing.

2. Using your ruler, measure a rectangle 8 1/2 by 11 inches and draw with a pencil.

3. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the fused cotton/freezer paper to 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Do not cut the cotton or freezer paper to size before fusing.

4. Meanwhile, using your word processing software (I use Microsoft Word), create a document and type all the information that you want to appear on the back of your postcard. For this challenge, I’ve asked you to include the following:

Postcards from California Challenge 2012
Your Name
Your Address
Title of Postcard
Location of the scene

You may add any extras that you want. Please note that the back of Cai’s postcards include a priceless postage stamp that is a rug hook. She also dedicates all her postcards to a friend or family member and the dedication is printed on the back of her postcards. I haven’t tried color yet, but I’m sure that you could add colored pictures to these labels too. Be as creative as you want. As you can see from my sample above, I included the bare minimum.

Since I wanted to use a 1/2 seam allowance all the way around my label, I only had room for one label on and 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece. For this reason, I centered my typing. However, in retrospect, I realize that I could have spaced it differently and made some smaller labels for other purposes.

5. Place the fused piece of cotton/freezer paper in your printer’s feed tray. Make sure that the cotton fabric is on the print side. For my printer this means that I place the fabric side down. Your printer may be different. Hit print.

6. Peel the freezer paper off the cotton.

7. Place the shiny side of the paper over the printing and iron again to heat set the ink.

8. Cut your label to size. For a 4 by 6 inch postcard, you would need to add 1/2 inch all the way around which means you are cutting a piece 5 by 7.

9. Fold 1/2 inch seam allowance to the back of your label and iron in place.

10. Hand sew your label to the back of your postcard.

Note: I started having problems with my printer not being able to feed the cotton/freezer paper duo, so I googled freezer paper/cloth and printer problems and found a solution to this problem. It is counter intuitive to my way of thinking, but it works. Cut your freezer paper/cloth smaller than a sheet of paper (8 1/2 x 11) and clue it (a glue sticks works well) to a piece of printer paper. The printer is now able to pull the entire 3 layers through without getting jammed.

Another Note: When my cotton/freezer paper duo jammed I noticed black smudges that were made from the rollers struggling to pull the package around and through the printer route. I cleaned these rollers using a rag and rubbing alcohol. This worked like a charm. I have not had any problems at all since cleaning the rollers. In addition, I have printed many pages of photographic paper without incident.

Finishing Small Pieces

There are numerous ways to finish small mats and this is just one way.  Please use the method of your choice.  Here is one way to finish small mats and it may be used for finishing your postcards.  The photos I’m using are for some mug rugs that I’m in the process of finishing.

Draw a line around the outside of your finished mat (approximately 1 inch from last row of hooking).  I use a ruler that I lay next to the last row of hooking.

Zigzag stitch around the mat just inside your drawn line and then stitch across corners.

Next, cut your backing off on the drawn line.

Pin foundation fabric to the back mitering corners in the following order:

a) Fold corners to back

b) Fold sides to the back

c) Pin (Back and Front)

Whip edge.

Stay tuned for the next post on how to attach fabric with labeling to the back of your mat.